The benefit of multiple workspaces

Discussion in 'Other Operating Systems' started by chrisRRR, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. chrisRRR

    chrisRRR Member

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    Greetings, and welcome...

    I am a primarily Windows user, but want to learn more about Linux. One question that I've always had since I started using Linux was of the benefit of multiple workspaces. I've never really understood what they could be good for? Please lend me your words and bestow upon me your uses of these workspaces and why one is not sufficient for you.

    :thumbup:
     
  2. Swathe

    Swathe (Banned or Deleted)

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    Because my laptop is only 15.4" multiple workspaces are great. I have two with irssi (irc client) occupying two then another with a terminal and another with a browser or document etc.
     
  3. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    I used them for multiple projects. Plenty of time a single project might have say 4 windows/apps needing to be open, so it keeps them grouped and easily allows me to switch between them. Plus having my email and general surfing browser window open in another workspace.
     
  4. Dedge

    Dedge Member

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    Multiple workspaces are great for logically separating tasks while minimising the clutter of the screen.
     
  5. cleary

    cleary Mental in the Face

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    I think you can draw some parallels with tabbed browsing - the desktops _could_ be logically displayed as tabs, and that might help with your understanding (if you find tabbed browsing useful, that is).

    For me, I group my work as follows:
    Browser + irc in one desktop
    Graphics junk in another
    Various other stuff in a third

    3 is all I find useful, the 4th workspace which people commonly use for terminal work, I abstract a bit, ie all my terminal work is done with yakuake which gives a hot-key activated drop down, multi-tab, multi-term per tab, terminal emulator
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    i tried using a multiple workspace once, it felt really pointless.
     
  7. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    On one work space you have your work, on the other you have all the stuff you dont want people to see, then when the boss comes in you flick workspaces. ;)

    I use them as follows, all the monitoring is on one workspace so i can flick back and forth between interactive sessions and my nicely arranged windows of monitoring software, so basically it save me having 2 screens.

    Then on my 2nd Workspace i have all the shit Im doing, then on the 3rd and 4th I usually have some RDP session for the Winblows boxes in full screen because the lappy is only a 15.4".

    run the cursor to the edge of the screen and flicks between work spaces, or switch into cube mode when the Windows Newbs are around to see them get all excited... :)
     
  8. Hamal

    Hamal Member

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    I generally have four workspaces which I label "Work, Rest, Play and Create".

    Work has whatever it is I'm currently working on (usually Eclipse and various other applications), Rest has my mail client, downloads, instant messenger etc, while Play has OCAU, Slashdot and whatever else I waste my time with.

    Create is really just a 'Work overflow' which I use for graphics editing, photo manipulation etc.

    Compared to Windows I can have many more applications open at any one time and switch between them without having a massively cluttered taskbar.
     
  9. power

    power Member

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    I just have 2 screens, double size taskbar, tabbed browser and a couple of rdp sessions - i guess my rdp sessions could be extra worspaces because i open plenty of shit on them - but generally it's shit i can't open on my local machine, like torrents/irc/etc.
     
  10. Bangers

    Bangers Member

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    I find it hard to work on XP/Vista without workspaces. Sure, a couple 24's with a Vertical Task bar makes it management, but it's far from ideal. On unix I just split all my tasks logically into a workspace each (SSH, Programming, Web/IM, real work). Don't forget a couple dedicated workspaces to run a full screen vbox for Linux and Windows.

    At work, sometimes I flick SSH sessions into a pseudo Prod/Non-Prod workspaces if I'm multitasking mission critical tasks.
     
  11. Dedge

    Dedge Member

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    Haha, "real work". Pretty sure everyone has one of those workspaces.
     
  12. Polski Radon

    Polski Radon Member

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    On a netbook such as a 9" EeePC, the screen is just good enough for using the internet or doing work in OpenOffice. I use virtual screens to have quick access to running programs that would otherwise clutter the taskbar which I keep minimised.

    Screen 1: Firefox, OpenOffice, Kontact
    Screen 2: Amarok, Dolphin
    Screen 3: GIMP, digiKam

    I use the Expose function by moving the mouse to the top-left edge of the screen, and I assigned one of the quick access buttons on my EeePC to do Desktop Grid (instead of pressing Ctrl + F8...F12).

