Friday, June 22, 2012

workspaces on demand

The "dynamic workspaces" feature is one of the main reasons I enjoy using GNOME Shell. It makes GNOME Shell the only environment where, instead of a set number of workspaces, you have, in effect, "workspaces on demand." You have only the number of workspaces that are actually being used, plus one additional, empty workspace.

Other environments make is easy enough to add workspaces (or desktops, as they're called in KDE), but I find that in those environments I tend to work within the confines of the set number of workspaces -- which is fine. It's just that in GNOME Shell, I never even think about how many workspaces are available, so I feel less restricted.

The Cinnamon desktop makes it almost as easy as GNOME Shell to add workspaces when I need them -- it seems to take advantage of this "dynamic workspaces" feature, being another type of shell for GNOME 3. All I have to do is click on the "add" button in Expo mode.

But in GNOME Shell, I don't have add anything, and when I close the last app in any particular workspace, the number of workspaces automatically decreases by one.

So, even without a panel or dock to show all open application windows, I find it very easy to get around to different windows in GNOME Shell via the Activities overview. A click on any workspace shows me all of the open windows, all spread out.

Not everyone's cup of tea; and, a lot of people really hate it, and prefer getting around to different open windows using other approaches. But I've grown completely comfortable with GNOME Shell's dynamic workspaces set-up, and I find that I really miss it when I'm using other environments.

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