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Fold 'n' Drop Window Interaction

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the what-about-window-smashing dept.

GUI 566

Mints writes "Following up on recent "Desktop Innovation" stories that have left some disappointed, I thought Pierre Dragicevic's exploration of Fold 'n' Drop warranted mention. Described as "a new interaction technique for seamlessly dragging and dropping between overlapping windows", Fold 'n' Drop allows the user to interact with layered or overlapping windows in a very intuitive manner. Refreshingly, Mr. Dragicevic provides both a sample implementation, in Java, and video demos. Mr. Dragicevic is a researcher in Human-Computer Interaction at Intuilab, Toulouse."

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Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (3, Insightful)

laymil (14940) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110020)

In my experience, few things can improve on keyboard shortcuts for navigating between windows depending on the amount of windows open. Reaching for the mouse just adds more time.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (0, Flamebait)

speedc0re (744562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110130)

yeah designing 3-d models is great fun with the keyboard.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (1)

laymil (14940) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110171)

No one said anything about designing anything. I'm talking specifically about navigation between open windows. Learn to read.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110451)

Fuck Slashdot.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110289)

Yeah, actually, it is. Since you're always working one of three planes, it's quite easy--not much different than working on just one 2D plane at all.

It's not like it's possible to work on a 3D model directly with a mouse, either, for most things, that is.. You use the same 3 planes, just the same way, pretty much regardless of what programs you use.

I designed an entire house in AutoCad using mostly a keyboard and some notes, and a bit of memory on my behalf.

Today I use a hybrid approach. It's quick to pick points and lines and stuff with a mouse, and quicker to type the command and it's available parameters than ferret around with the stupid menus and hordes of completely un-intuitive buttons with even more unintuitive sub-buttons.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (2, Informative)

cheesebikini (704119) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110262)

For navigating between already-open windows, when you have more than, say, 4 apps open, I've not seen any keyboard-only technique (or any other technique) that comes anywhere close to the speed of navgation via Expose on OSX (which uses mouse-only or mouse+keystroke) (Expose = mouseclick or keystroke reveals all open windows and lets you choose between them quickly) if you know of a faster keyboard technique, please do tell.. and I'll use it. (but.. before osx i was w/ you.)

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110305)

uhh. the taskbar? You dont even need to move your mouse/click a key to see all open windows, you have them right there in your taskbar.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (1)

yiantsbro (550957) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110310)

I'm not positive how Expose looks or works within OSX but the way you describe sounds much like my Alt-Tab in XP (not the standard one--it is one of the Microsoft extensions/plus/whatever). Alt-Tab pops up a quick list of all open windows with a small preview of the window contents. Easy to tap the tab and flip between them.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (2, Informative)

Mozk (844858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110391)

Exposé actually shows the windows, not small previews. It organizes and resizes them on the screen temporarily so you can see all the windows and their content.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (3, Informative)

Linus Torvaalds (876626) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110283)

So when was the last time you used a keyboard shortcut to drag and drop something?

This isn't merely for switching between windows. If you can't RTFArticle, then RTFSummary at least.

Re:Keyboard Navigation Mouse Navigation (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110430)

When was the last time anybody dragged and dropped anything, period? Copy and Paste is better. You don't have to "carry" the thing around.

Why is this an issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110401)

With my current 3200x1200 dual flat panel setup, I hardly ever have overlapping windows... ever!

A-ha! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110023)

So THAT'S what the backs of windows look like.

"Fold 'n Drop" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110325)

Yes, but will it do my laundry?

Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110033)

Will it run in linux?

Re:Obligitory (1)

lphuberdeau (774176) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110132)

It's only a concept. The demo does work in Linux since it's written in Java. I could find quite a few uses to window folding if it was implemented in KDE. There is a very small learning curve to it.

Re:Obligitory (1)

fimion (890504) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110212)

i know that for linux there is an experimental interface called Mettisse [] that allows folding of windows (though fold and drop, i am not sure.) plus a few other things. unfortunately i don't think it's designed at the moment to be used as the primary window manager.

not for Longhorn (1, Interesting)

weighn (578357) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110038)

MS begrudgingly announced tabbed browsing for IE7, after claiming that it would confuse users.
Bring this to KDE/Gnome and there's one less reason for anyone above a "ma and popo" level to stick with Windoze.

Fold'n'Drop-it-like-it's-hot (1)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110039)

Dunno about you, but sounds like a new laundry service to me.

