Improved Workspace Management

Workspace management in GNOME 3 is simple and automatic, but sometimes a bit more control would be nice. Specifically, being able to rearrange and pin workspaces (so they don't get automatically destroyed when empty) are fairly simple operations that could be useful.



Managing a single window in GNOME 3 is pretty easy, you can just drag and drop it. Managing groups of windows is a little harder though, you have to move them all one by one. Being able to just grab a whole workspace and move it would allow easier managment of multiple windows.

Also, since workspaces are organized in a single vertical column, it is best to have related workspaces as close together as possible if you want to use the keyboard to cycle through them. There are times when related workspaces get created out of order and moving the whole workspace would be the easiest way to fix it.


This is a little less relevant now that you can create a workspace anywhere, even between workspaces (>3.2), but having a method to keep a workspace around even if empty can still be useful. For example, when starting from a fresh login, if you know you are going to want four workspaces, you could just pin that many and then launch applications on them in any order. Currently, you would have to launch all applications you want on one workspace then move to the next or launch one application on each workspace (creating a new one each time) and then launch the rest in any order.


The ability to "close" workspace and all the windows/apps on it could be useful. Often all windows related to some specific task are grouped on one workspace, so when the task is complete, all the windows will probably be closed. Instead of doing this one by one, closing the workspace would close all the windows.


Hidden section of thumbnail box

One option is to have a hidden section of the workspace thumbnails box that is revealed with a swipe over the thumbnails toward the center of the screen. Alternatively, a click on any open part of the tumbnails container box or even a dedicated button at the top or bottom of the tumbnail container could trigger the reveal. This section would hold touch-friendly sized buttons to pin and move the workspace (not shown on the sketch, but would be under the pin button).

An alternative would be to have the two buttons appear shaded over top the workspace thumbnail(s) if a workspace is right clicked. Another right click or any click not on the thumbnails would cancel/hide the buttons, since the button should remain visible after any one action, that is, selecting one of the buttons shouldn't hide them. Something else to consider is if a right click should trigger the buttons on all the thumbnails (probably best) or only on the one clicked.

Also, pinning a workspace could just keep it from being auto-removed or it could also keep it in it's current position, effectively pinning all workspaces above it (not too useful though).


Full hidden panel listing workspace apps

A wild idea, but an additional hidden section of the thumbnail box could hold a window list of all the applications on that workspace. This would facilitate another level of management by being able to see the titles of all windows. The idea doesn't scale too well though.

See Also

Projects/GnomeShell/DesignerPlayground/ImprovedWorkspaceManagement (last edited 2013-11-22 17:00:06 by WilliamJonMcCann)