Deskbar panel mode
ndrwrdck at googlemail.com
Sat Nov 12 14:39:45 CET 2011
On 12/11/2011 20:39, Matt x wrote:
> The multiple rows idea seems better to me than the current single wide
> stretch-everything-out method.
Good, I'm glad you like it.
Instead of replying each of your questions separately, I want to explain
the design once again (hopefully it will be clearer this time).
1. (panel->nrows property, default 1)
The user can change the number of rows in the panel using a slider in
the panel settings dialog (currently the range is 1 to 8 rows). The
actual row size will then scale with the panel width.
If number of rows in the panel is 1 (the default) then the panel behaves
same as before (minus differences caused by some internal hacks e.g. in
the previous tasklist plugin).
These rows are not strictly enforced. Many plugins still use the full
width of the panel (e.g. workspace switcher, tasklist, applications
menu). They may "voluntarily" take the number of rows into account
internally, to make themselves more visually pleasant (for example, the
icon of the applications menu is never bigger than 2 panel rows,
tasklist makes its button sizes same as the row size).
2. (plugin->small property, default FALSE)
Some plugins are square icon-like objects that are still readable when
scaled down. Because of that, they can be nicely laid out by arranging
them into an array and the panel will take care for their wrapping (e.g.
when the user changes the number of panel rows).
It turns out that many plugins look really good this way (launcher, show
desktop, directory menu...) especially in wide panels. Until now we
could use a quicklauncher plugin to mimic such behavior but that had to
be done manually and when the used changed the panel orientation or its
width all the setup had to be redone.
3. (panel->deskbar_mode property, default FALSE)
A third panel mode:
- vertical (I've never used it, if only for its unorthodox text
orientation, but given its long history I'm not in the position of
removing this feature),
- vertical panel in a deskbar mode (new).
With wide-screen monitors it makes sense to place the panel vertically
but arrange the plugins horizontally and/or in multiple columns (panel
rows). This is very different from the original vertical panel, although
many plugins had workarounds for transposing their contents.
Another problem (besides the orientation of plugins) is the size of
plugins. With a wide deskbar (I'm using maximum of 128px) many "trivial"
plugins become very big and take a lot of vertical screen area. This is
why I worked on (1) and (2) in addition to my main goal (3).
> I personally wouldn't use stretched out (current wide) plugins if I had
> an option not to, but I can see where it could be useful: if a user was
> visually impaired.
Another use case is displaying everything as icons (by disabling labels
in plugins). This is similar to having a Win7 or OSX-like dock. Not that
I like this design but some people might find it useful. Anyway, getting
this is as easy as setting number of rows to 1.
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