dual monitor panel should show window details when not focused

Bug #755357 reported by Greg A
This bug affects 13 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: unity

If you look in the screenshots, I have two maximised windows open. The panel only shows the details of one of them (the focused window).

It would be great if the Unity panel would show me the Application name, window title, global menu, and the close button/window controls for the second window. This would save everyone a few clicks when working with two monitors.

For maximised windows this seems to be a no brainer. For unmaximised unfocused windows on the other monitor then I imagine some more care would need to be taken in the implementation.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: unity 3.8.4-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.38-8.41-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-8-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: [core,bailer,detection,composite,opengl,compiztoolbox,decor,resize,regex,vpswitch,move,animation,imgpng,mousepoll,grid,unitymtgrabhandles,gnomecompat,place,workarounds,wall,wobbly,expo,ezoom,staticswitcher,session,fade,scale,unityshell]
Date: Sat Apr 9 09:45:21 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Alpha amd64 (20110127)
SourcePackage: unity
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to natty on 2011-04-06 (2 days ago)

Revision history for this message
Greg A (etulfetulf) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Greg A (etulfetulf) wrote :
Alex Launi (alexlauni)
Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
tags: added: needs-design
Revision history for this message
Tom Bamford (tombamford) wrote :

What sort of design is required for this behavior to be implemented? Seems like a straightforward change to me... and definitely a no-brainer.

Revision history for this message
John Lea (johnlea) wrote :

Hi Tom, there are a whole bunch of unity multi-monitor UX problems that need solving, including this issue. The reason they exist is because a) natty is the first desktop release of unity and there were lots of very important issues all vying for attention and b) there is only so much time and resource available. However I am tracking all the multi-monitor bug reports and I hope to be able to start diving into this problem in depth in a couple of weeks time. We will need to take a holistic look at all the multi-monitor usage scenarios, configurations, etc.. and then work on a design that provides the best overall multi-monitor experience. When we have finished doing our research, analysis and testing we will be able to place individual feature and change requests into context.

So to make a long story short, thanks for the bug report, it is added to our to do list and we hope to get started on designing a excellent multi-monitor experience in the near future.

Revision history for this message
hackel (hackel) wrote :

If this were implemented, how would you know which window (on which monitor) had focus? This needs to be determined first.

Greg A (etulfetulf)
tags: added: multimonitor
Revision history for this message
Dan Lea (danlea) wrote :

For me the inconsistency is this: that maximised and unfocussed windows at the fore of a monitor are determined to 'own' the panel, in that clicking on the panel focuses it, but maximised and unfocussed windows that aren't at the fore of a monitor do not own the panel and therefore do not have any kind of window bar that can be clicked to grab focus. In fact if focus is on a different monitor, no window owns the panel on this one: it's just dead space!

One argument is that the window at the fore of any monitor should be the one associated with the panel, as it is when it has focus. The other argument is that the maximised window is without a window bar that can be used to grab focus without clicking any window content. From either point of view the panel should not be wasted space: clicking it should focus one of these two windows, with my preference being the maximised window (I think it's more intuitive and practical).

The initial complaint, however, was that the title is not shown for the unfocussed window. I think the counter to this argument initially has a stronger case, i.e. that focus needs to be indicated, and that is currently done by either displaying or hiding the window title. The intuitive way to distinguish, however, is simply the same way as is used for unmaximised windows: the style of the title text (e.g. greyed for unfocussed). The trouble here is that, alongside my previous suggestion regarding the function of clicking the panel, changing focus between monitors would result in the panel on the monitor with the rearward maximised window switching title between the foremost and maximised window.


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