Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Dec 2011 22:44 UTC, submitted by lemur2
KDE "Mobile devices that adapt to who you are, reflecting what you are doing when you are doing it. This concept is at the heart of the Plasma Active user experience. Plasma Active One was released in October 2011, providing early adopters the first opportunity to experience Activities on a tablet. Since then, the design and development team behind this open source touch interface has been hard at work on an update. The fruits of their labor were released today, December 14, 2011 as Plasma Active Two."
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GUI Design
by AnXa on Fri 16th Dec 2011 12:59 UTC
AnXa
Member since:
2008-02-10

It still looks like a big mess, imho. But I guess they are still developing it. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: GUI Design
by Hiev on Fri 16th Dec 2011 14:04 UTC in reply to "GUI Design"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

I think trying to stick to the activities paradigm for a tablet was a mistake.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: GUI Design
by leos on Fri 16th Dec 2011 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE: GUI Design"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I think trying to stick to the activities paradigm for a tablet was a mistake.


Yep. Not even on the tablet. I've said from the beginning that the whole concept of activities is a mistake. The vast majority of people are not even remotely that organized that they will create activities for different projects and connect their files and web pages and relevant apps together. I have yet to see even a convincing example of how it might work, or why that is in any way better than organizing things in traditional ways (in folders).

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: GUI Design
by gnemmi on Sat 17th Dec 2011 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: GUI Design"
gnemmi Member since:
2006-08-17

The vast majority of people are not even remotely that organized that they will create activities for different projects and connect their files and web pages and relevant apps together.

Don´t worry about them ... they won´t even know activities are there to get the best out of their tablet using experience.. they will still live their happy lives toying aroung with their single activity tablets...

Now, as for the rest of us, those who know about activities, how they work, why are they there, how to make good use of them and squeeze our desktops dry to their´s last drop ... well: we do care, a lot!

Start worring about activities the they someone points a gun to your head and forces you to use them ... or the day someone leaves you with no choice but to deal with them ( should that day ever come ) ...

But, please, for the time being just let it flow ... there´s a whole lot of people that does understand activities and the paradign behind them, use them on a daily basis and have greatly improved their whole desktop experience ;)

Best Regards.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: GUI Design
by terrakotta on Sat 17th Dec 2011 08:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: GUI Design"
terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

While I can see a benefit to activities, and I do try to use them myself, I fail miserably in adding them to my productivity:
1) if an activity is closed, and a program that was opened in that activity still resides in the system tray, opening that program will relaunch the activity that opened it: this is utterly wrong. Either the activity should remove it from the system tray on stopping the activity, or it should just open the window in the current activity. The result is a slow desktop that behaves badly and incoherently (coherence is one of their main thing of kde now isn't it?)
2) switching between activities is a pain in the ass, there used to be a alt+tab kindoff shortcut, but I can't find it anymore, and clicking every time on an icon to have a slow plasma (4-core system with 6gig of ram...) panel show up to click on a new icon just to switch to a different activity?
3) there's no visual meaning to activities, i.e. take webos or it's desktop counterpart gnome 3, a new activity has a meaning there, I know that in kde in each activity you can have different numbers of desktops, but how does a human being keep track of 16 different activities with each different numbers of desktops... rejoice the chaos created by order.
4) manually changing per window rule settings to tell a program it belongs to this or that activity, or even to multiple is just not productive and slow.
5) programs like opera do have a problem with this behavior, if you have two opera instances each in a different desktop, and you close one of these activities to later open them up again, guess what, opera will open a new window but not in the correct activity

Sure activities have potential, but after two+ years of development it's still not useful. The only reason I'm staying is because gnome 3 does not have the right programs, a task bar is useful (even with their desktop paradigm) and the (albeit slow) most functional window manager remains kwin.

Edited 2011-12-17 08:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: GUI Design
by Yagami on Sat 17th Dec 2011 10:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: GUI Design"
Yagami Member since:
2006-07-15

you said :

"3) there's no visual meaning to activities, i.e. take webos or it's desktop counterpart gnome 3, a new activity has a meaning there, I know that in kde in each activity you can have different numbers of desktops, but how does a human being keep track of 16 different activities with each different numbers of desktops... rejoice the chaos created by order. "

you can ? you cannot do this on the desktop at least.

Also , that is one of the most asked features on the desktop. Search kde bugzilla features.

