[Request] Drag&Drop files without lose focus on active window\app ?!

I like gnome and often i’ve to play, open, drag, reorganize files from folder to other folder or open with apps. Is frustrating that I always have to dispose all windows in a visible way in order to work easy. My monitor is not infinite!

For example: i have audacious opened and a folder with some file to be played, audacious is in the foreground above the folder; if i click a file in order to drag-drop into player the focus on the player is lost and its go to the window; now the player now is in background, invisible, and from here it’s only a skill war: continue press click mouse, with the other hand on keyboard ALT + TAB until i found audacious, release the keyboard, continue drag with mouse and eventually release!

Please fix this annoying user experience. The focus, imho, should be lost on the release event of the click not on the push event!

Oh, I forgot to mention one important thing: OS is Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

You want to interact with things in a window without giving that window focus?

Maybe you could point to a desktop environment or OS that does this correctly in your opinion?

BTW, double clicking a file should open it with whatever application you have set as default so there’s really no need for all these acrobatics.

No, you don’t understand!

I want to drag&drop (only this action) a file from a window (background) to another window (foreground and active) without lose focus on the foreground when i first click the file in the background window. MacOS, Windows and other DE act like this, it’s a simply stupid thing.

If you release the click on the background window it is logical and right that I lose focus on the foreground window: it’s a normal selection baby.

What is wrong with GNOME, imho, is the drag&drop that is acting on push event instead of release event. The focus on the active window should only change when the mouse is released!

We understood each other?

You can only have one default application so dragging it to a different one is reasonable usage pattern.

For example, I usually watch videos on YouTube in the web browser and read comments afterwards. But when I am working, I want to open the video in a video player (VLC), which I can move out of the way.¹ I start VLC and then drag a browser link on that window to start playing the video.

I am not sure how consistent focusing windows on mouseup instead of mousedown is with user expectations, that is for design team to determine but there is another pattern that could enable this use case: When user starts dragging an object, dash could appear and it would allow dropping the object on one of the icons. I believe this is what MacOS does at least with Waste-basket and what Unity allowed in the past. Unfortunately, GNOME Shell does not support dragging stuff at the launchers at the moment according to https://github.com/micheleg/dash-to-dock/issues/49.

¹: Browsers now have picture-in-picture mode but YouTube website is quite resource intensive so I might not want to have it open when compiling large codebases.

Another use case where I find myself dragging files onto an application window is when I want to add songs to a play queue. Just opening them would replace the whole playlist, while dragging allows for more granular use based on my mood (play next/play after the currently playing album/append to the end of queue).


That’s exactly why I suggested you point to an example of an existing desktop or OS which does this right…

But you already sound irritated, almost as if I’ve somehow managed to offend you by simply trying to understand how this would work or suggesting a possible workaround, and since I don’t actually care about this rather than annoy anyone any further I’ll just wish you good luck getting things to work the way you want them to.

Have a good day.

For use cases like this, you can right-click audacious’ title bar and select the “Always on Top” action.

No need for changing a decades-old, well-established convention.

This is what I usually do in OP’s shoes but that requires sort of thinking in reverse – first you choose the target, bring it to foreground, and then drag the source on it. Additionally, making the window on top might need to be undone again, increasing the time you need to fiddle with the window manager instead of focusing on the work.

That is why I suggested making the dash visible while dragging objects and making the app launchers respond to drop events. That would be completely conventional (MacOS, Unity and Windows all support that) and more in line with how people think.

first you choose the target, bring it to foreground, and then drag the source on it.

Unfortunately in the moment you drag it, you lose focus on what you just put in the foreground before :slight_smile: . Only with gnome happen this. I assume at this point, even from your comments, that it is a deliberate thing so badly done

I see you still don’t understand or don’t want to understand the “flaw”. But that’s okay.

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