Notification hides main window

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Notification hides main window

Postby alexs77 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:49 pm

Hello

And there's another annoyance in Cinnamon…
When an application (like gedit or Thunderbird) shows a "notification", the main window is hidden. For example, with gedit, when I press Alt+F4 (→ Close Window) and have unsaved changes, the window is fully hidden: http://vid.ly/1j7n1y
Or in Thunderbird, when going to delete an email thread, it also hides the full window: http://vid.ly/4r1d7p
There are also other examples, but this should suffice, I suppose.

How can I turn this behaviour off?

Thanks,
Alexander
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:58 pm

Hello, Alexander.

First of all what you see when you try to quit a programme where you have unsaved data is not a notification but a confirmation dialogue.
The programme wants to know what to do with the unsaved data: discard them or save them.
You decide. The programme cannot do so for you.

About the confiramtion dialogue covering the main editor window:
The editor application window is very small. As a consequence the dialogue box happens to be the same size and cover the main application window.
But where is the problem?
You must decide whether to save or discard the unsaved documents. So you cannot use the main window before you have replied to the dialogue.

The Thunderbid situation is similar. Thunderbird expects you to confirm the delete action. Only this time the dialogue box does not cover the large Thunderbird windows at all. The dialogue box is much smaller. Nontheless, again the dialogue box needs to be answered before you can return to the main window.
Again where is the problem?

What you see has been implemented in this way by design, in order to prevent the user from ignoring confirmation dialogues which require his decision. You will be able to reproduce the same behaviour not only on Cinnamon, but on xfce oder Mate as well.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby alexs77 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:20 pm

karlchen wrote:Hello, Alexander.

First of all what you see when you try to quit a programme where you have unsaved data is not a notification but a confirmation dialogue.


You're right, it's a confirmation dialogue — doesn't matter, though. The point is, that Cinnamon hides the main window of the program. This should not be done. I want to keep on seeing the main window.

About the confiramtion dialogue covering the main editor window:


It doesn't simply cover it; the main window fully disappears.

The editor application window is very small. As a consequence the dialogue box happens to be the same size and cover the main application window.


That is not, what is happening.

But where is the problem?


The problem is, that the main window isn't visible anymore.

You must decide whether to save or discard the unsaved documents. So you cannot use the main window before you have replied to the dialogue.


True. Why hide the main window? Bad usability. One loses track, of what's going on.

The Thunderbid situation is similar. Thunderbird expects you to confirm the delete action. Only this time the dialogue box does not cover the large Thunderbird windows at all. The dialogue box is much smaller. Nontheless, again the dialogue box needs to be answered before you can return to the main window.
Again where is the problem?


The window isn't visible, that is the problem. Too much action on the screen. Too much at once changes. Too easy to lose track, of what's happening.

What you see has been implemented in this way by design, in order to prevent the user from ignoring confirmation dialogues which require his decision. You will be able to reproduce the same behaviour not only on Cinnamon, but on xfce oder Mate as well.


Terrible design decision. Just like with the error, to make Alt+Tab window specific and not, like it should be, application specific. Gnome and Unity are really much more user friendly, also in that respect.

Regards,
Alexander
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:58 pm

Hello, Alexander.

You insist that the confirmation dialogue does not only hide the gedit window, but makes it go away.
This is simply incorrect.
In your case the editor window is pretty small. Nothing wrong with it, but simply a fact.
The size of the "Save unsaved files" on quit dialogue depends on the number of open unsaved files.
In your case the main gedit window is small, but the number of open unsaved files is high. This increases the size of the confirmation dialogue which presents the names of all open unsaved files.
As a consequence the dialogue is large enough to cover your whole gedit application window.

Here is the counter example:
I launched gedit and opened 2 files. The window is relatively large. Both file were modified without saving the files. Then the X in the upper right hand corner of the editor window was clicked. The confirmation dialogue came up. And this is what it looked like here:

gedit_unsaved_files_dialogue_on_quit.png
gedit with 2 unsaved fles, X to quit clicked, "Save unsaved files dialogue" comes up


As you can see,
+ the save dialogue is smaller than the main window
+ the save dialogue is centered with relation to the main window
+ the main window is still present and visible

What you seem to ingore is the fact that the save dialogue is a child window of gedit, therefore in the bottom panel there will only be 1 icon for gedit. Because the save dialogue has got the input focus, clicking the gedit dialogue will activated the focussed child window, the save dialogue.
This behaviour is not a bug. It is by design. Else you might be able to ignore the dialogue and terminate gedit thus leaving behind unsaved files and an unanswered dialogue.

If you refuse to understand this concept, then there is nothing I can do.

By the way, this behaviour is not specific to Cinnamon. It is not even specific to Linux. You can observe it on Windows as well.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:15 pm

Hello, Alexander.

OK. Second example and last one to prove that your assumption about the inaccessible gedit main window is simply incorrect.

Smallest gedit window possible here. Cannot make it any smaller. 20 unsaved documents.

