Feature Request: Navigate Spaces Back-Forward History & Mini-Grid HUD Display of Current Space When Switching Spaces

Longtime user of TotalSpaces and a big fan in general of your products (literally, use them all). Want to propose the following:

##Feature Request:

  1. Allowing users to navigate back-and-forth between spaces based on prior use.
  2. Displaying a mini-grid (black & white) representation of the current spaces that highlights the active space and fades out when done switching spaces (with perhaps allowing the user the ability to dictate the grids size from “tiny in the corner” to complete overlay.

##Problem Solved: Time needed and mental burden required to frequently switching between windows on different spaces.

Although TS2 provides a clean way to divide up your windows into many tidy spaces, the amount these spaces can increase your productivity is offset by the number of spaces currently in use. The amount of time needed to switch spaces and mental acuity required to remember your current location in the space grid is increased for every space added.

Cycling navigation and vertical transversal between rows of spaces is available to help decrease the navigation duration, but these methods make it easier to get lost in the grid because they require users to pay close attention to where their current location in the grid. I often get lost when attempting to cycle last-first/up-down from spaces, and it is extremely frustrating when I end up having to backtrace after passing the space I wanted or especially when I end up visiting EVERY SPACE OTHER than the one I wanted before getting to the space I wanted. I know I can’t be alone in experiencing these frustrations.

Bottom line, the productivity benefit provided by TotalSpaces is partly, or IMO largely, gauged by a user’s ability to cycle between desired spaces, and the methods currently available hamper users from productively creating many spaces.

I believe that each of the features I proposed can decrease the mental burden required to switch between spaces, thereby improving the user experience, and allowing users to take greater advantage of TS2’s value. And honestly, implemented either of the features would make my daily life 10x more pleasurable, because it absolute KILLLLS me when I get lost in my grid of spaces.


While this is an interesting suggestion (a vote from me too!), you could take a look at a window switcher that works in MRU-fashion, e.g. Witch, which I use heavily. The disadvantage is clearly that you need yet another productivity app that costs some money, but this could be potentially a faster solution of your frustration than waiting for the feature being implemented here (just to avoid confusion, I’m not a TS developer, but merely one of the happy users :).

Just in case you stumble upon OptimalLayout as another window switching alternative, I had some issues in conjunction with TS in El-Capitan and it seems to be unmaintained as I could not contact the developer so far. So check it first thoroughly before you purchase.

Another way to reduce mental burden on keeping track of spaces’ positions in a grid (especially if one is not a window-oriented user) could be simulating KDE Activities. I haven’t used it much since there were some activity-switching limitations in KDE 4.x branch and I haven’t tested it in KDE 5.x, but the general idea is that you can have multiple (perhaps) smaller grids instead of one large.

Often, depending on the task one is working on (i.e. activity), one could be comfortable with just one main space and e.g. two adjacent ones - one on the right and one on the left. So if you change from task A to task B, you just have to switch activity (working grid) and not be messing up with cycling through, let’s say, 16 spaces.

Wouldn’t that be nice? :slight_smile:

  1. I love the idea! I plan to bake this right into TotalSpaces, but I might be able to implement something right now using the API.

  2. Is that not just the mini grid? http://d.pr/i/o2wa

Yes, a mini-HUD like that grid is exactly what I was referring to.

And even though that doesn’t give me the back-forward navigation I only think I want, it will still help A TON in the root problem of getting lost when jumping back and forth between spaces.

Plus, I’m sure adding that is fairly simple since, as opposed to adding different methods of navigation, this merely requires showing what’s currently going on.

Also, that’s actually really cool that there’s an API access point to allow external use of TotalSpaces relevant information. I currently have more than enough on my plate, so I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of customizing the API myself.

But do let me know if you guys will or won’t add this feature, so I can go ahead and hack it together myself because text can’t fully get across how irritated I become with myself when I get lost in my grid. lol

Just to point out, that mini grid is already built into TotalSpaces:

The API should already contain everything you need to implement this “Previous Space” feature. I want this feature myself, so I might take a stab at it.