Re: adding dead space to floating panels

On Sat, Jan 18, 2003 at 01:02:24PM -0500, Dave Bordoley wrote:
> Many panel applets really should be included in the system notification
> area, these include
> 1. The clock
> 2. Wireless link monitor
> 3. Modem lights (really should just be the equivalent of a minimized
> dial-up connection window imho)
> 4. Volume control
> 5. Battery monitor
> and i'm sure others as well fall into this category. There is precedent
> for this in both windows and on the mac.
> This post on the usability list covers this topic fairly well:

I think this is wrong for several of the applets you and Gregory
mention. My view is that nothing in the notification area should
really be more than an icon; you click the icon and it should open
more details on whatever status the icon indicates. If the
notification is urgent or requires attention, we should do the bubble
balloon like Windows XP, or maybe just use a dialog. We should also
have UI to hide certain icons, disable balloons, and smarten up the
notification area so items can be reordered and their order gets

We should not start moving all the applets to the notification area;
it's a *notification area* where you get notified of events. Applets
are pluggable desktop features, such as a window list (or IMO the
clock and volume controls). Stuff does not belong in the notification
area if you have to interact with it in any more complex way than
clicking on it once.  Stuff similarly doesn't belong there if you
might want two of the item, or might care which panel contained the
item, or anything like that. Because notification icons will come and
go on their own.

Anyway, I think the system tray in Windows 95 was busted and sucked
because it was not clear about its purpose and was just a general
dumping ground; in Windows XP it's clearly for notification, has
features such as the balloons that make it work for that, and there
are separate applet-type thingies that are used for extending the
taskbar in non-notification ways. The volume control and clock are not
in the notification area anymore.
The basic point is to be able to do unobtrusive notification - make
status available for the user to see if they're looking, but not
interrupt their flow if they are currently doing something else.

I agree with most of the rest of your post, but you left out a key
item - admins need to be able to lock down all or part of the panel,
which effectively conceals its "collection of applets" nature and
makes it seem like a fixed unified object.

It definitely seems that one of the big improvements we could make is
to get nautilus and panel to seem like more of a coherent whole, so a
"launcher" in either place is the same type of thing.


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