Gedit_small_windows_20_unsaved_docs.png
Gedit tiny, 20 unsaved docs


Again clicked on X to close. Dialogue comes up. Smaller still than in your case. This might be a difference between Mint 13 Cinnamon 2.0.14 and Mint 16 Cinnamon 2.0.14. But as you will see soon this does not matter too much:

Gedit_dialogue_hiding_main_window.png
gedit save unsaved files dialogue hiding tiny gedit window


At this moment it looks as if you were right. Gedit window seems gone and inaccessible. But it is is not. Simply take the unlabelled titlebar of the dialogue box and move it down a bit .... and .... surprise, surprise .....

Gedit_surprise_main_window_visible_again.png
Surprise, the gedit window becomes visible again


... the gedit main window is still there and accessible. All you have to do is moving the dialogue box a bit aside (up, down, left or right)

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Cheers,
Karl
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby alexs77 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:02 pm

Karlchen,

All your assumptions are wrong. It is not the case, that the modal dialog covers all of the gedit window. Reality is, that the main window completely goes away. That is a behaviour, which I only found on Linux Mint with Cinnamon. Windows certainly does not behave like that.
If you would have also watched the Thunderbird video, you would have seen, that the size of the main window does not matter. iIIRC, I had Tb full screen there and the dialogue window wasn't that big. This video is proof enough, that all your assumptions about the dialogue simply hiding all of the application were simply wrong. how did you say? "Quod erat demonstrandum"

If you say, that hiding the main application window is by design, than Cinnamon is broken by design. Something, which I'm happy to accept as a fact, if taken into consideration, that Alt+Tab behaviour is also consciously broken. I can live with that, as I don't have to use it and would of course not recommend it to anyone, I'd care about.

Alexander
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:36 pm

OK. Absolutely final screenshots to demonstrate
+ the behaviour is not specific to Cinnamon, screenshots created on Mint 16 xfce 4.10 and gedit 2.30
+ the confirmation dialogue is larger on gedit 2.30 (Mint 16) than on gedit 3.41 (Mint 13)
+ the behaviour in fullscreen screenshots and in English (sorry for the German screenshots in the previous post)
Code: Select all
 $ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: unimatrix0 Kernel: 3.11.0-15-generic i686 (32 bit, gcc: 4.8.1)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.10.2 (Gtk 2.24.20) Distro: Linux Mint 16 Petra
[.. rest deleted as irrelevant ...]


  1. gedit in tiny window with 20 unsaved new documents, click X to quit:
    Image
    gedit_tiny_window_20unsaved_newdocs.png
  2. gedit confirmation dialogue covering the gedit application window, grab titlebar and move dialogue away:
    Image
    gedit_tiny_window_unsaved_dialogue_grab_titlebar_and_move_dialogue.png
  3. gedit and dialogue visible, but gedit not usable, because dialogue keeps input focus:
    Image
    gedit_and_dialogue_visible_gedit_cannot_use.png
  4. Essence: the dialogue needs to be answered first in order to allow input in gedit main window:
    Image
    Gedit_unsaved_docs_essence.png
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:47 pm

Hello, Alexander.
All your assumptions are wrong.
I did not rely on assumptions. I tested the gedit case and reported my results. Screenshots added as pieces of evidence that I did not guess wildly. but tried to reproduce the situation.

It is not the case, that the modal dialog covers all of the gedit window.
Yes, exactly this is what happens.
Reality is, that the main window completely goes away.
No, my tests give strong evidence that the main window does not got away at all. You only have to move the dialogue to confirm that the main window is still present.

If you say, that hiding the main application window is by design
No, this is twisting the meaning my explanation. The save dialogue box will be on top of the main window. This is by design. The fact that in your case and in my second try on Mint 16 the dialogue box covers the whole underlying Gedit window is caused by the fact that we both made the main Gedit window really tiny. And Gedit 2.30 (Mint 16) seems to display a larger dialogue box than Gedit 3.41 (Mint 13). A larger dialogue box is more likely to cover the whole application window than a small dialogue box. That's all.

Cinnamon is broken by design
You may think so. Fact, however, is that my second try was done on xfce, no Cinnamon involved. This does not real support your verdict against Cinnamon.

If you would have also watched the Thunderbird video
I have.
In the Thunderbird video what seems to happen is that - for whichever reason - a console window is displayed on top of the underlying Thunderbird application window. And the confirmation dialogue box is on top of all. - This I what I see in the video. - But I will watch it again. One problem at a time.

Cheers,
Karl
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:15 pm

Hello, Alexander.

Reviewing Thunderbird video finally:

alexs77 wrote:Or in Thunderbird, when going to delete an email thread, it also hides the full window: http://vid.ly/4r1d7p

First I admit I have not observed the behaviour to be watched in your video myself on any Ubuntu / Mint desktop environment which I used in the past 4 years.
I have tried to reproduce the symptoms on Mint 13 Cinnamon 2.0.14 and Thunderbird 24.3.0, but I have not succeeded in doing so.
Therefore I cannot offer any hypothesis on what might be happening on your Cinnamon desktop.
I wonder a bit whether a Thunderbird plugin might be involved which is not present on my system(s).
I will try on Mint 16 Cinnamon 2.0.14 with Thunderbird 24.3.0 later on and see if this makes a difference.
By the way, from the 3 native themes that Cinnamon 2.0.14 brings along - Cinnamon, Linux Mint and Mint-X - I am using the Linux Mint theme.

