"pinboard" idea for desktop icons (was: icons on desktop with xfce)

Andrew Conkling andrewski at fr.st
Wed May 5 03:22:42 CEST 2004

Sorry to top post, but I just wanted to say I like this idea,

1. The idea of this being a separate application that I could start or
not start.
2. The fact that this would be (at least one way of making icons) wide
open in terms of flexibility and that this would be easily accessible
when windows are covering the desktop.

And yes, kudos to XFCE for thinking about these things rather than
imitating past convention.

On Tue, 2004-05-04 at 21:02 -0400, Andy Choens wrote:
> 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.
> --andy
> --andy
> 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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