Beta XFWM4/tasklist behaviour

Don Christensen djc at
Tue Aug 15 22:56:18 CEST 2006

Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 8/15/2006 1:26 PM, Erik Harrison wrote:
>> I respect that. I'm going to make an argument that it isn't the
>> correct behaviour, and if you disagree, say so, and I'll shut up about
>> it. I'm not asking for an option. I'm asking to either remove the
>> behaviour or replace it with something else (non optional) that works
>> more smoothly.
>> The whole reason I use workspaces is to seperate out tasks or groups
>> of tasks. If a window from workspace 2 can "invade" workspace 1, then
>> there isn't much of a gain to moving low priority windows to workspace
>> 2.
> I agree wholeheartedly.  This behavior has been annoying the hell out of
> me since it was introduced.  On a side note, I also don't like how new
> (unfocused) windows start blinking in the taskbar as well, though I can
> live with this.
>> Frankly, if I'm in the middle of reviewing a code sample on workspace
>> 1 with my coworkers, then the fact my wife wants to say hi over Jabber
>> is an interruption. So I move Gaim over to workspace 2. But with this
>> new behaviour she blinks in. 80% of the time, I click on urgent
>> windows in the tasklist out of instinct, and suddenly, rather than
>> bringing a window to the front, my desktop changes. This is
>> disorienting.
> Uh huh.  And I think it's very unintuitive to how you expect the taskbar
> to work.  Unless you have "show all applications from all workspaces"
> set, having a click on the taskbar *change* your active workspace is
> just bad UI.
>> I would argue that the WORKSPACE in the switcher should blink,
>> indicating which workspace wants attention, if anything.
> I really like this, actually.  I'd like to see this mis-feature removed
> from the taskbar and added to the pager instead.  Makes much more sense.
>> Also, as long as we're on the topic, I'd like to  propose that this
>> blinking (either workspace or window) stop after a short period of
>> time, but stay highlighted. If I know it's my wife asking about
>> dinner, and I choose to ignore it, it shouldn't continue to draw my
>> attention. After a few blinks, the button should stay in highlighted
>> state until the Urgent hint is removed. Is this behaviour reasonable?
> Yes!  Again, agreed.  If I haven't moved to the window within 5 blinks
> or so, it just means I don't have time for it yet, and to continue
> blinking only annoys me to the point that I'll quickly raise it and then
> hide it just to get it to stop (without actually acknowledging whatever
> it was that made it urgent).

I'm all for this behavior with one possible modification.  Maybe if
the user has been idle for some period of time, the blinking can continue
until the user is no longer idle (see the gaim "I'm away from my desk"
mechanism for an example of this).  That way, when I come back from the
breakroom or whatever, I'll notice the blinking that I might otherwise
miss if it isn't still blinking when I get back.

I would also suggest more than five blinks, but I suppose that's
going to be a debatable issue.  30 seconds would be fine with me, as
long as I knew it was going to stop on its own.


> So, to summarise:
> 1.  Remove the feature whereby an urgent window on another workspace
> starts blinking in the current workspace's taskbar.
> 2.  Add a feature to the pager where an urgent window on an inactive
> workspace causes that particular workspace to blink.
> 3.  For any repetitive blinking behavior like this, after 5 flashes,
> stop flashing and leave it in the "flash on" state until the urgent hint
> is removed.
> What do we think?
> 	-brian
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Don Christensen       Senior Software Development Engineer
djc at         Cisco Systems, Santa Cruz, CA
   "It was a new day yesterday, but it's an old day now."

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