Window Controls on the Right Side

Rodney Dawes rodney.dawes at
Wed May 20 19:14:01 UTC 2015

On Wed, 2015-05-20 at 14:25 -0400, Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre wrote:
> Le mercredi 20 mai 2015 à 11:18 -0400, Rodney Dawes a écrit :
> [...]
> > There is no "sponsorship" of bugs in Launchpad.
> I think it's vitally important here to make sure things are clear: yes,
> there is such as thing as "sponsorship". Once someone has a fix ready
> that is both appropriate and well-executed (as reviewed by some person,
> upstream or a "domain expert"), then developers can upload these fixes
> for a contributor who has no upload access. It seems to me like this is
> what Raphael was pre-emptively asking for.
> However, it's *way* too early for this...

Developer sponsoring of uploads is completely unrelated to the concept
of "sponsoring bugs" though. Depending on the time within the
development cycle, I don't necessarily need a bug to have an upload to
the archive sponsored by a core dev. And having someone else say "yeah,
file a bug" isn't really helpful either. It doesn't guarantee there will
be a fix. If you see a bug, file a bug. Simple. :)

> > If there is already a
> > bug about the window controls, then simply make sure that ubuntu-ux is
> > an affected project as well, and feel free to discuss details on
> > implementation and design in there. However, please keep such discussion
> > objective and technical, rather than filling it with the subjective
> > commentary as is common with these sorts of polarizing religious topics.
> I agree. This is a contentious issue that polarizes people, even though,
> in the end, the actual location of the controls doesn't matter. We've
> changed them once already and there was a lot of criticism. It seems
> like now there'd be just as much, since people have gotten accustomed to
> it, like it this way, etc.; just like there are others who are just
> coming to Ubuntu and feel their placement is wrong.
> If you want change to happen, the best way is to provide concrete
> technical proof (studies?) that it's a better location -- anything else
> boils down to personal opinion.

You're going to have a hard time finding concrete proof that one
location is going to be markedly better than the other. What you'll find
is that both seem sufficient in user testing. Which is why, as you said,
in the end, it doesn't really matter where they are. It is just personal

> If what you're after is providing a setting so that users can customize
> their systems, then you probably should bring this up on the appropriate
> technical list (unity-design or unity-dev I guess?), so that domain
> experts can say that it has already been considered, and why it wasn't
> done yet.

A setting for this exact thing already exists in the system. And I'm
pretty sure that Unity used to respect it, but no longer does (compiz
without unity does still, AFAIK). I don't really know how long it's not
been respecting the setting, though.

> Finally, if I can share a bit: when I concentrate on a window for an
> extended period of time, it's maximized. This means I will have the menu
> in the title bar, which is "integrated" in the top panel. Having the
> window controls on the left in this case is fine since it would
> otherwise be unbalanced to have even more icons on the right (plus these
> icons have a vastly different purpose. Some are menu-like to effect an
> action on the current window, the others provide global information
> about my system. White space generally separates the two, unless the
> window title is very long). The window controls also push the title
> right just enough that it's almost lined up with the actual window,
> rather than being above the Launcher.

Personally, I almost never even bother with the window controls. I use
keybindings for everything. The close button is the only one I sometimes
use, because not all windows respect standard keybindings for closure
(beyond Alt-F4 which is part of the WM, and a bit of a pain to press on
many keyboards). I pretty much never restore things, and
maximize/restore are easy enough to do from keyboard.

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