Window Control Marking Menu

While it’s actually about a marking menu implementation in Flash, this gives a good introduction: Extremely Efficient Menu Selection: Marking Menus for the Flash Platform.

Marking menus vs linear menus on Youtube.

Could marking menus be used for window management?

There could be a menu button, but that would often put the menu in a corner so that fewer directions could be used efficiently. The menu would have to be designed for either the right or left edge of the screen.

Requiring a right click makes the functionality hard to discover, but one could provide a hint attached to the mouse pointer.

The menu appears on pressing the right mouse button. The center is neutral and allows to cancel the operation by simply releasing the mouse button again. Selection of options happens based on direction alone, distance beyond the initial threshold plays no role. This allows fast gestures. It might be worth consideration to place Maximize in the center, as it is a rather safe command, but one might want to offer a different way to cancel the operation, then.

During menu-use, the pointer disappears and a line is shown to indicate the chosen direction / the gesture being drawn. Sub-menus are reached by changing direction or pausing, although there are variations of marking menus where the mouse button has to be released.

The current workspace can’t be selected. Sticky (always on visible workspace) is presented as exclusive option instead of a separate state as in the current linear menu.

Marking menus can be combined with other elements, here an alternative for workspace selection. Sticky is presented as a kind of parenthesis.

GTK+ Issues

During my ongoing work on an SVG based theme to be realized with the gtk-css-engine I became aware of a number of shortcomings in GTK+.

There’s no Prelight on menus and tabs, making them feel like dead space. There’s an old bug report with patch for this, but it started out as being specifically for the Windows port:

No Active (depressed) state for entries. This is admittedly controversial:
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Treating the parts of a SpinButton like separate widgets works against drawing arrows “inside” a SpinButton. Also the focus indication isn’t drawn around the whole widget like it should be, for this reason:

There shouldn’t be focus indication on only the current tab of a Notebook:
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There should be support for drawing the sides of tabs differently depending on whether they line up with the page or not:
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A selection of my desktop backgrounds is now on

gnome-look has a new theme

It was decided to switch to a ready-made theme with the switch to Drupal 6 to ease migration in the future. So there was nothing to do for me, except provide a matching rendition of the Ardour logo 🙂


See it and a white version for the front page at

Mudlet 3

After application icon and splash, it’s time to bring the archway to the website header.

Embedded in the current page design:
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A proposal with adjusted colors and a slight layout change:
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Project Kyūdō

The theme teams are doing a good job now on a few community themes. But for Jaunty and following cycles, the Ubuntu artwork community could do a better job.

My allies and I would like to push things towards a solid design process.

One that starts with the question what it actually is what we want to achieve, what our message is and who we are addressing. Goals we can agree on and that will lead us through the design, helping us to collaborate in a larger team in a meaningful way.

A process that will lead us out of the shadows of purely personal opinion and hidden assumptions towards the light of reason.

A process where we will not jump unto the first idea, but develop and test several designs for each little part. Where we will not restart on the next cycle, but build upon the existing. Continuous refinement.

One that will offer anyone a chance to learn about design in a deeper way and that will show onlookers that we are damn serious while we enjoy
the ride!

Discussion is under way on the ubuntu-art mailing list. Questions and feedback are of course also welcome here 🙂