Better use of 16:9 monitors

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Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Servicetech on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:42 am

Why is it Linux is hanging onto the idea of top/bottom toolbars? These eat up valuable vertical space (especially on netbooks & small laptops). Lets get the taskbars as Icons on the SIDE using the much less valuable horizontal real estate. Windows 7 can easily do this, Linux should be able to also.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby ThistleWeb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:51 am

You can easily do that with your own install if you prefer, Linux is very adaptable.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Servicetech on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:59 am

ThistleWeb wrote:You can easily do that with your own install if you prefer, Linux is very adaptable.


I've tried but couldn't get it to look right. It's not like Windows 7 where you make 2 clicks to move the taskbar to the left/right. Do people even have 4:3 monitors anymore?
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby wayne128 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:06 am

I use xfce.
It is very easy to change taskbar to one of the selection:

mouse to top taskbar or bottom bar
right click> panel>panel preference> see orientation, which is now horizontal
click it, select vertical, instantly the taskbar is on the left-hand-side

also at time I use open box, no taskbar, but then anyway just right click to popup menu and get what I want, keeping the desktop very sparse and just a wall paper..

I still have two old monitors that are 4:3 aspect ratio. but using 4:3 I always put taskbar on top or bottom because it have lots of real estate vertically.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby ThistleWeb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:36 am

Every DE and WM / panel is different in how it's configured, with Gnome, KDE and XFCE it's very easy. You may have to flip the alignment from horizontal to vertical to make it look right though, most people have panels at either (or both) the top and bottom, so visually the themes may look odd down either left and / or right.

Plenty of people still have 4:3 monitors, the Windows days of throwing out a perfectly good PC to buy a new one for the new version of Windows doesn't apply in Linux. Many people have older hardware that they still use because there's no real reason to spend money on a new one unless they have to, specially when money is tight and jobs are disappearing.

My netbook is 16:9 (I think all netbooks are), and I hated the Unity side panel as it makes the display look unbalanced. I'm used to a single panel along the bottom regardless of what OS, DE or WM I use. Remember the bruhaha when Ubuntu switched the buttons to the opposite side of the titlebar?

Familiarity has a strong pull on people. They can and do adapt to variants of what they're used to, but they expect much to be in a similar place, so moving the panel to the side changes things a lot. Mac users are used to the top panel and a dock, they often find it awkward to adapt to anything else.

I came from Windows some years back, my panel has the Windows layout, apps menu where the start button is, clock and status tray where the clock and system tray are in Windows. The panel functions differently, it has different options, but the base idea is familiar. I'm fully engrained into Linux but that's what feels right to me.

Even Ubuntu with Unity still have a top panel, their side panel feels like "how do we give the impression of OSX but not be a direct copy" so they flip the dock up on the side.

This isn't meant to derail into a debate / flame about other OS's, just saying the sidebar idea is a better use of screen real estate for folks with 16:9 screens but familiarity will be a strong resistance factor in doing anything like that by default. It's always an option for those who want to adopt it.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby monkeyboy on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:59 am

Servicetech: "I've tried but couldn't get it to look right. It's not like Windows 7 where you make 2 clicks to move the taskbar to the left/right. Do people even have 4:3 monitors anymore?"

What looks wrong with it, perhaps someone here can help you address your problem? Beyond that and as it has already been stated, different desktop environments often address similar tasks in their own unique ways, so hang in there. Good Luck
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Servicetech on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:19 pm

Side taskbar issues:
The clock is sideways
Applications are in words (again sideways) instead of just icons.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby ThistleWeb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:31 pm

Servicetech wrote:Side taskbar issues:
The clock is sideways
Applications are in words (again sideways) instead of just icons.
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This is what I mean by switching the alignment from horizontal to vertical. I can't remember how to do that, but it is an option on some DE's.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Servicetech on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:32 pm

FWIW I too am typically one who keeps computers around a long time. My 4:3 monitor finally died last year and they stopped making them so it's on to 16:9 now. My 23" is the same vertical height as a 19" 4:3 monitor. 16:9 is great for multimedia, not so much for documents/web/email. I'm surprised many of you are still using the CRT monitors, I thought they were pretty much gone.

I started using ubuntu because I build my own PC's and didn't want to pay the "Microsoft tax" on my 2009 build. Hated the unity interface on the new ubuntu and started trying different distros and Mint seems to have the right balance of "newbie friendliness" and good interface. All the multimedia codecs coming preinstalled is a big plus. I don't care if it doesn't fit on a CD, DVD's are just as cheap these days and most PC's have DVD burners. Then there is always the USB drive options.

If I could replace the application names with Icons and turn the clock sideways (think the way Windows 7 does it) I'd be set.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby monkeyboy on Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:28 am

I've tried but couldn't get it to look right.

Preferences are just that preferences, using a monitor with the same aspect I find the classic taskbar arrangement works just fine for me. Everyone has a different set of expectations, skill and button issues.


It's not like Windows 7 where you make 2 clicks to move the taskbar to the left/right.

That is very true the current batch of Linux distributions are not like Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows Me. etc. To tell the truth that makes me happy.

Do people even have 4:3 monitors anymore?

You bet, I have one on the second desk top and a backup in a closet. :D Enjoy
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Detonate on Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:00 pm

Some folks that like a lot of vertical area turn their monitors on their side and rotate the display 90 degrees. I understand this is popular with professional writers that like to be able to see more of the page they are working on.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby AdamFirst on Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:57 pm

Dual portrait monitors for the win!
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby linuxviolin on Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:07 pm

Servicetech wrote:These eat up valuable vertical space (especially on netbooks & small laptops)

On netbooks and laptop, yes, but on a "big" modern screen, e.g. 23", no.

Servicetech wrote:Lets get the taskbars as Icons on the SIDE using the much less valuable horizontal real estate.

I hate the taskbars on the side. On the side or on the bottom, it's more or less the same, if you setup the same height, no? Just instead eating space at the bottom, you eat space at the side. :roll:

At least in KDE, you can do what you want. See the MALsPa topic and posts here.

EDIT: In GNOME 2 you could try with DockBar or the most recent version DockbarX or even with DockbarX Experimental Windows 7 style (or a mod from here)... You could read this too: Windows 7 Like Superbar in Ubuntu 9.10. The guy uses DockbarX... :wink: An example screenshot with DockBarX from a guy: http://g.imagehost.org/view/0332/Screenshot_5.png. You have also a windows 7 theme here if you want (Shinybar theme)

You have also the Talika applet, although maybe DockbarX is a bit more feature rich.
Last edited by linuxviolin on Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:01 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Detonate on Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:18 pm

In many programs and all browsers I know of it is easy to go full screen when you need more space. Just press F11 and see what happens. To get out of full screen just press F11 again.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Servicetech on Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:18 am

Little did I realize XFCE had already solved these issues, you can easily make it how you want. Uses less system resources too, runs quicker. I'm sure I'll find out why Gnome is the default soon (Gnome is flashier), but so far, so good.
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby SurfaceUnits on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:39 pm

someone should invent something like autohiding the taskbar :D
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Re: Better use of 16:9 monitors

Postby Lumikki on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:36 pm

Yes, people still have 4:3 monitors, I have.

I do support having possibiity to have left or right side taskbars or bottom or top or all of them same time.
I also support hide taskbar feature, but I have no use for it my self.

I like most, one bottom taskbar. Even if there is more room in side ways.
I like to see my taskbar all the time, what allows me to switch between programs or start them fast.
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