I'm in the process of improving the Kasbar taskbar replacement, and as there
seems to be a fair degree of interest I thought I'd outline what I've done so
far and my plans. My first aim (which I have nearly achieved) was to ensure
that Kasbar had all the features of the standard taskbar, but I have quite a
bit more in mind...
Kasbar was originally written by Mosfet as a kicker applet, and has always
had a pretty cool look. Shortly before the release of 2.0 support for external
applets was removed because the API sucked, which unfortunately meant that Kasbar
would no longer work. Mathias Elter's recent work adding a panel extension system
to kicker meant that the time was ripe for Kasbar to return, so over the weekend
I ported the code to the new API.
My first port was just that: a direct port of the original Kasbar applet code,
but once I had it working properly I began to add some new features. So far
I've added the following:
- Improved left mouse click behaviour
If you click on the icon for the active window then Kasbar
will now minimise it, clicking on inactive or minimised windows activates
them as before. The new behaviour is consistent with the standard taskbar.
- Window menu
You can now access the window menu by right-clicking on
the windows icon. This is done by sending a DCOP message to KWin, so you get
the complete set of options unlike the standard taskbar which only offers
a subset of the available actions.
I like the current Kasbar look, but I thought that a transparent
Kasbar would look very cool. Adding this option to Kasbar was trivial
because kdelibs has a KRootPixmap class which does all the hard work. In addition
to simple transparency you also have the option to tint the background to
a specified colour. The code for this is working, but won't be committed to
the cvs for a few days because I have some more work to do to make it configurable.
Of course, I have some more features planned, I expect to have the following
working in the near future:
- Shade indicator
This should indicate that a window is shaded in a way that
is consistent with the existing icons for minimised and normal windows. I
have wirtten the code for this, but unfortunately this indicator does not
work for some reason.
- Startup notification
Kasbar should support startup notification in the same
way as the standard taskbar. I've already started making changes to the implementation
to support this, but there is still more work to be done.
I plan to add a tooltip displaying the complete window
title. At the moment you can only see a small part of the title and the only
way to see the rest is to look at the window itself.
- Window thumbnails
I'd like to add a new feature offering thumbnails of minimised
windows. The idea would be to grab the image of the window from the screen
immediately before it is minimised then display a thumbnail of the image in
some tooltip-like way. There are some issues with this but I think it would
be pretty cool. It would of course be optional.
I'm very interested to hear what people think of my plans, so I'll be monitoring
the comments posted here. If you have a feature request for Kasbar then now
is the time to let me know.