Window management pie menu
- From: Rovanion Luckey <rovanion luckey gmail com>
- To: gnome-shell-list gnome org
- Subject: Window management pie menu
- Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 14:40:13 +0200
Good day, I have an idea to present that I would like to call the PieThrower.
The idea resolvs around providing the user with an easy and fast interface to "throw" application windows to
The inspiration came from this very mailing list. Basically the discussion went around adding buttons
to the window list. Either many buttons representing each direction to which a window could go or
one button spawning a secondary menu showing one button for each currently existing workspace.
While these designs solve the issue they either clutter the window border in a way that might seem
too much or they are based on two a two step menu with small icons.
What the PieThrower bases around is the concept of the user throwing or sending windows to other
workspaces with the use of a pie or circle menu, depending on what you like to call it. A pie menu is
a menu shaped as a circle with one slice for each option. There are two ways as I see it that this
interface could be accessed, either by a button located on window border or when the middle mouse
button is pressed on the border. When the user triggers interface a pie or circle menu appears
showing one piece for each one of maximally four directions possible. The menu is spawned around
the mouse or button location and the different are activated either by mouse position or release of the
To break up the preceding wall of text and further explain the design, here is the PieThrower spawned
by a button when three other workspaces are open to the left, to the right and underneath:
This pie menu in this mockup is spawned by a button. In this case the user can either press the
button, then release the mouse again, and then press the slice he or she wishes to. But this is not
the most efficient way to go. Pressing the button, but never releasing it brings up the menu just as
Now there are two different ways to go here. One where a slice is activated when the user releases
his mouse on or outside of a slice. The inner circle always cancels the menu. The other where
activation of a slice happends either when the user releases his mouse on a slice or directly when the
mouse reaches outside of a slice. This second option is the one that would give a real edge to the
function making it feel as if you were throwing the window to your next workspace.
Here is a second mockup spawned from middle mouse button showing a usecase where Gnome
Shell is sorting the workspaces in linear view. Here the user has one workspace open to the left but
none to the right, but the interface allows for the user to open up a new workspace and send the
window to it:
So after this throw at explaining the PieThrower I would like to ask the code writers who managed to
read through the whole idea, is this possible to do? And if it is possible to realize this idea, what happens next?
PS: The same design could be used to switch workspaces, middle click background or other suitable area and off you go.
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