A current issue with young children is that they often click application launchers several times until the application shows. Depending on the overall system speed, this may lead to 3, 4 or 5 instances of the same application launched in the end… Although desktop environments usually change the mouse cursor while an application is being launched, this is not the case of LXDE sessions, from which advanced DoudouLinux sessions derive, and this may not be sufficient anyway because the meaning of such change is not so obvious for someone who discovers computers.

For these reasons we wanted for DoudouLinux a tool that:

  • avoids applications to be launched more than one time
  • clearly shows that the application is being launched using a notification message
  • brings focus to a previously launched application when it is launched once more, may the application be iconified or wound

To achieve this, we developed a dedicated tool named unique-launch. You can install it using its Debian package.

The result is shown in the screencast below. The user clicks several times to launch an application, but only one instance is actually launched. Later he toggles the window to its wound status (only the title bar is drawn). Clicking the application icon unwinds the application and brings focus to it. This avoids the user doesn't understand why clicking the launch icon doesn't do anything if he forgot the application has been wound.

Fichier vidéo intégré

(download in OGG format, 1.5MB)

All these improvements will be made available in our future stable release, the successor of Gondwana. In the meanwhile, dailybuilds are available for evaluation, their names are of the form doudoulinux-yyyy-mm-dd-ll.iso. We invite everyone to test and give feedback!