[HIG] Re: Viewports or equivalent

I'm taking this from the sawfish mailing list because this is another
issue, keeping it between us and the HIG team @gnome.org

Probably the most important part are the last 5 paragraphs.

Hi HIG team, I'm inviting you to this friendly discussion.

On Tue, Aug 13, 2002 at 10:59:09AM -0700, Michael Toomim wrote:
> The way the gnome2 pager retains coordinates has nothing to do with the 
> workspace/viewport change -- it works that way because Havoc thinks it's 
> a usability improvement.  I happen to agree.  It really is a lot easier 
> to move windows between workspaces now.  You don't have to be nearly as 
> precise with that drag as you used to.

The pager is usually big enough for one to detect an empty space and
it's way nicer that you can drag it to a near location.

The way the gnome pager vectorizes windows implies that if you move it
to another workspace, and the close coordinates are somewhat crowded,
than you will have extra work to get to the window when you go there.

It's less natural and less intuitive, so how can it be an usability
improvement? It _was_ easier to move windows between virtual desktops
(well, viewports) previously, since you not only had immediate feedback
but also you could put the windows nearer to where you want them.

To maintain coordinates, there was a sawfish move window to workspace N

> In fact, it really isn't any harder to allow fine-grained 
> window-movement via the pager when using workspaces than it was using 
> viewports.

It is harder since now you don't move, but drag it to another workspace
(maintaining coordinates).

> I think the real loss with the current way of doing things isn't that it 
> makes you unable to move windows to pixel coordinates via the pager but 
> that you don't get the immediate on-screen feedback when moving a window.

The pager never allowed the pixel resolution (AFAICT). That would be
extremely hard to use. It used a somewhat lower resolution that allowed
you to move the window to the surroundings of a certain area close to
where you wanted.

The apparent loss of feedback is due to a certain language problem that
people keep faling onto precisely because the new way is _NOT_ user
friendly: you're not moving (which implies a gradual change of position)
anymore BUT taking the window from this workspace and putting into that
one (where drag'n'drop applies properly). Even though pick up here and
drop there may seem the natural action in a 3D environment (a real desktop)
moving is more natural because you're talking about something on a 2D

Of course that on a workspace environment where you can't drag a window
from one to the other, it may seem logic not to move the window but put
it in the other place. However, that's thinking small.

The continuos misunderstanding of the behaviour of the gnome pager, is
good enough proof on how user friendly it is not.


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