Dashboard Wallpaper

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Thu Aug 2 05:22:40 BST 2012

Doug posted on Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:52:04 -0400 as excerpted:

> On 08/01/2012 05:24 AM, hendrik wrote:

>> my dashboard all of a sudden has a background image.
>> I haven't found any setting mentioning this.
>> How can I make it have a transparent background again?
> What's a dashboard?  I'm running KDE and I have a desktop and a "panel"
> or systray. AFAIK, I don't have a dashboard--and probably don't want
> one!

FWIW, the plasma "dashboard" is an activity (basically another desktop 
full of plasmoid widgets) that's triggered with a special "dashboard" 
hotkey, and/or by clicking the dashboard-plasmoid icon that can be added 
to either an activity or a panel.

Plasma can be configured to either simply show the current desktop 
activity as the "dashboard", in which case the "dashboard" functionality 
is basically the same as the "show desktop" functionality, or with an 
entirely separate "dashboard" activity that's not otherwise deployed.

See the dashboard dropdown in kde settings, workspace appearance and 
behavior, workspace behavior, workspace.  That's where you configure 
whether the "dashboard" is an independent activity (aka widget set) or 
the normal desktop.

With widgets unlocked, you can add various plasmoids/widgets to either 
the current desktop/activity or to a panel, and both "show desktop" and 
"show widget dashboard" are available to be selected from the plasmoid/
widget browser, thus giving you a dashboard icon-click trigger.

Similarly, the keyboard shortcuts for both "show desktop" and "show 
dashboard" are configurable, again in kde settings, but under common 
appearance and behavior, shortcuts and gestures, global keyboard 
shortcuts.  At least on the kde 4.9-rc2 I'm currently running, "show 
desktop" is listed under the "kwin" kde component (in the dropdown), 
while "show dashboard" is under "plasma desktop shell".

FWIW, here I don't use the dashboard much on my workstation as I've 
enough screenspace I don't really need it -- the system monitor widgets I 
run all fit in a panel at the top.  But on my netbook, I use it a LOT, as 
screen space is MUCH more limited, so having the system monitors, systray, 
etc, available on the "dashboard", triggered by (customized =:^) hotkey, 
instead of on a panel that's constantly getting in the way and obscuring 
part of the already too small display, is a very useful option to have! 

But while I know what it is, unfortunately I'm not in a real good 
position to answer the original question.  I don't use the dashboard 
regularly enough on my current-kde (4.9-rc2) workstation to really know 
how it works there, and my netbook is still running the now nearly year-
and-a-half outdated kde 4.6, and I recently triggered some activity/
dashboard related bugs on it that I think are long since fixed in kde 
current, when experimenting with adding/removing an external monitor and 
expanding my desktop onto it.

However, what I /can/ say that might help /some/ is that I DID notice a 
change in dashboard background at one point a few versions ago, I /think/ 
with kde 4.6 or so as I think my netbook already showed the newer 
behavior.  The dashboard now seems to function as a semi-transparent 
overlay, darkening the existing workspace when the dashboard is triggered 
over top of it, so where there's no dashboard plasmoids/widgets, the 
normal apps and desktop show thru, but darkened, with only any configured 
dashboard plasmoids showing in normal color.  I *THINK* it had an opaque 
background of its own before that, but I can't remember exactly how it 
worked back then.

But I do know that had caused me a few issues on the netbook, as I had to 
change the way I used the dashboard after that.  But before I really 
investigated that too much I decided to see what plugging in an external 
monitor would do, and that triggered some more bugs.  And since I know 
it's so outdated anyway, I decided not to bother much more with it until 
I updated it, at which point I had a number of changes I wanted to make 
to the general config of the thing, and I've not gotten around to doing 
all that yet...  So I don't really know what the current dashboard 
behavior is, or even really what the 4.6 behavior was any more, since 
those bugs screwed all that stuff up and I've not had time to deal with 
it yet.

But I /can/ say the behavior has changed a bit over the kde versions 
confirming /that/ part.  I just don't know what/how/if-it's-even-possible 
to configure it back to the old behavior again.  So I can help the OP 
with at least some general confirmation but not with a solution, 
unfortunately, and not with too specific a comparison of my observed 
behavior to his, either, since that's effectively broken for me ATM, just 
at the general level. =:^(

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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