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Thread: Green Island: A New Qt-Based Wayland Compositor

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg16 View Post
    I'd rather stick with Debian (derivative) & KDE.

    If someone wants to make a really novel compositer, why not put that 3D hardware to use and make something that allows us to use spatial awareness to locate and place windows? Maybe use Minority Report for inspiration. Yes it's been done before and no it probably wouldn't increase productivity, but being able to seamlessly transition between work and a shooter or something would be cool, as well as being able to embed content from 3D applications (e.g. architectural) directly in the desktop environment.

    Isn't it time 3D escaped individual applications?

    P.S. wasn't meaning to be negative, just hoping to inspire someone to go beyond the status quo ;-)
    Eh, we already have the Doom process manager

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coder543 View Post
    That's just to address the one concern you gave. I'll list a few others. On Unity in particular, you've got global search at your disposal, so one keypress or click and you can immediately find and launch anything by name with just the enter key. That's infinitely better than digging through Gnome 2's app menu, let alone browsing for a particular file. Gnome Shell offers a similar feature. In Gnome Shell (and Unity as I have it configured) there is a hot corner (and keyboard shortcut) that immediately exposes all windows in a fashion where you can continue on and click the one you want immediately. No reading titles and trying to identify which one is which. This is a tremendous booster. I love Unity's HUD feature personally. That's one thing I've always missed from Mac. As far as I'm concerned the only real regression is the loss of the Compiz Cube, but I'll take Unity and Gnome Shell's extremely up to date visual styles over that any day.
    Interesting. I like KDE for almost exactly the same reasons. But then pretty-much all the major operating systems allow searching of menus by now.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by coder543 View Post
    I usually just alt-tab and alt-` between windows, so I don't use the bar for window switching as much, but I will give you a few examples that Average Joe may notice in Unity.

    Consistent Placement: The items on the bar remain static, so you always know exactly where the application you're looking for is when you want to switch to it.

    Large Icons: Having large, color-coded icons improves visual memory and also helps you identify what you're looking for significantly faster than plaintext with a small icon.

    That's just to address the one concern you gave. I'll list a few others. On Unity in particular, you've got global search at your disposal, so one keypress or click and you can immediately find and launch anything by name with just the enter key. That's infinitely better than digging through Gnome 2's app menu, let alone browsing for a particular file. Gnome Shell offers a similar feature. In Gnome Shell (and Unity as I have it configured) there is a hot corner (and keyboard shortcut) that immediately exposes all windows in a fashion where you can continue on and click the one you want immediately. No reading titles and trying to identify which one is which. This is a tremendous booster. I love Unity's HUD feature personally. That's one thing I've always missed from Mac. As far as I'm concerned the only real regression is the loss of the Compiz Cube, but I'll take Unity and Gnome Shell's extremely up to date visual styles over that any day. Gnome Shell is beautiful, hands down. Unity looks about as good as Windows 7, which means that it is pleasing to the eye, just not overly amazing. By default Gnome 2 was a downright eyesore. I would spend days configuring it in order to make it acceptable with things like Emerald.
    while gnome 2 wasn't a looker it was straight forward and you could do stuff faster than gnome 3 and unity. On the shortcut/global search argument i will remind you that the majority of joe averages still uses the mouse primarily. YES you should have shortcuts and global searches on the press of a button but you should not make the assumption that this is what your users will use.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    Eh, we already have the Doom process manager
    Were you refering to this? Not quite what I had in mind; I'd rather my processes didn't start killing each other...

    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    while gnome 2 wasn't a looker it was straight forward and you could do stuff faster than gnome 3 and unity. On the shortcut/global search argument i will remind you that the majority of joe averages still uses the mouse primarily. YES you should have shortcuts and global searches on the press of a button but you should not make the assumption that this is what your users will use.
    So should DEs be designed for Joe Average or the average linux user? I get the impression the average linux user (or at least those commenting) is a notch up from that. What is the point of this discussion though, are you personally going to design a DE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg16 View Post
    So should DEs be designed for Joe Average or the average linux user? I get the impression the average linux user (or at least those commenting) is a notch up from that.
    The DEs should not exclude anybody. Not the first time user, neither the average linux user, nor the power user. I don't think that it's impossible to have both a "do things fast with a mouse menu" + keyboard stuff. Making assumptions like Gnome 3 is utterly idiotic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg16 View Post
    What is the point of this discussion though, are you personally going to design a DE?
    Its just a discussion on the annoyances of linux desktop. As for the design i neither have the coding skills neither the money to pay someone to code what i design. And neither one of the existing DEs cares about my opinions.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by coder543 View Post
    I usually just alt-tab and alt-` between windows, so I don't use the bar for window switching as much, but I will give you a few examples that Average Joe may notice in Unity.

