“If you run KDE, you aren’t just stuck with the standard ‘kicker’ panel to operate as your app launcher and taskbar. There are a bunch of nice panel replacements that will spice up your desktop nicely. The ones that I’ve used and tested are kooldock, kxdocker and kiba-dock. So, what do these docks do, and what’s cool about them?”
Review: Dockers for Linux
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2007-03-15 7:08 pmSphinx
Me too, imagined some penguin sized cargo pockets.
2007-03-15 9:19 pmbutters
Kenmore refrigerators will now feature an interactive KMenu and a easy-access KIceTray.
2007-03-16 1:23 pmsbergman27
Kenmore refrigerators will now feature an interactive KMenu and a easy-access KIceTray.
It’s not a Kenmore, and there is no info on the OS on this page, but:
I recall there being, a few years ago, a 333MHz Pentium II based Internet Refrigerator with 128MB of RAM that came with Linux pre-installed.
Once our Konsumables start coming with RFID tags, I could see these things doing inventory control, ordering in Kabbage, Korn, and Krumpets at the appropriate times.
You’ll have to write the KiceTray application yourself, though.
Edited 2007-03-16 13:25
Three OS X ripoffs, and the OS X taskbar isn’t even that good. And they weren’t even subtle about it. Sure they add some cool (but seemingly useless) effects, but so what. Non of them seemed to be trying to do anything new or useful and non of them seemed to do anything to improve usability.
From a technical point of view they’re all impressive bits of coding, but non of them offered anything which made me want to actually try them.
2007-03-15 5:12 pmbutters
I’ve personally never seen a dock that has an integrated physics engine for managing the icons, so that counts as new, or at least new for me. Useful? With a bit more friction and/or gravity than in the movie, I could definitely see this as a very intuitive way of managing your dock icons.
Maybe it’s not useful, but it’s definitely not “ho hum,” and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. If you have some better ideas, I encourage you to share them with these projects. Usability is a very personal thing, and you never know where the insights are going to come from. At one point in time, overlapping windows was a new concept that many people thought would be too confusing and not very useful.
2007-03-15 6:26 pmdagw
The physics engine falls under the technically very impressive I spoke about.
As for the fact that you never know where insights are going to come from. I totally agree with you and have advocated this several times. And that’s exactly why I’m disappointed by three OS X clones. Try something totally new and different and you’ll have my full support even if it doesn’t work perfectly at once.
2007-03-15 6:42 pmmerkoth
Well, start coding your own OS then… there are really few things that one can consider “totally new” these days…
IMHO, taking good ideas from other systems isn’t bad. I don’t find any kind of docker really useful, but that shouldn’t prevent any GNU/Linux user to enjoy the same features that any OSX user.
BTW, you can find a docker far away in the UI history, NeXT and, therefore, WindowMaker are good examples. Not so OSX, it seems.
2007-03-15 7:11 pmdagw
Why do I have to write a whole new OS just because I don’t like the direction these KDE dockers are taking? That doesn’t really make sense.
I’m not against the concept of dockers, I just think they can be done better than OS X does them and was disappointed to see all three new KDE docks copying it more or less slavishly. I was just hoping for something really cool and was let down, that is all.
I actually used to work for a company that used NeXT as its workstation OS. On the whole I consider it one of the best UIs I’ve ever used (even though the OS itself wasn’t that impressive). In many ways better than both WindowMaker and OSX.
2007-03-16 1:09 amtyrione
I worked for NeXT. The OS was impressive. What we didn’t do was continue to advance the kernel and filesystem after 1994. By 1996 we were a WebObjects company.
The BSD core was custom and OS X is no different other than to draw from versions of BSD and its own additions.
What matters most to a company is the Useability and Apps/Tools available to get their work processes done.
2007-03-16 8:21 amDuffman
I’ve personally never seen a dock that has an integrated physics engine for managing the icons, so that counts as new, or at least new for me.
Good, a rip the Mac OS X dock and add one minor feature to it. And that 6 years after Apple release Mac OS X with the original dock.
I think that in 6 years, you should have the genious effect… Linux is really the engine of innovation.
