Only a small area of the unity launcher should unfold when hovering the mouse to keep icons visible and switching apps easy.

Bug #734946 reported by manny on 2011-03-14
This bug affects 16 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

unfolding completely makes it one of the hardest launchers/docks to switch apps with a mouse, because it hides many of the other icons (this affects smaller screens the most, which unity has been designed in it's majority to be optimizing for).

when hovering the mouse on the launcher, the user is only interested in a small area, so he/she expects that only the icons in and near that area should be the ones unfolding and becoming more visible.

This would the launcher more accessible, specially when is in auto-hide mode.

manny (estelar57) wrote :

alternative behavior ideas are also welcome to be discussed for solving this issue

Alex Launi (alexlauni) on 2011-03-14
Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
tags: added: needs-design
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
manny (estelar57) wrote :

the equivalent of unfolding all icons is like if the mac OS dock suddenly zoomed in all icons at once. This takes more space and pushes many of them off the screen and thus are not visible.

The unity launcher is the only one doing this wrong at the moment. No other launcher/taskbar hides/pushes them off.

Agreed, IMHO icons should fold from the top and the bottom and that folding (or rather unfolding) should follow the mouse pointer. Icons should never simply disappear off-screen.

Friik (slash-m3) wrote :

I absolutely agree. I often have many applications open on my netbook and using the launcher to switch between applications is very tedious because I have to scroll back and forth.
I'd much prefer the following behavior: By default fold every icon. Unfold it when hovering over an icon and partially unfold 1 or 2 surrounding icons (similar to the OSX dock).

Agreed with Friik. When the mouse is not hovering over the pointer the folding should be distributed evenly. That will mean that all icons should remain visible and recognisable unless you have a simply vast number of windows open. When you hover over the launcher the hovered icon should unfold and the folding should smoothly radiate outwards (I would imagine the icons above and below would also unfold slightly whereas icons further away from the pointer would fold more so that everything remains on screen).

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