Unity’s Sticky Monitor Edges in Ubuntu 12.04 beta1

A couple months ago, the Canonical Design Team asked for feedback on a new multi-monitor Launcher set-up on their blog. People had complained that if you had a whole bunch of monitors, mousing all the way over to the top-left one to access the launcher was kind of annoying, so they wanted to do something about it. Fair enough.

I tried out their prototype. Their solution involved putting a launcher on every monitor. Okay, sure. But what surprised me was by default they caused the mouse to stop at the monitor boundary unless you move the mouse above a certain speed.

I didn’t like this very much. Good thing I was involved in the design process and caught it early! They asked for feedback in blog comments, so I left one.

Please, I asked, provide a way for me to disable this feature. I don’t use the launcher very much and it’s more important to me that I can move smoothly and seamlessly between applications on different monitors. I like Unity because it gets out of my way and lets me work. This will get in my way.

I upgraded to beta1 today for the Global Jam. I was disappointed to see my request seems to have been ignored. So I’ve posted a bug. And I’ve changed the request slightly: please just give me a config setting somewhere that allows me to pass between monitors without being hindered. Maybe it’s really hard to implement an option to turn off per-monitor launchers and that’s why my suggestion was ignored. Who knows?

To illustrate the issue (since it’s easier to show than to explain), I made a short video using a two-monitor setup. It’s a bit rambly and could probably use editing, but I think it eventually gets the point across. Also, you probably want to watch it in at least 720p and full-screen.

Click here to watch video on YouTube.

PS: To the Unity hataz: I know that by posting something like this I’m going to get a tonne of “Unity/Canonical/Ubuntu/all y’all sucks!” and “You should use $FAVOURITE_WINDOW_MANAGER!” comments. I use Unity and I like it. I want to keep using Unity. Thanks, though. If you’ve found something you like better, great! Keep using it! I’m glad you’re happy with it. I’m aware of the alternatives. But maybe you could post your on your own blog saying that $FAVOURITE_WINDOW_MANAGER has some cool feature or other or some annoying bug you don’t like, and I can learn more about it that way. Maybe even with a cool video! That’d be great!

6 thoughts on “Unity’s Sticky Monitor Edges in Ubuntu 12.04 beta1

  1. Alan Bell

    your luck is in. Check in ccsm unity plugin on the experimental tab for the settings Launcher Edge Stop Overcome Pressure, Pressure Decay Rate and Edge Stop Velocity.

  2. Darcy Casselman Post author

    Hi Alan,

    I messed around with those, but didn’t find a setting that allowed me to pass between monitors without getting stuck. Although I did find if I tweak them, I can get stuck less often. Is there a specific combination of settings that prevents the mouse from getting stuck in all cases?

  3. Alan Bell

    well I set the overcome pressure to 1 and the edge stop velocity to 20 and it is now mostly gone, but if I move really slowly it is still there, which is for me about right that it is useful but not annoying.

  4. Fahad Ayaz

    +Alex Bell

    Thanks for the tip! This needs to be a more easily visible in Ubuntu – perhaps in the Dash options in the Appearance settings window?

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