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Need input to save screen height on 768 pixel display

mhaber
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Hi,

on those pesky little devices that are sold today, screen height is a scarce resource. This is especially obvious when one usually works with 1080 or 1200 pixels on the vertical axis and suddenly finds oneself on an X series Thinkpad with only 768 pixels vertically.

To safe some of those precious pixels, I would like to move my plasma panel to the side of the screen. However, KDE SC 4.9 does not seem to be up to this task. When one pulls the panel to the side, a Task Manager in a narrow panel does not show the name of the tasks, only their icons, while, for examplae a clock or a Lock/Logout widget in a wide panel zooms to full panel width and in turn takes way too much vertical space in the panel.

I would thus like to have either one narrow and one wide panel next to each other, or a panel which allows me to freely arrange small widgets, thus having multiple widges in a single row even in a vertical panel.

One narrow and one wide panel next to each other does not seem to work since Panels can only exist at a screen edge. One could place the narrow panel on the left and one wide panel on the right, but that results in long distances of mouse travel and has not shown to be convenient.

A "Grouping Panel" might be the solution, since a grouping panel can be split into columns - but those columns cannot have an individual width. Otoh, the grouping feature of a Grouping Panel might pose a solution as well since one could group small widgets together while keeping the panel wide to have an useable task manager.

But, alas, I have not been able to use the Grouping feature yet. I can create a group, but I am not able to place widgets into the group. The documentation that can be found on the net is quite inconclusive and gives only a very high-level description of Grouping Panels. I cannot seem to make sense out of it. Should I be able to drop a (new? existing?) widget into the group? Do I need to have the group selected to add a widget? It does not seem to make sense to only have empty groups in a panel?

Is the grouping panel feature in KDE 4.9 useable or is this still work in progress? How it is supposed to be used? Or is there any possibility that the feature is broken in the packages that can be pulled from the Debian KDE Team's repository?

Any hints will be appreciated.

Greetings
Marc
User avatar bcooksley
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While I have been able to reproduce the Task Manager issue you have described, I was not able to reproduce the clock issue. The clock text was much smaller (in order to fit in the narrower space available) but the height was as expected.

With regards to the grouping panel - have you tried updating to KDE 4.10?


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User avatar Hans
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I'm pretty sure the icon-only "issue" is intentional - the text is hidden when there's too little space to show any useful portion of it.

Here are some other tips:
On my Netbook, I used to have a panel at the top and mostly maximized windows. Here are some out-of-date screenshots: http://hanschen.org/2009/02/21/some-scr ... y-netbook/
As you can see the maximized windows don't have window decorations. I used to have window rules to achieve that, but then KWin got the ability to automatically remove the decoration from maximized windows. This is how I got it to work (don't know if it's the same in 4.9): http://hanschen.org/2010/04/01/hide-win ... d-windows/
You can also do things like hiding the menu bar from most KDE applications (I mostly this runner to access menu items now, but it may be a bit tricky to setup) and tool bars you don't use.


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mhaber
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bcooksley wrote:While I have been able to reproduce the Task Manager issue you have described, I was not able to reproduce the clock issue. The clock text was much smaller (in order to fit in the narrower space available) but the height was as expected.


Anyway, it would really be nice to have Widgets next to each other instead of over and under each other in a wide vertical panel. Would be an awful waste of space otherwise.

bcooksley wrote:With regards to the grouping panel - have you tried updating to KDE 4.10?


Considering that you just released KDE SC 4.10 two weeks ago, I will patiently wait for Debian to do this, no way I am going to risk my system by using third-party packages. No offense, but I have seen too many borken Debian packages made by upstream authors.

Greetings
Marc
mhaber
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Hans wrote:I'm pretty sure the icon-only "issue" is intentional - the text is hidden when there's too little space to show any useful portion of it.


Sure it is intentional, and it makes sense that way, but if one wants to see a bit of text in a vertical panel, that panel becomes useless to regular size widgets due to waste of space.

Hans wrote:Here are some other tips:
On my Netbook, I used to have a panel at the top and mostly maximized windows. Here are some out-of-date screenshots: http://hanschen.org/2009/02/21/some-scr ... y-netbook/
As you can see the maximized windows don't have window decorations. I used to have window rules to achieve that, but then KWin got the ability to automatically remove the decoration from maximized windows. This is how I got it to work (don't know if it's the same in 4.9): http://hanschen.org/2010/04/01/hide-win ... d-windows/
You can also do things like hiding the menu bar from most KDE applications (I mostly this runner to access menu items now, but it may be a bit tricky to setup) and tool bars you don't use.


This is most likely absolutely not what I want. I hate maximized windows since I often work with two programs/shells etc in parallel, and I hate hiding window elements that one uses multiple times a minute such as the menu bar. I tend to move tool bars to the side for apps that support it, but KDE does not support that, and LibreOffice's handling of detached toolbars is absolutely confusing (it hides detached tool bars the second the main window loses focus, which is a **** with focus-follows-mouse).

Greetings
Marc

 
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