Finally, nobody asks you to have 16 activities all the time. But its still better than having 320 windows on the same desktop ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: GUI Design
by terrakotta on Sat 17th Dec 2011 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: GUI Design"
terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

Actually, it is not better. A better design for virtual desktops (like gnome 3) combined with activities might be a killer, because it would limit the nr of activities created/used at the same time by the user and hence extending virtual desktops instead of recreating a more complex version of it. However, before designing this activity thing they should have redesigned the way virtual desktops work, because currently it is unflexible and utterly broken.
Gnome 3 on the other hand lacks a task bar, despite them saying they don't need it for their paradigm, it really is a missing element. I just find it a shame that all elements for a nice desktop are present, just not in the same project.
To me krunner and kwin are KDE's strong points and actual killer features (as a desktop). Plasma... not so much.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: GUI Design
by lemur2 on Sun 18th Dec 2011 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: GUI Design"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

switching between activities is a pain in the ass, there used to be a alt+tab kindoff shortcut, but I can't find it anymore, and clicking every time on an icon to have a slow plasma (4-core system with 6gig of ram...) panel show up to click on a new icon just to switch to a different activity?


Checkout System Settings => Shortcuts and gestures => Global keyboard shortcuts. For the pull-down box labelled KDE component, select Plasma Desktop Shell component.

You will see therein:

Meta+tab => next activity
Meta+shift+tab => previous activity

Even on my very humble systems, Plasma is not slow. Not at all. If it is slow on your system, then this must be due to some part of your system that is different to mine. If we are running the same KDE and Plasma desktop shell, then the slow part of your system that is not slow on any of my very mundane systems must be something that is not part of KDE.

My mundane systems include two Intel Atom netbooks (1G RAM only), and Acer Aspire One 522 netbook (2G RAM), and an Athlon 64x2 2Ghz system (3G RAM). They all have very modest GPUs.

If your capable system is slow running Plasma compared to my very modest systems, then your underlying system is broken, not KDE itself.

Edited 2011-12-18 01:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: GUI Design
by terrakotta on Sun 18th Dec 2011 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: GUI Design"
terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

don't have a problem with non kde-composited elements. Slider elements where the 'blue-shadow' lags behind the actual movement i.e. veromix (mostly the qml-based plasmoids suffer from this, but the 'change activity' plasmoid takes a loooong time to load etc...). I have more than one system running, xfce, gnome 3, razor-qt, but preferably KDE since it is the more usefull desktop. All desktops are speedy, except kde. On all desktops but kde elements pop-up without waiting, both on the open source nvidia as well with the closed binary driver. If I recall correctly, I'm not the only one complaining about performance problems with plasma (and kwin). They're working on it, it clearly improves with every version, however they still have a long way to go when it comes to performance. I have both a performant desktop as a 4 year old laptop (core2duo-nvidia8400m). On the laptop I just had to start using gnome 3 because kde is unbearable there. I really doubt it's the hardware being broken, oh yeah, running 4.7.4, hopefully 4.8 delivers the improvements promised.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: GUI Design
by lemur2 on Sun 18th Dec 2011 02:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: GUI Design"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

don't have a problem with non kde-composited elements. Slider elements where the 'blue-shadow' lags behind the actual movement i.e. veromix (mostly the qml-based plasmoids suffer from this, but the 'change activity' plasmoid takes a loooong time to load etc...). I have more than one system running, xfce, gnome 3, razor-qt, but preferably KDE since it is the more usefull desktop. All desktops are speedy, except kde. On all desktops but kde elements pop-up without waiting, both on the open source nvidia as well with the closed binary driver. If I recall correctly, I'm not the only one complaining about performance problems with plasma (and kwin). They're working on it, it clearly improves with every version, however they still have a long way to go when it comes to performance. I have both a performant desktop as a 4 year old laptop (core2duo-nvidia8400m). On the laptop I just had to start using gnome 3 because kde is unbearable there. I really doubt it's the hardware being broken, oh yeah, running 4.7.4, hopefully 4.8 delivers the improvements promised.


Since you are obviously a little slow on the uptake, I will attempt to explain it once again. Just as you see no adverse effects on other desktops, I see no adverse effects on KDE. KDE is not, in and of itself, slow. If it is slow for you on your systems, and it is not slow for me on any of mine, and likewise it is not slow for millions of others on their systems, then the reason why it is slow for you must lie somewhere within your system that is different to all these other systems where KDE is not slow at all.

Given that all the systems in question run the same KDE software, obviously the problem you are experiencing where KDE is sluggish on your system is not a problem of KDE itself. It is a problem somewhere in your system that is not at play in all those other systems which work great with KDE.

I don't say it is your hardware, it is probably somewhere in the underlying layers between your hardware and KDE. The most likely place is in your video driver, the next most likely place is somewhere in Mesa (which implements OpenGL on Linux systems).

