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Lazyweb request: a more nuanced application-switcher

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Jan. 29th, 2009 | 04:20 pm

I *very* often use the UI pattern of toggling the active window (and my attention) back and forth between two specific apps with repeated use of a specific key combination (Alt-Tab). It's nice to be able to jump back and forth with the same keystroke... but somehow, equally as often, some other app gets in there, and I end up in not the app I expect, and I have to alt-tab-no-not-that-one alt-tab alt-tab alt-tab alt-tab alt-tab-NO dammit alt-tab-tab-shift-tab-shift-tab-tab-tab alt-tab alt-tab-THERE-we-go....

So, my request is this: give me a settable option to ignore and omit any app from the alt-tab "history" if I toggle to an app and immediately back but don't spend more than X milliseconds with it active (which can be a sign that I switched to the wrong app -- so ignore that one).

Bonus request/complaint: Windows Vista does something utterly horrible that makes this even more confusing. Sometimes, you hit alt-tab and switch away from the active window... to no effect. Nothing happens. So you alt-tab back and try it again. Repeat until the other app you are supposedly toggling to decides to actually react to getting the focus. Sometimes this can take as many as three tries. It is *extremely* confusing behavior in a situation where you are expecting it to just work; many people may be experiencing this and not even actively noticing that they just had to repeat the keystrokes to get the app to come up, because they're quite rightly focused on whatever they are actually trying to get done.

P.S. - I'm rambling, but I won't edit this post; I'd probably make it worse if I tried to formalize it.

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