Window indicators

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

The Ayatana Indicators work has given us a crisp, clean basis for indicators in the panel. We’ve said they will all look a particular way, and behave a particular way. And we’ve said they will be placed on the right of the panel.

But why limit indicators to the panel? Let’s make it possible for applications to use indicators themselves, for all the things that indicators are good at:

  • Conveying a particular state, such as whether or not the application is connected,
  • Providing a handle for the indicator menu, to modify that state

We’ll start with “window indicators”, or “windicators” for fun. Windicators are indicators displayed in the window title bar that behave just like the indicators in the panel: they have an icon which shows state, and clicking on the icon brings up a menu. Applications can create, update and remove window indicators using an API more or less like the AppIndicator framework first put to use in 10.04 LTS.

Window indicators follow the standard Ayatana indicator pattern, but are specific to a particular window.

Window indicators, or "windicators", shown in a sample application window.

We’ve carefully placed all the panel indicators on the right, and we’ve carefully put the window controls and window title on the left. So now we have all this space on the right. As a pattern, it would fit to put the window indicators there.

Cody Russell is leading some work in Canonical around the technology which actually draws the window title bar and borders. It’s called “client side window decorations”. We are moving the rendering of the window decorations into the app itself, so that you don’t have the window manager and application drawing those pieces separately. That simplifies certain things (of course it also makes some things harder).

One of the most interesting consequences of the client-side decorations work is that it means that the application could more easily draw into the titlebar (because the application is drawing the title bar). And that makes it even more natural for the application to control the right side of the window title bar as well.

Update: Several commenters correctly pointed out that window indicators could just as easily be rendered by window managers in cases where the theme is not CSD-based. CSD provided the inspiration for giving that space to the application, it’s not essential to the implementation. It would be fantastic for window indicators to be available on ;-)

Less chrome, more content: banish the status bar

I’m on a “less is more” kick with our design efforts, and one of the things I want to banish is wasted vertical space. For netbooks, that’s particularly important. And a lot of applications have status bars at the bottom, for no good reason other than it was that way in Windows 3.1.

Typically the application status bar has:

  • Some status icons (“online”)
  • Some tools (“Yslow”)
  • A transient status message (“Saving draft…”)

We can replace these 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.

Prioritising examples for implementation

If you’re interested in this idea, please join the Ayatana mailing list and participate in the design discussions there. We’d like to develop some patterns that are generic, so that we can use a common icon and possibly also common indicator menu entries for addressing the same issue in diverse applications. Of course, applications will be free to use the mechanism for things that are unique to them.

Candidates for 10.10

It would be fantastic to implement a few of these window indicators for 10.10. Please help us choose the most useful cases! Currently on the list are:

  • 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.

The key thing is that these indicators are entirely application-specific, and ideally only relevant to the window that you are actually looking at.

Just like Panel Indicators…

From a visual design point of view, again the goal would be to ensure that indicators are symbolic. They would follow the same styling as Ayatana indicators:

  • Monochrome by default, with shape indicating the function of the indicator
  • 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.

Integrated with the Netbook Edition Smart Panel

Last week I blogged about our decision to adopt a single, global menu for all applications, in the panel. And I also said we would explore putting the window title *and* menu into the panel, when the window is maximised. Of course, that means that we need to accommodate the window indicators in the panel as well.

So: when the window is maximised, and we are using a smart 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):

Mockup of maximised window, with smart panel and window indicators.

In this configuration, the system achieves “singular purpose”: the entire screen is devoted to a single application, yet the Ayatana elements continue to serve their purpose, either systemic (the battery indicator) or application specific.

281 comments:

  1. piotr bałtroczyk says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I really like Lucid, this is blessing after using Karmic :) I’ve got old PC and old non-LCD screen. I must work with small resolution, so I think lucid indicators’ icons are too wide and they are occupating lot of space on the panel. I don’t like it. Secondly, I think that bringing sound-applet and messaging menu at one applet is a failure. I’m from Poland, I use Gadu-Gadu protocol and I don’t like Empathy or even the Pidgin, so I use Kadu, which doesn’t work with messaging menu. So, I had a big problem when I wanted delete only this menu. It should be easier than deleting packages from Synaptic :) Anyway, big thanks for Ubuntu 10.04 :) cheers (and sorry for my crappy english – i am still learning)

    Mark Shuttleworth: Why don’t you ask Kadu’s developers to support the messaging menu properly? It’s designed to be useful with many different messaging clients. That’s much better than a separate indicator. We’d be happy to help them get it right.

  2. zombiepig says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:23 am

    “Volume indicators, which would show the loudness of application audio streams, and enable one to set the volume for that specific application.”

    Fantastic idea… I like this one a lot.

  3. Liam Wilson says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:36 am

    A very nice idea, but just a number of thoughts I have:

    -If an application playing audio, say rhythmbox, has a windicator for volume, would this not cause two indicators to be displayed to do similar purposes? (One in the window, one in the panel)

    -How would this work for applications that do not ship with Ubuntu by default (Banshee, Thunderbird, etc)? Would they still use status bars, or would there be a way that these could make use of windicators too?

    -Not so much regarding indicators, but more towards the global menu for UNE, if a user was to have many applications open at once, how would the glolbal menu and indicators adapt accordingly, so that all Menu options and indicators are still available, but a user can still switch apps easily?

    Other than that, a very good idea indeed.

    Cheers;

    Liam

    Mark Shuttleworth: Yes, you might get two volume indicators. But that would make explicit something which is currently quite hard to handle: the fact that Pulse lets you set volume on the individual app streams separately from the overall system volume. We will help upstreams to detect and use windicators where they are useful, but still fall back to traditional UI mechanisms if they aren’t available. So this is not just for default Ubuntu apps, any app could / should take advantage of it if they are running in an environment which provides the capability. Lastly, w.r.t. the menu and indicators colliding, the panel will need to be smart, and compress information in an elegant way.

  4. glandium says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:37 am

    How is that supposed to work with other systems, such as tiled window managers, which don’t necessarily have a window title bar to begin with? Isn’t the window title bar the real estate space that really needs to be reclaimed?

    Mark Shuttleworth: Apps will need to determine if the windicator mechanism is available and whether / how they want to use it when it is.

  5. Jeff says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Very cool, thanks for the post.

    In my very unprofessional, non-developer opinion though, it seems to me that this will be quite a lot of work, or am I wrong? How will you convince upstream developers for every single application to create these windicators?

    At first I thought the red/orange/blue/green colour scheme for the indicators would be really weird, but having used the indicators in 10.04, they don’t look badly out of place. Plus, the colours are instantly recognisable as warnings or alerts.

    And as a designer, I am obliged to say “Argh, Comic Sans!” ;)

  6. rysiek says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I was firmly against the “wincontrols on the left” switch (mainly because of lack of communication and discussion *before* the proposed change); but this thing is pure awesome. Thanks for keeping the faith! :)

    One thing, though – had this post showed up *before* the wincontrols’ position change, I suppose everything (in terms of the community’s reaction) would be different – for the better.

  7. Bertel King, Jr. says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:42 am

    The idea sounds great for the desktop. As for the netbook, it may lead to a crowded interface if the windicators are crammed in the panel. The current interface is already cluttered when maximized. Putting windicators and the menu in the panel only seems like it will add to the problem, unless the netbook uses the “window list” applet to handle open windows instead. The Global Menu currently has this built in. If that option is taken, windicators in the panel would be great.

  8. Anon says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I think I like this, but it’s not clear where the menubar (File, Edit, etc.) would go when maximized, you can’t possibly fit the name of the application, the title, the menubar and the windicators in the panel; but with window buttons on the left it would make more sense to have a globalmenubar integrated in the panel: buttons near the menubar are “dangerous” and don’t even look good IMHO.

    Moreover, the statusbar usually have a resize handle, it’s extremely difficult to resize a window with a thin border and no resize handle; I like how much easier is this on MacOSX

  9. Akshat says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Ubuntu is becoming awesomer everyday.Too bad I will have to stick with Lucid for 3 years.

    Offtopic(just for lulz)

    You still haven’t updated copyright notice on the bottom of your page.Too busy?

  10. David says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I have an enhanced proposal for sharing indicators. In Sugar (the environment used by OLPC), it is a standard feature that any instance of an “activity” (application) or document can be shared with any of your contacts, so that you can work on something together and discuss it while doing so. Theoretically, a system-wide method for applications to hook into such functionality would make it possible to implement such functionality anywhere. Sugar has already done much of the work for you! And the “windicators” area is the perfect place to expose such functionality in a standard way. Wouldn’t it be awesome if this were possible in Ubuntu? It would greatly further the ‘social from the start’ initiative. Imagine the incredible marketing potential—a killer feature that no other operating system (other than Sugar) has.

    As for an ‘unsaved’ indicator, do you really want to continue supporting such an outdated metaphor? I think everyone would agree that users should never have to save manually; saving should be automatic. Instead, there should be a robust system of undo, preferably one that follows a document around even after it has been closed, coupled with the ability to set save points, so you can quickly go back to a particular version of the document. “Saving” would thus be obsolete. Instead of an ‘unsaved’ indicator, ‘versions’ indicator would push applications towards adopting a more humane metaphor.

  11. Thomas Leonard says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:58 am

    One nice thing about the current clean split between the application and the frame is that if the application stops responding, the window can still be moved, resized, closed, etc. How will that work if the client is in charge of the frame?

    It’s also nice from a security POV if you can trust the frame but not the contents (although I suppose you could have nested frames to indicate this in the new scheme). Does Ubuntu have any plans in this direction?

    Mark Shuttleworth: The issues you raise are important, and I believe they are addressed in the client-side decorations work, which still allows for window controls to work even when the app is stalled, despite the app having drawn them. The experience might be degraded (the buttons might not animate) but clicks and drags should be detected and managed appropriately.

  12. Kgwerano Chiloane says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I like the prograss indicator, The basket i don’t see it being used. Maybe have a control centre where features can be disabled and activated?

    Mark Shuttleworth: I don’t think we’d want the added overhead of a control mechanism per-app. I think app’s would likely have some options for this, when it was relevant. Apps would certainly also need to detect when the windicator mechanism was not present, and fall back to a traditional UI approach.

  13. Luís says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Cool. great idea! A GUI design pattern that we will probably use in the near future. It’s neat and simple and it organizes information, breaking with some old concepts, but still familiar (e.g. some Nokia phones also have some status icons at the right top corner).

  14. Aleksei says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:14 am

    online/offline indicator is pointless, it should *always* be online
    unsaved: just put a [*] in the window title.
    progress indicator: this is what a dialog box is for!
    basket: tabbed interface is more intuitive
    volume: just steal what vista/7 do and build a proper audio mixer into ubuntu, able to mute and change volume of all programs including system sounds

  15. Pablo says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I can think of a few more indicators:

    -Hard disk full (or near to be), which warns of this issue in programs that involve disk usage.
    -Transfer speed, for P2p programs, file transfers…
    -New content available, for applications that show contents that are periodically updated, such as RSS readers. The icon could be a circular arrow, like the one used usually in “update” icons (for example, in Liferea).

  16. mchiareli says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Nice job on the new ubuntu style.

    A global menu would be nice too.

    Maxwell

    Mark Shuttleworth: http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/359 is our position on the Global Menu, we’ll use it for the netbook edition in 10.10.

  17. J. Seitzinger says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Comic Sans? Seriously, Mark?

    Mark Shuttleworth: http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups is pure genius.

  18. Chris Lees says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Aleksei: The “proper audio mixer” is already present in Ubuntu (and it has been since Karmic), but we’re going one step further by having the ‘per-application’ volume control in the window itself.

    I’m excited about this, I think it sounds awesome. Actually better than my idea for the right-hand side (an icon that you can drag to the Me Menu to share what you’re doing with someone else).

  19. Venkatesh Nandakumar says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Makes sense shifting the window-buttons to the left now, doesn’t it? :)

  20. frustphil says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Awesome! Can’t wait to run Maverick! :-)

    Question: So how do we launch/switch apps? Will the ubuntu logo serve as a menu? If so, which one: the UNE launcher/menu or Gnome Shell overlay?

  21. Thorsten Wilms says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Promising concept.

    Have you considered to temporarily put status messages into the title?

    Just recently I had been wondering about a global status bar, thinking that would lead to fewer interaction issues than a global menu bar.

    Regarding the candidates, as long as we have to deal with the need for explicit Save, please consider to change the window Close button in case of unsaved changes instead of adding an indicator.

  22. Bob says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:39 am

    This title bar would also be a great place to put long text entry boxes (like URLs in the browser and folder paths in nautilus) and progress bars with the controls for audio and video. For example, there is enough horizontal space to put everything totem has into this bar: a progress bar with the controls beside it, the window title to the side, which when you roll over shows the file menu. This would leave the rest of the video to show just what we care about… the video. The same can be said for rhythmbox

  23. Ubuntu 10.10, arrivano gli Windicators « Jack's Ubuntu says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:43 am

    [...] po’ di chiarezza è arrivata oggi dal patron di Ubuntu Mark Shuttleworth, che ha annunciato la sua idea. Nell’area destra della barra del titolo troveranno posto gli Windicators. Si tratta [...]

  24. David Gerard says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Heh. I thought “how about the way Chromium does messages?” just before I got to you mentioning Chrome ;-)

    I’ve been using Lucid for the past month. It’s very nice. Wish there was code in Chromium (which I’m writing this in) to put its window buttons on the left in its “native” skin.

  25. ideali says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:56 am

    ubuntu/linux arguably already suffers from icon overload; adding yet more unlabeled icons for users to decipher does not appeal to me, although i probably wouldn’t mind a per-app volume icon. making the windicators colored would increase visual clutter even more–ms changed windows 7′s default tray icons to monochrome for a reason.

  26. George Brooke says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    >Aleksei says: (permalink)
    >May 3rd, 2010 at 11:14 am
    >online/offline indicator is pointless, it should *always* be online
    What about on a poor quality (say 3g or third world internet connection)?
    Also its nice (or at least I find it useful) to be able to put say an email client offline so you can refer to past emails without being disturbed by new ones.
    >unsaved: just put a [*] in the window title.
    An icon would be more intuative for people who aren’t used to the * convention would it not?
    >progress indicator: this is what a dialog box is for!
    Considering that the move with the interface changes in Ubuntu paticularly are toward being less intrusive the last thing I’d imagine (or like) would be an annoying pop-up dialog say when saving a large file — more windows are harder to manage
    >basket: tabbed interface is more intuitive
    >volume: just steal what vista/7 do and build a proper audio mixer into ubuntu, able to mute and change volume of all programs including system sounds
    Personally I think that individual volume controls in the titlebars are a very nice and discoverable way to manage those options although I doubt it will help the kind of users who either use the controls on their moitor or hold their earphones away from their hear whe it gets too loud and tell others to be quiet when they can’t hear!

    My only concern with this idea is that one of the things which used to annoy me on MS Windows (this was a few years ago mind you it may have improved since) was that every programmer (and, it often appeard, their dog) felt the need to “design” their own style and theme for the window controls (and also the application’s widgets but thats another problem) making for a horribly inconsitent desktop — I don’t have any suggestions for this but one of the nice things about using KDE/Gnome is that all of the standard applications as well of many of the 3rd party ones look and behave fairly consistently.

  27. Ovidiu Curcan says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    This is pretty interesting. But do you think developers will be happy to jump on the bandwagon for Ubuntu’s sake?

    I think Canonical will have to patch a lot of applications to make this (and the “let’s ditch the system tray” thing) happen. And probably not-so-popular applications and the ones compiled from source will be left out in the cold.

  28. Frode says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I think this is a great idea. I was lukewarm to moving the Window controls to the left, but now it makes sense as the window titlebar and “system bar” will be more coherent.

    Look forward to seeing some of these changes in 10.10!

  29. Zsolt Sandor says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Copy of my comment at webupd8:
    I suppose this should be achieved using Clutter instead of traditional GTK and Metacity. And it would also mean ditching Compiz, because AFAIK they don’t play well together. Also it would mean significantly lower resource needs.

  30. Shane Fagan says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    It seems very logical to keep everything in the one place so good idea there. I do like the idea and it frees up some more space for the user to focus on work.

    The problem I foresee is Firefox and other apps not written using gtk.

    Will you patch Firefox (and have to rename it something different) or will we have to change browsers to get the full effect of this idea?

  31. OllyG says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    How about indicators for Ubuntu One or Dropbox or whatever cloud type solution you use, so that you can sync your work as you go along, or easily access your online storage? Also, the clock should be visible at all times, we need to know the time at a glance. Another thing I think would be nice for this area is switch that would tile all open windows, then click on the title bar of the window you want from the tiled view to start using that window. Nice to see some new ideas being tried out, Lucid has been great for me, thanks!

