Re: Breadcrumbs in the panel

> Some days ago I posted a few design ideas to the wiki:
> They contain some concepts recently mentioned on this list, like
> having the workspace name in the panel, window switching using the
> panel and shading windows instead of minimizing them.
> On IRC, Marina suggested using the breadcrumbs on top for switching
> windows, and for requesting attention at another workspace or when
> another window is maximized. Owen mentioned that the designs might be
> too text-heavy, and for example 'Workspace 1' isn't recognizable if
> you don't see the name elsewhere.
> Further comments are appreciated! (Below the wiki page, in private
> mail or on this list.) If I still think it's a good idea by next week,
> I'll try to implement it in a separate branch.

Great! Now this really shows why merging the window manager and the rest
of the shell makes a ton of sense. With the extra consistency by having
the window title drawn anywhere on the shell by the same underlying
system (sparing us redundant copies of window titles on the same screen)
this can shine brightly :)

The breadcrumb thing is beautiful. When I read breadcrumb I was
doubtful, but it grew on me the second I saw your pictures.

As well as giving us a neat all-in-one window switcher that sits at an
intuitive place, I bet this would let GNOME Shell scale really
seamlessly between desktop, netbook and phone interfaces.

Nice stuff with urgent windows so far. Urgent windows should be a good
way to do notifications for stuff that is in other workspaces,
especially. That idea presently fails (hence today's redundant
notification area) because the window list is often ignored and
misunderstood. Here, urgent windows could appear from the side of the
screen that faces the workspace the window is on (eg: if the window is
on the workspace to the right, it appears on the right side), above
maximized (but not fullscreen) windows. It could be a nice and clear way
to point the user towards important windows.
The idea could also be expanded to hidden windows (via a special
"hidden" workspace?), perhaps, for stuff like email notifications.

The best thing with shaded vs. minimized windows is definitely that the
user can place them wherever they make sense to him, and also that they
still act like (and look like) windows. I think this could give the
desktop a more physical, natural atmosphere. Here the user can direct a
window to the appropriate place instead of closing it and hoping the
application developer has it force itself onto the panel or something.

(Forgive me, I'm going to keep calling this minimizing since shading is
really just how minimizing should behave, but I really do mean
minimizing in that the same window becomes just a title bar rather than
being duplicated somewhere else).

I keep poking at the notification area abuse because it is one of the
worst things that happened to computer user interfaces. (Highlighted by
the bubble notifications that then say "hey, I'm not really closed even
though you just closed me! I just ran away here to the bottom right
corner. Now if you actually want to close me, as you seemed to suggest
by clicking CLOSE, you need to do it on my terms via a secondary click,
because we dearly hope your primary intent is not to stop me from
running!). The issue should be at the top of everyone's mind.

It hasn't really happened to us in full swing yet, but GNOME isn't doing
anything different that would stop what happened to Windows from
happening here down the line. (And it already does in some circles; it's
just an option).
A window "iconifying" itself to the notification area is not a behaviour
we can expect the user to see in advance and really harms the
environment. Close doesn't always mean close anymore; in some contexts
people expect it to mean "REALLY minimize window" instead of "close
window," and if it actually closes the thing they get confused (and a
kitten dies of hunger). We need to reverse that trend somehow. This can
be done by enhancing Minimize so it does the same trick, since that is
what Minimize is meant to do anyway. Somehow I think shading, combined
with stronger use of workspaces and slightly better visibility for
minimized windows (since they're now "shaded" instead), could be a
perfect start...

Dylan McCall

On another line entirely: Awesome window theme in that mockup :) Really,
I love how you change the buttons for windows in particular states.

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