After playing with tabbed windows for a while, I now think they're more effective than the desktop cube, or even multiple desktops in general.
Here's a screenshot:
Basically, it's an unused plugin for Compiz that is probably better to use and more fun than desktop cubes. Rather than have a cube to spread many windows out over, you can group similar windows together (for example, a browser window, calculator and 2 openoffice windows for work). Then, you can merge all these windows together into one, and use tabs to switch between them. Here's a small guide to getting it set up.
Step One: Find and enable tabbed windows
The plugin's located in the compiz advanced settings manager, right at the bottom right.
Step Two: Change some settings
The default settings are pretty useless and are very clumsy, which is probably why hardly anyone uses this plugin.
- In the glow tab, change the glow size to something more sensible, like 10 pixels. On small screens, the glow is way too big by default.
- In the "selection" tab, there's lots to change.
> In "animation options", you only need to change the "change tab animation duration" to something like 0.2800.
> In "misc options", you need to enable "autotab windows on creation". This option means that you don't need to use shortcuts to use tabbed windows, making life much easier. You should also shorten the "tab bar show delay" to something like 0.3000.
> In "slot dragging", you might want to enable the "spring model", which adds physics to your tabs and makes things more fun.
> In "window title font", a font size of 9 or 10 is recommended, and font color is best black.
Step Three: How do I use this then?
- Once you've done all the above, you can now try some tabbing out. If you now open 2 new windows (for example, a home folder and terminal), you'll find that you get a small thumbnail of the window when you hover over the titlebar of one of these.
- You can now drag the thumbnail from one window onto the titlebar of the other, and they'll merge into one window. Make sure you drag the thumbnail into the little bubble that pops up, otherwise nothing will happen.
- To change windows, you can now hover over the titlebar and choose the window you want. You also get a cool animation where the window flips over. Pretty cool, huh?
Step 4: Tips
- There seems to be a strange bug where dragging thumbnails into other windows outside of their bubbles occasionally seems to close the window. It hasn't actually closed, but has disappeared to an invisible bubble somewhere. Always make sure the thumbail you're dragging is in the bubble before letting go. You can get the window back by pressing Alt + F2 and typing "compiz --replace".
- There's loads of hidden animations that you can find by doing different things to windows that are grouped together. For example, trying to close a grouped window will send a "ghost window" flying out, leaving the window "underneath".