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

I'm new to this (having just joined the gnome-shell-list, but I quite
like this suggestion, with one possible addition.  I was wondering
whether all of them could be on a circular strip (think zoetrope which could easily be rotated so
that you can choose and manipulate them as required.  A circular
arrangement would allow you to see all the applets at one time (bar
those on the left and right at any particular time), and pick them

Note: IANAL or an interface designer...


> What if we create a new class of window for applets with these characteristics:
> - Does not appear in the Window list
> - Does not appear in the alt-tab switcher
> - No window borders (they will draw their own content somehow)
> - The Window Manager will have a certain key event that will bring all
> of these class of windows to the foreground until that button is
> pressed again (or each applet could register its own)
> - These windows (or maybe their children?) can be configured to be on
> top of all windows permanently, maybe with a lowered opacity (so you
> can always see f.e. your CPU usage on the system monitor applet)
> - The windows can be positioned anywhere on the screen
> - Ability to toggle temporary visibility in order to inform of events
> (next song playing, network disconnected, etc.) (maybe a good way to
> do notifications in the future?)
> - Would be nice if each app could have a "collapsed" state to further
> minimize screen usage (for people with smaller screens)
> The goals of this design would be:
> - Quick access to any of these applications when you need them;
> already running, just a keypress to activate them / bring to
> foreground
> - Can display more information because they have a larger display area
> - Can be written into any applicable spec so other environments could
> implement these
> - No specific framework required to these applications, just create a
> certain type of window
> - No language constraints; anything that can make a graphical app can
> make one of these
> - Any app could have a "minimize as applet" state (media players would
> like this) which shows just the basic info about them in a small
> footprint
> I personally think that the current state of applets is a little
> limiting. I like the panel well enough, but I feel like applets could
> be displaying more information about their state if they just had a
> little more screen real estate to play with. Since many people have
> very large screens now, why not work on letting the applets take up
> more of it?
> - Martin
> On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 8:10 AM, Emilio Pozuelo Monfort
> <pochu ubuntu com> wrote:
> > 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,
> > Emilio
> >
> >
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> > desktop-devel-list gnome org
> >
> >
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