<Added>
OK. So I have tried to reproduce the problem from your second video using Mint16 Cinnamon 2.0.14, Linux Mint Theme, and Thunderbird 24.3.0.
No success. The confirmation dialogue box pops up in the middle of the Thunderbird application window. The Thunderbird application window does not become invisible, go away or get covered by any other open windows. It stays on top with only the dialogue box on top of it again.
In your second video It is clearly visible that the Thunderbird window becomes invisible thus revealing all the windows which were below it.

This is behaviour is really weird. And I have not seen it happen here on any of my Cinnamon systems. (Mint 13 Cinnamon 2.0.14 32-bit, Mint 13 Cinnamon 2.0.14 64-bit, Mint 14 Cinnamon 1.8.8 32-bit, Mint 16 Cinnamon 2.0.14 32-bit. - Have not seen it on any of the desktop environments that I use, Cinnamon, xfce, Unity, at all.

As I cannot reproduce it and as a video can only illustrate the symptoms, but not the cause, I will not speculate on the reason why it happens on your system.


Reviewing editor video from the start:

I finally had the idea of watching your videos in increased size hoping I would be able to spot details which I had missed before.
Well, I did, not in the Thunderbird video, but in the gedit video:
In increased size, the video revealed that indeed the gedit windows is slightly larger than the save dialogue box.
So, it is true, in your case the gedit windows becomes invisible when the save dialogue box pops up on top of it. Else its edges should be still visible outside the dialogue box, but they are not.
Hence, I admit that I allowed myself to be fooled. Without increasing the gedit video substantially it looks as if the gedit window and the dialogue had exactly the same size in which case the dialogue box would only cover the underlying gedit window.
But in fact, you are right. In your case the gedit window does get invisible.
You might have avoided this misinterpretation easily by making the gedit window larger than the dialogue box from the beginning.

So in the end, what has been said for the Thunderbird window is true for the gedit window as well:
I cannot reproduce the problem that the gedit video illustrates (and could do so more clearly).
The behaviour is really weird. I have not seen it happen here on any of my Cinnamon systems. (Mint 13 Cinnamon 2.0.14 32-bit, Mint 13 Cinnamon 2.0.14 64-bit, Mint 14 Cinnamon 1.8.8 32-bit, Mint 16 Cinnamon 2.0.14 32-bit. - Have not seen it on any of the desktop environments that I use, Cinnamon, xfce, Unity, at all.



Summary:

Both videos illustrate a situation where a popup dialogue box, painted by the application itself, makes the main application window disappear.
It is pretty unclear why it happens.
As I cannot reproduce the problem, I will not start speculating on the cause.
You are free to suspect Cinnamon as such. Yet, the question arises why to the best of my knowledge no-one has complained about this problem before? If it were a common Cinnamon problem then someone else should have had the same problem.



If you are interested in finding out
+ what causes the problem
+ how to solve it
then you should definitely provide a few relevant details which your videos do not tell us:
  • exact Linux Mint version
  • exact Cinnamon version
  • Which Cinnamon Theme is in use?
  • Have you checked ~/.xsession-errors for related error messages? With which result?
  • Have you checked /var/log/syslog for related error messages? With which result?

</Added>

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:24 am

Hello, Alexander.

Carried out an extended search for the problem. Cannot imagine it has never happened to anyone except you. Yet, try as I might, the closest reports which I came across was this one: Windows disappear unexpectedly when switching application. And that is far away from what your videos illustrate. So not helpful. - Maybe I am just phrasing the search terms badly.

Cheers,
Karl
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby vradypos on Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:42 am

I am observing the same behavior

The main window disappears when the dialogue box pops up

LMDE 64-bit (after UP8),
Cinnamon 2.0.14,
tested with all available Themes,
no log entries

Cheers.
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby Radim92 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:31 pm

I have the same problem :?

EDIT: Problem is inside file: /home/[user]/.config/dconf/user
Last edited by Radim92 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby blackelephant on Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:43 pm

Same problem here: Linux mint 16 with Cinnamon 2.0.
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:24 pm

Radim92 wrote:EDIT: Problem is inside file: /home/[user]/.config/dconf/user
And what exactly is the problem in this file?
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby blackelephant on Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:39 pm

Settings > Windows> uncheck attach dialog windows to their parent window's tilebar is one fix.
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Re: Notification hides main window

Postby karlchen on Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:22 am

Hi, blackelephant.
blackelephant wrote:Settings > Windows> uncheck attach dialog windows to their parent window's tilebar is one fix.
Hey thanks for this hint. - Just checked the setting here. It is uncked (disabled). This must be the default, because I cannot remember ever having changed any setting in this dialogue box at all.

Karl
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