Adding Widgets

James Tyrer jrtyrer at
Sun Nov 22 05:24:49 GMT 2009

Stephen P. Molnar wrote:
> On 11/21/2009 03:06 PM, James Tyrer wrote:
>> Stephen P. Molnar wrote:
>>> KDE 4.3.1/OpenSuSE 11.2.
>>> How does one go about adding non-KDE widgets to the task bar, as
>>> was the case in kde 3.x?
>> We have a semantics problem here.  KDE-3 had a TaskBar which is now
>>  called the TaskManager.  But, you can't add widgets to it.  I
>> presume that you are using 'task bar' as it is used for MS-Windows.
>> IIUC, it means Panel.  If there is a 'desktop' file for the applet
>> (widget) you should be able to simply drag that 'desktop' to the
>> Panel after you "Unlock Widgets".
> Yoiu're correct, as far as a semantics problem is concerned.
> The question becomes one of how do I add an applet to the desktop?
Perhaps you misunderstood.  But the answer is the same for adding a
applet to the DeskTop.  You unlock the widgets: "Unlock Widgets" in the
DeskTop context menu -- right click.  Then you need to find the applet 
in the menu and drag it to the Panel or the DeskTop (or if going to the 
DeskTop, you can find the *.desktop" file and directly drag it to the 
Desktop).  When you drop the file, a context menu might appear (I say 
'might' because this  appears to have been eliminated from the current 
4.3 BRANCH SVN).  If it does, choose "copy" or "link".

A problem might be that you are going to need to find the "*.desktop"
file for the applet if it isn't on the menu.

Note: GNOME applets (I prefer their character picker) do not have
"*.desktop" files -- at least I can't find them.  You will find the
executables in: "/usr/libexec" (if GNOME is installed in "/usr").  To
add these to the Panel, you will have to create a "*.desktop" file.
Right click: "Create New -> Link to Application" and fill out the forms 
and select the icon.

Now, we come to the serious bug.  You can not put the "*.desktop" file
on the panel unless it is in the menu -- that is in the directory 
"/usr/share/applications" (although you can put them on the DeskTop).

The other problem is that (unlike KDE-3) the icon on the Panel is only 
linked to the "*.desktop" file.  This means that there needs to be a 
copy of actual "*.desktop" file.

So, it would appear that if you want an applet on the Panel and don't 
want it in the menu that first you need to move the "*.desktop" file to 
the "/usr/share/applications"; second drag it to the Panel -- it will be 
in "Lost & Found"; third, move the "*.desktop" file somewhere else (e.g. 
"/usr/share/apps/panel_icons/"); forth, change the URL in 
"$HOME/.kde4/share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc"; and finally, since 
I can't find any way to force an update of Plasma, you will have to 
restart Plasma.  Open a Konsole and:

	killall plasma-desktop

I find this a bit unsettling since I get several error messages.

James Tyrer

Linux (mostly) From Scratch
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