Resizing windows

Registered by Matthew Paul Thomas

In Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, it is very difficult to resize windows. In Ubuntu 10.10, it is even more difficult. We should make it easy in Natty, using code already mostly implemented by Cody Russell. This may involve a sweep of applications to check compatibility, in a similar way that we reviewed applications using interactive notification bubbles in 9.04 and the notification area in 10.10.

We should also investigate the possibility of backporting a fix to 10.04 and 10.10.

Tags: hci-n, hci, applications, usability, window managers

Blueprint information

Duncan McGreggor
Matthew Paul Thomas
Cody Russell
Series goal:
Accepted for natty
Milestone target:
Started by
Cody Russell
Completed by
David Barth

Related branches



[Copied from Gobby document: packageselection-dx-n-resizing-windows]

Window borders were made very narrow. This was a design choice. Unfortunately, it has had negative repurcussions for interaction.

 * GTK+ 3.0 adds a resize grip, by default, to the corner of each toplevel GTK window that is resizable. If an application author is so inclined, an option could be added for that application to remove the grip, but it is otherwise enabled in all cases and not explicitly configurable by the user.

 * In window decorator, add invisible hit area for window borders.
     - Someone may want to click a button on a window behind and close to the edge of the focus window. However, the Resize pointer should indicate what will happen when the user clicks, the act of resizing is not destructive, and there is some ambiguity about where exactly the anchor for the pointer is. We don't believe it will be a problem in practice.
 * Window resize mode that adds large, clearly visible clickable handles to each edge of a window. The touch screen people are pondering a gesture that feels like this.
 * System-wide preference to adjust interface size and contrast. Scales font size, size of widgets (like scrollbars), and colours. May be able to replace accessibility themes.
 * Divvy for Mac OSX is an interesting tool for managing windows.

Work items
 * Make sure the new resize grip fits in current applications; doesn't interfere with anything. We should make some noise about this during the Natty cycle so people keep their eyes open and file bugs.
 * Neil: Invisible window resize area

Work items:
[bratsche] Implement resize grips on GtkWindow for GTK+ 3.0: DONE
[bratsche] Get 3.0 patch accepted upstream: DONE
[bratsche] Backport said window resize grips to GTK+ 2.x: DONE
[bratsche] Trackdown 2.x backport bug: DONE
[bratsche] Get 2.x work in a PPA for Meerkat: DONE
[bratsche] Early in Natty, add window resize grips to Ubuntu's GTK2: DONE
[vish] Publicize and oversee papercuts fixes for GTK2 applications that need to get out of the way of the grip: INPROGRESS
[smspillaz] Add invisible border for resizing any side of a window: DONE
[smspillaz] Backport the invisible border fix to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and 10.10 if possible: POSTPONED

ion, 2010-11-19:
Divvy looks like a reinvented tiling window manager with a lot more manual work compared to the competition.


Work Items