panel applet from shell

I'm working on a very simple gnome2 panel applet, and am having lots of
difficulty. I basically have two questions.

First, is there a way to launch an applet from a shell? Everytime I try,
the process runs, but never does anything useful. I've tried different
args like --oaf-private and --sm-disable with no affect. I thought it
might be having difficulty with the orb since other applets running seem
to have a file descriptor to work with. That's why I thougt the
--oaf-private may have some affect. The --sm-disable was pretty much in

Second, I installed both a .server file under "/usr/lib/bonobo/servers",
and a .xml under /usr/share/gnome-2.0/ui/, and I still don't have an
entry to launch my applet from the context menu by right-clicking the
panel. I have both a panel:category, and panel:icon element in the
server file. Is there a way to turn some tpe of debugging on for the
panel to why there's no entry? 

I'm using redhat9, with all stock libs.


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