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#1 2021-09-30 00:00:15

Tio
Member
Registered: 2021-09-26
Posts: 23

Workspaces and "apps panel" - some suggestions

First of all let me condensedly say this: I love XFCE and I appreciate your work a lot. I started to create a custom Manjaro some 2 years ago, TROMjaro (tromjaro.com), and I chose to use Gnome because I felt it was more polished and such. Plus, I was used to it. However for the past weeks I took the time to look at XFCE and I fell in love with it. I managed to customize it the way I want, using almost exclusively official XFCE plugins. And we will switch to XFCE for our distro as soon as we test it properly.

Now, after playing around with XFCE a lot these past weeks, I must say I am impressed, even coming from Gnome that looks more "cool" and "fancy". I'd like to say what I did with our XFCE and what I think are the little things it misses from my perspective. Maybe this post is useful.

I have added 2 panels, as you can see bellow, plus 2 more features: global menus and HUD. Both, I think, are very useful. Like, for example, I do a lot on my computer: write books, make documentaries, edit images, manage servers. When I edit a video it is very useful to be able to maximize a window on a wide screen and take advantage of the height of it. Global menus allows me to remove the top bar of windows and use the top XFCE bar that's already useful when it comes to tray icons and the like, as a menu or window buttons:

https://videos.trom.tf/w/bzsKVo7Sy6XjC8siszeHeM

The HUD is extraordinarily important - so many times when I edit something I want to add that levels effect or whatever, and instead of searching through tons of menus, I simply press Alt, type a few letters and then enter. It's like 1s and I can apply that effect.

Anyway, I am saying these because I was wondering if you would consider any of these changes as relevant for the default XFCE. I have to say, with these enabled, the desktop is still very snappy. They may take about 50MB of RAM in total.


But now I want to touch upon two aspects that I think could be improved:

1. Apps Panel/Widget.

XFCE default confused me greatly since I was used with the idea of adding an "app" to a panel, then click it and that app will be open now. Using the same icon. It works like that on most Linux distros, on Windows, MacOS, and mobile. I had to install docklike plugin to do that job. I am curious if you would find it important to integrate this as default in XFCE. Docklike is a little bit buggy, but is still wonderful. I reported some bugs to its gitlab page.

2. Workspaces.

In XFCE workspaces are...different. Maybe they can be more efficient the way they are now, but if you have multiple windows and want to move them around, cna be quite time consuming. This is me moving several windows with XFCE default workspaces:

https://videos.trom.tf/w/aJGMKPdrD6FcXBv6Apxqpi

Not that bad, but you have very little visual clues, especially when moving between workspaces. You have to kinda have a window in focus if you want to move it.

And here's me with XFCE + Compiz:

https://videos.trom.tf/w/tetMHQu1is9NdXBQLeRhAt

I have a lot more control and it is a lore more useful I'd say. I can drag and even arrange them on those workspaces.

So I was wondering if you plan to improve a bit the workspaces, if we can at least see all opened windows so we can drag them directly to whatever workspace we desire. Compiz doesn't work 100% ok with XFCE since it won't even recognize those 4 workspaces as workspaces in XFCE, so some things get a bit messed up.

I honestly was hesitant to try XFCE simply because the default looked very oldish to me and I thought it must not be that great. And I was wrong. I judged a book by its cover and tastes are subjective anyway. But I do think that if you'd improve a bit the way XFCE default looks like, more would use it.

So, "apps panel" and workspaces, I think are the only 2 aspects that need some improvement. The rest I think is so amazing I am so impressed. So clean and neat!

I thank you again very very much for your work!

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#2 2021-09-30 00:35:09

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 8,128

Re: Workspaces and "apps panel" - some suggestions

Tio wrote:

1. Apps Panel/Widget.

XFCE default confused me greatly since I was used with the idea of adding an "app" to a panel, then click it and that app will be open now. Using the same icon. It works like that on most Linux distros, on Windows, MacOS, and mobile. I had to install docklike plugin to do that job. I am curious if you would find it important to integrate this as default in XFCE. Docklike is a little bit buggy, but is still wonderful. I reported some bugs to its gitlab page.

xfce4-docklike-plugin is a recent addition to the core Xfce project. It will be up to distro developers like yourself to choose whether to include it or not in their default layouts. I haven't seen anything yet about it becoming a part of the default Xfce layout yet.

2. Workspaces.

In XFCE workspaces are...different. Maybe they can be more efficient the way they are now, but if you have multiple windows and want to move them around, cna be quite time consuming.

Have a look at xfdashboard, it allows similar functionality (drag and drop between workspaces) as your compiz example.

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#3 2021-09-30 01:04:48

Tio
Member
Registered: 2021-09-26
Posts: 23

Re: Workspaces and "apps panel" - some suggestions

xfdashboard - oh this is so cool! Thanks so much!

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