Re: Metacity Proposal: Grouping Windows

On Wed, 2004-03-03 at 13:59 +0100, Reinout van Schouwen wrote:
> Hello Ryan,
> Your proposal wakes a long standing wish of mine, so I've got a few
> questions for you, read on :)
> 1. What makes you think users are more likely to use window grouping than
>    they are to use virtual desktops?

I think they are more likely to use grouping for a number of reasons:

1. Its at least as useful as Workspaces. With on average less mouse/key
strokes one can group a whole set of windows and drag them to a new

2. Its more useful than Workspaces. Once grouped you can now manipulate
the group as if it were a real window. In Stacked Grouping you can
manipulate a whole series of similar windows, such as spatial nautilus
windows, move, resize, minimize, etc. in one stroke. 

3. Its more spatially intuitive. The windows created by grouping are
first class objects which can be handled as such. Workspaces are just
passive bins which hold things.

> 2. Would you agree with me that virtual desktops (let's adopt the term
>    "workspace" for now) would become more useful when they would be
>    integrated with the "work area" concept, borrowed from IBM's Workplace
>    Shell? In a nutshell, a work area folder is, or "contains", a workspace
>    with windows relating to some common task. When the folder is opened,
>    all the windows pertaining to that task that were open the last time
>    the work area was opened, are restored. Conversely, when the work area
>    is closed, all windows within it are closed as well. Since long I've
>    dreamed of having "dynamic" workspaces, that is, a workspace is added
>    to the workspace switcher once a work area is opened, and removed again
>    when it is closed.

Thats sounds very interesting but not spatially consistent IMO. What
would work better is to redefine workspaces as things *totally*
different from Folders. Imagine them as boxes where you place Groups of
windows that spring open when you click on them, then fold up when you
click again. Sounds like a very hand idea, thanks for bringing it up!

> 2a.Do you think your window groups would support this "work area" concept
>    well?

I think that my windows groups are sufficiently generic to work quite
well with the workspace idea -- after all if you can pack windows into a
workspace, you can pack window groups. However, as I said above, I
recommend that Workspaces be defined as separate and distinct, first
class objects in their own right; which have no relation to virtual

Very cool ideas!


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