Remember Mark Shuttleworth hinting that the window control movement had freed up space on the right and that there were some interesting things that could be done there? Well: Mark Shuttleworth has just posted a new article on his blog describing a new right-hand side window concept that may plant some roots in Ubuntu 10.10 ” namely ‘Window Indicators’.

Windicators are indicators displayed in the window title bar that behave just like the indicators in the panel: they have an icon which shows state, and clicking on the icon brings up a menu” ~ Mark Shuttleworth


Some of the potential ‘windicators’ that could be sitting on your right-hand window space: –

  • Online / offline status indicator and toggle options for the mail client, chat program or Gwibber, the broadcast messages application.
  • An “unsaved” indicator, that tells people that the contents of the file they are working on have changed and potentially lets them save it or set autosave properties.
  • Progress indicators, which show that an action is in progress, and possibly also indicate the extent of the progress. The associated menu would enable one to pause or cancel the operation, and perhaps define the behaviour on completion of the action.
  • A “basket” indicator, which shows if any items have been selected for purchase,
  • Sharing indicators, which would show if a document is shared with multiple people, and enable one to setup such a share.
  • Volume indicators, which would show the loudness of application audio streams, and enable one to set the volume for that specific application.

Bye Bye Status Bar

Also mentioned in his post were plans to remove the status bar ” but not entirely. Users of Chrome, whom Mark cites as the inspiration for this, will be aware of the status bar overlay. You may see this rocking up in Maverick, with some former status bar info being better displayed as Windicators and some remaining in the overlay.

Netbook Mode

For the netbook edition the Windicators would merge with the panel indicators when a window is maximised. windicators-maximised-mockup
Mark Shuttleworth’s blog post explains this idea in much greater detail so make sure you take a look! [link]


Dieki has made a great mock-up of ‘Windicators’ using GIMP: –

Images © Ayatana/Mark Shuttleworth/Canonical

Mock-up by Dieki CC-BY

News windicators