New panel framework

Jeff Franks jcfranks at
Fri Sep 2 12:44:35 CEST 2005


The panel source and plugin code is well laid out and easy to follow. 
Excellent work!

I have had an idea for sometime I thought I might mention. I have always 
found the vertical layout on some desktop panels awful (e.g. KDE's 
kicker). The task bar entry text gets chopped off, and the clock and 
some icons tend to look squashed. When you enlarge the panel to try to 
overcome this the icons don't enlarge but the pager and task bar do, so 
much so that you end up with a panel much longer than the vertical 
height of the screen which is only accessible by using up and down 
arrows. Not really user friendly or visually appealling.

Some time ago I came across this freeware application for Windows 
( which is a desktop sidebar based on the 
Longhorn sidebar. I found it well laid out and quite useful. It had 
small embeddable applications that had a small resizeable application 
window rather than an icon, something like the old WindowMaker 
application dock but only larger. The embeded  applications could be 
minimized to menu item size to preserve space. What I liked about the 
sidebar was the fact that you could actually have useful applications 
running in it.

What I thought could be a good idea is a desktop panel application with 
different two layouts. One for horiziontal mode (like a regular panel) 
and one for vertical mode (like a sidebar). No linux panel currently 
does this and if done well, it would certainly stand out from the other 
panels. Larger LCD monitors, and especially widescreen ones make 
different layout demands on the desktop. On a square monitor a panel at 
the top and/or bottom is a good layout. However on a widescreen monitor 
the desktop has more horizontal space than vertical and so a vertical 
layout would be better.

Had you thought about a sidebar-like layout for the vertical panel mode.

Just some thoughts,

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