[compiz] Feature Request

Mark McCarron markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 20 23:31:40 PDT 2007

I agree with most of your points, however, I feel that a little thought can correct most of the basic problems with a 3D interface.  You have managed to do that for most of the points you raised.
The concept of a floor does simplify navigation, it also provides a consistent orientation for the end-user.  Whilst some scenarios may benefit from the increased freedom, the majority of end-users would be irritated by the range of motion.  It doesn't lend well to productivity either.  The issue of quick navigation from window to window was raised earlier and it is very important.  There are a number of solutions and accelerator keys are vital.  I feel that navigation using groups and cycling through individual windows should be available.  Also, a simple double-click on any visible windows will automatically give focus to the selected window and orientate the user appropriately.
There are quite a few different solutions to the mouse issue, keyboard support, toggles, extra buttons, or even an analogue stick in addition to the scroll wheel.  The latter concept would have a wide range of applications and be vey useful.In terms of scalability of the workspaces, I don't see this being a major issue, at least with initial versions.  If you are surfing from desktop to desktop, then you would only see one desktop at a time.  As for the total number of local desktops, well that will be defined by your hardware and will expand as the technology progresses.  
You described this new desktop as a deskroom, however, I feel that it is becoming more like an office space, an 'open office'.  I think this analogy will help when designing common symbols for trash, file system, printers, fax, etc.  It should be a lot easier for those with limited computer knowledge.

> Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2007 23:54:52 +0200> From: danjo133 at gmail.com> To: compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> Subject: Re: [compiz] Feature Request> > Hello,> > I've thought about this idea for quite some time since i first> encountered a desktop plugin called 3d desktop or something 7-8 years> ago, too many degrees of freedom is not comfortable, you don't want to> "swim" to your applications. If you have a concept of a floor and> restrict yourself to two dimensions then things become a bit more> viable.. But still, it's more eyecandy than it is practical, if it> takes you 5-6 seconds to walk over to your window every time you want> to do something else you will soon go mad.. This could be remedied a> bit by having a alt+tab or something to cycle through "groups" of> windows.. having the "expose" plugin enabled..> > Perhaps it would become more ordered if you could have "hotspots"> where you group windows instead of having them flying around> completely free.. There is a small problem with moving things in 3d> space with the mouse since it only has two degrees of fredom.. or,> perhaps with the scroll-wheel to handle things in the third> dimension..> > The idea of having url:s to peoples desktops and visiting them in> 3d-space.. sounds quite fun, but how will that scale? 2-3 desktops..> ok, 20-30? soon you will have a city-sized desktop .. or perhaps they> should be called deskrooms..> > It's a fun idea, i don't think the implementation part will be very> hard, but i don't think it will be very easy to make it> effiecient/comfortable to use> > Best Regards, Daniel> > > 2007/10/20, Steven Hunt <srhlefty at gmail.com>:> > Or, keeping with the FPS theme, just have various "weapons"--you have a> > shotgun, that lets you close windows, a grappling hook, which drags you to> > the window and ends with a normal desktop-like view, and some sort of prod> > to push windows around.> >> > I'm only half-joking :)> >> >> > On 10/20/07, Mark McCarron <markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> wrote:> > >> > > At this point in time, I feel that generating interest is good enough. If> > enough interest is shown, then I'm sure the developers would be more> > inclined to add it as a feature.> > >> > > My main aim here is to flesh out the idea and integrate additional> > suggestions made by members of the Compiz mailing list. So, feel free to> > throw your ideas into the mix. They are more than welcome.> > >> > > As an example, in terms of behaviour, I would like to be able to grab a> > window's title bar, by a left click, and move my mouse forward then release> > to throw the window further into the desktop. This opens the possibility of> > some nice eye-candy, such as the window bouncing, flexing and wobbling as it> > lands. Or if I collide with a window as I am moving about, that it would> > bend and flex as a result of the impact.> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2007 07:14:15 -0400> > >> > > From: vperetokin at gmail.com> > > To: markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> > > Subject: Re: [compiz] Feature Request> > > CC: srhlefty at gmail.com; compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> > >> > > I'm really interested in this also, but unfortunately I know pretty much> > to nothing of 3d rendering.