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* The Start menu, which is accessed by a button on the taskbar, contains commands that can access programs, documents, and settings.
* The Quick Launch bar, introduced with Internet Explorer 4, contains shortcuts to applications. Windows provides default entries, such as Launch Internet Explorer Browser, and the user or third-party software may add any further shortcuts that they choose. A single click on the application's icon in this area launches the application. This section may not always be present: for example it is turned off by default in Windows XP and Windows 7.
*Windows XP introduced taskbar grouping, which can group the taskbar buttons of several windows from the same application into a single button. This button pops up a menu listing all the grouped windows when clicked. This keeps the taskbar from being overcrowded when many windows are open at once.
* Windows Vista introduced window previews which show thumbnail views of the application in real-time. This capability is provided by the Desktop Window Manager.
* Windows 7 introduced the ability to pin applications to the taskbar so that buttons for launching them appear when they are not running. Previously, the Quick launch was used to pin applications to the taskbar; however, running programs appeared as a separate button.
And the list goes on.
Here are three screen shots. Ubuntu 10.04 (Gnome,) Suse 11.3 (KDE4.)
Does fluxbox count if I change it to only support the workspace name(number in my case), time/date, and system tray?
... That and I have extra mouse click events ontop of it for displaying a calendar and using xmms2.
An I being dim: what is the difference, if any between the panel and a taskbar?
I don't think it's a dim question.. My take on it is:
Linux perspective: a "taskbar" is a specific gadget, which can be placed onto a panel. The taskbar's only goal is to have the tab things that allow you to click from one (maximized/minimized) app (task) to another that you have open. A taskbar is like a "tray" only magnified.
A "panel" is an object or space (a bar, a floaty-thing, a side-bar..) onto which you can put things like applets, taskbar, clock, menu button, tray, launchers, etc..
Windows perspective: what I remember from the last time I used Windows (XP) was that there was only one "panel", called the "taskbar"; it was the one and only, all-in-one. So on this platform, the terms are interchangeable.
Real example: when I used KDE3 and two monitors, I used a single long "panel" that spanned across both monitors. This "panel" had a flexible space in the center, and two "taskbars", one for the apps on the left monitor, and one for the apps on the right monitor. The flexible space kept each taskbar on its own side..
So, panel & taskbar are two distinct things. If someone's got a different understanding or thought about taskbar vs panel, by all means, share it!
Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 10-03-2010 at 05:58 PM.