Re: [Usability] window manager configuration

On Fri, 2001-12-07 at 12:55, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> David Moles <david moles vykor com> writes: 
> >   1) Can't tell what the point is of having both "workspaces"
> >      and "viewports" except that they have random behavioral
> >      differences.
> >
> I agree with that. When I say "workspaces" I mean "the one thing that
> we have that works correctly" - traditionally, the workspace/viewport
> distinction refers to how they are implemented in the window manager,
> which is just insanity.

I'm with you there. :)

> >   2) Can't constrain movement between workspaces to only be
> >      horizontal (which from a Fitts' law perspective makes
> >      top and bottom panels a pain to use).
> Yeah, clearly if we have edge-flipping at all (grumble) it should only
> be horizontal and only when moving windows. Hopefully not a config
> option.
> Edge flipping seems like one of those sense-of-instability-creating
> features to me. I really like the new "solid" feel of no-flicker GTK 2
> and would like to have more such feel - like things are all in their
> place and only move when you intend to move them.

Yeah. Maybe what I really want is a 5120x1024 scrolling virtual
screen where the panels are fixed to the physical screen. :)

(No. Really I just want more, bigger monitors.)

> >   3) "Windows deiconify to current workspace" works for 
> >      deiconifying from the panel, but not for deiconifying
> >      from the Ximian task menu (not really a window manager
> >      issue, probably, but it drives me up the wall, and what
> >      the heck, this is the usability list :>).
> With the new way things work, all deiconification should be going
> through the same codepath (I hope).
> I don't think a "windows deiconify to current workspace" config option
> is needed though, just a default. I haven't thought about it but
> deiconify to current workspace seems like the sane default to me;
> clicking an app in tasklist only to have it not appear seems bad.

What the menu does is move you to the workspace it appears on, which
is almost equally disorienting.

I'm definitely in favor of more good defaults and fewer options. (Which
I guess is the point of this thread.)

> >   4) I kind of liked old-fashioned Motif-style iconification
> >      where "iconify" really mean "iconify" and not "hide unless
> >      you happen to have some other app, e.g., the tasklist, that
> >      shows hidden applications for you". Whatever happened to it?
> It's too complex/weird to have _both_ minimization and iconification,
> essentially.
> > I do think that for non-Unix-experienced users, "iconify" is
> > misleading.
> My opinion is that the word "iconify" should never appear in the user
> interface.

Y'know, it sounds like you're writing the window manager I want without
me even needing to put in any input. :)

> > One thing I've wondered for a while is, how easy would it be for
> > someone putting together a distribution to change a lot of these
> > strings -- e.g., if you were putting together a distribution
> > targeted at ex-Windows users, could you change "iconify" to
> > "minimize" in some way other than patching all the sources?
> You'd have to patch sources. But we should just fix this upstream. ;-)
> > Breaking some of these things out would make it easier to please
> > more of the people more of the time -- geeks who'd hold their
> > breath and turn blue if they didn't get the "traditional" names,
> > crack-smoking behaviors, and whatnot could put together a geek
> > distribution, and someone like Ximian could put together a Joe
> > User distribution.
> My opinion is that if you love wacky old window managers, you should
> use a wacky old window manager. That's why we support plugging in your
> choice of window managers via the ICCCM and EWMH specs. ;-)

Yeah, but you know how people are -- they start out by going "I'm
sticking to FVWM" and end up by going "gnome-cc should allow me to
configure GNOME so it acts just as weird as my FVWM environment 
from 1993, and hackers are more important than newbies anyway." :)


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