Re: a note on application-based window-management behavior

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 2:41 PM, Colin Walters <walters verbum org> wrote:
> Another issue is that some applications are going to be treating close as
> "stop working", e.g. burning a CD, playing music; if we just hide the window
> and the application isn't expecting this it'll just keep on working, which
> is not likely what people expect.

That's right.  Nearly all applications currently treat close window as
stop working.  That's not a surprise, that's what the current
landscape is like.   The point of the "application != window" system
is to move away from that behavior and expectation.  You cannot
introduce a new program management paradigm without changing "what
people expect".

So if I close my main brasero window when burning a CD, it shouldn't
close, but it *should* go to the background.  (This is already a
logical flow; some programs already naturally hide themselves, ex., in
system tray icons, like the brasero image burner.  The
application-based idea just negates the "app as tray icon" kludge.)

This "not what people expect" hesistation should not be a
consideration, especially since the purpose of moving away from a
strict "program = window" system should be to -wean- users away from
the "application as a single window" mentality.

> We already have the problem where the desktop gives you no feedback
> if you have too many applications running, if we start keeping them
> around after you click close it'd be even worse.

Now this is more interesting.  This is definitely true; both Do's
Docky, G-Shell's App pane, OS X's panel, and even Win7's "dock bar"
have subtle indications (a little highlight or dot on the running app,

This is not a central problem with application-based environment;
after all, the nice part of faster machines with more RAM under this
design is that programs can be transiently pulled from the background
instead of having to be relaunched.

However, the user's awareness of "what is my computer up to?" is
another matter.  Have you considered maybe an alternate method of
presentation on the home/"overview"/etc screen?  Sugar's GUI, for
example, has the "home ring", which shows what program takes up how
much of your computing memory.

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