> > >> > >> > > On 10/19/07, Mark McCarron < markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> wrote:> > >> > > I was thinking of a black void into which objects could be placed. For> > example, you would be able to render an entire level of an FPS within the> > void and include basic collision detection. I know that a void will add to> > the overhead as both the inside and outside must be rendered. Also, most> > games use a form of BSP tree that only renders what is visible as a method> > of optimisation.> > >> > > I have a good sense of what I want to achieve in terms of visual and> > interaction. For example, let's say you are using MySpace (or Facebook,> > Newsvine, etc.) and there is a link that will direct you to someone's public> > desktop. After clicking the link, the user will be directed away from the> > current window to a seamless transition to the the other users desktop.> > This depends on two factors, firstly a dynamic DNS entry being available for> > the system in question and it being powered on at the time. Each desktop> > could contain shortcuts that will lead to other desktops, so that people can> > surf from desktop to desktop.> > >> > > I would like to develop a prototype, but unfortunately I work and it> > leaves very little time for anything else. That's why I thought I would try> > to describe the interface here. Besides, its something that will need to> > integrated into the overall architecture of Compiz and that's best left to> > the developers.> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 11:08:28 -0700> > > From: srhlefty at gmail.com> > > To: markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> > > Subject: Re: [compiz] Feature Request> > > CC: compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> > >> > >> > > I agree that it wouldn't be technically challenging to implement, at least> > the basic features. The tricky part is definitely figuring out the best way> > to give the user control over the space. Does the space look like an FPS> > level, with rooms and architecture, or just a black void with windows> > floating around?> > >> > > The more specific of a vision you have, the easier it is to write code> > for. Figuring out what to do is often harder than how to do it.> > >> > > If you can code in OpenGL, a good place to start is to just write a> > standalone application with dummy blocks to represent the windows, and FPS> > movement controls. I've actually written something like that in the past> > for a different project. That would be a good sandbox to play with control> > schemes. Windows are inherently 2D, so to keep them from disappearing if> > the user is looking the wrong way I suggest it might be useful to map them> > to cubes.> > >> > >> > >> > >> > > On 10/19/07, Mark McCarron <markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> wrote:> > >> > > From a technical perspective, its no more complex than Compiz already is.> > Its really a matter of developing an intuitive method of interaction with> > the environment. Its very feasible and something that is easily realised.> > The methods are tried and tested in games systems, 3D editors and even 3D> > file managers. Thus, there are no new technical aspects, its merely the> > packaging of those features into a desktop interface.> > >> > > The business applications can be helpful if used properly, however, the> > biggest usage will be the domestic home user. The concept of a public> > desktop space (or virtual room), that can be shared across the Internet,> > will add to social networking model. It will also lead to new paradigms in> > terms of web interaction, navigation and information exchange.> > >> > > One other major benefit will be the promotion of both X and the Linux> > platform in general. To use these new features, end user's Operating> > Systems will need to be compatible with X. Whilst I'm sure limited> > interfaces could be designed for Windows desktops, it will function a lot> > better as a native Linux user.> > >> > > There is a chance here to leave the competing Operating Systems for dust> > and to force their hand in terms of inter-operability.> > >> > > Carpe diem.> > >> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 08:02:47 -0400> > > From: vperetokin at gmail.com> > > To: markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> > > Subject: Re: [compiz] Feature Request> > > CC: srhlefty at gmail.com ; compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> > >> > >> > > I had a similar idea, but I think they said it wasn't too feasible much on> > the forums.> > >> > > Why do you capitalize "window" though?> > >> > > I really like your business applications for this - they really do sound> > very good. This'll be excellent.> > >> > >> > > On 10/19/07, Mark McCarron <markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> wrote:> > >> > > Good questions. I have a few suggestions that may help, I'm sure the> > Compiz developers will be able to structure the controls much better. So,> > take this as a basis from which to begin.