No indication of remaining minimised windows on other workspaces

Reported by James Haigh on 2011-08-27
8
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

If I've been using workspaces, I will change to each one in turn to check whether they are clean before I shutdown, restart or logout. Usually, due to this and other problems with workspaces, I avoid using workspaces altogether.

---- Possible Solutions ----

One possible solution is to disable the timer on turn-off dialogues and replace:
'The system will automatically shutdown after 60 seconds...'
with:
'You have <n> windows open.'

Another solution would be to show the number of windows at the corner of each workspace in the workspace switcher. Windows should be counted as 'in' the workspace which displays the majority of the area of that window. (As workspaces and windows are rectangle, and workspaces are usually arranged corner-to-corner, this is usually synonymous with the workspace that contains the window's centre.)

summary: - Warning for turn-off dialogs when windows remain
+ Warnings for turn-off dialogs when windows remain
affects: ubuntu → ayatana-design

Thank you for your suggestion. However, the changes you are requesting aren't really a bug and require more discussion, which should be done on an appropriate mailing list or forum. http://www.ubuntu.com/support/community/mailinglists might be a good start for determining which mailing list to use.

Personally I would be against some of these proposed changes - when you first click shut down from the power/system menu there is already a dialogue asking you to confirm whether you want to shut down or not; and I'm sure by the time the user has put in this much focus they have already made the decision that any windows they have remaining open are non-valuable or they have already saved their work. As shutting down will trigger an unclean(ish) termination of running processes, Firefox and LibreOffice (taken as examples, I believe there are several other programs that implement this as well) will by default automatically ask the user whether they would like to recover their windows/tabs or work, respectively; this would be useful for the user if the shut down they triggered was really accidental.

I somewhat do agree that there should be a warning before entering suspend, as I have come across several occasions that when using that I have run out of battery before I resume from it - but typically the battery life in that state should be several weeks (from experience).

Another thing, I personally don't see the point in an 'It is recommended to save changes in case power fails' dialogue when on mains but without a battery that has at least 10% charge with laptops, as desktop PCs without a UPS also have the same issue, and this frankly should already be common knowledge within the majority of users; in fact, some users could consider this to be patronising and obvious. Also, 10% of the battery means many different things across different laptops - 10% of my netbook battery is 30 minutes to an hour of medium usage, however on an old laptop I have in my garage it is less than 3 minutes.

Many thanks,
Timothy

Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Opinion
James Haigh (james.r.haigh) wrote :

Ok, sorry, I've made a bit of a mess of this. I put a possible solution in the title and description instead of the problem itself. I then started generalising and it's now unclear what the original problem was.

The original problem is that there is no indication of remaining windows on other workspaces.

Let me correct things...

description: updated
summary: - Warnings for turn-off dialogs when windows remain
+ No indication of remaining minimised windows on other workspaces
James Haigh (james.r.haigh) wrote :

> "when you first click shut down from the power/system menu there is already a dialogue asking you to confirm whether you want to shut down or not"

I don't see the purpose of this dialog if it doesn't give any useful information. If I click 'Shut Down...' from the menu, then why do I need to click 'Shut Down' again? It's just a pointless extra click, unless it shows something useful.

> "Another thing, I personally don't see the point in an 'It is recommended to save changes in case power fails' dialogue ... this frankly should already be common knowledge within the majority of users; in fact, some users could consider this to be patronising and obvious."

Good point, agreed. This has digressed from the problem I was trying to solve, but would it be possible for Ubuntu to inform it's users of a recent power failure or an unclean shutdown? Just want to avoid problems being blamed on Ubuntu that isn't it's fault.

> "dialogue when on mains but without a battery that has at least 10% charge with laptops, as desktop PCs without a UPS also have the same issue"

Yes! A desktop PC without a UPS /is/ a computer without a charged battery! They would still count in this class.

> "Also, 10% of the battery means many different things across different laptops - 10% of my netbook battery is 30 minutes to an hour of medium usage, however on an old laptop I have in my garage it is less than 3 minutes."

Well, much longer in the case of sleep. Even so, better safe than sorry! When it comes to loss of work, I just want to make sure that users have been informed at some point; It's not nice learning the hard way.

Thanks.
James.

James Haigh (james.r.haigh) wrote :

"The original problem is that there is no indication of remaining windows on other workspaces. Let me correct things..."

