the next step on the desktop

todd rme toddrme2178 at
Thu Feb 3 17:08:18 CET 2011

On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 3:46 AM, Ivan Cukic <ivan.cukic at> wrote:
> 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
> sentence)

That doesn't seem to be a problem with the add widgets dialog, or with
the default Dolphin icons view, either..  I think it is fine if they
are clearly separated visually.  These aren't big blocks of text, they
are clearly separated combinations if cons and text.

> 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.

That is partly the point, I am trying somewhat to discourage use of
the application launcher in favor of favorites and krunner.  Most
people should very rarely need to use the application launcher.  Those
who do need to use it a lot can use the kickoff-style one, which will
not be removed.  The same problem is true for the S&L containment, I
might add.

> 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)

That assumes that you use the whole height of the screen for the
vertical menu, but do you?  Certainly not be default.  I think it
would end up being pretty similar since this uses the whole horizontal

> 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?

That assumes you only use it for launching applications.  This would
not be the case.  It would be used for krunner, for instance.  I have
lots of trouble with krunner's calculator and dictionary runners since
they often cover what I am trying to calculate or define.  It would be
used for contacts, for activities, for a wide variety of things that
you wouldn't want to cover your work.  It may be slightly less
convenient for launching applications, but I think it has a lot of
benefits for other tasks.

If you are solely concerned with issue with lunching applications, you
could make it so that clicking one of the application folders brings
up a vertical menu that you can then use to navigate that folder.
Whether it displays a menu or replace the current horizontal view
could be up to the individual thing being displayed, since while I
agree some things are better displayed vertically, while others are
better displayed horizontally.

> 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.

This is a problem with any grouped task manager.  The default task
manager has the same problem when grouping is enabled (which it is by
default).  In an earlier email I explained this in the benefits and
drawbacks of dock-style task manager.

> 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

True, which is why I am proposing putting more focus on favorite
applications and krunner, putting both of those right in the panel.  I
think accessing those without having to bring up the application
launcher would be much faster.


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