Starting large applications takes a long time. For example: It takes about
half a minute to start Netscape on some of my machines. This makes users
confused, because there is no indication of that the computer "is
working." He/she may think that something is wrong, that they missed the
icon or something, and tries to start the application again. The result is
even longer startup-time, and two copies of the same program running.

MS Windows 95/NT and OS/2 (i believe) has solved this by attaching a
hourglass symbol to the mouse cursor, indicating that the computer is
working. I think this is a great solution: Is it possible to implement
this in Gnome? 

Some people has told me it's impossible, because you can't tell which
windows belongs to which processes. My idéa is to do it like this:

1. When applications are started "from Gnome" (the panel etc.), Gnome
changes the mouse-cursor to a pointer with a "busy"-symbol. Applications
started from the commandline can use wrapper-scripts, if necessary. 

2. When a new window is created, the cursor is restored. 

Of course this means that if you start two programs, the cursor will be
restored when the first application is ready. But it's a lot better than
nothing. (I've even noticed this behavior in MS Windows, actually). CDE
has a blinking light in it's panel working quite like this, except that
it is blinking for maximum of five seconds. 

Sometimes you want to start non-X applications from the panel, and in this
case the cursor should not be changed. Maybe this can be solved by adding
a checkbox to the "Advanced section" in the launcher properties,
to disable cursor-change at launching.


Peter Åstrand <peter@student.liu.se>, http://www.lysator.liu.se/~altic
Master of Computerscience and Engineering student at Linköping University

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