Can't resize, move or remove some widgets

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Fri Mar 20 03:51:01 GMT 2015

Marcelo Magno T. Sales posted on Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:45:15 -0300 as

> I have several widgets on my desktop: nextwallpaper, yawp, stockquote
> (three instances of this one) and a network monitor. Suddenly, two of
> them, yawp and one of the stockquote instances, stopped showing that
> lateral setup tab which allows you to move, resize or remove the widget
> from the desktop. Widgets are unlocked and, except for these two, all of
> them show the tab when I hover the mouse over them, including the other
> two instances of stockquote.
> I would like to remove and re-add the problematic widgets to see if they
> go back to normal behavior, but can't find a way to remove them. Other
> than not displaying the setup tab, both widgets are working fine.
> Any idea on how to solve this?
> I'm running KDE 4.14.1 on Kubuntu 14.10.

First, please be aware that not everyone enjoys noise like the following, 
due to your posting in both HTML and plain text.  HTML enabled clients 
are a security vulnerability that not everyone chooses to risk, and 
often, the regulars most likely to have good answers are also the ones 
you're offending by posting such noise.  If it's worth reading, it's 
worth reading in plain text only, so please, don't post the HTML.  (Left-
angle < changed to right-angle > to ensure that it shows up on HTML 
enabled clients).

> >/style>>/head><body style=" font-family:'DejaVu Sans Mono';
> font-size:11pt; font-weight:400; font-style:normal;" >
> >p style=" margin-top:0px; margin-bottom:0px; margin-left:0px;
> margin-right:0px; -qt-block-indent:0; text-indent:0px; -qt-user
> -state:0;">Hello, people,>/p>

As to the question...

FWIW, I actually use a couple instances of yawp here, set to different 
locations, but don't use any of the other plasmoids you mentioned.  So 
I'll use it as the common ground.

While I've not seen this particularly curious behavior before, I do have 
some suggestions and know where to find these settings in the text-based 
config files as well, which should help as a last resort.  I've had to 
directly edit the config files myself for other issues, and now keep both 
a backup copy and the operational copy set read-only when I'm not making 
specific changes, so it can't be damaged.  I'd suggest doing likewise, as 
the file in question, while text, has a quite complex structure making it 
not the easiest thing in the world to directly edit.

You clarified that widgets (also called plasmoids) are unlocked and that 
other plasmoids, including other instances of one of the problematic 
ones, show the floating config tabs on hover.  Thanks.  I agree, it's 
very strange that some show the tabs but not others...

Unfortunately, other than toggling the locked state and restarting plasma-
desktop (presuming you have plasma set to desktop, otherwise plasma-
netbook, which I'm less familiar with) a few times in an effort to try to 
get the config tabs back, I don't have any further suggestions to try on 
that attack angle.

Which leaves three others I know of to try...

Simplest, if it works, and if it doesn't you should at least get a bit 
more information about what's going on, at least with yawp, which I know 
has this option.  (Not sure about the stock plasmoids.) ...

With plasmoids on the desktop (as opposed to on a panel, where they don't 
show the config tab either, so I'll assume yours are on the desktop, tho 
you didn't say), with plasma unlocked, many plasmoids (including yawp) 
have a context menu (traditionally displayed on right-click) with among 
other things, a remove this <plasmoid> (remove this yawp, for yawp) 
entry.  The icon beside the entry should be a red X, for removal.

If you can see that on the context menu for the plasmoids in question, 
hopefully that'll remove them.  Please restart plasma (or logout/in to 
restart it, or quit and restart X, or restart the computer) and verify 
whether your changes held.

If not, please compare with the context menu where the config tab DOES 
appear.  Is that entry showing up there?

Since this option only shows up when widgets are unlocked, if it's 
showing up on the one that shows the config tab but not the other one, 
then the problem must be that the problem plasmoids aren't getting the 
message that plasma is unlocked, for whatever reason.

If it's not showing up in either the plasmoids with the tab or the ones 
without, then you're experiencing some other sort of plasmoid bug.

In either case, while a clue to the base problem, if that entry isn't 
showing up, you can't remove the plasmoids that way, and will likely have 
to resort to one of the other two, both of which are more intensive.

Option two is to configure a replacement activity and delete the current 
activity containing the plasmoids you can't remove on their own.  With 
plasma unlocked, either context-click on the desktop (if you have 
activities configured to show up in the desktop context menu) or click on 
the desktop's toolbox icon and select activities.  Add a new one, and add 
plasmoids/widgets as desired.  Switch to the new activity, then stop and 
delete the old one.  Again, restart plasma (or kde or logout/back-in or 
restart X or restart the computer) and verify whether the changes held.

Meanwhile, the file where all this information is stored is $KDEHOME/
share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc.  You can if you like try to edit 
this file (with plasma shut down, of course), preferably after making a 
backup, just in case, or simply delete it to start over with defaults.

WARNING!!  This file contains nearly ALL significant plasma 
configuration, including not only all plasmoids, but also all activities, 
and all panels as well.  Thus, deleting the file will delete all 
customizations you've made not only to the one activity, but all other 
activities you have configured, and all panel customizations you've made.

Unfortunately, that also means it's more difficult to edit by hand than 
it should be, particularly because as becomes obvious rather quickly, 
while like most of kde's config files it's ini-style plain-text, it's 
obviously designed more for machine parsing than ease of human editing.

The format as mentioned is ini-style.  [Section] entries on their own 
lines demarked by [], with setting=value pairs, again, each on their own 
lines.  In this case, however, we have [sections] [nested] [multiple] 
[layers] [deep], some with [numbers] instead of human-readable 

When editing, you have to figure out what component at what level the 
numbers associate with, often by looking at what nested settings and 
sections they contain to figure out what they are.  For instance, I have 
a section that includes this...

[Containments] [198]

Obviously, everything within the multiple nested [Containments] [198] 
[whatever] sections are individual settings and plasmoids with their own 
settings, belonging to the activity I have that's named "plasmoids".  
However, I have multiple monitors, and each monitor is its own "activity" 
container, so [Containments] [199] is the "plasmoids" activity as well 
(with its own activity=plasmoids setting), and I have to look at what 
each one contains to determine which one corresponds to the plasmoids 
activity on which monitor.

Unfortunately, plasma doesn't necessarily properly remove ALL the 
settings corresponding to a component when that component is deleted.  So 
you're likely to find partial settings for components long deleted, which 
only confuse when you're trying to figure out what mystery-numbers 
correspond to what, and possibly trigger bugs in plasma, as well.

The main thing to ensure when you're editing the file, therefore, is that 
you have the component you THINK you do (particularly when you have more 
than one instance of a component, or had other instances in the past that 
might not have been fully deleted), and that if you delete components by 
hand, you delete ALL settings for that component, since there might be 
several sections for plasmoids, and for panels/activities and other 
containers, possibly MANY sections, pertaining to that component.

So... be sure you create a backup copy if you're going to try hand 
editing, in case you screw up, and take it nice and slow.

Of course you can always delete the whole file and start over, but that 
means you'll have to reconfigure all customizations from scratch, 
including perhaps multiple panels and multiple activities, if you had 
them configured.  If you haven't customized that much, not a big deal.  
If however, you're a heavy customizer as I am, losing all of them and 
starting from scratch is something to be avoided if at all possible, even 
if it means painstaking hand-editing of a config file as complicated as 
this one is!

Hope it's helpful! =:^)

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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