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Every detail matters – Round 2

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Round 1 was finished successfully before the release of Gnome 3.6, leaving very few details behind that were moved to round 2 today.

What is included?

Lock screen – don’t show the pointer on the curtain until it is moved – (Bug 682535)


Always showing the pointer doesn’t look great, it also doesn’t fit with the idea that the machine is idle. It would be better to only show it after it has been moved, and to hide it after a short idle time.

Allow dragging of workspaces to reorganize them – (Bug 646409)


Add the ability to reorganize workspaces with drag and drop in the overview.

Window captions don’t resize on update – (Bug 620874)


When I have a window for a chat titled “Mom”, the overview shows a caption “Mom”. If I get a new message while in the overview the window title changes to “Mom (1 unread)” but the window caption changes to “Mo…”. I’d expect it to change to “Mom (1 unread)”.

Modal windows disappear in the overview – (Bug 650843)


When I enter overview while having any modal window open, it is not shown anymore.

OSD’s don’t work when in overview mode – (Bug 613543)


OSD’s like changing volume or brightness don’t work when in overview mode.

Window thumbnail shadows in the overview – (Bug 664484)


We have shadows under windows in the normal view, we should have them in the overview too. It would be consistent with the presentation of windows as objects in space. It would also give the overview greater visual depth.

Highlight application windows when hovering launcher icon – (Bug 657315)


When in the overview, if you move the mouse cursor over one of the application launchers in the dash, all this application’s windows should be highlighted both in the overview and in the workspace previews on the right.

Workspace switcher – visual effect on hover – (Bug 664204)


The workspace thumbnails in the switcher should visually react when the pointer is positioned above them. This will act as a hint that they are actionable. It is also useful when dragging objects onto the thumbnail, since it indicates at what point the object can be released to complete a drag and drop operation.

Add animation when closing an app from the overview – (Bug 641721)


The shell should make a nice animation like on the N900 when closing an app from the overview instead of just making it disappear right away.

Highlight window thumbnails on hover – (Bug 665310)


We already show the close button when the pointer is positioned over the window thumbnail. It would be great to visually highlight the thumbnail too – this would give a nice bit of feedback that it is clickable.


Conversations – time stamps are noisy, misaligned with message – (Bug 680989)


I can currently seeing the following string in a conversation bubble: “Sent at 14:26:29 on Wednesday”. The string contains unecassary information. The message was sent today, so I don’t need to see the day. I also don’t need to know which second I received it at. “Sent at” is also noise. In short, it should read “14:26” [1]. It should also be vertically aligned with the most recent message.

[1] If the message was received on a different day, you can add it to the string. It would be great if it could read “Yesterday” if the message was received, well, yesterday.

Show a drop shadow beneath the notifications box – (Bug 682547)


The box should appear as if it is floating above the shield.

Misalignment in the notifications box – (Bug 682548)


The different notifications aren’t aligned with each other. This looks bad, and makes it hard to read. The notifications should follow a grid layout:

No animations when dragging to create a new workspace – (Bug 685285)


Dragging a window or an application launcher between two workspaces creates a new workspace. To indicate this, we increase the padding between the two workspaces and insert a spacer graphic when the dragged object is hovered over the space between workspaces.

However, these transitions are not animated, nor is the insertion of the new workspace. The result is jerky and disharmonious, and it doesn’t clearly convey the arrival of the new workspace.

Two things we can do:

  • For the hover state, smoothly increase the space between the workspaces and make the spacer appear to grow into the space.
  • Animate in the new workspace.

Jerky screen shield movement – (Bug 685292)


The movement of the shield is often jerky as it raises or lowers. The slide really needs to be smooth.

Transition from login screen to desktop isn’t right – (Bug 685295)


The current transition has the login view shrink down to the center of the screen, revealing the desktop below it. This is better than having no animation at all, but isn’t quite what was designed:

Non-linear overview and modal dialog shade – (Bug 669798)


When the overview or a modal dialog is displayed, a semi-opaque filter is placed across the background. Right now, that filter is flat, but in the mockups it becomes more transparent towards the center, which gives a nice bit of extra depth.

Blue login button oddities – (Bug 685307)


If I press the button with the pointer and release, the button appears pressed but then the label changes to a dark color for a short while. If I press the return key, the button doesn’t appear pressed and the label changes to the dark color.

Pressing the button with either the pointer or the return key should simply result in the button having a pressed appearance. Afterwards, it should immediately return to normal.

Details are details, but details make the difference and when we talk about desktop environments, details are of different importance to every one of us. Let’s hope that there will be time and energy for every single detail mentioned above, and that all will be taken care of before Gnome 3.8 release!

The list grows longer every day in the Gnome Live webpage

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  • Ian Brunelli

    I just want to suggest “hold super key” is a better shortcut than “super + M” to pop up notifications area…
    Anyone knows where I can do that?
    (I thought in do it on bugzilla, but that’s not a bug, it’s a feature!)

    • ScionicSpectre

      They’re called ‘enhancements’ in bugzilla. Many feature requests are in there as enhancements, some of which are marked RESOLVED/WON’TFIX. I can see how using the same button to show the full overview or notificiations could confuse someone who isn’t already aware of it, though.

  • Adonis K (Vαяēмēиøš)

    When getting at the login screen of gnome 3.6’s gdm, you need to either press Tab or clock with the mouse the default (pre-selected user) to be able to then press Enter and type your password.
    Thats really counter productive for systems not friendly to touch!

    When an indicator is clicked (from the top right part of the gnome shell), you cannot do anything until you either click on an option of that indicator’s menu or click somewhere else to close it down.
    How to reproduce: click an indicator (for example the volume or your username’s text) and then try pressing the “Super” key to show the overview.

    I could continue for 2 more days but my memory fails me after a tough day at the university

  • Philip Witte

    Mostly I just want the Drag-Drop Organize Workspaces, but some of the other suggestions sound good too.

  • Gilles

    Those details seem indeed very important to me. Bringing attention to new applications is a really good think. But is not everyone use them. The Shell himself (notifications, lockscreen, overview) is. It really has to be polished. I’m very please to see such arttention on those details.

    • Gilles

      “Those details seem indeed very important to me. Bringing attention to new applications is a really good think. But there are not used by everyone. The Shell himself (notifications, lockscreen, overview) is. It really has to be polished. I’m very pleased to see such arttention on those details.” Some typos.

  • 2eurocents

    Have you noticed the tiny detail of Gnome’s system icon set? Or are you ignoring that elephant completely?

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