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Thread: Symphony - Shell evolved

  1. #11
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    i personally prefer a smaller menu, not necessarily quite as small as classic, simply because this allows you to have an eye on other open apps while using it, which is useful for things like IM clients and such, with the overlay you lose the ability to see other open windows
    My general idea was to use the overlay to see all windows on the current workspace next to each other. Basically giving you the ability to super-tab though running apps, but also give you the ability to click on them without using a keyboard or the launcher.
    I meant the overlay to be the management console of your workspaces giving all the tools necessary to do so.

    well just personal opinion i guess, for most programs the menu is something i access infrequently, with the toolbars having what i use the majority of the time but it seems we agree that hiding the menus until mouseover is bad design.
    This should be the design of the application itself, personally I think having to move my mouse from a little window in the center of my screen to the upper left corner just touse a function of that window cumbersome and counterintuitive. The only reason I can thnik of is that it would be replaced by the new HUD functionality, but this does assume that know what you are looking for.

    i think i understand, you mean something sortof like this?
    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_1QSDkzYY2vc/TT...y-launcher.png

    but with the launcher opening a categorised menu overlay instead of the current lenses

    well, as mentioned above i think a fullscreen overlay isnt the best choice, but im only one person so anyone else who has an opinion should jump in
    Yes, that's basically my starting point at the moment, unless someone convinces me otherwise.
    I personally think the overlay should help me defining workspaces and filling them with applications, manage there windows all in order to complete my tasks within the workspace itself.
    It should give me a complete overview of all (running) apps, places/files and workspaces in a neat workflow based kind of way (Still thinking about how to accomplish exactly that).

    The launcher should help me switch between those applications without having to click twice and visually show me what's running without clicking at all and this all within the current workspace. I don't want to use the overlay if I do something within the workspace itself.
    Last edited by Reason NL; May 15th, 2012 at 04:29 PM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    I have made a place on one of my servers to host a HTML click-able demo.
    (Which does not exists just yet, but will be there in the future)

    http://symphony.2nv2u.com/concept

    I does contain some impressions of the state bar, launcher placement and window management.

    The basic idea behind the state bar is that the whole menu consist of a accordion typed list which will open on the corresponding item depending on which was clicked on the closed bar.
    (Speaker icon will open the sound accordion for example)
    Also the notifications are stacked for later reference. The faded ones will disappear on a specified timeout. The brighter ones will remain there until the user removes them.

    The closed bar show the notification amount on the left and I'm still brainstorming for a better way to show "notification icons" for other running apps, I'm currently thinking about a way to use the launcher / overlay for it because it seems to be a better location. Ideas are welcome off course.

    Please note this is a concept and, even though I couldn't resist making it a bit nicer looking, not the final look and feel.
    Last edited by Reason NL; May 16th, 2012 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Minor changes

  3. #13
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    New update. Cleaned up the images a bit and added a user state.

  4. #14
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    I personally don't see the use for a menu when you can use a launcher such as Synapse. There are still some things in Synapse which are not good, but it is really useful. To elaborate:
    Synapse uses just zeitgeist for recent applications and such. I would like to see it include ALL applications when pressing down. I would also like to see the ability to switch between categories by using alt+1 - 8. It also lacks the proper use of a mouse, so that should be fixed as well if it is to be used as menu alternative.

    Furthermore I find it important that if I make an application fullscreen, it should stay fullscreen. That should not change when I switch applications. Therefor the panels should stay behind the application that was set to fullscreen. This is especially the case when working with multiple screens.

    Also please keep the close,minimize,maximize buttons configurable. I prefer to have them on the right side instead of the left. I can see in the design that it would make the layout of the top panel shift. To compensate that, you can move the top panel items a little to the left. This should keep the interface "steady".

  5. #15
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    Although I agree the computer should "learn" how you use it, it should not mean that you loose the ability to categorize and customize it yourself.
    It should always be what YOU want it to be not what IT thinks is good for you, this does not automatically mean it shouldn't suggest you with things it learned from your behavior.

