Squib of the day: make the menu shorter

Reflecting on the MenuSomeone who believed the system menu should be shorter raised GNOME bug 126674.  The basic idea is that the options in the system menu which move the window to adjacent workspaces and to workspaces given their number are unwieldy and complicated.

Since these options all move windows, and since there is an existing manual move mode on the menu, the reporter suggests removing the workspace entries entirely from the menu and replacing them with some keypresses in manual move mode.  For example:

  • switching to manual move mode and then pressing F5 could move the window to workspace 5;
  • switching to manual move mode and pressing Ctrl+Right could move it one workspace to the right
  • and so on.

It would undoubtedly remove some complication in the user interface, and free up some space for useful other options (such as “screenshot this window”), but perhaps at the cost of making common operations prohibitively difficult to find.  The bug suggests that a popup window like the Alt+Tab window might give instructions about example keypresses.  This would also make moving windows to another workspace with the mouse more difficult, but perhaps people should be doing that with the pager anyway.

Photo © Glenn Loos-Austin, cc-by-sa; thanks to Katie Sutton for choosing it.

2 Comments

  1. Calum
    Posted March 30, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    FWIW, the bug report you mention doesn’t mention any specific difficulties that anyone is having with the current menu. He just says he “believes there’s another bug about it”.

    Without knowing what that other bug reports says, if it even exists, we’re just speculating as to whether this is actually an issue at all.

  2. Simon
    Posted March 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Please don’t do that. There are already keyboard bindings for moving windows between workspaces, but while they’re handy as shortcuts, they’re utterly undiscoverable. As is, I can easily hit Alt-Space to bring up the menu, and use that to move windows around with the keyboard. Very convenient.