- 11/14/2001 Thought
- Looking too long at a window that is off-centre on
a large monitor strains my neck and shoulders.
- Therefore, "centre-space" is a valuable commodity
that should be given to applications that I spend
most time with.
- Those applications should ideally be able to multiplex
contents, like emacs, screen and tabbed
applications like multi-gnome-terminal,
galeon or xchat do. I hear there are
generic K widgets for this too.
- Consequently, "off-centre" applications fall into two
Applications of the first type just go to the corners
(or borders) of my screen, no problem there.
- applications that one only looks at briefly:
- xmms: Which song is this?
- gkrellm: What's the system load?
Is there new mail?
applications I want on-screen (rather than one a
different page I'd have to
poll) so I can see ("out of
the corner of mine eye") when their windows'
contents change (terminal scrolling, tab changing
colour etc.) so that I can react to this
interrupt by checking what exactly
Applications of the second type, however, need to be
brought to the foreground (unless there is a lot of
screen-space, in which case the window would likely be
located in a neck-straining location).
The thought therefore is:
- If a window is raised, why does it only receive
the input focus, rather than also
being located in the visual focus
in the middle of the screen?
- This could be achieved by relocating the window
to the centre of the screen, placing that which
previously occupied that valuable space in the
auxiliary position formerly held by the newly
Thus, windows would have a radial order
rather than a Z-order.
- A paradigm with a central focused window and
auxiliary window positioned around it in some
circular fashion comes to mind.
- As the purpose for keeping windows not currently
being worked in on screen is to catch changes
in them rather than details, the idea of zooming
them out to a degree where noticing change is
still possible seems attractive.
- While this seems promote the idea of round
computer screens following this layout, keeping
the current rectangular screens has an intuitively
obvious bonus: their corners (which are not used
in the strictly circular paradigm) will become a
haven for the Type I applications -- those that
should always be present, but do not require more
than a passing glance, like biff.
- Enlightenment supports paging with small
screen shots for each page. While this is helpful
to see what is where, it does not seem sufficient
to see changes in text windows in their small
- Berlin should gracefully handle zooming as-is.
- Maybe write a window-manager that does that.