Mark Shuttleworth Introduces Window Indicators

During the controversy about moving the window controls in Ubuntu to the left, Mark Shuttleworth hinted that the newly available space on the right of the window title bar could be put to a new use:

“Moving everything to the left opens up the space on the right nicely, and I would like to experiment in 10.10 with some innovative options there.”

Now it is clear what he was talking about: Shuttleworth has introduced window indicators (“windicators”) on his blog. Window indicators are like the indicator applet on the panel, but live on the right hand side of every window title bar. They would be used to show state for a particular application, and would be interacted with using an API similar to the one used for the indicator applet.

Here are the example window indicators given:

  • online/offline status
  • unsaved changes
  • progress
  • “basket” showing items selected for a purpose
  • sharing status
  • application-specific volume

Shuttleworth also proposes using window indicators and Chrome-inspired temporary status bars to replace traditional status bars. This would save precious vertical screen space on netbook displays. On netbooks, window indicators would also be integrated into the panel like the title bar is in Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Shuttleworth blogged about a global menu bar for netbooks as well.

These changes would be implemented in the next version of Ubuntu, 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat.”

“Windicators are indicators displayed in the window title bar that behave just like the indicators in the panel: they have an icon which shows state, and clicking on the icon brings up a menu” ~ Mark Shuttleworth”

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