Redesign the Workspaces Applet

Registered by Ian Hutchinson

At the moment the 'Shiny Switcher' is the applet you get by default in AWN to change workspaces. It works really well if you have a couple of workspaces, but when you start to ramp up the amount you have, it becomes messy and looks out of place with the other applets and icons on the bar.

A possible way of redoing this is implementing a circular shaped switcher. Each segment should represent a workspace, and should be clickable to allow the workspace to be switched to. The number of segments is equal to the amount of workspaces the user has configured. Using this design, the applet will only take up the same amount of space any other icon would, and can grow within this space without getting bigger. The only issue with this is that a user with quite a large amount of workspaces could find it a bit fiddly to change.

Of course, whack in highlighting for the current workspace and all the other current features.

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I have always resisted implementing a workspace switcher that did not mirror the logical layout of the workspaces/viewports used by the WM. In this particular case I guess one could argue that would mirror the lasyout if one was using a layout where one of the dimensions had a depth of 1 ( 4x1, 5x1, 1x3). For standard WMs there is no real practical impediment to layouts such as 2x2 or 3x2 so I really don't think this has any appeal for someone using Metacity or Xfwm4 (for example).

However, as we know all too well, compiz requires this type of layout if you want a spinny cube thing happening. And I do recognize that shinyswitcher can be an issue in that case (not that one can scale the size down so it is acceptable).

With the above in mind, I would not add that functionality into shinyswitcher which has a great deal of window level management which would not be possible in this circular, pie slice, layout. But in recognition of the powerful draw of the cube I am willing to consider creating a circular workspace switcher to fill this niche. It wouldn't be a lot of work as there would be no attempt to introduce window management features.

(moonbeam <email address hidden> 19/08/2009)


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