Location of indicators should be user configurable

Reported by John Stultz on 2010-03-12
320
This bug affects 65 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Indicator Applet
Wishlist
Unassigned
Unity
Wishlist
Unassigned
unity (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

One regression I've had since karmic, and it seem to continue with lucid is that in the past I used the upper right corner for the volume applet. This allowed me to use fitts law to change the volume (a frequent action) without looking away and distracting me from my current task.

Now that the volume applet is gone and its just the volume indicator in the indicator applet, there are two problems:

1) Volume indicator placement is not regular. It depends on application startup order, which is not constant from boot to boot. So even if I move the indicator applet to be the right most applet, there's no certainty that the volume notifier will be on the right.

2) Even if the volume indicator is the right-most icon in the indicator applet, the indicator applet has an invisible boarder, causing mouse-wheel scrolling to not land on the volume indicator so changes in the volume level do not occur.

I feel volume changes are a more frequent action then logging in and out of a session, it seems silly that a corner has been dedicated to the "power button" applet by default. I can of course handle this poorly chosen default if its something I can modify, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Ted Gould (ted) on 2010-05-21
summary: - volume indicator should be "right-most" icon in indicator applet
+ Location of indicators should be user configurable
Changed in indicator-applet:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
John Stultz (jstultz) wrote :

Just updating this a bit since things in Lucid are slightly changed, but the core issue is still there.

1) With Lucid, the indicator applet (as opposed to the notification area - my terminology wasn't precise in the original bug) does keep a static order, which is an improvement over Karmic.

2) The indicator applet an the notification area no longer have the one-pixel border issue seen in Karmic. If either is in right most corner of the panel, the icon is click-able by throwing the mouse in the corner without having to target.

3) However, due to the messaging indicator being the fixed right-most indicator, I am still unable to configure my system to have the volume indicator be in the corner. This continues to be a frustration, because manipulating the volume of whatever I'm doing is one of my most frequent actions throughout the day. Instead of being able to just throw the mouse in the corner and scroll, as was possible prior to 9.10, I have to carefully target the 24x24 px icon. It's quite distracting from whatever task is at hand.

I do get the sense that with the new desktop design initiative, Ubuntu is less interested in this sort of feedback regarding non-default configurations, or requests for excessive customisation. So I'm not really expecting much to change here, but hopefully they'll take in consideration some actual usage stories (such as this one) in their future design reviews.

plopp (jirihusak) wrote :

With more and more app indicators appearing (dropbox, u1, weather, tomboy, clipboard, keyboard...), the indicator applet becomes quite a messy place with no order of what is where (the who comes first attitude is no order in any sense, not for user experience at least).

Lee Hyde (anubeon) wrote :

I agree with *plopp*, this is an issue that needs addressing. There is a need for further consolidation of indicators (a consolidated cloud indicator for services like dropbox and ubuntu-one and a consolidated display indicator for applications like xrandr, redshift, caffeine, compiz and alike would be a good start). It may also be useful to implement some form of auto-hide, where non-vital indicators are hidden by default and until a notification (i.e. new message) is received.

There is also a demonstrable need to find a more appropriate location for pseudo-indicators such as clip-board and workspace managers, which typically indicate nothing and don't really belong in the indicator applet.

Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

In Oneiric it's still not possible to change the order of the indicators. I have some extra indicators installed that are started while logging in and when another appliction is started providing an indicator the indicator pops up somewhere between the other indicators. It would be really nice to have some rules/the option, like new indicators only appear on the left side, making the indicator area more consistent.

The old unity infrastructure didn't allow that, in the Oneiric cycle I've redesigned it and now this is easily doable, but I didn't had the time to implement that. I think I'll go for a gsetting key to defile this as soon as possible!

Changed in indicator-applet:
status: Triaged → Invalid
Changed in unity:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in unity:
assignee: nobody → Marco Trevisan (Treviño) (3v1n0)
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Marco Trevisan (Treviño) (3v1n0)
Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

Sounds great, can't wait for it to be implemented.

Unity should not force its choice on the user.

The ability to add applets and indicators needs to be restored to the user. I very much had a set of system indicators, in my earlier gnome-panel, and now with unity, that freedom is gone. I no longer can view system load / performance / temperature by looking at the top, and feel that I have been "dumb"ed.

I suggest some interface to add system indicators, position them be made.

Changed in unity:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

I want to gently ask if there are any news on this one?

James (jamesasgrim) wrote :

I have just done a new install of 12.04 (precise) and coming from 10.04, I was quite frustrated I can't re-arrange my indicators. Definite "affects me" here, and it doesn't look like this will be fixed, seeing as this has been open for 3 versions of Ubuntu.

Aleve Sicofante (sicofante) wrote :

Just when Microsoft added this ability in Windows 7, there goes Ubuntu removing it. This is the world upside down.

I'm subscribing this bug too. Since there's actually a way to change the order (see here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/26114/is-it-possible-to-change-the-order-of-icons-in-the-indicator-applet), there should be made as easy as it is today in Windows 7.

Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

So what about this one? Could I kindly ask if someone is still after this bug? Would be really nice.

John Stultz (jstultz) wrote :

Well, since this was originally against the gnome2 panel indicators, and much has changed in 2 years, with the focus on unity, I'm not sure if this bug still makes sense.

The core issue, that even in unity, having the gear/system-settings icon in the corner, which is rarely used, makes little sense the upper right corner of the screen. I'd suggest as fits-law makes it a very easy and useful target for actions that don't require fine-mousing, something more frequently used (like volume control, which can be scroll-wheeled up or down without looking) would be more beneficial.

That said, I suspect the current top-down design direction that unity (and other gnome interfaces) have makes it unlikely that such a suggestion would be considered.

It's something I'd like to fix, is trivial since the changes in the oneiric cycle... I've to find some time to add the setting needed.

Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

Sure this bug makes sense, now even more than with gnome2 as there only indicators for network, sound and power were grouped to an indicator menu (I mean Lucid) and the rest was moveable. Now all indicators are in an area almost fixed by being hardcoded (some small changes are possible but not that easy or even impossible, for example the dropbox indicator).

It would be nice to be able to set a fixed order for indicators that always show up (sound, network, etc.) and allow indicators that only appear sometimes (dropbox, ejecter) to be added on the left side of the fixed order. Would look much cleaner then and be more consistent.
But I believe you'll come up with some really nice code in the end.

Thanks a lot in advance Marco.

Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

Still looking forward to seeing this feature in Ubuntu.

Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

Still no news on that feature?
I just tried the ordering-override.keyfile trick but for me it doesn't work anymore (in Quantal).

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

The bug would be updated if there was news, unassigning Marco since he doesn't seem to be working on it and it could block others to step in and help there

Changed in unity:
assignee: Marco Trevisan (Treviño) (3v1n0) → nobody
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
assignee: Marco Trevisan (Treviño) (3v1n0) → nobody
Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

Still persistent in Raring Ringtail.

Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

Still persistent in Saucy Salamander.

It's sad that this is still not implemented.

Khurshid Alam (khurshid-alam) wrote :

I would love to see this bug gets fixed in Trusty. The position of indicators are real mess specially when using third-party indicators, for example: indicator-weather (Bug #1308892).

Joschi Poschi (joschiposchi) wrote :

I really would love to see this feature coming to Ubuntu. Would it still be "easily doable"? https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+bug/537947/comments/5

Paulius Vitkus (behda) wrote :

Still persistent in Trusty Tahr.
Would live to see this bug fixed.

Funny thing is that in Xubuntu 14.04 you can arrange indicators.

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Duplicates of this bug

Other bug subscribers