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[Bug 783498] [NEW] add per-window ("window-centric") window management to Unity (launcher and/or compiz)


Public bug reported:

This bug is about improving window management in Unity. The Unity
launcher is an application-centric interface. The spread view introduces
some window level management but it's not yet a full replacement for the
fast window management people are used to from taskbar based interfaces.
A few reasons:

1) You can't close windows from the spread view
2) You can't hide (minimize) windows from the spread view
3) The spread view is relatively inefficient and slow (the larger the monitor and the more windows are open)
4) Especially text based windows look too similar which get's gradually worse as you open more windows.

A collection of relevant mailing list threads:
(I surely missed several as it's one of the most popular topics there)

Also relevant:
But that bug is only about hiding windows and it isn't granular window-centric/per-window window hiding but application-centric hiding: It's simply about hiding all windows at once upon clicking on a launcher icon.

Reasons for the importance of this bug can be found in the mailing list
and further links there. The gist is that the current launcher isn't
very effective in certain user scenarios, the prime one: Having many
windows open in a single text-based application.

A few notes on the four points mentioned above:

1) this is easily implemented by a GNOME 3 style close button in all "expose" views.
2) as above, this would be consistent in Unity because unlike in GNOME 3 there still is a "minimize" button (which should probably be renamed into "hide" as explained in the last linked thread and the comments of bug #733349 )
3) ctrl+f for "worst case scenario: https://lists.launchpad.net/ayatana/msg05651.html
Proposed solutions: a Windows 7 like taskbar thumbnail view in one form or another. The main objection here was that the hover design in Windows is too slow. This can be taken care of by making the animation faster and/or using mouse clicks.
4) Like OS X and GNOME 3 there needs to be a window title visible besides any thumbnail presentation of windows.

Finally: "hidden" windows should be shown separate from "active"
windows. See https://lists.launchpad.net/ayatana/msg05807.html

** Affects: ayatana-design
     Importance: Undecided
         Status: New

** Affects: unity
     Importance: Undecided
         Status: New

** Affects: compiz (Ubuntu)
     Importance: Undecided
         Status: New

** Also affects: unity
   Importance: Undecided
       Status: New

** Also affects: compiz (Ubuntu)
   Importance: Undecided
       Status: New

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  add per-window ("window-centric") window management to Unity (launcher
  and/or compiz)

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