New panel framework

Jasper Huijsmans jasper at
Fri Sep 2 14:08:29 CEST 2005

Jeff Franks schreef:
> Jasper,
> 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.

I think it would be better suited in a separate module. There are a lot 
of things that need to be handled differently, I expect.

I do think a sidebar interface could produce a very easy-to-use desktop 
and I'm really surprised that there aren't any projects seriously trying 
to implement it. An interesting approach, that is rather similar is the 
QNX graphical interface.

Every website in the world has a side bar for easy access of important 
items, so why not a desktop interface?


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