kde 4.1 desktop

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Mon Jun 2 02:46:50 BST 2008

On Monday 02 June 2008, Paul Kaplan wrote:
> Could someone explain the rationale for removing icons from the desktop in
> 4.1?  I'm not judging the change (not looking for opinions about whether
> it's a good or bad change), just curious about the driver behind it.  I've
> read that it better fits the 4.1 desktop paradigm, but I'm not even sure
> what that is.

As far as I understand:
"The desktop" is now basically just the wallpaper or rather a kind of main 
window like in those application which can host more than one document.

The use case to have launcher icons and files quickly available on a large and 
permanent view will be covered by the folder view plasmoid.
In its current implementation it can display any folder's contents and the 
default setup has one of these folder views display the contents of the 
$HOME/Desktop directory.

However, regarding the visual aspect of this use case, i.e. icons "blending" 
into the wallpaper, we do have a sort of regression, since the background of 
the folder view is not yet configurable enought to be fully transparent.

It is my understanding that the Plasma developers are working on removing this 
limitation within the next feature period, so that a fully maximized folder 
view pointed at $HOME/Desktop will have the same functional and visual 
behavior as "The Desktop".

Additionally it will allow new use cases, e.g. displaying more than one 
folder "on the wallpaper" or displaying "virtual folders" (e.g. results of a 
file search query).

> Also, in the kde4live distro, is there a way to change the icon sizes in
> the default plasmoid that "appears" on the "desktop"?

Good question.

Since I am not involved in this part of KDE development my guess is as good as 
yours. My guess is that since Plasma is all about resolution independence and 
size awareness, that icons within the folder view will resize depending in 
the available space, probably allowing the user to configure upper and lower 

A recent screencast of a development state KDE desktop shows folder views in 
various configurations and styles (among other things)



Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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