[kde-linux] In KDE4, to set a different background for each of the multiple desktops

Stan Goodman stan.goodman at hashkedim.com
Wed Dec 23 16:15:44 UTC 2009

At 16:57:40 on Wednesday Wednesday 23 December 2009, Duncan 
<1i5t5.duncan at cox.net> wrote:
> Stan Goodman posted on Wed, 23 Dec 2009 14:57:16 +0200 as excerpted:
> > I will definitely try this, and I am grateful for your advice,
> > although the explanation of the mechanics only emphasizes for me how
> > much I want to dump the bother of Activities to the extent that this
> > is possible. Can I hide the translucent shower curtain?
> This translucent "window that fills much of the screen", aka "shower
> curtain"...
> Now /I'm/ the one confused.  I'm not quite sure what you are talking
> about...  I'm sure it's a terminology thing, but I just don't quite get
> the visualization you're trying to portray -- maybe I'm thinking too
> literally, or not literally enough, I don't know but it's not coming --
> and as a result, I'm lost as to how to help or comment further...
> Meanwhile, from your :52 post, it appears you've found the zooming...
> but don't find it intuitive at all... which as I said, seems to have
> taken the devs by surprise, the number of people who find this
> interface not only unintuitive, but unpleasant and even scary, as to
> the devs, it must have seemed the most natural thing in the world,
> given the extent to which they rely on it thru kde 4.3 at least.
> FWIW, I'm not the only one to observe that while the changes might
> eventually be welcomed, it seems kde/plasma took it too far too fast,
> with the change being so great it's very uncomfortable for many/most
> people.  Had they gone somewhat slower, perhaps in 3-5 years, people
> could have been prepared for this, if the changes were taken a single
> much smaller step at a time.

I could not agree more inthusastically. I have said many times elsewhere 
that "Great Leaps Forward" generally end with a fall flat on the face by 
the leaper. Mao Tse Tung discovered that too. Nothing beats an 
incremental program of advance.

As you say, some/many of the changes may be accepted if delivered more 
gradually. Some, I think, may be found superfluous. In general, the guys 
need a short course in feeling out the user base about what is desired, 
and a talk about introducing innovations just because they are "cool". 
They need to be called back to earth, where the users are.

I do not believe that it is a  matter only of acclimating the users. 

Believe it or not, I have, by dint of enough fumbling, managed to install 
separate images on all six virtual desktops. In the process, it is true 
that I have learned a bit about the way Activities work. But I also that 
not only the backgrounds are tied to the virtual desktops, but everything 
else about them. For example, I suspect think if I want a second panel, I 
would have to install it for each desktop individually, and to maintain 
each one separately. Is that a good guess? If so, an enormous array of 
new management duties have bee created to replace the simplicity of KDE3. 
Worth it? Not for me. In KDE3 I have all my "Activities", as they would 
be called in KDE4 in a second panel at the top of the screen. Nearly 
everything I want to do has an icon there, and I can do those things in 
whatever desktop happens to be free. It is simple. There is a virtue to 
simplicity. Most people use KDE(3) because it is relatively easy to 
understand and to operate. People with a day job don't need or want to 
have to embark on an extensive education program.

Incremental change would also have given an opportunity to develop an 
understanding that KDE exists for for its users, not for the developers 
(even if they are working for nothing, which they like to point out) to 
devise cute tricks that nobody wants.

Given the philosophy of the development  team, I doubt that KDE4 will ever 
make the cut to enterprise SuSE, regardless of what tweaking can be made 
to it in the next two years or so; I think it is fundamentally flawed.

Thank you...

Stan Goodman
Qiryat Tiv'on

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