[kde-linux] KDE-4.10.1 - Pager sort of a mess

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Tue Apr 9 20:59:07 UTC 2013

Mark Knecht posted on Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:08:47 -0700 as excerpted:

> On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 6:58 AM, Paul Hartman <paul.hartman at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:38 AM, Mark Knecht <markknecht at gmail.com>
>> wrote:

>>> I updated to KDE-4.10.1 last week when it became stable on Gentoo.
>>> It's working but I find the new version of Pager not as useful as
>>> previous versions. In this version, instead of making the current
>>> desktop noticeably lighter in color, it seems I'm only getting a few
>>> white pixels at the corners of the selected desktop.

>>> I wonder if anyone has found any settings that might make this more
>>> readable for me? The Desktop Name & Number features don't help but
>>> maybe there's something buried elsewhere I haven't found.

> Yeah, I left gentoo-user after almost a decade of membership so I'm not
> visibly around as much as I used to be. Still here using Gentoo though.
> I doubt that will ever change. Good to see you also.

Interesting.  I've been thinking about resubscribing to user.  Back in 
2004 when I switched to gentoo, user was very busy (/too/ busy) but 
mostly 32-bit x86 users, while I was 64-bit amd64.  The amd64 list was 
busy but not like user, so that's where I remained subscribed.  Now days 
most folks use amd64 I think but mostly post to user and the amd64 list 
is a ghost town; a thread a month if that.  So I've been thinking about 
resubscribing to user, or at least looking at it to see how busy it is 
these days.  But I haven't yet.

>> As far as I can tell on my system, nothing has changed about the pager.

>> The only time it's difficult to see which desktop is active is when I
>> have no windows open on any of them, in that case one of them has a
>> slight "glow" around the border but is otherwise indistinguishable.
>> When windows are present, though, it's obvious. The current desktop
>> then is almost white, while the others are a dark grey. I'm sure this
>> is highly dependent on theme/wallpaper/etc. and probably some
>> combinations result in worse contrast than others.
>> I believe it uses the text color/inactive text color from your theme
>> and uses gamma to darken/brighten the thumbnail desktop indicators. So
>> I would try changing/adjusting/reapplying your theme, turn desktop
>> effects off/on (if you use them), ensure your video driver is not doing
>> anything funky that might mess with gamma rendering... I think I've
>> read that KDE and Qt should all be compiled with the same version of
>> GCC, so if you've upgraded your compiler lately maybe that has
>> something to do with it.

> Humm, the way you describe your system is exactly the way mine used to
> work. The pager element that represented the selected desktop was
> noticeably whiter and very easy to see. Now the only thing I have is at
> each corner there appear to be 2 or at most 3 white pixels sort of
> highlighting the corner. The bulk of the pager area for that desktop is
> unchanged whether selected or not. I have 6 desktops, 5 always have apps
> on them. The app areas show as darker, but the bulk of the area is
> unchanged.
> Your comments about themes & wallpaper are almost certainly involved.
> I hadn't looked at this issue on my laptop so I just fired it up. On the
> laptop the whole Task Manager along the bottom has switch to nearly
> transparent. I can hardly see it either. There's really just a faint
> line along the top of it. On the laptop the pager blocks representing
> each desktop are just faint outlines where the one that's selected has a
> 1 pixel outline.

Perhaps a rather more immediately practical reply than my first one...

I've been running kde 4.10 since the first beta, generally updating the 
day upstream kde releases, from the gentoo/kde overlay, well before the 
ebuilds (for the full releases, when there's no pre-release betas/rcs 
running) hit the main tree, so for nearly six months now.  As a result, 
the 4.10 changes were somewhat more gradual for me, and are months in the 
past now.  That said...

One of the big things about 4.10 was the switch to qt-quick for much of 
plasma and the standard plasmoids, plus some of the effects.  In most 
cases the developer-perspective result is a dramatic drop in code-line 
count and much cleaner code, resulting in far easier maintainability and 
better portability to other platforms (plasma-active, etc) as well.

I strongly suspect that resulting modest change in user visible behavior 
is what you're seeing.  The workspace/desktop themes won't have been 
developed with the qt-quick widgets in mind and only the main ones 
(oxygen and air, I'd guess) will have been well tested with the new qt-
quick implementation.  Changes to others would be up to the theme authors.

