|Description||Windows XP Style Taskbar in r/place 2022|
The Windows Taskbar is a community effort to make a taskbar stylized as windows at the bottom of the r/place canvas. The Taskbar Community combined with lots of other smaller communities, reserving spaces for them in the taskbar. The originals, such as osu! and r/placeNL, were allowed full-sized taskbar applications. However, most later additions were only allocated square icons due to the growing number of applications. It was originally planned to be a Windows 98 taskbar, as it was in 2017, but with the addition of new colors and a wider canvas a Windows XP taskbar was chosen instead.
At the start of r/place 2022, there was no resemblance of the start menu. The bottom left corner was originally planned to be the starting point, but the swarm of Among Us characters prevented them from forming it.
At around 5:00pm on the 2nd April GMT, following The First Expansion, the Windows 98 Logo began to form and the beginning of the start button was formed. The logo and text were finished, albeit not perfect, and the Code Lyoko Eye of X.A.N.A was added to the right as a button.
However, mere minutes later, the Twitch streamer Kamet0 suggested to his ~50,000 viewers to place his logo in the same corner. This resulted in the entire area being blue within seconds, causing the taskbar team to reconvene.
The moderation team of their discord server was predicting The Second Expansion, and suggested that the design be switch to the Windows XP taskbar, since the extra canvas colors would allow it. Shortly after, a prototype template for the new design was published.
Capital Letters and Black Outline
In the scramble to start construction after The Second Expansion, many independent and less-informed players who were not using the official or up-to-date template began attempting to help with construction of the start button. This lead to inaccurate, mis-remembered replications of the Windows XP start button. These attempts included capital letters being used for the "start" text and a black outline placed around the text and the Windows logo. The r/PlaceStart community found these elements difficult to remove and resulted in many frustrated attempts to correct the errors.
Alternative Spelling Trolls
There were at least two groups of trolls attempting to change the spelling of both the start button and the r/PlaceStart text on the first taskbar tab.
The first known of these groups was r/PlaceShart, a troll group set up to replace all instances of the word "start" on the start button and taskbar with the vulgar word "shart" instead. This group did manage some success, with the r/PlaceStart text on the first taskbar tab being changed on multiple occasions, most often when the r/PlaceStart community was distracted by other conflicts.
The second set of trolls was an unknown group consisting of at least one individual attempting to replace the start button text with the word "stop". This group found short term success, shortly after the start button was griefed, however this was soon corrected.
Among Us Characters
As with many art pieces on r/place 2022, the Windows Taskbar was a victim of the placement of pixel-art Among Us characters. The characters were repeatedly placed within the 4 sectors of the Windows logo and within the green section of the start button. Due to the large number of people involved with placing the characters, successfully combatting their presence was impossible, hence many Among Us characters are visible in the final result.
French and Swiss Flags
Due to the Taskbar's proximity to the large French flag co-ordinated by French streamer Kameto, a small group of French Twitch viewers began attempting to expand the flag's border into the Taskbar's territory. This resulted in small 3x3 pixel French flags being placed in the blue border of the Taskbar. This action was quickly replicated by a small subset of the maintainers of the adjacent Swiss flag, resulting in much of the border around the start button and r/PlaceStart and r/OsuPlace tabs being replaced with French and Swiss flags.
The r/PlaceStart community briefly entered discussions with the the Swiss flag's maintainers to continue the expansion of the small Swiss flags around the border, overwriting the French flags to act as a deterrent to those placing them. Shortly after these talks, updated agreements with r/Switzerland, r/OsuPlace and r/PlaceNL lead to the blue border being restored.
Honduras and Armenia
As the construction of the Taskbar progressed, many other communities contacted the r/PlaceStart members asking to collaborate and create taskbar tabs of their own. The r/PlaceStart community attempted to negotiate size and placements with these communities to avoid conflict and prevent as much damage as possible to existing artworks.
One such negotiation occurred with a group wanting to place an Armenian flag on the taskbar. This group was allocated a position that was being taken up by the text of an existing tab maintained by r/NordicUnion and their allies. A miscommunication with the NordicUnion tab maintainers meant that they continued to heavily defend the text on their tab, despite the tab being modified in official templates to allow room for the Armenian flag. The r/PlaceStart community mistakenly assumed that the Armenian group had abandoned their allocated space and upon negotiation with members of r/Honduras, the space was reallocated to become a Honduran design instead - featuring the Honduras Flag, a red macaw and the Honduras international telephone code 504.
After the miscommunication with r/NordicUnion had been resolved, r/Honduras began construction of their flag. This angered the Armenian group who had also been promised the space beforehand, leading to the Windows Taskbar's largest conflict. Early negotiations seemed promising, with agreements suggested to split the space diagonally to create a combined Honduras-Armenian flag, however, the two groups quickly fell out. Despite efforts from the r/PlaceStart community to aid negotiations, the Armenian group's greater numbers overwhelmed the members of r/Honduras, leading to the space being completely taken by the Armenian flag.
The members of r/Honduras found some success in creating the Honduras flag at the end of the taskbar instead, in a hotly contested area that was eventually left unmaintained by the members of r/PlaceStart.