GNOME Bugzilla – Bug 48004
Desktop should be able to have different backgrounds for different workspaces
Last modified: 2013-12-16 14:53:47 UTC
One thing that I miss from using Enlightenment (and letting it draw the desktop
background) was that I could select different desktop backgrounds for different
workspaces. It offers quick orientation cues for where I am. A secondary
reason is that it increases eyecandy. If Nautilus could have some means of
having different backgrounds for different workspaces, that would be rather nice.
------- Additional Comments From firstname.lastname@example.org 2001-04-10 11:37:19 ----
------- Bug moved to this database by email@example.com 2001-09-09 21:18 -------
The original reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org) of this bug does not have an account here.
Reassigning to the exporter, email@example.com.
The original owner (firstname.lastname@example.org) of this bug does not have an account here.
Reassigning to the default owner of the component, email@example.com.
Changing to "old" target milestone for all bugs laying around with no milestone set.
Can someone add a gnome2 keyword for this. It seems that this is a
commonly requested feature on the nautilus and gnome lists, even
though i'm not sure it's technically feasible with sawfish?? Maybe
more thought should be given to this.
*** Bug 47327 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
This really isn't a nautilus issue; it no longer sets background (I'm
pretty sure) and doesn't really know about workspaces anyway, AFAIK.
Closing but maybe someone should ask on the lists where this really
belongs [if it belongs at all- I'm sure to a certain extent it is a
I don't think this is a crack option and could be very useful in
distinguish the different workspaces.
IIRC, CDE has it and I see a lot of my colleagues using it.
for other comments.
Reopening against libgnome (as suggested by Havoc in
Feature request -> GNOMEVER2.3
If this is done, the UI should be done in a minimal friction way, so
that users who do not want different backgrounds don't have to wade
through extra UI complication.
[X] Use the same background for all workspaces
If you don't uncheck that, the BG properties capplet will change all
backgrounds together. If you uncheck it, it will change the background
of the workspace it was launched from.
What happens if you drag the capplet between workspaces?
'workspace it was launched from' is undesirable; as you've commented,
moving window among workspaces are common task.
so 'workspace it is running on now' is desirable, I think.
and it must be not so muchly hard to implement than 'where launched
from' for this moment.
A couple of off-the-top-of my head suggestions:
- Rather than doing anything clever when moving the dialog between
workspaces, just make it more explicit in the dialog which workspace
the changes will affect. E.g. Change the title to: "Background
Preferences - <workspace_name>".
- Or, rather than the checkbox Andrew suggested, have an option menu
that lists all the workspaces, plus one extra "All workspaces" item.
When opened, it could default to the workspace it was launched from,
as previously suggested.
This is not a crack option. I miss it enough from Enlightenment
that I just spent three hours trying to figure out how to replicate
it in GNOME/Nautilus/Metacity, only to eventually end up here; and
I may yet decide to go back.
Different-coloured backdrops are an extremely valuable UI cue for
remembering where I left various things I was working on.
*** Bug 102631 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I agree on it not being a crack issue. I found this feature of
Enlightenment useful because it made it more clear which desktop was
which. Plus, it makes for more pretty pictures.
is this really a libgnome bug?? I don't see what in libgnome would
control the background... I would have thought this to be nautilus,
but I hear nautilus doesn't set the background in gnome 2.x anymore?
this is really both a nautilus feature request and a control-center
feature request (says dave camp). reassigning so it gets more
visibility from the appropriate developers.
*** Bug 13921 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Jean Schurger <firstname.lastname@example.org> has created to solution you've all
been waiting for.
Havoc recently expressed an interest in "project workspaces".
[The phrase "project workspace" is mine, not in Havoc's blog.]
I don't know if it was mentioned in any of the threads linked
above, but the following idea has been discussed on some channels
and some lists.
The idea is to allow multiple "desktop" folders, with ~/Desktop
as the only default one. Each desktop folder when opened would
create a new workspace with the folder contents as the desktop
contents. There are other fine points of interaction discussed
elsewhere. Relevant to this bug is that the background would
merely be a property of the desktop folder, and so it would be
set in the same way that folder backgrounds are set.
