icons on desktop with xfce
bob.snyder at cox.net
Sun May 2 00:49:08 CEST 2004
Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
> my current plan is that xfdesktop 4.4 will have desktop icon support.
> those of you following CVS will know that i recently rewrote the
> desktop menu system, and moved it into dynamically-loadable module.
> this gives two benefits: 1) people that don't want to use it can
> disable it entirely with no memory or performance impact, and 2) it
> can be used elsewhere (like in the desktop menu panel plugin i also
> wrote). the desktop icon support will be just like this.
> my desktop icon plans are pretty much the same. i really like
> olivier's mini-filemanager idea, so likely desktop icons will just be
> a kind of "canvas widget" on which you can place icons, and will have
> some facility for using directory listings for this purpose. you can
> put folders on the desktop, and if you open it, you'll get a popup
> window that is just another instance of this canvas, but with window
> decorations, a menu, toolbar, etc. the canvas will support three
> somewhat-distinct objects: launchers, files, and directories.
> launchers will actually just be .desktop files that will be handled
> smartly by the canvas. directories will, as i said, open up popup
> windows. files will either just open an "open with" dialog, or will
> hook into edscott's xffm stuff, or shared-mime-info if that's easier.
> (i really see no need to reimplement filetype associations when
> everyone else has done it a million times.)
I for one am pleased to see that XFCE will have desktop icons. Perhaps
my usage of them is a little bit different than most users, who seem to
see them only as a way for launching apps.
I tend to use them the same as a real desktop which is a place to put
files while I am working on them. When they're visible, rather than
tucked away in a folder where I can't see them, I am reminded that they
are pending some action. I can download a file to the desktop and if I
decide not to keep it I am reminded to throw it away. If I'm done with
it, it can be filed appropriately. Clicking it should launch the
appropriate action. Any object should be able to be dragged and dropped
onto the desktop, or dragged off the desktop into another folder or onto
another app. e.g. dragging an MP3 file onto XMMS should start it
playing. Of course this is the way things in DnD apps work already, just
extended to the desktop.
Brian, your plan sounds like a great way to implement it. I like the
idea that clicking a folder object opens it as a new instance with the
files in it. I'd like to suggest that it have a flexible way of
assigning pixmaps (or whatever) to all the icons. A window full of
identical default icons isn't very useful. It would be good to have a
method of assigning icons from a selection of existing ones or allow the
user to assign one from any pixmap, just like the panel launchers and
menus do. If it has one built in, like many executables, that should be
I'm not suggesting anything to be the same as some other system does it
(Windows, OSX, Gnome, whatever), but because it's a natural, efficient
way for me to work.
Thanks for listening,
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