Fold n' Drop (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110041)

...The story of a server's last moments...

the server has folded up and dropped dead alright (1, Funny)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110042)

mirror anyone?

More importantly... (1)

uberdave (526529) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110297)

The link to is refusing connections.

Re:the server has folded up and dropped dead alrig (2, Informative)

takeya (825259) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110376)

for the java demo: []

That should give you an idea about the functionality. That's all I snagged before it got slashdotted.

Interesting (4, Interesting)

MankyD (567984) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110046)

Kind of neat. My only comments thus far is that if you "discard" a window (fold it all the way over so that it dissappears off the screen) there's no easy way to get it back without dropping the object your dragging first. Similarly, it's too easy to folder over too many windows, by accident.

Re:Interesting (1)

themoodykid (261964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110162)

You're right, but you can also right click while holding down the left click button to cancel your action.

Re:Interesting (2, Funny)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110257)

I'm using a Mac, you insensitive clod.

Technically conceivable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110053)

Pretty cool, not sure if it's something Joe Blow is going to take advantage of though.

But for us linux nerds, here's the plan:

1. Add mouse gestures to the OpenGL-powered X server (XGL)
2. Get story posted on Slashdot
3. Survive Slashdot effect and provide working download links
4. ????????
5. Profit!!!!

Fold 'n' Drop Windows Interaction (4, Funny)

gooman (709147) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110054)

Huh? I was expecting an article on laptops.

Innovation or Eye Candy? (4, Insightful)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110060)

If you ask me, it'd be much easier to use Ctrl+C and then navigate where you want to go and use Ctrl+V. It's difficult to hold down the mouse button while violently jerking the mouse back and forth to get to the right window.

Don't get me wrong, it looks really neat, but it's not terribly useful. Sounds like the kind of thing that would fit GREAT in Longhorn.

Re:Innovation or Eye Candy? (5, Funny)

elbondo (785702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110141)

It has been proven through the FPS genre that the majority of the world is very, very good at violently jerking the mouse while holding down the mouse button.

Re:Innovation or Eye Candy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110156)

Yes, you're right. In fact, we should just scrap the whole idea of a GUI, and switch back to command line only!

Re:Innovation or Eye Candy? (1)

themoodykid (261964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110179)

I wouldn't go that far. However, MSSHELL.EXE ought to be good enough for anybody.

Re:Innovation or Eye Candy? (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110440)

If you ask me, it'd be much easier to use Ctrl+C and then navigate where you want to go and use Ctrl+V. It's difficult to hold down the mouse button while violently jerking the mouse back and forth to get to the right window.

I couldn't agree more. And for those people who would like a "mouse only" solution, you should be able to right-click to pop-up the context menu and select Copy/Paste from there.

Server folded . . . (1)

gcauthon (714964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110066)

so drop it in the dumpster and get a new one I guess.

It's already a solved problem. (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110070)

On Mac OS X, we can do this with Exposé. Start a drag, move the mouse to a hot corner, drag over the formerly-obscured window...


Re:It's already a solved problem. - Me Too! (2, Informative)

Segway Ninja (777415) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110113)

On windows, we can do this with the start bar.

Start a drag, move the mouse down to the title of the window on the start bar, drag over the formerly-obscured window.

Re:It's already a solved problem. - Me Too! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110192)

Did you just compare Expose to dragging things to the task bar???


Re:It's already a solved problem. - Me Too! (2, Insightful)

Gyarados (893032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110233)

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft's way is the worst:

  • Due to the infinitely chaotic design of Windows, many windows don't have respective buttons on the taskbar.
  • The user is forced to match the destination window to its respective taskbar button.
  • If the destination window has a child window open, you can't drag items onto it.
  • If the destination window is obscured by another window owned by the application, you can't drag items onto it.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110118)

Not only through Expose, one can whilst dragging an object (file from finder, open file from top of window, piece of highlighted text, photo in iPhoto, song in iTunes, etc), and choose a new app (eg. Mail), then drop the object into it.

In fact, almost everything is movable in this way, and it's bloody convenient.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110131)

This is actually the thing I use Expose the most for. I remember all the talk that it would be most useful for managing windows for applications. When I first started using it, the first things that I really ran into where it proved most useful were how easy it is to grab files and folders and activate expose.

