Havoc Pennington wrote:


I think the taskbar flashing is better than raising an unfocused window
that may then obscure the focus window and be confusing.
The primary difference between the second behavior (raise new window/window seeking attention) and focussing such a window is that, while it may obscure the focus window, it doesn't steal keyboard focus; therefore it isn't likely that a user will accidentally send keystrokes to the wrong app.

As I see it, focus-stealing is the primary thing to avoid here. Having a new window pop up in front of what I'm doing is an annoyance, but then again all interruptions are annoyances, even when they are useful/informative.[1] I might not notice a taskbar flash (might be looking away at the time), but I will certainly notice if an unfocussed window is raised to the top.

So personally I think raise-new/raise-on-urgency-hint are sensible behaviors, and are a reasonable policy choice to offer the user. [2]


[1] - I don't take the phone off the hook when I am working, but it does interrupt me when it rings... [2] - the fact that the WM hints (URGENT/ATTENTION) give semantic info mostly solve the accessibility implications. Focus-stealing is bad for accessibility, but on the other hand a blind user (or low-vision user looking at a magnified sub-section of the screen) needs to be informed that a new app has been raised.

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