New kind of Deskbar, inspired by Windows old Taskbar

One of the things I like about the pre-WinXP Taskbar is single click access to windows. The main problem with it, is that it doesn’t scale well to a large number of open windows (that’s probably why Microsoft copied the Deskbar in XP).

Here’s an alternative approach:

Basic position: Single line Taskbar, no grouping

Once the user presses a keyboard shortcut (or activates a mouse hotspot), the Taskbar grows to the Expanded position which is automatically sized to show the titles of all open windows.

Once the user clicks an entry (in this case, Calculator), the program is restored and the Taskbar returns immediately to its original Basic position.

Main pros compared to BeOS current Deskbar:

  1. Single click action to windows (in the Basic position).
  2. Doesn’t get in the way (the upper position of the Deskbar commonly does hide windows, or is hidden by them - depending on Always-on-top setting).
  3. Scales a lot better to a large number of entries

Main pros compared to the OS X Dock:

  1. Items are much easier to tell apart due to persistent text labels
  2. No need for scrubbing to see labels
  3. Scales a lot better to a large number of entries

Main pros compared to a classic Windows Taskbar:

  1. Scales a lot better to a large number of entries
  2. No need to tediously scroll between Taskbar “floors” to find the one where correct window entry is located.

Main pros compared to a XP-style grouped Taskbar:

  1. Single click action is still available (in the Basic position)
  2. No need to tediously scroll between Taskbar “floors” to find the one where correct application group is located.
  3. Scales better to a large number of entries

I don’t see the need to discuss the Dockbert. Even when I did manage to get it to work, I didn’t like it.

Prog.

I originally posted this RFE here

You can already get one click acess to applications if you have the deskbar expanded. What if the behavior of the expander were changed so that a deskbar entry expanded on mouse-over (or maybe just when you mouse-over the expander arrow), and returned to the normal position once the mouse was moved off the deskbar?

PunStar wrote:
You can already get one click acess to applications if you have the deskbar expanded.

You mean the mode that creates window buttons in the Deskbar, right under each application entry? I tried it for a while and hated every moment. It just fell too awkward. Moreover, besides the one click access, it doesn’t solve the other shortcomings the Deskbar suffers from (see above).

Quote:
What if the behavior of the expander were changed so that a deskbar entry expanded on mouse-over (or maybe just when you mouse-over the expander arrow), and returned to the normal position once the mouse was moved off the deskbar?

From dealing with current implementations, I much prefer a keyboard shortcut to mouse-overs. OS X shortcut to hide/unhide the Dock is much more convenient than the annoying Taskbar auto-hide in Windows. It could be an just implementation issue, but I doubt it. I’d rather have the Deskbar/Taskbar expand when I tell it to, regardless of cursor position. I don’t want to move the mouse all the way to the other side of the screen just to trigger something this simple.

Prog.

Quote:
You mean the mode that creates window buttons in the Deskbar, right under each application entry? I tried it for a while and hated every moment. It just fell too awkward. Moreover, besides the one click access, it doesn't solve the other shortcomings the Deskbar suffers from (see above).

Ctrl+click on the deskbar app block unhide the whole software windows in at once :wink: (no, no need to expand all windows in deskbar)

Dockbert, it’s definitly a matter of taste. I just can’t use a Windows without “AquaDock” installed !! The problem with Dockbert is that it makes the Zeta Deskbar crashes on boot (annoying !).
But i quite like it. Could be a little bit improved (animations, features, …) but i quite like it.

Btw, due of this little boot problem, i mainly use LnLauncher nowdays.

And about keyboard shortcut vs mouse position, it’s clear that absolutly nobody except freaky geeks use shortcuts more than their mouse :wink:
I personnaly use them a lot, but neither my friends/family/coworker does !
So i would definitly be more for a lnlauncher/dockbert than for a pdf file in boot/home/ listing shortcuts :smiley:

beosfrance wrote:
Ctrl+click on the deskbar app block unhide the whole software windows in at once ;) (no, no need to expand all windows in deskbar)

How does that provide one-click access for each window?

Quote:
And about keyboard shortcut vs mouse position, it's clear that absolutly nobody except freaky geeks use shortcuts more than their mouse ;)

Perhaps by default, this new Deskbar should also auto-expand/auto-collapse when the mouse is hovered to and away from it, similar to how auto-hide works in windows but without being completely hidden (after all, I’m not suggesting auto-hide, but a different concept).

Nevertheless, keyboard shortcuts should be there as well, just like there are such shortcuts to handle the OS X Dock.

Prog.

My idea about a new Deskbar

http://xoomer.virgilio.it/zumi/deskbar-en.htm

Interesting suggestions zuMikkebe, though I really didn’t understand how you activate specific windows (let alone do it with a single click). Care to elaborate on this point?

Prog.

