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Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark

Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark

Posted Jan 29, 2013 18:36 UTC (Tue) by marcel.oliver (subscriber, #5441)
In reply to: Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark by whitemice
Parent article: Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark

Point two GNOME3-is-for-tablets is BOooo-ooo-ooo-gus!

Note: these are your words, not mine. I am also no-one to argue that Gnome cannot be used on multiple large displays. Peoples' workflows and requirements are very different, so who am I to tell you what works for you?

Here are some items which I found cumbersome with Gnome Shell and where I have not been able to come up with an equivalent workflow using native Gnome Shell techniques. Maybe you can enlighten me, it could be that I just did not discover the right tricks:

  • Using "minimize" as a quick, non-distracting way to say "I am done with this window, I don't think I want to look at it again but I don't want to close the application just now because I may have to revisit the case".
  • Dealing with applications (in my case scientific simulations in python) which bring up several near-identical windows that are hard to visually distinguish, but where the launch order is clearly defined and reflected in the task-bar order. Handling them in Gnome Shell drives me crazy, yet it's a breeze with the good old task bar.
  • Flipping windows on and off (I do this often for visual comparison of two near-identical graphs or images)
  • Selectively closing windows when a certain sub-task is done. On the taskbar, I can travel along and right-click-close all the windows which I know I won't need any longer without opening them again.
These are the ones that quickly come to mind. I also find that I travel longer distances with my mouse using Gnome Shell, but that is not a killer criterion for me. Probably I still have the "old" midset too deeply engrained due to 25 years of computing with traditional Unix deskop metaphors?

That Gnome Shell is "great" with external displays is plain false. Since Fedora 15 it has this bug which make Gnome Shell (Cinnamon works fine, though) a total no-go in my production setup. The fact that no-one has even looked at it makes me think that Gnome Shell does not have very many users who use external screens, at least not the way I do.


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Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark

Posted Jan 30, 2013 10:46 UTC (Wed) by thisisme (subscriber, #83315) [Link]

Flipping windows on and off (I do this often for visual comparison of two near-identical graphs or images)

I'm relieved to hear I'm not the only one who does this, with graphs, lists and spreadsheets.

Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark

Posted Jan 30, 2013 15:12 UTC (Wed) by mgedmin (subscriber, #34497) [Link]

> Maybe you can enlighten me, it could be that I just did not discover the right tricks:

> Using "minimize" as a quick, non-distracting way to say "I am done with this window, I don't think I want to look at it again but I don't want to close the application just now because I may have to revisit the case".

I tend to middle-click the window title bar, which sends that window to the background.

You can also ask to have the minimize button back with GNOME Tweak Tool.

> Flipping windows on and off (I do this often for visual comparison of two near-identical graphs or images)

And a quick Alt-Tab or Alt-` doesn't work for this?

For images I prefer to do the comparison in my web browser: two images in adjacent tabs, fliping between them with Alt+number (or Ctrl+PgUp/PgDn, that's a bit slower).

> Selectively closing windows when a certain sub-task is done.

The overview is fine for this, if you can distinguish the windows visually. Which you already said you can't always, so disregard this part of my comment.

> That Gnome Shell is "great" with external displays is plain false.

Yes, multiple displays only work great if you position the desktops side-by-side. They don't work well if you position one of them above the other.

Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark

Posted Jan 31, 2013 15:01 UTC (Thu) by marcel.oliver (subscriber, #5441) [Link]

I tend to middle-click the window title bar, which sends that window to the background. You can also ask to have the minimize button back with GNOME Tweak Tool.

I knew about the GNOME Tweak Tool, thanks for telling about the middle mouse button (works in Cinnamon, too...). So I agree that this point is not a killer argument, it just makes me wonder why hiding it is considered an improvement.

And a quick Alt-Tab or Alt-` doesn't work for this? For images I prefer to do the comparison in my web browser: two images in adjacent tabs, fliping between them with Alt+number (or Ctrl+PgUp/PgDn, that's a bit slower).

What you suggest is rather clunky, at best a poor workaround. Especially using the browser is just another workflow indirection and does not help when the windows are actually application windows rather than views of a standard format file stored in the filesystem.

The overview is fine for this, if you can distinguish the windows visually. Which you already said you can't always, so disregard this part of my comment.

Here the overview is not too bad, but as you already realize, can be a problem when the window content is too similar. Another reason why the taskbar feels more natural is that windows which are logically related (thus opened at a similar time) are close on the taskbar, but typically scattered geometrically all over the overview pane. I think that's the primary reason why in Cinnamon, where I have both easily accessible, I very much favor the taskbar and use the overview more for "lost" windows where I don't have any mental connection any longer between position in task bar and window.

Yes, multiple displays only work great if you position the desktops side-by-side. They don't work well if you position one of them above the other.

That's a shame because here there there does not even seem a philosophical or "big vision" obstacle to just fixing it. Given the fact that it used to work great for years in old Gnome and continues to work in Cinnamon, it can't be that much of a fundamental problem to fix.


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