plasma search in application launcher?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Thu Sep 20 08:04:24 BST 2018

Kristian Rink posted on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:05:16 +0200 as excerpted:

> Folks;
> using recent KDE neon (18.04), I see two different "search" approaches
> on the desktop:
> There's the "plasma search" (triggered by alt+tab on my device) that
> searches across a wide range of sources, including packages and running
> applications.

It's not entirely clear from your description, but I /believe/ what 
you're referring to here is krunner, the beefed-up "run dialog" that does 
so much more these days.

Krunner is deliberately an entirely separate application/process/
executable from the plasma-shell executable that controls the desktop 
itself, various panels, etc, along with the widgets (aka plasmoids) on 
them.  The reasoning is that should one or the other crash or lockup, the 
other should still be available and responsive, and can be used to  (quit 
and) restart whatever's crashed or locked up, to launch a terminal window 
(konsole) in ordered to do more detailed troubleshooting, or to 
shutdown.  This wouldn't be possible if both were parts of the same 
process and thus crashed/locked-up together.

(And FWIW, I run plasma built from live-git sources, which are generally 
reasonably stable but can at times be unstable enough that I definitely 
appreciate that separation, and occasionally find myself using it to quit 
and restart the other component or some other separate plasma component 
such as kwin.)

As for that wide array of search sources... krunner has a search-plugin 
architecture just as plasma-shell has its plasmoid-widget plugin 
architecture, with all sorts of runner/search plugins available to search 
the various sources (running windows/desktops/activities, web shortcuts, 
various indexed-file results from the semantic-desktop index components 
that I don't have installed here and thus don't get, units converter, all 
sorts of stuff!).

Assuming it is indeed krunner, if you click/touch the configure icon, you 
should get a plugin configuration dialog allowing you to toggle the 
activation status on each individual plugin, with further configuration 
options available for some of those plugins, as signified by a config 
button of their own.

Pretty awesome stuff! =:^)

> And there's the "search" in the stock "application launcher" (start
> symbol in the task bar) which apparently just searches applications
> installed.
> Is there any way to make the "search" in the "application launcher"
> behave like the "plasma search"?

Note that there's actually several available "application launcher" 
widgets available, each of which will have its own possible configuration 
and behavior.   The default, I believe (I've customized my plasmoids to 
the point I no longer remember for sure what the default is, but IIRC...) 
is "Application Launcher", which is unfortunately rather confusing as 
that's such a generic name it's hard to tell whether you're talking about 
the specific plasmoid with that name, or the generic launching 
functionality, which may well be provided by some other widget, which 
might well have different search behavior.

In theory, it should be possible for a launcher plasmoid to have search 
functionality that uses the same krunner style search plugins and would 
thus have exactly the same available functionality (possibly with a 
different set of active plugins configured as the default, but you could 
choose from the same set), and it's possible there's a launcher plasmoid 
available for installation from the kde store that provides that 

But the problem with that is that if it used the same plugin architecture 
and possible plugins as krunner, because this launcher plasmoid runs in 
plasma-shell, it would expose plasma-shell to the same possible crash-
triggers from the krunner plugins as krunner itself is exposed to, which 
would rather defeat the purpose of keeping them as separate processes 
with as separate as possible crash-triggers, so one can always be used to 
restart the other, should it be necessary.

Given that would largely defeat one of the deliberate design decisions, 
to keep them separate, it's unlikely such functionality would be shipped 
in a default-installed plasmoid, however.  It'd have to be one installed 
from the kde store (or other source), presumably developed with the 
express purpose of allowing krunner search plugins to be used in whatever 
plasma-shell search plasmoid.  And of course, users installing it would 
be taking on the additional risk of having both launcher functionalities 
go down at once, so one couldn't be used to restart the other, as is 
deliberately the case now.

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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