Re: The relationship between Desktop and Panel

> Do you agree with me that icons on the desktop aren't exactly the most
> efficient way to do things?  If so, how do YOU suggest we make it
> self-documenting that there are easier things to do than put the icon on the
> desktop?

I don't have an opinion yet about how we should do the GNOME
desktop, although I think it would be nice to have an easy way to
separate the icon-bearing desktop from the rest of the screen. 
Assuming we allow permanent icons on the desktop in the first
place.  Maybe a splitter bar, or collapsable side-panel
("blotter"?) with configurable tabs for different groupings of
desktop icons.  Something that would make it easy to sweep the
mess away temporarily (or vice versa).  I definitely think we
shouldn't put icons all over the desktop.

Probably the best way to handle this is to give users _some_ sort
of visual space, to play with their favorite icons & links,
similar in function to the windows desktop, yet (and here's the
twist) not, nor ever (??) on the root window itself.  So the
floating desktop (or blotter or whatever) is a separate
(themable) application that provides a configurable space for
users to put all their junk.  It can be shrunken, minimized, or
closed.  It can have tabs to switch through different categories
of junk, or perhaps a more complex tree hierarchy.  If you don't
want the clutter, don't install it.

Another benefit is that you only have a single menu entry on the
panel, which you would rarely need if you use session management.

This blotter app could also be linked (both ways) to the panel
through CORBA.  Thus, you could drag menu items (or complete
drawers?...) from the panel to the blotter.  Inside the themable
blotter, you could, for example, change the way the drawers open
(to the side, or with different graphics, etc.), while still
maintaining the same dynamic menu as the original panel drawer. 
You'd also want to be able to drag icons from the blotter back to
the panel.  And eventually embed applets in the blotter, too? 
Hmmmm, don't want to duplicate tooooo much functionality (still
brainstorming, so forgive any toe-tromping).  

How far we would go depends on how far we want the panel to go,
and it's ultimate primary purpose in GNOME.  I think the panel
should always be at the center of things, with the blotter as a
prettier extension for the desktop.

Anyway, how's that for a start?


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