As it is quite obvious the cube effect cannot use the desktop layout defined by the pager. For cube the layout has to be
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
That’s basically how the user would expect the cube to work. All virtual desktops are mapped to the faces of a geometric object. That’s how we know it from Compiz. But this layout used by cube does not represent the actual layout which is in case of 4 desktops like that
| 1 | 2 |
| 3 | 4 |
In my opinion it is impossible to use this layout for cube. Of course you could do something like having just two faces and scaling the desktops so that (1,3) is on one face and (2,4) is on the other face. But that makes the cube effect kind of useless. It would require to have at least eight desktops in a 2×4 layout. But I don’t expect that someone using 8 desktops will ever use cube. I personally think cube effect is more for the normal user, but not for the power user. And I’d say having 8 desktops is kind of power using 😉
So cube effect has to ignore the desktop layout which is OK and even allowed by EWMH.
But when using cube to animate change of desktop via pager, via ctrl+f1-4 or via active desktop borders it should use the desktop layout. E.g. when you use the pager to switch from desktop 1 to 3 in the above shown layout you’d expect the animation to go down and not twice to the right. You’d expect the same behaviour as in slide animation.
For using pager and ctrl+f1-4 it’s still usable as it’s, but when you use active desktop borders and drag a window to another desktop it becomes painful. E.g. you drag a window from desktop 1 to the left. Thinking of the cube you will end up in desktop 4, but in fact you end in desktop 2. You move your window to the left, but receive an animation to the right. Even worse when you move a window to the top or down. Instead of having an animation going downwards or upwards you animate twice to the left or right. The animation does not reflect at all what triggered the animation. That’s probably one of the reasons why I myself do not use cube effect to animate the desktop change 😉
So you might have guessed it: I worked on improving this situation and there is a new solution to the problem available in my git branch. It will need some more work before it can be merged to trunk (there are more improvements than this one). While animating the desktop change cube follows the pager layout. That is changing from desktop 1 to 3 will result in an animation downwards, changing from 1 to 4 will result in an animation to the right and one downwards. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like:
The screenshot illustrates another new requested feature: you can keep the panels in place while the cube rotates. I like it very much and I think it will change from currently opt-in to an opt-out 😉 Of course this feature is not available in ctrl+f11 mode.
Btw currently it is the best time to request features for cube. At the moment I have no lectures and no upcoming exams. So I have lots of time and I am working on cube. So I’m waiting for your feature requests at bugs.kde.org 😉