Re: interapplication communication

On Tue, 2009-12-29 at 22:22 +0100, Rovanion Luckey wrote:
> Minimizing windows does not work at the moment, they simply disappear
> and that's confusing even for me. The stereotypical mom using gnome
> shell will think that the minimize button closed her application.

One simple change we could do is to animate the minimizing window to the
"Activities" button. That would give a visual indication that "your
window went there".

> What if pressing the minimize button made the window become small and
> hide on free desktop space, space not obscured by any window. I am not
> sure what would happend if all desktop space was to be obscured, a
> pretty normal situation I suppose on a small screen. 

Real old timers will recall, this is how minimization ("iconification")
worked on most X desktops before the desktop was used for file

But what you point out with maximized windows is definitely a problem;
if there is no free space on the desktop, then the app just vanishes.

(One thing we threw around was having iconified window float above
everything at the very lower left of the screen. That's usually
not a critical part of the application. Usually.)

In general, minimized windows have always been a bit of a strange
concept when the user has everything maximized, because there is no
distinction between minimized windows and windows that are simply
not in front.

> Should the
> minimized window then take their hideout on the top shell panel? Just
> showing the lower bottom of the window or maybe it's icon, and  moused
> over the window would become larger and come out of the shell panel.
> Tough that's a bit like a taskbar. Maybe you would have the lower
> right corner to show windows on the current activity. Just as the top
> left corner shows activities.

I think you could definitely have iconified windows on the top panel
next to the active application without putting all applications there
and making it dock-like. I rather like the idea if we are going to
keep minimization. (As it is currently, we don't actually have
minimization, we have "hiding")

You'd need to use the icon since the top panel is not tall enough to
show a meaningful window preview. There's a bit of a conceptual mismatch
since the active application is the most important application, then
you'd be putting the least important apps next to it, but maybe that's

(The Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface puts all application icons there;
it generally seems like a fiddly way to switch windows as compared
to going to the overview ... the click targets are very small... and
I'd worry about users spending a lot of time and energy on doing things
that way rather than going to the overview.)

- Owen

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