> > >> > > There would be two basic modes, the first mode would be free space, that> > is, your mouse guides you through the desktop space. Upon selecting a> > window, you would enter the second mode, the mouse controls would now act> > upon the selected Window. A simple left-click in free space would return> > the user to the first mode.> > >> > > I would expect the user to be able walk around the environment similar to> > any FPS. Movement can either be provided by a mouse click providing> > acceleration, or via keyboard controls again similar to any FPS.> > >> > > As windows are objects, perhaps they should have a small control on the> > border of the windows that can be manipulated by the mouse. This control> > would allow the user to alter each of dimensions independently. A small> > clickable X,Y,Z object would work well. This control could be expanded to> > allow for rotation and scaling of the object.> > >> > > A quick switch utility is something that is definitely required. Whilst> > the freedom aspect is good, the desktop must provide a productive> > environment. I like the wall utility too, I find it very handy. I would> > expect this to look at the space from above and provide the user with a> > sense of where each window is located as well as a bitmap preview.> > >> > > There should also be support for the direct loading and rendering of> > meshes. This is both for decoration and as a tool for work environments.> > Collaborative design work, even across multiple vendors, would become very> > easy. Architects would be able to work on designs with real-time client> > input, car designers would be able to work as team, etc. I'm not suggesting> > a full editing environment, just a basic viewer that supports major formats.> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 20:33:58 -0700> > > From: srhlefty at gmail.com> > > To: markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com; compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> > > Subject: Re: [compiz] Feature Request> > >> > >> > > This is an interesting idea. How would the user control how the windows> > move in the depth dimension? Would the user actually "walk" around such a> > space? With such a large space, how would one get to a particular window> > quickly, i.e. is there still a switcher?> > >> > > A 2D slice of such a space reminds me a lot of the current "Wall" plugin> > that compiz has, and is one of my favorites.> > >> > >> > >> > >> > > On 10/18/07, Mark McCarron <markmccarron_itt at hotmail.com> wrote:> > >> > > Hi Guys,> > >> > > I have been thinking of a new style of interface that could be added to> > Compiz. Essentially, rather than having a desktop, the user would be> > presented with a space in which to work. This space would be several meters> > wide in real terms and the user could navigate the space in a similar> > fashion to a 3D game.> > >> > > Windows could be grabbed and thrown throughout the space, providing a very> > large workspace. This would also allow the user to physically arrange> > Windows in the space according to particular tasks or functions. A simple> > double-click of a Window would cause it to snap into full 2D view were the> > application can be worked upon.> > >> > > The concept of multiple desktops, could be implemented as multiple spaces.> > Given the network transparency of X, it would also allow for the concept of> > a public space. A public space would be a desktop that is shared either> > across a LAN or Internet. This has both business and personal applications.> > In terms of business, it can be used for presentations, reviewing designs,> > etc. In terms of personal use, it would open a new area to social> > networking, desktop surfing. End users could store images, videos and a> > range of interactive items that members of the public can view or download.> > >> > > I realise that this can prove to be a bandwidth hog, but like everything> > in computer world, this will only improve with time and become less of an> > issue.> > >> > > ________________________________> > The next generation of MSN Hotmail has arrived - Windows Live Hotmail> > > _______________________________________________> > > compiz mailing list> > > compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> > > http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/compiz> > >> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > Do you know a place like the back of your hand? Share local knowledge with> > BackOfMyHand.com> > > _______________________________________________> > > compiz mailing list> > > compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> > > http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/compiz> > >> > >> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > The next generation of MSN Hotmail has arrived - Windows Live Hotmail> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > Do you know a place like the back of your hand? Share local knowledge with> > BackOfMyHand.com> > > _______________________________________________> > > compiz mailing list> > > compiz at lists.freedesktop.org> > > http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/compiz> > >> > >> > >> > > ________________________________> > Get free emoticon packs and customisation from Windows Live. 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