Panel Autohide

Erik Touve etouve at
Tue Mar 18 16:28:59 CET 2003

I had trouble posting this earlier....

> Autohide in the same way as the taskbar is out of the question for the
> panel. The panel is based on an entirely different design, most
> importantly it is freely moveable around the screen; autohide only works
> on a panel that is always on the edge.
Ok.  Shouldn't be a huge problem here.  I should be able to test for
location... x == 0 or x == SCREEN_WIDTH.... y ==0 or y == SCREEN_HEIGHT
> The only autohide behaviour that I can think of for a the xfce panel is
> to 'collapse' the contents to only show one or two move handles. I'm not
> sure if this is useful and/or desirable, but I wouldn't be against it
> on principle.
Are the handles the far left and far right
dotted area on the panel?  I'm not sure what this would solve by making
this like a 'kicker' in Gnome.  The problem I want to solve is not giving up
my real estate...  most importantly if I have a maxed app. (currently have
to set up margins if panel is at the bottom).
I've seen a previous post (Feb.) about the problem that the panel autohide would
be compilcated due to it not being the entire width/height of the screen.
That hiding the panel wouldn't work properly.  Can't I just show the panel when moused
over the hidden panel area?  Does it really need to be activated when you move 
anywhere along the border of the screen?  
I'm sure there are some usability issues with something like this.  I'll see
what the 'Human Interface Guidelines' are.  I believe they can be found somewhere
on the Gnome site.

> On an implementation note, the logic of hiding is complicated by the
> fact that subpanels are separate windows, so the panel will lose focus
> when you are accessing a subpanel, but obviously it shouldn't hide.
Here I think I could trigger a flag for 'entering' a menu.  Don't hide until you're
done.  Currently you can't escape a submenu.  I think you need to click on the
activator to close a menu if you don't make a selection.  This would signal
the exit and allow autohide if not moused over.  I need to think about keyboard
I'm not trying to 'force' bad design or introduce something that
the group doesn't want/need.  I feel that the autohide function is really needed.
Most users feel very comfortable with the way autohide works on other OSes
and WMs.  Sure this panel is a bit different in that it doesn't stretch full width/height.
If it did, I would surely expect it to have autohide functionality - most users would 
expect it.  Currently I feel that the panel is nice, useful, but at times it gets in the
way (setting margins takes up a lot of space, setting zorder below app makes 
it hard to get back to).
I'd like to work on the problem without upsetting anyone here.  Maybe I can
find a good way to do this.
Thanks for the input Jasper!

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