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Re: No more dodge windows in Unity?


On 08/02/12 02:23, Evan Huus wrote:

Previously the default was for it to dodge windows - now, it is
automatically set to never hide. The Appearance->Behaviour settings
allow configuring always-hide and never-hide, but do not allow
configuring the old 'dodge windows' method.

On the assumption that his is intentional (and not a brown-paper-bag
bug), why? The non-techies who I've set up with Oneiric haven't had
any trouble grasping the dodge-windows concept,

In fact, the dodge-windows approach tested very poorly. We thought it would work well, tried it, tested it, and have had to evolve from there based on evidence.

If users encounter the dodge by moving windows against the launcher, then it is fine. They see that the dodge happens *when* they push the launcher away, they discover they can move the window back and the launcher will reappear. So far so good.

Here's the problem. Most users don't discover the dodging by moving a window till it touches the launcher. They first encounter it when they maximise a window. So, they login to the desktop. Good. They start an app. Good. Then they maximise a window, and the launcher "disappears". To these users, the behaviour is deeply uncomfortable, random. And these are in fact the majority of users.

It also turns out that users who can work with dodging launchers can also work perfectly well with launchers which always hide when not used.

So, based on that, we made the following design choices:

1. To start with the launcher always visible. This is the least
   surprising starting position. Nothing happens unless the user
   commands it.
2. To expose an option of having the launcher hide, or be fixed.
3. Not to offer a dodge option, because users who don't want it always
   there are perfectly capable of using it in plain hiding mode, and
   users who don't know what 'dodge' means don't have to spend time
   trying to parse it.

  and it's really the
only usable option on smaller screens such as netbooks (always-hide is
too confusing when first logging in, and never-hide takes too much

We agree on both the facts, just not your conclusion :). Yes, always-hide is a poor starting point for new users. And yes, never-hide wastes space on small devices. But the current approach is clear at the start and accommodates efficient use of space for those who need it or prefer it.

I haven't heard any discussion on this list about the issue, so I'm
curious as to the reasoning. Would someone more familiar with the
change please comment?

There you go :)

P.S. For those with a technical bent, CCSM can be used to restore the
old 'dodge windows' behaviour for now.

That codepath will disappear, we'd prefer to keep the code lean. In this case we've experimented, learned, and concluded a better approach is available, there's no argument for maintaining code we don't expose to users further.


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