Linux Mint: Cinnamon

The following was supposed to be a comment to a nerd’s ramblings about “how hard it is to ungroup panel windows in Cinnamon”. For some reason the comment simply dissapeared after being in queue for moderation (I hate that stupid moderation unfeature, by the way!) but I had the inspiration to copy the text before refreshing the page, so here it is.

That’s not in the least the biggest gripe with Cinnamon. It can easily be solved by starting the Welcome Screen in Preferences and choosing First Steps > Desktop Layout > Traditional. Unless I misunderstood the idea.

However, the worst design failure is the lack of multirow ability. Like yourself that nerd I like to have things visible at all times, therefore there are a lot of icons in the right “systray” area. Combined with not-even-enough icons in the left “quicklaunch” area there is only so much free space left for the middle “taskbar buttons” area. Fortunately there is an applet that can stack taskbar buttons on multiple rows (Cinnamon Multi-Line Taskbar) but it has a few bugs/shortcomings and is unmaintained save for minor corrections by random dudes. And there are times when even this applet isn’t enough.

A 50-52px high panel could theoretically hold three rows of icons in the left and right areas, which would greatly increase the center space for taskbar buttons. The panel can be set to auto-hide – something I got used to from back when using Windows 95 with a 640×480-only 12″ monitor – so the actual working space wouldn’t be affected by the large height. Such setup would be ideal for me and probably a heap of other (older or wiser?) users too. But as they say, when you want something done do it yourself. Wish I could. I’ll definitely try to.

Anyway, Cinnamon has a lot of design problems besides that. Desktop icons and multi-monitor is another can of worms I stumbled on while working on Applet PYE (featured in a previous article here), which made me postpone the addition of certain settings indefinitely. Nobody likes having their icons dissapear or at least get messed up when connecting/disconnecting additional monitors.

Well, enough for now.