• Subject: RE: RTFM (was: CPYF behavior)
  • From: Kaynor@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 21:55:32 EST

>  Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 08:55:07 -0500
>  From: boldt@ca.ibm.com
>  Subject: RE: RTFM (was: CPYF behavior)
>  
>  Don wrote:
>  >Pardon my ignorance, but how does this differ from having all open
>  >applications "maximized" and using the ALT-TAB key sequence to switch
>  >between them?
>  >
>  >I can't say I'm overly enamored of Windows, but it does provide the
>  ability
>  >to open as many copies of your softcopy manuals as you want and switch
>  >between them at will.  I can't say I see much difference between this and
>  >having multiple printed books open on my desk.  Except, of course, the
>  >printed books take up gobs of space.
>  
>  It's hard to visualize the usefulness of multiple virtual
>  desktops in X without actually trying it.  Here's a more
>  substantial example from my own experience:  I've played
>  with a Java application involving a number of packages.
>  In each of 3 or 4 virtual windows, I've had a folder view
>  of the files in the package, several editors opened to
>  source files in that package, and a command line session.
>  In yet another virtual window, I've had at least two
>  browsers open to the Java on-line documentation.  I can
>  switch between different packages or to the docs by
>  clicking on buttons at the bottom of the screen.
>  
>  Another scenario:  I can have web browsing and e-mail on
>  one session, web page maintenance on another, web image
>  editing on a third, and some games on a fourth (to
>  occupy me while waiting on a large download).  Each
>  session has multiple related apps open and I don't have
>  to clutter up one session or minimize windows to work
>  effectively.
>  
>  The difference is that you can organize your work more
>  effectively.  Each virtual desktop can contains a set of
>  related things.  On the other hand, the MS-Windows
>  approach seems designed to minimize the number of open
>  windows.  OS/2 and X are better in that one mouse button
>  click will bring up a list of open applications.  With
>  MS-Windows, you have this silly task bar at the bottom.
>  With more than a few apps, the text is truncated so much,
>  you really don't know which app is which.  (Since I've
>  heard so much about the instability of Win95 with
>  multiple apps open, I'm sure this was a conscious design
>  decision to try to encourage users to keep the number of
>  open apps down.  Unfortunately, although WNT is much more
>  stable, its users are now stuck with this horrid design
>  too!)
>  
>  Another advantage of multiple virtual desktops is that
>  now desktop icons become useful again!  The big problem
>  with desktop icons is that when you have lots of windows
>  open, they get obscured very quickly.  On X, you switch
>  to an unused virtual desktop, and all the desktop icons
>  are usable again!
>  
>  Cheers!  Hans
>  
>  Hans Boldt, ILE RPG Development, IBM Toronto Lab, boldt@ca.ibm.com
  
Hans,
I'd guess you know these things, but in rebuttal of your last two statements:

  -You can use <Windows>+M to minimize all windows and expose the desktop 
icons and <Windows>+<Shift>+M to restore them to their previous size.  
(Right-clicking on the task bar gives you these options, too.)
  -You can drag the upper edge of your task bar up as far as you like and the 
truncated text for each task will become descriptive again.  (And you can 
reduce your Windoze font size so more fits...)

This does not contradict your general point, but the examples you give are 
not problems for me.  (Like Don, I'm also a heavy user of <ALT>+<TAB> between 
full-screen windows, and I name my AS/400 sessions for clarity.)
--Chapin Kaynor
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