The really cool thing is that if you're holding a file/folder with left-click, expose automatically switches to a "hover-selection" mentality. It knows it's supposed to be used to dig into deeper folders to move things around.

it's a really neat feature. Definitely one of the best aspects of the OS X GUI.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110172)

I have this with KDE (kompose) and I've never found it useful for drag and drop operations. Perhaps it's because KDE's tabbed file manager means most of my dnd operations are in the same window. Most of the time I'm copying files onto a remote server with SFTP and that's all done in the file manager. Worst case scenario I alt-tab to the window I want to have focus to drop the file, or I have that window on my second monitor.

It's cool that it works for you, but expose/kompose is completely useless to me. I guess it all depends on how you use your computer.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110189)


I don't use Kompose for application management either since alt-tab works quicker most of the time. I also use Taskbar2 (from, which gives me window previews by hovering over the minimized items in the taskbar. Taskbar2 removed the last great feature of kompose, and that's app preview so I know what something is before I switch to it. It'd be nice to have this preview integrated with alt-tab.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110159)

Don't forget that the twitcher works during drags, and spring-loaded folders.

Fold 'n' Drop would only work for me if I could remember exactly which window showed the directory in which I wanted to drop whatever I was dragging - which is likely not going to be the case when I'm in a situation where the window to which I want to drag is buried.

If I can't remember all the time, I'm going to continue to use methods that don't require me to remember. I'm just more inclined to use the method that is always applicable.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110170)

You would think a MacOS X fan would appreciate a more natural and intuitive system for achieving what can potentially be done in other ways.

The Genie effect, translucent windows during a move operation, Expose, virtual desktops, dashboard, automator, tabbed browsing, and more are things for which similar results can be achieved by slightly clunkier or slightly less intuitive/clear/natural operations. They all offer significant improvement.

It strikes me that the window folding offered on the site represents exactly the same sort of thing. Yes you can achieve the same "effect" but you can do that on Windows via the taskbar. Neither expose nor the taskbar offer the very natural and intuitive method of flipping through the windows onscreen like flipping through a bunch of papers. The metaphor is much more clear. It is a significant improvement.

Apple is not the sole source of desktop innovation.


Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110318)

Not to mention that it's really kickass. I hate this "oh, CTRL-C CTRL-V already solves that!" crap. I mean, the command line already solved it too.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

wcbarksdale (621327) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110354)

It is probably more natural and intuitive to use folding windows, but from playing with the demo it also seems to take several hundred times as long as using Expose.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (3, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110380)

I think the use of the word intuitive is taking it a little far. I don't think anyone's intuition would tell them what an icon is, or the purpose of moving it around, let alone the method for doing so. It's a more accurate representation of a stack of papers perhaps, but that doesn't make it intuitive. When's the last time you dragged a picture or a word off of a piece of paper and put it onto another one? And just because something is a more accurate representation of a stack of papers doesn't make it more effective or efficient. A keyboard is distinctly different from a pencil, yet it's generally a much more efficient means of transferring words from the mind to a visible medium.

While I don't particularly like the grouping feature of the XP taskbar, if I have several windows open it's much more efficient for me to go straight to the corresponding button on the taskbar than to leaf through a stack of open windows until I found the right one. I prefer to use the ctrl+x/c/v, but I think even right clicking and selecting copy/cut and then navigating to the appropriate window is less cumbersome than holding down the mouse to shuffle through windows.

That said, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Some people may find the shuffling method to be preferential, and it would probably be beneficial to include such a technique in a new OS.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110418)

There is absolutely no way you can justify ctrl-c ctrl-v from a usability perspective. It's a monstrosity.

Re:It's already a solved problem. (1)

sasha328 (203458) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110393)

There was a feature in MacOS Classic. I also think it's there in OSX. Basically, drag a file over a folder and hold the mouse, the folder opens up, closing the previous window. You can keep drilling until you get to the desired folder. It's pity that Windows or Gnome don't have a similar feature.

Very nice - KDE4? (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110074)

I didn't get it at first. I tried the .jar file and made something happen, but couldn't replicate it - then I saw the video. *VERY* neat idea. It would be fantastic if this could be something integrated into KDE4. (Wishful thinking, I know, but wouldn't be impossible. Having something like this integrated into a mainstream (well, sort of!) desktop years ahead of MS/Apple would be great. Of course, what will happen is that Apple will put this in the next OS release next year, then KDE and Gnome will both have half-baked imitations 6 months later (if that). I'm a KDE user, and would love to see this - I just think it won't happen. :/

Re:Very nice - KDE4? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110093)

Of course, what will happen is that Apple will put this in the next OS release next year

Why? Apple's already solved the window-clutter problem.


