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switching amongst application instances from the unity panel is ineffective (some suggestions on how it could be fixed/improved)


Hi there!

First, my apologies if this has been discussed before.

I believe that there is much space for improvement concerning the use
case in which a user tries to switch between multiple instances of an
application via unity's task management panel and in my opinion, the
main reason
for this is how the exposé-like feature it uses is actually implemented
(duct taped?).

Here are what I perceive to be the main flaws of the current
implementation (I will use "exposé" to refer to the exposé-like state
you get when double clicking on an application icon in order to select
amongst it's opened instances):

1. In many cases the mapping exposé does between your applications'
windows and their position in the exposé view, although this mapping is
partially based on it's the initial window's position on the screen, is
really not easy to trace.  Not knowing where your application instance
will be located in the exposé's view, you're forced have to scan through
all the application's windows to retrieve it. Hence, the following
improvement proposition: the placement of windows in the exposé view
should be linear, from left to right, top to bottom, based on the time
that window was opened and it should not change unless you have closed
one instance of your application. This way, it'll always be
straightforward to pick the application instance you had in mind.

2. When you need to scan all the windows in the exposé view, it's good
to have a zoomed out view of your application to quickly identify it but
in many case, your application's content might be too similar to another
opened instance to correctly distinguish between them from a zoomed out
perspective. Hence: placing a legible window title above the actual
zoomed out window should be default (with perhaps the option to disable

3. The way the zoomed out windows are placed  in the exposé's view
involves way too much mouse movement. This is, in my opinion, due to 2

3.1. The zoom factor by which windows instances are zoomed out, is set
in relation to their number (for only two windows open, this is where
the most mouse movement occurs and this is absurd). I believe that to
prevent this, the zoom factor should remain constant except when you
just have too many instances for your screen.

3.2. The window's placement itself. The windows are just too far to be
quickly reached. Hence, the windows' placement should begin just at
right of the application's icon you just clicked and be layed out from
left to right, top to bottom.

I'd be glad to hear your opinions about this.

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