icons on desktop with xfce

Andy Choens dru at worldskip.com
Wed May 5 03:02:50 CEST 2004

This has been an awfully interesting thread.  There are some things I
have noticed.

1)    I don't remember anyone outright flaming the guy who started the
thread.  This just proves that xfce designers and users are nicer than
people on many other lists.

2)  There is some real debate about the UI here.  This is good.  All too
often people go running around half-cocked and we get features that
people don't want or we get features that people do want, but they get
implemented poorly.  Unfortunately, people like to write code and then
think about the interface.  I think xfce has got the beginnings of a
REALLY nice interface.  How can it be made better?  I will return to
this topic shortly.

3)  People can talk about a single issue forever.....but we already knew
this.  :-)

The reason I spent 30 minutes writing this is simple.  I've seen a lot
of ideas and many opinions, but they are mostly reiterations of the same
2 positions.  Like and Disklike for desktop icons.  Well, desktop icons,
if you like them or not, have the disadvantage of being covered up a lot
of the time.  Is there some other way to implement this same
functionality, and give people this flexibility, without sacrificing to
many resources?

 Some people seem to want a desktop as a second way of starting
applications, some people seem to want it as a place to store files they
are working on.  Both of these have their merit, but perhaps they
shouldn't be mixed....or if they are, make a graphical separation
between the two, so people understand the separation.  

What if, this functionality was NOT on top of the background screen at
all?  What if, instead there was a "pinboard" on the edge of the screen
(whichever edge you like) which watches for a mouse hovering over it. 
when collapsed it could look identical to the existing panel.  When a
mouse hovers over it, it pops open revealing the contents of a directory
appropriately named ~/pinboard.   You could put .desktop files in it, or
you could put files in it.  Items displayed in the pinboard could be
assigned any position within the clipboard a user chose.  Thus they
could have their apps in one place and their files in another part of
the pinboard, just like a desktop right now.  This added spatial detail
makes it easier to use than the bookmarks feature of xffm, and would
allow the bookmarks to have one set of definitions, and the pinboard
area to have another.  For instance, I tend to keep /etc in my
bookmarks, because I'm always fiddling with something.  But, I wouldn't
want such a link of my desktop/pinboard.  I like the word pinboard
better than desktop, because I think it more aptly describes the
functionality of this widget.  Configuration of it would be simple. 
Size, in 2 dimensions...maybe preset small med large, ridiculous (most
of screen).  Background color of pic, or transparent to background
image, autohide yes/no, should full screen apps cover the clipboard
yes/no, orientation/location.

This way, if you want to have this desktop type feature, you can.  Since
it would be an app like the applications panel or the tasks panel,
people who this this idea sucks don't have to use it and will receive no
performance hit for an unwanted feature.

It eliminated the need to be able to hide all of your windows, just to
get to the desktop, simple moving your mouse to the designated side
would suffice.

If I had some artistic skills I would submit a picture, but I lack these
critical skills.  Maybe I'll doodle something up and submit it. 

I want to hear if anyone likes this, or has a different idea. 
After-all, the desktop paradigm has stood for many years, but we can do
better than something designed by Xerox and stolen by everyone on the
planet.  One thing that I LIKE about XFCE is that the panel design is
not merely a different interpreation of the windows start button.  It's
different, and VERY useable.  I be we can come up with something that
answers to people work needs, that doesn't simply follow in the
footsteps of others.



On Sun, 2004-04-25 at 15:40, virtuoso2001 wrote:

> hello,
> i've never installed xfce till now,but i've seen from screenshots that
> xfce doesn't provide desktop icons like windows xp. how can i fix this
> problem ?
> lemme know,thanks
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Om Mani Padme Hume
        --Traditional Tibetan Blessing
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