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Thread: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

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    Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    Hey all. I post my desktop in the screenshots thread once in a while, and I'm usually thinking that none of the weird customization I do actually shows up in screencaps. I'm also curious to know what just-under-the-hood tweaks other folks are making, and see if there's anything I'd like to nab. So I thought I'd list a few of my oddities and see what y'all have going on.

    I use Unity, and it's fairly stock - I have a tweaked theme and transparent menus, and I have a couple of hotcorners for Scale and Expo. But I've found ways to tweak the window switching behavior to be a bit more intuitive to me. I took minimized windows back out of Scale, so they stay out of the way, but set hidden windows to be sticky, so that minimized windows are available no matter which workspace I'm on (like they're "stored" in the launcher, thus, not on any particular workspace.)

    I have a somewhat crazily Chrome-centric desktop, in that Chrome is my default .pdf viewer (local documents are set to open in a new window.) I have GMail and Play Music as webapps, which integrates nicely with the same services on Android.

    I'm also addicted to Touchégg. Thanks to a true multi-touch trackpad, in addition to the usual three buttons and two scrolling axes, I have expo, scale, and previous and next workspace as three-finger swipes and browser back, forward, and tab switching as four-finger. It's roughly the same arrangement as on Mac, but I giggle at trackpads on Windows or, if forced to use one, cry a bit.

    Oh, and I couldn't live without my Glippy paste menu (set to Ctrl+Shift+V) and Tomboy lens (so that all notes are searchable from the Dash without clicking anything.) (I can't live without a clipboard manager even on Android, so. I introduced them to a friend of mine who uses Windows about a year ago, and she can't remember life before having one.)

    Oh, and I've decided Gwenview is the best default image viewer ever. So much better than eog....

    Any weird and useful workflow tweaks in your desktop?
    Last edited by Copper Bezel; November 19th, 2013 at 10:22 PM.
    ~ I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home. ~

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    Nobody really obsesses over the things I obsess over, huh? I guess I really need to take stock of that. = /
    ~ I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home. ~

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    Since I use awesome WM rather than Unity, my desktop is crazy tweaked out. So yeah, you're not the only one who obsesses over these things, but I figured my tweaks wouldn't be very interesting to non-Awesome (window manager) users.

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    i always disable animations and transparency. Useless cycle-sucking toys.

    I put one application apiece on multiple workspaces. As long as I can click once on something -- an icon, a minimized window in a panel, etc. -- that's clearly identifiable as a specific open application *and* then move to the workspace containing that app, I'm happy. (I can't do this in Cinnamon, for example, so I don't use Cinnamon, which is otherwise admirable.)

    I use a dropdown terminal. Guake at the moment.

    Until font-size changes as the dimensions of a tiled window changes, I won't consider using a tiling window manager.

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    Quote Originally Posted by lykwydchykyn View Post
    Since I use awesome WM rather than Unity, my desktop is crazy tweaked out. So yeah, you're not the only one who obsesses over these things, but I figured my tweaks wouldn't be very interesting to non-Awesome (window manager) users.
    Thread's open to all tweaks and any - whatever makes your desktop work differently than it did on a fresh install, no matter what desktop it is. I'm personally always curious about the daily workflow in the hardcore, barebones wms like Awesome that I can't bring myself to use. = )

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot
    Until font-size changes as the dimensions of a tiled window changes, I won't consider using a tiling window manager.
    Yeah, I really want this even in stacking. The few apps that do respond to resizing, like Chrome's pdf reader, always save me a step of scrolling or zooming, etc. Windows 8 has a touch of this functionality in Metro, but not the whole package, by all appearances.
    ~ I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home. ~

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    I use Ubuntu with Unity, enable a hot corner for scale to expose applications in all desktops, use edge flip (with desktop wall) for switching desktop (there are some issues but I got them fixed) I use also the shift switcher for picking windows in the same workplace, I like it better than alt-tab. With these the workflow for multitasking is really smooth (Totally disagree with people who say that Unity is not good for multitasking)

    For eye candies I enable only wobbly windows. I keep the default theme and wall paper because I like it very much. In some installation I use emerald, but not really necessary. I also use the Faenza icons in some installations.

    Oh I use a script that executes at startup to enable two finger scrolling.
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; November 21st, 2013 at 12:53 PM.

