Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th May 2010 18:39 UTC, submitted by hotice
Gnome The problem with just about every virtual desktop implementation is just that - they're virtual. This means that beyond the ability to move windows to specific desktops, you're still looking at exactly the same desktop, no matter what virtual desktop number you switched to. A mockup for GNOME Shell is trying to take the virtual out of virtual desktop.
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Multiple vs Virtual
by sorpigal on Fri 14th May 2010 13:51 UTC
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This article talks about virtual desktops but it clear that it really means multiple desktops. I see this confusion often.

Here's how I break it down:

If you have a space bigger than the screen that is logically divided into multiple screen sized sections, that's virtual desktops.

If you have multiple screen-sided areas that are not "physically" contiguous, that is multiple desktops.

Here's the simple test: Drag a window from workspace 1 until it is halfway off the right side of the screen. Switch to workspace 2. Does the window from workspace 1 stick halfway on to the screen?

If the answer is yes you have Virtual Desktops. If the answer is no you have Multiple Desktops.

It seems like most people use Multiple Desktops these days, but I can't stand them. Virtual Desktops are for me.

Now that we have that out of the way I can comment on the article. It's not a bad idea, but as others have pointed out KDE did it first and did it better. The only thing GNOME adds is a simple, discoverable and understandable UI for managing KDEs activities. This is a non-trivial task and not to be discounted, but don't pretend that this is an innovative idea.

We have got to get these kids together. This is a good place for a little fd.o sharing. Let's get GNOME to implement its nice UI and have it use the same back end as KDE uses, or one modified just enough for both systems to be satisfied. If that is done then this is all to the good.

Now me, personally, I don't like the notion of 'activities' at all. It doesn't mesh well with the way I use my computer most of the time. However, sometimes it would be a handy thing to have.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Multiple vs Virtual
by sorpigal on Fri 14th May 2010 13:55 in reply to "Multiple vs Virtual"
sorpigal Member since:

I will just add one more thing.

It would be far more useful, to me, if this 'activities' concept included applications and not just files. I rarely work with the same files twice, but I often have a set of apps that I use for a purpose. Storing shortcuts to applications is only getting me halfway there. I want to launch the workspace and have my suite of apps--all on appropriate virtual desktops--launched for me. This is doable with sessions, I am sure, but it's an important point to keep in mind when working on this kind of thing. It's not all about files!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Multiple vs Virtual
by siride on Fri 14th May 2010 15:28 in reply to "Multiple vs Virtual"
siride Member since:

The difference you describe is minimal, certainly not enough to merit two different terms and certainly not accepted by the community at large. Your disgust at "multiple desktops" is intriguing, given the minuscule difference between that and your definition of "virtual desktops". But OSNews has been known to be populated by zealots with interesting definitions and requirements, not derived from reality or logic.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Multiple vs Virtual
by sorpigal on Sat 15th May 2010 21:20 in reply to "RE: Multiple vs Virtual"
sorpigal Member since:

The described difference is just for identification and doesn't cover all actual differences. It's a vastly different implementation to get a similar effect. I don't have a 'disgust' for multiple desktops, they just don't work the way I work and therefore are not for me. To insult me as somehow unreasonable for wanting particular behavior out of my computer is not very reasonable or logical of you!

Any feature for which users fail to express an appreciation is in danger of being casually dropped or ignored in the future. I prefer working in a big workspace that's subdivided rather than a lot of tiny ones that don't connect and I don't want the distinction forgotten as we march forward.

Reply Parent Score: 2