Window subtitles

Hi list

Another crackpot idea for you. A lot of applications name their windows
in the form "Some Thing - Some Application". Some just name their
windows in the form "Some Thing", relying on the icon to portray more
information about the window.

I think the latter form is recommended by GNOME HIG, but I'm not so sure
it's the best option when one particular object can have many windows. A
recent example I brought up with Gossip (which has since been adjusted
for) is that, given all this Telepathy stuff, we're likely to see many
windows for the same person. In such a case, "John Smith -
Conversation", "John Smith - File Sharing", "John Smith - Video Call"
would be a lot better than "John Smith", "John Smith", "John Smith",
even if they did all have different icons.

So it seems, from my POV, that it's a good idea to portray an extra bit
of information about a window, a "window subtitle" (in contrast to
"window title"), so to speak. Like I said, many applications are already
implicitly doing this just by using a - to separate the title from the

Perhaps it would be a good idea for Gtk to have support for setting
"window subtitles", and for now it could simply communicate that with
the WM as being "title - subtitle", but this gives us the flexibility to
do more fancy things such as those illustrated by the (albeit rather old
now) Tango window experiment mockups
<>, and probably a few
other things, too.


Alex Jones

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