Vertical taskbars on MATE

Liam Proven lproven at
Tue Aug 7 10:26:09 UTC 2018

On Sun, 5 Aug 2018 at 02:09, Little Girl <littlergirl at> wrote:

> >BeOS? It's an OS not a desktop.
> I should have guessed from the name.
> >No it is not context-menu driven. It's sort of a hybrid of classic
> >MacOS and Windows 95.
> Ah, okay. I'll have to give that a try. I've had very limited
> exposure (pretty well look, but don't touch) to MacOS many years go,
> so it might be interesting to explore.

BeOS was a proprietary commercial OS and the company sadly failed
about 15-20 years ago.

There was a freeware eval edition of BeOS 5, and you could run that under a VM.

There is a modern FOSS successor OS called Haiku. That runs better on
modern hardware, but it is unfinished, as yet only poorly-optimised,
and is not ready for prime-time yet.

BeOS, OTOH, was quite mature. It is the fastest OS on x86 I have ever
seen. It would cold-boot from POST to desktop in about 5 seconds on a
spinning hard disk, on a Pentium 200MHz with 128MB of RAM. It was
deeply mutltithreaded and ran superbly on multiprocessor machines. It
could spin a software-rendered OpenGL cube in real time, with a
different MP4 movie on each face of the cube, playing smoothly. All on
a single P200.

Linux is an appalling sluggish bloated mess by comparison -- and I am
talking about Linux in 2000, not now. Now it's 20x bigger and slower.

I don't like Linux -- or Unix -- much. I only use it because it's
better than the alternatives.

> That's why there are different styles and approaches to desktop
> and operating system design. There's a little something for everyone.

True, but it means developer effort is spread over multiple desktops
and so wasted.

Once, there were basically 2 desktop-model UIs for FOSS Unix: GNOME and KDE.

If you wanted GPL all the way down and preferred C, you worked on GNOME.
If you wanted a more mature, rich GUI toolkit and didn't mind that it
was proprietary freeware, and preferred C++, you worked on KDE.

Both advanced a lot.

Now, we have dozens that duplicate each other, and development is slow.

If all desktops were truly modular and component-based, we could
mix-and-match whatever we wanted.

The current situation is very bad, and getting worse.

Budgie, for example, was clearly developed by a team who did not look
at other desktops properly. There's nothing Budgie offers or does that
other desktops can't. LXDE and Xfce can both reproduce something

> I might be getting it mixed up with LXDE.

LXDE has a normal desktop too, with files, folders, symlinks, trash, etc.

Crunchbang didn't. GNOME 3 doesn't in recent versions. All other
desktop model desktops that I can think of do; that is why they are
called desktops.

> It's sounding more and more like I got it mixed up with LXDE.

Nope. Something else, maybe.

> I'll
> end up grabbing a fresh copy of it to see what I think of it now.
> It's been a few years since I tried it.
> >It's GNOME 3 that had already removed it.
> Ah, my experience with it was prior to GNOME 3.

Recent versions of GNOME are the only common desktop that do not
support desktop icons.

Elementary? Enlightenment? I don't know if they do, I have only played
with them.

> >I prefer my trash on the desktop but it's not important to me.
> Yep. That's another of those things that matter to some of us and not
> to some of you. Then there are things that matter to some of you and
> not to some of us. We're each a collection of opinions when it comes
> to our computers.


> I know very few people who don't care at all what kind of desktop or
> operating system they use and don't mind the different interfaces or
> approaches. In fact, I've only ever met one person who claims that
> that's completely irrelevant to him since they all achieve pretty
> much the same thing. I'm the opposite. I like things just so.

Fair enough.

I try to be flexible and there are lots of looks-and-feels I find comfortable.

GNOME 3 and KDE  both just annoy me, though. They implement part of a
system; KDE then just fails the rest because they didn't think of it,
whereas GNOME is attempting to remove it, because its devs don't use
things so they think nobody needs them.

> I have to say, though, that I hadn't ever explored the use of a
> vertical taskbar, and with these wide screen monitors, we all have
> more screen real estate than we need, so I may explore adding one
> without taking away the one on the bottom.

Happiness and space efficiency lies in having _only_ a vertical one,
and getting all the space back. A hybrid solution is no solution
because you still lose the space.

Stick an eval copy of Win10 in a VM -- it runs fine on VBox, you don't
need to activate it or anything. ISOs are free from

Windows still does it better than anything. Get a feel for it by
playing around in Windows, then try the Xfce implementation.

I am not saying there is anything _wrong_ with horizontal panels, or
that multiple ones, like Ralf uses, is bad or wrong. Whatever floats
your boat.

All I am saying is this: if your vertical panel implementation works
right, then you don't need anything more. You don't need vertical text
or anything tricksy like that, you just need a working, solid
implementation. All the elements of the Windows desktop model --
taskbar, notification tray, clock, app switcher, start menu,
everything -- all of them were designed and planned to work in
vertical orientation when the first version of Win95 shipped in 1995.

It's just that most Linux desktops copy this model _badly_ and don't
implement necessary functionality. The developers took only a casual
look and copied only the surface appearance, and not how it actually
*works*. So they don't even know that the functionality is missing.

When it works, it's easy, natural, and efficient.

When it is implemented poorly -- e.g. in Xfce -- it works; or if it is
not properly implemented, it is partially achievable but it takes more
effort and does not function right -- e.g. KDE.

When it's not implemented at all, or without thought and
consideration, it doesn't work. E.g. GNOME 2/Maté, Cinnamon.

Liam Proven - Profile:
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