New panel layout for GNOME 2.18?

Will Novell's new 'slab'[1] menu be included in GNOME 2.18, maybe as the default option?

I know the many providers of GNOME have a different target user, and each provides a different panel setup for them. However, I think it would be the best for the GNOME project if that default was as close as possible to the upstream version. Right now both Sun and Novell use a 1-panel layout, while Red Hat and Ubuntu use something that is closer to the default 2-panel layout, but with modifications. In a perfect world, these 4[2] would make little or no modification to the default panel setup. Maybe it's time to discuss if we can achieve that?

The current layout first appeared in Ximian GNOME Desktop, and I don't think it ever went through any usability testing until years later, when the same Ximian (well, Novell) did some. Below was posted by Alan Horkan on usability@ on May:

Linux Format magazine June 2006 (LXF80) reported on comments Nat
Friedman[1] made in Paris:
... we developed an extension to Gnome that put a bar at the top, which
looked a little like Macintosh.  In our usability tests that we did last
year we discovered that the bar was a really bad idea.  It was confusing
to Windows users who were used to having just one bar at the bottom, and
confusing to Macintosh users who ere used to having one bar at the top and
it behaving completely differently.  So we'd written this thing that was
confusing to everyone, and hundreds of [usability test] videos later we
said, "Let's not do that!"

I'd be great if Novell people could report more of their experiences on this.

IMO the GNOME default panel layout should:

1) try to not confuse Windows and Mac OS users;

2) be different enough from the two systems mentioned above, ie. have an identity;

3) if possible, consider the major GNOME distributors so they'll use something as close as possible to the new default.

Thanks for reading. :D

[1] the code is in GNOME cvs, 'slab' module.
[2] as well as other vendors that ship GNOME, but do fewer changes.

Insta-le já o Windows Live Messenger. A nova geração do messenger.

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