Thoughts on quitting and window controls

Erik Andersen erik.b.andersen at
Wed Apr 7 03:53:05 UTC 2010

On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 20:39, Jonathan Blackhall
< at> wrote:
> It's very confusing for me when I click the big 'X' in my window controls, only to find that the application I was attempting to close has since been minimized to my system try (or notification area or its respective indicator applet or wherever it goes instead of quitting).  Examples of programs with this behavior include Rhythmbox and Empathy in the default install.  To me, the 'X' signifies closing and quitting the application.  If I wanted to minimize it and keep it open, I would think to click the 'Minimize' button before clicking the 'X'.  In fact, I'd argue that the only reason anyone thinks this is appropriate is because it's what's been done in the past.  The reason I find this so frustrating is because in order for me to eXit an application, I have to go searching through menus (File->Quit) or know some fancy keyboard shortcuts (things that casual users never even think about).
> I can only assume that developers' theories behind this (which is definitely not a problem unique to Ubuntu) stem from them telling themselves that no one would actually want to Quit their application.  "What they *really* mean to do is close the window, but keep the application running silently.  So I'll just save them the trouble of accidentally quitting by changing the function of that 'X' button."  I just dislike the fact that it sends mixed signals.  After all, if I click 'X' in Firefox or in gEdit or in a whole host of other applications, I'm quitting and completely closing it.  Why must this be different in Rhythmbox?  And also, when I install a new application, what is the 'X' going to do when I click it in this application?
> I'm not exactly sure what I'd propose to fix this problem.  I really just think that the current way is broken.  Maybe the function could be switched to the Minimize button, but that would likewise exhibit ambiguity, although I'd argue less so than the current incarnation.  Maybe there should be a new window button, but that doesn't seem like a very elegant solution either.  I thought about filing this as a bug, but then I thought it might be better to generate discussion amongst developers.  What are your thoughts?  Do you consider the current situation a problem? If so, what do you propose to fix it?
> Cheers,
> Jonathan

I like the new button idea. It could be only on applications that
could be minimized to the tray.

Maybe you want to put this problem/solution ideas on the brainstorm
website. Then people can vote what solution they like best.

We could also add deluge to the list of applications that do this.


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