D27845 seems to have turned into a compromise that nobody is happy with, so I'd like to
propose a bold alternative to it that in my opinion is superior and fully implements the
proposal from T12441: put the default panel on the left, thicken it, and use an an IOTM
pre-populated with apps.
This yields all of the benefits brought up in T12441. Compared to D27845 it allows the
Panel can be made thicker and therefore display larger, prettier icons without feeling
wasteful of space. A thicker panel makes it more touch-friendly since the IOTM buttons
are larger and closer to the size of a finger. Finally, putting the panel on a vertical
edge is more suitable for typical modern widescreen displays where vertical space is more
scarce than horizontal space--especially for the ultra-widescreen displays with 21:9 and
32:9 aspect ratios.
It's a lot like the arrangement used by Ubuntu's Unity, or their current GNOME setup. I
have been using this arrangement for over two years and I think it's fantastic. I also
see a number of other KDE developers using this exact arrangement or a similar one so it
seems to be reasonably popular and battle-tested already.
If we move forward with this, we will need to fix https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=387775
or work around it by disabling the default left touch screen edge or move it a different
edge. We would also want to consider relocating or disabling the current top-left
hotcorner, as it would slightly interfere with the Kickoff button. My recommendtation
would be to move it to the bottom-right corner, to preserve the ability to trigger an
action in every single screen corner without looking, which we have right now.