ease of use: plank, multiple workspaces and applications

Bug #1068349 reported by Zoltan Tamas Vajda
This bug affects 8 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
elementary OS

Bug Description

After using the luna daily builds for quite a while, there's a thing I run into at least a few times everyday: the way plank handles running applications, when using multiple workspaces.

At it's current state when you click on a running app that's not open in your current workspace, plank instantly jumps you to the open window. In some applications that require one instance running (e.g.: Noise, USC, Switchboard, etc...) it's fine, but as for web and or file browsing this behaviour reduces productivity by quite a bit.

Take an example:
When I use my notebook, I usually have at least three workspaces open one for work one for web browsing and another for music, youtube, etc.
All three have at least one browser window and one file manager window open. To achive this with the current settings i have to open three browser windows in the first workspace then individualy move them to their respective workspaces.
Anytime I want to open a new browser or file manager window I have to go through the same process.

Have a list of apps (including web browsers, file managers, maybe others) that behave differently by not jumping to the last opened window, but runing a new instance when clicked on at another workspace.

description: updated
summary: - ease of use: plank, workspaces, applications
+ ease of use: plank, multiple workspaces and applications
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Andrea Basso (voluntatefaber) wrote :

Well, you know, having different behaviour depending on the application will probably cause confusion to the user. How come some work in a way and some in another?

For your situation, do you know that middle-clicking an app in plank launches a new instance of that app? That could solve your problem :)

Revision history for this message
Zoltan Tamas Vajda (zoltan-tamas-vajda) wrote :


I had the same concern, and that was the thing that kept me back from filing a bug report up until now, but lately my little "right-click, open new window, right-click, move to workspace right" routine became quite unbearable, so I decided to give it a try and open it up for discussion.

Thanks for the suggestion though if only there was a "middle mouse button" on my touchpad... :)

Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

I've proposed this in https://blueprints.launchpad.net/elementaryos/+spec/one-window-per-workspace
See full specification link in there for details
We'll need designer input on this; it's probably post-Luna stuff

Changed in elementaryos:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
David Gomes (davidgomes)
Changed in elementaryos:
assignee: nobody → elementary UX Team (elementary-design)
Revision history for this message
Danielle Foré (danrabbit) wrote :

We might want to revisit this after Gala's multi-tasking view sees some changes. But for now, since Plank is the primary window switching interface it needs to do just that.

Changed in elementaryos:
assignee: elementary UX Team (elementary-design) → nobody
status: New → Opinion
Revision history for this message
baash05 (david-rawk) wrote :

This bug is still in the wild.
An additional aspect of it is that if you open the app for the first time in workspace 2 and then open in also in workspace 3 when you are in workspace 3 and click on the icon it switchs to workspace 2.

Revision history for this message
Sam Osborne (osborsam) wrote :

Further, if there are multiple windows of an application open in the same workspace, clicking the icon will minimise and restore them all. Would be better to use this as a spread to pick the window one wants to focus on.
Having the functionality to minimize/restore ~and~ spread/select is obviously quite difficult to pick priority on, but if the window titles are the same the current right click fashion doesn't help and I need to use full spread.

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