Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 17:06 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Taking a break from reporting on the latest netbook or phone rumours, Engadget posted an article yesterday about several elements in desktop operating systems writer Paul Miller finds outdated. While there's some interesting stuff in there, there's also a lot to discuss.
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Two points
by boldingd on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 17:23 UTC
boldingd
Member since:
2009-02-19

Two quick points: the more modern XFCE also has a mode where the desktop icons represent minimized windows (albeit it stops displaying the contents of ~/Desktop when you do that). It's a neat trick, but I find it easier to have the contents of ~/Desktop displayed on my desktop, and to manage windows with the panels.

Also, several applications do have functionality akin to card-mode now -- with most of them being media players. XMMS will do this now, for instance, and I think either Banshee or Rhythmbox -- I can't remember which -- also has a minimum interface mode, which is pretty much card mode. I'd wager a large part of the reason that most applications don't have card modes now is that, for many types of applications, card mode isn't a practical way to interact with the program. Think about it: what would a sane card-mode for any of FireFox, OpenOffice/MS Office or Team Fortress 2 (or any other game) look like, and would you ever use it? (Realize that, for a web browser or document editor, you're either going to have the page/document shrunk down to a tiny, probably unreadable size, or have scroll bars on the sides of the view, and have to scroll it around to use it)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Two points
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 17:25 in reply to "Two points"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I mean at an optional third state. Since I regularly deal with loads of different Word/PDF documents open, having some of them presented as if they were displayed on an iPhone (basic, focus on text) on my desktop would be VERY handy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Two points
by joekiser on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 18:16 in reply to "Two points"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

There are some modern implementations of minimize to desktop that show the application as a miniature "preview" as opposed to an icon. For Windows, there is miniMIZE (http://aquaria.za.net/content/view/133/32/) that works perfectly in Win7, so long as you run the program in XP compatibility mode. There is also Thumbwin (http://www.ghacks.net/2007/11/20/thumbwin-minimize-windows-to-thumb...) but it's in Japanese and isn't compatible with 64-bit Windows yet.

For UNIX, there are several crude FVWM scripts that allow this same function, using ImageMagick to draw the program. It would be nice if KDE picked up this feature as well.

BTW, "the idea of pushing an app completely off the desktop and out of mind" that the author attributes to smartphones is already available, and it's called Virtual Desktops. Also, minor nitpick, browser speed dial first appeared in Opera.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Two points
by djame on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 18:49 in reply to "RE: Two points"
djame Member since:
2005-07-08

There are some modern implementations of minimize to desktop that show the application as a miniature "preview" as opposed to an icon. For Windows, there is miniMIZE (http://aquaria.za.net/content/view/133/32/) that works perfectly in Win7, so long as you run the program in XP compatibility mode. There is also Thumbwin (http://www.ghacks.net/2007/11/20/thumbwin-minimize-windows-to-thumb...) but it's in Japanese and isn't compatible with 64-bit Windows yet.

For UNIX, there are several crude FVWM scripts that allow this same function, using ImageMagick to draw the program. It would be nice if KDE picked up this feature as well."



About that, it's worth noting that Enlightnment has been offering this feature at least since 1998 and E13.. you could even move the windows in the small icons views and see them moving in the same time. E16 is for me the best WM ever. E17 lost its way, but I used E16 for years and years before switching to osx and to its lame WM.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Two points - Enlightenment
by jabbotts on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 20:06 in reply to "Two points"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

For minimized applications, Enlightenment is still my benchmark. The app reduced to an icon but into an easily configurable segment of the screen. Where available, program icons would be a reduced screenshot rather than icon image.

Warf from top right corner down to middle screen. Four desktop panes (pager) in bottom right corner. Icon area between the two. Warf and icon space in single column the width of the pager. All space on the left for open applications.

My KDE with Conky setup comes closest but it means the ever present taskbar along one edge. I'm happy with the setup including frequently used apps icons and such but it's still not like E16 was.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Two points
by helf on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 21:01 in reply to "Two points"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

NEXTSTEP and later OpenSTEP have supported minimizing apps to icons from the get-go ... ~1988. Very handy ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Two points
by BallmerKnowsBest on Sat 23rd Jan 2010 15:28 in reply to "RE: Two points"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

NEXTSTEP and later OpenSTEP have supported minimizing apps to icons from the get-go ... ~1988. Very handy ;)


Windows 3.0 and later 3.1 supported minimizing applications to the desktop since 1990.

Reply Parent Score: 2