Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th Oct 2008 15:57 UTC
Windows There is one thing that really pushes my buttons, one thing that is sure to send me off on a rant on life, the universe, and everything. I have a 21" widescreen 1680x1050 display - which might not be large to some of the real geeks in here, but to me, it's pretty huge. With so much screen real estate, why oh why do my friends all still insist on maximising every window they come across when they sit down behind my computer? This - and more - is the subject of the latest post on Microsoft's Engineering 7 weblog.
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Ratpoison
by da_Chicken on Mon 6th Oct 2008 17:02 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

I have a 21" widescreen 1680x1050 display - which might not be large to some of the real geeks in here, but to me, it's pretty huge. With so much screen real estate, why oh why do my friends all still insist on maximising every window they come across when they sit down behind my computer?

Your problem seems to be that you have bought a huge, over-sized display. The most elegant solution to this problem would be to buy a smaller, reasonably-sized display. :-P

Another use case where users need to fiddle and fumble about a lot with window sizes is when they need to compare two windows side-by-side. Even though Windows has some nice options to achieve perfect side-by-sideness (select multiple taskbar entries using control-click, right click, select "Show windows side by side"), these options aren't very discoverable. Manually resizing windows is actually quite a difficult task; it requires quite some precision mousework, and precision mousework needs to be avoided at all costs.

Another poster in this thread has already recommended Ratpoison, but a good idea is worth repeating. I honestly think that Microsoft developers should take a look at how application windows are managed in Ratpoison. (Also, the way Ratpoison eliminates unnecessary mouse clicks is something Microsoft could learn from.)

Ratpoison's way of managing application windows is modelled after GNU Screen. By default, Ratpoison starts all new application windows maximized, but you can use a keyboard shortcut to easily split the screen (horizontally or vertically) in order to view two equal-sized application windows at the same time. And each of those two application windows can be further split (horizontally or vertically) in order to view even more windows at the same time. All this, and more, can be done in Ratpoison by simply hitting a couple of quick keyboard shortcuts.
http://www.nongnu.org/ratpoison/doc/Frames.html

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