the next step on the desktop

todd rme toddrme2178 at
Tue Feb 1 22:23:12 CET 2011

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 10:00 PM, todd rme <toddrme2178 at> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:22 PM, Aaron J. Seigo <aseigo at> 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:
> I have some extensions to this, more blue-sky and not necessarily feasible:
>> * 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.
> I think this is potentially a good idea, but I think as it currently
> stands it denigrates the importance of widgets on the desktop.
> My suggestions would be:
> 1. Break the S&L containment into categories.  Applications,
> bookmarks, and contacts already exist.  Add some additional
> categories: places, devices, and widgets come to mind.  These would
> all be kio slaves under the hood.  Places would allow you to navigate
> the file system from within the S&L interface, devices would show
> removable devices and let you manage and browse them, and widgets
> would let you launch individual plasma widgets within the S&L
> interface.  Individual items and categories from all of these could be
> dragged to the favorites at the top, and individual categories can be
> turned on and off.  Clicking on a category or sub-category in the
> favorites would jump straight to it.
> 2. Add breadcrumb navigation next to the "back" button to make it easy
> to get back to specific levels.
> 3. Let users resize the favorites bar and add widgets to it.  Widgets
> will take the panel form-factor, but if the favorites bar is sized
> large enough they should switch to the desktop form-factor (as they
> are supposed to do on existing panels).  The favorites bar can scroll
> if you put too much in it.
>> * 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
> Some other possible improvements:
> - Application control interfaces moved from the system tray to the
> task manager (I recall you mentioning this before).
> - More focus on thumbnails.  For instance smooth tasks lets you close
> applications from the thumbnails.  There should also be prettier ways
> to deal with groups with large numbers members
> - I think it would be nice if applications had some way to extend the
> thumbnail display.  For instance put buttons on it, or have a pop-up
> button to show extra thumbnails (such as thumbnails of tabs you can
> select).  This may not be feasible using existing desktop standards,
> though.
>> * an "activities" widget (i'll hapilly write it) that sits next to the app
>> launcher and when clicked brings up the actvities manager
> You mean like this:
> Also, if we are going with S&L, having a list of activities available
> within the S&L interface would probably be a good idea, especially if
> you are intending it to be a jumping-off point for other activities.
>> * an activities switcher as a kwin effect (!)
> See here:
>> * have all activities avaiable in kactivitmanagerd, even if they are "stopped"
>> in plasma-desktop
>> thoughts?
> - Why are you restricting it to one panel?  Having several panels by
> default with different sizes and shapes for different sets of items
> might be at least worth considering.
> - It might be worth looking into merging the pager and activity
> manager.  A side benefit might be that we can get thumbnails on hover
> with the pager.
> - It might be worth re-visiting whether the current default
> application launcher is optimal.  Launchers like lancelot and raptor
> have some interesting ideas, and I have seen some other ideas batted
> around as well (such as an application launcher using a grid view
> instead of a list view).
> - If you are looking for appearance ideas, this has some interesting
> ones:
> Some stuff is good, some stuff isn't as good, but it might be helpful.
>  I especially like the lights underneath the applications in the task
> manager.  It actually looks a lot more like plasma with smooth tasks
> and lancelot launcher than anything that has ever been in Ubuntu, but
> the artist is apparently unaware of KDE.
> -Todd

Oh yes, another idea someone had that I forgot to mention: automatic
runner focus.  In other words, when focus is on the desktop (or there
are no windows visible), and you start typing, automatically pull up
krunner and enter the text there.


More information about the Plasma-devel mailing list