the launcher should stay on screen on desktop configurations

Bug #727708 reported by Sebastien Bacher on 2011-03-02
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
Fix Released
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Using current natty the launcher is quite useful to switch between softwares, run new ones, see messages counts etc but since it's set to hide by default I find that over time I got tired to go to the corner several times a minute all day long and I basically went back to using the keyboard for most actions (which is something the unity launcher made me switch away from when it was on screen, I started finding easier to just click on its icons).

It seems that on desktop configurations you don't especially need the horizontal space and users would benefit from having the launcher itself and its informations easily available, it's especially true if you are not a keyboard user and don't use keybindings to display it.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

ok, didrocks said to open that a design question and to set the unity bug incomplete, doing that now

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

It's worth noting that the launcher hidding is coming often as a topic confusing desktop users, it has been mentioned on the desktop list as well, it's hard to get right or to suit users

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

In our design plan we actually went the other way - lock the launcher in place for netbooks! Based on what you are saying here, that could be completely incorrect :-)

Seb, did you not find when you started using the keyboard that you used the Super key to show the launcher for a quick peek?

summary: - the launcher should stay on scren on desktop configurations
+ the launcher should stay on screen on desktop configurations
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Right, I do use super to show the launcher and activate icons, which is why I said that I basically went back to using the keyboard, I think it's quite efficient for keyboard users though the experience is still a bit frustrating (the launcher doesn't go back in hidding when you stop pressing the key and if you do only one short key press you get the dash to open an stick... which I tend to do because I want to see what application claimed for attention and not because I want to context switch to the dash)

The experience really feels suboptimal if you are a mouse user though, especially with applications which start to use libunity to give you infos about your downloads, messages, etc, which gives often a reason to want to check on the launcher or interact with it.

I think that in netbooks, both vertical and horizontal space are very precious. For example, my 10" netbook has 1024x600 resolution.

Of course, 600 pixels is very least. And global menu is here to soften this.

But 1024 pixels is also not too much. I think that the pixels that the launcher occupies can make a big difference here.

On desktops (and maybe some laptops), though, widescreen monitors are increasingly common and they have higher resolutions (at least 1280 or 1366 pixels of width). In this case, some pixels are not important and, with the launcher always visible, can increase the productivity when doing multiple things at the same time.

I think that the screen's width is the best factor to determine if the launcher should be always visible or if it should autohide.

Anyway, an option to change this behaviour on ccsm is very important too.

Ken VanDine (ken-vandine) wrote :

I find it very useful to keep the launcher visible. Both because it displays useful bits of information thanks to the libunity integration with some apps and also because it makes it very quick to see what windows are open, which ones want my attention and lets me act on them quickly.

Plus it really looks nice :)

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

A fixed version of 'Dodge Active Window' seems better to me than 'Dodge Window' atleast. Many people use a few apps maximized(not talking about netbooks) so this way launcher wont be always hidden.

Lets take my case for example: I only use chromium in maximized state, I dont maximize other apps which include the music player, empathy, xchat, the list goes on. But a more productive person than me would generally be using an IDE, a video editor maybe. The point is if I am chatting on empathy and want to switch to xchat I dont have to go to the bfb rather I will click on the tile on xchat in the launcher quickly.

Stephen M. Webb (bregma) wrote :

This particular problem was solved at the design level and implemented long long ago. The bug needs to be closed.

Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Fix Released
Changed in unity:
status: Incomplete → Fix Released
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Fix Released
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