notmart at gmail.com
Fri Apr 9 19:59:28 CEST 2010
On Friday 09 April 2010, Markus wrote:
> Dear readers.
> I had some ideas how to possibly improve Plasma's netbook interface.
ideas are always welcome :)
> (I published this set of suggestions also in my blog. Maybe it's easier to
> read there:
> http://kamikazow.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/plasma-netbook-mockup/ )
> While my task within KDE is mainly to translate K3b, I see myself as a
> usability geek as well. So while cycling through parks in my hometown and
> enjoying the spring weather, I thought about improving the netbook
> experience. And while I continued to think about it Plasma applets I
> already know exist and how they could be incorporated and refined. I also
> remembered using classic Mac OS which featured a pointer-based GUI that
> was targeted at screens that have roughly the same proportions as today’s
> I have to add that I don’t know how in what shape Plasma Netbook in current
> trunk is, so my suggestions may even already be obsolete. I also lack any
> talent to code, so obviously I’m hoping for an actual programmer to pick up
> my ideas.
> So, enough introduction talk. Let’s get started.
> Plasma Netbook how it looks today:
> Page One displays various Plasma applets in an aligned way. So overall I
> think this screenshot is pretty self explanatory. One aspect is worth
> pointing out: How task switching currently works. You click on the Running
> Apps "button" and get an Exposé view of all open windows.
> This IMHO has some drawbacks. A.) it requires compositing (not available to
> everyone) and B.) totally breaks down if many windows are open.
> Well, classic Mac OS had a simple drop-down list of running apps. Hardly
> fancy, but worked really well, so this is what I came up with:
> http://kamikazow.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/netbook2.png (No active app)
right now, when compositing is off, exactly such a menu is displayed.
i think however the exposè effect has more informational value, so i would
keep the menu as fallback. i agree that the current effect is lacking, what
would be nice is:
layout as a grid when we are in netbook mode (will make the workspace kcm
configure it as so)
-having the possibility to "scroll" if too many windows are open (a crappy
device is supposed to not have garzillions of apps open at the same time btw)
-maybe a close button on the thumbnails
> I moved clock and tray to the far right where IMO it’s expected by many
> users anyway. "Show all windows" triggers the Exposé effect, so no
> functionality is lost. The menu could also be assigned to a keyboard
there was a reason for the strange layout we have now:
the close and maximize buttons are epected to be at right, and i think it's
really weird if as in your screenshot those buttons are separed from the
applet that gives the title, even if they could mae sense at opposite sides of
> When an application runs, the top bar changes:
> http://kamikazow.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/netbook3.png (App active)
> On the left side is still the app switcher, but now also featuring the
> options to hide or quit the app (Quit and Show All maybe should switch
> positions). The button title switches to the app name to indicate what’s
> The pages bar is changed to the app’s menu bar. Plasma Netbook works in a
> similar fashion already, but by simply launching apps in full screen and
> hiding the window decoration. My proposal should look better esp. if
> smoothly transitioned from pages bar to menu bar (eg. using a slide
> effect). A similar menu bar is already implemented by Bespin’s XBar
> applet. <http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Bespin?content=63928>
> Another approach seems to be in development.
as discussed here some days ago, a menubar like that is quite challenging.
and problem will be that probably only kde applications will be able to use
it could make sense a layout like that, but i would like to have it really
feasible witout being an hack like is now.
> On the far left side, window control buttons move clock and tray. I figured
> that in this case it’s more important to keep users’ muscle memory for
> window operations intact rather than tray interaction.
> The window controls are what we are all used to:
> Minimize/Hide — Unmaximize — Close.
> It can be argued that netbook users should run their application always in
> full screen anyway, but this would effectively kill the usage of
> multi-window apps. I also saw several people connect bigger screens at
> home to their netbooks. An unmaximized window can more easily be moved to
> the other screen. That feature is also already developed.
> on- applet/>
i am really on the fence right now between splitting the window controls from
the title/switcher applet or not. both have advantages, but having controls
for the current window in two opposite parts of the screen really looks
strange to me.
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