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A proper taskbar?

If you could design your own easy-to-use, 'usably appropriate' taskbar, what would you do? As in, which widgets or type of menus would you use and where would you use them??

Long story that should precede question:
I gleefully realised sometime ago that I was free escape from the Microsoft taskbar-paradigm, since I use Gnome. I decided my overdue english essay wasn't THAT important and spent a few minutes redecorating it, thinking I was improving myself somehow.

I just stopped to realise that it's uglier and less comvenient to use: now at the top, the taskbar still sports a clock and a system tray and a menu, albeit at the far right so I can throw my mouse against it. I introduced a drop down list of open processes, a la Mac 'classic' although on the left side. I stuffed the middle section with some commonly used icons, a commandline interpreter and, to get rid of the empty space and your average open-process tab thingy.

Turns out I rarely use the drop-down selector; the 'commonly used icons' are rarely touched because i those 5 programs usually start when i logon anyways; the menu on the far left is rarely used because I use the commandline thingy to execute most programs since I know their commands by heart and it turns out I only use the commandline interpreter because it's slightly more convenient than one of my always present terminal windows.
Needless to say, the now-cramped 'open processes tabs' get clogged whenever I'm doing many things at once.

Any suggestions on how i could improve it?
hiffy Send private email
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Do you realy need a 'task bar'?  you've taken an action bar and made it into a task bar it sounds to me.

Having shortcuts to action things quickly is of most importance when you need to do them repitivly.  wether it's in bar, speach recog, shortcut key or whatever.

For instance, WoW where most actions take only a few seconds, you have dozens of buttons on bars around the edge of the playing area. 

When you can do something new then you have to open a dialog to get to the new action, and you can either run it right there in the dialog, or 'copy' the action out and put it somewhere in the toolbars.  You get to select what is the best set of things you need to do repitivly.

WoW has I think 6 configurable toolbars, a small standard action bar, and a bar for your 'containers'.
You can choose to have the 6 bars stacked, or to spread them around the screen - say having 2 rows of bars at the bottom, 2 on the right side and 2 on the left.

Windows can be used similarly, the start menu is your dialog for finding installed actions, you can then drag them to the quicklaunch bar.  Wouldn't need to see the list of procs running if you where not limited to a single desktop, you'd just change to the desktop you know should have the program running.

when I'm programming, realy I'd like to see a container of linked files showing interactions, and then I'd be clicking on things to do stuff, like right click for opening files for editing, left click drag should be able to refactor functions from one file/class to another.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I kind of like the Windows XP taskbar as it is. But I could think of a few improvements:

1) A standard built-in multiple desktop feature.
2) Ability to reorder taskbar buttons via drag n drop
3) Ability to group windows manually by drag and drop
3.1) Ability to save window groups for reuse
4) Keep the non-task area of the taskbar at the edge of the screen when resizing the taskbar to allow two rows of buttons.
5) Have the taskbar automatically resize to two rows when needed, keeping in mind #4.
6) Ability to switch taskbar buttons to a Mac OS X Dock-like thumbnail view.
Chris Altmann
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I must say i like the idea, i'm looking for a program to do
that. i want an extra taskbar floating around, having the same option, resizable. maybe there's a way put the data from the taskbar into a folder? i'd like to control tasks like files and folders.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
is there a program that can add a floating taskbar?
or maybe just have like "shortcuts" to running tasks
and you could manage these in a folder?
there's a little tweak util that minimizes windows to icons on the desktop but this loses grouping...
geRshon Send private email
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Taskbar Manager is the tool that you want. Download from . It has

1) Ability to reorder taskbar buttons via drag n drop
2) Ability to group windows manually by drag and drop
3) Ability to save window groups for reuse

It works with Window 2000 and Windows XP (with Ungrouping  enabled).

Hope this helps.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

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