Alberto Ruiz talks about the taskbar in Gnome wasting a lot of space, and how launchers, applets and notifications could all be merged (in a post which sounds rather like a pitch for OS X’s Dock, or at least a pitch for awn, which is rather like it). I personally turned off my taskbar (and the whole bottom panel) ages ago, because I want more screen room. Instead, I added a Window Selector to the top panel, on the far right-hand-side. To switch between apps by name, therefore, I just throw the mouse up and right into the corner and click, and then choose an app from the menu I then get. I really haven’t noticed the lack of the taskbar at all. (To be honest, I don’t even do that most of the time; I alt-tab between apps. To be truly honest, now what I do is throw my mouse at the bottom left corner which does Compiz’s scale plugin (the OS X Exposê thing), but not everyone’s running Compiz.) (An extra note here: OS X has a nice trick where you can click on the window list you get from holding down alt-tab. Can we do that?) I’m not sure about merging launchers and notification icons, though. There’s stuff that I want a notification icon for (XChat-Gnome, the new mail notifier, Pidgin) that I don’t need a permanently-visible launcher for because I hardly ever start them up (once at the beginning of a session, or not at all because they start themselves).