Bug 338495 - Window placement should be "Centered" by default or "Smart" become modified
Summary: Window placement should be "Centered" by default or "Smart" become modified
Status: RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 58063
Alias: None
Product: kwin
Classification: Plasma
Component: general (show other bugs)
Version: 4.11.10
Platform: Kubuntu Linux
: NOR wishlist
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: KWin default assignee
Depends on:
Reported: 2014-08-23 09:43 UTC by Michael
Modified: 2019-08-28 15:29 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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Description Michael 2014-08-23 09:43:09 UTC
Using the "Smart" placement model, windows get put in the corners of the screen when they first appear on the monitor. In this day and age of large screens, it doesn't make sense for windows to be put in the corner on lower-resolution and smaller screens of the past.

I find that I often moving windows from their initial corner location to the center of my 16:10 ratio monitor so I can focus on it. This extra clicking and moving is annoying. 

I also saw a YouTube video where a son has his newbie mom review various OSes, and Kubuntu was one of them (start at 4:50 on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLpJ63tfXJs). He gave his mom the task of finding the calculator and doing a math problem. She found KCalc, clicked on it in the application launcher, and then it appeared in the upper-left hand corner of her large screen. It seemed silly and unfriendly to see such a small window appear in the corner rather than front and center. 

An alternative would be to fix the "Smart" window placement so that it places it around an imaginary ring in the center of the monitor, which would take into account larger monitors.

The window placement model is System Settings 4.x -> Window Behavior -> Window Behavior tab -> Advanced tab -> Placement drop-down list.
Comment 1 Christoph Feck 2014-08-23 10:48:32 UTC
Regarding your (other) "Please change defaults" bug reports:

KDE software is highly configurable, because different people need different settings. Just because for you a specific setting makes sense, it does not mean the majority of KDE users sees the same.

Please add evidence in form of user surveys for any "Please change defaults" reports.
Comment 2 Thomas Lübking 2014-08-23 18:48:50 UTC
"Smart" tries to prevent occlusions, thus to keep the remaining unoccluded area adjacent. Obvisouly, not starting on any corner will fail this strategy and there's no way to predict "all windows will be < 1/8 or screen dimensions" etc., so putting a tiny calc into the center of the screen might defeat the opportunity to place a giant kdevelop window, opened next, w/o occlusion.

Centered will constantly center windows, causing them to stash each other.

You're probably looking for a third variant "concentric" that looks for the most inner "untaken" slot in a spiral, where "untaken" means "do't cover more than 2/3 of existing windows" or something like that.
Comment 3 Michael 2014-08-24 13:59:20 UTC
Okay, I hear you.
Comment 4 Martin Flöser 2014-08-25 07:07:25 UTC
The big problem about centered is that a larger window covers smaller windows. This results in windows being "lost". This alone makes it to me a very bad default placing strategy. So I don't think we will change to this strategy be default and I'm adjusting the resolution accordingly.
Comment 5 Peter Lemieux 2015-01-11 17:22:14 UTC
I would like to align new windows relative to the right screen edge rather than the left.  Given the size of my monitor and my alignment with it, I tend to look first at the right-hand half of the screen.  Since new windows open in the left-hand half, I'm almost always moving them right after they open.

I've set my alignment option to "Under Mouse" as a work-around.  I still have to move the mouse away from the menu to my preferred location quickly while the window opens, but it's better than having them all aligned to the left-hand edge.

Something equivalent to "zero-cornered" but on the right edge would be good.  Don't know what you would call it, though!
Comment 6 Thomas Lübking 2015-01-11 22:27:24 UTC
You're interested in bug/wish #132347 (which I intend to implement along bug #314388 for KWin/5 as soon as Martin says it's good to add new features.... and break the entire rest ;-)
Comment 7 Michael 2015-01-12 09:17:03 UTC
(In reply to Martin Gräßlin from comment #4)
> The big problem about centered is that a larger window covers smaller
> windows. This results in windows being "lost". This alone makes it to me a
> very bad default placing strategy. 

I get the feeling that there an underlying assumption that "smart" window placement means that no previous windows should be obscured. 

Martin feels that's a "very bad default placing strategy". I don't understand how this is "bad".

I train people who have very little or zero computer experience, and I prefer to put them on Kubuntu right from the start. Teaching them how to raise a "lost" window, as Martin ascribes it, by clicking on it's icon-tab in the task bar is a key concept that they get early on. So when I observe them, I don't see that it's a cognitive burden when a new window obscures an older window. Why? Because they're now anticipating the new window, and they know how to move it if they need to. 

On the contrary, to have new windows go to the upper-left corner of a large 16x9 screen seems silly. I see them moving it to the center, which is the center of their field of view.

I would like to see this studied by the human interfaces group and remove any subjective "badness" or "goodness" out of this. How do I raise their interest in this bug?

Finally, I mention this because I see this as one of those little details that can give the feel of a well-crafted OS vs. an OS that feels clumsy.
Comment 8 Nate Graham 2019-08-28 15:29:04 UTC

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 58063 ***