"Unlock" the desktop lock when dragging. Allow the user to alt-tab, switch workspaces and launch applications while the user is holding onto a grabbed drag.


To further our Drag&Drop movement, to make it an even easier and more intuitive way of interacting with information (mostly text snippets and files for now), unlock the desktop! Right now, the user has to "set up" the drag, making windows visible and tiled up before dragging. Keyboard input is completely blocked when dragging, and the few mouse tricks to get around this are hard to discover. [1]

Use cases

A works with two different applications on two different workspaces, and wants to drag text from one to another.

B wants to drag a file from the desktop into an email but has to minimize everything first.

C wants to drag a URL to a terminal to grab the target with wget.



"Unlocking" the desktop includes allowing

  • Alt-tab
  • Workspace switches (ctrl-alt-arrow etc)
  • Typing in focused windows (Drag to terminal, type 'wget ' and drop the url)
  • Using keyboard shortcuts to alter applications and launch new (global and local)



Outstanding issues

BoF agenda and discussion

Comments and Notes

[1]: The few mouse tricks there are are good but cumbersome. 1. You can focus a window by hovering the drag over its entry in the window list (panel). 2. You can similarily switch workspaces by hovering. 3. If you drag a file, a hidden panel will expand so you can drop it (it will not expand for a text drag, even if there are workspace switchers or window lists on the panel)


NonModalDrag&Drop (last edited 2008-08-06 16:34:34 by localhost)