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Activities in Plasma Workspaces

User avatar Hans
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Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:46 pm
Since many users wonder what activities are, how and what to use them for, here are some links that provide some answers:


Got any other helpful links? Post them in a reply below and we will consider adding them to the list.


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jonesearnest63
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:37 am
these links look helpful. thanks. :)
ColorBlind
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Tue May 17, 2011 6:21 pm
Recently began my experiments with "Activities" and have to say that at first I was in the camp of "What?". I would like to say that has changed but most of my confusion was caused by my dual screen setup.

With all the reading albeit, quick scans, of the blogs and the fight to make comparisons and the statements reporting the setup "intense" I was sure that I was missing something within the design and control of "Workspace" groupings.

Now after understanding the hierarchy it all falls into place. "Activities" is the top controlling level of virtual desktops. This is truly wonderful!

I had found that I needed, at minimum, four desktops ... and with the dual screen spanning I guess we could call that eight independent desktops using "Presentation" to show the collective. Now under "Activities" those eight desktops can be multiplied again by any new activity.

Maybe it's my thought process but the examples "On Using" Activities clouded the concept. A diagram of the hierarchy would have said it all and allowed each to visualize how that would fit within their own working needs.

You're right about the expansion and reduction of virtual desktops being the weak link ... I'd suggest a "life-time" Db Snapshot of each Activity, the number working desktops, the state of the Apps, a pop-up for non-recoverable app-states, an offer to rebuild a previous activity or start a new session in the case of reducing and then expanded again.

Of course independent expansion of virtual desktops to an Activity would be nice but I haven't set all this up yet with my laptop and I might find that my understanding is wrong or I would have another eye opener on "Activities". Either way you're without doubt on the cutting edge of "Work Space Environments" ... Thank You!!!
User avatar Hans
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Tue May 17, 2011 7:27 pm
I also use a dual screen setup and found it confusing in earlier versions when an activity only affected one screen, while both screens shared the same virtual desktop. Although it allowed for more complicated usages I'm glad that it has been addressed in newer versions; now activities truly belong to the top level and affect your whole workspace, not just one screen.

I've been thinking about drawing a picture showing the "workspace hierarchy" (as I see it) but never got around to do it and eventually forgot about it. Now that you mention it I feel motivated to give it a try, I'll see what I can come up with. :)


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ColorBlind
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Tue May 17, 2011 11:33 pm
Hans, put logic to work here. At this stage of the game introducing "Activities" is like introducing the first credit card to the world of real money users and the skepticism of "I do that now".

I had to delete the default count of activities down to two and desktops to two before I could see which had control. After that I re-established tops to four and started working and adding activities as need.

Having the ability to add a specialized reference icon and text is good but that is where spontaneous expansion and planned expansion part ways and lose track ... maybe starting with less is better, I know I was thrown by the large number of objects put before me and wondered did it matter from where I started my use and what happened if I skipped one AND I'll be the first to admit that I may never read the manual unless hitting an impasse or not figure out how to do something that might require multiple toggles. While I like KDE and with each edition they taut improved help and documentation I'm still looking to understand a number of seemingly complex sounding toggles that have - no - reference that might be of value to me but have so far gone unused.
User avatar Hans
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Wed May 18, 2011 4:47 pm
ColorBlind wrote:Hans, put logic to work here. At this stage of the game introducing "Activities" is like introducing the first credit card to the world of real money users and the skepticism of "I do that now".


Not sure what you mean. The picture I was thinking about drawing doesn't introduce activities, it shows the bigger picture and how activities fit in it. As you said yourself, "A diagram of the hierarchy would have said it all and allowed each to visualize how that would fit within their own working needs".


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ColorBlind
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Wed May 18, 2011 5:09 pm
Hans, for sure didn't mean to cloud the waters. Let me ask, is there a listing of those app's that do not fit well with Activities? I've notice now that Kmail will assign itself to "All Activities" is that a coincident or by design?
User avatar Hans
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Wed May 18, 2011 6:10 pm
No, unfortunately I don't know about such a list. Generally it seems like application with "custom" window decorations (Chrome etc.) don't work well with activities.

I don't use KMail but haven't heard of application automatically assigning themselves to "All Activities". You might want to post a new topic asking if this is intentional or not.


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User avatar Hans
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:04 pm
Added new link as per google01103's suggestion: Advanced Plasma Desktop Features »


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brian_252
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:17 am
That link appears to be broken. Is there a new URL for this page?
User avatar Hans
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:44 am
URL updated.


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User avatar Mitja
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:44 pm
thanks for the links
User avatar stewartmm
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:07 am
Activities are a key reason why I've started using KDE. I think that they're a great innovation and I have "wow'ed" people (especially Windows users) by showing them.

I created 3 activities on my laptop computer:

"Playtime" (music and games and cartoons)--2 virtual desktops using netbook theme

"Blogging"- 2 virtual desktops, one with writing tool widgets and my blog directory in the dashboard, the other with drawing tools and my photo/image directory in the dashboard.

"Plasma"-- 2 virtual desktops, one a general-use blank desktop, the other with newsfeed/notetaking/weather widgets.

I've not experienced in 4.8 (or in 4.7, when I first started using KDE) any problems moving program windows around between desktops or activities, even GNOME or other non-KDE apps.

StewartM
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:52 pm
I found a video on youtube about activities and lady presenting activities shows activity switcher widget "Activity bar" that is on panel (on the right edge on her screen) and also it has some configuration options. See from 14:11 to about 15:30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EaPD6L1fNs
I found activity bar widget but can't find any useful options to configure it, add remove activities, etc. It just doesn't have them. All options to manage activities have to be accessed by clicking on this "three dots" icon on the panel that shows activity bar.

Is this activity bar still developed? It would be great if it was possible to switch and manage activities just from auto-hiding panel with activity bar, but it needs more options, I mean all options that allow easily to manage activities.

There are also many brainstorm ideas and also some nice concepts about working with activities, like for example:
http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Ac ... ent=147428
I also found this
http://hanschen.org/2011/05/15/7-ways-t ... ctivities/
User avatar bcooksley
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Re: Activities in Plasma Workspaces

Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:30 am
I can confirm the Activity Bar is still being actively maintained.
From what I can see, you must use the Activity manager (accessible from top-right cashew > Activities or use the "3 dots" icon on your panel) to create and setup your activities. The Activity Bar then provides you with the convenient capability to quickly switch between them.


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