I'll see about drafting a formal proposal sometime next year. I
have too much on my plate right now and this year is almost over.
*** Bug 103152 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
In regards to "project workspaces", it appears that bug 113640 would
be a duplicate of this bug with some details about how such a thing
Updating versions and keywords to GNOMEVER2.5.
Both bugs look valid. I'm going to do this as a dependency; I'm
finding this a tough call (I gave up yesterday and went to bed :) but
I don't want to close either of them.
This is not a "crack option", it can actually give good visual cues to
intermediate/advanced users, so I agree that this isn't something that
should be overlooked.
However, as usability people we really need to protect the new user
from getting confused by this feature. (Imagine not knowing what a
workspace really is, changing your background setting needs to remain
as easy as it is now for this type of user)
Calum and Andrew had interesting suggestions for solving this problem.
It'd be cool to see a mockup of a new design if anyone wants to
attach a screeny to this bug.
*** Bug 131214 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Hello. I submitted bug 113640, which was marked as a duplicate of
this bug. If and when anyone works on this, please read my bug, and
consider my suggestions for how the task switcher should look and work.
Also, I took a look at bug 113640. I love the basic idea of being
able to have completely different desktops, not just different
appearances. It would be great to have one desktop with lots of game
icons laid out, another one with web site management tools and
editors, and so on.
P.S. To all GNOME developers: thank you for your work on GNOME.
Er, that's "I submitted bug 131214". I did NOT submit the other one.
Very sorry for the mistake. My suggestions for the workplace
switcher are in bug 131214.
*** Bug 133357 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 138940 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 142160 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Please do it!
*** Bug 143200 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
i'm awaiting the inclusion of this feature with much anticipation!
Another vote for having this, I don't understand how it is a crack option and
why it is of low priority
*** Bug 165514 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
It seems the strategy is just to ignore advocates of this greatly-missed
feature. It's silly to not have the option of different backgrounds for
different workspaces...Even the term 'workspace' implies that it's an altogether
different "location". Sorry to get a bit too 'spatial' there. ;-)
I don't think the strategy is to ignore the advocates, its more a strategy of
waiting until an advocate comes around with a patch :)
I can try to create a UI mockup tonight, anyone still interested?
*** Bug 308805 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Further to comment #6
on a point of priciple (kiss) I never use workspaces and would not expect to see
potentially confusing information about workspaces in the Background Preferences
dialog. Instead I would expect this functionality to be accessed through the
workspace switcher applet somehow, perhaps turn workspace names into Workspace
Properties, name and background being the two properties.
This is temporary solution:
can't we let gnome-settings-daemon do the polling of the workspace swap.
If swap detected then chance background to what is set by the user.
Extention of the configuration GUI will be needed. A combo box with Default,
Workspace 1, Workspace 2, etc. for example
seems that we will need to depend on libwnck to detect the change? is this a problem
Please add this cool idea ;)
Thanks a lot :)
This issue has been around for some time, it is set as Gnome 2.5 and we're on 2.14 already. Can someone update this bug so it makes sense in terms of when it should be done by. Wallpapoz is a good solution IF you're using metacity, I'm using compiz and goddamit I want to have different coloured sides to my cube. I think that bug 113640 is probably the best way to go, I can't imagine how it would be done but it needs to be done!
I doubt this would be too difficult, if a mean time solution were engineered initially which works with compiz/metacity (dare i say it http://intr.overt.org/blog/?p=32)/sawfish we would mostly be happy, 113640 is the way ahead but if this bug is closed without an over engineered usability quest then 113640 would become easier as a start has already been made.
Alan Horkan in Comment #37 raised a good point about not wanting to see information about multiple desktops when he only has one, but that can still be achieved with many of the solutions suggested here.
But many people would disagree that the options should not be available on the "desktop background preferences" as this is exactly where most people would look to change the wallpaper. Alan's first comment into consideration when implementing a solution.
I was just about to raise this as an issue in Ubuntu when I found this, so I'd love to see this feature get some focus as would many other people it seems. I'm even tempted to do it myself, but I have 0 hours experience in programming for gnome.
