Zirconium Desktop Environment 0.0.2
Zirconium Desktop Environment is a new low resource desktop shell optimized for usability.
Zirconium Desktop Environment operates on the philosophy that the desktop environment needs to stay out of the user's way and provide the quickest access to the functions that are truly needed from a desktop shell.
Principle Zirconium Desktop Environment design goals:
· Very easy navigation by taking advantage of the corner effect by placing the icons for the 2 most critical functions (program launcher and window switcher) in the top corners.
· Minimal use of on-screen real estate. This is accomplished by "recycling" the window title bar by overlapping the already minimal on screen furniture on top of the title bar when a window is maximized.
· Eliminating the "system tray". Instead of using a pixel wasting systray icon to communicate status to the user programs are expected to use the ZDE Notification Daemon to sent small unobtrusive notifications to the user when something of note occurs. The ZDE Notification Daemon uses the SOAP protocol for universal compatibility and network transparency.
· Web integration. An (optional) backdrop manager based on the embedded Gecko engine from Mozilla is provided to provide for "Weblets" to run on the desktop. The ZDE session manager also provides a SOAP API that can be accessed by signed or expressly permitted Weblets to access the ZDE system.
Components of the ZDE system:
The left corner menu opens up the Program Launcher. Note that the Program Launcher is a custom navigation window and not a pop-up style menu. The Launcher window closes when an item is activated or the mouse pointer leaves the window.
The right corner menu is a list of open windows for window switching. It is a standard GTK pop-up menu.
In the top center is the Mini-Bar that shows essential items like the time, volume control, battery and network status. The Mini-Bar is the same height as the Title Bar of a window so that when a window is maximized the title bar is partly covered by the Mini-Bar.
When a SOAP message for a Notification arrives the Notification pop-up appears briefly. When not shown the very edge is visible in the lower-right. Mousing over the edge makes the Notification appear again and the mouse leave event closes the notification making it very simple to dismiss a notification by just mousing over it. Clicking the visible edge will open a Notification History window showing all notifications that have been logged during the session.
The Window Manager theme needs to make special allowances for the way ZDE is arranged. The title bar needs to be 22 pixels high and the controls need to be 22 pixels away from the ends of the title bar to allow for the corner icons.
· GTK+ version 2.4.x
· ZDE works best with an Oroborus based window manager like OroROX (or XFWM4) and the ROX-Filer.
What's New in This Release:
· Updated component preview release.
· Includes the Weblet engine, Mini-Bar applet container and a completely rewritten window switcher and pager target.
· All corner targets are now 'clickless', just touching with the pointer opens them.