Desktop Background as an Application Launcher [WAS Re: Xfce 4.2 scope [WAS Re: dev FAQ?]]

Jesse Wagner lists at
Mon Apr 19 18:39:13 CEST 2004

Truly illiterate people might wonder where there desktop icons went when  
they clicked on an app. One of the most confusing thing I've seen for very  
new users is the idea of layers of unseen elements. The taskbar hardly  
helps either. I think these users need their app launchers to always be  
seen. Eg, the panel, w/ desktops borders setup so it is never covered.

That being said, there are multiple things you could use. One is idesk  
( if you don't need users to understand how to  
actually create the launchers themselves. And another is Gdesklets  

On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 11:41:58 +0100, Lea Anthony  
<lea.anthony at> wrote:

> Hi!
> I'm new to the list so please be gentle :)
> I've been talking with Brian and Moe about a system that we're setting  
> up here at the college (Linux thin client). One of our hurdles is to  
> make the system as easy to use as possible for IT-illiterate people. Our  
> thinking is that if we could make the desktop background a kind of  
> "application launcher" then it would make things simple for the users,  
> rather than get them to navigate (read: FIND) them. We'd also like to  
> use the background for showing current news etc. I'm keen on coding  
> something along these lines but would appreciate any feedback on how  
> this could be done and how it may fit in with the bigger picture. Icons  
> aren't really the solution, but they could be an interim solution.
> I welcome your comments.
> Cheers,
> -Lea.
> Olivier Fourdan wrote:
>> Well, desktop icons by itself doesn't make much sense IMHO.
>> I have aplan in the back of my head, and it would be to make a basic
>> file manager with icons (I mean really basic, simple, no fancy feature
>> at all) and that file manager could put icons on the desktop.
>> It would not compete nor replace xffm, just complement it for the users
>> whe really want 1) desktop icons or 2) and icon oriented file manager.  
>> Cheers,
>> Olivier.
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