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Thread: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

  1. #21
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    Quote Originally Posted by bugbear6502 View Post
    I too hate this behaviour - my normal mode of work is a large number of GVIM windows and a large number of xterm command windows.

    There will commonly be 2-3 GVIM windows and a command window to a particular "project" (e.g. a couple of source or config files and a shell to run them).

    The "stodgy old" behaviour with the "LRU" stack property on the windows allowed the windows of any particular "project" to be easily accessible via alt-tab.

    The point being - the "natural" grouping for my windows is NOT NOT NOT via application, but Unity is forcing that upon me.

    BugBear
    I couldn't agree more. This is how I work too, and exactly how I experience the problem. I've been using this for months now, and it is absolutely horrible. I dislike it with a vengeance, and one day I'll probably switch away from Unity simply because of this. And it's not because I've not tried, it just doesn't do what I need.

  2. #22
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    I've re-read the thread, and I now think I see the problem.

    For many people, their task does indeed group by application, and thus the two "modes" (switch application/switch window) are nicely usable.

    But for some people (including me) tasks do NOT group by application. And this breaks the unity model utterly, rendering it horrendous.

    BugBear

  3. #23
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    Yeah, and I'm with you on this. I still don't see how this is so great. Browsers for example have moved from multiple windows to multiple tabs, and ctrl-tab/ctrl-shift-tab can be used to flip through those easily. Now I have alt-tab, ctrl-tab AND alt-|. How many levels of this stuff do we need? And with this behaviour, I'd hope it was at least consistent by making alt-| switch windows within application and alt-tab switch between apps. But no, in some cases alt-tab and alt-| bring me to the same window (eg firefox's download window when using firefox).

    I do see how some applications perhaps have multiple windows that you'd want to switch between, then perhaps use a browser a bit, and then return to your app and flip through app windows later. But I certainly don't think unity has made my life easier in any way at all. And it must be so easy to add an option for MRU alt-tab behaviour... It's very frustrating.

  4. #24
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    Quote Originally Posted by bugbear6502 View Post
    But for some people (including me) tasks do NOT group by application. And this breaks the unity model utterly, rendering it horrendous.
    The Unity (i.e. modern) way to do that is to put related windows into their own workspace. It works very well. Then you alt+tab/backtick between windows in the current workspace and ctrl+alt+up/down to "context switch" yourself between tasks, i.e. between whole groups of windows in workspaces. Remember also that shift+ctrl+alt+up/down moves the current window to another workspace.

    I use GNOME-shell rather than Unity but the above also applies to GNOME-shell. I much prefer GNOME-shell's "dynamic" linear workspaces to the traditional Unity 2D static workspaces. It's a really smart idea.

    Seriously guys, don't just look for what you had before. We have moved on and the modern DE can improve the way you work. You have to make an effort to learn new ways however.

  5. #25
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkeye View Post
    Hold alt and press tab.
    When you come to grouped windows continue holding alt and press ~ (key above tab)to cycle through the grouped windows.
    I never knew that, it works really well.

  6. #26
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    Quote Originally Posted by k999 View Post
    snowpine, on a norwegian keyboard, ` is on:

    AltGr-\ space

    so it doesn't work. But it seems alt-| might work to switch between windows in the same group. That's a start...

    But again, does anyone actually think Unity's behaviour is an improvement over the old behaviour? Why is it better, and how does it help you work more efficiently??
    What Norwegian keyboard do you have? If I press AltGr-\ space it only makes a space (If there are any open windows where you can write). I use a Norwegian keyboard as well.

    To access `I have to press Shift + the key that is to the left of backspace.


    Edit: I have had many different keyboards, and they have all been the same way.
    Last edited by pompel9; May 8th, 2013 at 01:17 PM.

  7. #27
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    pompel9, when I hit Shift-backspace, nothing happens. Then, when I next hit space, the ` appears.

  8. #28
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    Seriously guys, don't just look for what you had before. We have moved on and the modern DE can improve the way you work. You have to make an effort to learn new ways however.
    markbl, I think you're bordering on trolling, and you're certainly not very constructive. Why don't you think I've made an effort? I've been using Unity since it arrived, and after a couple of years I still don't find it suitable for my workflow. The old "most recently used" works much better for the way I work, it lets me switch to the window I want much faster. Of course, I'm sure you think I work wrong.

  9. #29
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    Quote Originally Posted by k999 View Post
    markbl, I think you're bordering on trolling, ...
    2 weeks to reply and that is it?!

    I'm not criticizing anybody specific. It's just human nature to resist change with most things in life, not just DE's. The GNOME and Canonical guys have thought hard about this stuff and have made changes to improve the way we work. They are not idiots.

  10. #30
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    Re: What's with the alt-tab behaviour in Unity?

    If there is one thing I really like about Unity, it's the switcher. Sometimes it is more complicated, but most of the times I find it better. But:

    - I would like to be able to switch between windows of the same application that are on the current workspace only (and not on all workspaces), without first pressing Alt+Tab* and then Alt+`. This is possible by enabling "Bias alt-tab to prefer windows on the current viewport" (ccsm / unity plugin / switcher tab), but this causes behaviour that makes alt-tabbing as a whole just unusable (=> launchpad bug).

    * I have changed it to "Key to start the Switcher for all viewports" (is it just me or this name for the shortcut confusing? It's like it suggests the opposite of what it actually does... i.e. shows only the applications on the current workspace)

    - Another thing that I really don't get is the logic how the windows of the same applications are arranged and rearranged once you flip to some of them and cycle to another one etc. The logic seems different to the old Gnome 2.x era alt-tab? I just can't do it intuitively at all, I always have to look at the window title/preview thumbnail.

    - I don't like how 13.04 made the space between the icons wider vs. 12.10 (pic below). Would be nice if you could actually adjust the size of the icons too...

    - The "pips" (do they have another name? Omgubuntu calls them "pips" - the small silver/grey icons in below screenshot that also appear in the launcher): why on earth are they limited to three?! In practice they are only useful for indicating whether you have more than 2 windows/instances of the same application open, since you will see three "pips" if you have 3 windows, and you will see three "pips" if you have 30 windows open. So pointless! Also, they still look ugly especially against certain background colors.

    Last edited by Paper Bag; June 3rd, 2013 at 01:04 AM.

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