Now that I've put focus back on the original problem, please re-evaluate this issue.

Changed in ayatana-design:
status: Opinion → New
Timothy Mayoh (timothy-m) wrote :

Which desktop shell are you referring to with the new issue?

Personally I think in Unity the indicators to the left of the icons on the launcher are already a good way of attaining as to whether you still have windows open - even if the windows are on a different workspace they appear, and allow you to switch to the workspace by clicking on the indicated icon. I consider your suggestion to be already somewhat implemented on Unity, and adding another feature to work out how many windows you have open would be decreasing simplicity, but if you are willing to write the code for it and prove me wrong - please do!

I agree this was a problem with the old "Ubuntu Classic" (GNOME 2 Panels) environment, but that isn't going to be included with Oneiric (it is being replaced on disk by Unity 2D for fall-back on old hardware).

I still think this is more of a feature request than a bug (I believe a bug is when an application does not perform as intended, or crashes, for example Ubuntu was designed to not warn you that you have windows open in the way you are saying). I agree usability problems to blur the line a little bit though, but this doesn't make Ubuntu unusable and some people may not agree with your suggestion.

Also, this would likely get more attention from people willing to implement it if it was posted on a mailing list, forum or Ubuntu Brainstorm/blueprints.

You can continue trying to push it as a bug if you wish, but personally I would mark it as invalid or opinion (I'm not going to do so though).

James Haigh (james.r.haigh) wrote :

"Personally I think in Unity the indicators to the left of the icons on the launcher are already a good way of attaining as to whether you still have windows open"

In theory, but on occasions the white markers have disappeared despite there still being remaining windows. I currently don't trust them and I won't until I successfully reproduce the bug, report it, and it gets fixed.

"Also, this would likely get more attention from people willing to implement it if it was posted on a mailing list, forum or Ubuntu Brainstorm/blueprints."

I'm not a fan of Brainstorm. The voting system is excellent, but there's no way near enough focus on discussion. Comments tend to get forgotten about. People can vote on an issue on pages that don't even show comments for that issue! This allows people to skim through without giving the issues much thought.

I'll subscribe to the ubuntu-devel-discuss list, and redirect the high volume into it's own folder. However, I much prefer the ability to subscribe to specific issues like on Launchpad or Ubuntu Forums.

I wasn't aware that Ubuntu Forums was a place to discuss improvements. I thought they were only for support specific to Ubuntu and related packages. What about issues relating to other projects hosted on Launchpad? Where is the appropriate place to discuss /them/? It would be great if Launchpad could officially handle feature requests and other issues in addition to bugs. I'm going to be uploading my own projects to Launchpad, and I'd like to see that people who use them are able to communicate all types of issues back to me via Launchpad. Personally, I wouldn't mind at all if people treated 'bugs' as 'issues', in fact I'd prefer that.

So if Ubuntu Forums has discussion on improvements, then do you know of any related discussions that are currently on-going?

"You can continue trying to push it as a bug if you wish, but personally I would mark it as invalid or opinion (I'm not going to do so though)."

No, it's not a bug, I just like Launchpad. It's not opinion anymore though, "No indication of remaining minimised windows on other workspaces" is true under Gnome 2, but it isn't a bug so officially it should be invalid. However, I'd like to wait until I have found a better place to discuss related issues before I mark as such if that's ok.

I will also avoid doing this for new issues that are in the blurred line between bugs and other issues.

I don't want to do things wrong, I just want to make Ubuntu and other Free software better.

Thanks.

Timothy Mayoh (timothy-m) wrote :

The mention of forums is just a canned response picked from https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Responses - I would assume there is a place to discuss feature requests there but I've never used it personally. Launchpad does already include an official system for feature requests, it is available at https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu if you are interested.

As explained at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Status, the status 'opinion' means there is a difference of opinion around a particular bug and people are free to continue the discussion, but the project or package maintainers need to move to other work and are considering the issue closed. The idea is that bugs can be marked closed, so developers aren't wasting time on them, but discussion can still be on-going.

We all share a common aim - trouble is, after sorting through hundreds of very similar bug reports sometimes some of us start to lose our fluffy edges (that's why I try to use canned responses where possible). Don't mind me, you're doing fine, I wouldn't say you've done anything wrong at all - I treat bug reports on an individual basis trying to avoid taking anything else in to account. The best way to learn is by making mistakes.

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