    Consistent Placement: The items on the bar remain static, so you always know exactly where the application you're looking for is when you want to switch to it.

    Large Icons: Having large, color-coded icons improves visual memory and also helps you identify what you're looking for significantly faster than plaintext with a small icon.

    That's just to address the one concern you gave. I'll list a few others. On Unity in particular, you've got global search at your disposal, so one keypress or click and you can immediately find and launch anything by name with just the enter key. That's infinitely better than digging through Gnome 2's app menu, let alone browsing for a particular file. Gnome Shell offers a similar feature. In Gnome Shell (and Unity as I have it configured) there is a hot corner (and keyboard shortcut) that immediately exposes all windows in a fashion where you can continue on and click the one you want immediately. No reading titles and trying to identify which one is which. This is a tremendous booster. I love Unity's HUD feature personally. That's one thing I've always missed from Mac. As far as I'm concerned the only real regression is the loss of the Compiz Cube, but I'll take Unity and Gnome Shell's extremely up to date visual styles over that any day. Gnome Shell is beautiful, hands down. Unity looks about as good as Windows 7, which means that it is pleasing to the eye, just not overly amazing. By default Gnome 2 was a downright eyesore. I would spend days configuring it in order to make it acceptable with things like Emerald.
    I've been running GS for years (since well before the 3.0 release) so I've seen the changes that have gone into it.
    The giant icons are actually not that easy to hit with a cursor (probably easier than small icons but, b/c of their size, they give the mistaken impression of being easy to hit while not having the advantage of an infinite edge to rest against). That aside, searching for icons in that way is not very fast (when they add paging that will help a bit, but still doesn't fix the essential problem). Spatial memory is only good for a relatively small number of frequently used items. It simply doesn't work well when you have many, many things installed. So, ignoring typing, you need a way to quickly filter the items down to a smaller number. Traditionally we've used categories to do this but the GS designers are planning on getting rid of those in 3.8 (last I heard). Considering the way categories have been exposed (way off to the right with a list that is fairly difficult to interact with and parse) I can understand why they want a change but getting rid of them all together is going to make the problem worse.
    The hot corner needs to go away. I really like using it. I LOVE using it. It's one of the best things GS has done (aside from incorporating some web tech), but it simply doesn't work with multimonitor setups, especially when you consider eyefinity type setups. Also, xcapture isn't a solution. It's a bandaid on a gangrenous apendage.
    The virtual desktops need to go away. I never use them. My GF (a UX person) started out using them and gradually stopped doing so. She tells me they didn't offer task isolation b/c she uses maximized windows (she mostly uses her 12.5" laptop). When she uses multimonitors she would put multiple items on one screen but on her main screen she works with a maximized window. When she changes windows she uses alt-tab which will ignore workspaces and show you all your applications. So, in short, if you use maximized windows, which seems to be the suggested usage for GS, the virtual desktops aren't very useful. As I've said in the past, a better model to use is ad hoc window groupings (Panorama) that you can name. It is a really natural way to interact with windows and has a low cognitive barrier AND allows you to see what is where easily in overview (alt-tab would be as efficient as ever). Additionally, these tasks need to be persistent. That is, if you shut down the computer with them running you can expect them to open up again in their task groups when you log back in. That is something that you can do, with some effort, in various other DEs, and it is a good idea. Things that you do often need to be as easy to do as possible, and applying no effort towards a task IS as easy as it gets.
    Frankly, there is so much more, but this is enough for now.

  7. #17
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    I understand your points, but most desktop environments have offered that already. Take KDE as an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by coder543 View Post
    Consistent Placement: The items on the bar remain static, so you always know exactly where the application you're looking for is when you want to switch to it.

    Large Icons: Having large, color-coded icons improves visual memory and also helps you identify what you're looking for significantly faster than plaintext with a small icon.
    There is a taskbar doing that for KDE, just pull the widget to the panel. Panel can be vertical too (and always could), this is how I have it because of 1080p resolution.

