Default Desktop Behavior

David Timms dtimms at
Tue Mar 7 08:04:42 UTC 2006

Uno Engborg wrote:
> Uno Engborg wrote:
>> Todd Simi wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I didn't see a reply, so I thought I'd ask again.
>>> Is their a way to change the desktop behavior that open new application
>>> below the one with current focus?  If I'm in evolution and I click a
>>> line in an email, I'd like the firefox window to open on top with focus.
>>> Thanks
>>> Todd
>> I would have replied, the problem is that I can't really decide whats 
>> best.
>> A change like this really needs usability testing with real users to 
>> evaluate.
>> The problem with opening applications on top is that they may catch your
>> typing, the disadvantage is that it generates an extra click to bring 
>> the application to front.
You might remember that an alt-tab will access the last created window, 
ie the one that opened up don't even have to slow 
yourself down by needing to move your hand off the keyboard, and mousing 
around ;)  Or the minimize current window Alt-F9 which which leaves the 
new window on top (harder to get the fingers around).

>> On the other hand I have never felt that applications open on top
>> catching input ever have been a big problem, so perhaps it should have 
>> been
>> left unchanged. So I suggest you file a bug report.
>> One way to avoid the problem would be to use the new deskbar applet to
>> type in application names instead of using terminal windows.
What is that called ?
Is it part of a basic gnome install ?
I couldn't see it in add to panel ?

> I think I have made up my mind. This opening window behind is really 
> annoying.
I guess it depends on things like:
- does your brain work only in a single task at a time way
- is the PC so incredibly quick at showing the actual application window 
with the required data already in focus (I'm thinking startuo time for 
openoffice text or firefox, 15 secs/40secs to get past the 'i'm 
starting' dialog and show the actual contents), while you are still 
continuing to read the email you clicked the link on.

I get these mails with say twenty links in them. The way I work is 
quickly skim the email, clicking any interesting ones (takes say ten 
seconds), delete the email, close email viewer, and then the next thing 
on screen is the preloaded web page with the content i requested. I 
don't need to sit here staring an 'i'm starting' dialog or a document / 
web page that is taking some time to load, when I could have continued 
and completed what I was doing in the same wait time.

So if you were typing and the app came up over the top you would waste 
your time until you realized the keystrokes were going to the wrong back to where you really wanted to be...try to 
remember what you had been writing...retype it again. I've done this so 
many times that just this short time with a window manager that dosen't 
do this has been excellent.

> At the very least this should be changeable in gconf.
Yeah, we all have different needs/ways of operation, that a pref like 
this could take into account.


More information about the fedora-test-list mailing list