lens starts new instance of active app instead focusing the app

Bug #1027792 reported by brejoc on 2012-07-23
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

For me this looks like a very odd behavior of the application lens. When an application is already started on one of my desktops I would expect that the application lens would focus the currently running instance of the application. Instead it just starts an other instance of the application.

Tags: ui Edit Tag help
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

that needs design discussion BUT the current behavior makes sense to me since its the same in Windows as feel very predictable.

affects: unity-lens-applications → unity
Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
brejoc (brejoc) wrote :

Well, the predictability is also something that is not given. Some apps behave quite different than others.

Lets assume all of the apps have at least one instance running:

Firefox: Opens new window on current desktop.
Thunderbird: Gives focus to the app and brings me to the desktop it resides on or lets the icons just wiggle. But most of the times the icon just wiggles.
Terminal: New terminal on the current desktop
Empathy: Moves the contact list to the current desktop.
Eclipse: Gives error message, since it's already started. (Workspace in use or cannot be created, choose a different one.)
System Settings (Ubuntu): Switches to the desktop the instance is already running.

It might be a design decision for Unity, but it's not predictable for the user what the application lens is really doing.

I think the user would benefit much more from this behavior:

1) App is not running: App gets started on the current desktop and gets focus.
2) One or more instances of the app are running: If the app hast just one window, the user switches to the desktop the app is running on and the window of the app gets focus. If the app has multiple windows, the user switches to the desktop of the last used window and this window gets focus.

brejoc (brejoc) wrote :

Right now this report has status "Incomplete" for the unity project. Do you need additional information to understand the problem I see with the behavior of the application lens? If yes: Which information do you need?

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

this report is awaiting feedback from the design team. until that happens the status will remain incomplete.

John Lea (johnlea) wrote :

There are pros and cons for the current behaviour, I'm leaving the status of the bug as 'new' for the time being as it is marked as only affecting one person.

brejoc (brejoc) wrote :

Is there any chance to raise this from the dead? Especially since the Ubuntu Touch Unity now shows exactly the behavior I'm describing.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
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