Some toughts on the new workspace indicators

Hi everybody,

I've just checked out the master branch of Gnome Shell and found out
that the workspace indicators have been pushed into it.

First of all, great work, it is much slicker than before :)

I'd like to share some comments on the new behaviour. Even if I had
elaborated the Cons and the proposals more than the Pros, this does not
mean that I do not like the new interface, it is much better than
before. Let me now what you think.

I'm using WP for workspace and GS for Gnome Shell in the following.

- Better windows management: I can easily move windows between different
WPs, even when I am not on the WP hosting the window I'd like to move;
- It's easier to spot the WP I want to "activate";
- The new interface looks hot;
- Having an empty WP always available *rocks*.

- I am not keen on the zoomIn zoomOut animations of the WP controls. I
think that *if* you use many WPs it is better to have the controls
always expanded. It helps finding the right WP and moving windows. I
move between WPs frequently and the constant zooming animation of
controls get into my way. I have modified the workspaceView.js disabling
the zooming, and using WPs feels much snappier. I am not sure *if* GS
expects users to use WPs, in which case hiding the controls works best.
However, I think that hiding the WP controls discourage people who want
to use them (which is the main benefit of GS) and, always in my opinion,
*if* someone wants to use them having the controls always expanded is of
great help.

- I am not keen on auto WP management. More explicitly, having an empty
WP is wonderful, however deleting empty WPs really gets into my way. I'm
used to have fixed WPs for some applications, e.g. Firefox on WP 1,
Evolution and Liferea on WP2, Rhythmbox on WP 3 and GTG on WP 4. I use
both the overview and keyboard shortcuts to move between them. Now, if I
close Firefox, the WP 1 is deleted and all the other apps shift 1 WP "to
the left (or up, as you prefer)". This kills my mental memory of aps on
fixed WPs, and I hate it! 

What I would like and what I am willing to do:

- I am proposing to be able to define "preferred" WPs that are not
deleted, even if empty. You can "pin" a WP with an icon in the overview
(or automatically when creating it through extensions). I am going to
add this to my local GS when I have time. To the devs, do you think
adding an hook for this (I am willing to try and patch GS, it should be
easy) would be a bad thing? I do not mind if there isn't a button and if
I can only set preferred WPs through code (e.g. in an extension call
global.get_current_time(),preferred)" and add a "this._preferred" to the
Workspace prototype);

- Have a preference for not zooming controls, if you think it is

Sorry for the long mail, I hope you like it and give some feedback :)

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