Gnome new window placement

If there’s one thing still not very polished about the Gnome desktop it’s the placement of new windows. I am referring to any window opened – may it be from an application or a sub-process of another application or an applet – that pops on the Gnome desktop.

I missed the days of using KDE. Since the days I started using KDE with version 3.x, it has had the ability to let the user control where new windows are placed.  If I remember it correctly there were 4 options. The 2 of those options I am more common with are, (1) have it centered on the current desktop, or, (2) let KDE decide, which was referred to, I think, as “smart window placment.”

Right now Gnome doesn’t have either “centered” or “smart” new window placement options. If there is one, I have yet to discover it. Maybe one of these days I’ll dig around the web and find out that the Gnome desktop has this wonderful ability all buried in the myriad options it chose not to show in its configuration menus. Going back, when a new window is opened, it is basically anywhere on the desktop which is kind of annoying.  At one point it can come out at the center, the next time it will be at the far right of the desktop, and yet on another it can appear on the left side of the screen. Gnome doesn’t even offer options to remember the dimensions of the application window, or the coordinates to remember where it should appear next time. KDE has this very well integrated into its system.

If Gnome maintains its position of being minimalistic (which I assume it won’t change in the near future), it would be nice to know that it would at least strive to put new windows smartly on the desktop. I for one am not a big fan of too much configuration options. It is confusing at times. I do however welcome the idea that it is available when it is needed. And by available I meant easily available.

Now I don’t want to get into another stupid Gnome vs KDE debate. In my opinion, both has its strength and weaknesses. I love using both and I have used both for a span of time that could be summed in about 10 years. For now, I choose to use Gnome as it comes by default on Ubuntu. It doesn’t make KDE any less. Let those who love “flame wars” think about it in another way. It’s useless debate for me. What I see from this is that both desktops can certainly learn a lot from each other.

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Notice: This article was published on October 19, 2010 and the content above may be out of date.