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Initial Impressions and Problems, especially KRunner

aaronw
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Hi all,

I finally decided to try a switch to linux from OS X (and at work, Windows 7). I spent a few days trying to research the right distribution and desktop environment for me, and decided on Debian with KDE. Couldn't get it to install, so I tried Mint with KDE.

I am pretty happy up to now, but have some questions about customization possibilities (without too much scripting or programming, at the moment).

My favorite launcher is KRunner. I find this much better than the launchers that look like Windows Start Menus. But why can't I get KRunner as a widget, so that it will dock into one of my panels? What's more, I also tried to include KRunner as a startup item (with the commands 'KRunner" and "run KRunner"), and it didn't appear after the next startup.

I have the same problem with the little panel for managing activities. Why shouldn't this behave like the standard widgets? I would like to include it in an existing panel, or hide it altogether, rather than have it as a separate, non-modifiable entity.

Also, I can't get two things to work: window tiling and grid-layout panels.

All in all it's been a good experience, but I thought I'd share my initial frustrations anyway... I am looking forward to trying as many distributions / environments as possible.
User avatar google01103
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Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:08 pm
there is a run command widget, though not sure it ships with any distro so you might need to compile it http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=91495, fyi it works for me but text doesn't show ymmv

" little panel for managing activities" you mean the cashew on the upper right corner? there are 3 widgets available for activities and there is a way to hide the cashew if you really want http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Py ... ent=147892

tiling - try dragging the window so that more than 1/2 of the window is on the other side of the screen edge

"grid-layout panel" - you mean "grid desktop" activity ?


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aaronw
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He, thanks for the reply! Btw, I am on version 4.10.5.

google01103 wrote:there is a run command widget, though not sure it ships with any distro so you might need to compile it http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=91495, fyi it works for me but text doesn't show ymmv


I downloaded that today. Isn't really what i want. I'd like krunner to autostart and can't get that to work. I'd also prefer krunner to behabe like a widget (be docked in a panel.)

google01103 wrote:little panel for managing activities" you mean the cashew on the upper right corner? there are 3 widgets available for activities and there is a way to hide the cashew if you really want http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Py ... ent=147892


Actually I mean the "Tool Box" (that's what the tooltip says). It's a little panel-like thingy which says "New Activity" because that's the name of my default activity. I can't decide between trying activities or just going with virtual desktops.

google01103 wrote:tiling - try dragging the window so that more than 1/2 of the window is on the other side of the screen edge

I got this to work in one application, but can't do it in general.

google01103 wrote:"grid-layout panel" - you mean "grid desktop" activity ?


Sorry, I screwed up the terminology. I meant a "Grouping panel" (RMB > Add Panel > Grouping panel), where there is a grid option, but dragging it doesn't result in anything.

Do you think I should try to update to 4.11 (or should I maybe switch distros? Does kde work better in specific distros?

Thanks

Aaron
User avatar bcooksley
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KRunner is already running at startup, as it is a crucial part of the KDE Workspace. Unfortunately it is not possible to dock it into a panel.


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aaronw
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bcooksley wrote:KRunner is already running at startup, as it is a crucial part of the KDE Workspace. Unfortunately it is not possible to dock it into a panel.


ok, so it's already running. i want its window to appear!

You know what? Might it be the case that the Mint distribution kind of replaces KRunner as a default/visible application?

[Edited to write last paragraph.]
User avatar bcooksley
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You can use the shortcut Alt + F2 to cause KRunner to appear at any time.


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aaronw
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bcooksley wrote:You can use the shortcut Alt + F2 to cause KRunner to appear at any time.


I thought linux was supposed to be flexible! :P I want to determine what appears on my desktop or not. Is that too much to ask?
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It is quite flexible. What exactly are you trying to achieve? Having KRunner permanently visible at all times?


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User avatar google01103
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aaronw wrote:
google01103 wrote:little panel for managing activities" you mean the cashew on the upper right corner? there are 3 widgets available for activities and there is a way to hide the cashew if you really want http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Py ... ent=147892


Actually I mean the "Tool Box" (that's what the tooltip says). It's a little panel-like thingy which says "New Activity" because that's the name of my default activity. I can't decide between trying activities or just going with virtual desktops.

The "Toolbox" is usually referred to as the Cashew because of its appearance, the "Toolbox" can also be accessed by right-clicking on the Desktop. And there are 3 available widgets for managing Activities though they do not exactly replicate the Toolbox


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User avatar google01103
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re: tiling - as it's part of Kwin could you start a thread there. For me it seems to work ok (buit I'm using 4.11 and did not try it in earlier versions). Iirc it was removed and then re-written using scripting sometime in the 4.10.x series.

re: grid grouping in the grouping panel - is it just the grid grouping or all groupings that don't work for you?


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aaronw
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Thanks for clearing that up about the "Cashew." I was confused because the same icon is used for editing panels when widgets are unlocked. Basically all of the features of the grouping panel seem broken to me. I got the "flow" one to work, but the tabs and the grids don't. I was kind of interested in having a grid of icons. Also, in general the dragging of widgets and spacers is buggy: when I drag a spacer or widget, it often reorders the other widgets!

Anyway, I've pretty much got my desktop set up as I wish, now. It's pretty amazing software, and a very good environment for web programming, which is what I do for a living. I'm seriously considering not buying a mac-os computer next time.

Thanks again for the replies!
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About tiling in KWin, it was removed because it didn't really work, and it can be implemented via scripting but there's currently no implementation which works nicely. So currently, it's not there; there's "just" this basic features such as dragging windows to corners to make them take half the screen. Those work fine afaik.

Cheers!


aaronw
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scummos wrote:About tiling in KWin, it was removed because it didn't really work, and it can be implemented via scripting but there's currently no implementation which works nicely. So currently, it's not there; there's "just" this basic features such as dragging windows to corners to make them take half the screen. Those work fine afaik.


Ya, I got that to work. That's exactly what I wanted...and one of the things missing from OS X, in my opinion. I suppose it worked all along, I just hadn't figured it out yet.
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Are there any other open points here, or other issues you have struck in KDE?


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aaronw
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bcooksley wrote:Are there any other open points here, or other issues you have struck in KDE?


Well, one of my suggestions would be to let the user remove the Cashew. AND to get rid of either virual dekstops or activities, one or the other, since they are largely overlapping. Also, I would like krunner to be able to be chosen as the main application launcher.

A third point is that, the choice between "WIndows can cover," and "Windows can go below," in the "More settings" option of panels, is not quite sufficient. There should be another possibility, like "Windows will always keep out of the way." I have a kind of window bar set up, which has the clock, and the task manager in it. I would like it to always be visible. The thing is, I don't want windows to go below it, because then I can't close those windows (this is a real problem when browsers open up pop-up windows). The best thing would be for windows to always stay below my window bar (not in the Z direction, but in the Y direction), so no covering it, but also no going below it. That would be my operating-system-bliss.

Maybe I can program this stuff myself, if I find the time.

 
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