Re: Applets? [was Re: Planning for GNOME 3.0]

Milan Bouchet-Valat wrote:
> While I agree your proposal would be a great enhancement for most
> applications that abuse of the notification area (e.g. music players), I
> don't think that could  fully replace applets. Applets like timerapplet
> or sticky notes are different from standard applications in the sense
> that you don't work with them as a full task, but only keep them in the
> background to be easily accessible, while you actually use them for a
> very short period.
> The point with them is that the ratio (time running)/(time use) is very
> low compared with e.g. a text processor. Thus, you need them not to take
> too much space on the screen, not even, as you suggested, stacked in a
> corner by the window manager. I'd argue that the best place to put them
> is on a separate layer à la dashboard (Apple), or directly on the
> desktop. This layer could be accessed with a button in the top panel,
> somewhere or in the overlay. Many "widgets" of this kind exist, see
> Screenlets, Superkaramba, or Google gadgets, or Plasmoids. A simple way
> of reintroducing applets in a "correct" way would be to support e.g.
> Screenlets in an overlay: replacements for Tomboy already exist in that
> framework, which is AFAIK compatible with other widget formats.
> At least, that's really how I consider we could get rid of the clutter
> on the main screen, which is distracting us with icons we don't need to
> be always visible.

I like the proposed solution that the panel launchers would somehow become a dock.

e.g. for Tomboy or Hamster Applet, you have the icon launcher. If you click on
it, the app is opened. If you click on it again, it's closed. That could be
achieved with single-instance applications (libunique), for example (when you
try to launch it again, the instance is closed). For many cases, I can imagine
such a workflow would be fine. It wouldn't solve all of them though, for example
you don't want system-monitor to be a launcher, but rather to see the system
activity IRL.

Another benefit of this is that a) your applet doesn't need to be started up on
login, and b) you don't have it running everytime. Of course, you need it to be
quick to start up. But if it doesn't for such small applications, it's a big
fail IMHO.

Best regards,

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