re. Pinboard (was: Re: icons on desktop with xfce)

Wolf Lichtenberger wowowolf at
Thu May 6 02:16:10 CEST 2004


Andy Choens wrote:
> 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. 

My preference, i.e. what i personally found practical, is for now

   * Programs in a key-navigated menu (f.e. Mozilla gets,say: {menu},A,N,M)
   * Documents in progress as icons, freely arrangeable in an accessible area.

> 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.

I'm all for practicality or efficiency of use here. So because i'm faster at
hitting key sequences than aiming a mouse pointer, key navigation is it for me,
and i see with joy that XFCE is moving partly in this direction, too.
XFdesktop4 apparently will in future (or CVS 8^) pop up the Apps menu on
command, i.e. assignable to a key, and if you put underscores in the menu
titles, letter key navigation is there, too.

Some more things IMHO:
   1) to combat the accessability problem of those icons, i'm all for this
pinboard idea. Either that, or a special new display mode (freely arrangeable
icons) from XFFM (which would IMHO make sense from a topical POV. But that's up
to Edscott, if he wants the extra work...8^). That way, it's possible to access
an open pinboard/desktop window by Meta+Tab window cycling, eliminating the need
for a "show desktop" function.
   2) it should be as easy as possible to modify the desktop contents, f.e. by
drag-n-drop from XFFM, and
   3) it should be a dynamic representation of a disk folder, f.e. ~/Desktop;
i.e. Files copied/created there should "appear".

> 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.

So let's by all means look at what people need/want and focus on usability, but
also not shy away from goals because someone else did it already that way - this
goes for anything from windoze desktop to mac-finder (hello xffm 8^) to
freedesktop specs.
On this latter: I think that if XFCE starts having a Desktop (with icons) in
some way, then the Freedesktop notions about the ~/Desktop folder should IMHO be

Of course, right now the only thing i'm really, really waiting for is the
keyable menu...

Tschö mit ö,
Tschau mit au,
mit freundlichen Grüßen,
-- der Wolf
-- Wolf Lichtenberger

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