LXPanel 0.5.3 was released today. We are working toward alleviating the discomfort that some users feel with vertical panels as they exist in 0.5.x for use on smaller screens. Please feel free to discuss further.
A serious flaw that prevented vertical panels from honoring their configured size was corrected. With this fixed it is possible to configure a vertical panel as small as 16 pixels. We regret that this was not discovered sooner.
Desktop number plugin
A new feature in the desktop number plugin allows you to use just the number rather than the full desktop name as reported by the window manager. This allows the text to fit in a width of 16 pixels.
Digital clock plugin
A new feature allows you to have the clock be represented only by an icon, and access the time by hovering over it to see the tooltip. This makes the minimum size of the clock 16×16 pixels. You can also use the \n feature in the clock format string, introduced in 0.5.0, to stack the time vertically as you see fit.
Another important correction solves an issue where menu icons that derive from the current GTK theme were lost.
If you choose you can configure the taskbar as “icons only, tooltips” and access the window title by hovering over it to see the tooltip. I am skeptical that returning to the “text sideways” mode is helpful for the taskbar since this uses a considerable amount of height, which is also in short supply on small screens.
Window Command plugin
The previous behavior that alternately performed iconify/shade and raise has returned as a configurable option.