Re: New toplevel behaviour

On Thu, 2003-02-06 at 17:33, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> Hi,
> 	There are some mildly controversial changes in the panel
> behaviour with the new toplevel widget.
> 	1) Autohiding hides into the corner of the screen. This change
> 	   was recommended by the usability team based on the fact the
> 	   unhiding the panel isn't any harder - you just throw the
> 	   mouse into the corner of the screen - but it makes
> 	   operations near the edge of the screen a lot less error
> 	   prone - previously you had to be careful not to go near the
> 	   hidden panel.

I think this might piss a lot of people off. While the Fitt's law thing
is true about getting the panel to pop up, it is not true when it comes
to actually getting to the button you are looking for. If someone had a
tasklist on the middle of a hidden panel, a likely scenario, nearly
twice as much mouse motion would be involved to get there if you had to
go to a bottom corner first.

Maybe there are a lot of users of hidden panels on this list, but I
would want to see some concensious on this among a broader user base
than this list before seeing that functionality chang so drasticly.

> 	2) GTK+ stock arrows on the hide buttons. I went for these
> 	   instead of using the previous pixmaps because it makes
> 	   theming easier and the default stock arrows are actually a
> 	   lot clearer, IMHO.

Sounds good.

> 	3) Grab handle on floating panels with no hide buttons.
> 	   Discussed before - previously there was no way to access
> 	   the panel context menu on a floating panel. I'd imagine
> 	   some people will cry "ugly", but I haven't seen a better
> 	   suggestion yet.

Sounds good.

> 	4) Hiding a floating panel using the hide buttons makes the
> 	   panel hide to the edge of the screen rather than just
> 	   resizing into a button. Originally the reason I did this
> 	   was temporary - currently the panel animations only allow
> 	   moving the panel, not resizing it - but I've come to prefer
> 	   the behaviour.
> 	5) Floating panels now snap to the edge, corner and center (at
> 	   the edge) of the screen. I think this makes sense, but
> 	   maybe the snap region at 20 pixels is too big.
> 	6) You can rotate a floating panel with the mouse by holding
> 	   down Ctrl when moving it with the mouse.

It would be interesting if some clever, intuative use of mouse movements
could cause it to flip it's orientation. Essentially moving the mouse
circularly about the center of the panel. That might be an overly-clever
idea, though.

> 	7) You can resize the panel by clicking on the edge and
> 	   dragging. Note, that you can change the width (height for
> 	   vertical panels) of floating panels. The idea is that
> 	   floating panels are "packed". I think this is a sensible
> 	   concept.

This is how Windows does it. It's definately streightforward, but it
also has the drawback of putting a large active area (what ammounts to a
resize handle) on the panel for something that is done very rarely.

> I think that's about it. I'd encourage people to check out the
> "new-toplevel" branch (don't install it, just run it from the source
> dir - it doesn't recognise your preferences) and experiment with the
> behaviour.
> Cheers,
> Mark.


No, I really don't use hidden panels, honest. :-)

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