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#1 2013-11-05 19:11:11

Registered: 2013-11-05
Posts: 1

Thought on desktop handling

Recently I upgraded my laptop to OS X Mavericks, and I have to say I was impressed at the new desktop handling. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, each head now has its own separate set of desktops, such that you can display any combination of {head 0 desktops}×{head 1 desktops}×… So, if you have your web browser open on head 0, you can keep it there (without using sticky) as you switch head 1 between your terminal, document viewer, editor, etc.; but later you can switch head 0 to the desktop with your media player, while keeping your code visible on head 1. (Per the MacOS UI quirk of menus global to the display, there is now a separate menu bar on each head, and the dock moves from one head to the other as you seek it out.)

I find it a little surprising that in 19 years of using Linux through probably 8 different desktop environments (everything from fvwm to twm to olvwm to Gnome to KDE to Unity to XFCE), I'd never considered this as a usage model. But it works great in practice.

Anyway, not proposing anything; just some food for thought.


#2 2013-11-08 21:09:38

From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 423

Re: Thought on desktop handling

When I first started using X, there was only one desktop, but it could be bigger than your screen.  When it was, you had a viewport and when you got near the edge of it, the viewport would shift to put the focus in the middle.  And, there was a viewport switcher if you wanted to move it quickly.  At first it was confusing, but after a little while I learned to love it.  Now, of course, we have separate workspaces instead but I still miss the viewport sometimes.  One thing that (I think) twm had that I missed was the ability to get to the main menu by clicking on the desktop, and it's one of the things I really like about Xfce: I don't hafta go over to the taskbar and click on a button to get my menu; one right-click on the empty desktop and there it is.

One of the things I love about Linux is that there's no One True Way to do anything; if you don't like the way one DE works, try another one and see if you  like it better.  And, with Gnome getting harder and harder to configure, more and more people are doing exactly that.  I'd call it Darwin in action, but that's a different DE.

Registered Linux user #470359
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