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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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 Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: GUI Design
by Yagami on Sat 17th Dec 2011 10:14 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: GUI Design
by terrakotta on Sat 17th Dec 2011 12:56 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: GUI Design
by lemur2 on Sun 18th Dec 2011 01:09 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: GUI Design
by terrakotta on Sun 18th Dec 2011 02:00 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 Parent Score: 2