the next step on the desktop

Jeffery MacEachern j.maceachern at
Tue Feb 1 10:13:28 CET 2011

On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:22, Aaron J. Seigo <aseigo at> wrote:
> On Monday, January 31, 2011, Marco Martin wrote:
>> On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:22 AM, Aaron J. Seigo <aseigo at> wrote:
>> > let's try something big and new. let's make that Big Move and step away
>> > from ~/Desktop.
>> to me the biggest dumb thing is ~/Desktop itself, not much having
>> icons on desktop (in the form of folderview applets)
>> having n folderviews topic-specific goes very well with the concept of
>> activities.
>> the biggest hurdle is always the fact of having them in a
>> background-ish desktop.
Heh. I find the biggest problem with the traditional Desktop Metaphor
is that it holds *too* well - i.e. my ~/Desktop used to look like my
physical desktop. :)

> agreed; i do also like the idea of having SAL features right there, though.
> it's such a compelling use of widgets-on-the-desktop and looks really pretty
> as a bonus.
>> > my proposal is this:
>> >
>> > * by default, Search and Launch on the desktop
>> There are several issues with s&l:
>> * it's not really done for big screens,
> true
>> there is a sad line of icons sitting in the middle of the desktop
> it actually looks pretty good on large screens. i was surprised by how good,
> in fact.

Come to think of it, I agree with this. I think the screen in question
was a 21", and it looked great! That's not to say it wasn't "wasting"
space, but it was still quite impressive.

>> * it's not really done for containing applets, would almost mean
>> dropping desktop widgets:
>>   - right now it contains widgets in a little panel like strip with
>> horizontal form factor. now overly pretty.
>>   - making it contain free layout applets like the desktop would look
>> quite dirty since applets would cover the launcher icons randomly
> hm, yes, good points. perhaps we could do some sort of melding of what the
> newspaper containment does? a search area at the top, with results filling in
> below it, and a scrollable grid for widgets below that?

Hmm... I like this. One could even imagine a melding of widgets and
runners into a sort of transient widget-space: if I can search the
Web, look up definitions, and do calculus in a Runner, why couldn't we
have other content or interactive widgets that can be called up on
demand. This is a bit out there, but it could be an interesting

>> * being always mostly covered by windows limits the usefulness, as i
>> said great in dashboard (this is quite true for widgets as well, but
>> being smaller the problem is less strong)
> there are a few things we could do to "fix" this... e.g. when you click in the
> search edit we could trigger it forward as a dashboard, and we could advertise
> the keyboar shortcut for pulling it forward in the click message text of the
> search edit?
>> * it empasizes the concept of starting apps, (or "start menu" if you
>> want) a lot, that's really something i would like to get away with

Why do you want to get away from that? (I'm not arguing, just curious)

> it has / could have more uses than just that, though. a google-on-your-desktop
> ..
> if we use our imaginations a bit, i bet we could come up with all sorts of
> useful things. e.g. with the widgets runner, it could be used to add widgets
> to the desktop in response to queries: "cpu temp<enter>" and there i have a
> cpu temp monitor on my desktop. there must be dozens of such ideas?

See above ^ :)

>> what about having it (or something similar) that appears as a big
>> sidebar of the screen when clicking on the K icon?
> well, that'd be krunner or lancelot or raptor :) different concepts imo.
>> > * an icon in this S&L that takes you to your desktop folder .. in a file
>> > manager.
>> could be, i would still rather find a way to encoourage use of
>> folderview as activity relevant file containers tough

Chani and I were talking about Activity support for KFilePlaces*,
which might have some bearing here as well...

> i'm trying to imagine a clever way to make it easy to go from a folder
> returned as a search result to a folderview on the desktop. it could be
> offered as an action on the QueryMatch, for instance, and make it easy to
> "pin" that folder to your current activity layout instead of going through the
> widget explorer?
>> > * a new panel layout (TBD: let's work on this together!)
>> > * an "activities" widget (i'll hapilly write it) that sits next to the
>> > app launcher and when clicked brings up the actvities manager
>> there is one on kde-look. however i remeber that you had a valid
>> argument against it: it would slowly become basically a replica of the
>> activity manager with most-but-not-all of its features.
> indeed; i was simply envisioning a button that would launch the full activity
> manager UI. right now it is very hidden.


 - Jeffery MacEachern

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