  32. Alamir says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    This sounds like an amazing idea. One thing that you should look out for though is having 2 notifiers for one application, like you have now with the MeMenu. We have the (1)mail-envelope and the (2)Memenu to control Empathy, but couldn’t you combine them? For example, making myself available/visible should automatically log me into Empathy/Gwibber (rather than having to use the mail icon).

    Currently to get directly to Empathy’s or Gwibber’s chat window I have to use the Mail Envelope but I should be able to do this directly on the MeMenu, (I even mistakenly thought that was already a function.) Also, when I have a new message, the “new”-emblem should appear on the Memenu too (instead of the mail). But just as we have 1 windicator for sound we should have only 1 notifier for messaging. This would all give more power to the memenu and render the mail menu further redundant-and we’d have more space.

  33. Antonio says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Why don’t use an overlay box with all that indicators inside the main window of the opened application? I mean on the top-right corner with a transparency and under the maximize/minimize/close buttons. Or may be the indicators can be agroupped under a single icon on the window bar of the opened application.

    P.D: Sorry for my english :(

  34. Piotr Podgorski says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I really like the idea. I’m also a fan of the Google Chrome’s clean interface so I’m very excited to see the same concepts being introduced into the desktop and windows.

    My main question is this: Since Maverick will run Gnome 2.32 aka Gnome 3.0, will it also use Gnome Shell? The concepts that you’re working on in the Ayatana Project are great, but seem to be perfectly incompatible with the Gnome Shell interface. The Shell serves as the Window Manager/Decorator, Panel and Menus (rather inseparably), so I don’t see a place for this code there. At the same time, since you’re moving stuff from the server (desktop) into the client I suppose you won’t use Metacity either, right? So I’d like to know, whether you’re planning to stick with the good old panel (at least for now, until you overhaul it with more hardcore Ayatana awesomeness) and couple it with the new client side window decorator stuff, while discarding the Gnome Shell completely?

    I ask about this because, while I really like the concepts of Gnome Shell, I can’t use it since I can’t have compositing enabled all the time. So something equally great yet not requiring full time compositing (which, I suppose this code doesn’t require) would be really, really nice.

    On a side not, to be honest I didn’t like the idea of buttons on the left as well. I got used to them the minute I installed Lucid (great, absolutely great release, the best so far), but I also think this post should have happened before the release of Lucid. I guess there are reasons it didn’t (perhaps the designs were not yet ready to show) but still.

    Also, another question I have is whether you’re planning to make use of the work done with Nautilus Elementary, or do something similar yourselves? This was one of the few things I needed to change in Lucid right after installing it, and I think the current state of Nautilus would really not go well with the “less is more”, pure and clean design you’re planning for Maverick.

    I would really appreciate answers to those questions since they really bug me. Still, I gotta say I really like the direction Ubuntu is going in. And I love that you’re making experiments without too much concern about other distributions (what’s the point of having multiple if all do the same, right?) and users’ habits (usually coming from Windows or dating back to ancient times in desktop computing), since that’s the main thing that’s keeping us from innovating. I’m looking forward to Maverick and I enjoy Lucid.

  35. John says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I’m not sure this is a good idea. It sounds like a potential user-interface nightmare if every app can add different indicators/controls on the right-hand side of the title-bar.

  36. Loup Vaillant says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    @glandium: another solution for tiled window managers are the integration with the smart panel, netbook-remix style. On one hand some of the application status is only visible upon focus. On the other hand, name of the application is now visible upon focus. That, plus the removal of the status bar, and you are closest to the core philosophy of tiling window management: maximize screen real estate.

  37. Dave Harper says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Are you planning on working with the Mozilla guys on this? From reading planet.mozilla.org they seem to be having similar thoughts for the next version of Firefox regarding the status bar, and I’m sure they’d love to be able to draw they’re own title bar too so they can make the “Firefox Button” common across all platforms

    http://jboriss.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/removing-firefoxs-status-bar-and-rehousing-add-on-icons-part-1-of-2/
    : Removing Firefox’s Status bar (and what to do with Addon icons)

  38. Windicators, primeras ideas para Ubuntu 10.10 « Ubuntu Life says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    [...] Mas informacion | OMG Ubuntu | Mark Shuttleworth [...]

  39. Jim R says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    If you can get Firefox, OpenOffice, Chrome, and others on board, I love this idea. I’ve never understood why OS design seems to be layered vertically, when most of us have horizontal monitors. I’d also like to see a way to get rid of the File, Edit menus, or at least collapse them to a button in the title bar (please don’t ever do a the Mac way with this… it’s unusable).

  40. Netich says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I like the idea. But i think it would be more effective if the number of possible windicators doesnt go too high. I would also order them in three categories: input, state, and output.
    - Input: user status, etc… (One think i would like to have in a future, is some kind of media pipes. Ie: You set one application to export something, and in other one, you use it as an input)

    -State: save/load state, paused/resume, etc..

    -Output: volume, sync, transfers, etc…

    The difference between what can be an windicator or not, should be if it can be used in several applications with the same behaviour.

    Keep the good work!

  41. funk says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    why not follow the “less is more” approach not only on the user interface level, but one layer beneath it as well? as an indication why this could become a benefit, operating systems must take care of the hardware and share resources. this is done by linux already. as a user i don’t want to think about this.

    why not make ubuntu fully hypertext? the whole user interface? an easy start could be to change the windowmanager into an living, permanent wiki. you have templates where windows can be placed.

    but one layer beneath it, comparable to D-BUS, linux could pave the way for a new approach to computing: do it model based. We describe models, we describe interfaces, we take great pain to enable interoperation and composition. today, all processes begin “tabula rasa”, they import libraries and have to build up their own interfaces, with their own quirks, with all the differences that can’t easily be unified.

    my idea is something like “indicator menus”, but not only with menus (one particular user interface widget). when i think about what i want to do with a computer, i have a “model” of that. today, i have to translate it into all the different user interfaces. but what if in the future applications provide mental models of their capabilities at first? of course, when you start with the model, you might start with application logic, a mental model, not tangible on it’s own, but on that base you could as a next step create conventional menus, indicators, “pie menus”, hypertext interfaces, but also models for visually impaired people, or gateways to use the system remotely and so on and so on.

    what do i really think, what is my underlying motivation? i find linux is too cumbersome. it is too difficult to create a simple system on top of it. and that quite possibly will remain a major problem. but with the advent of model-based computing – that originally has nothing to do with hardware, only with “application logic” – we can step above the ubiquitous hardware interface and create a connectivist layer of interoperable processes, ideas, and typical use cases, profiles to make that accessible. a highly practical system, focusing free software on accessability.

    “operating system” is not about hardware sharing anymore, but about building bridges in a networked world. creating and polluting links. today, things can’t really work together – or put another way: only developers do that with sites like github and launchpad. why not make that accessible to the user as well?

  42. Jason Allen says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    As per a previous opinion, I too feel that the panel is already too cluttered and wide, especially for small size screens such as netbooks (and smartpads *grin*) Combining application state icons and system state icons into a single panel will make the right-side of the panel VERY busy and even more cluttered, not to mention taking space from application name and opens applications.

    I believe that the Google Android team have really got it right in this space, and we would do well to take a good look and how they action system and application states, and borrow from them. The panel icons should be uniform and purposefully, and used by both system and application alike. Have a set of 8-12 icons that is used by system and applications alike. Change from monotone to green/red/blue and for 5 secs or so, show that state change description in teh centre of the panel and then disappear. I can then click on the panel to get a drop down timeline history of all icon states and their descriptions, and be able to dismiss them individually or as a whole.

  43. Michael Mulqueen says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Looking good. I’m not sure about the app drawing the frame though… It seems like something that should be delegated to the window manager. I bet it would be easier to standardise and use over multiple desktop environments that way.

    Have you heard of Evolus Pencil? It’s an open source alternative to Balsamiq (and it’s more usable on netbooks, because it’s faster). URL: http://www.evolus.vn/pencil/Home.html

  44. JP says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    In my opinion this all introduces far more problems than it solves. Most importantly, the benefits simply do not justify the mess that is introduced by moving the windows controls from the right to the left: this is something extremely basic in the GUI interaction process and extremely hard to adapt to after years of having them on the right.
    Also, as long as Ubuntu is the only distro doing this it will not only affect people who need to adapt once, but anyone who has to switch between computers with different distributions or OS .. and that is a lot of people.
    I need not reiterate all the problems others have explained here with the indicators themselves and I think there are even more which were not mentioned yet (or I did not read them), for example how to deal with an inflation of strange symbols there, potentially with a different set for different windows. What if the space is not sufficient, how to divide space between a long/cut-off title and all those indicators? Why confuse people with alternate ways of doing the same (e.g. volume control in the app window and window title bar).

    Will this always remain a choice or will some functionality only work with the new way? How will this then play together with running the same program on other distributions or OS?

    From my point of view there would be a lot of other things to improve in Ubuntu or Linux in general … in comparison I do not see the priority or usefulness of this at all.

  45. Ankit Tulsyan says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    WOW!!!

    That a very scary (yet promising) plan…Best of luck Mark.

  46. mrmcq2u says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Couldn’t you have a settings windicator which would open up a drop down list containing the menu bar? That would make the applications look 100 times better in my view.

  47. Monkey Biz says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Rather worried that Ubuntu is becoming the new Ximian. This isn’t a Good Thing.

  48. Tajidin says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    this is all good concepts i hope you be willing to push this upstream to Gnome esp since Gnome 3.0 wants to be more social site oriented. What about that i think the Offline/online, unsaved, and sharing indicators would be good. Please do think about pushing such concepts upstream so that the whole Linux ecosystem can benefit

  49. Ben Collins says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Hey Mark,

    I like the move to help save vertical space. One of the things I hated on netbooks was the lack of vertical space to perform actions. The status bar at the bottom, and duplication of a panel+title bar from the app left very little for the content.

    One thing I think should be kept in mind is that tablets will be causing a shift from landscape to portrait use (something we haven’t seen in wide spread use since the rotating monitors for desktop publishing). How will you handle the narrower width of the title/panel bar when a device is dynamically switched to portrait mode?

  50. Jarko says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I actually submitted this kind of idea in smaller scale to http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/21080/. I like the basic concept but what worries me is that how the average computer user reacts to this. We already have (many) indicator applets in panels and I’m not sure if adding more little icons to clutter the user interface even more is a good idea. But if it’s done someway less disturbing way we might actually have nice standardized indicators.

  51. Sinax » Blog Archive » Ubuntu 10.04 – Switching back the window button layout says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    [...] length on the Ubuntu Forums. I’d recommend giving the new layout a try, especially with the new exciting work being done with the Ayatana [...]

  52. Mike Clarke says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I think that this is a really great thing that is happening here. I love the fact that someone is actually stepping back and trying to come up with a better way, rather than just rehashing what went before. This is a great innovation, and I’m sure that there will be many more to come.

  53. Narfss says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    ¿Anyone remember the function of “status bar”?

  54. Sandeep says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    There is another way to achieve the same thing, without the complex re-engineering required for “client side window decorations”.
    I have made mockups for them – http://sandeep.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/alternative-wireframes-for-ubuntu-windicators/

    In short, let the window controls and buttons stay as they were (pre-lucid). The left side button – the window control menu – will glow/shine when the application window has updated a status.
    Clicking on the window control button will show a drop down that has (in addition to the “To Desktop”,”Resize”, “Maximize”, etc.) an alerts subsection. Clicking on the events in the alerts subsection will behave exactly the way windicators work in the above design.

    Cons: rather than have all indicators in front of you at all times, you have to take the bother of clicking the window control button (or press alt-spacebar).
    Pros: My mother doesnt need to be puzzled about what the green shiny button is supposed to indicate, in the drop down, I can have text as well as an icon.

  55. Eugene says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    To increase vertical space you need to make beautiful default theme without so big fonts and paddings everywhere(buttons/windows decoration/etc)

  56. Dmitry Kann says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    1. I suggest a ‘Related app launcher’.

    One might want to launch OpenOffice Calc from within Writer, or switch to it once it’s running.

    2. File attachment indicator for Mail Compose dialog, which would also allow picking up a file to attach.

    3. Password control in archive creator, which would allow to enter/reset archive password for the current session.

    4. Shuffle and repeat controls for media players.

    And LBNL, how about tons of indicator in OpenOffice.org Writer, for instance? Language, Insertion mode, Current page number etc. Do you really plan to get rid of them all?

  57. Børge A. Roum / forteller says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    This sounds very interesting, I’m excited about the possibilities! But I don’t like the idea of having the per application volume indicator as a windicator. I’d much rather have it integrated in the normal volume indicator, like in this Brainstorm (with mockup): http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/24146/

  58. George Brooke says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I’m not sure if this is possible currently, but how about an input method windicator icon so that different keymaps/IMs can be used in an obvious way across individual applications.
    As I say I’m not really sure how realistic this is within the current setup (or even if there is a way to do this already) as for now I’m just uing a simple keyboard shortcut but I do find myself typing in the wrong alpahbet sometimes, say when switching between empathy and openoffice.

  59. Flavio says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I’m an app developer (Qt) and I’m taking a different approach. I keep the status bar for messages and display tips when you hover UI elements. Also I put status “options” on the right of the status bar, so I can get rid of “preferences” dialogs completely. For example, a mail client that needs an “offline” option will get a checkable button (or icon) on the status bar.

  60. Hmm says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    +∞ for putting the application-specific audio mixer controls in the application’s title bar! That is a much, much better solution than putting them inside an external PulseAudio mixer control app, and, I think, better than Windows and OS X. Maybe Linux is capable of innovation after all. ;)

    This would also allow for an “iconize” button that converts the application into an applet form, rather than abusing the Minimize or Close buttons to do the same thing, while still pleasing the people who think the notification area should only be for “proper” notifications.

  61. Jonathan Blackhall says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    As far as the comment above about multiple volume icons, it would be cool if they would collapse onto one another in a “global menu” context, such that in the Global menu, there’s one volume icon that displays the system volume and also a per-application volume underneath. Otherwise, though, a volume icon in windicators would be cool.

  62. Windicators, primeras ideas para Ubuntu 10.10 | Ayuda Linux says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:47 pm

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  63. Swift says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    It would be great, if there will be one huge theme-dependant common pool of monochrome icons for all common menus, like “File”, “Edit”, “View”, “Help”, and hundreds other possible cases. It’s ok if many of them will be just duplicates, I only wish them to be exactly the same for all applications.

    It would be really horrible, if every app would come with a new and unexpected way to represent the same idea photographically. Like it was in MS Word – you click on magnifying glass, and get “print preview” instead of “search”, like you expected. And in another app you click it again, an get “help”, for no reason, except “some designer guy feels like it”. Really, really annoying.

    The minimum I really want is “replacement icons for all the first level menus in all standard Ubuntu applications”.

  64. jug says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    The concept of indicator icons in the title bar sounds interesting, although I‘m not sold yet. But could you elaborate on the technical details?

    > » We are moving the rendering of the window decorations into the app itself, so that you don’t have the window manager and application drawing those pieces separately. That simplifies certain things (of course it also makes some things harder). «

    You mean duplicating the rendering of window decorations? In each and every application? Really?? Are you serious? That enlarges the code base of every application. Gives developers the opportunity to change the visual appearance of the application (bye bye themes). And what about other desktop environments? Fluxbox? KDE SC? Will these applications have duplicate decorations? In the end Developers will have to choose to support ubuntu or not – the majority of distributions will still use separate decorators. I see a dead end for ubuntu. So will canonical start patching and patching lots and lots of applications – ie. WASTE TIME?!

    Why don’t you implement a service/daemon and extend the window decorator functionality with an api that enables communication between the decorator and the application? Of course applications have to implement this, but that sounds times and times easier (and cleaner in terms of software design), than drawing decorations?

    Clarification is definitely needed.

    ~jug

  65. Hmm says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    “As for an ‘unsaved’ indicator, do you really want to continue supporting such an outdated metaphor? I think everyone would agree that users should never have to save manually; saving should be automatic. Instead, there should be a robust system of undo”

    Agreed. Saving is archaic. Everything should be saved automatically in the background, with version control, so that you can “undo” even after closing the application or turning off the computer. There should be no “unsaved changes” dialog preventing reboot, since all application’s states will persist after reboot. The “Save” button should behave more like a “Commit” or “Milestone”, allowing you to flag a particular revision for future reference.

    It is a sin to waste the user’s time, break the user’s train of thought, or lose the user’s work.

