Gnome panel locking

I just joined the mailing list, and I have a suggestion for Gnome's
panel application.

Currently (Ubuntu Feisty Fawn, Gnome 2.18), the way "object locking"
works is you right click an object in the panel, and tick the "Lock to
panel" option to lock or unlock an object. If you only have a few
objects in your panel, that is fine, as you probably only want to
arrange one of the objects at any given time. However, if you want to
use more objects in your panel, like a few icons of your favourite
applications, a search applet, or a system monitor, things get a bit

Let's say the user installs a couple of new games, and he wants them
available-for-play right in the panel. So he creates a few new icons,
and they pop up to the right of his other, currently-locked icons. The
user does not like them there, and wants to move them to the left of
those icons. Unfortunately for him, he has to unlock all those
currently-locked icons to be able to move his new icons to the correct
place. So he right-clicks each of the old icons, and locks them. Now,
it would not be very wise to have them unlocked, so he locks them all
by right-clicking them and pressing "Lock to panel", once, twice,
thrice, ...

But what if the user only wants to move one item? Right now, it is a
one-click operation, assuming the user does not want to lock it after
it has been moved, and assuming the user does not want to move the
icon past a locked item - which most of the time means the icon is not
moved at all unless others are unlocked. The one-click operation
becomes a two-click operation, and then the user realizes that it
would not be a very good idea to have an item unlocked, so the user
locks his icon and it becomes a three-click operation. Of course,
using the same logic, the user would now have to lock the by-passed
objects, and so the operation becomes a four- or five-click operation.

Situations like those can easily create many unnecessary clicks for
the user, and they could have easily been avoided by using a system
consisting of only two clicks: "Unlock panel", and "Lock panel". It
may seem a simple solution to be able to lock every object one-by-one,
but it is many times troublesome, and it is never more effective than
a simple "universal" lock system.

Examples of seemingly more advanced, but in truth more simple, systems
can be seen no farther than in KDE, and as far away as in Microsoft
Windows. Both of those implementations differ from each other,
however; Microsoft goes for the restricted type of thing - not
allowing people to move the start button for instance - and KDE, as
always, chooses the most feature-full way, throwing in a grouping
system as well, letting you move all the icons in one move, for

GNOME does not need any of those "extra features", but it has to
realize the functional superiority of a "universal" lock system.

Fredrik Stagling

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