I don't use either a standard task list or pager here, preferring other 
solutions (alt-tab switching apps, simply scroll-switching the desktop, 
or cube, etc effects) but I noticed the qt-quick changes most strongly on 
my comic-strip plasmoid, where in addition to color changes, the 4.10 pre-
release versions were rather buggy, and even with 4.10.2+ (I actually 
switched to the the live-branch builds just a week or so 
ago, when 4.10.2 came out and I'd have otherwise upgraded to it, so it's 
4.10.2 plus any further fixes on the 4.10 branch), when a comic skips a 
day, it's possible to trigger a plasma crash trying to view it, tho it's 
harder to do now than it was (they fixed the simple display case not to 
crash, but if one chooses to view a specific comic from the past then 
moves forward to the current one again, it still crashes).  Additionally, 
with the old comic-strip plasmoid, on the skip-days one could still hit 
the back button to bring up the previous comic, then hit the forward 
button and it would /sometimes/ force a refresh that would fetch the new 
comic, if it had appeared upstream in the mean time.  But the back button 
simply doesn't work now, if there's no current comic displayed.  So the 
qt-quick comic-strip implementation is still a bit buggy, but it's 
definitely better than it was, as it takes a bit of work to crash plasma 
with it now, while with the prereleases, it'd crash immediately when 
switching to that comic from a different one, if that one simply wasn't 
available yet.

You're seeing similar (but not as bad, it's not crashing plasma for you!) 
issues with the qt-quick version of the pager plasmoid.

Quickly installing a pager on my desktop so I can see what's up, then 
experimenting a bit, yes, the desktop theme (kde settings, workspace 
appearance and behavior, workspace appearance, desktop theme) DOES make a 
visual difference.  I actually uninstalled most of the "extra" themes I 
had here with the upgrade to (while most of kde is now in 
git, the artwork stuff still appears to be in svn and I didn't want to 
install svn and its dependencies, so I uninstalled most of the optional 
artwork packages, and kept the only one I still have installed, oxygen-
icons, a hard dep of most of kde, not live-branch unmasked so it's still 
4.10.2 release), so I have only a few to test, but the active-desktop 
distinction DOES seem more subtle than I remember it.

But as long as there's apps open on the desktops, the pager rectangle 
representing the active app on the active desktop should be either much 
darker or much lighter (depending on the theme, here, it's darker/near-
black for air and air for netbooks, lighter/near-white for oxygen, and 
also for professional, which I have installed from kdelook) than other app 
rectangles, which will be more of a neutral color.

But the effect is MUCH harder to see if you have the display icons option 
checked in pager settings, and with some themes may be more difficult to 
see if you have the desktop names or numbers shown as well, so try the no 
text option.

And without any apps shown on the current desktop to hilight, it's all 
but impossible to see which desktop you're on.

One other thing I noticed: With the oxygen (and professional) desktop 
theme(s), there's a small (1 px?) blue outline around the active desktop 
in the pager.  It reminds me of the focus outline in normal windows, but 
of course this is plasma here so it doesn't follow the normal color 
scheme (where there's a color setting for focus as well as for hover), 
but rather the desktop theme (which doesn't seem to have a UI to set such 
things, you simply choose the theme and take what it gives you, tho it /
is/ possible to mix and match widgets from different themes).

But that outline either isn't there or is indistinguishable (for me) from 
the normal light/white outline color, in the air and air for netbook 

IOW, as we've seen with earlier changes, oxygen seems to be the most 
tested, so if you see problems, as a test try switching to oxygen for the 
related bit (desktop theme in this case, widget style, color scheme, 
window decoration... depending on the area that has the problem), and see 
if that at least alleviates the issue.  If it does, you know where the 
problem is and can experiment further or just stay with oxygen if you 
don't care and just want it to work with the least trouble, since it 
/does/ seem to be the best tested.

Meanwhile, AFAIK plasma uses its own themes, so for the most part isn't 
affected by the color scheme choices, which don't apply to it.  At one 
point anyway I think there were a couple exceptions (something to do with 
text colors, but I don't remember which ones), but I'm not sure if that 
still applies or not.  However, in the main, it's desktop themes, not 
color schemes or widget styles, that affect plasma.

(If you find the distinctions between color schemes, desktop themes, 
widget styles, and window decorations, all a bit confusing, you're not 
alone.  I find I can keep them relatively straight once I have them all 
enumerated, but whenever I wish to discuss them, I have to enumerate them 
all once again, in ordered to figure out what to call the one I actually 
want to discuss, and remember exactly how it relates to the other three.  
Themes/schemes/styles/decorations, they're all synonyms, and while I can 
almost always pick the correct one immediately by function, remembering 
which one's the theme and which one's the scheme and which one's the 
style when discussing them is always hard.)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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