Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:38 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes It's time for another "OSNews asks" item. This time, I want to focus on something that I've been wanting to talk about with you all before, but never found the time for. The question is simple: which feature(s) from other operating systems would you like to see in your own main operating system?
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Window Management.
by Morgul on Thu 16th Jul 2009 13:18 UTC
Morgul
Member since:
2005-07-06

By and large the most important thing to me is sane window management. By this, I don't mean tiling versus stacking, or the like. Rather I mean window snapping and mouse focus models.

As far as window snapping goes, Gnome/KDE/XFCE/Fluxbox/etc have it, and while they all implement it in subtly different ways, I find all of them more usable then Windows/OSX. (Though, gnome/compiz/whoevers_fault_it_is needs to get on the ball with snap on resize. Seriously, metacity has it, compiz should too.) There's a wonderful program called allsnap ( http://www.ivanheckman.com/allsnap/ ) for windows. Now, it's not as nice as a native solution, but it works, and makes windows perfectly usable. There's no good solution for Mac. As I have to use a Mac for work, I find myself doing everything I can in either a Windows VM or Linux VM, simply because I hate trying to size windows on Mac.

With mouse focus policies, I find myself missing them, but not as greatly. Personally, I use 'focus follows mouse' or 'focus under mouse', without bringing the focused window to the front. I know other people who prefer to bring the focused window to the front, and others who like a different style. The key here is choice. Every OS has click to focus, but only the oss window managers seem to implement something more. There are applications for this, but I guess it doesn't bother me enough to research them. (Also, I'm a bit unclear how usable focus follows mouse would be on OSX. With the file bar at the top of the screen, I can easily see times when I try to use the file bar, cross another window, and have no idea why the application suddenly switched on me. Perhaps a delay before switching?)

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