Shell Yes! — 2nd Issue

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 17:24 - GNOME

It has been quite a few weeks already since the first installment of "Shell Yes!" and it's definitely time for an updated. Back then I concluded optimistically announcing build problems were over, it did not prove to be totally true, but still, development happened and we are now back to full speed, and there are many interesting things to note…

Accessibility Indicator, the first of its kind, exposing many important features, such as high contrast, large text, screen reader, and others. They are not all implemented yet but for example the magnifier is, and it's working really nicely.


Then there are modal dialogs, they were traditionnaly displayed as normal dialogs, it just happened they would block their parent windows, making them refuse all inputs. The difference from normal dialogs has been made clear and the modal dialogs are now displayed as attached to their main window.

As I am writing about window appearance I should of course mention that the design team started putting together a theme. Of course it's also a work in progress and there are many pieces but the Mutter/Metacity theme is already well advanced and working nicely.


I didn't touch the subject when talking about the accessibility indicator, there has been a lot of work going on around icons in the panel, with a division in two kinds, system status, "always on" icons at the top, and transient, "messages" icons in a bottom "Message Tray", that provides direct access to the history of notifications, making it possible to acknowledge them well after the moment they are displayed.

Many other things would be worth mentioning if I didn't want to keep this short (and I am already failing at this point), for exemple it's now possible to push windows over top edges to get them maximised to half the screen. It's really nice to use as wide monitors are getting common.

Last but not least, Florian Müllner already mentioned this in his blog, he pushed a branch with the new overview layout, as exposed at GUADEC, it's already quite nice to get a feel of what's to come.


And that sums it up for this second installment of "Shell Yes!", thanks for reading and see you next time, here or in Natal!

Just to clarify, does password window on the second screenshot have crippled header or it's attached to nautilus window a-la Mac OS X?

Comment by Alex on October 20, 2010 18:08

Perhaps think about desaturating or darkening or similar the parent windows when a modal dialog is shown. Just so it's really clear to the user that nothing will go on until the dialog is dismissed...

Comment by Frank on October 20, 2010 19:25

Can a tab be the parent of a modal dialog?

Comment by mike on October 20, 2010 23:22

It's getting better each time! I thought the symbolic icons were used for some time. With that it will look even more polished :)

Comment by Stiph on October 21, 2010 9:01

I agree with comments, parent window show be darkened, desaturated and/or blurred whil ebeing blocked by modal dialog.

Comment by Tomasz on October 21, 2010 12:23

This is a bit off topic, but as I see you're involved in the shell development, I thought I'd put this here: is there work still going on on alt-tab behavior? The fact that Alt-Tab tabs through *all* workspaces and not the *current* workspaces (at least on my latest shell install from ubuntu packages) completely breaks the usefulness of multiple workspaces which the shell otherwise handles so beautifully. Since Alt-Tab is the dominant mode of switching apps for me and I assume many other users, this is kind of a deal-breaker.

Is there at least a gconf key somewhere I can set to change this behavior if it turns out there's good reason that other people prefer alt-tab to switch through all workspaces?

Comment by Tom on October 21, 2010 12:36

Those On/Off buttons are really confusing... very hard to tell at a glance whether the highlighted text (e.g. "Off" for High Contrast in the top screenshot) represents the current state, or what's going to happen when you click it.

Comment by Calum on November 11, 2010 19:21

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