Re: My opinions on Gnome Shell

It's a little puzzling to me why GNOME Shell has deprecated window minimization, given that one of its primary design goals is to enable "distraction-free computing." 

The purpose of minimizing a window is precisely to remove it as a distraction from the current focus. Leaving the window open, but letting it be obscured by other windows pertinent the user's current work creates more distraction, not less, and clearly goes against the distraction-free goal. Moving the unwanted window to another workspace is also less than optimal. It causes more work for the user than simply clicking a minimize button. Indeed, it's hard to imagine something simpler than clicking a button on the window frame. Once "minimized" in the fashion of moving it to a new workspace, it is also more work to retrieve the window. You have to navigate to the workspace, look at the window, navigate back, etc. So, both actions, removing a window from the current focus and returning it to the current focus (when a user wants to check on it) seem less natural when using workspaces as a minimization solution.

It also conceptually doesn't make sense on a couple levels. First of all, some apps simply don't fit into the "activity" model where they occupy the primary focus of the user. Examples have already been given, ie Evolution, Rhythmbox, Banshee, Empathy, etc. They are meant to run in the background to some extent. So, applying the single notion of activity to them doesn't work well. Second, a workspace for windows that you don't want to see normally doesn't seem to really be a "workspace" at all. A workspace by its very nature is a collection of apps that represent a task or a project, or really whatever a user wants the relation to be. The common and indelible quality of it, however, is that is where *work* is done. So, using this notion as a bucket for apps that you don't want to focus is rather awkward, IMO, as it doesn't really represent a place where work is done anymore.

All that said, I would really appreciate it if some of the designers and developers who are *actually* working on solving problems for GNOME Shell would participate in discussions like this. I understand if they are actually busy getting work done, but they would hopefully be able to elevate the dialog from (paraphrasing) "show me some data that our design is flawed" and "I would never want to do that" (and thus nobody else should).


On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 9:45 AM, Pasha R <> wrote:
On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 4:31 PM, David Prieto <frandavid100 gmail com> wrote:
> Julien,
>> This is here:
>> Yes, except that there is no "sound menu" in gnome-shell.
>> I agree, but there is not such thing currently in gnome-shell.
> Obviously. We probably wouldn't be having this discussion if those were
> implemented.
>> The solutions you described before are perfect solutions to this problem,
>> but none of them currently exist in gnome shell. As a real current user of
>> gnome shell, I would love to see a solution based on
>> what's currently already implemented: minimization.
> Minimization does not exist in gnome shell, at least not as part of the new
> workflow. It does exist as a vestigial trace of the old one, a sign of how
> things used to work, but it has no place in the way things work now, and I
> wouldn't be surprised if the ability to minimize totally disappears in 3.2,
> even from the Alt+Space menu.
>> When new solutions are developed, then - and only then - can minimization
>> be declared obsolete.
> Quite the opposite. Exposing underlying problems is a vital step to solve
> them. Giving prominence to minimization "until a real solution arrives" is,
> IMO, sweeping the dirt under the carpet. And it's a great way to make sure
> that a real solution never comes.

I think it is really bad approach - to remove features without
deprecation period. If new workflow is really as good as designers try
to convince us, people will use it and will abandon minimizing. And if
they won't, then the design is probably wrong. It is OK to encourage
users to use new workflow by disabling minimize by default, but
removing it completely, especially when proper solution is not even
ready yet, is IMHO totally wrong.
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