I cannot make any promises, but I expect to be ordering enough hardware shortly to begin work on multi-screen. As with most things, the bulk of the work is deciding how it should behave and getting enough experience with the result to be satisfied with those decisions.
The major problem with doing it with a "contractor", without having a way to regression test forever and ever, is that there would be no way to ensure that future work does not damage something and no way to get it repaired.
@Marty Jack: I'm running a dualhead setup, if you need a tester, I could (I've done it through X.org.conf and Nvidia driver) Currently using 3 panels: * middle top/bottom of both screens * Left side Quick launcher
I now have sufficient hardware to work on multihead, at least the kind that has multiple monitors being driven by one video card on a large virtual screen. One thing that is immediately obvious is that the limitation of one panel per edge needs to be relaxed, at least to the extent that multiple panels on the same edge that don't overlap should be permitted.
The original problem where the space is being incorrectly reserved would be caused by the window manager having an off-by-one error in interpreting a device called the "strut". This should be reported against the window manager.
I am in lubuntu 10.04 with a configuration entirely in xrandr, no native drivers or external programs. Openbox treats each monitor as a separate monitor, I can maximize to only the current monitor.
Just in case it matters, here are some version numbers (using lubuntu-proposed): PCmanFM: 0.5.2+svn20091029-1ubuntu3.1 lxpanel: 0.5.5-0ubuntu2
However I am experiencing the same issue with dual monitors: The panel wants to expand to both monitors. I set the width to 50%, but it still prevents any other panel from having a bottom orientation. However it wouldn't help because the Task Bar applet lists every window in the current desktop/workspace, not the current monitor (tried by putting panel on top right and other panel on bottom left, both with Task Bar applet).
I am willing to do any kind of testing with beta quality products, and occasionally alpha, depending on quality.
The way I am working aorund it is to avoid use of percent width. Go to pixel width and specify left or right orientation depending on how the physical monitors map to the virtual desktop. You still won't be able to have two panels on the same edge on the two monitors, but it is a start.
The solution is to enumerate resources when we start (what xrandr -q shows you), and to allow assigning each panel to a monitor, and handle the coordinate transformations internally..
The difficult part of this is what to do when you restart and the configured resource is no longer available. You must do something sensible so most of the configured panels show up somewhere on what is left.