Who’s zooming who?

August 16, 2008

One thing I like about my time thusfar with KDE4.1 is looking at where it’s going.  Talking with Sebas the other night during less than 20 beers,  I was speculating:

  • Full zoom: Thanks to a compositing magnifier, you can zoom in on areas of a single window. (have)
  • Full screen: You can bring an application full size. (have)
  • Multiple application windows on one desktop: The way most people worked until recently.  Alt+tab allows various ways of cycling through multiple applications per screen. (have)
  • Multiple desktops: Plasma  now allows you to zoom out and look at your multiple desktops or “work spaces”, which may be a somewhat identical defition now, but not necessarily in the future.  (new)
  • Multiple computing resources: Either other computers in your LAN/workgroup or distributed resources such as VNC/RDP/FreeNX.  Ideally we would either have a grid to alt_tab through, just like with application windows, or potentially a LAN/workgroup mapping showing the connections (like a systems engineering doc).   Would virtualized machines go here? (predict)
  • WAN/network level: What are the major networks that you have access to? Maybe JOLIE/web service/SOA connections to disaparate systems. (predict)

One big totem pole of granularity – what elevation of your stack do you want?  If we just keep expanding on what we have now, we should have a pretty complete stack.  And it should be clear to the user via the same visual cues how to either zoom in one level and get that feedback, or zoom out one level and get that feedback.  If you have a FolderView mapped to another machine on your LAN, shouldn’t a view to that machine be only a Folderview button click or keystroke away?

Prognostication is so much easier when you’re not the one coding.  Of course, while fiddling with Plasma zooming and having a top panel, I’ve somehow painted myself into a corner.  Time to figure this one out.  Then bedtime.


One Response to “Who’s zooming who?”

  1. bart Says:

    look at this article http://osnews.com/story/20191/Common_Usability_Terms_pt_VIII_Tabs
    in “Advantages and Disadvantages” section author wrote:
    “More often than not, other window management features (other than the taskbar) do not respect tabs either. Exposé in Mac OS X, or the ubiquitous alt+tab command both do not respect tabs, and will cycle through application windows alone, not through tabs. In other words, you need alt+tab to switch to the tabbed application, and then another, application-specific keyboard combination to switch to the proper tab. Again – added complexity.”
    So maybe alt+tab or expose like plugins in kwin could be used also for tabs. kind of another level of zooming

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