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An Alternative Windows Switcher might come in Gnome 3.8

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First of, as a part of the new Gnome3 Keyboard Shortcuts (under design), <Alt+Tab> should move to <Super+Tab> and basically all Window modifiers will drop <Alt> for <Super> -good news for people that using Apps like Gimp, Inscape, Blender etc, that are heavily depend on Alt. However <Alt+Tab> has a strong familiarity and it would be hard to be switched in <Super+Alt>.

Florian propose to bring back the typical <Alt+Tab> that switches between windows (in current, or all workspaces) and having work alongside with the more modern approach founded in Gnome3. This is can be done with two ways. Either by using both <Super+Alt>, <Alt+Tab> or by adding an option inside Setting to modify the behavior of Windows Switcher.

Florian says:  (#688913)

It’s no big secret that there are a lot of complaints about the application switcher, so it might just make sense to offer a bit more flexibility in core itself. I actually came up with this approach quite a while ago, but didn’t get myself to write the actual code (until now) – rather than adding a hidden option to swap out the existing switcher, a new ‘switch-application’ keybinding is added, which defaults to <alt>tab and triggers the existing switcher.

The existing ‘switch-windows’ keybinding is then free to be used for a more traditional window switcher, which users can activate by setting up a keyboard shortcut in Settings – with that, users can even choose to use both switchers (e.g. using <alt>tab and <super>tab). (selfish as I am, I hope that this is a better solution for people that depend on the current workspace special-casing in the app-switcher and we can land bug 661156 without too much hurt)

Florian has written some patches, Jasper has reviewed them and Allan isn’t opposite on that, but he will work on the design before these arrive in Master ..if they arrive of course! Obviously you can take part of the bugzilla discussions 688913 if you have some better ideas.

This is work in progress so there isn’t really a decision yet. You should follow 688913 for updates :)

Further more you can check some Alternative Solutions through extensions that you might find then better than default.

Gnome Shell

Okay, that was a bit unusual, but Florian announced some minutes ago the availability of Gnome Shell 3.7.2.[1].


* Revert 490206b to not depend on NMGTK-0.9.7, which hasn’t been released yet


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  • Adonis K (Vαяēмēиøš)

    rev up those broken GS theme comments

    • alex285

      But we brought this up in a post from a related discussion from Gnome MLs, with all details. Gnomers are totally aware of this, and trying their best. You know that, right?

    • Juanjo Marín

      The main functionality remains the same, but there is a lot of room for improvement in the details, and sometimes the best way to find the solution that really work is through experimentation.

    • Sriram Ramkrishna

      It’s called listening to feedback and making changes. :-) They aren’t random. Florian prefaced his changes with a reason why. The reason is because the application switcher didn’t quite work as well as they would like. In some situations especially developers and people used to GNOME 2 and other Linux desktop environments the other behavior makes more sense. Especially if there are terminals involved. Terminals and multiple browser windows do not fit this model well at all. Hopefully, we can find a solution that is innovative that takes all use cases.

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