  66. Убунтариум / [Перевод] Оконные индикаторы в Убунту « Мой новый блог says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:55 pm

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  67. Andrew says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    “Less chrome, more content” is a great principle. Is there any hope for reclaiming some of the (seemingly fixed) vertical space used by GTK? Tabs, for example, have lots of empty space that I can’t find any way to shrink — my guess is that they’re leaving space for CJK characters that need more vertical space. All this means is that no matter how small I make my fonts, I still can’t see the OK/Cancel buttons on many windows on Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my eeePC.

    I realize that this can’t be an easy thing to fix, but it would go a long way to making Ubuntu more usable on small screens, as well as improving the visual appeal of GTK apps.

  68. Alex says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I hope that the progress indicators interoperate with KDE’s progress indicator system, much like the application indicators interoperate with KDE’s new system tray spec. It might be a little more difficult, and it may require action on KDE’s part, but I think the result will be well worth it.

  69. Nilesh Trivedi says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Good idea. However, I still think giving the app the control of the window title bar may not be such a good idea. The window title bar is expected to be controlled by the OS and has to be functional even if the app is crashed / misbehaving.

    Instead of having the app draw the title bar, how about coming up with standard ways of all these status indicators (using DBus, perhaps) and Gnome controlling the windicators? This maintains a clean separation of responsibility and also will be compatible with existing apps. In some cases, like app-specific volume control, the app wouldn’t need to do anything at all. The system (pulseaudio daemon in this case) will enable all these indicators on a consistent basis.

  70. Mackenzie says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    When KDE users run GNOME apps, the GNOME apps are themed to fit in on their KDE desktop properly. Will KDE users now have an extra step to get this to be seamless? KWin will no longer be able to enforce matching titlebars, right? So will this go into the GTK theme (something KDE is already pretty good at overriding) then?

    I’m curious to see how this will affect users like me–the weirdos who use tiling window managers. I do not normally have any titlebars at all (unless something is broken… switching between Compiz and Xmonad on the fly can get a bit odd).

    @Flavio:
    Please oh please say you’re referring to adding an online/offline button to KMail/Kontact? I used to use Evolution, and I miss the one-click online/offline mode.

  71. Max E. says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    For once, a really good idea!

    Although, what about windows that are minimized? I think in that case, notification icons should go in the window switcher applet. That would be sort of like what Apple tried to do, but without all the ambiguity.

  72. Ralph Corderoy says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Was thought given to the app having a child window of the window manager’s title bar so that it renders its stuff in there but the WM still gets to do all the normal furniture drawing and event processing?

    (Also, the Akismet link in the “Leave a Reply” section is broken.)

  73. Gonçalo Fernandes says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    If I’m posting this in the wrong place, oops, I’m sorry.

    Anyway, it seems logical that the Me Menu and the Messaging Menu should be the same applet.
    They relate, after all, to the same applications. One controls the status and provides launchers to configure accounts, the other one notifies the user for new messages.

    If a user doesn’t use those applications at all, he/she should have the ability to remove the whole applet without losing the shutdown/logout menu and sound control.

    On the other hand, when a user clicks the applet, all the options become available (in the sense that the user is not required to click again to show an adjacent menu). This would make more sense for related tasks.
    Unfortunately, the volume control is horizontal now. So when I click on it and then try to set volume, I cannot move the mouse diagonally because when I get there the volume control is gone and the Messaging Menu is there instead. I have to move the mouse down and then to the right.

    I think it’s fair to say Ubuntu is the most user-friendly OS out there. Now it’s coming to a critical stage: it’s not just a prettier Debian system that works out of box; it’s changing the way the user interacts with the computer. I think you are well aware that some (many) people are averse to change and you still continue to do what you think is right. So keep up the good work.

  74. Claudio says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Do what you want Mark…..i trust you….don’t forget to change the system icons and the sound themes please…..long life to Ubuntu!

  75. Mark Curtis says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Everyone is excited about sound. So there will be the volume indicator, the volume windicator and the applications existing volume level? I thought Ayatana was about removing clutter?

    Why exactly did this require the close/maximize/minimize buttons on the left?
    Why couldn’t the buttons have remained where they were and the “Windicators” up against them on the left?
    Look at the existing top bar, going from right to left, it’s shutdown, me menu, clock THEN indicator applet.
    For consistency it should have Close (shutdown) Maximize/Minize (status of window like me status), then the Windicators.

  76. Roland Taylor says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I like the new ideas! I’m all for it. Bravo thinking Mark ^^ (this time, I’m actually happy with your plans). I’m also please to see you NOT mentioning GNOME Shell as a part of the default desktop (tho a Dual Distro (one with shell, one without) would be just as fine to me)…

    Anyway, great ideas with the application indicators and stuff, I’ll look forward to applications using them. Now if only we can get Mozilla to play along with the advancements in Linux technology. Seems currently their only interest is in making Faildows 7 look good, which in my opinion is a recipe for disaster on their part.

  77. Dylan McCall says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Well, I’ve wanted this for a while, so I’m looking forward to it. Also, the more we borrow from Chrome’s UI design, the happier I am. We need to move away from GUIs where copious quantities of empty space are “reserved” for unimportant elements “just in case.” (And I was ranting about status bars somewhere… I don’t think they’re ever used properly, if they even have a defined use at this point).

    It isn’t entirely clear to me in your post: are these indicators explicitly requested by the client (owning the window itself), or does the client just provide some data it has handy and an external application fills the space?

    Are there thoughts for whether this will affect the window list somehow?

    One other thing: your last mockup screamed “visual overload” to me. Obviously it’s an extreme case, but one thing that could solve it is separating the different types of indicators on the panel. I’m obsessed with white space, so how about some of that? :)

  78. steve says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Another interesting idea, thank you for sharing

  79. Sanket Totewar says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Remarkable…
    We could go a step forward to make Winappindicators. [Integrated application indicators within Windows].
    Thus, we will be able to pause/play music with a click, when working on an odt document.
    And know status of a download while playing a game by just hovering on an Winappindicator (Duh! It’s too big a name).
    This will be a lot of work though. But we could ask application developers to provide plugins/scripts.
    What say?

  80. Bit says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I like the idea, however, keeping the window controls on the left seems better to me, if sheerly because most users would be familiar with that. Don

  81. Dmitrijs Ledkovs says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I didn’t read *all* comments but with the volume control windicator should collapse with semantic indicator when maximazied. When you click on it you should get two sliders: one for system sound one for the maximazed app.

  82. Kirill Kabardin says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Mark, please, please, pay attention to these 2 comments:

    http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/333/comment-page-1#comment-327145
    http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/333/comment-page-1#comment-327150

    I totally agree with these guys. And in addition, rendering window decorations by application does not seems right from architectural point of view. What if you need to change something in the future? You’ll have to patch all applications all over again, instead patching one thing (decorator or service/daemon or whatever).

    Your idea is interesting, so please don’t let it be ruined by dirty realization.

  83. Carlos says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I don’t like much the idea, I prefer this:

    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_FJH0hYZmVtc/S6OV9spsmrI/AAAAAAAAGs8/gsGg0OnhUtg/image_thumb%5B2%5D.png?imgmax=800

  84. Innocent Bystander says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Hi,

    I like the idea proposed by Sandeep. Put all the new stuffs in a dropdown menu that you open by clicking the application icon at the left of the window titlebar. There will be text and icons. For people who are not interested, they are not distracted by all the new options.

    I understand the Winicators is an innovation Canocical is excited about. But I am afraid in case of success, you will run into the systray syndrom in the Window world. You may end up with so many icons that at the end you will have hard time to focus on the ones which are important to you.

  85. Jon Trott says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Long-time Ubuntu user… and I like 10.04 so far (though did experience one completely unexplained hard crash / shutdown).

    Re the Window indicators… As a moderately well-informed end user, I’d warn developers to be careful re too much eye candy. All those extra buttons… by default I’d have ‘em turned OFF. Give the user the option to turn on only the ones she/he wants. (I’d probably have them all turned off, frankly, though the wisdom of an “unsaved file open” button is easily understood.)

    Re the move of close/maximize/minimize buttons to the left… I thought this would be irritating. Actually, I notice I move the mouse less with them there than I did when they were on the right hand side. So… thumbs up from this user on that redesign, no matter what the reasoning was.

    And finally… thank you and thanks to all the developers who make Ubuntu such a GREAT operating system.

    Sincerely,
    Jon Trott
    Chicago, Illinois

  86. Windicators, primer concepto para Ubuntu 10.10 says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:58 pm

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  87. Stapel says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Mark, regarding the two volume indicator issue that Liam raised. Perhaps another viable option is to only display the application’s volume indicator. When you are using a particular application, you are most probably only concerned with the volume output for that application. If you minimize that application the panel volume indicator would again reflect the volume status for the overall system.

    Mark Shuttleworth:A counter-argument would be that you might urgently want to lower the volume of the non-maximised applications, which are hidden, if something starts playing there which distracts you from the maximised app you are focused on.

  88. Jay says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Where and when were the “semantic colors” established for indicator icons? In the mailing list, on the wiki? This is the first I’ve heard of them — I just thought the messaging menu icon turned green when you had a new message, and it seemed a rather arbitrary choice.

    I would love to see a proper Ayatana blog, rather than having to crawl through the mailing list archives to keep up with them.

  89. Tim Cole says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I wonder whether “windicator” is really the best name for the feature:

    http://www.gundealeronline.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=EAAWINDICATOR

    Mark Shuttleworth: Ouch. But I do like ” Simple, reliable, durable, accurate, and affordable.”

  90. Giancarlo Corzo says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Another icon you can put in the windicator is if a you are login or not. This is useful for APP that required login to function.

  91. D says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    This is all well and good for netbooks, but what about standard desktop space saving? Two gnome-panels by default is really clogging up my screen. I have flirted with Docky as a replacement and various “intelli-hide” options but none are really satisfactory.

    I would like to see general screen space saving incorporated into this (very promising looking) concept.

  92. Richard Tango-Lowy says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I would have put the window controls on the right and windicators on the left for the following reasons:

    1. Most people are right handed, and even many of us lefties use the mouse with our right hands. It’s biomechanically easier to move the mouse to the upper right corner than the upper left and the window controls will be used more frequently than the windicators.

    2. Eye scanning begins at the upper left of a window. The windicators impart more visual information than the window controls, so they should be place where your eyes will be most likely to notice them.

    Mark Shuttleworth: Those are both good arguments. However, for the moment, my view is that the pattern of “indicators on the right, applications on the left” (and by applications, I mean launching and quitting apps) is more persuasive. But I do see the point, and expect people will engineering things to be configurable. I’m just expressing the way I think it will be in the default Ubuntu configuration.

  93. Window indicators in arrivo con Ubuntu 10.10 says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:50 pm

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  94. Pep says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Really, you go to move one bar with suck icons into one bar for aplications with suck icons…

    Its not a good idea…

    You could delete the title and put the _ [] X buttons in the menu bar… It gains a lot of space…

  95. Jon says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Triple-monitor user here.

    How will this operate on multiple monitor setups when maximized? If the default behavior is to put the window-specific notification icons in the system panel when the window is maximized, that could get quite confusing. This will especially be true when the window is maximized on the secondary (or tertiary) screen.

    I imagine the easiest way to handle this would be to detect whether the monitor on which the app is maximized is a non-primary monitor and have it draw its own panel at the top, but I wonder how consistent this would look, especially in the context of the above comments about (e.g.) volume icons.

    Mark Shuttleworth:Off the cuff, I’d say the window indicators should be displayed wherever the application title / menu is displayed, in the maximised case. And that should be configurable.

  96. Sandeep Giri says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    When we are talking about the window panel icons, why not have pause/play buttons next to “Close Window” and “Minimize Window” icons?
    It would be like pressing CTRL+Z and typing “fg”. It would be really helpful. If an application is too intensive on RAM/CPU, I would pause it rather then closing it if I need to do something.

    All I am suggesting is there would be no need of closing a window afterwards.

  97. Jimbo says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    > “Saving is archaic. Everything should be saved automatically in the background, with version control, so that you can “undo” even after closing the application or turning off the computer. There should be no “unsaved changes” dialog preventing reboot, since all application’s states will persist after reboot. The “Save” button should behave more like a “Commit” or “Milestone”, allowing you to flag a particular revision for future reference.

    It is a sin to waste the user’s time, break the user’s train of thought, or lose the user’s work.”

    +1! That sounds aweeeesome!!

  98. Akerka says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Too much padding around the controls, especially in the navigation bar. In particular, the navigation bar in Nautilus is huge, because it consists of the standard buttons. It should make a special control, as in Windows – a thin, looks like a string, but still maintaining the functionality of the buttons.

  99. Alison Pitt says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Finally, much awaited details on the right-hand side of the titlebar!

    I’m disappointed, though, to hear that this scheme will only be used for UNR. If you believe that it’s the right thing to do, why not implement across the book? We should be interested on saving screen real estate in all cases! As a widescreen lappy user, I find that many “netbook” tweaks work better on my machine, despite the fact that I don’t (nor do I want to) use UNR.

    A couple other questions:
    - I will go as far as assuming that the windicators will be shown on the active window only? Otherwise, it feels like a lot of clutter on the window decs. Or will they be hidden unless used, e.g. the notification area in Win XP?

    - Also, will “windicators” eliminate the panel notification icons? If so, how will you set global options? If not, will icons be necessarily repeated in the active window if no local option is set differently?

    Oh, and finally, thanks for ditching the status bar…Disabling it in everything I can is one of the first tweaks I make in Ubuntu :)

    Mark Shuttleworth: Hiding them on non-focused windows is an interesting idea, we should kick the tires on that as I can see arguments both ways. The window indicators don’t replace panel indicators – they complement them. There are some interesting cases where you might get direct mappings, and handling those will be the focus of the discussion, I bet. For example, sound-in-app and sound-for-the-system, especially in the maximised window case.

  100. Shuttleworth: “Window Indicators” sollen den Desktop aufräumen – Balkoncam Blog says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    [...] Indicators” hat sich hier im aktuellen Ubuntu 10.04 schon so manches getan, in einem Blog-Eintrag diskutiert Ubuntu-Gründer Mark Shuttleworth nun aber ein weiteres Puzzlestück im eigenen Bestreben zur [...]

  101. Windicators – Ubuntu Meerkat Innovation Starts Here [Updated] - A Collection of Latest Happening in Technology Field says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    [...] For the netbook edition the Windicators would merge with the panel indicators when a window is maximised. Mark Shuttleworth’s blog post explains this idea in much greater detail so make sure you take a look! [link] [...]

  102. Why you should not use client-side window decorations… « Martin’s Blog says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    [...] finally I know who had the idea of client side decorations: it’s Canonical. Why didn’t I think of it before? I have been aware of the fact that GTK wants to do [...]

  103. Michael Hall says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Rather than integrating windicators in a client-side window decoration, how about providing the information to DBus the way other indicators do. That way Metacity/Compiz can decide to use them as windicators, or the task list in gnome-panel, or cairo-dock, or awn, or whatever can decide to use them like the Windows7 “Jump List”.

    Mark Shuttleworth: Yes, you’re right, that’s the right approach. I wasn’t clear, CSD provided the *inspiration* for giving that space back to the application, but this should be supportable with standard themes and window managers that watch d-bus.

  104. Luke has no name says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I’m not sure I’m in favor of this.

    1) This pretty much sounds like moving an application’s toolbar up one level to the title bar. I don’t think apps should have control of what goes in this “windicator” area. The title bar should be under the control of the system; its authoritative domain should be the system, not the app. Just as most applications have “Minimize, Maximize, Close”, which are buttons that interact with the larger desktop/system, I think anything in the title bar area should be very generic tasks that have to do with system interaction (aka Sound). See point (4), the application sound access could be made easier and more useful without some new infrastructure. I still am very skeptical of the benefit/cost ratio of this idea, in terms of implementation, transition, usefulness, and usability.

    2) The elimination of the persistent status bar is alright with me. Chrome’s implementation of having it as an overlay is great.

    3) I don’t think I’ve heard anyone from the Canonical design team talk extensively about their plans with GNOME Shell. This is an important topic to bring up for users who wish to comment. As so many have stated, Shell’s UI direction seems very different from Canonical’s, who is implementing their own additions to the GNOME 2 environment.

    4) On that note, I suggest something quasi-off topic: Make the taskbar ( The window list) act like Windows 7: Windows of the same application are grouped together, and potentially collapse-able. Also, Quick-start shortcuts (Panel shortcuts) are integrated with the Window List to reduce clutter. Allow the Volume Indicator to adjust all application’s volumes independently in the primary left-click drop-down.

