the next step on the desktop

Dario Freddi drf54321 at
Tue Feb 1 13:07:58 CET 2011

Aaron, thanks for putting this to attention. I want to add some other points 
which are relevant to me and I think fit well into this context. Sorry for not 
replying to other points, but I see a lot of enthusiasm, which is awesome, but 
also translates to: too much text :D

However, preamble: these days I'm using Mac OS for some tasks, and while I am 
proud about missing a LOT of stuff from KDE, and think KDE is overall better, 
I have found myself missing some small things in Mac OS.

The very first one is: multitouch gestures on the touchpad. In Mac OS, using a 
four-finger swipe triggers present window or show desktop, depending on the 
direction of the swipe. This is a TOTAL game changer in usability imo, as you 
are able to access windows or desktop through a single gesture. I think this 
would be a great target and rather simple to implement, given that the 
underlying architecture is ready - maybe somebody else can comment on that.

Another one, is how their equivalent of System Settings is handled. They 
solved the problem of default sizes by making it automatically resize when a 
module loads. Sure, it requires all the modules to adhere to some guidelines 
and whatnots, but it could be a good way to spot systemsettings' current 
weakness, or still a good point to start thinking about how to solve the apps' 
default size disaster.

More than that, I also had some other ideas, more than agreeing with Aaron on 
his points, but I'll save those for another mail - gotta get back to study :D

On Monday 31 January 2011 02:22:41 Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
> hi...
> back when we started the path towards plasma i said that we needed to
> slowly evolve the desktop beyond the desktop folder with icons littered on
> the desktop.
> now we have activities, kick-ass containments like search and launch and
> grouping desktop.
> it is time to go to that next step and move people away from the old ways.
> i was at a friend's house last night where a bunch of people gathered to
> hang out, chat, play games, etc. there was a desktop system there running
> plasma desktop with the search and launch containment and a gorgeous
> translucent panel couresty of kwin.
> i saw it and hardly recognized it: it looked new, amazing, the next thing.
> it looked amazing.
> so, here's my suggestion for 4.7:
> let's try something big and new. let's make that Big Move and step away
> from ~/Desktop.
> my proposal is this:
> * by default, Search and Launch on the desktop
> * an icon in this S&L that takes you to your desktop folder .. in a file
> manager.
> * a new panel layout (TBD: let's work on this together!)
> * improve the tasks widget to have some of the nice features of widgets
> like "smooth tasks" with the mouse over highlights
> * an "activities" widget (i'll hapilly write it) that sits next to the app
> launcher and when clicked brings up the actvities manager
> * an activities switcher as a kwin effect (!)
> * have all activities avaiable in kactivitmanagerd, even if they are
> "stopped" in plasma-desktop
> thoughts?


Dario Freddi
KDE Developer
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