Window List Confused About Sizes

Why oh why does the window list applet on the task bar keep changing
the size of the boxes it lists to indicate which apps are open?

First, can somebody clue me in on the terminology here?  We have the
task bar, at the bottom of the screen by default.  I've got a "show
desktop" button on the far left, and a "workspace switcher" on the far
right.  In between I have a "window list" area.  The window list area
shows rectangular boxes that represent all the windows open (in this
"workspace").  What do I call those rectangular representations?

Second, when I open and close windows, or when the title of a window
changes, those damned boxes change size.  I've seen one stretch all
the way across the entire window list area; I've seen several packed
into two inches of space.  There's no logic to it, I don't even think
it's changing to fit the title.  I have one window open now, Mozilla,
and the length of the rectangular representation is a hair under twice
the length of the title.  Yet when I open up a gnome-terminal that
area is split in half.  Half is given to Mozilla, and half to
gnome-terminal.  The half given to Mozilla isn't long enough, now, to
display the whole title, yet I still have half of the total window
list area's worth of space to use!!

How do I make it stop?  I probably don't care about whatever rationale
was put into making it do this, if there was one.  I just want my
window buttons to stay the same size all the time.


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