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#1 2013-04-23 20:02:22

Djerun
Member
Registered: 2013-04-23
Posts: 3

how to recreate this without making a mess

this is how the right border of my screen looks like on windows 7:

http://s12.postimg.org/tjaxo2ykr/taskbar.png
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/167 … askbar.png


I'm trying to recreate it in xfce on but so far I can only get it to "work" using four panels (outlined by the red lines - yet the window buttons don't want to behave without having to show their names) which causes the panel housing the two six-element quick launchers and the desktop buttons to free float which causes nonsense whenever the resolution changes.

I tried using the deskbar from 4.10 hoping to be able to use vertical seperators or something similar but that doesn't seem to exist (I imagined it to behave like a single element i the panel which contained two free configurable panels while being able to specify the width of the left one with the right one taking up the remaining space).

If anyone knows a way to get such vertical seperators or another way to solve it I could finally get away from windows as main os without feeling uncompfortable. I also tried just about every other desktop environment I could find but with xfce I came closest to what I wanted to achieve. (When I started fiddeling around with this I expected those desktop managers to be actually customizable and not stuffed with useless features but lacking the essential parts)

Last edited by Djerun (2013-04-25 07:12:56)

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#2 2013-04-24 20:51:54

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 248

Re: how to recreate this without making a mess

I do not see your picture. Are you seeing it when you look at your post?

Regards,
MDM

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#3 2013-04-25 07:14:00

Djerun
Member
Registered: 2013-04-23
Posts: 3

Re: how to recreate this without making a mess

seems the image tag wouldn't want to work anymore changed it to url and added a copy on dropbox

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#4 2013-04-25 19:18:45

andrzejr
Member
Registered: 2012-04-06
Posts: 47

Re: how to recreate this without making a mess

This configuration (sub-panels, large window buttons) is not supported. As you said, you can try to mimic it using 4 panels but that's a kludge.

Out of curiosity, what do you like in this panel layout?

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#5 2013-04-25 21:16:42

Djerun
Member
Registered: 2013-04-23
Posts: 3

Re: how to recreate this without making a mess

well first I like to have only one panel with everything in it over having stuff everywhere (I especially hate desktop icons)

I like the panel on the side because on the bottom it's taking up way too much of my screen and I prefer my clock at the bottom right so that's why it's on the right side

to properly house the clock it needs to be a certain width and through experimentation I discovered that four rows of 16x16 icons is my preferred width

but just having everything under each other feels like such a waste of space that's why I got a 3 row section and a 1 row section. on windows I chose the row with the window buttons to be 3 wide because chaneging the resolution sometimes resets the row containing the window buttons to the maximum width but when experimening with xfce I made the panel the panel holding the window buttons one wide and hold nothing else and used three sets of quicklaunchers for the three sets of shortcuts which I prefer being on the panel over being in some menu I got to open first (I also didn't  like the windows vista/7 menu so I changed it back to the classic one except with a search bar which sadly seems to be missing in the xfce menu elements)

being able to dock panels to the sides of other panels would be really helpfull to achieve this but I don't know if the current version of xfce allows it (there definetly seem to be more options than the gui shows though I'm a little scared to mess around with config files without  a documentation on how exactly they work even though I'm prototyping this in a vm and ususally searching for proper documentation leads me in a circle from basic faqs with no useful information whatsoever to feature-tours to forum threads without results back to faqs which concludes in me dumping a lot of text where it probably doesn't belong)

basically I really like the feel of having a deskbar on the right with the menu button centered on the top and the notification area and the clock centered at the bottom without wasting space on the middle part (also: is there a way to have window buttons for applications been shown even if the application is closed like in windows or unity? I haven't found one yet)

you might think of the windows system as being non-flexible but for me there's only the resizing issue that's bothering me a little but with the widow buttons on windows behaving more to my liking I'm actually ok with them being three wide there. but with unix desktop environments all claiming to be so flexible I just notice them not being able to fully do what I want, them not being flexible, well truth be told unity and gnome 3 are the worst I've seen so far

EDIT: woh almost lost this to auto-logoff

Last edited by Djerun (2013-04-25 21:17:41)

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#6 2013-04-26 22:32:48

andrzejr
Member
Registered: 2012-04-06
Posts: 47

Re: how to recreate this without making a mess

To me it looks like the Windows taskbar is using space inefficiently. Those wide buttons have only a single icon in the middle and lots of space on the sides - I am not surprised you wanted to put something next to them. But I still don't understand how would that help Xfce panel, which does not have such limitation.

Is there any reason you are using quicklaunchers instead of regular launchers? IMHO they were useful in Xfce <= 4.8 where you couldn't have multiple launchers next to each other.