    I do agree that the computer should be controllable with ONLY the keyboard, but this does apply to the mouse/touch input devices as well. So a button or way to get into the overlay should be available, of course this might become something you could configure (This even includes a popup on screen keyboard).

    The functionality being exposed by Synapse/Gnome DO should be incorporated in the overlay, but Unity and Gnome Shell all ready do this so nothing new there, the task oriented bit from Gnome DO where you cannot only search something but select an action for it as well might be interesting addition.

    I will think about the window control position, but as you all ready mentioned yourself, it might not work with the design direction I'm going for. I'll definitely look into it.

    About the fullscreen aspect, of course a fullscreen app should remain fullscreen and panels shouldn't hinder it if it looses focus, but this seems to be more like a bug than a feature. I was thinking about an auto hiding control on the top center to exit the fullscreen mode, close the application etc, basically just what all remote desktop applications do when the display the guest in fullscreen, something that, again, should be managed by the window manager not the application (same thing as the tabs in a window exposing the same app in the same space multiple times), this would also help against not responding fullscreen apps as the window (although it's borderless) is being controlled by a different process, and it potentially gives all apps fullscreen possibilities (Think of F11 in your browser being handled by the window manager not the browser itself).
    This does expose some potential issues, think of games that capture all the input, so please help me choosing a viable option to tackle this concept.

    I'm still focusing my attention at the state bar (notification, time, sound etc.) for now, so if somebody feels a compelling urge to shout something about it please do!

  6. #16
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    Update:
    - Another clean up
    - Added state with nothing open (just notifications)
    - Changed audio state to include output device instead of balance and fader.
    - Removed horizontal launcher (for now)
    - Added fullscreen window with options (also includes overlay button)

  7. #17
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    Added 2 more pictures detailing the statebar a bit more, felt like fancying it up a bit again, beginning to resemble what it might look like.

  8. #18
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    Anyone?? Seems you guys need some inspiration first...

    So, another update:
    - Removed old images
    - Created a new output paradigm (See below)
    - Updated new images added new sound state based on above statement.

    The new output concept basically makes it very easy to extend audio and video beyond the current device.
    It allows you to send audio to other devices globally and on application bases.
    The same concept is used for displaying workspaces. Not only having multiple monitors allow you to view more workspaces, the idea is to use other devices to output to as well!
    How awesome would it be to just simply select your TV from the state bar as output device for the current workspace?
    What about other machines running Ubuntu which effectively will allow sharing that workspace which another user!
    So this concept basically allows all outputs to be shared across all your (network) devices combining displaying and sharing at the same time.
    The overlay will eventually support opting workspaces for sharing as well, allowing users to select an workspace from there overlay running on a different machine!

    I'm currently drawing the display state so hopefully it will enlighten my idea a little.

    Cheers!

  9. #19
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    Gnome Sell: I like the window animations and I don't like having to use the overview to search for applications.The calendar requires the installation of Evolution and Ubuntu uses Thunderbird as the default mail client.

    Unity: I dislike the current inability to move the launcher. but I find the application search much more efficient because I can search without using an overview. The global menu need some customization options like were available in the Gnome 2 PPA.(no longer supported)

    KDE: I like some of the built in transparency effects.

    Gnome 2: I really miss noting about it and Mate is available anyway . I found the 3 tier menu combined with the control center and menu xdg just listed the same applications in a different places. This is redundant to me. No matter what menu system is used this just seems like kind of a waste.
    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

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  10. #20
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    Re: Symphony - Shell evolved

    Can you tell me what difference it makes opening the Ubuntu dash instead of the gnome overlay?
    How does this make your searching more efficient even though it requires the exact same mouse clicks and type effort?
    Not trying to make your point invalid, just wondering why you experience it as being less efficient.

    I'm opting to include the places menu again in the overview, it should include external usb sticks and hdd's as well, never understood what is did within a launcher on unity which suppose to expose applications not devices.

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