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Provide the user with more assistance when have to bring to foreground a minimized or hidden task on the taskbar.


Users have window name and and icon that represent the window on the taskbar. Sometimes this is not intuitive and further assistance may be given to the user to know the window it wants to maximize.

Use cases

John has open two images using gThumb named 01010.jpg and 020202.jpg because he download the pics from his digital camera. He cant recognize the photo by the name when both are minimized. He wants to move the mouse over the minimized task and have a mini window of the content.


The intention is to modify the existing applet or maybe create a new one if the first choice have issues.


Well, this is stolen from Windows Vista. But, in my opinion, we should take good features of other OS's and improve it.





"The next section is written with my poor knowledge of some of the thing i mention" It seems to me that this can be done using the new effects showed by beryl or similar. Other approach is to do a more simple implementation with the tools we have so far, without using the accelerated effects. Using effects, can make this really great, because a video can be shown on the thumbnails, and the changes that happens on the window. I think that maybe the code of the alt-tab feature that shows live thumbnails could be used to do the same but when the mouse i over the task.

Manuel: As suggested by Warbo, the way should be beryl for this. So i added composite by default spec as dependency.


Data preservation and migration

Unresolved issues

BoF agenda and discussion

Warbo: This is certainly possible with Compiz/Beryl, but I don't think it would be on a regular X server without those window managers. This is because X.org (the program which draws the graphics onto the screen) tries to save memory by not working out anything which is not visible (eg. if something has another window in front of it, or is minimised, etc.). This was obviously a huge problem for transparency effects, since the part which is meant to shine through would not actually be there, which is why the Composite extension was made (this basically draws everything off the side of the screen, so nothing is overlapping, then moves them back into place on the screen so that all thge parts of all of the windows have been worked out, and can therefore be seen through transparent windows). Last time I used Compiz there was a plugin which basically replaces the taskbar completely with thumbnails. This obviously takes up much more room than your suggestion, and although it has been a while since I used Compiz I found that this was the most unstable plugin it had (Compiz would basically crash a few seconds after enabling it). Integrating it with the GNOME-panel might take some work, but I am guessing that if this idea is accepted then it would be implemented quickly, since it actually has some tangible benefit, unlike rain drops Smile :)

Robert Carr: The current Beryl plugin displays live thumbnails of unminimized windows. On minimize beryl core saves a pixmap of the window before it is unmapped and the thumbnail plugin uses this for minimized windows. This decision was made as to provide a consistent experience for users. Previously thumbnail and switcher would display no thumbnail at all in such a case. Compiz also has a thumbnail plugin (Originally a thumbnail plugin was written for Compiz and Beryl, but then rewritten by a Beryl dev as the original one 1. Was poorly designed leading to instability and crashing 2. Required patches to libwnck and/or kicker, as I understand it stability on the Compiz thumbnail plugin has improved but it still does not do the minimized window thing and requires patches to libwnck and kicker).

AndreRuediger: Instead of "copying" this feature one to one we should also think of other solutions. For example displaying a window on top of the other windows (perhaps with some transparency applied if it's minimized) while hovering over it's taskbar button. So you can even preview the size and position of that window. Or showing the scale plugin with the currently hovered appliction's window highlighted. Just some thoughts to not look the same as Vista. Wink ;)


TaskbarThumbnails (last edited 2008-08-06 16:18:39 by localhost)