View Full Version : What would you put in your DE

September 20th, 2011, 05:38 AM

Disclaimer being said, if you had the ability to build any DE any way you wanted (even making modifications to Unity <without using hate>) how would you throw together your perfect DE?

Copper Bezel
September 20th, 2011, 05:54 AM
I had one of these threads (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1745370) a bit back. I don't feel very strongly about any of it now. I really like Gnome with Compiz, I'm a big fan of docks and particularly the highly feature-rich DockBarX, I think search-based launching is the ideal, and generally, I think Unity is on the right track, but it's still a bit cluttered and not spatial enough for my tastes.

If Compiz had KDE's Desktop Grid, it'd be pretty much perfect. Unity, I'm not sold on the combined top bar for maximized windows just yet, and the auto-hiding global menu still seems like a mistake to me, while the Launcher is missing a lot of features I like - even simple stuff like hiding windows from other workspaces. I also think the Dash is a poor cousin to Synapse.

I do think there are some conflicting metaphors that could be more consistent. I don't know why Scale and Alt+Tab need to look and act so much differently, for instance (so I use the Ring Switcher with hidden windows, well, hidden.)

false truths
September 20th, 2011, 06:01 AM
Honestly, I'm rather easily satisfied. I've used default GNOME 2.32, default Unity in Ubuntu 11.04, default GNOME 3, and default KDE4 and managed the same average productivity. For merely the look and feel, I want something very very close to GNOME Shell, but, put the dash on the desktop, not the activities interface, and while I like the hot corner and Super key for opening it, I'd still really like my top left button to have the Ubuntu logo and open some sort of main menu.

I've emulated the first of these by putting Docky on my left side and removing the Docky icon from it. With the HUD theme it looks very much like a natural part of the default GNOME Shell theme.

So basically, my ideal DE is just a modified version of GNOME Shell that can be accomplished with a few extensions and Docky.

September 20th, 2011, 07:21 AM
Something a bit like lxde and xfce with the power of gnome2, it will probably be based around openbox, stalonetray, some stand alone taskbar, some stand alone menu and dock.
There won't be a limit to panel size and quantity, the panels will be able to be aligned left etc. the systray and other parts will all be written to be an applet for the panel.

It will have a seperate program for the wallpaper and desktop icons (or be able to disable them) the system settings will probably be in one window and have a separate short cut for each program that configures it.

This way it will be very configurable and you can take what you want and have it as looking minimilist or full featured

September 20th, 2011, 07:30 AM
Python, Second Life, and a way of encrypted wireless communication similar to Skype.

I'm fine with Gnome 2, and Aero. They work, and they make sense.

September 20th, 2011, 07:33 AM
It would basically be Unity, plus being able to combine different windows from different applications into one window. So if I want to combine gedit and firefox, I would do so and the title bar would be split in two as a tab bar and you click on the one you want to see. It would make switching between things in Unity much better.

I've seen this type of thing in KDE and Haiku and perhaps other things, and I've heard there's some Compiz thing that does something like that (not in Unity) but I haven't been able to get it.

September 20th, 2011, 11:05 AM
Hello All

Desktop with large screen, only me using: lightly configured dwm with tabs set up with different combinations of software. Hibernate to disk allows me to save layout and resume work on projects.

Netbook with small screen, gets handed around to other people: whatever other people expect a computer to look like and can use easily. At present, that is xfce with one bottom panel and launchers for common applications. Wifi auto-connects in my main teaching venue.

What I'd like for the future: Jef Raskin style interface with just 'work' or 'projects' and a constructor kit for making dashboards on a large screen. Oh, and it has to work on hardware that will last 10 to 15 years.

September 20th, 2011, 04:53 PM
i just want a taskbar that can show 2 rows of items. is it too much to ask? :'( only xfce4-panel does this, and when you do, the workspace switcher applet becomes obscenely large.

but apart from that, i have my ideal DE. openbox with size/placement shortcuts and thunar. ive not found a more convenient way of starting programs with a mouse than with a root menu, especially if you reserve the top pixel row so you can just shoot your mouse up and right-click even if you've got things fullscreen.

September 20th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Xfce with power management that works correctly. The monitor never seems to turn off when it should after being inactive, and never hibernates when critical on battery. I would also like a better task manager and application menu by default, but it is pretty easy to add on my own. Aside from that Xfce is perfect for me

September 20th, 2011, 05:44 PM
Unity, except keep drop-down menus in the main window itself.

