yet another new backdrop settings dialog idea

John Dee antitux at
Thu May 13 23:05:51 CEST 2004

I know this sounds weird and all, but that might be a bit complicated 
for someone not new to xfce, don't you think?

I use xfce because it's simple. I don't want to click open the 
background settings,then click another tab just to click the images one. 
One dialog should be enough for everything, should it not?

Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
> hi all-
> francois and i were talking about another revision of the backdrop 
> settings dialog today, and he came up with a cool idea:
> we talked about the limitations of that design, and came up with some 
> improvements.  unfortunately, there were a few annoyances that we didn't 
> work out.
> so i was just looking at the images, and letting my mind wander, and 
> inspiration struct.  i think this idea is pretty cool, but i want to run 
> it by everyone else for an intuitive-ness check before i actually code 
> it.  i'm not as cool as francois, so no mockup screenshots.
> first of all, collapse the color and image tabs back into one.  put the 
> bulk of the controls on the left of the dialog (roughly top to bottom)
> - color style
> - color1
> - color2
> - image file add/browse button (with label/entry)
> - image style (tile, scale, stretch, etc.)
> - global options
> - - show (option menu):
> - - - same image on each screen (multiscreen only)
> - - - static image (selected from the list?)
> - - - random image (aka, image list)
> - - don't set backdrop (really have to do something with this option)
> and then on the right side we have a list box, with the following 
> columns:
> - screen number (hidden if no multiscreen or if in same img or random 
> img mode)
> - image filename (not full path, just filename)
> - small pixmap showing color and style (solid color, mini-gradient)
> - an icon describing the image style (tile, stretch, etc.)
> when you click on an image in the listbox, the full path is displayed in 
> the label/entry on the left, and the color settings and image style 
> settings are set to whatever they should be for that image.  you can 
> edit the settings, and they'll both be reflected in the listbox and 
> applied immediately.
> i haven't totally worked out how to store the data.  MCS for everything 
> seems a bit overkill, so for simple changes MCS might just serve to 
> provide a notification toggle so xfdesktop can reload stuff (hacky?).  
> the actually information would be stored in files (xml? key=val?).  the 
> cool thing about this is that you could have multiple lists (i could add 
> a control to open a different list file.  by default, xfdesktop could 
> keep two list files: one for a random image list, and one for an ordered 
> set of images to use on different screens since it's conceivable that 
> you might want different lists for the two purposes.  then again, it's 
> somewhat unlikely that you'd jump between the two - either you want a 
> random list or an ordered list - so one list should be fine.
> i was thinking that, if you select "same image on all screens" or 
> "static image", a bit of screen space is wasted having a listbox to hold 
> a single image.  then it occurred to me that you could keep several 
> images in the listbox, and statically set the backdrop to the list item 
> that's selected.  if you're the kind of person that likes to switch 
> images every now and then, you might like having a list of "favorites" 
> to choose from.
> so what do people think?  i know this seems like the new-feature kind of 
> thing that olivier wants to avoid for now (to focus on bugfixing), but i 
> personally consider the lack of a good backdrop settings dialog to be a 
> large bug.  if it seems like a good idea, i'll start working on it this 
> weekend after i finish up with the icon theming stuff.
> 	-brian
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