I like an idea of thinking of the dekstop overhaul as creating a graphical console that immediately enables you to do things. We are planning on incorporating such things as a better notification system, an intuitive desktop search, non-hierarchical file browsing, and an integrated IM client as part of the gnome-shell.
I'm glad that i'm not the only one who thinks in that way
We are still experimenting with the overlay/workspaces/taskbar/task switching/tiling ideas. While we tried to hold off on re-introducing the taskbar, it turned out that it was one of the major components lack of which made the gnome-shell unusable. It seems that users like to be able to do rapid task switching back-and-forth, so the taskbar is back in, at least until we find a better solution.
A small premise: as i can remember there have been 3 ways to manage/switch tasks in "history":
- Iconify (windows 3.1, fvwm, etc...)
- docking (wmmaker, macosx)
- taskbar (windows 95 and others)
As i understand, you're not thinking anymore to use only one panel because of taskbar, isn't it?
With the overlay idea going on, i.e. divide applications by context, i believe that iconify would be a nicer solution. It has some drawbacks if implemented like in win3.1 or fvwm:
- the desktop will have a mix of file and iconified windows
- iconified windows will be most of the time covered by active ones.
(* i just got this idea reading your email, maybe it has even more drawbacks than a taskbar *)
A new way could be to extend the use of tray icons to all the applications:
- left click to bring to top (if more windows are present, e.g. 3 browser windows, a menu to chose one)
- right click to access options (if they have)
- we use only a panel ;)
I guess it's all for now, keep the good work ;)
p.s. i apologize for my english, it's not my mother language and i'm not talking/writing since some months