    In closing: I understand the desire to reduce vertical clutter. Some of this can be done with some minor new features in the GNOME Panel applets/App Indicator tooling. A lot of it, though, comes down to the need for well-designed applications. Firefox and OpenOffice, for example, could have their default installations configured with trimmed down menus and vertical space.

    After customizing my Firefox toolbars, I’ve cut the better part of an inch ( 2 cm :] ) from its display by getting rid of the bookmarks toolbar and putting [ File toolbar, navigation buttons, URL bar, Search bar] ALL on one horizontal bar. Simple changes like this in the default install will achieve much of the “Vertical conservation” goal without new infrastructure.

  105. Robert says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Volume is great now add some video control, windicators for aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9, Zoom, Stretch etc.), resolution (640×480, 720p, 1080p etc.), subtitles (on, off etc.)… :)

  106. Aigars Mahinovs says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I was sceptical when the window controls moved, but you took the concerns seriously and made sure that old themes stay on the right. This and the fact that you are aware of all the potential pitfalls of this design idea, makes me trust you that you will at least try to handle them well.
    That said food for thought:
    * what will we do about themes or users that want to have window control buttons on the right?
    * if we add a window control for per-app sound level control, would it not be logical to also add a keyboard shortcut for current app volume up, down and mute?
    * thinking in this line, shouldn’t there be other related keyboard shortcuts for other windicator actions, that should have unified shortcuts?
    * for the netbook edition, don’t forget that there can be multiple apps running and their icons would be awfully close the to the ‘close’ window control in the above screenshot

    P.S. You forgot to mention that crosshairs windicator that looks like ‘this app is using location-services to determine your current location’ and is green because you allowed that and the app got a lock on your location. I really like that idea. Volume control could be the best first test windicator, to test all this.

  107. rob says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    As I understood indicators they shall show what’s going on within an application even if the app-frame is not visible. An example would be brasero, which shows via an indicator icon how far it is burning a CD/DVD. Other example: deluge which provides a blinking symbol showin that a download is finished.
    The whole point is, that it is not necessary for the application to be visible, nevertheless providing useful information to the user. Putting those indicator onto the application frame contradicts this.

    Maybe I’m confusing something but I personally think, that it’s a good idea to put indicators onto the application frame…

  108. lelamal says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Food for thought: http://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/2010/05/why-you-should-not-use-client-side-window-decorations/

  109. Paul Firth says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Hi,

    I’m afraid I’ve also not yet had chance to read all the comments so apologies if this has been suggested before but how about an indicator which appears when any data is in the cut / copy / paste buffer (possibly with the option to select which data is pasted into the application).

    Thanks,
    Twig.

  110. Cody Russell says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Regarding Thomas Leonard’s comment: Hi, I’m Cody as Mark mentioned I’m working on the code for the decorations. We can still deal with the issues of moving windows when the application freezes, it just means that window managers need to be changed slightly to deal with this but it’s not a huge problem. Could you explain more about the security concerns? If you’ll be at UDS next week then you should track me down, otherwise send me an email and I’d be happy to discuss it with you.

  111. Seamless Serb says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Windicators, good one. Now call yourself Pun-evolent Windicator FOREVAH :)

    But seriously, I have to say, duplicating indicators, big no-no. Is our computing experience being simplified or complicated with this exercise? Consistency, please. Ideas with center and focus.
    And this,
    “I’m on a ‘less is more’..”
    Lemme tell you. Less is enough. Everyone knowns that. But identical indicators in windows and panels are not “less”.

    Btw, good job this 10.4. I’m thinking of filing a bug or two, and other things :) well now that I actually use it. But I’ve done something to UNE. I installed it on my 15.4” screen notebook. So I was curious. Then I got rid of the top panel (with grayed out options and that), brought back Gnome’s two panels, but kept the netbook desktop, disabled the gluteus maximus program :) or whatever it’s called, the thing that maximizes windows by default… I have something now. Ngubuntu? Anyway. 9.10 was so god awful. This is good no matter what I do to it on the interface level. And that’s my point. I understand the thinking, or rather the motive behind all these GUI level changes and attempts at changes. But lipstick on a pig won’t succeed no matter what. Ubuntu must first work to have a good solid system underneath. I’m happy to see it’s going there. I would dare recommend it to people such as it is now. I don’t know what will happen in the fall though :)

    But this is why I really write here and not someplace in some forum… It’s offtopic but I wonder about it. If I were in the Linux business I’d be in Greece right now. Or maybe Portugal, and even Spain. Unless they have some corporate strings attached to their bailout schemes.. which isn’t all that far fetched now that I think about it.. but it seems to me the time will never be so right for Linux to go after the public sector and not just on the server side either.

  112. Mutiny32 says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    So are those drawings the result of yanking GIMP from the default Ubuntu install? But honestly, I’m not too keen on the design, but I’m also the type of person who hates to have different foods touching on his plate. You know what I’m talking about. Keep the ketchup and veggie juice out of my macaroni and cheese.

    Oh, now I see. It took me awhile to understand what was going on with those pictures. Well, good luck with your goulash.

    One thing I’m not clear on is the bottom bar. Is it going to still be there? If it is, then if I were you, I’d figure how to eliminate that first. Two bars has always been the biggest nuance with Gnome to me. mintMenu solves that pretty well. Too bad you couldn’t expand on their idea instead.

  113. bastafidli says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    As a technical person I like the idea, but as a person who supports many non technical people, I think it is possibly a step in wrong direction. It introduces one more area where controls/indicators/status is and to which user has to pay attention.

  114. Djeizon Barros says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    The first thing I did when installing Lucid was to move back the titlebar buttons on the right side. I tried, and I can’t seem to get used to the right side, and I have closed many applications by accident when I was going to access “File” menu. However, I think your ideas are great. I have switched from Firefox to Chrome with no regrets because they have cut so much chrome off the screen, the overlap thing is revolutionary. As for the windicators, they would be great at the left side :-) At least a button to toggle sides, from the default.

  115. Scott Ritchie says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    I don’t understand why you the window controls were moved to the left if this was your plan, in particular the close button. The top panel indicators are all to the left of the standard controls like the Power menu, which is its own sort of “system close” button.

  116. Guiodic says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Fantastic idea. But … are you sure all these feature will be ready for 10.10?

  117. blankthemuffin says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    While we’re on the track of vertical space, can we fix nautilus please. :) There’s been talk if a UI overhaul forever but nothing seems to have materialised.

  118. Sorpigal says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:25 am

    This is all very nice as far as it goes but the danger with any ‘new’ design is that it blindly throws away value that exists in current designs simply because the designers don’t know all of the real uses of current designs, or because they discount the value of those uses.

    For example, the three listed uses of the status bar are indeed three common uses. A fourth use that is not mentioned: Non-transient status information, such as current page and line number in a text editor/word processor. You cannot put that kind of data usefully into an icon and hiding it behind a submenu makes it nearly useless. This example is real and represents the tip of a dangerous iceberg which one risks hitting any time a radical design decision is made.

    You cannot simply say “This is a great design because the ten problems I set out to solve, I solved.” You can create a decent system that way but you are not likely to create a system that is good enough that it should replace the status-quo (this is also the mistake, incidentally, made by people who try to revise the FHS by fiat). In order to be as good as the existing system you must address *all* uses of the existing system, especially the uses you do not replicate well or are inferior in your system. Talking up why it’s good is fine but talking about how it deals with the areas where it is weak is far more valuable.

    Until someone sits down and works through how it fails I do not see that you can suggest that it’s worth writing even one line of code. If the design doesn’t stand up to criticism even on paper then there is probably a serious flaw with it. Again, that may be okay for a brand new system but you’re agitating for replacing something that already exists. The burden of proof is on *you*.

    I don’t think Ubuntu has the power to coerce developers to make use of an Ubuntu-specific API for an Ubuntu-specific UI element of questionable value to anyone and no value to non-Ubuntu users. Either push this idea at the toolkit level and adopt it when it’s ready or be prepared to maintain a hefty patchset.

    Mark Shuttleworth: You’re absolutely right that there are elements of status bars that wouldn’t fit in window indicators. That’s particularly true in more complex applications like the word processor I guess you were describing :-) In that case, keep the status bar! My point is just that a lot of much simpler applications have status bars purely because there is an easy API call to make one, and it’s convention. Chrome and Chromium show that even critical applications can get by with less chrome – and no statusbar, so I see this more as a challenge to app designers. In some cases, it will work, in other cases it won’t. But if we eliminate even a few redundant status bars, we’ve cleaned things up a little.

  119. Gonçalo Fernandes says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I totally understand Scott Richie’s argument. That and the fact that lots applications, both native (like Opera and Chrome) and web based (like flash based apps) have window or tad controls on the right.
    But it makes sense on Ubuntu to have them on the right because the notifications show up on the upper right corner. Additionally, if you want an unspecified number of buttons, you have to place them on the right so the title of the window begins at a fixed location. There’s also another advantage of placing the controls on the left: windows are usually rendered from the upper left corner to the lower left corner; if, for some reason, the window is fit the screen, you can always access the controls to make it fit the screen (maximize button).

  120. Links 3/5/2010: Lubuntu 10.04 Released; Peppermint OS Reviewed | Techrights says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:17 am

    [...] Window indicators The Ayatana Indicators work has given us a crisp, clean basis for indicators in the panel. We’ve said they will all look a particular way, and behave a particular way. And we’ve said they will be placed on the right of the panel. [...]

  121. F. Fellini says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:45 am

    I find that the spastic placement or separation of window elements takes away from the usability of software. For instance in the days of 4:3 CRTs I found the gimp and photoshop really distracting with window elements separated unless I was running multiple monitors. I think that if the key beneficiaries are going to be users of devices with smaller screens (and everyone else as far as I am concerned) there needs to be:
    1. fewer indicators and/or intelligent context related indicators.
    2. Overlay indicators that go away on their own to reduce intrusion/obscuring relevant app content.
    3. Reduced/customizable levels of notification, rather than dump all kinds of icons and statuses.
    4. Remember that 20% of features useful to 80% users is not the same 20% that relevant for all users.
    Beyond my concerns, I wonder whether app relevant task menus are also going to the menu bar since that has been spoken about somewhere else?

  122. Hasan says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Windicators looks like a great research experiment in user interfaces. It’s starting to get over engineered at least in the design sketches.

  123. kersurk says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Is there been a discussion with Gnome developers? Are “windicators” planned to be upstreamed into Gnome?

  124. Deep link engine is a plugin that searches your post context for tags | Wholesale Christian Louboutin Heels says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:32 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Window indicators [...]

  125. Brian says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:36 am

    This idea reminds me of the “Clever Windows” concept video that came out for TOPAZ, early last year when work on the Gnome-shell was just starting. For reference, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsZvwyxJ9vk If you look at the 26 second mark in the video, the individual window can takes on all the properties of the top panel when it is maximized to full screen. This is very much like what you are suggesting being the case for netbooks, but I think it would be useful for the regular Ubuntu desktop to be able to maximize and merge the window and top panel as well.

    Likewise, you mentioned that your new global menu would only be used in the netbook version. Although that makes sense for the netbook version, since it uses maximized windows by default, but I think having the titlebar and menubar merged in non-maximized windows would also be nice, if anything just to save space. Alternatively, you could get programmers to slowly move away from using menus at all, and only use your menu-like windicators. For instance, if you could get Firefox and OO.o on board, get them to turn all their menus into standardized icons.

    One last idea: I think only the current active window should display windicators, both to distinguish the active window and for aesthetic appeal.

    My overall conclusion of your idea: Very Good — just do well in the execution!

  126. » I “Windicators” che cambieranno GNOME (forse) says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:40 am

    [...] “te lo do io il promemoria” Shuttleworth ha delineato quella che forse con un po’ di fortuna potrebbe diventare una caratteristica distintiva di [...]

  127. KenP says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Hi Mark, i am pretty sure you’ve been asked this enough times already but is there a direction for kubuntu from Canonical? All i hear is about Ubuntu and the Kubuntu guys seem to be playing a game of trying to catch-up.

    While the work on GNOME-buntu is commendable, why has KDE been left out in the cold? Surely, there are almost as many people out there who would readily choose a laptop/desktop pre-installed with Kubuntu — especially since it (as KDE’s reputation goes) mimics the ‘most popular OS’ ;)

    Is it just a matter of ‘not enough devs’ or is it something else?

  128. KenP says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Hi Mark, i am pretty sure you’ve been asked this enough times already but is there a direction for kubuntu from Canonical? All i hear is about Ubuntu and the Kubuntu guys seem to be playing a game of trying to catch-up.

    While the work on GNOME-buntu is commendable, why has KDE-buntu been left out in the cold? Surely, there are almost as many people out there who would readily choose a laptop/desktop pre-installed with Kubuntu — especially since it (as KDE’s reputation goes) mimics the ‘most popular OS’ ;)

    Is it just a matter of ‘not enough devs’ or is it something else?

  129. KenP says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Sorry for double posts above … the browser throws a network/tcp error while posting.

  130. Benjamin Humphrey says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Mark,

    Interesting idea and I’ll reserve final judgement till I see it in action, or some clearer definitions of what would go into the windicator space. I have a few thinking points, however:

    - Would having the windicators in the window border reduce the grab space for moving windows around?

    - Would removing the status bar get rid of the grab handle for resizing windows?

    - How are you going to have this work with upstream Gnome? Will application developers have to create two versions of their application, one for Ubuntu and the other for all other distros that use Gnome?

    - What will happen with Gnome Shell?

    - A lot of functionality that you’ve given as examples is present *in* the applications already. For example, the volume control. Most applications that create sound (except browsers) already have a volume control (Rhythmbox, VLC, Totem, Banshee). If we have this existing control + the windicator control + the panel volume icon, we’d end up with three potential ways for a user to simply change their volume.

    I understand the need to improve consistency across the board, but duplicating functionality that’s already common knowledge and fairly obvious isn’t the best way to go about it. It would make more sense to be able to control the volume of multiple apps from the panel volume icon. I think we should be centralizing more, not breaking things up. Gnome is filled with icons already, I don’t think adding more is a solution.

    - Also, why did you move the buttons to the left in an LTS, when there is nothing to replace them? Would it not have been better to wait until you had something to replace the space on the right, before moving the buttons?

    If you didn’t have this idea a few weeks ago, then perhaps it would have been wiser to wait a bit to move the buttons so you could actually give some reasoning. I’m sure if you did this, the backlash from the community wouldn’t have been nearly so great.

    As someone commented on the OMG! Ubuntu! article about this: “Almost as sane as a car manufacturer who decides to move the gas pedal to the left and install an additional pedal on the right for tuning the radio.”

    See you in Brussels next week :)

    Benjamin

  131. Kolbjørn Barmen says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I like to have the close window gadget on the right, and the rest on the right – this was what we had in the 80ies across most systems, and it was a good idea (keep the “dangerous” close button away from the rest).

    As for wasting space – back in the 80ies (again) we had an operating system that combined status bar, widgetbar, info bar, menu bar, strip bar… hohum.. all in one. The menu bar only showed up when pressing the right mouse button, and with the right mouse button pressed you could select multiple actions in the menu, to be sequently executed on release of right mouse button.

    The same operating system had various other features I’d love to see, such as on-the-fly creation of new virtual desktops, “screens”, for new apps that are launched, with individual resolutions, depths, colour themes etc. and being able to flip between the various screens using hotkeys or the screen depth gadget in the earlier mentioned screen bar. I miss the old days when user interfaces made sense.

  132. Upgrading to Lucid at the BITS Network - Danni at BITS says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 3:42 am

    [...] all you guys get upgraded to the all new, beautiful Lucid.  I am really excited at the directions Ubuntu is taking, and the next release, the Maverick Meerkat is expected to shake quite a few of our conceptions [...]

  133. Ray says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I glad to hear you want to help laptop users conserve vertical space. I think it’s a grand idea. Maybe you can use your influence to get this fixed. It been with us since Dapper.

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/187540

    This bug is damn near old enough to vote in dog years and everybody seems to want someone else to fix it.

    Fixing this will get 24 pixels of vertical space by moving the bottom panel to the right vertical side.

  134. Ray Lillard says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:34 am

    I glad to hear you are all about conservation of vertical space. I think it’s a grand idea. Maybe you can use your influence to get this fixed. It been with us since Fiesty, maybe Dapper. Fixing this will get 24 pixels of vertical space by moving the bottom panel to the right vertical side.

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/187540

    This bug is damn near old enough to vote in dog years and everybody seems to want someone else to fix it.