I've previously proposed compacting the drop-down menu into a single (but wide) button on the title bar a-la Firefox and Opera to preserve space, but ultimately I prefer they be located directly on the window.

Copper Bezel
September 20th, 2011, 08:14 PM
Alwimo, for reference, while Compiz has "tabbing" in that sense, there are no actual tabs. It's more like sticking one window to the backside of another and flipping it over. Utterly useless.

I have thought before that it would be neat to have Chrome-like tabs built into the decorations and window manager, particularly for apps like gedit, but I don't know how practical it would really be. I think you really just end up giving windows their own task bars.

Thought of something absurd to add to my previous post: I'd like to see more modularity and interoperation. Fully unified interfaces and standards, and something where the open and save dialogs would actually be special windows of the default file manager and such. Take the document-centric model all the way down, so that applications become more like plugins to handle certain types of files and tasks. I feel like I'm already "trying" to handle my applications this way, using Zeitgeist features like recent documents in Synapse and the dock icons, or dragging and dropping files from the file manager into the dock icons as a primary way of opening files.

Ideally, make it so that you can forget that the different windows you're using belong to different applications at all.

Less on-the-moon, I'd still like to see stricter interoperability, so that things like the inconsistency in Unity's global menu, resize handles, and overlay scrollbars (that some apps use them and some don't) don't happen.

September 20th, 2011, 10:11 PM
I have thought before that it would be neat to have Chrome-like tabs built into the decorations and window manager, particularly for apps like gedit, but I don't know how practical it would really be. I think you really just end up giving windows their own task bars.

Kwin does this. Never got into using it in practice, but your mileage may vary.

September 20th, 2011, 10:55 PM
search-based launching, robust, configurable keybidings, excellent space economy (especially on the vertical plain), a variety of local and remote services built into the interface, and a tiling mode.

Unity has three of these four, and the grid plugin is getting close to tiling. A true tiling mode would be better, however.

Lightweight and fast is also good, but this is somewhat at odds with having a lot of built-in services. It vexes me.

October 20th, 2011, 07:16 AM
I have played with Gnome shell and Unity, love Gnome shell. That said, a few tweaks to Unity would make it great.

1: add a mouse over hot spot to show running apps. and another to show desktops in use.(perhaps at top left like in GS)

2: move the window menus back to the window frame (instead of top panel) but make them a mouse over pop-up tab so as to keep the window real-estate

3: allow files to be placed in favorites so they can appear in the dash(not just apps.)

That's my "two bob's worth" (I'm Aussie)

October 20th, 2011, 08:22 AM
A more polished Openbox!

October 20th, 2011, 12:42 PM
KDE crossed with the Win7 Superbar, keeping the KWin compositor (seriously. It's so smooth!) and made as lightweight as XFCE.

Yeah, I know, I'm dreaming.:p

October 20th, 2011, 02:02 PM
I'd have the complete Gnome 2 styling and interface but with all GUI elements done entirely with the GPU.

October 20th, 2011, 03:29 PM
And what would be the point of that? Some of us have integrated graphics, you know.

October 20th, 2011, 03:41 PM
A more polished Openbox!

there's hardly anything i can think of with openbox that needs more polish. but i guess it doesnt do the fancy stuff. it does have icons in the root menu now though i believe!

and as for tabbed windows: pekwm does this (below) and scrotwm does too but thats a tiling wm and not to everyones taste


terminal (titled fish) and calculator tabbed into one window.

it'd be nice if someone developed an app that was just a plain window, and you could load arbitrary gtk programs into it with tabs. there's tabbed (http://tools.suckless.org/tabbed), but it is pretty limited and doesn't use gtk tabs or have easy mouse integration. you might as well alt-tab or alt+ctrl+arrow if you have to use the keyboard anyway.

October 20th, 2011, 05:59 PM
I would like to see improved frontends for configuration, tabbed windows, and above all, an even more capable root menu. I don't know if it's feasible, but I'd like to see the systray and a pager moved into the root menu. :-k

October 20th, 2011, 06:15 PM
Xfce, but with a better task manager, and with more capabilities for arranging windows (like cascading and tiling)