Re: [Usability] Usability Digest, Vol 33, Issue 23

Dear Ethan,

I hope I am understanding the feature you are requesting properly.

On Thu, 2007-01-18 at 13:32 -0600, Ethan Anderson wrote:
> What we need is a feature that lets the user set a desktop mode or
> property such that all windows are maximised by default, and whenever
> focus is put on one window, the other windows are minimized.  A
> feature.  That simple.  All too often, I have to do that myself.  And
> then, transparency looks ugly.  It could be quite elgant with that
> simple set of preferences.

I think I may have posted this link quite recently, but Devil's Pie [1]
should hopefully allow you to implement your suggestion. It should also
be possible to do this by using libwnck and a bit of Python too [2].

> Please do this.  You can never regret giving the user an option.

Unfortunately, you can, and you end up with users being drowned in
options and preferences, and unable to find anything! That's why GNOME
applications mostly tend towards simplicity of design, and try to only
give users the options that they really care about, setting sensible
defaults for the rest.

> Defaults, however, can vary by distro.  We should make "orange", where
> everything is layed out for elegance and speed.  To counter apple's
> macs, of course.  Maybe that's just ubuntu.
> Still, can anyone deny that this feature is a good idea?  Looks like
> this:
> Settings preset one: "Workstation mode"
> <X> enable single-window mode
> <X> maximise all frames by default

I think that this feature may suit the way you work very well, but for
others it might not. I have to say that I personally wouldn't use the
feature, but of course I can't speak for everyone. Please take a look at
some of the videos on the Better Desktop site [3]. Do you recognise your
own use-pattern in many of the videos? If so, it might be a worthwhile
option to include by default, but otherwise Devil's Pie might be your
best bet.

Hope this helps,



[1] -
[2] -
[3] -

Phil Bull

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