Re:Very nice - KDE4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110133)

Nah, multiple desktops solved it. Having only a single workspace is insulting... I use 8 desktops, and couldn't live without them. Only a few windows on each desktop -- grouped by concept (all of my code docs windows go on desktop 2, for example).

Re:Very nice - KDE4? (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110455)

multiple screens help too :)

i write web apps as a hobby, so i like to have a browser and virtual terminal on the right with my text editor maximised on the left. no switching workspaces to test what i wrote. it's also nice to have the php manual ready in the next tab on the web browser

Neat! (4, Funny)

HisMother (413313) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110088)

Tried the Java demo. It's a neat idea. It takes a minute or to to get used to it, but then it starts to feel as natural as clearing off your desk with the back of your hand when you and the secretary need someplace to ... well, put something down.

Re:Neat! (3, Funny)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110254)

It took me many tries, but I finally got myself a virtual PAPER AIRPLANE

whatever happened to `mv` ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110089)

It looks cool - I particularly liked the visual effects of multiple folded windows affecting each other.

However even though the creator shows some relatively speedy interaction at the end - is this really better than these?:
  • moving the source and target windows adjacent to one another, then copying
  • `mv filename ../folder`

I thought we were moving away from a directory structure anyway and into a more Spotlight-ish content-based search structure, conceptually?

Re:whatever happened to `mv` ? (1)

friek (247138) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110359)

I agree with your point about content based strcture, but the first point I don't.

GUI advances are for the non command line crowd. Thats why its a GUI advancement. Its faster than your first point and morons counteract your second point.

Geeks will always love the command line, but the reality is that most (l)users are not geeks.

Prototype not quite perfect (1)

caller9 (764851) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110090)

Unlike most drag and drop implementations this lacks the ability to abort with the escape key. Surely would be in any real implementation, but would help the demo gain points in my book.

Re:Prototype not quite perfect (1)

Stochio (801005) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110422)

You're an idiot. I hate working with people like you all day. It's an f-ing demo.

Please note (5, Funny)

Monte (48723) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110094)

I would like to announce the following desktop metaphors that I will be reserving for my own development:
  • Hit & Run
  • Smash & Grab
  • Smoke & Joke
  • Crumple & Toss
  • Bind & Dump
  • Pinch & Splash
  • Wipe & Flush (a garbage collection routine for above)
  • Twist & Shout
  • Spin & Puke
  • Slap & Tickle

Thank you. I will be announcing my API Real Soon Now.

Re:Please note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110114)

scoop and strain


grip and flip

Re:Please note (1)

mjh (57755) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110370)

You left out:
  • Shock and Awe: a constant pummeling of software bombs to beat the users into submission
...which I will take... wait... no I don't think I can take it. I'm pretty sure it's already been done. []

Re:Please note (1)

.tardo. (790129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110437)

Thank you for the best laugh on Slashdot I have had for a long time...

Mac OS X Expose and Drag & Drop (5, Informative)

Killer Eye (3711) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110099)

I think Apple's existing implementation of Expose is quite powerful. Not everyone realizes that drag-and-drop works with it, and more unfortunately Apple does not default to using a "screen corner" to activate Expose (yet this, too, is possible).

I have it set up so that I can literally "yank" the mouse in the general direction of the lower-right corner to show all windows, perhaps after picking up a file with the mouse. This then allows me to drag the file to any window. Further, I can use spacebar (like in spring-loaded folders in the Finder) to immediately choose a window instead of pausing for a second to have it selected automatically.

This action is so natural and powerful, I use it all the time. And though I use Linux at work and it is fantastic in many ways, I sorely miss features like Expose in Mac OS X.

Re:Mac OS X Expose and Drag & Drop (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110188)

Oh yea! And after seeing the video, I think that use of Exposé with hot corners is a simpler and more elegant solution, imo. As you drag the file, it's just a quick swipe to the hotspot corner to do the task with Exposé. With this "fold-n-drop," a lot more mouse movements are required. (plus, in the screen corners you have an "infinitely large target" which makes it easy; whereas the fold-n-drop mouse movement requires more specific movements in a "more finite" area, so to speak.) That isn't to say that the "fold-n-drop" isn't cool, because it is quite cool, but I'm going to go out on a (thick) limb and say Exposé probably is a better solution than this as far as practical efficiency goes for 95% of the time.