  135. Benji says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:52 am

    I think the most exciting aspect of this for me is letting applications paint their own borders.

    I’m imagining GTK+ could paint the borders itself, providing a seamless transition. Like Chrome, applications could make use of that space for something functional, leaving more room for the content.

    Windicators are also awesome, and I think that developers are mature enough now to use them wisely. I’m very excited about the possibilities here. It’s nice to see this kind of work going into Ubuntu. Incremental improvement is great, but every so often you need to go in there and shake things up, force everything to change and improve.

  136. Windicators, primer concepto para Ubuntu 10.10 « Todos Geek says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 5:43 am

    [...] a debatirse que se puede llegar a hacer con ese espacio que quedo vació y Mark Shuttleworth (desde su blog personal) nos presenta el concepto de Windicators (Windows [...]

  137. Something I should draw your attention to « SmSpillaz’ Blog says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 5:53 am

    [...] with a new way to use their influence to change the design of every open source project out there. Windicators. While I think that the idea is great in theory (per-window volume controls via pulseaudio [...]

  138. Antoine Martin says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 5:57 am

    This is one thing that used to be easier to do on MS Windows (albeit ugly and much more limited in scope).
    And despite this laudable effort, it is likely to remain so until *all* the distros, and the most commonly used window managers pick this up…
    Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long, because I think this is a great idea. It makes a lot of sense to keep the volume controls and such in a location that makes it more intuitive to the user.

    This is something which would be very useful to me.
    I have written a tool ([http://shifter.devloop.org.uk]) which allows you to suspend, resume and send windows to other desktops (apps running via NX, VNC or xpra), so my use case would consist of:
    * a button to suspend the window (it disappears but is still running on the server – which may be the same machine)
    * a button to kill the session (not essential) – this is used to kill the process, different from closing the window since this may not be running on the same machine
    * a button to send to another user, this should provide a drop down with a list of users, or alternatively call my code to take over.

    The real difficulty here is that the windows that my app control are not actually managed directly by the application: my application launches the NX client (or VNC or xpra) and from then on it is that process which will connect to the window manager.
    I would love to be able to overload this behaviour to allow my application to inject its own widgets into the client processes it launches. But I think this is going to be non-trivial?

    I actually filed a bug 6 months ago:
    http://shifter.devloop.org.uk/trac/ticket/24
    And I had little hope of seeing progress in this area, so thanks!

  139. Pawel K. says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:08 am

    As Mark Curtis said, why this change requires close, maximize, minimize buttons on the left? Lots of people wouldn’t propably use these windicators – but close, min and max buttons are used by everyone. So, IMVVVVHO, put windicators on the left, and put close min max back on the right, or at least try making a poll, in some months after Lucid release.
    Anyway, the idea of windicators is great. But it is important not to put too many of them, people would get confused :)

    Offtop 1: will 10.10 have Gnome Shell installed by default?
    Offtop 2: the new Radiance / Ambiance theme is great, but it is IMVHO too ’round’. Nautilus has too big controls, and too many of them – please try taking a look on nautilus-elementary.

    Regards,
    PK

  140. Antoine Martin says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:09 am

    sorry, messed up the link above (wiki style formatting..), here it is again:
    http://shifter.devloop.org.uk/

  141. Oliver says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Mark, when you shifted the window buttons to the left, I saw in second how much sense it made on a 16:10 display. I can’t imagine to put them back on the right again, because my mouse cursor is close to sidebars and program menus.
    And now you want me to drag my mouse into the middle-east again? ;)

  142. Dmitrii 'Mamut' Dimandt says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Let’s see. We have app menu, windicators ans system indicators crammed into one single panel? How can that be right? It’s a usability nightmare:

    - on a 17″ MacBook Pro some indicators still have to be hidden sometimes, because the app menu can be very long. And on a Mac those are just system indicators. Ubuntu will only increase their number. On a netbook more than half of those (w)indicators will be permanently hidden for the lack of screen estate.

    - since windicators are different for each app, the indicator area in the panel will always be changing, as some icons will disappear and others will jump into view as you move between apps. This will not only draw the user’s attention away, it will also confuse them.

    - if there’s a clean separation between system indicators and windicators, it will add to visual clutter and confusion, since the system will have to decide which icons to hide and which icons to show when there’s not enough space for (app menu + optional app title + windicators + system indicators)

  143. Veysel says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:45 am

    When talking about vertical space you generally emphasize netbooks. As 16:9 screens are getting more and more popular everyday, I think these kind of refinements will be very important also for notebooks.

  144. l3v1 says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Two problems. One: this “solution” always presumes a large horizontal resolution and, connectedly, presumes windows will be wide (you need space for all those icons in the titlebar after all). If you make some “smart” “hide icons”-style approach, then the whole thing will be very tiresome to use, and will miss the whole point of quickly glancing over icons in the title bar. Two: every window will have this, instead of one global place (be it in the tray or else), which is a non-necessar multiplication and could make a lot of burden on the window handling, e.g. on not the fastest computers drawing and handling windows could become noticably slower.

    Come to think about this a bit deeper, I don’t like the whole idea.

    I know it’s always easier to be nitpicky than coming up with usable ideas. If you’d really want to put all these stuff on/in the windows, I’d say the status bar area would be a better place to use, it’s not used for anything else useful anyway. Yes, I see you want to exterminate the status area, still.

  145. links for 2010-05-03 | The Akashic Field Chronicle says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth – Window indicators An interesting UI concept from the Ubuntu man himself. (tags: linux ubuntu interface usability ui) [...]

  146. Roumano says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Hi,
    I like this idea, very nice.

    It’s also be better, if can create some Ayatana plug-in :
    – For exemple, i will like to control the scheduling priority of the program (ake nice/renice command) and why not visualise the cpu used by the app.
    But i known this idea not be interesting all people, so plug-in extension will be great.

  147. Luis Davim says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Change metacity to use DBus instead -> http://smspillaz.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/something-i-should-draw-your-attention-to/

    Mark Shuttleworth: It would be perfectly possible for window managers to implement the Window Indicators protocol. So there is no sense in which this work is prejudicial to KDE or people who prefer to use a different window manager – they just need to hook into the window indicators conversation on d-bus and do the right thing with it.

  148. Michael says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 8:24 am

    It sounds a bit silly from a technical point of view to have the applications rendering the status icons themselves in the title bar but still needing to be able to have them rendered by the applet in the panel (whatever it is currently called). I realise that in practice the code will probably be shared, and that this will also force applications not to do too fancy things in the title bar that can’t be duplicated in the panel, but still. If you are going to have a mechanism to communicate with the panel applet, you might as well just make the window manager aware of it so that it can render those icons itself, rather than messing with all the client side rendering with its questionable benefits. This would also give you the flexability of letting the same basic functionality work in different shapes and contexts – I thought that was actually what you were doing with your “me” menus and things – rather than force a single choice on the user. A single default choice is good, but the user should be able to change the default if they do so wish, and that would make it much more paletable to various upstream people too.

    On the other hand, I have at least one personal usage case where client side rendering will be very useful (passing through guest windows from a virtual machine)…

  149. Mackenzie says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    KenP:
    Kubuntu devs have a bit of a policy that (with rare exceptions) means we don’t ship patches in KDE apps that haven’t been blessed by upstream KDE. So if some certain features are being implemented in GNOME in Ubuntu but those have not been approved (preferably, committed to svn) by upstream KDE, they don’t get implemented/shipped in Kubuntu either. We want to maintain a small delta versus upstream.

  150. morbius says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Interesting idea, but I doubt how truly useful it is, plus it could cause a lot of problems in technical implementation. There is very little need for online indicator any more, while all multimedia players will have sound volume scale in their GUI, not much need to have one in the window bar as well. Language indicator could be useful though, if app is working with text input. Again, will app be allowed to use its own icons that might clash with general Ubuntu theme? Will app controlled windows decoration clash with Emerald and other window decorators? Will they be visible on minimized windows? How will that work with docks? What will happen to the people that insist on keeping window control buttons on the right? So you see, there are a lot of possible issues with this.

  151. Ubuntu Netbook Edition bekommt globale Menüleiste à la Mac OS *UPDATE* | Netbooknews.de - das Netbook Blog says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    [...] an oder bieten Zugriff auf bestimmte Funktionen. Mehr Infos zu diesem Ansatz gibt’s in Mark Shuttleworths Blog [...]

  152. Shun Luk says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Hello Mark.

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for all your and Canonical’s hard work on making Ubuntu what it is today. 10.04 is a dream(although buggy with gwibber, but I suppose that will be patched soon).

    About the windicators, will application developers be allowed to choose their own windicators? I’m not sure if you already answered that in this update, however I believe it would be better and more intuitive for applications to have their own set of windicators, as opposed to replacing the whole GNOME-panel with it. In fact, I’m quite fond of my panel. :P

    On another unrelated note, I’ve noticed that all the UI updates are almost exclusively tied to GNOME(XFCE too to an extent, but I suppose that’s because it also uses GTK2?). Where’s the lovin’ for Kubuntu? I don’t use it, but it would be nice to see something to make Kubuntu unique compared to other Ubuntu systems.

  153. “windicators” « colossus says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    [...] einem gestern veröffentlichten Blogeintrag erklärt Mark Shuttleworth, wie man diesen neu geschaffenen Platz nutzen [...]

  154. Milan says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    So all drama about moving buttons on the left with changed order of buttons was because of this, right? But couldn’t “windicators” just be on the left side, what is so good about them being on the right side and not on the left… Will ubuntu have enough man power to do all this patching, over and over, for basic apps that come by default maybe but other apps will look like aliens, and ubuntu compared to other distros will look like alien…
    First that new notification daemon, then moving min/max/close to left and now this, sorry but I don’t see anything so revolutionary or inovative that other distros or app devs will want to implement.

  155. jargon says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    This is very disappointing. Is this what the buttons were moved to the left for? Extra volume controls? What’s the point? Every audio/video app already has its own volume control? It doesn’t make any sense at all to add a vol control to the titlebar of all places.

    And a lot of applications have status bars at the bottom, for no good reason other than it was that way in Windows 3.1.

    Baffling. A browser app like Firefox uses the status bar to reveal URLs on mouseOver. Something users are urged to do in anti-phishing advisories. In the browser’s status bar you also find transfer information, regarding the download of pages/objects. That’s what a *status* bar bar is for. With your “windicators” how will mouseOver URL revealing work?

    Progress indicators are another issue. You have progress indicators per browser tab or menu bar. What would I need it in the titlebar for? This is haphazard at best. And for what, for “5%” vertical screen space? Is that really Ubuntu’s most pressing issue? All this huge effort put into moving buttons for more buttons no one even asked for, adding complexity for the sake of “5%” screen pixels.

    Different does not automatically equate to innovative.

  156. Rick Moynihan says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Hi Mark,

    I’m intreagued by the changes from a UI perspective, but worry about what this means for applications interacting with other window managers.

    I’m also a little concerned about the global menu bar approach. As one of my biggest gripe’s with OS-X’s interface is the global menu bar, which effectively makes the use of sloppy mouse focus (focus follows mouse) impossible.

    I find sloppy mouse focus essential, when operating multiple apps on a single desktop; though admit it becomes less necessary if you move to the one app per virtual desktop model. Under OS-X this isn’t really possible because of their shockingly poor implementation of virtual desktops.

    Anyway, I’d be interested in how you hope to address these interaction issues (if at all).

  157. jargon says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    This is very disappointing. Is this what the buttons were moved to the left for? Extra volume controls? What’s the point? Every audio/video app already has its own volume control? It doesn’t make any sense at all to add a vol control to the titlebar of all places.

    And a lot of applications have status bars at the bottom, for no good reason other than it was that way in Windows 3.1.

    Baffling. A browser app like Firefox uses the status bar to reveal URLs on mouseOver. Something users are urged to do in anti-phishing advisories. In the browser’s status bar you also find transfer information, regarding the download of pages/objects. That’s what a *status* bar bar is for. With your “windicators” how will mouseOver URL revealing work?

    Progress indicators are another issue. You have progress indicators per browser tab or menu bar. What would I need it in the titlebar for? This is haphazard at best. And for what, for “5%” vertical screen space? Is that really Ubuntu’s most pressing issue? All this huge effort put into moving buttons for more buttons no one even asked for, adding complexity for the sake of “5%” screen pixels. Why couldn’t the extra “windicators” buttons have been on the left, between the app icon and the app title? You didn’t widen the title bar, it’s still the same size.

    Different does not automatically equate to innovative.

  158. Ubuntu 10.10: arrivano i “Windicators” o “Window Indicators” « Crismon's Blog says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 11:59 am

    [...] per maggiori informazioni a riguardo, consultare il post pubblicato da [...]

  159. Fred says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Mark, I like the OS X feature where the titlebar button on the right side toggles between more and less real estate for button’s etc. What would be a neat idea is to have such a button with multiple functionality:

    I would like to propose the following for windows with menubars and/or toolbars: a “windicator” on the right side of the titlebar. If you LMB: toggle show/hide menubar. If you RMB: toggle show/hide toolbar. Include user selectable defaults and I would say you can save a lot of vertical real estate.

    An alternative could be to put this windicator in the globval menu where it operates on the current window, but I like it more in the titlebar.

    Mark Shuttleworth: Indicators would not support RMB, just left click to reveal the menu. But the rest sounds like a reasonable proposal. I would put up a page describing it, or blog about it, and mail the Ayatana list to see what sort of discussion it generates.

    What would be the proper way to have this included as a proposal? Must I create a blueprint in the Ayatana project?

  160. Ubuntu 10.10: cosa ne pensate dei Windows Indicators? | TUXJournal.net says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    [...] L’idea dei Windows Indicator (o Windindicators) è la prima di una lunga serie del progetto Ayatana, nato per definire le linee guida del desktop di Ubuntu. I nuovi indicatori saranno posizionati nella parte destra della finestra dell’applicazione, nello spazio vuoto lasciato della icone di ridimensionamento ora spostate a sinistra. Il loro scopo è quello di informare gli utenti sulle funzionalità di determinate applicazioni. Per il momento i Winindicators proposti da Shuttleworth sono sei: stato della connessione, stato del salvataggio dei dati, stato di avanzamento di un’operazione, un carrello per gli acquisti, lo stato della condivisione di e una barre del volume relativa all’applicazione. Grazie a quest’idea, dovrebbe aumentare lo spazio verticale usato dalle applicazioni, migliorandone notevolmente l’usabilità. L’integrazione dei winindicator comporterà con molta probabilità una modifica al Windows Manager, mentre i loro benefici dovrebbero essere più evidenti sui netbook, dove le “dimensioni contano”. Quali sono le vostre prime impressioni? [...]

  161. Ubuntu 10.10: le novità sono Windicators e pannello unico | bruno trani dot info says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    [...] ancora spenta l’eco della nuova release, Lucid Lynx, che già Mike Shuttleworth ha finalmente annunciato cosa vuole metterci nel posto lasciato libero a destra spostando i bottoni a [...]

  162. Ubuntu 10.10: le novità sono Windicators e pannello unico | Giovanni Raco says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    [...] ancora spenta l’eco della nuova release, Lucid Lynx, che già Mike Shuttleworth ha finalmente annunciato cosa vuole metterci nel posto lasciato libero a destra spostando i bottoni a [...]

  163. Ivan says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Really nice idea, but have some doubts.

    What do you mean by client side decoration?
    What for example happens when application hangs? Correct me if I’m wrong, but afaik currently, windows decorator is separate entity and is able to kill application. Will I be able to close the window by clicking on cross in the corner in your scenario?
    Can such decision lead to highly variable decorations, when (in extreme case) each application has its own decoration and there’s no solid look & feel?
    Or do you talk only about providing some API for indicators but leaving the control over decorations to decorator?

    Thanks.

  164. hasan adil says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I think windicators is a great research experiment in ui design. Ubuntu 10.10 is starting to feel over engineered. It would be better in my opinion to have some other areas developed (or improved) first. For example: built-in backup system (like Time Machine in OSX, Windows also has a built in backup solution).

  165. Josh says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Mark Shuttleworth: I don’t think we’d want the added overhead of a control mechanism per-app. I think app’s would likely have some options for this, when it was relevant. Apps would certainly also need to detect when the windicator mechanism was not present, and fall back to a traditional UI approach.

    While I think this concept is a good start, I don’t see it functioning as expected, I personally and expect most people do not need a sound, wifi, etc, etc icon for each App window. Besides most Apps already have the icons for the needed mechanisms specific to the App.

    Honestly I consider nifty little icons that run added functions which normally already taken care of by a App from the get go as “added overhead”. Example, ‘basket’, why would this be needed when Apps that have the function to purchase something usually include this feature in their menu even when they are not wed based?