2007-03-15 7:47 pmIsolationist
I agree that they are OS X ripoffs, but I would add that this type of functionality offers no value over the existing kicker. I find the zooming of the icons really annoying, and I am not sure the reasoning behind it other than eye candy. When I go to click on an icon I prefer it to keep still.
2007-03-15 8:38 pmstestagg
Why is it that every time something new is shown on OSNews, someone always feels the need to proclaim that they ‘don’t want to try it’, or similar.
If you don’t think that you’ll appreciate something, don’t try it. But you don’t have to broadcast this fact to the world.
Some people like the OSX docker. and for those people, these projects are good. The fact that you don’t like the OSX docker is largely irrelevant here.
Shouldn’t that be, “Dockers for KDE”, would not expect anything Linux specific. Some wonder why people have such a hard time separating the OS from the desktop…
2007-03-15 8:02 pmSchmeggma
kiba-dock is dependant on Gnome. Which is a shame because as a Gentoo & KDE user, I don’t want to compile Gnome just to try it.
2007-03-15 8:33 pmstestagg
2007-03-15 8:53 pmdumbkiwi
kiba-dock is not kde specific. People in the know don’t have trouble separating the two. However, using the term “linux” gives readers a good idea of where this article fits in the OS “spectrum”.
2007-03-16 4:36 amSoulbender
“However, using the term “linux” gives readers a good idea of where this article fits in the OS “spectrum”.”
“Dockers for GNOME and KDE” would have been a much better and more accurate title.
is there anything like gimmie for KDE, which really extends the dock concept?
it’d be nice if gimmie had some compositey eye candy but I’ll take function before form (reason i’m currently on gimme + metacity rather than avant-window-navigator + beryl…)
also, kiba-dock was clearly written by a Naruto fan.
The fact that kiba-dock has it’s own physics engine is pretty rad. What would be more interesting is if kiba-dock took into account the icons actual weight. And by “weight” i mean program size. I don’t see why a Firefox icon would bounce as hgh as say a kedit icon. Firefox is fat. Be rad if kiba-dock sized up the icons program size and incorporated that into the physics. I’d love to see Firefox icon actually stretch as i pull it away from the dock, almost straining to lift it.
2007-03-16 1:08 amshiny
I’d love to see Firefox icon actually stretch as i pull it away from the dock, almost straining to lift it.
Then whats the purpose of an OO.o icon if you can’t move it?
Some of these ‘dockers’ certainly look very nice, adding cool cosmetic features that even the Mac OS X Dock lacks. However, it isn’t the Dock’s eye candy that makes it an efficient tool. Along with its versatility, and the elegant way it combines with Mac features (like the ability to hide apps), the best thing about the Dock is its consistency.
With the Dock in Mac OS X you know what will happen when you click on an icon, drag and drop to it, or access its menus. You click on a running application icon to bring all its windows to the front, select individual open windows from its menu, drag a document to an app icon to load it, etc. I’m sure someone can find an exception, but for the most part the Dock is wonderfully predictable.
The same isn’t true of the Dock clones for other platforms. No matter how closely they copy the aesthetics of the Mac OS X Dock, the running apps themselves prevent important features from being implemented, and add inconsistent window management behaviour.
If non-Mac users are judging the Mac OS X Dock based on the clones available for Windows/Linux, it wouldn’t surprise me if they viewed it as all style and no substance. When the novelty value of their fancy effects wears off, the dock clones I’ve tried offer vastly inferior usability.
Personally I think that the Mac OS X Dock is excellent, easily better than any other taskbar/dock I’ve used, including the NeXTSTEP Dock and RISC OS Iconbar. Yet I wouldn’t bother using any of those Linux Dock clones, or similar utilities available for Windows. They’re missing too much of what makes the OS X Dock great to really offer much over the various other taskbars and panels. After using the real thing, extra eye candy just isn’t enough to make up for all the lost functionality.
But why was that movie on kiba-docker so long? Sure it was cool, but i guess the docker really didn’t do all that wabbling, and spinning and stuff, even if it was developed with xgl/aiglx in mind?
I thought maybe Sears was copying Dell and starting to get involved with Linux. They would have to have extra pockets in the front for my flash drives. ;}