    Here's my KDE 4.2 Plasma Desktop and Desktop Grid.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    Click to view full-sized image!
     
  13. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    ^^ very nice...

    I always laugh at people with a current weather feed on their desktop, look out the window people... ;)
     
  14. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    I work in a part of the office with no windows :( And lately it has been very odd weather!
     
  15. stmok

    stmok Member

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    Its about organisation of how you use your computer. Its suitable for those who like to separate their tasks in some sort of category. (De-clutter the task bar)

    For example: I set my ThinkPad to have 4 workspaces in Xubuntu.
    (1) Web browsing, email, and P2P
    (2) Programming (Learning)
    (3) VirtualBox (WinXP in virtual machine).
    (4) Word processing and Spreadsheet

    If I had one workspace, it'll all be clumped into one thing. The task bar would be cluttered. Instead of Alt-Tab to the application I'm looking for, I go straight to the relevant workspace.

    Multiple workspaces is optional, you can enable or disable it at your desire.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    chrisRRR

    chrisRRR Member

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    Hmmm thanks for your replies guys.

    I still can't seem to get excited about it though... maybe I'm just not an organised person... or maybe I should try using them to make myself more organised? :D
    I'm not much of a multi-tasker, so that probably negates them a fair bit too
     
  17. garycd32

    garycd32 Member

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    Multiple workspaces is one of those features that doesn't seem necessary until you begin to use it often. When you work on a PC that doesn't have the feature you realise how useful it is :) If you're only running a few apps at a time then I can see why the ability to quickly jump to different virtual desktops isn't a big deal, but if you're at work or a power user at home I recommend it. I use WinXP at home and after many unsuccessful attempts to get multiple workspaces working properly on windows without a few glitches the best free application I found for windows is: Virtua Win

    You can set this up so that keyboard shortcuts can be used to jump to individual virtual desktops and you can move apps between them if you like (you don't have to close an app and then reopen it in another workspace if you want to move it).

    My example setup for work where I was constantly interrupted to work on 'quick' tasks. Multiple workspaces/virtual desktops are ideal:

    ALT-F1 : Desktop 1. Outlook for email
    ALT-F2 : Desktop 2. Programming (Visual Studio)
    ALT-F3 : Desktop 3. Programming (For running VS apps/debugging/etc)
    ALT-F4 : Desktop 4. SSH shell for maintenance on linux machines
    ALT-F5 : Desktop 5. Remote Desktop for Windows based support
    ALT-F6 : Desktop 6. Spare for word/excel/etc
    ALT-F7 : Desktop 7. Spare for random tasks thrown my way

    Sorting out my applications in this way increased my productivity. I didn't enjoy the times I've had to sort out a problem on someone elses PC where the task bar was a full mess of icons and it took ages to find the window you're looking for amongst the clutter. Even the SHOW DESKTOP icon in the quick launch section doesn't help much in these cases except to clean up the mess on screen.

    I'm told that Vista helps with the ALT-TAB selection as it includes thumbnails of the application windows but multiple desktops should really be built into the Windows OS as they're much faster for app switching. Perhaps your impression of multiple work spaces is similar to my attitude when mice started appearing with scroll wheels between the buttons. I didn't see much point and just stuck with a standard mouse until it died and I started using one with a wheel.
     
  18. power

    power Member

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    maybe i don't need this due to having 2 screens, but yeah i find it pretty easy to manage 7 or 8 apps on 1 desktop - this whole segmenting tasks thing must be personal.

    also i'm not one of those people who open a billion emails/documents and doesn't close them.

    like i said, double space task bar makes things alot easier too.
     
  19. GreenBeret

    GreenBeret Member

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    Instead of minimizing windows to hide porn, you just switch to a new workspace. Simple!
     
  20. power

    power Member

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    yeah but i don't minimise, i find minimising a waste of time - i can see how it might benefit someone with 1 screen but if you have 2 or more then the benefits diminish sharply.
     

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