Replace the Taskbasr and System Tray

Registered by Alejandro Vidal

Karmic needs a UI redesign, not only a cute theme.

By now, Gnome is copying various Windows features, like having a taskbar with context-menu actions, a button based taskmanager at the bottom, etc.

What i mean is not that we should use others features because they are already in used, i mean making a real chage in the User Interaction experience.

Right now, screen are getting wider and wider, so we lost valuable height. Gnome pannels, use 46px in the screen and valuable space is wasted at the right of the Application titlebar.

To make Karmic REALLY unique, i propose 4 changes:

1) Replace the main menu words (apps, places, system) by icons.
By the time, this can be more intuitive to the user, instead of reading words that may vary in their regions, for example "Programas" "Aplicaciones" or "Ejecutables" are used in Spanish to reference applications.

2) Add a iconified task-manager
Reuse existing launchers in the panel and use them as we currently use the buutons in the taskmanager. Also, would be GREAT to replace the context-menu icons of the system tray, adding those menus to the context-menu of the icons in the taskmanager/launcher.
This could replace the need for 2 panels, leaving only one. Also, is very artificial that users need to have one icon in the pannel for a custom launcher, one button in the bottom for the application switching and ANOTHER icon in the system tray for custom context-menu actions. This could be more intuitive.

3) Force apps to use tabs and GDI-like windows, maybe pannels.
Applications like, Dia, GIMP, and many others uses more than one window to operate, so if i'm opening only one image why should i have 3 items in the tasklist? or why openoffice uses a new window for every document if , as user, I am used to the tabs in nautilus and firefox, also a simpler app like Gedit is using tabs. This way we could have the titlebar clean, showing only the app name, deferring the title of the document to the tab text.

4) Reuse the titlebar.
Right now, apps with a short name are wasting precious pixels al the right of their titlebar. I propose, to have a unique Ui and reuse that space, add the main menus to the aplication main titlebar.
So, if the document title is visible trough the tab text, we have a clean titlebar, and we can put menus on it.
To move the windows, click on the name. And if the menus are too much, reuse the GIMP system, of adding a sub-menu for all that does'n fit there.


Best Regards.

P.D.: Windows has already deleted the titlebar and the menubar on their apps, Mac has that GlobalMenu, so, what do we have?

Blueprint information

Not started
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Series goal:
Proposed for karmic
Not started
Milestone target:
milestone icon karmic-alpha-4

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Although this is a well written blueprint making a clear statement about where you want to go, the total amount of code changes needed, are huge. Not to mention that the changes would conflict with existing Gnome specifications on how the GUI should work.
If this is to be accepted and worked opun, it could really be the thing Mark was talking about: making Ubuntu look as slick as a Mac. We could make a start by making a series of patches for Metacity that are kept up-to-date with the upstream metacity. Like this we do not have to maintain a wholly different window manager. Point #4 can be addressed like this, although changes to the way GTK works are also needed to place the menubar in the titlebar.
Changes to the taskbar etc. are much easier to achieve and should be doable...
- my 2 cents / Mathijs Dumon

Perhaps this would go well in the Gnome Shell Designer Playground ( //MadsRH


Work Items

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