Reserve Desktop Space for Important Applications

I have a large monitor on my Fedora Core 3 desktop and have 3 applications always open down the right edge of the desktop that I want to see at all times.  My inbox, my IM client, and my media Xmms player.  Does anyone know if there is a way to configure the window manager to reserve this area when I maximize another application?  Kind of like the panel at the bottom of the screen is not covered when an application is maximized.
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In KDE you can have multiple desktops. you could Place those apps in one of those desktops and work in another one. You'll allways see small symbols of the desktops in your taskbar, and if something needs attention it should change color or start blinking. It may not be exactly what your asking for, but it gets close. I think Gnome also supports multiple Desktops, I just prefer KDE.

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