@trom @futureisfoss 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.
@trom @tio @futureisfoss 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.
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