RFC: Put notifications in sidepanel like widget explorer

Thomas Pfeiffer thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Fri Feb 19 15:31:53 UTC 2016

On Freitag, 19. Februar 2016 13:36:33 CET Marco Martin wrote:
> On Friday 19 February 2016 13:06:28 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> > They both have a quite powerful sidebar (they both actually do their whole
> > system configuration in there, which I find a bit extreme, but it seems to
> > be working out pretty well for them).
> > 
> > Just for a quick glance, feel free to look at this screenshot from the
> > Budgie sidebar:
> > http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/solus-linux-os-gets-new-d
> > ai ly-iso-budgie-next-improvements-updated-installer-496874-2.jpg
> Apart that he has my approval for the choice of music :p, I really feel this
> proves *exactly* what I was fearing:
> The first column is really, really cluttered. It's pretty much the image and
> reputation KDE software has been fighting the past 10+ years to get away
> from, I would find this really a step in the opposite direction to what we
> should go.

Ask people how they see Budgie. I'm quite sure that "Cluttered" is not the 
impression the majority have of it. Really, give it a try. Not just showing 
them this screenshot, but ask them about the overall impression of the 

> Imagine it from the UX perspective: I want to connect to a wifi network, I
> see the wifi icon shows it's not connected, I click it and I am presented
> with the first column... whhaaat? i then have to search for a while that in
> the middle of all that stuff oh yeah, there are wifi settings as well..
> phew! (and the "simple by default" just flew out of the window, just
> because we feel is safer to follow instead than to lead [1])

Yes, the first time you look at it, it might be a bit more difficult to find the 
module you're looking for, but since the modules stay at the same position, 
it's easy to remember them and soon, you know instantly where to look.

An important benefit of it is also that you need only one keyboard shortcut to 
open it and see everything.
Remembering the position of a module in a sidebar is much easier than 
remembering a different keyboard shortcut for every applet.
> While the second column is indeed desolately empty (in that case, having by
> default the panel at the bottom, has an huge mouse travel distance (can be
> flipped in this case, but then you have an huge empty area at the top that
> looks really sore)

Have you brought up that same concern against the task/Activity switcher 
sidebar? If not, you should, because it's the same situation.
> And what if the systray is not at the bottom-right or top-right of the
> screen? the visual disconnect grows even more.

True, but I've looked at enough "show your Plasma" screenshots to have a 
feeling that this is really a rare case.
> To me it really seems a case of OSX does that [1], therefore is correct....

Only that Deepin had that sidebar since long before OSX had it. So who is 
leading and who is following now?

> >> Note that since I'm rewriting the systray from scratch, I'm quite
> >> affected
> >> by wether the decision is, I need to take the "proper" architecture, I
> >> don't want to rewrite it a 3rd time that's for sure!
> >
> >Yes, you're absolutely right. If there is a time to decide this, it's
> >definitely now!
> btw with the new architecture (that is almost ready and I want to merge like
> the day after of 5.6 branching) it would be "slightly" easier to do
> something like that, even tough not without significant challenges.

Honestly: I'm not hell-bent on having a sidebar, to be honest. It would be 
great to allow users to have a sidebar, but we don't have to force it on 

What I am hell-bent on, though, is not confining popups whose content are lists 
to a really small vertical space. You want UIs to feel less cluttered? Then 
having them cramped in a small-fixed size popup is certainly not the way to go.

Contact list, NM, Klipper, they would all greatly benefit from having more 
vertical space.
If we find a way to give them that which is not a sidebar, then I'm fine with 
that as well.


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