Re: Thinking about the tasklist

On Tue, 2004-10-19 at 15:16 -0400, Benjamin Kahn wrote:
>       * For a while now I've been frustrated by the GNOME tasklist.
>         For most of the things I need it to do, it does fine.  But it
>         has a couple of behaviors that really annoy me.  So I've been
>         trying to come up with a list of these problems and their
>         solutions.

Glad to see someone hacking on this, the window nav applets need more

> I'm not trying to replace the tasklist with anything -- although I'm
> sure people can come up with better UIs in general for the tasklist.
> I'm simply trying to find behavior and appearance tweaks that can make
> the tasklist more consistent and usable.

Agreed, the tasklist should remain basically the same UI that people
currently expect. Though I would love to see some more experimental
substitutes for it and libwnck should make those pretty easy to develop,
I've always expected more people to write their own window nav and pager
applets but I guess it isn't cool anymore. ;-) Anyway, we do need the
"what Windows and current GNOME users expect" tasklist applet I think.

Some quick notes, but I'm following up in offline mode so can't read the

>       * The tasks are sized according to the amount of text in window
>         titles. Because applications which change their window titles
>         frequently are very common, (Terminal, Mozilla, Red Carpet,
>         etc.) this means that task sizes will often be changing sizes.
>         Obviously if there is a lack of space for all the tasks, the
>         tasks should be shrunk so they all fit. But they should not
>         grow and shrink according to window titles. Additionally, if
>         the tasklist is rotated into a vertical panel, the tasklist
>         height is wrong since the text isn’t rotated. Bug 155870 Bug
>         Patch 

I would note that as a first order problem, the layout and sizing of
tasklist seems to be just buggy. Sometimes it expands to use all avail
space and sometimes it doesn't for example. At least it seems that way
to me.

Because GTK lacks width for height layout and because of the way the
panel works, it's all a bit hard to get right. Alex struggled with it
for a long time.

>       * The amount of padding around the icons and text in the
>         tasklist is too small. Bug 155865 Patch 

I would guess the goal here was to get two tasklist rows onto a 48-pixel

>       * The default icon showing a blank page is ugly and is the wrong
>         size – thus it always looks blurred. Bug 155867 ([embedded
>         Image]) 

Icon theme bug? Or failure to use icon theme correctly?

>       * When a window title is too long to fit in the space provided,
>         it should be shortened and ellipsizes should be shown. (…) Bug
>         155868 Patch 

Easier now that gtk has an ellipsis feature ;-)

>       * Windows on the task list should be shown in the order that the
>         windows appeared, not reorganized at will. Bug 155874 

I think there's some whole story here - I feel sure I initially
implemented the list to use order the windows were mapped, but Alex made
it sort by window ID instead. (Which is a stable but
unpredictable/inexplicable-to-user ordering) There was probably a
rationale for the way it is now. Which may not be a right rationale, but
we should know what it is before changing.

>       * When windows are grouped together, the right click menu should
>         act on all the grouped windows. Right clicking on the group
>         menu itself should allow you to act on a single window. Bug
>         155875 

Agreed. (Though you may find a right-click menu on a right-click menu
item is something gtk doesn't like much, I'm not sure)

>       * Putting brackets [] around minimized windows looks ugly and
>         may not be needed. Other ideas: Italics? Only dim the icon?
>         Shrink the text size? Bug 155876 

Interesting thought.

>       * When windows are grouped, and one of the grouped windows is
>         the active window, the icon and the title of the grouped
>         window should be from the active window. Bug 155878

>       *  
>       * It would be nice to improve the title of window groups. One
>         way might be to get the WM_COMMAND from the window properties
>         and look that command up in .desktop files. This won’t work if
>         no .desktop file exists for the application, and might not
>         work well on remote applications. Still, this should improve
>         the display quite a bit. Bug 155878

There's a g_set_application_name(), having apps call that is the right
fix (it's why I added g_set_application_name())

I think it would also be neat to have apps load their own desktop file
at startup and set the app name, their icon, etc. from that desktop
file. We used to have that back in the GNOME 1.x day I think.


[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]