Tag Archives: taskbar

LXPanel 0.5.0

LXPanel 0.5.0 is being readied for release.  Here is a preview of the new and changed features.

General

Optional automatic hiding of the panel when it is not being actively accessed is now supported.  It is configured on Panel Settings/Advanced.

Vertical panels are now assumed to be wide, and things are drawn normally rather than on their side as they were in previous releases.  The idea is that vertical panels are used on widescreen monitors where there is more width than there is height.  Use of autohide can also recover screen space if desired. This is consistent with the practice that has developed in other desktop environments.

A new feature in this release allows you to adjust the icon size independently of panel height. In addition, the font size adjusts with the icon size. This can be useful to configure panels as short as 16 pixels, or to configure panels that have space for more than one row of elements.  These features are configured on Panel Settings/Geometry.

A new layout manager for the Keyboard LED, Launchbar, Pager, System Tray, and Taskbar plugins adapts to the size of the panel and repacks icons to use space most efficiently.

Now only the Space and Taskbar plugins will honor “stretch” or offer it in the Panel Settings/Panel Applets dialog. For the Taskbar plugin, it is defaulted on.

Font color is now honored in every plugin. Font color changes immediately in all plugins as it should.

A total of 21 languages are 100% translated, representing in excess of 1.6 billion native speakers.

Many minor bugs have been fixed throughout.

Desktop Number plugin

Now shows desktop names if available from the window manager.

Digital Clock plugin

The clock format string may now contain \n to introduce a line break.

Directory Menu plugin

The Directory Menu plugin now has a configuration dialog.  Configurable properties include the starting root directory, the icon, and a textual label.

Keyboard Layout plugin

The Keyboard Layout plugin now builds by default. It has been thoroughly checked out.

Launchbar plugin

The handling of an empty launchbar has been enhanced to avoid displaying the broken image icon.  Now the plugin puts up an “Add” button when the launchbar is empty.  This button takes the user directly to the configuration dialog where applications can be added.

The launchbar configuration dialog now populates a list of available applications from the menu cache. It is no longer possible to add an application to the launchbar unless it is in the menu. However, users no longer have to search the file system for the desktop file if it is not in the particular directory that the plugin displayed in previous releases.

Users should be aware that the standard per-user location for .desktop files is ~/.local/share/applications. If you place your .desktop files there, they will be added to your menu and you can then add them to the launchbar.

The launchbar configuration dialog now displays the application icons.

Menu plugin

The Menu plugin implements the freedesktop.org menu standard, which specifies the directories that are searched for .desktop and .directory files. If you are experiencing difficulty with applications not appearing in the menu, you may examine the first few lines of the menu cache file in ~/.cache/menus to see the list of directories that were searched. Another common cause of missing entries is the NotShowIn and OnlyShowIn specifications within the .desktop file.

Non-square icons now work.

The plugin has been corrected so that the broken image icon is not displayed when a new Menu plugin is created.

Pager plugin

Each desktop now has a tooltip with the desktop name as reported by the window manager.

The hardcoded limitation on the number of desktops has been removed.

It is still a known issue that some Compiz features are unsupported.

System Tray plugin

So-called “balloon messages”, small amounts of text that a tray application can display, are now supported.

With the changes to make icon size configurable, there is an issue with some tray applications not drawing their icons at the configured icon size, although many do honor the configured size. These icons are drawn by the application, not by lxpanel, so cannot be influenced.

Because of the underlying communication mechanism in the X Window System, there is a restriction that only one system tray can exist per system. This version of LXPanel does not offer the system tray in the Panel Settings/Panel Applets configuration dialog if a system tray is already configured. If you delete the existing system tray from the panel where you have it placed, you may then add it in a different location.

There has been significant internal reworking of the implementation.

There is a known issue with tray applications based on the Qt toolkit.  When the panel is reoriented 90 degrees, such as from Bottom to Left, tray icons from Qt applications will be lost.  In this release, this is solved provided that LXPanel has been built against GTK version 2.16 or later.

Taskbar plugin

There is a new option to combine multiple windows from the same application into one button.  This should alleviate most issues with taskbar overcrowding.  The underlying mechanism now correctly shrinks taskbar buttons when the taskbar becomes full rather than allowing it to overrun its allocation in some instances.

The confusing options Accept SkipPager, Show Iconified, Show Mapped have been removed.

By user request, the Close option of the right-click popup menu was moved adjacent to the cursor.  Keyboard accelerators were added to the right-click popup menu.

There has been significant internal reworking of the implementation.

Volume Control (ALSA) plugin

Middle-click on the Volume Control (ALSA) plugin now toggles the mute status.  The tooltip has been enhanced to display the volume level.

Window Command plugin

The “toggle” behavior has been removed. Now the plugin unconditionally iconifies or shades all windows on a left or middle click.