Shared publicly  - 
Linked to here for no other reason to remind me how to do this on new installs...
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...
Aaron Paden's profile photoPádraig Brady's profile photoToby Haynes (AskQuestionsLater)'s profile photoNikyeskap Yexela's profile photo
Yeah, I got used to most behaviors of gnome 3 and even grew fond of good part of them; unfortunately, this alt-tab behavior just doesn't work even after substantial effort to get used to it to the point where it feels fundamentally broken rather than just different. I keep getting confused where the hell I am after pressing one of the two combinations.

How do people on mac live with this? Maybe their applications are more fit for such usage?
+Tejun Heo trying using a terminal on a mac, same problem, I think terminals are the only app that really doesn't fit the model at all well
Does mac have Alt+"the key above Tab" to switch between open windows of the same application?

That works well for me on gnome-shell
+Benedikt Morbach yes, it does, but it's still a pain and I always forget about it when I have to sit down on a mac and run into this problem.  But I think +Dave Airlie is right, running lots of terminals is not the "normal" usage model for mac users, and probably Linux users as well.
+Dave Airlie These days, the number of applications I use are growing fewer but I use each of them for multiple purposes. Most of the time, I'm just using the web browser, emacs and terminal but I have quite a few instances of them for different purposes usually separated in different desktops. Quick-switching between windows belonging to a single purpose is what I want and suspect what most people want too. Grouping instances of the same application together when they serve very different purposes feels confusing and actually confuses me quite a bit.

Eh, I don't know. Maybe my use case is too niche.
fwiw, Alt+Tab works as expected if you have one window per application in each workspace.

So if you got one terminal, one browser and one emacs window for development on a workspace, it shouldn't interfere with other workspaces.

But that's probably just my usecase and you all got lots of each ;-)

(Not trying to advocate anything here, that's just what I tend to use)
+Benedikt Morbach I feel most screwed when I have a desktop with one emacs and one terminal and another with two terminals. From the look, they aren't all that different but press the wrong combination, you're thrown into a different desktop. :)
+Tejun Heo you can always "fall back" to GNOME 3 classic and use tmux for all the terminal need and a different work space for emacs and browse :-) that what i always do 
The thing is that I'm generally happy with and like gnome 3, and alternate tab extension does the trick for me. I just hope the default behavior can be improved in a way that can also accommodate terminal / emacs junkies.
Pretty sure the correct solution is to not use Gnome 3. :P
I've become something of an extension junkie with GNOME 3, checking the 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.
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.
+Alexey Pakseykin 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.
+Toby Haynes,
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.
Add a comment...