Hi. From the Internet I downloaded the International Standards Organization (.iso) file for the installation of openSUSE 12.1 on November 19, 2011. I used an optical-disc-recording program to “Burn” that “Image to Disc,” making a Recordable Digital Video Disc (DVD-R) I could use to boot my Hewlett Packard, ZE1110, Pavilion notebook computer. Then I performed what in the openSUSE-12.1 installation program was called an update of openSUSE 11.4 to openSUSE-12.1 Linux; but I like to think of that as an upgrade, which distinguishes that procedure from updating openSUSE 12.1 which I think may replace some files with newer versions of them within openSUSE 12.1. Via Yet another Software Tool 2 (YaST2) while online I updated my openSUSE-12.1 installation on at least two different days. So by the evening of November 28, 2011 my installation of openSUSE 12.1 should have been up to date. I was favorably impressed with the thoroughness and diligence of the openSUSE-12.1 developers who likely even made the necessary replacements in the boot-grub booting procedure and within the repositories for an upgrade from openSUSE 11.4 to openSUSE 12.1.–Thank you for your impressive thoroughness and diligence in these respects!
I have had some experience using this new, openSUSE-12.1, Linux operating system, but in it haven’t tried everything I did in openSUSE 11.4 yet. After booting my computer into openSUSE 12.1 at the login screen and clicking on an icon, I could select the KDE (K Desktop Environment) Plasma Workspace or the Lightweight X Windows System, version 11 (X11) Desktop Environment (LXDE), writing broadly of the general options for me. But sometimes then the pointer arrow disappeared from view when it was moved closed to a radio button for one of the options there (Unfortunately clicking the lizard panel icon, then on “System, Preferences, Personal Settings, Workspace Appearance and Behavior, Desktop Effects,” and then on the “General” tab and under “Activation” unchecking the check box beside “Enable desktop effects at startup” and then clicking on the “Apply” button did not eliminate this problem on the next computer startup into openSUSE 12.1’s logon screen. So I returned to the original state of having that check box checked.). Nevertheless a click of my computer’s left touch-pad button probably did select the desired radio button. After entering my openSUSE-12.1 password, I could enter the LXDE. In it the panel icons on the right-hand side of the long panel at the bottom of the desktop screen initially did not have very large gaps between them. A keyboard-looking icon for the Smart Common Input Method (SCIM) was initially not visible on the panel. But after opening a few program windows, that keyboard icon became visible on the panel. On the panel a large gap appeared between the keyboard- and speaker-looking icons and between one of those icons and the electrical-plug-looking panel icon. Sometimes there was what I could call a momentary “flutter” of the panel icons with the lizard icon normally on the left side of the panel even becoming momentarily invisible, as if it were “pushed off” the left-hand side of the panel. I guess that that phenomenon may have been related to one or both of the gaps between pairs of panel icons which could reduce the space on the panel for other icons to the left of them. I right- or left-touch-pad-button-clicked on the SCIM panel icon and selected “Exit.” After that the SCIM panel icon disappeared from view in the panel, just as it should have.—But then a large gap of about half the width of the panel existed between the speaker- and electrical-plug-looking panel icons. After logging out and back into the LXDE, a smaller gap was visible between the two-monitor-looking panel icon and the speaker icon with the keyboard-looking icon not visible on the panel. After clicking on the panel two gaps were visible, one between the two-monitor-looking panel icon and the speaker icon and another one between the speaker icon and the electrical-plug-looking icon. A gratefully very successful, but only temporary solution to eliminating the gaps between panel icons was to click on the lizard panel icon, then on “System,” I think on “LXDE Control Center,” and then on “Refresh Panel.” After one such click I saw a white- or light-yellow-colored rectangle or square where one might ordinarily find a panel icon. After clicking on “Refresh Panel” a second time, that rectangle disappeared; and there was also no unwanted gap between panel icons.
On the other hand in the KDE Plasma Workspace instead of the LXDE there were no such visible gaps between panel icons. Even with multiple program windows open and the keyboard-looking panel icon visible, I saw no problems on the panel with various rectangles on the panel which indicated open program windows, the keyboard-looking icon, or and the lizard icon. So the problem of one or more gaps between panel icons in my case seemed to be confined to within the LXDE.
Thank you, developers of openSUSE 12.1, for not making openSUSE 12.1 too demanding of Random Access Memory (RAM) and central processing speed! It appears that my computer, which contains an Advanced MicroDevices (AMD), I think Morgan-type, Duron, one-GigaHertz (GHz) central processing unit (c.p.u.) and for which I purchased 1.024 GigaBytes (GB) of RAM can probably handle the KDE Plasma Workspace of openSUSE 12.1 without operating very slowly; so that is an option for me to avoid the problem with occasional gaps between panel icons in the LXDE. Nevertheless when there are no problems in the LXDE, the LXDE has been adequate for me to perform numerous tasks in openSUSE-12.1’s predecessor of openSUSE 11.4.
I think some people prefer to make so-called “clean” installations of operating systems rather than to install a new operating system via an upgrade. I agree that that appears to be the way to avoid possible problems due to making an upgrade; I suppose that making the clean installation would involve reformatting the partition of a hard-disk drive which would contain the new operating system. But for openSUSE if the upgrading process does not cause problems, I like the upgrade process because if it works well, hopefully one can just keep on going with openSUSE as a tool instead of in the so-called “clean” installation having to again select the special programs one wants to install and possibly to perform special adjustments like adjusting the desktop to fit the computer monitor or screen size or selecting a certain text editor as the default program to open files with certain extension on clicking on them. In other words there may be more human time spent in making a clean installation than in performing an upgrade of an operating system, assuming the upgrade works well. So if the two problems I mentioned here can be fixed without making a clean installation of openSUSE 12.1, I would prefer that. But fortunately I am in a good position with a fairly recent backup of my computer’s hard-disk drive before upgrading from openSUSE 11.4 to openSUSE 12.1 and my /home directory on a separate partition from the partition containing the openSUSE-12.1, Linux operating system so that I probably could perform a clean installation of openSUSE 12.1, if necessary, to fix the two problems of occasional gaps between panel icons and the occasional invisible pointer arrow that I mentioned here. Via I think right-touch-pad-button-clicking on the panel I think there may be a way to remove the panel icons and then add them one at a time to the panel. But I haven’t tried that and wonder what each of the panel icons would be called within the openSUSE-12.1 software. What do you suggest I do to fix the two problems I mentioned in the subject line of this posting and explained in the body of this posting?