Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th Sep 2010 18:34 UTC, submitted by dmbkiwi
KDE "When activities were introduced into KDE 4, they did not make much sense in isolation. In addition to having virtual desktops, there were activities, which the user could create and configure to have different wallpapers and different widgets. Much of the virtual desktop functionality of KDE 3 was absent and not directly connected to Plasma activities. With the release of KDE 4.5, Plasma has reached a much higher level of maturity, and activities can now be integrated with virtual desktops, dual monitor screens, and with the Dashboard feature."
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QML plasmoids
by vivainio on Sun 5th Sep 2010 19:28 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

It's nice to see some writeups about advanced, "hidden" KDE features.

What's missing is actual plasmoids. Hopefully QML will establish itself as a popular way of writing the plasmoids; plasmoids are currently written using a KDE specific widget set which probably reduces the enthusiasm of developers somewhat.

Reply Score: 2

RE: QML plasmoids
by mtzmtulivu on Sun 5th Sep 2010 23:51 UTC in reply to "QML plasmoids"
mtzmtulivu Member since:
2006-11-14

It's nice to see some writeups about advanced, "hidden" KDE features.


KDE and its applications have a reputation of being bloated because their default configuration exposes too much functionality and leave it up to the user to hide the ones not needed/wanted if they can be removed at all.

It is better to present a simpler view by default and let "ethusiasts" "discover" more functionality through experimentation and reading up on "hidden features".

KDE developers seem to be getting this message and that is a good thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: QML plasmoids
by l3v1 on Mon 6th Sep 2010 12:15 UTC in reply to "RE: QML plasmoids"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

It is better to present a simpler view by default and let "ethusiasts" "discover" more functionality through experimentation and reading up on "hidden features".


One needs to be careful with that approach, so as not to loose those "hidden" functionalities (both access and properties) in time and arrive to Knome ;) [ Sorry fellas, making fun of Gnome has been one of my hobbies since gnome1 ;) , but still... ]

No need to hide anything, or for "experimentation"; everything needs to be quickly accessible, only default/clean setups need to be tailored for the average *buntu level. OK for average users to not want advanced features, but there's no need to make the power users suffer either (since advanced user doesn't necessarily mean user who wants to spend half the day hunting for hidden settings).

I didn't really like early kde4 relases from that point of view, but later releases proved to be better and better from all angles.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: QML plasmoids
by KAMiKAZOW on Tue 7th Sep 2010 10:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: QML plasmoids"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

The Plasma guys are aware that Activities are currently not implemented in the best way from a usability POV.
They are working on improving it (hence the Activity bar in 4.5 instead of the old Exposé-style "ZUI"). Pretty much everyone agrees that Activities are an awesome idea that should be pursued but so far nobody had an eureka moment about perfect usability for that feature.

If you have one, feel free to contact https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/plasma-devel with your mockups. I once did something similar with Plasma Netbook (see http://kamikazow.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/plasma-netbook-mockup/ ). In the end most of my ideas were rejected (be prepared that this might happen to you as well) but OTOH Kubuntu's Aurelien Gateau showed some interest and now it seems that a few of my ideas end up in Kubuntu Netbook 10.10 and if that's received well (compared to vanilla Plasma Netbook), it'll be upstreamed for Plasma 4.6 (Aurelien already discussed that possibility with some Plasma devs).
Same could happen with your Activity management idea (if you have one).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: QML plasmoids
by siride on Mon 6th Sep 2010 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE: QML plasmoids"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Why are we still pretending like the Linux on the desktop market is for anybody but enthusiasts and technophiles?

I still don't understand why the DEs keep focusing on "usability" in the sense of "remove features" and "make it look like Apple/Windows". Just make a good alternative OS, accept that only a small portion of the population is going to want to use it, but for God's sake, make it work!

Reply Score: 6

RE: QML plasmoids
by porcel on Mon 6th Sep 2010 08:19 UTC in reply to "QML plasmoids"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

As far as I know, KDE´s plasmoids can be written in javascript, python, html and css, java, ruby, c++ and a variety of other languages.

They are easy to write and there are already tons of them.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: QML plasmoids
by vivainio on Mon 6th Sep 2010 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE: QML plasmoids"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

As far as I know, KDE´s plasmoids can be written in javascript, python, html and css, java, ruby, c++ and a variety of other languages.


The problem is the widget set, not the language. If you make a plasmoid, it's for plasma only (whereas if you make a QML application much of it can be used without Plasma libs in another application).

They are easy to write and there are already tons of them.


If there are tons of them, they are not shipping them with Linux distributions. Last time I checked (plasma widgets available in Lucid), there were not all that many, esp. not useful ones.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: QML plasmoids
by sj87 on Mon 6th Sep 2010 09:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: QML plasmoids"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

There are tons of useless junk, that's why devs don't bother shipping them among the default set of KDE Plasmoids.

