Quick launcher for the desktop


Article from Issue 58/2005

Desktop icons are not the only way to launch programs; in fact, a kicker that is not hidden by a muddle of windows is often preferable. Tablaunch is a flexible and attractive program launcher for the Linux desktop.

The kickers that come with the major desktop environments are full-fledged universal tools that offer a variety of features, including pag ers, menus, and clocks. This was too much of a good thing for developer D. Lam; as a user who preferred a simple window manager, he did not fancy the idea of cluttering his machine with the KDE or Gnome libraries. While shopping around for an alternative, D. Lam dis covered YeahLaunch, the launcher belonging to the YeahWM [1] window manager. This is a kicker that is easy on resources, and it automatically hides in the background when you don’t need it. The only drawback, from D. Lam’s point of view, was YeahLaunch’s very plain appearance. This prompted him to fire up his editor and develop a new kicker based on YeahLaunch, which he dubbed Tablaunch [2]. Although Tab launch is still easy on memory, the new kicker has vastly improved optics, add ing options such as a zoom feature that activates when users hover the mouse over an icon. But if you prefer a more staid approach, Tablaunch is still an interesting option. If asked to do so, Tab launch will give you simple pushbuttons rather than icons, and that should keep even the strictest of purists happy.

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