    Also, with all the extra mechanisms needed for the Apps themselves and the Windicator system, there could be a lot of trouble sorting things out at first if not always. Saying that the Apps would need to detect/call objects needed or not needed for the Windicator system is the wrong answer, maybe the Windicator system should do it rather then expect Apps to just fall in line.

    Personally I would rather a option be included to move the window buttons back to the left to be added first then added Windicators. In fact I would rather my perferred Linux distro to stop looking more and more like a Mac and running like Windows, especially when I already use all three on a regular basis.

  166. Steven says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I really like the idea of Window Indicators, but in your screenshot they are placed in the top-right area and what about Esfera ??
    Pls keep the idea of Esfera replacing close, minimize and maximize by one button. It would look awesome, different and modern.
    I hope both ideas get reality => Esfera & Window Indicators ;)

    Mark Shuttleworth: Esfera seems more like a window control, and so would fit alongside them or replace them.

  167. Canonical sigue experimentando con la interfaz de usuario | RSS Tecnología says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    [...] Recordemos que durante el desarrollo de Ubuntu Lucid Lynx se hizo una evaluación de la interfaz de usuario usada en el borde de las ventanas, dejando finalmente los botones de control al lado izquierdo como en Mac OS X.  Como se había insinuado, una de los objetivos que se perseguían era liberar el espacio de la derecha para otros usos, y ahora Mark ha publicado un artículo con algunas ideas. [...]

  168. h31 says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    >We are moving the rendering of the window decorations into the app itself
    What about adding windicator feature to Metacity/Mutter/Compiz? Apps will access it using D-Bus. Windicator themes will be synchronized with decoration themes.

  169. Josh says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Mark Shuttleworth: I don’t think we’d want the added overhead of a control mechanism per-app. I think app’s would likely have some options for this, when it was relevant. Apps would certainly also need to detect when the windicator mechanism was not present, and fall back to a traditional UI approach.

    While I think this concept is a good start, I don’t see if functioning as expected, I personally and expect most people do not need a sound, wifi, etc, etc icon for each App window

    Honestly I consider nifty little icons that run added functions which normally already taken care of by a program from the get go as “added overhead”.

    Also, with all the extra mechanisms needed for the Apps themselves and the Windicator system, there could be a lot of trouble sorting things out at first if not always. Saying that the Apps would need to detect/call objects needed or not needed for the Windicator system is the wrong answer, maybe the Windicator system should do it rather then expect Apps to just fall in line.

    h31 makes a good point in the post above.

    I would rather my perferred Linux distro to not start looking like a Mac and functioning like Windows, I already use all three on a regular basis.

  170. Новое в Ubuntu 10.10 – Виндикаторы | Linux Blog says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    [...] поста из блога Марка [...]

  171. » Ubuntu 10.10: le novità sono Windicators e pannello unico says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    [...] ancora spenta l’eco della nuova release, Lucid Lynx, che già Mark Shuttleworth ha finalmente annunciato cosa vuole metterci nel posto lasciato libero a destra spostando i bottoni a [...]

  172. nebcanuck says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Two questions, both of which have been hinted at in previous comments.

    First, regarding the volume icon: why not simply have the global volume icon provide sliders for all applications with separate volume control? Since sound is something you are constantly aware of, it seems a little more persistent than the windicators would allow. To be able to adjust rhythmbox’s volume specifically no matter what I’m doing would seem pretty intuitive.

    Second, regarding shell (and I know you may not have answers yet): with all of the work going into the panel and title bars, how does this translate into Shell? Is Ayatana able to be integrated into Shell? I assume that you’ve considered this as a team already, but I’m quite interested in how this fits into the long-term vision of Ubuntu/Gnome.

  173. BlogUbuntu.com says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Windicators, iconos e indicaciones en la barra de título…

    Cuando Canonical anunció su decisión de mover los botones de la barra de título (de las ventanas) de derecha a izquierda, también dijo que este cambio venía justificado por futuras funcionalidades que irían precisamente en esa parte derecha, dond……

  174. BlogUbuntu.com says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Windicators, iconos e indicadores en la barra de título…

    Cuando Canonical anunció su decisión de mover los botones de la barra de título (de las ventanas) de derecha a izquierda, también dijo que este cambio venía justificado por futuras funcionalidades que irían precisamente en esa parte derecha, dond……

  175. Sergio says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Something I like…

    - some windows related indicators can be really useful. I like the per-window volume (and possibly the ability of a per-window switch of the audio flow from the main loutspeaker to a headphone)
    - the effort to save vertical pixels is commendable!

    Something I really do not understand…

    - Why the need to put maximise/unmaximize/iconize buttons on the left at first? Isn’t this application-related controllable-status? shouldn’t this be (most naturally) a window-related indicator too? I think that my former point of keeping clickable things far away from the application menu (to avoid press the destroy windows why trying to catch the “File” menu) still holds.

    Something I dislike…

    - Everytime ubuntu is getting strong criticisms, my feeling is that this happens because ubuntu gives the impression of trying to impose its line of thought to everyone else, rather than merely /proposing/ innovation. Unfortunately, here we have a few more examples. For instance, rather than saying “windows indicators should go right”, it would be better to say “windows indicators should go on a side that is specified system wide and ubuntu will chose right as its default”; rather than saying “indicators should be red, orange, green or blue”, it would be better to say “windows indicators should obey a system wide code to distinguish different situations, such as ok, alert, etc., and ubuntu will by default chose a color code using green, red, blue, etc…”. Taking care of such a detail would greatly help fostering cooperation rather than opposition. Furthermore it would be a sign of attention to those who cannot use a standard environment. For instance, if you cannot distinguish colors properly, to have to rely on a code color can be a pain.

  176. Sergio says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Something I like…

    - some windows related indicators can be really useful. I like the per-window volume (and possibly the ability of a per-window switch of the audio flow from the main loutspeaker to a headphone)
    - the effort to save vertical pixels is commendable!

    Something I really do not understand…

    - Why the need to put maximise/unmaximize/iconize buttons on the left at first? Isn’t this application-related controllable-status? shouldn’t this be (most naturally) a window-related indicator too? I think that my former point of keeping clickable things far away from the application menu (to avoid pressing the destroy windows why trying to catch the “File” menu) still holds.

    Something I dislike…

    - Everytime ubuntu is getting strong criticisms, my feeling is that this happens because ubuntu gives the impression of trying to impose its line of thought to everyone else, rather than merely /proposing/ innovation. Unfortunately, here we have a few more examples. For instance, rather than saying “windows indicators should go right”, it would be better to say “windows indicators should go on a side that is specified system wide and ubuntu will chose right as its default”; rather than saying “indicators should be red, orange, green or blue”, it would be better to say “windows indicators should obey a system wide code to distinguish different situations, such as ok, alert, etc., and ubuntu will by default chose a color code using green, red, blue, etc…”. Taking care of such a detail would greatly help fostering cooperation rather than opposition. Furthermore it would be a sign of attention to those who cannot use a standard environment. For instance, if you cannot distinguish colors properly, to have to rely on a code color can be a pain.

  177. hasan adil says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I think windicators is a great research experiment in ui design. Ubuntu 10.10 is starting to feel over engineered. It blurs the line between an OS and an Application. The more the OS tries to be an application, the more likely it is to have fatal bugs, instability etc. The window indicators in the design sketch are an example of a solution looking for a problem.

  178. Supremacia Linux » Blog Archive » Windicators: Nueva propuesta para Ubuntu 10.10 says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    [...] Mark, nos dá una primicia nuevamente en un posible concepto de nuevas funcionalidades de Ubuntu 10.10. Estas funcionalidades trabaja principalmente en las ventanas de Ubuntu dotando características en la misma ventana, con botones que serían de gran uso. Aquí una imágen para que lo captes mejor. [...]

  179. Jilbert says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Offtopic, but talking about windows.
    Phoronix is being really hard about comparisons between Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04.

  180. IlCensore says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    “Candidates for 10.10″

    A copy/paste windicator, to select what to past among recent copied elements

  181. Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Window indicators - http says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    [...] URL: Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Window indicators Tags: already-have, average, basic, but-what, computer-user, indicator-, like-the, [...]

  182. Nuevas ideas para el aspecto visual de Ubuntu 10.10 « El blog de alejandrocq | Linux, tecnología, y más… says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    [...] Desde Canonical se han puesto manos a la obra para aprovechar el espacio que ha quedado libre a la derecha en la barra de título de los nuevos temas GTK de Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, mediante una nueva idea: Los Windicators. [...]

  183. nitrofurano says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Btw, about the default Metacity themes used on Ubuntu Lucid, were a deception for me seeing they are not accepting the colours i tried from gnome-color-chooser (an amazing tool for customizing Gnome theme colours, available from Debian and Ubuntu repositories – providing on Gnome the same colour configurability we had and missed from Irix-4dwm) – are there future better support to complete use of gnome-color-chooser .gnomecc files on default Ubuntu Gnome themes? this would be truly awesome! Let’s have Ubuntu as amazing as Irix were, or maybe even more! :)

  184. nitrofurano says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    i confess were a deception for me seeing gnome-color-chooser tool can’t change the colours from the default Metacity tools used on Ubuntu Lucid (Ambiance and Radiance) – this is sad, because would be great having on Gnome the same colour harmony configurability as we had and missing from that awesome Irix-4dwm, and thanks god gnome-color-chooser (and their .gnomecc files) are bringing it back again! :) – would be great Ambiance and Radiance authors and patchers help providing this level of configurability as we can on the Mist theme. Could be this possible?

  185. Code: Rich » Blog Archive » Ubuntu Window Buttons says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth seems to love copying Apple. A colleague pointed out Mark Shuttleworth’s Window indicators post as the reason for this [...]

  186. hasan adil says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    It seems at 10.10 is getting over engineered.

  187. rhY says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Finally unveiling the rationale behind changing the status quo on the window buttons is a good idea. Some of your other ideas are good too. I like the less is more approach. But I think it’s time to step it up a notch and really beat Windows Mac. These minor (and somewhat annoying) window layout changes aren’t going to do it. I have a list of things that WOULD do it though:

    1. Including better apps by default. In particular, VLC. Any other media player is an inexcusable and poor choice. Also, OpenShot, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Deluge, and something better than Rhythmbox. Honestly I haven’t found an audio player that I think is perfect, but Rhythmbox is not as good as Winamp 2.81, and that program is over a decade old.
    2. Voice Recognition. Not dictation. Dictation is a specific need for a small minority. Real voice recognition, IE The computer doesn’t attempt to listen until you call it’s attention directly, for instance calling a specifically recognized name that is not easily confused with other words. “Gidget, Play Music”. And a media player starts your mp3 collection. “Gidget Play Movies” and VLC opens a playlist of all your .avi files. “Gidget schedule May 3, 3 pm orchestra rehearsal”, and Firefox opens, gmail is logged into, and the time and date are added to the calendar along with “Orchestra Rehearsal”. “Gidget, call Ted”, and a voice/video chat with Ted dials Ted’s machine.
    3. Get Ubuntu on more machines by default. This is a chicken and egg problem. Until you incorporate more apps that “just work”, like VLC, no decent computer manufacturer is going to want to sell a machine that is crippled by default. And yes, I consider Totem (unable to open .mkv, DVD, divx, xvid, etc.) as crippled by default.
    4. An altogether new and updated interface, replacing the old desktop metaphor with a broader online, 3d, interactive web enabled experience. I have some more ideas about this, but I don’t even know if you’re going to read this, so I’ll save my breath until you email me.

    Meanwhile, keep making a superior alternative to Windows and Mac. I and many others appreciate it, even if I sound critical because I’d like to see you a lot further along by now.

    PS Let’s just beat this dead horse one more time. I don’t want to debate it. VLC is a better default choice for video player. There’s no room for discussion. Just do the right thing for the end users.

  188. hasan adil says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    The comments posting is buggy. I have 4 comments above, only meant to comment once. I submitted a comment but it says no webpage found so I submitted again leading to many comments.

  189. jhuni says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    > An “unsaved” indicator, that tells people that the contents
    > of the file they are working on have changed and
    > potentially lets them save it

    Saving is a bad thing in terms of UI, it was only presented to users because of hardware problems of disk space and processor speed, instead the UI should move away from the whole concept of saving and introduce persistence, so a saved indicator up there is not a good thing.

    > Progress indicators, which show that an action is in progress,
    > and possibly also indicate the extent of the progress.

    If there is an action in progress perhaps it should be handled in the tray, I don’t think this is a good use of the titlebar.

    > Volume indicators

    Volume handling is already too complicated, there is a volume for the current application and a volume for the whole system and a volume for the current current current application, etc, just confusing, this doesn’t seem to help that.

    > Less chrome, more content: banish the status bar

    Perhaps getting rid of the status bar is a good thing, however, I do not think this is a good solution, first of all “icons suck”, this is dependent upon icons in the titlebar and icons do not have much explanatory power, text is far superior, and icons can easily change by the lighting in the monitor or the theme, etc and it will look totally different making the user have to use cognitive processes to identify what the icon is about, instead of habituating the user. Please read:

    http://humanized.com/weblog/2007/06/25/the_end_of_an_icon/

    As such this will clutter up the task bar with hard to identify icons that are different across applications, and that are ultimately not that useful, this seems like a UI disaster to me, furthermore, these icons are small so they are hard to click, having the pinpoint them with the mouse will take time, especially since windows can be all over the place. If you want to get rid of the status bar and make things better for the netbooks consider zooming, *zooming is the solution*, firefox lets you zoom in on any web app with crtl+, so why can’t we do something similar on the desktop?

  190. Windicators, primer concepto para Ubuntu 10.10 | Los que saben says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    [...] a debatirse que se puede llegar a hacer con ese espacio que quedo vació y Mark Shuttleworth (desde su blog personal) nos presenta el concepto de Windicators (Windows [...]

  191. Rovanion says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    The basic concept of what you are trying to do here is good but you are doing it the wrong way.

    The last major design change that was pushed into Ubuntu was the one organizing the System Tray area. The situation was so that every application could have their own directly controlled tray icon. The result being that there were a gazillion different ways that these buttons would work and look, a mess simply put. That was fixed by providing an interface that the applications were forced to push their “icons” trough. Even tough this interfaces wasn’t enforced in 10.04 it provided an at large much more controlled and consistent tray area.

    What you are talking about doing here is moving Window Management to the client side. We do not want window management to become a mess of the same amplitude as the system tray. And you don’t have to look further than trough your nearest Windows(tm) to see the result of such a move. The thing that you are after is a way for applications to have buttons and indicators on the window border, but you are taking the wrong approach.

    The right approach is the one which you designed for the system tray. You want to extend the functionality of the window manager with an interface trough which the application can push buttons and indicators. This would achieve the same result as letting the window borders being managed client side but without a hell of inconsistency breaking loose. Your windicators can become a reality that way, and it will make Ubuntu a more consistent system.

  192. Anon says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    So we’ll be able to move this over to the left side? Right?
    How about moving it to the center?

  193. Windicators-Ubuntu 10.10 innovation is off the mark! | Nunokaka85.com says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 1:35 am

    [...] If you want full detail about this make sure you check out Mark Shuttleworth’s post at http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/333 [...]

  194. Brian says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Hi Mark,

    About Esfera — Why make people have to click on a blue ball or sphere to get the functionality suggested by the Esfera concept? Why not just have people be able to drag a window’s title-bar to the top of the screen to maximize, left or right to tile, and drag the window to the bottom to minimize? If you did it that way, there would be no reason to even have a maximize and minimize widget in the upper left corner anymore, people could just use natural movement to drag the window all about. This functionality is already in Win7, and Gnome devs are bringing it to Gnome 3 (except for the drag to bottom to minimize), but it seems like a really natural way to use windows on touch surfaces. Also, you may not have seen this sketch from the Gnome-shell designers (Jeremy Perry), but it looks like they are going to use an innovative new model for minimizing windows in Gnome-shell: http://www.shakevigorously.com/pieces/p-shell1.png It seems like some sort of natural dragging motion would work really well to trigger a window minimize action.

  195. Autotalk says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 4:03 am

    The win7 functionality is a little annoying though. I think keeping the maximize and minimize buttons are a good idea. Sometimes you don’t want to tile things by dragging them here and there, rather you just want them partially off screen.

  196. Mark Shuttleworth Introduces Window Indicators | Tombuntu says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 4:19 am

    [...] it is clear what he was talking about: Shuttleworth has introduced window indicators (“windicators”) on his blog. Window indicators are like the indicator applet on the [...]

