icons on desktop with xfce

Sergey Manucharyan serge at bonbon.net
Mon May 3 08:00:09 CEST 2004

100% agree with Bob. I never use desktop icons as launchers, just use 
the desktop as a temp folder to put files in it by DND.


bob.snyder wrote:

> 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 
> the default.
> 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,
> Bob S.

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