Re:Mac OS X Expose and Drag & Drop (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110388)

You should try mapping Expose to a multi-button mouse. I have a 5 button mouse that has each Expose function mapped to a separate button.

1. Left Button = Left-Click
2. Right Button = Right-Click
3. Scroll Click = Expose Show Application's Windows
4. Thumb Button = Expose Show All Windows
5. Second Thumb Button = Expose Show Desktop

This way, you can easily Drag from one window to any other window with the click of a button, also allowing you to switch quickly between apps. You can also get different reactions by holding the button down, which temporarily switches to that Expose mode, then returns to last mode when released, or when you click on it, it turns to that Expose mode until you click another button.

It REALLY hurts when I am working on a non-Expose enabled computer. Longhorn will only speed-up the switch to OSX, especially when compared to the new Macintel's loaded with OSX.5 Leopard, and its Red-Box abilities(Built-in VirtualPC abilities similar to Classic mode)

Cheers to Apple.

More trouble than it's worth? (5, Insightful)

Dekar (754945) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110121)

It's fun to use and all, but why would I have that many windows open, and then need to sort a lot of documents through them? Moreover, with dual screens and/or multiple desktops, overlapping windows should be mostly a thing of the past.

It's always nice to see new ways to interact, but I can't recall a single time this would have been useful in the past week. My memory can't recall much more than that, but the folding corners would certainly annoy me more often than it would actually be useful.

Re:More trouble than it's worth? (2, Interesting)

dusanv (256645) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110277)

Speak for yourself. I'd love to see this make it into Linux or OS X. I always seem to have 30+ windows open and never seem to be able to find the correct one to drop into. Two 19'' monitors at 1240x1024 *don't* help. Expose doesn't work because it either shows the desktop (no windows) or all windows. Spring loaded windows are about the only thing that helps in this situation.

Re:More trouble than it's worth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110365)

How do you end up with 30+ windows open?

Nearly every application I use under linux has the concept of multiple buffers in the same application.

If you are one of those people who ends up with dozens of xterms open, learn to use screen. Or switch to a terminal emulator that has buffers built in.

Re:More trouble than it's worth? (4, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110360)

"It's fun to use and all, but why would I have that many windows open, and then need to sort a lot of documents through them? Moreover, with dual screens and/or multiple desktops, overlapping windows should be mostly a thing of the past."

Nope. I'm doing plugin development for Lightwave. I have a small LW window open. I have my editor open. I have a few file windows open. (Yes, I need them for this.) I have a PDF viewer open for documentation. I have a web browser open for accessing the knowledgebase. I sometimes even have an ICQ window open so I can talk to the people testing the code. I run dual monitors at 1600 by 1200 each, and I still have a bunch of overlapping going on.

Couldn't tell you if this particular desktop management system would do me any good or not (couldn't get the page to load) but I'll take any help I can get.

Re:More trouble than it's worth? (1)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110461)

For what it's worth, I said the exact same thing when Expose came out. I thought it was another pretty useless feature I'd never actually use, much less need. I have no idea when or where or why I started using it, but now if I use a mac without it turned on I make a very specific 'BAHHHGH' sound.

Interesting way of doing things ... (2, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110127)

I found the demo to be a little clunky, but he did have to implement it himself.

Once I figured out how it was worked, I found myself wondering how useful it would be to be able to just fold back the corners of a window when I wasn't dragging a file.

The general idea of peeling back the corner of a window seems like it might be actually useful at times. Sometimes the rigidly rectangular window can get in the way.

Of course, I'm sure it would eat CPU like all graphical candy, but cycles are cheap I guess.

Gloves (2, Interesting)

vandoravp (709954) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110139)

Combine this with some kind of hand gesture sensors (yes a mouse is one but I mean more complex) a la Minority Report and you would have a very intuitive "virtual paper" interface. This looks like it will be very handy (no pun intended) for use with a mouse but I think using more complicated hand gestures (in the future, when possible) will really make this paper-like manipulation of windows even more intuitive and useful. Funny how the further we move away from paperwork, the closer we get to being just like it.

Re:Gloves (1)

Linus Torvaalds (876626) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110378)

Us human beings aren't built to wave our hands around all day long. It's okay when you are mousing because you are resting your hand on a surface, but your arms would get very tired if you had to use a Minority Report style interface for the same amount of time as you use a mouse. It's like voice recognition - sounds good in theory, but sucks in practice.

