Restoring desktop icon positions on resolution change

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Sat Jun 8 05:04:43 BST 2013

Nikos Chantziaras posted on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 05:13:24 +0300 as excerpted:

> Currently, when I switch my monitor to a lower resolution and then back,
> the icons on my desktop are rearranged.  Is there a way to prevent that
> from happening?  Basically what I'm looking for is a setting for the
> desktop (I'm using folder view set to ~/Desktop) to remember the icon
> positions for different desktop sizes and have it work similar to the
> Windows 7 desktop.

I don't have a direct answer, but here's what I know/understand:

1) There's some distinction between different multi-monitor configs, and 
different resolutions with the same number of monitors.  Plasma (and kde 
in general) has always had problems with the former, because it could 
only retain one monitor layout config at a time.  That is changing.  In 
4.10 there was a new optional monitor layout manager that could handle 
multiple layout profiles, but AFAIK it was still experimental and not 
considered ready for prime-time yet.  I'm hoping it's ready for 4.11, 
however.  But I've not used it yet as my main machine that I always run 
the latest kde on (actually live-branch latest, so ahead of actual 
releases most of the time, but not development trunk, so 4.10 branch ATM, 
to be switched to 4.11 soon as 4.11 beta-1 is released) is workstation 
with a set multi-monitor config that rarely changes.

I have a netbook too, which is where I've always had problems as it has a 
limited resolution built-in display and I like to run it plugged into one 
of my big monitors, but need it to work on the single display as well, 
and that has always been a recipe for problems due to kde remembering 
only a single profile, which on my netbook is constantly changing between 
built-in-only and built-in-plus-external.

But I only tend to update the netbook once a year or so, so it's running 
a much older kde, without the new multi-monitor handling to try.

2) Plasma has for some time had multi-resolution support on the same set 
of monitors, but even that has been a work in progress, maturing slowly 
as the kde4 series progresses and as plasma itself matures (early plasma, 
thru kde 4.3 at least, was basically a demo-stub, missing huge amounts of 
planned functionality, 4.5 was the first I considered reasonably usable 
by normal people, and only 4.7 began to see some of the envisioned 
features, which are actually still maturing in 4.10; note that 4.11 is 
set to be the last 4.x series plasma feature release, after which it will 
stabilize and bug-fix-only until kde-frameworks-5 and plasma2).  But with 
4.9 and 4.10 it should work at least reasonably well with the default 
desktop layout where the focus is for a normal desktop.  (FWIW this is 
what I use on both my main machine and my netbook.)

3) The folderview desktop, by contrast, has been somewhat of a red-headed-
stepchild.  Originally, the plasma devs didn't implement it at all, 
preferring what they considered the more modern default desktop with 
multiple plasmoids layout for a normal monitor setup, and the search and 
launch and newspaper view for limited-resolution small-screen mobiles 
(including limited-resolution netbooks like mine).  However, users 
rebelled, and plasma brought back the traditional icon-based desktop 
folder view as an option, which it remains today.  But I don't believe 
any plasma devs run it and I don't see it getting much attention or 
development as they consider that a dead-end -- legacy support they're 
basically dragging along to support the Luddites, but that they'd prefer 
to drop if they could, just as they did early on, before they brought it 
back due to user protest.

4) The search-and-launch and newspaper-view layouts are seeing heavy 
attention as they're the designated mobile targets and that's where all 
the focus is these days, but I've not actually used them enough to have 
more than a passing familiarity with them, and for all I know they're 
designed for fixed-low-resolution mobile, so how they deal with 
resolution change I haven't the foggiest.

5) I'm not sure about the grouping and grid desktops.  I've tried them, 
but couldn't see much difference between that and the default desktop, 
and I've seen little information about them, so I haven't any real idea 
what they're for except the hints provided by the names themselves.  But 
given that the behavior /did/ seem close to that of the default desktop 
when I tried them, I'd _guess_ they're simply variants of that and have 
similar multi-monitor and multi-resolution handling status.

Taken together, then, the above means you're probably pretty much on your 
own with the folderview desktop, as that seems to be pretty much kept 
running and that's it.  The default desktop's probably your best bet for 
a reasonably sized/resolutioned monitor and should be best supported for 
that and multi-monitor, with search-and-launch and newspaper-view getting 
heavy attention too as mobile targets, but as such, I'm not sure what 
they're multi-resolution handling status is.

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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