RFC: System Settings categorisation overhaul

Sebastian Kügler sebas at kde.org
Sat Oct 3 12:17:29 BST 2009

On Saturday 03 October 2009 11:21:39 Ben Cooksley wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 9:03 PM, Martin Gräßlin
> <ubuntu at martin-graesslin.com> wrote:
> > Am Samstag 03 Oktober 2009 08:50:56 schrieb Ben Cooksley:
> >> Currently in System Settings the categories structure is not very easy
> >> to use, and makes finding settings harder than it should be. In order
> >> to correct this, a complete re-structure of the modules is required,
> >> removing the General / Advanced sorting and giving modules clear
> >> names.
> >>
> >> Dario Andres ( from bugsquad ) and myself have been working on this
> >> and have developed the following plan at this time for the modules
> >> [1]. Please see the following mockup to see how this would look [2].
> >> This is aimed at KDE 4.4 at this point, and we hope to commit it next
> >> week assuming no changes need to be made. We would appreciate
> >> everyone's comments on this.

Cool, thanks for taking the time for that.

> > I do not like the "Desktop effects" on toplevel. "Multiple Desktop" and
> > "Screen Edges" do not fit into "Window behaviour". I would prefer a new
> > Module "Workspace" which unites some Plasme and KWin config modules, that
> > is: * Multiple Desktops
> >  * Desktop Effects
> >  * Screen Edges
> >  * Screen Saver (IMO that belongs to workspace and not desktop look)
> >  * and the new "Workspace" module from Plasma - that needs a better name
> > ;-) * (perhaps also Task Switcher)
> Sorry, but that is too big. The objective of the restructuring is to
> make everything as top level as possible. A name such as Workspace is
> simply too generic. With 6 modules proposed to be in it I can only see
> future Plasma modules increasing it to an confusing level ( see
> current Appearance for what I mean )
> In this case Desktop Look = Workspace Look. Their look and behaviour
> are different things.
> Window Behaviour really meant KWin behaviour ( I think ). Probably
> needs better naming.

Some suggestions:

That last one really doesn't matter as it reflects an implementation detail. I myself 
got lost last night in these settings, and I  think Martin's proposal makes sense. 
All workspace settings in one module instead of hunting them down across different 

So are desktop effects appearance or behaviour? (IMO the latter, they primarily meant 
to extend functionality, the good looks are secondary).

Also, kudos to getting rid of "Advanced", it as become more and more of a dumping 
ground for modules (and the number of modules is also growing fast).

Lastly, I'd name the "Personal" category to "Personal and Appearance" (it fits what's 
in there, and appearance relates to taste, which is personal).

The split between Removable Devices and Optical Devices is unclear to me. I 
understand that Removable Devices has "Device Actions". There are some optical drive 
settings ("Audio CD", "CDDB  Retrieval", "K3bSetup"). The first two should go into 
the "Multimedia" category (along with the Phonon and digicam module), the latter 
should only be shown in k3b, not in SS.

I always find the separation between shortcut settings and keyboard and mouse 
confusing, I see that you're maintaining this. Can those be merged?

I'd move "Semantic Search" in the System Administration category, and keep the name 
desktop search. The "semantic" is really a detail here.

"PIM Resources" should probably be something like "Personal Accounts", PIM and 
resource and both very technical terms, the latter even an implementation name.

"User Session" should be "User Management" (I don't get the "Session" part here.)

Note that Celeste has done a card-sorting experiment to categorize the modules in 
systemsettings a couple of years ago. Now not al the results will still be valid, but 
surely consult her before implementing those changes

> >> All modules currently provided in KDE SVN will need to be adjusted to
> >> these new categories. For those that are not adjusted, a Legacy
> >> category will be dynamically created by System Settings if a module is
> >> not part of any other categories.

One thing that also needs to be done (and "going through all systemsettings' .desktop 
files sounds like a terrific opportunity) is adding keywords so they're easier to 
find from other places (like KRunner). It might also mean removing keyword from 
lower-level items to not pollute the matches too much.

> >> Note: The mockup is only done to show how the categories would look
> >> relative to each other. The current sizing of icons is not going to
> >> change.
> >>
> >> [1] http://techbase.kde.org/User:DarioAndres/SS3
> >> [2] http://imagebin.ca/view/Y3KUza.html

I think it's a big improvement :)

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