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.