  197. Antony says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Hi Mark,

    I love the idea of more vertical space and I love the way that Chrome achieves this – compared to Firefox, the extra room for content is really appreciated.

    Soo … why don’t you do the same thing to the desktop and REMOVE THE DUAL TASKBARS. It is one thing that has always annoyed me about Ubuntu.

    Anyway, one opinion among many ;)

    Keep up the good work!

  198. Ivan says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Really nice idea, but have some doubts.

    What do you mean by client side decoration? What for example happens when application hangs? Correct me if I’m wrong, but afaik currently, windows decorator is separate entity and is able to kill application. Will I be able to close the window by clicking on cross in the corner in your scenario?
    Can such decision lead to highly variable decorations, when (in extreme case) each application has its own decoration and there’s no solid look & feel in system as a whole?
    Or do you talk only about providing some API between app and decorator for indicators but leaving the control over decorations to decorator?

  199. Ivan says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Really nice idea, but have some doubts.

    What do you mean by client side decoration? What for example happens when application hangs? Will I be able to close the window by clicking on cross in the corner in your scenario?
    Can such decision lead to highly variable decorations, when (in extreme case) each application has its own decoration and there’s no solid look & feel in system as a whole?
    Or do you talk only about providing some API between app and decorator for indicators but leaving the control over decorations to decorator?

  200. Ivan says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Really nice idea, but have some doubts adding my voice to h31 comment.

    Do you talk only about providing some API between app and decorator for indicators but leaving the control over decorations (including system menu) to decorator?

  201. Mark Shuttleworth Introduces Window Indicators « gericom says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:24 am

    [...] it is clear what he was talking about: Shuttleworth has introduced window indicators (“windicators”) on his blog. Window indicators are like the indicator applet on the panel, but [...]

  202. Ivan says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Sorry for spamming, for some reason browsers (tried several of them) propose to Save file when presssing “Submit comment” below.

  203. alejandro says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:39 am

    ideas para 10.10 debemos desplasar lo que nos tiene atados al antiguo unix y enfocarnos en crear un desktop limpio el ubuntu 10.04 solo es parte de la evolucion para inovar el nuevo shell grafico de gnome si no tamabien la integracion drives para dispositivos moviles nokia n900 n700
    empesar inovar con librerias qt y mejorar la sincronisacion de archivos tanto en web con en el mismo sistema .

    eliminar

    1- programas del viejo unix
    2 – mejorar el sistema ubuntu software center
    3 – mejorar la instalacion deb que sea limpia y que no forme cache
    4 – integrar un desfragramentador de ram
    5 – un arbol de archivos mas simple dejar unix complicado
    6 – integracion multimedia con los codec h.264
    7 – mejor el soporte de API facebook , youtube , google, amazon ,MSN ,hotmail ,otros .etc

    los posibles cambios bruscos
    son la integracion de desktop interactivo gnome 3.0 topaz
    mejor el ahorro de recursos de las maquinas.

    un sistema de archivos ext4 mas pontente y claro y ordenado seria lo mejor

    mejor integracion y ejecucion de los programas

  204. jeff says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Mark,

    If I have a maximized window and I, say, have an incoming chat message. I want the chat window on top of the maximized window. Now, suppose I want a third window on top of the maximized one; which I select off the indicator applet (contact list for example). Won’t the fact that I click on the maximized window in effect push the maximized window to the top over the other windows since I actually clicked the maximized window?

  205. Walter says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 6:26 am

    I think the idea is great.
    I actually suggested something very, very similar in Ivanka Majic’s blog post on “Those Pesky buttons” a couple of days after hell broke loose.
    I’m using Lucid now and the areas on the right of each window looks quite empty and I can see the ‘wasted’ space, ready for some handy tools to be placed there.

    Some more suggestions:
    1) I had suggested to have a “placement” button which would restore window size/position. I think this is handy when one likes to organize his/her workspace in a specific way. Something that I see increasing in popularity with larger screen estates (multiple displays seems to be the trend these days)
    2) I personally find that the “Open recent” menu in the apps has lots left to be improved. For starters, it’s inconsistent across apps (which is normal). It also -obviously-updates itself with the most recent items. I think it would be handy to have away to bookmark the folder of one (or more) projects so that all files are handy, or just bookmark a number of frequently used files

    Regards, Walter

  206. Massimo says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I tried to read all replies, I hope not to duplicate one written before.
    Nice idea but why moving windows icon on left? Why not just adding windicators on left, leaving standard controls where people expect they should be..?
    Congratulations for lucid, I love it!
    Regards

  207. sivakumar says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Ubuntu is now really becoming more visible … to even ordinary users (not programmers) in smaller cities all over. And the best option would be to make it more stable, simpler, and with the applications already packed. (I am using Karmic, and I am fully satisfied with it, not yet downloaded Lucid).

    All of us know that Windows is still the most visible OS for most of the users (not programmers !!). Ubuntu should continue to make this more simpler, and not add too many things which are weird for the simple user – as of now. Let the Win Users (we dont have more Macs in India, Yet!) understand that Ubuntu (Linux) is better than Win, by seeing the more common things.

    For all those who are wanting more and more in the OS, like more *windicators*, can always download and install them, whenever they want.

    Hope my comment does not been mistaken as *going back to ice-age* stuff.

  208. Ubuntu4life says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Dear Mark,

    You are doing great stuff. Very creative and innovative. To get Linux further we just need to keep innovating… Sometimes a (very) stable release, like Lucid, and most the time hardcore evaluation, Like 10.10.
    You’re doing the right thing Mark…

  209. Otto Sykora says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Well, I find this all little bit non ergonomic. For 20 years we have the close and minimize button on the right, to get used to have it on the left is very bad for daily work. No, negative, I switched to theme with right hand placed controlls.

    Why can not you leave all as it was and add your new toys, which might be useful in some cases, to the left side which was not used much so far? Under w.3.1 this was done the same way already. Controlls right, gadgeds left.

  210. Stuart says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    It’s a good idea, but the pop up windows are quite annnoying as they don’t have a close button. Windocators in windows makes a lot of sense, but avoid non-closable pop up windows, I’m often in a hurry and they obscure my screen!

  211. Kristian Grimsby says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I like the idea to minimize the redundant space in software – and I see you’ve taken the approach of application “frames”. What I have found as a bigger, or at least more annoying issue, is dialogues! Settings-dialogues/windows often use waaay too much space for the “Close”/”Apply”/”Cancel” buttons in the buttom – and are rarely optimized for netbooks/low-res. How about using the windicators for and “Apply and close”-button. An other idea is to do something with the framework to space things in columns instead of what most do, use one column, hence making the dialogue too high for netbook resolutions. Just some ideas for dialogues – since the ideas around windicators could be transferred and used here too.

    cheers, Kristian

  212. Zac says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Ubuntu 10.04 netbook works and is fantastic on my Dell Latitude 2100. Very happy with it.

    Don’t hold back on your changes, think big and blow Windows/Mac out to space.

    Software Centre: Please work on this. Must make it easier for developers to get their software out to users and for users to find it and install/remove/upgrade them easily. It is still cumbersome adding PPA’s.

    Nice changes planned for 10.10. I want bold changes, think big! It getting there but I want it quicker, keep it moving. Do let the whiners hold you back. There will always be whiners whining about something. You’re doing great.

  213. Forest says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I appreciate the innovative spirit of this idea, but I thought that one of the long-term goals of Gnome 3.0 was to eliminate the title bars from windows altogether. Isn’t that why in Gnome Shell, the title of the focused window appears in the panel at the top of the screen? If Gnome ends up eliminating title bars then I see only two options for Ubuntu:

    1. Break with Gnome and include title bars so that you can keep the windicators (this is not an appealing option) or
    2. Drop the windicators altogether

    Maybe there is a 3rd option; put the windicators of the focused window in the panel. This would mean we basically have a global menu. I know you work closely with the Gnome folks so I’m sure you’ve anticipated this problem. How would Ubuntu deal with it?

  214. Windicators, la razón por la cual Ubuntu ha movido los botones de ventana a la izquierda says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    [...] información: Blog de Mark Shuttleworth Tags: Canonical, gnome, Mark Shuttleworth, ubuntu, [...]

  215. Stone says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Ubuntu needs to become a solid and stable desktop platform that ISVs and IHVs can target for their developments, whether they’re open source or not.

    The basics need to work first, more UI changes are the last thing that is needed when the foundations are not even there yet.

  216. Courtney says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Regarding the progress indicator. Having it be an overview of an underlying queue of activities would be better than just a single progress. I am specifically thinking about the Activity window within Apple Mail here. There is a question of “are you doing something” which leads to “what are you doing”.

    Mark Shuttleworth: Yes, I agree.

  217. Ubuntu: Why the Buttons Were Moved in 10.04 @ TuxGuides.com says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    [...] http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/333 Bookmark It Reviews, Ubuntu [...]

  218. bitc says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Excellent ideas!
    Content is what’s interesting, not window borders and such. I’d wish for one more thing:

    Minimise the use of overlapping windows and empty space around windows. That was cool in the 1980s (because you ‘could’ do it), no so anymore. It’s a waste of screen space with no usability advatages. Why even pretend the screen is a desktop?

    Maximise windows by default. Snap them next to each other if you want to see more than one window at a time.

  219. Change Button Location in Ubuntu 10.04 « -: an everyday story of country folk :- says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    [...] but according to Mark Shuttleworth, the right hand side of the title bar is being reserved for “Windicators” in future. So, if you want to follow the preferred method of changing the button location, then it [...]

  220. Megatux says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Mark,
    I allways thougth with something like your per-win notification for this use case: to see the standard out/err of the application, because sometimes the program acts strange & the only way to see if there was an error is to re-open the app in a xterminal. So, a tiny flashy output indicator can be clicked to show a dock panel next to the window.
    Sorry my poor english a thanks for Ubuntu, Mark!

  221. Ubuntu 10.10 podría incluir una nueva funcionalidad: Window Indicators says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    [...] | Mark Shuttleworth AKPC_IDS += [...]

  222. George Fragos says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I like what you’re proposing. When windows get smaller to allow working with multiple aps the window bar real estate can get very small. I’d think you’d want to have a grouping mechanism where the icons are a drop down from a single icon which would use color, and perhaps the icon relating to the state, to denote the character of the embedded information as in error or warning. Clicking or hovering the the icon would display a drop down of all the enclosed windicators. This would also allow a single windicator to be displayed in a minimized application in the bottom, or wherever, applet bar.

  223. Daniel Añez Scott says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I hope the window border doesn’t get too crowded with little icons, and different colors (in case more than one windicator has something to tell you)…
    I’m sorry for the offtopic but I heard this is the Q/A week, and I have no idea of where to go to ask you a question… here it goes:
    I have propietary nvidia drivers, and I’ve been lucky that I could fix my plymouth problems. I’ve tried to help some other users, and every person seem to have a different behavior on plymouth. I’ve also read that you said every user should have the same experience with a vanilla ubuntu.

    Don’t you think it would be better to have an alternative to plymouth for the next release? one that simply works disregarding the hardware you have?

    Mark Shuttleworth: We should certainly strengthen Plymouth for cases where drivers don’t support the new KMS graphics APIs. Nvidia should work, so your feedback that there are problems is very valuable, I’ll ask more about it and ask folks to make a plan at UDS next week for 10.10.

  224. SteveS says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    This is an interesting concept, that could work if you had control over all the apps as well as the OS.

    However in the real world I think that client controlled title bar windicators would lead to a very badly inconsistent experience both functionally and visually and clearly also to performance issues. Also consider how long its taken to get the linux notification area anywhere close to a reasonable experience!

    Potentially windicators could be made consistent, and performance side effects avoided by using a different implementation strategy such as by extending the WM to draw a standard set of windicators eg. vol control,progress,etc and having the relevent app-WM taking place via dbus.

    Essentially I think Martin Graesslin’s blog post on the subject is spot on.

  225. Windicators für Ubuntu?! | Der Webanhalter says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    [...] eröffnet mit einer innovativen und durchaus umstrittenen Designänderung die Diskussion: Window indicators oder kurz windicators heißt die neue [...]

  226. Windicators, la razón por la cual Ubuntu ha movido los botones de ventana a la izquierda | Software y web. PegamentoDigital. says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    [...] Más información: Blog de Mark Shuttleworth [...]

  227. zelrik says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    “I’m on a “less is more” kick with our design efforts, and one of the things I want to banish is wasted vertical space. For netbooks, that’s particularly important. And a lot of applications have status bars at the bottom, for no good reason other than it was that way in Windows 3.1.”

    Thank God, my prayers have been answered.

  228. Gerhard says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I always install “namebar”, then I remove the title bar on maximised windows with Compiz to get some more real estate. The titlebar really is useless and takes up space … come on, admit it!

    Dankie vir die goeie werk, Mark.

    Mark Shuttleworth: Jy is baie welkom :-)

  229. junapp says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I’ve had very little difficulty adjusting to the close window control in the top left position, but I continue to move the mouse to the top right for min/max – just an observation. I used to double click the program icon to close quite a bit.

    My thought is that having the controls in the left or right seems to make no difference with respect to vertical space, and having the min/max/close controls in the top right would provide a consistency among the yet to be placed status type icons. On the consistency note, are there plans to move the shutdown icon in the top gnome-panel to the left as well (I’m not suggesting it) and moving icons to the far right by default? I’m all for changing it up, and am quite happy to give new interfaces a try. In full agreement with the removal of a status bar, placing the icons in the title bar as long as they stay in the main window and not in related windows (like Gimp’s toolbox or layer’s windows).

    Thank you for a great system.

  230. Ubuntu 10.10 To Have “Windicators” says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    [...] [source: markshuttleworth.com] [...]

  231. Roman Ivanov says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    We always in search for new design patters to economize on system space that OS need and give most to user application – as user works with application.

    Almost all netbooks/notebooks have wide screens, and always have lack of vertical space.
    By default ubuntu takes two horizontal panels that takes a lot vertical space, that could be used by application. We could move them to right/left sides of screen and economize required space – by fews clicks.

    Example : https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1374020/Screenshot.png (panel on the right due to the fact that I work majority of the time on the left side of the screen, and do not want to be distracted by chat blinking, …)

    Rare application is opened as maximized as it is difficult to read wide text. So horizontal space is always wasted, on small screens horizontal space it is up to effective.

    Please take into consideration this post, and I wish the best to your idea. I hope you will find approach that will be effective and highly customizable.

    Mark Shuttleworth: Roman, that’s a very interesting screenshot. Please check back Monday for my response ;-)

  232. Shuttleworth discusses Ubuntu 10.10, Free Video Games, Adobe Multi-Touch Android Tablet! says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    [...] Ubuntu 10.10 to get “Windicators” Ubuntu 10.10 won’t get Gnome-Shell by default Google I/O keynotes streaming live on YouTube Google Developers YouTube Channel Ryzom to go open source Adobe demos multi-touch tablet at Web 2.0 Expo [...]

  233. Bob says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    would there be an option to put these on the bottom of a window similar to firefox’s bottom that displays notifications? I moved my window buttons back to the right and am keeping it that way. but over all i think it makes a window’s title bar look way over crowded.

  234. Por que os botões do Ubuntu foram para o lado esquerdo? « Daniel Siqueira says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    [...] Publicado em 07/05/2010 por Daniel Siqueira Esse artigo publicado no blogue do Mark Shuttleworth explica as razões. Aparentemente, eles pretendem desenvolver um sistema de notificação [...]

  235. Shuttleworth habla sobre Ubuntu 10.10: Maverick Meerkat « Doculinux says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    [...] Los famosos Windicators: ¿estarán también en [...]

  236. daboochmeister says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    @Max E. – that was my first question, what would happen with minimized apps (also docked, though I assume that would leave the titlebar active as normal). I think there could be some exciting use cases here. Definitely showing the indicators in the switcher; possibly even active widgets (e.g., volume control) while the app is minimized; some interesting alerting possibilities.

  237. yman says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Please implement application menus using D-Bus. That way all applications will be able to take advantage of global menu regardless of toolkit and will allow the users to choose whether to use a global menu or have the menu inside the window.

  238. Windicators, proupuesta para ocupar el sector derecho de metacity | Soft-Libre says: (permalink)
    May 8th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    [...] En aquella oportunidad Mark Shuttleworth nos explicaba que la idea era integrar algo a la derecha de la pantalla. Así han aparecido propuestas como Esphera, y ahora Mark en su blog nos habla de Windicators. [...]

  239. Todd says: (permalink)
    May 8th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I liken this to Starbuck’s “If we can get everyone saying things like ‘Grande’ and ‘Vente’ then every time someone orders a coffee anywhere they’ll automatically be thinking in terms of Starbucks-speak.”

