> What I really want is a preferences panel that allows me to manipulate the dock. I'm a user. It's bogus to expect me to accomplish my objectives by editing Gnome source files.
Dash to dock extension which I tried allow to resize the icons. Make sure to install SettingCenter where you can select Extensions preference under your usename on top-right.
> I'm running Gnome 3.6.2 on a updated Fedora 18 nightly. I don't see any extensions at extensions.gnome.org to relocate the launcher.
Excellent, I am also running updated Fedora 18 on my laptop. Some extensions like dock or weather are not available to extensions.gnome.org but are present in Fedora repository.
> I'm also wary of relying on the availability of extensions from one upgrade to the next, and do not know if Gnome stands behind them or if users are at the mercy of the extension writers.
Gnome do. Lessons could be taken from Mozilla, extensions developers track the changes and make sure theirs are compatible as soon as possible. Given the pace of development, it is much easier to let extensions do the job so they can be selected to be part of the core.
> How does one get a folder into the launcher? I can get an icon for Nautilus in there, but not a folder.I can't drag a folder from Nautilus into the dock. The dock is visible only during overview mode, while an app like Nautilus is active only away from Overview mode.
As mentioned above, "Dash to Dock" allows your dock to be visible regardless the mode. You are right that Folder drag doesn't work for the dock. The reason of its non-available is probably due to broken API. However, you can enable the file manager behaviour background through Gnome-teak-tool -> Files which will display all files and folders. Prob
> I don't want to kill the single hot-corner. I just want to have the dock behave as a normal dock. I.e., either autohide and be made visible by pushing the mouse cursor against that edge of the screen. Or, remain displayed permanently. In other words, I want to be able to access the dock without overlaying my desktop with the App Overview and the Workspace sidebar.