The way I normally use my Gnome(s) on PCs with lower resolution monitors is by having a single panel at the bottom of the screen, 32pix height. It seems like a good compromise for old PCs with monitors that can’t do more than 800×600 or 1024×768. Stacking applets together though can be an exercise to the eye to try to quickly seperate them visually.Hence, I ask with this article for developers to create a panel applet that is nothing but a seperator. There is plenty of similar source code about it (it will be a matter of simply striping code out of existing applets) and it shouldn’t need more than a few hours to code (maybe even less than that). The first person who will come up with it, will get an OSNews subscription as a token of my appreciation.
So, here is how my gnome panel looks right now on a 800×600 screen (click for larger views):
Here is how I would like it to look if there was such a “AppletSeperator” panel applet:
Not everyone needs such a distinct visual element to seperate different “objects”, but I surely need to. I just don’t like having the gnome menu next to icons looking like they are all doing the same thing, because they aren’t (I have the same problem with Fedora’s panel too, icons next to the menu look the same as the menu icon — the little arrow doesn’t help much while Quick-Lounge that does have a seperator takes too much memory for what it does (9 MBs)).
So, basically, this is the little object/widget that needs to be created (when using the “Default/Raleigh” theme):
And here is how the same widget looks on Fedora:
This same element can be found on the source code of either the notification-area or the taskbar. It seems that the particular widget I am asking for to be used as a seperator is part of the gnome API (’cause it changes its looks when another theme is used), so it should be very easy to “call it”.
Here’s some guidelines of what’s acceptable btw:
1. It should be written in C and to be compatible with at least Gnome 2.6.x (no bindings please).
2. It should not have any additional pixels around it that create “dead space”.
3. It should sport the normal context menu of applets, e.g. “About”, “Lock”, “remove”, “move” etc.
4. It should allow more than one instance of itself to load.
5. After it’s done, just post it at GnomeFiles.org so more Gnome users can take advantage of it (would also be useful to many if it was to be added at the normal Gnome distribution too, but that’s up to the maintainers).
That’s it. If you have already have some Gnome/GTK+ C experience, it should be a cake to code this little applet. After you do so, email it to me for some quick testing, and you will get an OSNews subscription (a value of $20 USD) which is a faster-loading version (sample) of OSNews without ads.