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We are working on making our TROMjaro Layout Switch app even more awesome. Thanks to @Future is FOSS mostly. Here's how it is starting to look like:

Click a layout and switch. Unity, Gnome, Windows, ChromeOS, MacOS. You choose :) . #tromimg

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there are two additional special layouts I could suggest, especially given we are talking about xfce. The first is a purely vertical dock, no top or bottom bar at all. This is used in MX linux.The other is a variant on gnome 3, where there is only a top bar, no dock, and the dock set live instead on the left side of the top panel. Typically the panel is only 24-26 pixels. So it's kinda like the windows view you have, but with a much thinner panel, and at the top.
I could also suggest a third one, where you have a thin top and bottom panel, ala gnome 2... Then it can be a 3x3 :).
can you send us some screenshots? we will happily add other layouts :)
this conveys what MX does with a pure vertical panel, and why it can be desirable for vertical space, much like global menus in the panel.
We may try to add this. Added to my todo list.
Here is an example of classic gnome 2. This layout would be very easy to recreate with 2 xcfe panels...
this was my take on vertical xfce desktops early last decade when we produced a customized Debian GNU/Linux distro for our tribal use.
The MX layout is similar enough so we can go with one or the other.
Will see about this. We may do it but we also do not want to overwhelm people with so many layout types. thx
here is an example of the third kind
What is this one from?
that one is from when I was experimenting with cinnamon.
Ok. I was looking for a name for that layout....I am calling it TopX for now because idk how to call it - would be nice if we find a known OS that has a similar layout
I often use it with a very skinny top bar to maximize my screen area, so I might have suggested compact. But I think TopX works.
there is an old xfce theme called microdeck which used really thin window title bars to do the same. So in that sense it is to me the whole desktop equivalent of microdeck... Some classic X11 window managers also often had top panels, such as fluxbox. TopX probably is as good choice as any.
oh, I forgot about this one...this was the other xfce layout we made for tribal use around that time...
yes, that is a neutral translucent xfce panel that works with either light or dark monochrome icons. I think the base panel color was a purple...maybe 80% alpha.
added to my list let's see
my earliest desktop experiences were with amigaos and X on bsd on early sun workstations, back when it was still "just" #bsd at Berkeley.
so I probably have a different perspective on aesthetics and what I want out of desktops than most... for example, I love the convenience of opening an X window anywhere there is a display and separating compute from display that modern toolkits may break and #Wayland fundamentally rejects. I would love to iconify on one system and re-open the X session up on another. We used to have a lot of capabilities that are lost following windows very limited desktop concepts.
every year I look at #gnome in particular I find ever greater breakage and destruction of what was once possible in free desktops.
Wow, you may make me switch with convenience like that:). Looks great!