the next step on the desktop

alex.tolar alex.tolar at
Thu Feb 3 23:55:13 CET 2011

Good night everybody,

I'm not using Windows since Ubuntu Dapper Drake, and Macintosh since before the colored iMacs: can't care less.
Win7, OsX, Gnome3, Unity and many minor distros adopted a Dock: maybe not for a fool reason at all.
I'm not thinking about following the mass, about emulating the others, about adopting a Dock, or a duck.
I'm just figuring out what could be, at the moment, the possible best solution for the 4.7 release.
A revolution that comes step after step (6 months cycles evolutions) without bad side-effects.
I'm talking about incremental changes, about adding more possibilities and polish.
The great game, probably, is setting then the defaults. :)
About having an icon-only launcher/task manager on the panel: there are 3 GREAT benefits:
1) Single-instance applications
 - Why having 4 Dolphins instances when you have tabs support? Talking also about memory resources!
 - It's not pleasant to accidentally run 2 instances of Amarok or Skype
2) Friendly to touchscreens, which are probably the future.
3) Last, but not least: ditching the Application status icons!

About Panel Autoresize (my favorite thing)
- I think it's a must-have. It could also replace the manual resizing grip system.

About Kickoff, about its aging.
- as a vertical menu, it's still really useful to explore your application set
  it's almost mandatory if you don't have the proper app. launcher
- It could be reasonable to drop some of its functionality:
 > wiping out "Favorites" tab in Kickoff (we have 1-click launchers)
- it could be reasonable to empower some other of its functionality:
 > full integration of Krunner as Kickoff's search engine (a boon!)
 > a 2 "Columns View" browsing in Kickoff's "Applications" tab (will improve its usage)
- It could be reasonable to keep it for KDE4

About Activities
- detail: switch "Add spacer" button on the Panel menu with "Activities" button on the "Add Widgets" menu
(reason is clear: Tool Box > Activities | Panel Tool Box > Activities | Spacer = Widget)
These mock-ups are not mocking!

About Tool Box
- There's a huge practical problem with the Tool Box: it must not be covered by windows.
That's a good reason (and a good idea!) why it should be moved to Krunner.
- could be a bonus to automatically launch Krunner when switching to a Dashboard?

Devil said..
"Next version of OsX will feature the fusion of Dashboard, Application launching and Expose in a single central place."

And now, a geek story.

Since 2 years my pc is a 10" netbook. After infinite geeky tweaks, I've found 2 "perfect" setups:
1) will be Unity compiz-3d / Unity qt-2d (currently using the latter)
2) Plasma "Desktop" + "Windows can cover" Panel + Menubars not shown + Present windows

My "computing" is 3 things:

(1) launching apps: 
+ merging launchers into the taskbar has been a total success for me
+ krunner is great

- what do I need more? Kickoff polish. 

(2) finding docs:
+ hierarchical browsing in Dolphin 
+ "Recently used" tab in Kickoff
+ Folder view plasmoid
(krunner+Nepomuk? no. 99% of the times I don't remember the file name. nepomuk is demanding for a netbook, strigi pure luxury)

- what do I need more? there's certainly room for improvement:
> "Recently used" tab in Kickoff showing only recent documents, sorted by date, divided in paragraphs labeled by day (qZeitgeist!)
> same as above, but as a Bookmarked place in Dolphin
> an enhanced "Folder View" plasmoid, with extremely precious [Prev./Next buttons] [breadcrumb navigation] [ real hierarchical browsing]

(3) changing between tasks:
+ taskbar
+ Present Windows

- what do I need more? 
> an option in "Task Manager Settings" for tasks always grouped in icons (for panel space constraints and easiness of recognition)
  separation between launchers/tasks is already landed
> closing apps from Taskbar Thumbnails. Let's offer the option in "Desktop Effects".

Thanks for your attention, good day

Ps. the end of my previous email has been cut after being sent..

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