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    mine are just surface things.

    firefox:
    -- colorific extension, tweak it so i can double-click the icon on web pages that are bright, dark or have dull coloured writing, to change or invert colours, otherwise i cannot view the pages.
    -- dblclicker extension, using a laptop with a touchpad is good, but i cannot understand how anyone can tolerate the inefficient nature of opening web browser tabs. this allows me to double-tap (click) any link, tab, bookmark etc to open in new tab, instead of dragging it or right-clicking to choose menu item.

    firefox is in my startup programs list and always has been, even before i knew linux existed, and used windows.

    general:

    i did setup android sdk program so i could take screenshots of my phone, but i dont need it now.

    i use spideroak online backup storage, because it is different from most other services. it allows you to select directories to directly backup, instead of putting everything into one folder. my other requirement, besides better security, is to not use sync, i dont want it to mess with my files, just copy. good to know it is cross platform also.

    i sometimes manually use cpulimit for small video transcoding projects. no other method works for me.

    i use sylpheed email program, even though i could use thunderbird, i cant be bothered to learn a new program. i did various tweaks. it would probably be easier to use thunderbird, though i never have, and sylpheed is so fast !

    i do backups in a very generic way. i make notes, copy configs and personal files manually and paste them to a usb flash drive (and have the online storage). i delete all the previous files from the flash drive before pasting everything to it again, with the exception of anything larger which has not changed. about 1.3gb (not including music), it is encrypted too.

    i did have a delay set for my startup programs, in a strategic way, not because i have a slow computer, but i didnt see the point in loading lots of things at once.

    i have to theme everything in certain ways so as to look not cluttered or have contrasting light/dark, for the sake of sanity and sensitive eyes.

    thats all i can think of.
    Last edited by black veils; November 21st, 2013 at 01:35 PM.

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    Quote Originally Posted by Copper Bezel View Post
    Thread's open to all tweaks and any - whatever makes your desktop work differently than it did on a fresh install, no matter what desktop it is. I'm personally always curious about the daily workflow in the hardcore, barebones wms like Awesome that I can't bring myself to use. = )
    Alrighty then; first here's some niceties that come with just using Awesome (or most tiling wm's):

    - Really fast and low on resource usage
    - I never, ever have to do window managment. By window management, I mean all the fiddling you do with the size and shape of windows to make them fit on the screen nicely together. This was always kind of a chore in my workflow when I was on a floating wm.
    - Virtual desktops are different, in a nice way, especially on my dual-monitor system. Instead of desktops it has what are called 'tags'. Windows are assigned to a 'tag', and in that sense it's like virtual desktops. Except that you can have multiple tags displayed at once. Tags are independent on each screen too, unlike other desktops. Ultimately it means less dragging around of windows to get things I want displaying.

    Now some tweaks I've added to improve my experience:

    - I set up a hotkey (super-G) that brings up a prompt to search google for whatever I type. Automatically opens up my preferred browser with the results.
    - Some types of programs are automatically moved to appropriate tags. The email client automatically starts on the email tag, the web browsers start on the web tag, virtual machines on their own tag, etc. This is really nice when, say, you want to launch the email client and have it downloading mail but don't want to switch away from what you're currently doing just yet. I hit the hotkey to launch it, it launches on it's assigned tag, and when I'm ready I just pop over and read my mail.
    - I use compton (compiled from git sources) for compositing.

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    Quote Originally Posted by lykwydchykyn View Post
    Alrighty then; first here's some niceties that come with just using Awesome (or most tiling wm's):
    For me, the apparent advantage of not needing to size and manuever individual windows because a tiling WM allows a fixed position and fixed dimensions to be assigned to a window is negated by the need to scroll content within one of those windows.

    i deal with the issue by running one app -- at about 70% of screen size -- per workspace.

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    Re: Workflow tweaks and oddities on your desktop - the invisible not-stockness

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    For me, the apparent advantage of not needing to size and manuever individual windows because a tiling WM allows a fixed position and fixed dimensions to be assigned to a window is negated by the need to scroll content within one of those windows.

    i deal with the issue by running one app -- at about 70% of screen size -- per workspace.
    Yeah, it depends what's in those windows, I guess. The vast majority of the time I run one window per desktop, and it's nice that it's always full-screen; when I do have multiple windows open, they're usually terminals or emacs buffers.

    The bottom line is, if you *do* need to have multiple windows open on a single screen, you're either going to have them covering each other or you're going to have to resize them like a tiling WM would have.

    In any case, I'm not trying to evangelize tiling window managers, just sharing what made me switch.

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