Konstantin Ryabitsev wrote:
Drag-and-drop your most common applications from the menu into your
top panel for one-click access.
This is a nice answer in some cases, but it doesn't always scale.
In a single-panel configuration, I'd rather have the space for window
I put 'sixtyforce' and 'snes' on the dock on my minimac because my
toddler loves mario and bomberman -- I took itunes and other
self-serving stuff off the dock until the day he begged to hear the
latest 'Gorillaz' song and I figured that 99 cents was a good bargain.
The only other graphical apps I run on that machine are 'terminal' and
mozilla, so this system works great for that use case.
Application icons (and the tray) are a part of the problem on
Windows: every time I install a new app, I get new buttons that I
couldn't care less for.
For the machine I'm customizing now, panel launchers aren't an
option at all -- I want to select about 20 different scripts. I don't
know if they'd all fit. These are all scripts that use uxterm, slogin
and sometimes expect, so providing small icons that are visually
distinctive and meaningful would be a big graphic design job. If I made
the panel 60 columns wide, you could write captions under the icons,
but then they wouldn't fit -- I'd either have to make the icons manually
with a graphics editor, or I'd have to write a scheme script to add the
text in the gimp.
On the other hand, the 20 scripts are easily described with words,
and easily organized in a hiearchy, so a pull-down menu is just right.
I'd be happy to have no icon or the same icon for all of them, so
specifying a .desktop file would be a waste of time.
And that's what customization comes down to -- different use cases.
MythTV has a great interface for a media center, but I'd hate to do
software development in that kind of interface. I've got some computers
where I spend a lot of time running a few graphical applications. I've
got other computers that I only run uxterm and emacs on.
I've also got a lot of interest in 'passive' customization systems
-- I love yahoo finance, because it remembers the stocks that I ask
quotes for, so I automatically get a report on the stocks, mutual
funds, and indices that I care about. This would be useless if I was a
professional fund manager, but it's just great for the average person.