Cool Stuff ... for people with only one hand (2, Insightful)

Living WTF (838448) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110149)

Seriously, if you still have both hands, you don't need this. At least not under Windows. While dragging, you can still press Alt+Tab or Win+D (Desktop), so you should be able to get everywhere you want to.

And what if.... (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110294)

... the guy who came up with that (pun intented) was a pr0n junkie? Got to keep the left hand handy (pun again ;)...

Win+D? Managed to miss that one... (1)

01000011011101000111 (868998) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110463)

Cheers :D

taskbar (2, Informative)

stoutpuppy (889407) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110157)

OK this is retarded, someone is just trying to make another stupid pretty UI. Drag your file over the taskbard, over the folder you want to dump it in, this window will become active and dominant, prepare to dump your file without 5 rediculous folds. come on people.

So... (0)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110161)

Does this mean that a "Bill Gates Breaks Windows" screensaver is in the works? :P

Does it solve a problem that exists??? (0, Offtopic)

davidmcw (97565) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110197)

I'll admit that it is very pretty looking and continues the whole desktop idea.

How about a, near, one time use tablet PC, lets call it paper, comes with number of user specified styli. You can sort it easily, put it in folders, filing cabinets, even on microfiche for high capacity storage. It is a 2D device that you can interact with in your 3D environment. Doesn't even need a jacked up graphics card. You can buy very cheap extensions that will allow support up however many bloody colours they have in the shop. Advaced users can create 3D models with it. Comes in packs called reams.....

Re:Does it solve a problem that exists??? (5, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110239)

keep your 3D shapes out of my 2D world.

:Grumbles: Friggin advanced users think they can just add dimensions wherever they damn well please

But will it be patented (1)

Noishe (829350) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110206)

Sure this is a great idea, it's intuitive and cool and could be implemented by folding or transparencies or by rolling, etc.... But if they decide to patent it then no one will be able to use it except microsoft, cause they'll pay the licensing fees... if they even bother or want to implement it.

WTF???? (1, Flamebait)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110229)

On OSX I've ben doing this for ages.

Step one:open two windows
Step two: select a file in window "A" and drag over window "B" (which is overlapped and beneath window "A")
Step three: Wait half a second for window "B" become the modal window and release.
Step four: ???
Step five: PROFIT!!!!

Perhaps next time you get some wild idea about a revolution in user interaction, you head on over to the Apple store first.

If you look at the pics which illustrate this ground breaking idea -- it does what OS X already does, except OS X doesn't bother with "folding" or "bending" the window, it's just makes it modal (brings it to front) to let you know it's ready to recieve your interaction. Combined with a Apple+`, you can cycle through a large amount of windows dragging and dropping between them. The "folding" effect looks like nothing more than a cheap gimmick that would only chew up cpu/gpu cycles. Sorta like OS X's "genie effect" for window minimizing -- which is always the first thing I disable on a new Mac.

Re:WTF???? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110339)

jesus, you zealots can't wait to shit on anything that doesn't come from the mecca in cupertino. I've read more bitter posts from apple fanboys in this story that I can credit. if it's on a computer and it didn't come from stevie's ass it's just no good, right? fuckin jerks.

Re:WTF???? (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110462)

You know what pisses me off is all the Windows fanboys who don't fucking bother to check out other operating system features outside their own.

Once again YET ANOTHER feature that has been standard with Apple for sometime is accredited as a "NEW AND REVOLUTIONARY" approach to user interaction.

And I quote the article:
"Fold n' Drop is a new interaction technique for seamlessly dragging and dropping between overlapping windows."

How about dropping the word "new" and replacing it with "proposed" and appending "for Windows" after the word technique?

And to quote again:
" Although it is still a research prototype, having it integrated into most popular window managers is technically conceivable."

So from this statement, it's a research prototype and is soooo very cutting edge that it's only concievable, not completely fucking do-able -- not to mention has already been done.

And no -- I'm not an "Apple fanboy", I stopped using Macs after the Pentium+Win95 hit. In the mid through the late 90's, Windows worked just fine for me. After OS X came out, I switched back to the Mac -- no more need for a dual-boot Win2K+Linux pain in the ass.

