Re: Why taskbars are a bad idea to begin with.

On Sun, 3 Jan 1999 wrote:

> Excuse me for my ignorance, what is the distinction between 'window lists'
> and 'taskbar' ?

A window list typically resides on a pop-up menu.  I have mine linked to
clicking the middle button on my root window.  This way it only takes up
screen real estate when its presence is requested.

A taskbar is an applet that displays the windows in a portion of the
screen.  Typically, they take up screen real estate constantly, but with
autohide features that is not always the case.

Another difference between the two, but not a consistant difference, is
how they handle multi-window applications (eg. Gimp).  Most window lists
list each window of the application separately.  Many taskbars will
combine the windows into one entry for the application.

> Also, can someone clarify the meaning of 'workspaces' for me. Some here
> seem to think it's just a fancy way of describing virtual desktops. While
> others are referring to it as a television channel analogy (i have not a
> clue what this infers.) I thought it was the former, but what the hell do i
> know?

When GUI designers go beyond the physical screen boundaries, they have to
call the features something, but there is no standard for what they call
them.  The meanings of the terms depend on what window manager you are
talking about.  For example, in FVWM you have both desktops and screens.
You get multiple desktops (i.e. separate working areas), each of which can
be many screens large.

I would say that, for the most part, the terms "workspaces" and "desktops"
are interchangable, as long as you keep in mind that whatever they are
called, there are many different paradigms for travelling between them,
and that some people will try to use the terms to distinguish between
these paradigms.  In other words, if you see someone distinguishing
between "workspaces" and/or "desktops" and/or "pages" and/or "screens",
make sure you clarify what they mean by the distinction.


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