Not even the official Plasmoids are done well nor finished even though KDE 4 has been out there for almost 2,5 years. You are supposed to be able to place them either in a dock or the desktop. Still there are only like two or three Plasmoids that do fit both. Either they are designed only for the dock or only for the desktop.

On paper, Plasma is multi-functional and flexible, but in reality it barely beats any common "20-year-old" desktop in comparison. Maybe it's just that people really don't need nor want anything else than the good ol' Xerox invention?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: QML plasmoids
by righard on Mon 6th Sep 2010 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: QML plasmoids"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Personally I don't get Plasmoids. There a nice gimmick to show in screenshots, but I don't see much use beyond that.

What are the advantages of a Plasmoid to a regular app? That you can rotate the?... Nice now I can finally read my clock upside down.
That you can only use them by minimalising every open window?... That's a down side.
That, when I want to move them, I need to click on the abscess in the top corner, click 'Unlock ?'. Then hover over the Plasmoid, wait a bit, and drag it via a rectangle that seems to appear at a random corner of the Plasmoid?... Granted, that's much nicer than just moving the window.

Well that last one was a bit of a flame, but I really do not see any use for Plasmoids, can anybody explain,
what having a tiny webbrowser on my desktop as a Plasmoid makes it so superior to an actual webbrowser?

Most energy of the KDE-developers seems to be put in these things, so I might be the only person that doesn't seem the use for it.

Edited 2010-09-06 10:06 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: QML plasmoids
by Damnshock on Mon 6th Sep 2010 11:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: QML plasmoids"
Damnshock Member since:
2006-09-15

Personally I don't get Plasmoids. There a nice gimmick to show in screenshots, but I don't see much use beyond that.

What are the advantages of a Plasmoid to a regular app? That you can rotate the?... Nice now I can finally read my clock upside down.
That you can only use them by minimalising every open window?... That's a down side.
That, when I want to move them, I need to click on the abscess in the top corner, click 'Unlock ?'. Then hover over the Plasmoid, wait a bit, and drag it via a rectangle that seems to appear at a random corner of the Plasmoid?... Granted, that's much nicer than just moving the window.

Well that last one was a bit of a flame, but I really do not see any use for Plasmoids, can anybody explain,
what having a tiny webbrowser on my desktop as a Plasmoid makes it so superior to an actual webbrowser?

Most energy of the KDE-developers seems to be put in these things, so I might be the only person that doesn't seem the use for it.


What you are looking for is the widget dashboard. Press Ctrl+F12 and you'll get a place where you can set the widgets that you'd like and check it whenever you want without having to minimize all the other windows.

The fact that you do not see any usefulness in the plasma widget does not mean it doesn't exist! For example, I use only a few of them, but find specially useful having the weather widget on my right panel to quickly check for the temperature,wind and humidity of any place (I ride a bike ;) ).

And for the web widget, you can have on a small section of the desktop a web that you check regularly without needing to load a full browser ( that is for people that work without maximizing windows for example).

The idea of widgets is for quick things, not to become a master app for everything ;)

Best regards

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: QML plasmoids
by righard on Mon 6th Sep 2010 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: QML plasmoids"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Thank you for the Ctrl+F12 tip, that does solve an annoyance.

I agree with you about the handiness of the weather-widget, that's one I found useful too, (I ride I bike also, of of those without an engine ;) )

Though I'm still of the opinion that they're mostly bling. The fact that you can rotate a widget, for me, is proof of that. What function does rotating a widget have.

To use your web-widget example, why not just pin a web-browser at that spot on your desktop? It doesn't take up much more space, and you have any browser you'd like.

Widgets would make a nice little addition to KDE. Like Gnome does, you can see the weather in your toolbar there too. In KDE though, it seems that the entire Desktop manager is centred around Plasmoids.

Maybe I just fail to see the benefit of them because I always maximise all my windows.

Edited 2010-09-06 12:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: QML plasmoids
by Damnshock on Mon 6th Sep 2010 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: QML plasmoids"
Damnshock Member since:
2006-09-15

Though I'm still of the opinion that they're mostly bling. The fact that you can rotate a widget, for me, is proof of that. What function does rotating a widget have.

To use your web-widget example, why not just pin a web-browser at that spot on your desktop? It doesn't take up much more space, and you have any browser you'd like.

Widgets would make a nice little addition to KDE. Like Gnome does, you can see the weather in your toolbar there too. In KDE though, it seems that the entire Desktop manager is centred around Plasmoids.


