Do-ifing GNOME Shell
Aims and benefits
We know from GNOME Do that purely keyboard-based launching can be extremely efficient. Since GnomeShell is in the process of redesigning application and document launching in GNOME, it would seem to make sense to attempt to integrate the advantages of GNOME Do within the Shell's own launching functionality. Integrating elements of GNOME Do within the Shell overlay would have the added advantage of making GNOME Do's features much more discoverable.
Do-ifying GnomeShell would aim to achieve the following benefits:
- Efficient launching of applications by keyboard input only - no need to use a mouse.
- 'Smarter' (ie. predictive and intuitive) text input in the overlay search box.
- Discoverablity of advanced functionality by integrating GUI and text-based input.
- Removing multiple application launching mechanisms. A separate GNOME Do mechanism would no longer be necessary.
Do-ifying GnomeShell would involve a number of new design elements:
- Keyboard focus would switch to the search box when the Shell overlay is activated.
- Pressing return would launch the top app/doc in the list.
- The overlay interface would indicate which application/location/document will be launched/opened when the return key is pressed (by displaying the appropriate icon alongside the search box, perhaps).
- The search box would 'learn' launching preferences/behaviour in the same way as GNOME Do.
- The search box would reflect GUI actions - if you click on the Firefox icon with the mouse, the text box will flash up 'Firefox'. This would (hopefully) make search box functionality as discoverable as possible. GUI inputs would be logged in the same way as actions made through the search box.
- Input into the search box would autocomplete on popular items
- A plugin system could be used for the search box in the same way as GNOME Do.