Please up the priority! This has become more relevant when using Beryl/Compiz. In the 3D cube desktop, I see this as a usability issue, not just bells & whistles.
If Linux desktop wants to be technically ahead of the competition, this issue should be resolved. I think the cube is an extremely useful desktop metaphor and could be used to evangelize Linux as the superior desktop solution, but it is a bit noisy without the ability of different backgrounds.
Different desktop icons for workspaces should be supported as well. There's probably a different bug already open for that?
(In reply to comment #44)
> Different desktop icons for workspaces should be supported as well.
This could be great :-O
Created attachment 85201 [details]
A cropped shot of four workspaces in compiz with individual wallpapers and desktop handling
On today's Novell's Brainshare Friday Session, new compiz features have been demonstrated. (See http://www.novell.com/brainshare/general_sessions07.html)
You could see nautilus being aware of the different workspaces, drawing individual wallpapers and desktop icons on each workspace.
Since most of the changes become public, I got some hope back that this 6 year old bug might finally get solved upstream in the near future.
As discussed in the comments, I think it is enough to have a very basic dialog (like the current one) to change each wallpaper with one or two extra widgets to relate to the current workspace context. Detecting when there is only one workspace and not displaying those extra options shouldn't really be a hard task.
Please, fix this bug. From 2001 it's open!!. It's too much even if there is a low enhancement. Other wm have it so it's no so dificult to implement
*** Bug 425217 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I'm throwing in my vote on this, too. KDE has been doing this for a while, and this feature was requested in 2001! I agree that now with the Beryl/Compiz fad, the ability to have different backgrounds for orientation is crucial. More power to the people, right? Please consider upping the priority on this "bug."
Novell were pimping this at brainshare I think, but there really needs to be some movement on it.
I think the challenges here are mostly related to the user interface for it, remembering vaguely from one of the previous duplicate threads we have to figure out how the user interacts with each workspace to set the background for it? The options appear to be;
* you could have a dialog with a list of workspaces (wallpapoz does this)
* for every workspace the window appears differently and-or...
* have the window change as its dragged to other workspaces, which is difficult to achieve probably because there isn't a very obvious way of figuring out when a window is moved to another workspace AFAIK.
* have one wallpaper dialog per workspace. Which means you'd have to stop the user from being able to move the wallpaper dialog because if they do they may end up with two on one workspace which would be very confusing. IMHO easier to implement.
my recent thoughts on this are, with beryl-dbus and the compiz re-merge going on a quarry of options will be available. This simple aspect of the desktop could be taken quite far indeed. I am about to attach a mockup that includes some of these ideas.
All Windows should be minimized when the applet loads it goes fullscreen, and some nice smooth animations on the list of wallpapers would be good too. if possible it would be exceptionally cool that when either the arrows or the thumbnails in the bottom right hand corner would spin the cube when the workspace changes.
Anyway that was just a brain storm, hope it helps.
Created attachment 89620 [details]
I was daubing a bit when you said "stop the user from being able to move the wallpaper dialog", but that mockup looks awesome!
Two questions though:
* How do you remove wallpapers? Move to trash? Remove button?
* What is that arrow list in the lower right corner meant for?
Great idea, I have been hoping something like this could be implemented for a long time.
Looks great :-D
I guess we will have to wait until we are around 60 years old before GNOME developers decide that their users requests and wishes might be worth listening to.
We still have to edit text files to change the colour of text on the panels in 2007!
Well, I think it is good that there are some overall ideas on what amount of settings should be adjustable.
Then if one don't like them there are always the elections.
Hi, +1 for this feature request! I guess this is a very important and long missed feature. Would love to have it.
Please, IMPLEMENT THIS FEATURE. Since 2002 to now people request. It's a symptom that people like it and gnome developers should do (in the good sense) what people want.
This is just an option, so this is not excluding decission.
Regarding the feature in general, I do agree that it is very, very desirable. A big step would be if we had better compositing manager interaction (bug 44320), and let the CM draw the background. It could do whatever the user wants, animations, all kinds of images etc. .