Sorry, I wrote that text first in italian then I have translated in english, so I miss some sentences…in deskbar mode you can see all active tasks, if a task has a single one windown clicking on it with primary button gives focus/opens that window, if there are multiple windows, then a click of primary button opens the classical windows’ list…the secondary button always opens this list.

I wish that I have quite explained this point, and that I haven’t misunderstood your question, if not, please reply to this dumb italian !

Health and grain,
zuMi

So basically, if you have several Tracker windows, you have to right-click the Tracker icon and then left-click a menu entry that corresponds to the Tracker window you wish to open? If that is the suggested workflow, then I’m afraid it wouldn’t suite my needs. Too slow. I already dislike the current Deskbar handling of multiple windows and there you can at least do a single swoop of MouseDown->SelectWindowEntry->MouseUp.

Prog.

It seems to me that in a situation like you first demonstrate, Prog., that the explorer windows you have should be grouped. Most users don’t have that many different programs running simultaneously. For those that do have that many windows, though, grouping is useful.

I would like to see a dock-like taskbar. Applications are grouped, and holding the mouse over an icon or left-clicking would bring up the grouped windows list, in an overlayed dock. These would have persistent text labels. To further aid in differentiating (if necessary) another pause would raise a small thumbnail of the window, while of course left click would raise the window to the foreground. CTRL-left click would close, SHIFT-left click would send to the back. Right click would bring a menu of options, including a send-to-desktop.

Further, I would like to see the ability to class an application - game, audio/video, internet/mail, office, development and so on. User configurable entries allowed of course. This would allow groups of - using your example above - Wordpad and Notepad; Vis C++ and wincvs; Mozilla, OE, and IE. This means that users who rarely use multiple windows of one application but use many applications could still reduce the amount of icons on the dock. If only one application in a class was in use, then it would occupy the space for the class. Applications could be set to never group at all, never be classed, group only after 3 windows open etc.

The overlayed dock would appear at least 50% and at most 90% vertically shifted from the main dock, so that if the raise was unintentional the user could continue to move along the dock without the new dock obscuring their view overmuch.

All delays would be user configurable.

All this is off-the-cuff, and a bit rushed, but I know I’d use it :slight_smile:

Thoughts?

[Edit - forgot to add that the dock in non-grouping mode could be set to follow the behaviour of Prognathous deskbar, ie hotkey/hotspot to show all in larger footprint]

How would this dynamically-resizing Deskbar\taskbar affect running apps? Some apps are set to maximize in a way that the Deskbar is not covered up, especially when it is in taskbar mode. Would the sudden change in size force all apps like this to resize their own window? This could be very annoying or problematic in some apps. Then again, wrapping to the Deskbar is usually implemented by each developer and is slightly different in each case (perhaps this could be added to the system API? Especially for Deskbar in the standard location and collapsed style, leave the top-most part of the screen open for tabs and Deskbar, and the rest of the screen for apps).

my idea was that the deskbar hides and when mouse is over the visible part it pops (instantly) back and covers any windows on screen. is always on top, but always hidden when you don’t need it, and to activate it you just need to move the mouse in the corner of the screen.

and that the menu for an active window should pop up (again, instantly) when mouse is over it. all active programs should behave like menus.

i think if you have 100 diffrent programs opened in beos, about half of them would be offscreen. beos deskbar was made to be cool, rather than useful.

and what the deskbar is doing is grouping. in windows if you allow grouping, you will have a two click system.

Prognathous idea seems ok to me. since you get faster to the programs. no need to click ten times. you don’t need it to look cool, but be useful.

but i don’t think anyone will implement anything that is not like beos r5, at least not in the first release.

[edit]

this is my idea

in 1. you have the normal deskbar
in 2. you move the mouse over the deskbar, and the rest appears
3. you move the mouse over some program (tracker) and the menu appears (there is nothing there since i did not find a screenshot to make the mockup)

only mousovers. and the area in the right corner of the screen makes the deskbar visible which is always on top.

just now im facing a li’l prob in reading all of the stuff; will talk about it after some time…
actually i hate grouping of buttons; or atleast in XP (its been a while i used Be again; pc formatted and lotsa bad stuff…)
to address multiple windows; i think a mix of exposé can help here:
*lez assume i have multiple applications running; with 5 GIMP images…
*I click the GIMP button in the taskbar

  • The desktop will have the 5 images tiled up WITH TITLES EXTREMELY VISIBLE (i havent used mac; but the demo wasnt entertaining for me about labels…)
    *click one; and it will become active; and its active
    all this sans the zooming effects; and tis useful

Or… click-and-holding the button in tracker will open a new set of buttons in diff colour beneath it wich would do…

But none of these would provide immediate access; which the windows’ taskbarring would do. I guess some testing would help…
rite now am sleepy cant think much >.<