  240. Shuttleworth habla sobre proximas versiones de Ubuntu | Kushelmex.com says: (permalink)
    May 8th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    [...] de los temas que se tocaron en la sesión fueron los Windicators o en palabras más sencillas , los inches botones de control de las ventanas que en la versión [...]

  241. Ubuntu Volume Panel Applet Mockup [ObfuscatePenguin.net] says: (permalink)
    May 9th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    [...] accessible (i.e. minimised, behind another window, or on another workspace). It started before the announcement of windicators, which are certainly an interesting way of achieving that goal. But, since not all applications [...]

  242. D. J. Chandler says: (permalink)
    May 9th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    The reduction of redundancy besides the elimination of wasted space are necessary for effective GUI design for devices with smaller screens. So I do understand the rationale to put windicators in the title bar.

    While discussing wasted space, one of my issues with Gnome has always been the use of two panels. I don’t even like seeing that second panel on my HDTV screen when running Mythbuntu. Besides elimination of the status bar, are we also moving toward elimination of the need for more than one panel?

    The only problem I see is maintaining the ability to customize the GUI, one of the hallmarks of any GUI used with Gnu Linux. For instance, maybe some would like to reverse the position of the windicators and the menu buttons. I’m one of those people that insists that the menu buttons be on the right on my desktop. For me it’s an access issue, just like the provisions made for those with visual or physical disadvantages with the inclusion of onBoard and Orca. In some cases a physical limitation could even be temporary, such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome or a broken arm, wrist, hand, or even a finger. What approach for maintaining that flexibility is being considered that doesn’t break with the upstream distribution? Hopefully it would be something that could even be added as an optional package to Debian in a future release.

  243. TAT 048 – Super 8 | Tecnica Arcana Podcast says: (permalink)
    May 9th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    [...] 10.04 Lucid Lynx Mark Shuttleworth introduce i Windicators. TA 015 – Linux! Tutto quello che avreste voluto sapere… E’ anche tempo di provare [...]

  244. Balsamiq Blog says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    [...] but not least, Mark Shuttleworth is using Mockups on his blog and called us “pure genius” in the comments, which is super-sweet since all of our [...]

  245. A.T. says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I’m afraid this kind of change is equivalent (to the extent) to christening population no matter how much they want to stay pagans (as matter of fact, I’m atheist). What makes me really concerned is that novelty is taken 100% over normal human conservatism – “my way or highway” attitude, “windicators and our ideas über alles”… Pity but if it goes forward that way, I have to consider other alternatives then.

  246. Tech Reviews » Hands-on with Ubuntu’s new Unity netbook shell says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    [...] indicators (windicators) are a new concept that Shuttleworth introduced in a blog entry last week. Designed to help reduce the need for status bars, they are interactive icon-based [...]

  247. Tony says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    This all smacks of a focus on design which tries to solve a problem which does not exist.
    I don’t argue that your ideas do not bring interesting new features but I strongly disagree that your design ideas are any kind of enhancement to the user experience.

    I believe that Ubuntu’s modifications of the gnome desktop are now verging on a fork which should be kept separate and away from the gnome project, even renamed and re-branded, so as to not confuse the work the gnome developers are doing, with the Ubuntu “User Experience” Experiments.

    It also surprises me that this kind of design change can’t wait until gnome 3 is default in Ubuntu and that there is no mention of any of your changes being accepted by upstream. My feeling is that upstream wouldn’t accept things like window controls on the left by default but I believe that you should try to merge upstream if your design “Improvements” Truly are an enhancement to the gnome desktop.

    FTW. Copying OSX will earn Ubuntu the title of “Fake OSX” Just as it already holds the title of “Fake Windows.”
    A first time Ubuntu user made up the fake Windows term, based on his first impressions. I found very little to argue with concerning that statement.

    Copying is the greatest form of flattery but innovation is key in software.
    So copying ideas from Windows, OSX and now Chrome OS will only serve to make Ubuntu’s desktop less engaging because it will become a Frankenstein’s monster.
    A bit of this, a bit of that. Nothing new and found elsewhere done better.

    I urge you to try to start innovating in open source desktop software instead of duplicating ideas created elsewhere, by other software developers.
    Your designs shown here mirror those of Chrome OS.

  248. Roy Strachan says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Everyone seems to be concerned with vertical real estate. Why not have a large desktop and a scrollable viewport? You could make your desktop any size you want (wider too) and it’s something anyone who has ever used a browser is familiar with. It should also be relatively easy to implement and would not require changes to existing applications. The panels could stay where they are; they already have the ability to autohide if you want/need more room.

  249. Projekt Unity: bardzo lekkie Ubuntu | WebInfo says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    [...] dni temu wspomniał o idei “indykatorów okienka”, rozwijanej w ramach projektu o dobitnej nazwie Ayatana [...]

  250. Richard says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Warning!*extreme sarcasm*

    I’m so glad that we moved the buttons you use all of the time to the wrong side so we can now have buttons we only glance at where the buttons should be!

  251. See's Message » Ubuntu演示新的Unity界面 says: (permalink)
    May 11th, 2010 at 2:09 am

    [...] Unity环境绕过了传统的GNOME面板配置,它包含了一个类似dock的Launcher和任务管理工具,它们垂直放置在屏幕的左侧。面板上方是应用程序指示器、窗口指示器和菜单栏。窗口指示器是最近新提出的概念,设计目的是减少状态栏的需要。窗口指示器可以用来显示一个正在执行的操作,向用户通知应用程序事件,或去控制应用程序状态。Unity环境利用了GNOME 3用户体验中的多个重要组成部分。 [...]

  252. Chris Lovaris says: (permalink)
    May 11th, 2010 at 7:27 am

    First of all i would like to congratulate all the Ubuntu members that work together to create this wonderful operating system. I think Ubuntu as a whole is going in the right direction, but it would be nice if we could give more emphasis on the user experience even more. I know a great deal of work has been done and Ubuntu has come a long way, but i think Ubuntu lacks a bit in the user experience and also in the bugs area.

  253. What can Linux learn from Toyota? (hint: it involves Ubuntu) says: (permalink)
    May 11th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    [...] future of Ubuntu only gets more and more worrisome.  What’s next on the horizon?  How about Windicators – one of the worst UX ideas in computing [...]

  254. ArubIslander says: (permalink)
    May 11th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I am actually glad that Ubuntu is lacking a bit in the bugs area, I would hope with each release it would become ever more lacking in that area :)

  255. cbeck says: (permalink)
    May 12th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Looks interesting. Though I personally don’t see what would be wrong with leaving the max/min/close buttons on the right and placing the “windicators” just to the left of them.

  256. sam says: (permalink)
    May 12th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I just hope that since this is open source the ability to remove all this extra stuff will still be possible.

  257. Eru says: (permalink)
    May 12th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Ubuntu is taking the computer world by storm. Too eager to get my hands on it now! Nice post :)

  258. t.h.w. says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Hi! I am not very fond of this idea…
    As a former XP-user (and in the office still XP-user) I have moved the Ubuntu-bar, with the applications maenu etcetera, to the bottom of my screen, to match working on both systems by keeping a ‘similar look’.

    What will happen if this idea is implemented to the look and feel of my computer?

  259. Techwatch says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Looks like whatever happens we will have Lucid for 3 years or maybe even more

  260. Facebook circling the drain « Rascal999 says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    [...] software, I love Google Chrome. That thing with Ubuntu having window buttons on the left has been justified (finally) and, subsequently, blown over. However, something is undermining me as an advocacy of [...]

  261. Подкаст об Ubuntu: Выпуск #4 — Глазастая гидра says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    [...] — Виндикаторы [...]

  262. Simanek says: (permalink)
    May 14th, 2010 at 4:45 am

    FTW, I have used Ubuntu Tweak to move my min/max/close buttons back to the right. However, I think it’s healthy that you are considering/developing alternative solutions to the desktop user interface. Many folks are critical of your efforts, but if Linux/Open Source is ever going to introduce innovation it will be by way of research/development/trial/error. Creativity and innovation is hard, laborious work with 95% of your efforts resulting in failure. Those failures do not indicate that you should stop trying to succeed. You are right to start with what is good from existing systems (OSX, Windows, Chrome, etc.). Novelty is overrated.

    And for the record, the overlay notifications that are getting attributed to Chrome were, in my experience, a concept that actually started several years ago (2002?) with a little custom notification system for OSX called Growl.

  263. Olaf says: (permalink)
    May 14th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    The windicators idea sounds interesting and might be a very nice feature.

    But the client side rendering sounds like crazy talk to me.
    Also IMHO unnecessary for the implementation of the windicators.

    Why not add new functionality to the window manager?
    App can request a special title space client area of some preferred width and window manager responds by either denying it (because theme does not allow for windicator area) or with the rectangle size it can offer the app (height determined by theme, width by window width minus other decorations). Then route mouse events for windicator space to the app, similar as it would send events for the main client area.

    That way pandoras box doesn’t get opened and we keep some consistency in window decorations (which will likely be a goner with general client side rendering) – plus users/theme designers retain control over placement of the windicator area – just as with other decorations (min, max, close, title).

    Global menu is a terrible idea for a normal desktop (and annoys me every time I use a friends Mac) – but could make sense for the special circumstances of Netbooks and similar special environments (limited space / use cases).

    I’m a fan of the dynamic status bar – as long as it is an option (at least for some apps). As has been mentioned above – some apps (e.g. editors, word processors, IDEs) use status area to show infos like line, column that one wants to have visible all the time.

    p.s. Thanks for Ubuntu – been using that it as my main system for ca 4 years.

  264. Русский подкаст об Ubuntu « Дмитрий Агафонов says: (permalink)
    May 14th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    [...] – Глазастая гидра— Глобальное меню в Netbook Edition — Виндикаторы — Unity и Ubuntu Light — GNOME Shell не будет — На чём заработает [...]

  265. lotus says: (permalink)
    May 14th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Best wishes from Moldova & Romania, I love Ubuntu very much. Keep working ;)

  266. As novidades para o Ubuntu - Revolução Digital says: (permalink)
    May 15th, 2010 at 9:35 am

    [...] Linux e eu pessoalmente estou curioso em saber até onde estas novidades nos levam, e vocês?Fonte                 Esta notícia já foi lida 5 vezesOutras [...]

  267. ajmal says: (permalink)
    May 16th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    i dont know what are u thinking but iam really stuck there as a windows user and for most of windows users we like the maximize,minimize,close buttons on right and we are habituated with them,please put them there if possible and also brainstorm users too want it to be on the right. ./thanks a ton

  268. Русский подкаст об Ubuntu says: (permalink)
    May 16th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    [...] Глобальное меню в Netbook Edition — Виндикаторы — Unity и Ubuntu Light — GNOME Shell не будет — На чём заработает [...]

  269. Подкасты – Ubuntu Podcast: Выпуск #4 – Глазастая гидра « webghost.info says: (permalink)
    May 17th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    [...] меню в Netbook Edition - Виндикаторы - Unity и Ubuntu Light - GNOME Shell не будет – На чём заработает [...]

  270. Einblicke in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat | Ubuntuxx says: (permalink)
    May 18th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    [...] von nun an der linken Seite eingeblendet. Das obere Panel einer Benachrichtigungsleiste weichen. Window indicators (Programmspezifische Indikatoren) sollen ebenfalls sich dort niederlassen, worüber Menüs [...]

  271. » Top-left, top-right: why not let me choose? My Green Life says: (permalink)
    May 18th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    [...] the plans for the top-right corner of Ubuntu windows, as Mark Shuttleworth has posted a blog entry about the so-called “windicators” that they plan to put [...]

  272. Andrew Davie says: (permalink)
    May 19th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    How about a CPU usage indicator on a per-window basis?
    Or memory usage, etc. These would be pretty neat.
    If multiple instances of the same proggy are open, perhaps a “switch to next instance” would be useful.
    I could see having a “Pause/Suspend/Resume” option might be useful for some programs.
    I’m one of those who absolutely hated the left-side button re-placement. However, I decided to “give it a go” and left it there. It takes a while to get used to. Now I’m pretty much “meh”. The one annoyance is the inconsistency with Firefox; and that is, if you drag a window by the blank space in the same horizontal plane as the menu, it works…. EXCEPT for Firefox, which doesn’t work. Pity.
    Cheers
    A

  273. Identidad visual: más allá de la UI | Ayuda Linux says: (permalink)
    May 19th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    [...] fueron implementados hace tiempo ya por Mac OS X? Una de las pocas ideas realmente nuevas son los Windicators, que utilizarían el espacio que quedó libre a la derecha. Relacionado con esto, el boom de las [...]

  274. Things to do after installing Lucid Lynx 10.04 « Martin’s Ubuntu Blog says: (permalink)
    May 21st, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    [...] while first as it hear to stay! “windicators” are on their way for right hand side see  here for an explanation and [...]

  275. h1z says: (permalink)
    May 22nd, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Create “get root right” window indicator for Nautilus or use dialog passwd as a Finder(Mac OS X).

  276. Filosofia dell’Open Source, di GNU/Linux, e in particolare di Ubuntu « MartPizz Blog says: (permalink)
    May 23rd, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    [...] stupido? Perché copiare dal Mac OS solo per il gusto di farlo? Dichiara Mark Shuttleworth in questo suo articolo, che lo spostamento è terapeutico a una futura aggiunta degli windicators, che ancora si deve [...]

  277. [Tips]Ri-spostare le icone del bordo finestra a destra. « MartPizz Blog says: (permalink)
    May 24th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    [...] Shuttleworth ha recentemente annunciato che ha in programma, per il prossimo rilascio di Ubuntu (10.10, Maverick Meerkat, il 28 Ottobre [...]

  278. jenningsthecat says: (permalink)
    May 26th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Why don’t you just put the Windicators on the LEFT side, and leave the window controls on the right, where most of us are used to having them? (You could swap left for right on the panel so it matches the windows’ titlebar layout; I believe this would be a much easier change for most users to accomodate). And if you’re going to move the window controls to the left corner, then please Please PLEASE leave us an easy way to move them back to the right corner, even if we have to disable the windicators to do so.

    Also, I can see “Temporary status message, as an overlay” could get really annoying really quickly. It reminds me somewhat of Windows’ pop-up ballons, which I disabled at the earliest opportunity back when I was a regular Windows user. If the overlay stays up too long then it’s obstructive and distracting, and transparency does very little to help with that. On the other hand, if it doesn’t stay up long enough then it’s not useful. And if the user has to click on it to get rid of it, that’s just one more interruption of the work flow.

    I fully understand both the desire and the need to keep improving Ubuntu and Gnome. So, how about fixing Nautilus? Its built-in search functionality doesn’t allow searching for text within files, or searching for a date range; these require launching a separate app. There is no click-and-drag selection capability. Right-click in Tree View doesn’t highlight the directory being clicked. There is no immediate indication of whether a directory is empty. It doesn’t honor date preferences when it’s called by an application as part of a ‘File – Save’ operation.

    I really thing basic functionality ought to be addressed before issues that are primarily esthetic are dealt with.

  279. theodore says: (permalink)
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Adding windicators also implies that netbook remix is moving away from the notion of always maximised apps with no chrome with buttons for minimising/closing apps.

    1. So wouldnt that actually take away vertical space? You will still need a panel containing a task bar/start menu button or some other intuitive and fast way to do those things. I saw that in gnome-shell that happens beautifully by just hitting the left top corner of the screen, but I read that next version of ubuntu will not use gnome-shell.

    From the viewpoint of a user with a really small netbook screen, I would prefer not to have any window decorations with windicators and just a panel, in order to save a couple of inches.

    2. Also, laying down applications in a list vertically leaves a huge blank space spot on the bottom of the list (as seen on your example mockup) .. Maybe instead of showing a list of the windows as text, it can show them in the form of thumbnails,which are scaled accordingly to the user’s preference?

    I really like the idea of the windicators, though it might confuse some new users by adding a whole new layer of complexity (but also user experience richness)

  280. theodore says: (permalink)
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I would also have the task bar panel automatically hide when its not needed (most of the time)

  281. westdam says: (permalink)
    May 28th, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Lucid is fantastic, great work!! I’m from italy, i like the windicators idea.. very impressive.

    I’d like to have a new windicators : just a button to obscure the window. This could be done for multiple reason also privacy. Once the button is pressed the windows just become black or trasparent ( only the window of course not the status bar ) . If the button is pressed again the user password should be asked for security reason and the content of the window appear. What do you think? it’s just an idea, glad to help if possibile of course

    marco bottacin