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: GUI Design
by lemur2 on Sun 18th Dec 2011 03:40 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: GUI Design"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I have more than one system running, xfce, gnome 3, razor-qt, but preferably KDE since it is the more usefull desktop. All desktops are speedy, except kde. On all desktops but kde elements pop-up without waiting, both on the open source nvidia as well with the closed binary driver. If I recall correctly, I'm not the only one complaining about performance problems with plasma (and kwin). They're working on it, it clearly improves with every version, however they still have a long way to go when it comes to performance.


No, they don't. Your system simply doesn't perform correctly for some particular operation which happens to be used by KDE but not other desktops. This exact same operation is performed correctly on millions of other systems which run KDE just fine.

Thom has had a similar long-term issue on his main system. The author of kwin Martin Gräßlin had a look at this for Thom (presumably using a profiler), and I am told he identified the issue was within the functions called up by the snap functionality (the Windows 7 Aero Snap stuff KDE also implemented). Martin had never seen this problem before. The interim workaround for Thom is to disable the snap functionality.

Please note that this functionality works just fine as it is for millions of KDE users. If Martin can identify a workaround within KDE itself that does not penalise the millions of other users, then perhaps Martin might modify KDE's code with this workaround in order to have it work also on the relatively few systems (including Thom's) that are affected. The ideal solution, however, would be to get this fixed at the point where it is actually broken, wherever that turns out to be, rather than penalise millions of KDE users by disabling the working snap feature for them also.

Edited 2011-12-18 03:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: GUI Design
by roverrobot on Sat 17th Dec 2011 01:44 UTC in reply to "RE: GUI Design"
roverrobot Member since:
2006-07-23

I think trying to stick to the activities paradigm for a tablet was a mistake.


You say this as if the current plasma one is not usable with a single activity.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: GUI Design
by Hiev on Sat 17th Dec 2011 01:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: GUI Design"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

With a single activitie? I don't know, because they only have show activities with plasmoids, and they haven't said a word about accelerometer support nor battery usage. And if the plan B was to stick to a single activitie then, why use activities at all?

Edited 2011-12-17 01:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Get the Beauty of KDE on Your Tablet
by lemur2 on Sat 17th Dec 2011 06:17 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

https://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/246301/get_the_beauty...

Performance is up to 10 times faster than Plasma Active One was, the project adds. Boot times have also been significantly reduced, it says, and the on-screen keyboard has been made more responsive.

Overall, the project aims to bring a smooth Plasma Active experience to devices with as little as 256MB of RAM and sub-1GHz processors.

Preinstalled Tablets on the Way

Plasma Active Two runs on a much wider variety of devices than its predecessor did, including those based on both Intel and ARM architectures. Specific examples include the ExoPC, BeagleBoard, Archos G9 tablet, and NVidia Tegra 2 devices.

Detailed information on installing it are available on the Plasma Active wiki, while download links are on the KDE community site.

It apparently won't be long, either, before you can get tablets with the interface preinstalled--the project says at least two such announcements will be made in the next month.

Reply Score: 3

gnemmi Member since:
2006-08-17

It apparently won't be long, either, before you can get tablets with the interface preinstalled--the project says at least two such announcements will be made in the next month.

if that´s the case .. then I think I may be getting into the whole tablet bandwagon ..

Reply Score: 1

KDE.org release announcement
by lemur2 on Sat 17th Dec 2011 07:39 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I forgot to provide a link to the release announcement on kde.org.

Here it is:
http://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-active-two/

Improved User Experience

When Plasma Active One was released, people began installing and using Plasma Active on a variety of tablet devices, resulting in valuable user feedback. Tablets were also provided to testers in controlled environments where usage was observed by the Plasma Active design team. This information about real-world usage enabled the team to improve the end-user experience significantly over the past two months.

Better Performance

In addition to tweaking presentation, the team paid attention to performance. This is important because Plasma Active is intended for smaller devices. Listing documents, applications, widgets and contacts were optimized for a more fluid experience. In some cases, they are more than 10 times faster than Plasma Active One. Several elements of the QtQuick-based interface were optimized for a much-needed performance boost. The on-screen keyboard is now more responsive, and boot times have been significantly reduced.

Introducing Recommendations

Plasma Active Two focused primarily on improvements to One. However, Plasma Active Two has one significant new feature ― Recommendations. Plasma Active is now able to learn as you use your device. It uses that information to make recommendations as to what content, web sites and applications are likely to be related to what you are doing right now.

...

Correction: although I originally did not link to kde.org, I have just realised that as a good editor, Thom did. My apologies.

Edited 2011-12-17 07:41 UTC

Reply Score: 3