Default Desktop Behavior

Todd Simi tsimi at
Tue Mar 7 17:02:34 UTC 2006

> Message: 4
> Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2006 19:04:42 +1100
> From: David Timms <dtimms at>
> Subject: Re: Default Desktop Behavior
> To: fedora-test-list at
> Message-ID: <440D3E9A.9040305 at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> 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.
> DaveT.
I understand about ALT-TAB, but why must it be that I have to do that in
order to access the application I just asked for?  My firefox loads in 7
seconds, if I haven't used it in a session, and only 3 seconds if I
have.  I don't find that to long to wait for what I want to read.
That's if I'm clicking on a link in an email.

This behavior also occurs when clicking on one of the icons at the top
of the screen.  When calling a program directly for execution.  If right
now I decide I want to insert a quote from the web, I have to click on
the firefox icon, then be anoid that I have to ALT-TAB or click on it in

I just think this could be a really great configurable feature, and not
the M$ type of "feature" it is to me now.


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