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Smarter Window Snapping is Coming to GNOME Shell

Window snapping in GNOME 3.26

Smarter window snapping

GNOME 3.26 is shaping up to be one heck of a release, as a recent update from GNOME developer Georges Stavracas shows.

Smart half-window tiling is headed to GNOME Shell and Mutter. The improved feature lets you tile windows to available width (not an arbitrary 50%) and, better still, lets you resize both windows at the same time just by resizing one or other.

Now, being fairly new to GNOME Shell, I’m not sure whether these ‘features’ are strictly new, as it seems there are various GNOME extensions and a hidden shortcut key that may/may not let you do similar things.

But having smarter window tiling not only built-in to GNOME but so easily discoverable is, certainly for me, a boon.

“After the introduction of the possibility to resize tiled windows, it is a sensible decision to make windows aware of their tiling match. A tiling match is another window that is tiled in such a way that is the complement of the current window,” Georges writes in an update to a bug from 2011 than requests smarter window snapping in GNOME.

This is exactly how ChromeOS handles half-window snapping and I love it.

Why I’m particularly excited about seeing improved half-tiling is because the work on it will also support quarter window tiling to GNOME Shell (yup, horiztonal window snapping is nigh).

Cross your fingers it arrives with GNOME 3.26

It’s early days for this code and there, according to Geroges, “big issues” with the current patch, but these issues aren’t insurmountable.

Hopefully this smarter window snapping will ship in GNOME 3.26 later this year. It’s possible that Ubuntu 17.10 will ship with GNOME 3.26 (there’s certainly the desire there, though plenty of technical hurdles to be bounded over yet) this October.