Linked to here for no other reason to remind me how to do this on new installs...
Original Alt-Tab behavior in GNOME 3
As we should all know by now, Alt-Tab should cycle among open windows, not applications. GNOME 3 by default does the Wrong Thing, Mac OS style. How to fix? I was working on a lengthy set of instructions here, old-school style, with "apt-get" and stuff, and it would have been pretty awesome as such things go, but it turns out that the answer is: Go to this web page: AlternateTab Flip the little switch thingy from "off" to on". If you're curious...
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- Pretty sure the correct solution is to not use Gnome 3. :PJul 16, 2012
- There are some high level thoughts on alt-tab behavior here: http://blog.ometer.com/2012/07/11/desktop-task-switching-could-be-improved/ Personally Alt-Tab to go back to previous app rather than previous window is the only (but major) annoyance I have with Gnome3. I've happily used the alternate tab extension for ages now.Jul 16, 2012
- I've become something of an extension junkie with GNOME 3, checking the extensions.gnome.org website on a weekly basis to see what new tricks can be added to the pile. I was pretty happy with the Emacs Server extension and the various Zeitgeist extensions. The one that I'd really miss if it disappeared is "shellshape", which offers smart tiling as a per-workspace option and is immensely useful. So while I find the Vanilla GNOME 3 lacking in a few areas, the extensions can remove the annoyances and take the shell where I want it to go.Jul 17, 2012
- ALT+TAB to "go to _different app_" is just NOT the most likely use case. Therefore, it's wrong. Guys, don't argue - I'm profoundly convinced.
When we press ALT+TAB, we likely want to "go to the _previous window_":
- go back from Terminal to previous PDF viewer;
- go back from Browser to previous Terminal;
- go back from one Terminal to previous Terminal;
- and so forth in all combinations.
And when do we need to "go to different app"? Only when we are done or bored.
In fact, we all know Browsers and Terminals host lots of different application by themselves. So, technically, using ALT+"the key above TAB" to "go to different app" specifically for Browsers/Terminals and ALT+TAB for everything else is mentally masochistic.
Normal people just loop through (likely) two currently important windows. And that's exactly what quick classic ALT+TAB behavior has been attractive for since the beginning of time - stupid simple action, no brain interruption.
Those who often want to "go to different app" are not focused in what they are doing.Jul 17, 2012
- I typically cycle between Terminal to Emacs to Firefox, with occassional forays over to a mail app as email comes in. I typically have between three and ten terminals at any one point, although I will mostly concentrate on one of the terminals for about 20 minutes stretches. So your "Focus" argument does not apply to my use case - I frequently go to a different app, and these are highly focussed scenarios.Jul 17, 2012
Seriously, in such case is easy to live with ALT+TAB = "go to the previous window" too. When people hit ALT+TAB more than one time (especially >> 1), both of the behavior seem lose their meaning and converge into single behavior defined as "cycle through the windows to find one" which is brain-consuming = slow anyway. It's not binary anymore.
So, the argument applies to single ALT+TAB hit which is what makes the most of the difference between the two behaviors for people. Moreover, there is no argument in the other cases (which should be assisted by more complex shortcuts, I guess).
And still... even if I use multitude of Terminals and Browser windows, I still focus on a couple of them for a minute or so before using the rest. This is enough to make it most frequently needed behavior.Jul 18, 2012