Why "intelligent hide" is not the default setup in Plank?

Asked by Damien on 2012-10-28

Is there any specific reason? "intelligent hide" has the same behaviour as "hide on maximise", with the added feature of hiding if it partially masks a window.

On smaller screen it's essential as most opening windows are partly under the dock by default. And it shouldn't infer with bigger displays as it works as "hide on maximise".

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Eric Karnes (karneseric) said : #1

I was wondering this just yesterday. I also think intelligent hide should be the default.

The idea is that we don't want to hide the dock more than necessary. You can see this in Jupiter when we had it always visible, but that had the downside of taking up that much room at all times. In Luna, we've decided that we should show the dock at all times (like Jupiter) with the exception of hiding it when the user maximizes a window. This makes it so the dock only ever hides when a user performs and explicit action to make it do so, rather than having the potentially confusing situation where the dock hides seemingly randomly.

We also took a different approach this cycle and provide configuration for the dock in our System Settings, so users are more than welcome to change the hide mode to their liking.

Eric Karnes (karneseric) said : #3

Well then that makes sense. But I do have a somewhat similar question that I think I'll just ask here. Since the default for plank is no longer always being visible like in Jupiter, why did you take out the minimize button? That's just making minimization a 2 click process instead 1. Also I've heard the argument that you should just close the window. But sometimes you just cant do that or it's just more of a hassle ex. Filling out a long form or watching a YouTube video.

Damien (youpla-b) said : #4

I don't get how intelligent hiding hides the dock "more than necessary"? On the contrary, it only hides it when it's necessary, ie when it's over another window and hides potential information. i would rather say that hide on maximise hide "less than necessary" as it can stay over essential information.

I brought this subject because of my specific case. I have small screen estate (1024×600) and when the updates manager pops up its buttons [parameters] and [close] are behind the dock by default and difficult to notice at first. That's just one example but it can happen with any window.

My point is also that for bigger screens no window would pop under the dock by default, making the "hide on maximise" and "intelligent hide" virtually identical. Except for the one case where a user actively discover this property of the dock by dragging a window. Because the behaviour is linked to a user action it doesn't make it "hide randomly" but more "shy away" from the approaching window.

Damien (youpla-b) said : #5

I can't modify my answer but just to make it clear:
- big screens = same behaviour, no drawbacks.
- small screens = better useability.

Daniel Fore (danrabbit) said : #6

Hey OP, User testing has consistently shown intellihide to be confusing to users. Computers are more understandable when they are easily predictable. You can build a quick and logical relationship between the desire to maximize a window and the hiding of the dock. However for the dock to pop in and out at seemingly random times doesn't lead to an obvious method to either hide (or more importantly) show the dock.

Like Cassidy said, for users that understand and prefer the intellihide behavior (like many of us), the option is available in Switchboard. But we try to set defaults that cater to the lowest common denominator.

Damien (youpla-b) said : #7

I'm sorry to disagree on the "seemingly random time". How dragging a window toward the dock and observe it dissappear does not "build a quick and logical relationship" between the desire to move a window down and the dock not hiding part of it?

Besides, having windows pop under the dock thus hiding some function makes a user thinking of poor UI construction.

If you really don't want to activate intelligent hide by defalut then you must address this bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/elementaryos/+bug/1062858

David Gomes (davidgomes) said : #8

I really do believe this has been more than answered.

Damien (youpla-b) said : #9

I was merely trying to understand the arguments. But I guess here is not the place, nor the time anymore that close to release. I hope we can discuss it further at a more relaxed time.

Thank you guys for taking the time to reply.