Vertical panel usability


I’m a fan of vertical panel.

Since nowadays displays are wide, vertical space is less and so it is precious to have a panel stealing space for windows.
I don’t like auto hiding panels.

So the solution is to use a vertical panel.

In Gnome it seems to be impractical, since text appear vertically.
In KDE the problem lies only on the widgets: If you increase the panel width, the widgets icon increase so much that the panel becomes not usable to have the window list/manager.
I could avoid using widgets on the bar, but it’s the only way to watch power management in the panel…

Have someone been experiencing the same problems?
How would you overcome them?

Or What do you suggest that I should do?


None of the linux desktop environments really seem to focus on having panels on the side, Its really hard to say where the issue lays with that though.
Resizing the panel on the bottom seems to work for most people though

Vertical panels have never made it. Not in any distro. The extra width is already occupied within applications: the side bars in many apps. I’ve seen that come and I don’t see it go, because it works. Your workflow in the centre of the screen, tools on the side.

BUT : Right click on the panel, click Unlock Widgets (if locked), click Panel Options - Configure Panel. Now you can adjust the size of the panel (don’t panic, we’re centering it hereafter) with the sliders. Next click More… check Centre, check Autohide, click lock Widgets, and you have the full screen for ya.

Right now I’m using Firefox. It has no right or left side bars. The space “stolen” by the application menus is vertical. So, an horizontal panel would “steal” even more vertical space while horizontal space is still full available to show web pages.

While in old 4:3 displays this wouldn’t be much of a problem, with these new 10:6 displays you’ll be left with few vertical space.

Since I’m a programmer, that problem is even more critical since I want to see at once the much code the better.

The other reason why vertical panels are better is the ability to view and manage lots of windows in the panel taskbar. If you have 10 windows open, you can barely identify them with an horizontal panel. If it was vertical you could have up to 25 or more with no identification problem.

Have anyone tried it? I’ll bet you’d prefer it!

I have tried it. And I’m a programmer too. I do use gimp, konqueror and dolphin a lot, and do use the full width of the screen.
But here’s some more things I do: I configure the task manager to only show windows belonging to current desktop; I configure all programs I use in my workflow to be forced to “their own” desktop; I use 6 desktops. All this structures my workflow to my needs.
I could also add that I’ve been working on widescreen monitors for 5 years now, from a 17" via 19" upto 24" now, experimented with vertical panel in the beginning, tried again in KDE4, but it never stayed.

Knurpht, thanks for your reply!

I’m using a laptop 15.4" display: 1280x800.
If I had a bigger display and a higher resolution, maybe I wouldn’t be here complaining, but 800 pixels is quite small, so every pixel is important.

An auto-hiding panel wouldn’t be good since I want to just take a look and see the tray icon/time/date/opened windows, and not have to move the mouse to check it.

I also use desktops, but there are windows I want to be in the same desktop and they usually get over 10.

By the way, could you please check the following thread, since I’ve noticed you have Opensuse on a Asus laptop:
Setting laptop function keys in OpenSuse 11.1 - openSUSE Forums