New concept for user feedback requests / focus stealing

Please post suggestions for improvement of Cinnamon here
https://github.com/linuxmint/Cinnamon
Post Reply
svaens
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:51 am

New concept for user feedback requests / focus stealing

Post by svaens » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:05 am

Hi all,

I am wondering if anyone has been doing work, or is aware of work being done, towards a new concept for user notification and requests for information to avoid focus stealing.

This is mostly a rant about focus stealing by pop-up dialogs, and windows in general, in ... .well.... all desktops I have seen so far. But since i'm using Cinnamon, i'll suggest it as an improvement for this.

Current situation:

Scenario 1:
Doing some work... coding... .writing email, etc.. and you notice updates are necessary. You click on the "Update Manager" icon on the task bar, bring up the window and start the update, click away the window, and continue with your work.
Some time later, a progress dialog pops up, showing you how far along the download process or installation process it is. it steals focus (regardless of "focus stealing configurations") and I lose my train of thought. I click it away, and continue.
Some time later, the process is complete. It pops up a dialog demanding I click OK. Grrr.

Scenario 2:
Doing some work in one dialog, I start a process which takes a long time. I would need to wait, so I move on to something else.
In the middle of this... email... the process I started earlier completes and pops up, stealing process away from my browser and email. Grrr

Suggested Improvements

Focus stealing
There should be a means of generally preventing windows from changing their z-order.
A NEW window popping up, if the system is so configured, should be default be opened behind all other windows.
An EXISTING window needing to attract attention, could blink its task-bar button. Changing its z-order, by itself, should not be permitted.
Despite there being configuration for this in 18.3.... it doesn't seem to do much.

Existing update manager app

Firstly, there's probably simply improvements that could be made with the existing infrastructure. Why does this update manager need to use pop-ups at all. Perhaps it could all occur in one window, much like the software manager when installing new software. Progress is shown in that dialog. No pop-ups are necessary to show user progress or completion. If the window had lost its position the z-order due to user actions (having chosen another window to bring to front) it should not try to change that.
Once the process is moving along, and requires no extra feedback, it shouldn't pop up.

Request for feedback

If feedback is required, there should be some generic means of notifying a user that feedback is required. Like a blinking icon on the taskbar. The user clicks on this (when he/she is ready) which brings up the list of feedback requests from the system or various applications, the user tends to these, and when finished, returns to his/her work, never to be bothered by pop-ups again.

Generic UI for progress reporting

For those developers familiar with eclipse or intellij (and probably many others), you'll be familiar with the non-popup progress frame.
You can have started a job (compilation or refresh of workspace, etc) and the progress of these tasks are
1. notified of via an icon or progress bar down the bottom of the window
2. displayed, on click on that icon, via a window which can be clicked away when no longer required

A window manager could implement a similar idea.

1. A progress bar on the task bar with mouse-rollover information as to what is running
2. on click of this, we bring up a sort of HUD which
a) can be explicitly brought to either front, or back of the list of windows
b) can be minimized
c) never pops up of its own accord

These are just a few small ill thought out ideas, off the top of my head, at how things might be improved. But perhaps someone has a better idea. Perhaps something is already in development!?

I'd be curious to hear peoples thoughts on the matter. If they find the current situation as annoying as myself. And if someone has other work-arounds, experiences, etc.

User avatar
tovian
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:17 pm
Location: Heart of Dixie

Re: New concept for user feedback requests / focus stealing

Post by tovian » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:34 am

I truly hope you are successful with your campaign to establish a more elegant method of communicating between users and processes. Sadly, I fear that what you describe is simply the "new way" of doing business - part of the "price we must pay" to exist in the world today. Companies who do business on the internet, especially if they are dependent on advertising revenue, apparently believe that if they haven't aggravated you and me then they don't have our attention. Their numbers (statistics) prove that most people will keep on doing what they are doing rather than look for an alternative that is not so intrusive. Thus, there is little incentive for companies to scale back their attempts to "get in our face".

I am one of those who will go to great lengths (near overkill) to find an alternative to a company that is abusive (or otherwise misbehaving). But I do NOT believe that my efforts will affect anyone but myself (I will NOT change the world or convince others to do things "my way").

I wish you good fortune in your pursuit. I will help if I can.
“I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
"We're just the guys to do it.”

Animal House

User avatar
Moem
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5403
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:14 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: New concept for user feedback requests / focus stealing

Post by Moem » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:48 am

I can't say I recognise this problem. Maybe that's because I always open the update manager on a different workspace, where it can do what it wants and leave me in peace.
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

User avatar
tovian
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:17 pm
Location: Heart of Dixie

Re: New concept for user feedback requests / focus stealing

Post by tovian » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:36 pm

Moem wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:48 am
I always open the update manager on a different workspace, where it can do what it wants and leave me in peace.
That's not going to work for all the abusive interrupts, but it's a darn good idea. I will definitely keep that method in mind. I already have 3 activities/desktops so adding another, just for this situation, would be a piece of cake. Thanks for the suggestion, Moem.
“I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
"We're just the guys to do it.”

Animal House

Post Reply

Return to “Cinnamon”