Re: Revisiting the GNOME Panel in general...

On Fri, 2004-10-01 at 09:57 -0400, Sean Middleditch wrote:
> On Fri, 2004-10-01 at 13:32 +1000, Tristan Buckmaster wrote:
> > I have made some gimp mock ups of the ideas I posted to this forum in
> > early August (the ideas have since been modified).
> > 
> >
> >
> > 
> > All the icons on the bottom panel that have arrows are applications
> > that are currently running.  The icons on the left which don't have
> > arrows are not running and if you click on them they will launch (Max
> > OS X like).   There are three different behaviours when you click on
> > an icon with an arrow depending on the situation, they are:
> And what is the purpose of this?  The OS X window/application grouping
> system is one of the absolute worst designed usability nightmares I've
> ever seen.  (Seriously, I'm surprised Apple screwed up that badly.)
> Users do not think in terms of applications.  Or, if they do, it's only
> because the computer is failing to do its job of making their work
> easier.

I agree with your argument.  I believe Apple was thinking that their
apps were synonymous with tasks.  Apps like iTune and iPhoto hide your
data so the user must use the app to do even the most simple operations
like copy.  This model does not fit with GNOME; a users owns and works
with his data as he chooses.  

The exception is Evolution.  It *did* expose the user data, but it was
still unusable.  I really should be able to see my mail boxes and
calendars.  Opening the data (file) should open Evo in the correct view.
I should have the option to see my data with another tool.

> Work should be grouped by task, and the application(s) responsible for
> those tasks is just an implementation detail that should be as hidden as
> possible.
> I don't see any reason to draw attention to running apps, grouping
> windows by apps, or in any other way distinguishing between multiple
> apps, ever.

I would like to see an emblem on a document if it is open.  I open a
document twice, when I forget that it is open.  In some scenarios, the
existing document moves to my current workspace, in others I get a new
window.  I'm not sure which is right, but I'm concerned that I can only
make changes in on version.  Marking the document as open (maybe with
the icon of the tool that is using it) would be helpful.

> I run into this problem on OS X all the time.  Say I have a couple
> tasks.  Maybe a terminal window/X Code window for a development project,
> a word processor window for some school paper, and my web browser.  The
> web browser has two are three windows (each with tabs); one window has
> documentation and such loaded for my coding task, the other window has
> research for my school task, and the other has some news sites and blogs
> I check.
> Wonderful OS X groups windows by task.  It *forces* to think in a very
> illogical manner, because I have these three browser windows which are
> *completely* unrelated together being grouped, while the individual
> application windows related to each browser window (word processor,
> terminal, etc.) are forced to be grouped separately.  It's a wretched
> mis-design on Apple's part.

We do not have great window grouping (libwnck) or task management
(gnome-session) now.  I try to use workspaces as task groups, but I
cannot save their state to close the workspace.  I think users would
adopt the Workspace Switcher faster if it was presented as a means of
task management.  Instead of having four default workspaces, I only have
as many as I have open tasks.  I could use the workspace switcher to
open, close, or save a task (the apps and documents).  I am under no
illusion that marrying session management a workspace is easy.

One challenge I see is the behavior of reopening a document on another
workspace.  Am I opening a new copy of the document, or an I
transferring the document to another task?  I start Gedit from the panel
several times during a session, and it always pulls the existing
documents from the other workspace to the current one I am working with.

> Also, an additional reason for OS X marking the app icons on the
> launcher when running is because, unlike GNOME, the apps do not shut
> down when the last window closes.  GNOME doesn't have *any* need for
> identifying running apps on the panel.
> Please let's not copy this mistake of Apple's.

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