the next step on the desktop

Ivan Cukic ivan.cukic at
Thu Feb 3 09:46:49 CET 2011

Hi all,

Sorry, I forgot to write who wrote which quote...

1 On the horizontal application launchers

While the horizontal format is fine for a few icon-only launchers (quick 
launch, docks etc.), the idea to
> Have it open a horizontal menu that replaces or covers the panel  
> entirely. This menu would show a list of your applications folders, as
> well as
is bad for the following reasons:

1.1. we (RTL and LTR writing humans :) ) are used to read horizontal text 
sequentially - from the beginning to the end, like a single paragraph, not 
to separate it in stacks. With vertically separated items, we can easily 
find the beginning of each one, like multiple paragraphs.
(finding the third parahraph in a page is much easier than finding the third 
1.2. Since the items are horizontal, in order to move the mouse from the 
first item to the last, you need to travel much more than you need to with 
vertical lists.
1.3 Due to the same reason as 1.2, you can fit less items in a row than in 
a column (even when the width of a screen is much bigger than its height)

2. On covering the work

> Like the application launcher, it opens horizontally rather than
> vertically (so it doesn't cover what you are working on)

I actually like the concept behind this, but I fail to see the importance 
of it. If you want to start a new application, it is going to open in 
front of your current work anyway, so why shouldn't the launcher?

3. On the taskbar text

I've used smooth tasks applet which hides the text. While it *looks* 
awesome, it fails when you have multiple windows from the same application 
(Gimp, Inkscape, OOo etc.) - you need to hover the items, to get the text 
and the window thumbnail in order to activate one of them.

4. On 'verticalness' of it all :)

> In any kind of Vertical launch menu (Windows* kde3, Kickoff, Lancelot)
> you have a longer number of step to do before you find whatever you want

This has nothing to do with something being vertical, or horizontal. It is 
about 'popup' launchers. As you can see here:
you can have a vertical (with autohide for example) panel launcher that is 
as accessible as a dock

Cheerio all!

You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you 
stop laughing.
  -- Michael Pritchard

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