Modern fullscreen multitasking for GNOME

I'm following up on this as I've changed the title of my bug [1] to "Modern fullscreen multitasking with split window for GNOME". After reviewing the ways that macOS, iOS and Android handle fullscreen multitasking I think this is an area where GNOME is seriously lacking.

Here's a quick description of how these platforms handle this (copied from my bug report):

Maximize in GNOME is a legacy window state that's remained unchanged since GNOME 2. Platforms like macOS, Android and iOS utilize more modern ways of creating a "distraction free" mode. Like I stated earlier in the bug comments in macOS they've even gone so far as to make fullscreen the primary "maximization" state for most apps in a way deprecating the older "maximize". 

I'm not suggesting the existing maximize in GNOME should be deprecated but that fullscreen be enhanced.

In macOS side-by-side split view [2] is achieved with two fullscreen apps and the split is resizable. This is identical to how multitasking works in both Android [3] and iOS [4]. Here is a feature comparison of all three platforms:

* macOS: Split View in OS X El Capitan or later lets you fill your Mac screen with two apps, without having to manually move and resize windows.

* iOS: On iPad, you can use Multitasking to work with two apps at the same time, answer emails while watching a video, switch apps using gestures, and more.

* Android: Android 7.0 adds support for displaying more than one app at the same time. On handheld devices, two apps can run side-by-side or one-above-the-other in split-screen mode. On TV devices, apps can use picture-in-picture mode to continue video playback while users are interacting with another app.

The enhancement calls for GNOME to have fully modern multitasking capability with two fullscreen windows. This is what users are trying to achieve when they use various shell extensions that remove titlebars and the top panel.


Imagine a user being able to play a Steam game fullscreen and have a video chat window in picture-in-picture mode at the same time. Fullscreen multitasking is also crucial for having a consistent workflow between workstations and hybrid/convertible touch devices that have tablet modes.

I would like to have a more in-depth discussion with the design team on how this could be implemented and would like to help make this a reality in any way I can.

Best regards,
Alex G.S.

[2], Use two Mac apps side by side in Split View
[3], Use Multitasking on your iPad
[4], Multi-Window Support

On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 4:31 PM, Alex G.S. <alxgrtnstrngl gmail com> wrote:
Hello all,

I'm interested in evaluating how GNOME handles maximized windows and split windows. I've filed a feature request bug [1] with a suggestion on how to improve this handling. Is this behavior implemented at a higher level in the Shell using GJS or would it require modifications to Mutter or GTK?

Here's a quick feature enhancement summary:

When a user maximizes a window [2] in macOS it pushes the top bar [panel] out of the way and creates it's own workspace. In this mode the user can drag another window into this workspace and have a side-by-side split [3], the user can even grab the partition and realign the split. This window handling is extremely useful for coding and other intensive tasks where there’s a need to minimize distractions.

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