I am also using Xfce panel (deskbar) on the right side of the screen - if works very well on a laptop with a numeric keypad.

There is a "xfce4-taskbar-plugin", which can "dock" some applications in the panel. I not stable enough for everyday use no my machine. Also, I prefer separate launchers and window buttons - I want to know when I am starting an application and when I am switching to another window. But of course long-time Windows 7 users have a different preference.

Xfce compares well to other desktops, including Windows. It does not mean it has every feature of Windows but you will quickly find it has more functions overall and is more flexible. We do not try to artificially limit the number of configuration options (for HIG, simplicity, or branding reasons) but at some point you have to say "stop" or you will end up with a pile of bloated and unmaintainable code.

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#7 2013-04-26 23:54:42

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 248

Re: how to recreate this without making a mess

True, that. A desktop environment that isn't configurable to the tastes of every person on the planet isn't necessarily "not being flexible." About the only computer that could be configured to suit absolutely everyone is the computer that doesn't have any DE - or even OS - loaded onto it, and that the user codes such things for him/herself.

To me, for example, your picture seems to be hopelessly cluttered and too large (also, sideways). Too many icons, too many icon-areas, too many different sizes, it's got those pesky Microsoft symbols (:wink:), et cetera. If that were the ONLY choice possible, then "nothing" would be my choice. Others - probably including you - would probably have at least as many nits to pick with my choice of one main vertical panel at the top with only a relatively small amount of items and a second vertical panel on the bottom with nothing on it except for the usual "windows buttons" (or whatever you call the thing that provides a representation of the apps/windows that are running) and a button for Mint's "Mate Menu" in the lefthand corner, which I only use to give me a pop-up "favorites list" of my 15 most-used applications (and a search thing) for when my fingers are feeling too lazy to hit the keyboard combination to run them directly.

Choice is good. (Having enough choice to get my desktop the way that I want it - which is somewhat spartan, I suppose - is GREAT (lol).) I do hope that you are able to get your DE looking and functioning the way that you wish it to. I'd suggest that you spend equal time on other things besides the panels before deciding on one (or even several), since that's only one facet of the whole. And there might be ways to help you customize things the way you wish that aren't directly part of Xfce. For example, I'm pretty sure that there are apps that will display a clock anywhere on your desktop (IOW, you can have one that is entirely separate from your panel(s)) that you wish, so you do not necessarily have to structure a panel in a certain way just to get a time display in a certain space. And I think I've read a few times of the existence of some "search apps" that will search various things from your apps, docs, images, media files, emails, the web, et cetera. Unfortunately, I don't know anythng specific because I've not found any use (personally) for search applications - if I'm looking for a document, I'll look in my Documents directory, if I want to search the world wide web, I'll do it in a browser, if I wish to search for an email I'll do it in my email app, and so forth. But these things, although they can be added to the Xfce environment, are not "Xfce" in and of themselves. You might wish to look through Synaptic Package Manager (or whatever your distro's package manager is). Mine shows that I only have 1,916 things installed out of a possible 41,272 items. And I've only added a few sources to the defaults and the optional (upstream, imported, backported, and the so-called "unstable") choices in that default list, so I guess that the majority of those installabe things were there when I installed my distro (which is Mint 14 Xfce 32-bit, BtW; other distros may have more - or less - choices). Now, admittedly, a fair amount of that number are parts-to-the-whole, so to speak, since one app may - and often does - have multiple components that get installed together. But, still, there are a LOT of things in most distros' package managers that can be installed to suit the individual user. And all without having to search around the Internet or compiling things oneself. Additionally, the user can add PPAs (for many distros, others might have a different setup?) which are, near as I can figure, other users' "personally created repositories." I added the Xfce 4.10 and 4.12 ones to have access to newer components. I added a newer one to get a newer version of PokerTH without having to mess with compiling the newest version myself. And I added Compholio's famous PPA to a friend's laptop so that he can use his streaming Netflix account in linux whilst away from his home (he has to work out of town occasionally).

Also, as for your panel possibly taking up too much room, panels in Xfce - and, AfaIK, every other DE - have an "autohide" setting that makes them take up zero desktop space when not being used (okay, it appears that there is a line of a pixel or three thickness on the edges of my screen where the panels appear when used). That may help.

It may well be that not only would one of those search apps do what you are looking for in such a thing, but that you could also add it to your Xfce panel. IDK, but it wouldn't surprise me.

I won't say that the choices are unlimited in linux. But that limit... It's a pretty high one.

I hope you find what you seek in linux, be it with Xfce or with some other DE,
MDM

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