When GNOME bug 86590 was born, it was a request to make workspaces switch instantaneously when you panned around them using the workspace switcher with ctrl+alt+arrow.
Then that was fixed, and someone else complained that it was too slow, and inconsistent with the alt+tab popup, which doesn’t switch until you let go of alt. They asked for it to be reverted. Someone else suggested a compromise: if the user pauses while moving through workspaces, flip to that workspace without removing the pager.
Of course, then we’d have to consider whether we should do that with alt+tab, too. It’s possible that the two cases are different enough that there’s no good analogy here, though: workspaces can be named, for example. It’s possible as well that they’d become different enough for there to be no good analogy here if we had thumbnails of the workspaces instead of the icon-based boxes we have now.
So the options now are:
- Switch when they let go of the keys, as we used to.
- Switch after a delay, as suggested above.
- Maybe it’s fast enough these days and nobody cares any more.
- We could keep all the windows on all the workspaces mapped all the time, like Compiz does, which would make things a lot faster anyway, and would reduce to the previous case.
Photo © Matsatsinis Fragiskos, cc-by-nc-nd.