Karl (comment 51): I agree that this is a very refreshing UI proposal.
Just so everyone knows this is listed as a potential 2008 Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project at http://live.gnome.org/SummerOfCode2008/Ideas.
Also in regards to Karl's comment mentioned above (comment 51), that is a really neat and fresh GUI idea and I would be more than happy to implement it in wxPython if that can be of any use.
From a GUI perspective, I think the main issue here is that we treat desktop background prefs, workspace switcher prefs, and (soon) the multiple monitor configuration prefs as separate problems.
But of course, they're all inter-related. I'm just as likely to want a different background on each of my dual screens* as I am on each of my virtual workspaces. If I have two monitors and four virtual workspaces, that's potentially up to eight different desktop backgrounds I might want to configure. And I really want to be configuring them all in much the same place and in much the same way, regardless of whether they're real desktops or virtual ones.
So IMHO an elegant solution to this problem is probably going to have to consider how all those real and virtual desktops that make up your entire workspace might be treated as a more cohesive whole, rather than being concepts that currently lead somewhat separate lives.
* As indeed I do in the office :)
I'm taking this bug on as my summer of code project. I'll be blogging my progress at http://gsocblog.jsharpe.net/. Feel free to make comments/get in touch with ideas.
I won't be starting work on this for about three weeks, but I'll be starting with making the appropriate changes to support this in libwnck, gnome-settings-daemon and libgnomeui.
Thanks a lot for taking this on, James - everybody I know who uses GNOME has been waiting for that feature ever since they discovered multiple workspaces...
Good luck and have fun with the implementation! :-)
Make sure you support multi-monitor also; it would be a shame to work on this and not include support for handing wallpaper for people with xinerama/twinview/whatever setups, which is becoming much more common.
I have a short video of this functionality working on my blog at http://gsocblog.jsharpe.net/archives/15.
Comments on the patches in the dependent bugs would be appreciated.
*** Bug 546199 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Are there any problems with the proposed patches or are they ready for inclusion ?
Please, include the patches. The bug is from 2001. Too elder.
Please, please, +1.
According to comment #65 the patches have been ready since last summer.
Gnome's adoption rate is not helped by refusing what to most of us seem sensible and usable enhancements.
+1! Every "normal" user (i.e. girlfriend and such) I know asks for this regularly.
Paul, I think the same.
Is anybody actively working on getting this included? If the patches have indeed been ready since last summer, what is keeping them from getting them included? What can we do to remove these obstacles, if any?
I really think having different colors for each desktop/workspace helps organizing ones work better and naviagte between different tasks more efficient.
I also think it would be nice to find a way to do this in gnome or nautilus itself, without a composite manager, compiz or whatever. I'd really like that feature on my notebook for example, which doesn't have the gpu power to make compiz really agreable.
It's unbelievable this has been a feature request for 8 years and it's still not possible.
I, too, have been waiting for this for quite some time. But with gnome3 / gnome-shell nearing release I don't really know if this feature makes a lot of sense anymore. Sure, on the one hand, telling apart workspaces in gnome-shell is even more important than before. In the other hand, there is no fixed size grid of workspaces anymore and workspaces come and go as needed. How would setting colors be handled in such a case?
It can be implemented in various ways. We only have to convince developers to do it. :)
First of all there's an idea to have workspaces from the last session automatically re-created and re-populated. At least re-populating it with it's background sounds pretty simple and appealing. :)
And also you can make workspace profiles to create pre-populated workspaces (with backgrounds, applets, windows, etc.). (I don't know whether this idea was discussed and approved/declined by the developers already)
https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=601957 is a duplicate of this one
*** Bug 601957 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
This feature request is celebrating its 10th birthday soon. If implementing it with current means (developer time, monetary base) is beyond feasibility we (the requesters of this feature) could try and organize some sort of funding for implementation of THIS feature. But we need the developers to let us know if this approach would actually solve the problem.
*** Bug 570019 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 604301 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I am not sure this makes much sense in the GNOME 3 dynamic workspace model. However, it can probably be implemented as an extension.
Closing as per comment 81.
*** Bug 544242 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***