panel usability

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Wed Nov 25 17:31:12 GMT 2009

Kevin Krammer posted on Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:11:07 +0100 as excerpted:

> On Wednesday, 2009-11-25, xPol wrote:
>> I am striving to use the panel in kde 4.3.3, the same smart way as in
>> kde 3.5. Here are my first remarks:
>> - it is difficult to select option in the panel setting--> 'more
>> settings'; that is menu items do dot react upon clicking and i cannot
>> see any mark denoting that the option has been activated. (i am using
>> the bespin desktop theme; is it the same with the default oxygen
>> theme?)
> The way I have it here (I think I am using the default style/theme) is
> that the selected entry is always highlighted independent of where the
> mouse points to.

I'm definitely not using the default theme, style, or color scheme, 
either plasma/desktop or general window/widget -- I don't believe it's 
likely I'll ever see defaults I like, and one of the strengths of kde 
that has always been a reason I've used it is the ease of customization 
and developer recognition that customization *IS* a valid user desire, 
thus the deliberate policy of knob and dial exposure for the purpose, 
that so infuriates the "just works, don't bother me with the details" 

FWIW, I'm using the "Professional" plasma/desktop theme, downloaded from, because I like its almost transparent but clearly edged 
(when on the desktop) panels and plasmoids.  It does /not/ have the 
problem described above.  The resizer panel background is a rather dark 
smoky gray translucent.  The buttons don't initially show up, so only the 
icons and labeling appear, as if directly on the smoky background (adding 
to the transparency effect).  However, hover the mouse over a button and 
it shows up, a very light, almost white, fade to mid-gray at the bottom 
of the button.  It's high enough contrast that there's little mistaking 
when the pointer is over a button.  On the more-settings menu, the 
selected buttons for panel alignment and visibility are similarly light 
colored, but with the reverse fade, almost white at the bottom, mid-gray 
at the top.  Again, high enough contrast there's no mistaking what's 
selected, and with the reverse fade, easily distinguished from the mouse-
hover highlight, as well .

Overall, the effect is indeed /very/ "professional" looking, so the theme 
is well named, tho depending on the widgets and the wallpaper, it's 
possible some may find it too transparent for their tastes.  One 
especially striking feature is the analog clock, darker edges, 
transparent center, "antique white" hour marks, metalized hands.  A nice 
large analog clock, centered on the desktop with the also dominantly gray 
toned "Beach Reflecting Clouds" wallpaper, I believe from the kde weather-
wallpaper package, yields an incredibly surreal artistic effect, 
reminiscent of a Dali or similar painting.  The only added touch to make 
it unmistakably Dali would be if the clock could be "flowing" or perhaps 
draped over another widget, or something.  I'm normally not much for 
analog clocks, but in this case, the effect is incredibly striking! =:^)

Which is all a long-winded way of confirming... it's an issue/bug with 
your plasma theme.  You may wish to check kdelook, or wherever you got 
bespin, to see if there's an update.  If not, you can try requesting a 
fix.  Meanwhile, you'll need to decide whether you like bespin enough to 
tolerate this specific issue, or not.  YMMV as they say, but I'd consider 
it a /good/ thing that kde is customizable enough to actually let the 
themes chose colors with issues like this, if that's what the theme 
designer wants, or more likely, simply hasn't discovered that bug just 
yet, due to his usage pattern.

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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