Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Nov 2007 23:05 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the seventh article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V | part VI]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part VII, as promised in part VI, we focus completely on CDE, the Common Desktop Environment.
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by nonesuch on Mon 26th Nov 2007 08:14 UTC
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Disclaimer: I've never used CDE. I have, however, used XFCE 3 and Windows 3.1, which was, of course, a poor clone of CDE.

My only real complaint with it is I could never figure out how to taskswitch comfortably. Here's the problem: I don't minimize much, I just switch between (mostly) maximized windows. But in the CDE style, you don't get an icon for your app unless its minimized (and that portion of your desktop is visible.) How, then, am I to switch between my applications? There is:

--Alt-tab, which is imprecise because it cycles between windows instead of going straight to the one I want. Plus, there ought to be a GUI equivilant.
--In XFCE at least, I discovered I could middle-click the desktop to bring up a window and virtual-desktop list. Cool, but awkward on my two-button laptop. Again, requires visible (read: wasted) desktop space.

How do you CDE lovers multitask?

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