Panel/Session Deja Vu

I have a question about using the session manager to call the panel.

It seems that the SM maintains different panel configurations in the
~/.gnome/panel.d directory. While this seems powerful at first glance,
I am beginning to wonder why this would be done...perhaps for
cuncurrent logins by the same person on different terminals ?

My problem is this: 

If strange things happen to the the gnome-session configuration,say
due to a crash for instance, the panel starts with a different
configuration the next time.  Currently, 5 different configs have
collected in my panel.d directory.  Sometimes it starts with the
"out-of-the-box" edge panel, other times it corresponds to the
"default" directory with settings I was using a month ago.  It seems
the "default" is used outside of the session manager, which is how I
originally set up my panel.

Given Gnome's philosophy of having independently useful tools, I find
it somewhat irksome that the setup is so sensitive to how I start the
panel.  My fix now is to go in and manually edit the "session" file to
point it at the correct panel config again.  I'm not about to complain
that this is difficult , but it seems like the new/average user will
lose faith quickly when their custom panel setup disappears/re-appears
or is otherwise altered without their consent.

Can someone enlighten me here ?

 Matt Martin

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