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Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around

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I'm trying out Dexpot now. I'm really not feeling the love... I don't know if it's just me or if it is the way I have grown as a computer user, but I find that virtual desktops get in my way - it's an additional layer of complexity that, rather than making me more productive, hinders my productivity. Perhaps I am simply so stuck in my own way of doing things that I can't see past them. I'm glimpsing its power, and can appreciate why people who need to switch between different desktop resolutions might be attracted to it, but for my usage I don't find it particularly compelling. I'll keep playing with it and see if I can change that...

i think the only way to use a virtual screen is to treat it as something completely different to a secondary hardware screen.

as i way of laying out out a specific arrangement of several windows that you want to use and keep referring back to, then they are useful. as a way of pretending that they are a real secondary (or more) monitor then they are pretty pointless.

if you don't need to have several program windows running alongside each other on the screen then there's little point to a virtual screen - using the alt-tab key is better. but if you want something like all your code editing programs open next to each other whilst you work with them AND all your internet programs open in a nice side by side arrangement kind of thing - then using a virtual screen would be just right. you'd be able to quickly swap between the two layouts.

if you find concentrating on a single program window at a time is more than enough then there's no use in using virtual screens.

i often find myself trying virtual screen/desktop managers as they seem like a useful idea and then within a couple of days i'm back to using just my normal single screen. so, although i can contrive the benefit of why they are good - i don't find them good enough to use.

perhaps, it just requires education. there is a benefit to them - but you have to make them work for you. i'm probably more inclined to treat them as a gimmick device (though i really wish to be able to find my work so incredible complex that i need virtual screens to help me).

i will try dexpot again soon - maybe.

jgpaiva: Thank you for giving Dexpot a thorough run-down. It was too complex for what i use virtual spaces for. I'm going to link to this thread from my mini-review.

Curt: see my Virtual Window Manager mini-review here:
Maybe that will help. Here's some screenshots of my favorite, JsPager.
This is my screen. Taskbar to the right side, PowerPro launch bar at the bottom, and a curious rectangular thing at the top:

What is that thing? It's a Virtual Desktop program called JSPager. Just FYI, a "pager" is the graphical interface to the concept of Virtual Desktops, or Virtual Window Managers as some call them. Not all virtual desktops utilize pagers (some put numbered buttons or arrows in the Tray for view switching), but I prefer the ones that do.
Here's a close up of the pager:

JSPager happens to be skinnable, and could just as easily look like this:

or this:

But I digress...

Here's what I do with it:
It shows four squares with some miniature representations of the windows I currently have open. Each of those squares is a "virtual window" and each of them has certain windows open in them. I can switch to any of them by simply clicking on the relevant square. If I click a taskbar item, it switches to the desktop that is currently holding the window of the program I selected.

Imagine you are sitting in a chair in front of 4 desks:
--On Desk 1 are a few paperback books.
--On Desk 2 are some business papers, a stapler and a pen.
--On Desk 3 is a stereo system with a few CD's lying about.
--On Desk 4 is a pad of watercolor paper, a few paint tubes and some paint brushes.

Depending on what sort of task you are doing at the time, you may slide your chair to the relevant desk, while keeping aware of the other tasks waiting to be experienced on the other desks, and the separate tasks do not overlap each other.
THAT is why I keep virtual desktops. When I am doing emails, I have the window up with Outlook and the File Manager. When I am on the internet, I have the windo with Firefox on full screen up, etc. etc. etc.

I hope our enthusiasm has not confused you, I can definitely see where a single screen is elegant in it's simplicity but it's just not enough for me.

Hope this helps,

Thank you, Edvard, you cleared my mind:   :Thmbsup:

BTW: Some'll say Virtual Desktop Toolbox is the thing.

I would just like to add that using Linux has given me a great deal of respect for virtual desktops.  Ever since GNOME and KDE desktops have been available, they have utilized them and I have missed them on Windows machines ever since.  I agree that the MS powertoy just doesn't work well, though I have used it a lot trying to force it to work.  It just keeps causing issues.

To answer the purpose of such a program, I will just explain how and why I use it and maybe it will help clear a few points.  My main purpose, as most have already explained, is to help organize things.  For example, I use one desktop to write code; another to view the results in a browser; another for running my entertainment (music, video, etc.).  This can, of course, be done by multiple windows, but by doing it this way, I am not searching through 19 windows on the window bar for the correct program.  This is doubly true when you have multiple versions of the same program open.  I know a few programs here help with that, but it is difficult sometimes to change what you are used to.  Even more so in my case, because I am a desktop technician.  Because I deal with so many different computers, I get used to the lowest common denominator - i.e. Windows basic interface.  With virtual desktops, I have X number of Windows basic interfaces that each have their own purpose.  Well, on my personal machine anyway... :D

Don't know if that helps, but that is my use.


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