    That's just to address the one concern you gave. I'll list a few others. On Unity in particular, you've got global search at your disposal, so one keypress or click and you can immediately find and launch anything by name with just the enter key.
    Alt-F2 (KRunner) does that in KDE by default. Alt-F2 is the shortcut from the 90s which stuck around, but you can easily reassign it.

    That's infinitely better than digging through Gnome 2's app menu, let alone browsing for a particular file. Gnome Shell offers a similar feature. In Gnome Shell (and Unity as I have it configured) there is a hot corner (and keyboard shortcut) that immediately exposes all windows in a fashion where you can continue on and click the one you want immediately.
    KWin does that. I think it's not bound to a corner by default, but Ctrl-F10 does it. Ctrl-F8 does the same, but additionally shows all desktops in a grid. You can also start typing the app name, and it will automatically filter the window previews for you.

    As far as I'm concerned the only real regression is the loss of the Compiz Cube
    KDE has that too.

    but I'll take Unity and Gnome Shell's extremely up to date visual styles over that any day.
    KDE has that too.

    What bothers me about Unity is that it's hard to figure out how to do things. The first thing I do when running a recent Ubuntu is open a few terminals, so I don't have to touch Unity It's not the new functionality that bothers people about Unity and Gnome Shell (KDE has had all that functionality for years), but the fact that features have gone missing in an effort to reeducate you about how you shall use your computer and punish you for disobedience. That's annoying.

    But then again, different strokes for different folks. As long as KDE continues to offer me a full-featured desktop, I don't mind it if other desktops try different things. For the record, my KDE desktop resembles NeXT. One panel on the left with a Wharf-style taskbar and some common shortcuts, 4 desktops, Alt-tab for switching and Krunner+command name for starting stuff. No icons on desktops, very few effects which I use sparingly. Pretty bare-bones, and takes about 5 minutes to set up. I can't set up Unity to do that, so it's no good for me.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    The virtual desktops need to go away.
    No.

    If you don't like them, don't use them. They are brilliant and keep your fingers away from them.

    The cool thing about virtual desktops is that they leverage your spatial memory in a way ad-hoc groupings don't. This I find useful, I have a clear map of where things are on which desktop and it makes finding things easier. There is nothing worse than 20 overlapping windows and then trying to sift through them to find what you're looking for.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    No.

    If you don't like them, don't use them. They are brilliant and keep your fingers away from them.

    The cool thing about virtual desktops is that they leverage your spatial memory in a way ad-hoc groupings don't. This I find useful, I have a clear map of where things are on which desktop and it makes finding things easier. There is nothing worse than 20 overlapping windows and then trying to sift through them to find what you're looking for.
    This exactly. If you have a little bit of spatial or photographic memory you "feel" where stuff is. Even with fullscreen (a weird consumer trend that will hopefully pass not causing more damage than Gnome3 and 15" 1377x768 panels) this is an advantage because you gain one dimension for your orientation.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    No.

    If you don't like them, don't use them. They are brilliant and keep your fingers away from them.

    The cool thing about virtual desktops is that they leverage your spatial memory in a way ad-hoc groupings don't. This I find useful, I have a clear map of where things are on which desktop and it makes finding things easier. There is nothing worse than 20 overlapping windows and then trying to sift through them to find what you're looking for.
    Since you don't use Gnome, as I recall, I don't really care about your opinion on this matter.
    However, for the sake of argument, let me expand a bit on my previous idea. These groupings of windows would be running, essentially, virtual desktops invisibly. To get make them visible should only require a tiny bit of UI code.
    To your specific example, I don't know why you'd have a task that requires 20 windows. However, for the sake of understanding, you'd still have those 20 windows to sift through on your virtual desktops.
    If your issue is the alt-tab presentation, there are a few extensions that provide different ways of presenting the windows (some limit what is shown on a desktop basis).

    Quote Originally Posted by not.sure View Post
    This exactly. If you have a little bit of spatial or photographic memory you "feel" where stuff is. Even with fullscreen (a weird consumer trend that will hopefully pass not causing more damage than Gnome3 and 15" 1377x768 panels) this is an advantage because you gain one dimension for your orientation.
    Don't conflate spatial memory with photographic memory. Optimizing a system for the later group would be akin to optimizing a general curriculum based on the abilities of those in the top .001% of intelligence.
    The fullscreen thing is, IMHO, a result of small screen/low resolutions and bad window managers, and not necessarily due to "consumer trend(s)".
    Last edited by liam; 10-23-2012 at 08:43 PM.

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