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Re: web apps and the launcher [was: webapps and the sound menu]


On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 4:38 PM, Alex Launi <alex.launi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> On Jan 10, 2013, at 10:26 AM, Yann Brelière <yannbreliere@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
> Like Jonathan said, I think Jeremy Bicha's suggestions were good: I like
> the idea of having additional integration for my mails, music, etc. But I
> don't want to clutter my launcher just because I have a tab open.
> Why not? What about the icon at the bottom of your launcher bothers you?
> Do you think that your opinion is a reflection of the general case? I'm
> curious, because never has a launcher icon caused me a second thought.
I think there are several things.
* The fact that they don't behave like other launcher icons (discussed
bellow) : they can't be pinned/unpinned, when clicked, they open something
from another launcher item, so they don't have the little 'pip' on the
right to tell me it's launched...
It's the same problem as the trash and usb drive icons that launch a new
window from the "home folder" launcher item instead of launching an
independent window, so they don't appear like running.
See also these bugs about bad launcher behavior for these:
* Maybe also the fact that I don't feel like I'm using an app if I visit a
page versus opening it from the dash (see bellow also).
* And I like organizing my launcher, so an icon that appears down there
catches my attention for no reason. I don't know if it's a reflection of
the general case, but Jeremy, mpt and Jonathan seem to agree that these
launcher items are perceived as clutter.

> Designers (hopefully) reading this thread, what has testing revealed here?
> Are people generally territorial over their launchers?
> Visiting a page shouldn't open a launcher item, but opening it from the
> launcher explicitly could launch an independent chrome-less browser window.
> There might be other suggestions for integration with the launcher, but
> currently, it's painful.
> How do you propose getting that icon on the launcher in the first place if
> it doesn't appear when you open a tab? There seems to be a bit of a
> chicken-egg problem here, or could you elaborate on how you see this
> behavior working.
I feel that installing a webapp should be like installing an app (except
that I can install it from my browser). Once installed, I should be able to
launch it from the dash, which would open a new window, so the launcher
item actually represents a real window, not a sub-part of another launcher
item. Clicking the launcher item (if it's pinned or already open) would
launch the window (or open it if it's not already), not switch to a tab of
an unrelated launcher item (my browser).
So they would be really independent. I can benefit from integration
(notifications, soundmenu, etc) by just visiting the tab, but if I want it
in my launcher, it should be an independent action that opens an
independent app.

> If I could add/remove a launcher for GMail (currently, removing the
> launcher icon closes the tab, it's very frustrating), it would be great.
> But now, it's all or nothing. I can't have GMail's dektop notifications
> without having the launcher icon always visible. I can't get notifications
> and soundmenu integration for Grooveshark without having an icon popping in
> the launcher each time I open it.
> This is a good bug, thank you.
> I pin my GMail, G+, calendar, etc as app tabs in Firefox because it allows
> me to keep them open and always visible without taking too much space in
> the tabs strip. So even though I would love better desktop integration for
> these, I don't use it, as it has the opposite effect: taking a lot of space
> somewhere else.
> > having items bob in and out of the Launcher just because you're
> currently on a particular Web site is asinine.
> About the main topic of the sound menu, I agree with everything mpt said:
> if a youtube tab is open (either by mistake or because I'm watching one),
> it should be controllable and visible in the soundmenu.
> Yann
> My conclusions of your criticisms are essentially that the launcher
> behavior is where most of your complaints wrt webapps are from. you want
> the other integration points, but you feel a territorialism over launcher
> real estate. You feel as though maybe we're invoking imminent domain on
> you. This seems like an easy fix. Do you code?
Yes, but I'm a web developer, and I code in Perl and I know a bit of
python. If it's C or C++, it's out of my area... And I would have to learn
bzr and anything else needed.


Yann Brelière

> On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM, Alex Launi <alex.launi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>> Well do you have any good suggestions for how to fix the issues you've
>> encountered? Or any good design suggestions to make it a bit less of a
>> mess? What about with regard to the topic of this thread, any interesting
>> ideas for fitting into the sound menu more scalably?
>> Alex
>> On Jan 9, 2013, at 3:19 PM, Jonathan Meek <shrouded.cloud@xxxxxxxxx>
>> wrote:
>> A bit late, but I would like to add my own thoughts to this: I absolutely
>> agree with Mr. Bicha about web-apps in 12.10 (having finally downloaded it
>> to test the new toolkit). They are a bit of a mess. And I, as a seasoned
>> user, find their launcher behavior almost indecipherable given the context.
>> Am I just visiting a fancy browser window or am I actually using something
>> that is supposed to be its own thing? And getting them to install was a
>> hassle and no feedback for when it didn't work... Tried to install GMail
>> three times before it worked with no feedback as to why it failed the
>> previous times. And plus one to the completely chromeless argument.
>> Pandora just suddenly showed in my sound menu unexpectedly as well. I
>> guess I'm mostly trying to say what Jeremy said: a good start but far from
>> perfect.
>> On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Jeremy Bicha <jbicha@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On 13 December 2012 09:57, Alex Launi <alex.launi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> > Like any software, webapps will always be incomplete. The
>>> implementation
>>> > of the integration was not poor (at least I don't like to think so),
>>> but
>>> > there were features that got de-scoped for 12.10. Chromeless browsing
>>> in
>>> > Firefox was one item. There is a chromeless mode for Chromium, it
>>> exists
>>> > in 12.10. Chromeless mode does not, however, prevent you from having
>>> > multiple tabs. You could have 10 instances of Facebook, or YouTube in
>>> > one of these chromeless browser windows. Chromeless mode is accessed
>>> > when you have a launcher icon and launch a new instance of a webapp
>>> from
>>> > it. Integration should always work from the browser though, how else
>>> > would you find that a webapp exists?
>>> I think that Firefox or Chromium should prompt for installing webapps
>>> like it does.
>>> Without chromeless mode, I (as a user) see webapps as being just fancy
>>> bookmarks that may also have notification or indicator support. I
>>> think chromeless mode *should* prevent you from opening multiple tabs
>>> because a standalone webapp is not a full-featured web browser (that's
>>> just the backend, an implementation detail). Links to external domains
>>> (not white-listed in the particular webapp config) should open in your
>>> regular web browser because a webapp should act like a native app as
>>> much as possible.
>>> For me, proper chromeless mode is an essential part of webapps so
>>> that's why I was disappointed with 12.10's implementation (I don't
>>> mean to hurt the feelings of those who spent months working on the
>>> feature; I expected that that feature would instead land in 13.04).
>>> Jeremy
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