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

Lea Anthony lea.anthony at
Tue Apr 20 10:35:56 CEST 2004


Thanks for your input. I personally would love to use gdesklets, but I'd 
need to find out how much of a resource hog they were. Considering this 
will be deployed on a thin client system, resource usage is pretty 
important. Does the standard XFCE icon bar allow text next to the icons?


Jesse Wagner wrote:

> 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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