Unity spread "randomly" shuffles overlapping windows

Bug #916542 reported by Alistair Buxton on 2012-01-14
This bug affects 10 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When the spread is used to display multiple windows of the same application, Unity will randomly order those windows if they overlap.

This is annoying when trying to locate one window from a group of very similar windows, eg terminal windows. Since they all look the same in the spread I have to check each one in turn. But because Unity shuffles them around, it is impossible to tell which ones I have already checked.

Here is a video which demonstrates the bug: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwlpdfmtVGA

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: unity 4.24.0-0ubuntu2.1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-14.23-generic 3.0.9
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-14-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
ApportVersion: 1.23-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: [core,bailer,detection,composite,opengl,compiztoolbox,decor,resize,snap,place,mousepoll,move,gnomecompat,grid,vpswitch,imgpng,wall,session,unitymtgrabhandles,regex,animation,expo,workarounds,fade,ezoom,scale,unityshell]
Date: Sat Jan 14 16:51:51 2012
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Beta amd64 (20110921.2)
SourcePackage: unity
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to oneiric on 2011-10-09 (96 days ago)

Alistair Buxton (a-j-buxton) wrote :
Alistair Buxton (a-j-buxton) wrote :

This bug becomes annoying when you have many similar looking windows open. For example, see screenshot. Can you tell me which PDF is the datasheet for ATmega328P? I doubt you can without zooming in to the screenshot to an excessive level. In real life you would have to just check each open PDF one at a time.

So you start with the top left and work through them. But each time you check one, they shuffle randomly. Oh, my mistake. None of them are the datasheet for ATmega328P. It's not open. You just spent 5 minutes looking for something that isn't even there. Or is it? There's no way to know if it's not there, or if Unity just keeps moving it to a position you already checked.

So in summary, this behaviour is extremely irritating and a massive waste of my time.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Matt Garcia (tt-garcia82) wrote :

I find this annoying too.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

definitely spread needs love. That I am afraid won't happen till 12.10 :/

tags: added: spread
Omer Akram (om26er) on 2012-04-04
Changed in unity:
status: New → Confirmed
Edwin Pujols (edwinpm5) wrote :

It looks like in Saucy it's fixed? Please check it, someone else.

Jiří Doubravský (doubr) wrote :

bug confirmed = Ubuntu 13.04

Jiří Doubravský (doubr) wrote :

I attached window spread to left-top hot corner and this bug is really annoying

Edwin Pujols (edwinpm5) wrote :

I can confirm this in saucy. At least with Firefox windows, the behavior is kind of predictable for three windows: the last focused window will appear "closer" to the Launcher. But for more than three is unintuitive, not to say random.

With other applications, the bug doesn't seem to be reproducible for certain number of windows:

- gedit's windows don't "shuffle" for less than 4 open windows.

- xfce4-terminal's windows don't seem to "shuffle" for less than 5 open windows.

In conclusion, the bug persists in saucy.

Bracken (abdawson) wrote :

The order of the windows appears to be top to bottom, but they are presented left to right when you click the launcher icon, this causes confusion. Suggest that giving right to left priority over top to bottom would simplify the 2 window case.

Seth Johnson (sethj) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug. We have tried to recreate this on the latest release of Ubuntu and cannot reproduce it. This bug is being marked as Invalid. If you believe the problem to still exist in the latest version of Ubuntu please comment on why that is the case and change the bug status to NEW.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers