"Windicators" coming to Ubuntu


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Syanide

windicators-mockup.png

Mark Shuttleworth just announcedthe plan for the empty space on the right created by moving the window buttons (controls) to the left: Window Indicators or "windicators".

What are Window Indicators?

Window Indicators will be just like the current Panel Indicators: they will have an icon which indicates the state and clicking it brings up a menu.

Purpose

The "windicators" purpose is to banish the statusbar:

We can replace these (statusbar items) with a combination of windicators and temporary, overlay status bars. I really liked the Chrome browser?s use of overlay status messages, so kudos and thanks to them for the inspiration. The net result of those two steps, in apps where we can, is to save about 5% of the vertical space for your stuff ? real content.

Windicator ideas

There are already a few window indicators (or "windicators") ideas for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat:

  • Online / offline status indicator and toggle options for the mail client, chat program or Gwibber, the broadcast messages application.
  • An "unsaved" indicator, that tells people that the contents of the file they are working on have changed and potentially lets them save it or set autosave properties.
  • Progress indicators, which show that an action is in progress, and possibly also indicate the extent of the progress. The associated menu would enable one to pause or cancel the operation, and perhaps define the behaviour on completion of the action.
  • A "basket" indicator, which shows if any items have been selected for purchase,
  • Sharing indicators, which would show if a document is shared with multiple people, and enable one to setup such a share.
  • Volume indicators, which would show the loudness of application audio streams, and enable one to set the volume for that specific application.

Look

The windicators will not only behave like the current appindicators in the panel, but will also look the same: monochrome by default and semantically colored with red for critical problems, orange for alerts, green for positive status changes and blue for informative states that are not the default or usual state.

Ubuntu Netbook Edition integration

windicators-maximised-mockup.png

You probably already know that UNE 10.10 will get a Global Menu by default. The new window indicators will integrate with this global menu:

When the window is maximised, and we are using an application which can include both indicators and window titles, the window indicators will be inserted into the panel as well. They will appear on the right of the panel, and be the leftmost indicators. For example, here is the application, maximised (note the dodgy Ubuntu logo in the top left ? that?s the panel, not the window title bar you?re looking at).

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Growled

I like that idea a lot.

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Panacik

That is really a good idea. I wonder if MS will soon come up with a brilliant, but ultimatly same idea and call it the super-window-border... "It works along side the new Super bar within Windows 7" :p

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fusi0n

That is really a good idea. I wonder if MS will soon come up with a brilliant, but ultimatly same idea and call it the super-window-border... "It works along side the new Super bar within Windows 7" :p

haha! +1

Good Idea!

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Lazure

And what if the users decide to, ya know, put the window buttons back on the RIGHT where they belong?

I _HATE_ the left-facing buttons.

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Panacik

And what if the users decide to, ya know, put the window buttons back on the RIGHT where they belong?

I _HATE_ the left-facing buttons.

You hate them so much that you used capital letters _AND_ used seperate lines to underline your _WORD_!? You must really hate it then :p :rofl:

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Phenom II

You hate them so much that you used capital letters _AND_ used seperate lines to underline your _WORD_!? You must really hate it then :p :rofl:

:laugh:

But yea, I have moved my buttons to the right again, I wonder what will happen once we get these Windicators

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Rudy

Great idea!

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Shadrack

I like the idea of having a volume control for individual applications and easily accessible from the window's title bar. Seems like a good idea. Network activity for individual applications would be a good idea too.

There are some universal things they can add there that would work with any application without the application needing to specifically support the feature.

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ichi

:laugh:

But yea, I have moved my buttons to the right again, I wonder what will happen once we get these Windicators

It would make sense that it worked as a container, that is a single element you could place wherever you want through gconf (or hopefully through some new option in the themes menu), same as you can move buttons now.

Long way to say that you should be able to put them on the left :p

Dunno, it's a good idea but it could also eventually get messy if apps keep adding new "windicators" :unsure: good thing that you don't rely on the title bar to move windows on linux, else this would definitely suck for small windows.

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PL_

Nice one. I like the direction Ubuntu is taking.

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markjensen

I like the idea of having a volume control for individual applications and easily accessible from the window's title bar. Seems like a good idea. Network activity for individual applications would be a good idea too.

There are some universal things they can add there that would work with any application without the application needing to specifically support the feature.

That actually does sound pretty cool! It might even get me to switch from fluxbox, if only certain window managers supported this. :yes:
...

Dunno, it's a good idea but it could also eventually get messy if apps keep adding new "windicators" :unsure: good thing that you don't rely on the title bar to move windows on linux, else this would definitely suck for small windows.

Indeed! Let there be a limited amount, plus maybe one custom slot for an app. I would hate for this to end up looking like the Windows 9x system tray! :x
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James7

I have to agree that this seems like an inspired choice. I remember a while back when there was all the talk in Ubuntu circles about how they were planning to move the buttons to the left side there was mention of making proper use out of the right side of the title bar.

Now I see more of what they are planning (thanks Syanide!), it all makes more sense! :D

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Jos

I like the buttons on the left side. Even on Windows I find myself double-clicking the icon on the application window to close it. This whole "windicator" idea is interesting though.

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Solid Knight

Oh hell yeah! More bullcrap I don't want on my screen! Perhaps the next new feature will edge-to-edge grids of icons on your desktop by default.

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markjensen

Oh hell yeah! More bullcrap I don't want on my screen! Perhaps the next new feature will edge-to-edge grids of icons on your desktop by default.

I feel the same way about desktop icons.

But instead of bitching about it, I just use fluxbox. Fast. Minimal. Perfect for me.

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Solid Knight

I feel the same way about desktop icons.

But instead of bitching about it, I just use fluxbox. Fast. Minimal. Perfect for me.

I used Fluxbox for a while. It was overal pretty good although the menus irritated my from time to time.

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markjensen

I used Fluxbox for a while. It was overal pretty good although the menus irritated my from time to time.

Although they can import automatically the Gnome icons (from apps that are installed and add a menu item), I much prefer to edit the file manually. Yeah, if you are not up for doing that, it might get irritating.

But having your 'start' menu available wherever you right-click on the desktop (no need to run your mouse all the way to a corner) is awfully convenient.

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Solid Knight
Although they can import automatically the Gnome icons (from apps that are installed and add a menu item), I much prefer to edit the file manually. Yeah, if you are not up for doing that, it might get irritating.

It's just the fact that I have to do it. It's like somebody building a modern hand-cranked car. Yeah, it's not hard to turn a crank but everyone expects not to have to.

But having your 'start' menu available wherever you right-click on the desktop (no need to run your mouse all the way to a corner) is awfully convenient.

That's one of the reasons I liked it. I took the same concept to Firefox by using the Context Bookmarks extension. Although, once I discovered Gnome-Do I found that much more convenient than Fluxbox itself so I ended up switching back to Gnome.

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fhpuqrgrpgvirzhpujbj

So these are per-window?

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Rudy

So these are per-window?

looks like it

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markjensen
... Although, once I discovered Gnome-Do I found that much more convenient than Fluxbox itself so I ended up switching back to Gnome.

Hmmmm... I might look into Gnome-Do. If not for myself, my kids use my PC. Right now, I have an XFCE base with the panel removed and using Docky in its place. The kids like Docky because it is so similar to my wife's Mac.

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Solid Knight

Hmmmm... I might look into Gnome-Do. If not for myself, my kids use my PC. Right now, I have an XFCE base with the panel removed and using Docky in its place. The kids like Docky because it is so similar to my wife's Mac.

Unless your kids like to type I wouldn't suggest it for them. It's a powerful and convenient tool but only for intermediate to advanced users.

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Rob2687

I am still on the fence about this. Some of the ideas like per-window volume control would be nice. I hope it's designed to be minimal and kept strictly in terms of improving functionality. The worst case is that it could turn into a novelty thing where apps throw in useless windicators just because they can.

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