It's more than centered around plasmoid: *everything* is a plasmoid even the panel itself ;)

Back again to the web plasmoid: you don't need to run a whole browser to check a specific website, that is the usefulness of the plasmoid ;) (save resources!)

I must agree with you about the rotation thing though, never used it nor seen usefulness. Anyway... maybe someone needs it, who knows? ;)

Regards

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: QML plasmoids
by Laurence on Mon 6th Sep 2010 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: QML plasmoids"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Personally I don't get Plasmoids. There a nice gimmick to show in screenshots, but I don't see much use beyond that.


I find some Plasmoids useful:

* comic strip: I don't want to start up Opera / Firefox / Chromium and load up an entire web page just to keep up to date with the latest XKCD (for example) sketch. I'd sooner have something subtle on my desktop I can flick to for amusement between tasks.

* analogue clock: yes there is a digital clock in the task bar (see footnote), but I also like to have an analogy clock for speed. For me, it's quicker to look at a clock face to determine various time related analysis (eg how long I have until n o clock). An analogue clock in the task bar would be too small so I put a larger clock on the desktop.

* system monitoring: I'm sure as hell not cluttering up my taskbar with dozens of gauges for things like network performance, CPU temps, CPU processing and RAM used. I rarely need to know these things, but sometimes it's useful to know. So it makes more sense to have a few of these on the desktop than have to load up separate monitoring tools each time.

* folder views: if theres any folders you frequently work from, sometimes it's handy always having them available too.

These are just my usages. They may not apply to you, but they do apply to me. So while I do agree with yourself and a few others that 99% of the Plasmoids are largely rubbish / useless. But lets not dismiss them all. Plasmoids are a little like iPhone/Android apps or web sites - the vast majority are irrelevant but there's a few gems that you often find yourself coming back to.


footnote
I've focused on desktop widgets because that's what you were focusing on. But lets also not forget that Plasmoids also include the widgets you see on your taskbar. I bet you'd struggle to make use of KDE without kickoff/kmenu, tasklist and the digital clock.

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: QML plasmoids
by Fettarme H-Milch on Wed 8th Sep 2010 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: QML plasmoids"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

What are the advantages of a Plasmoid to a regular app? That you can rotate the?... Nice now I can finally read my clock upside down.

Yeah. While I like the KDE project overall and like the idea behind Plasma, the rotation feature is totally braindead

Reply Score: 2

v Won't even try it...
by Jason Bourne on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:01 UTC
RE: Won't even try it...
by sj87 on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:34 UTC in reply to "Won't even try it..."
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

KDE (the desktop shell) isn't available for Windows 7 nor is Windows 7's taskbar available for Linux. Therefore the logical conclusion is you're just trying to spoil the conversation by trolling.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Won't even try it...
by _txf_ on Mon 6th Sep 2010 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Won't even try it..."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Don't worry about it. He just a regular troll around here.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Won't even try it...
by Jason Bourne on Mon 6th Sep 2010 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Won't even try it..."
Jason Bourne Member since:
2007-06-02

Yeah. I like trolling.

Reply Score: 1

Mac port?
by n.l.o on Mon 6th Sep 2010 18:40 UTC
n.l.o
Member since:
2009-09-14

Anyone know when KDE 4.5.x will be released for OSX in a "native" form, without the need for fink/macports?

No news here for years: http://mac.kde.org/

Reply Score: 1

RE: Mac port?
by vivainio on Mon 6th Sep 2010 19:00 UTC in reply to "Mac port?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Anyone know when KDE 4.5.x will be released for OSX in a "native" form, without the need for fink/macports?


Around the time some sucker is foolish enough to use his free time on it, I guess.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Mac port?
by n.l.o on Mon 6th Sep 2010 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Mac port?"
n.l.o Member since:
2009-09-14

"Anyone know when KDE 4.5.x will be released for OSX in a "native" form, without the need for fink/macports?


Around the time some sucker is foolish enough to use his free time on it, I guess.
"

I won't hold my breath then.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Mac port?
by KAMiKAZOW on Tue 7th Sep 2010 07:43 UTC in reply to "Mac port?"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

Fink is native. As long as you install a version that does not use X11, it is as native as any other installation method.
There is work going on to write a new installer but it'll use Fink: http://dazjorz.com/blog/?p=33

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Mac port?
by n.l.o on Thu 9th Sep 2010 04:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Mac port?"
n.l.o Member since:
2009-09-14

Fink is native. As long as you install a version that does not use X11, it is as native as any other installation method.
There is work going on to write a new installer but it'll use Fink: http://dazjorz.com/blog/?p=33



By "native" I meant "Download 'Amarok.app.zip', drag the app to Applications folder and double click to run it"

That's what the average non-geek Mac user is used to.

Thanks for the link, it looks very interesting.

Reply Score: 1