Workspace switching, and other UI tweaks

I fall broadly into the "power user" cathegory of Gnome 2, and I'm
trying to adapt my workflow to the gnome shell paradigms. I appreciate
the effort into designing something that is clear and immediate for
the mainstream user - efforts that led to what I consider very nice
results - and I know that power tools are expected to appear as
extensions. Still, I think that there's space for some improvements in
an expert user's experience with GS, in ways that don't compromize its
design. A few ideas

1) When I use key navigation to switch workspaces (in my case bound to
ctrl+alt+arrows) I get this abstract, centered grey overlay with
rounded spaces and arrows showing my navigation.
Why exactly, when we have a perfectly good representation of
workspaces and their selection in the overview mode?
Proposal 1: ditch the abstract overlay, have the overview version of
the workspace list show in its usual (right edge) position instead,
with the selection box movement and everything, then slide or fade
away quickly.
- if a beginner stumbles upon the key navigation by mistake,
consistency can guide and reassure him ("Uhm, what did just happen? My
windows flew up offscreen, but that thing that appeared on the right
is that thing I don't use in the "Activities" screen, let me go there
and see if I can fix it")
- if a power user wants to use the quick key navigation, the overview
version of the workspace list is much more expressive, showing their
actual content.
Corollary proposal 1.1: have icon overlays of the applications
superimposed over the workspace thumbnails, so that I can quickly find
out at a glance "now, in what workspace did I put the email client?".
Windows are not distinguishable enough at the scale of the workspace
list, and the dynamic nature of the list wreaks havoc to estabilished
patterns based on absolute numbers ("workspace 1 for editor and
browser, workspace 2 for compiler terminals, workspace 3 for email and

Another smallish peeve
2) since the super/windows key is by default associated with the
activities overview and thus with GS's management activities, wouldnt
it make sense to bind by default the workspace switching to something
like super+arrows? What about super+scrollwheel?

A more "out there" idea, given previous discussions and the current roadmap
3) again, since the super key is the entrance point to GS's features
and I am among those users that find jumping in and out of overview
mode _very_ distracting, couldn't we have so that if it is kept
pressed for over a time threshold, it instantly brings the favourite
apps/dock from the left and the workspace list from the right without
actually going in overview mode? Release the key and they are gone,
again instantly or with a tenth of a second fade.
- the transition to overview takes a good half second, and both time
and animation are only a bother if what I want is to open a new
application window or to check if one of my docked apps is already
running and in which workspace.
- plus, if this "temporary tools" mode existed, we could ditch the
artificial divide between window management internal to a workspace (
done in normal mode) and window management between workspaces ( done
in overview ), because we could have direct drag and drop of windows
in and out of the workspaces.


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