Masking a panel applet

I am working on a panel applet, and would like it to be "shaped", with
areas of transparency on the applet that show through to the panel.  As
it stands, I cannot avoid having a grey rectangle (the theme's bgcolor)
instead of the black panel (custom color) showing through.

I have tried gtk_widget_shape_combine_mask() on the top level applet
widget, but while this masks the applet as advertised (I can see things
cut off when the mask is applied), the grey rectangle still remains.

Is there another widget on the panel beneath the applet_widget?  If
so, is there any possible way to get to it in order to apply the mask? 
Is making a transparent applet even possible?


Dave Camp             Student, Oregon Institute of Technology    (541) 885-0261  "Machines have no conscience" - Queensryche

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