TopShelf aims to be a simple GTK applet which provides the functionality of the top shelf in one's desk: a place to store a list of the files the user is currently working on (not right now, but in general, in a period of time). TopShelf can be run either as a GNOME panel applet or standalone outside of a panel (as of 0.2).
The goal of TopShelf is to help a typical user manage their 'currently important files'. Such a user may have at any one time only a few files which are currently important; for example, a school paper, an ebook, etc. These files will generally be opened at least once a day. Now, the 'recent documents' facility in GNOME and others DEs is somewhat useful in helping to access such files, since typically they would indeed be recently used. However, the recently used files list can be overridden by temporary files, say, documents the user receives and reads just once; music files, dozens of which can be listened to in a single day; etc. The user can get annoyed when a currently important file is bumped off of the recent files list. TopShelf provides a solution for this.
TopShelf lets the user manage the list of currently important files. The main difference with the recent files list is that the currently important files list is explicitly managed by the user: files are added and removed only by direct request. Thus, the recent files list and TopShelf provide separate functionality: TopShelf gives guaranteed access to files the user asked for, like the examples given before (a school paper, an ebook being read, etc.), whereas the recent files list tries to guess by itself which files will be requested in the future based on past access (for example, a music file listened to once would be on the recent files list but not TopShelf).
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All bugs Latest bugs reported
Bug #834806: Ability do attach and display a description
Reported on 2011-08-26
Bug #802488: Can't open files in Ubuntu 11.04
Reported on 2011-06-27
Bug #311201: cannot open any open office file through Topshelf
Reported on 2008-12-24
Bug #263502: Should have single-click option
Reported on 2008-09-01
Bug #192066: topshelf.py crashed with AssertionError in require()
Reported on 2008-03-17