Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Rethinking Window Management

Tobias Bernard:

We’ve wanted more powerful tiling [in GNOME] for years, but there has not been much progress due to the huge amount of work involved on the technical side and the lack of a clear design direction we were happy with. We now finally feel like the design is at a stage where we can take concrete next steps towards making it happen, which is very exciting!


Mosaic is the default behavior. You open a window, it opens centered on the screen at a size that makes the most sense for the app. For a web browser that might be maximized, for a weather app maybe only 700×500 pixels.

As you open more windows, the existing windows move aside to make room for the new ones. If a new window doesn’t fit (e.g. because it wants to be maximized) it moves to its own workspace. If the window layout comes close to filling the screen, the windows are automatically tiled.


One important missing piece is having information on the maximum desired size of a window. This is the size beyond which the window content stops looking good. Not having this information is one of the reasons that traditional tiling window managers have issues, especially on larger screens. […] In addition, it’d be helpful to know the range of ideal sizes where an app works best.

Via Lukas Mathis:

Window management is probably the single worst aspect of current operating systems, and his ideas for how a modern tiling window manager might work are extremely compelling to me.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Beatrix Willius

Why should the OS handle window positioning for me?

> Why should the OS handle window positioning for me?

Auto-positioning is great for tiling. Tiling window management is great for those who want a bunch of terminal consoles and perhaps a browser, who don't want to touch a mouse at all and want to see all open windows at once.

For the rest of us, there's stacking/compositing window managers.

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