I still currently run Linux servers and have run some BSD variants, own a Octane with Irix and run Virtual PC for Win XP Pro inside OS X. After the crap-flood of spyware, malware, viruses and script-kiddie exploits for Windows became so prevailing, Virtual PC is the only way I'll ever run Windows again.

Nitpick (1)

Linus Torvaalds (876626) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110399)

Modal [] doesn't mean what you think it means.

Re:WTF???? (1)

toreun (769735) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110417)

I've gotten annoyed several times by my Finder window clutter. Sure, you can just drag over a window, but sometimes windows get hidden underneath others. I'd say this is more functional than what Apple has solely with mouse movements, but it might not be as useful as using a keyboard in addition to a mouse. Of course, some people prefer one or the other, so this is still a really useful innovation in my opinion.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110247)

I would rather have Nestle Toll house Human-Cookie interaction.

Alternatively ... (5, Funny)

I don't want to spen (638810) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110261)

... I find a sharp blow to the Solar Plexus will also produce a satisfying fold and drop.

Innovation? (1)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110275)

I already use PopMouse (sorry, product is now retired... no link) which, Opera-like, adds mouse navigation to the Windows environment. I'll tell you, it's THE most beneficial add-on I've ever used!

However, PopMouse uses easy-to-remember and -use mouse movements, some of which have been usurped by this "batch".

Besides... Fold-and-drop? How about drag icon to task bar, hover over proper window, and drop it when the window opens?

Nice Eye Candy, But... (1)

Limecron (206141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110284)

Nothing beats efficient file management (save perhaps sorting pictures with thumbnails) than using a CLI.

Re:Nice Eye Candy, But... (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110363)

Your porn collection must suck.

The Desktop Never Metaphor it Didn't Like (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110298)

Looking at the video, I'm struck again by how ill-fitting the "window" metaphor is. "Leafing through windows"?? Come on -- the model here is the page or the sheet.

Maybe it was never very appropriate. Windows and icons and menus... on desktops?? Oh my!

Not buying it for a second!!! (-1, Troll)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110309)

_EVERYBODY_ knows that Toulouse [Lutrec] is a famous artist and NOT a city!

You fools - don't buy into this scam. Buy V1ag4ra instead!

Not so useful for me. (4, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110320)

Windows's taskbar already lets me drag and drop amongst arbitrary windows. You just drag the stuff to the task's button on the taskbar, wait till it goes foreground, then you drop it wherever you want.

I usually have more than 10 windows open, I don't want to waste time peeling through them one by one, especially when I know exactly which window it is (I just recently clicked its task button after all).

Once I have a taskbar, I don't often have to remember which windows are "below" or "above" each other. I just need to remember which task button represents the window to get to it.

Which comes to a related point - KDE orders the tasks on the taskbar top to bottom, left to right. This means that if you remove a task, the ALL of the tasks to the right of it will change their vertical positions. This is bad UI IMO. However the person in charge prefers it the way it is[1].

Windows does it left to right first then top to bottom. This means that only leftmost and rightmost tasks change positions if you remove one, so it's not as much of a mess trying to remember where a window is.

[1] Nope he doesn't go check with the "people in charge of Usability", because there aren't any. Which probably explains why Linux still has a mediocre GUI in terms of usability.

practical joke (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13110324)

Heh, I just tried the OriMado implementation for Win XP that's linked to on that page.

It doesn't work perfectly, but it was enough to totally freak my sysadmin out when I called him over.

"My windows are folding! What's wrong with my machine?"

His eyes widen, he scratches his head and goes off to spend the rest of the afternoon on looking for a "folding window" bug.

Poor guy. System admin for a public comms company, straight out of community college, doesn't have a clue about my comp sci degree and my penchant for playing dumb (My ticket to management!).

I should really stop tormenting him, but GOD it's fun. You should have seen his face when I installed the MacOSX emulating ObjectDock. The guy just about died when I told him my PC had gone "all Maccy".

Very neat (1)

Phylter (816181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110355)

I think it could be fairly useful but would probably end up being more novelty than anything else. There are easier ways to accomplish the same thing that folding windows does. I will have to agree with a few other posters here, it is much easier to Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V.

X-mouse focus? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110366)

Couldn't this be accomplished with just an x-mouse and whichever the windows' focused, bring it to front thing? weird.

Folding, dropping, and booting windows (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13110381)

Come on, there's got to be a lame gag about flipping, dropping, kicking, scrunching up windows and installing Linux in here somewhere.
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