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Please let us disable or uninstall desktop activities

PooshhMao
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Hi,

This is my first post here. I've been using KDE for close to 2 years now and I appreciate it's configurability, performance and ability to look real nice.
I also adopted Qt as my programming user interface toolkit. The performance on my tiny netbook is amazing. Great work.

I had to endure quite a few bugs with the 4.X series :) but those have been ironed out, more or less. Desktop activities never worked for me, they're not really needed since there are enough methods (such as rotating cubes) for multiple desktops already, and they cause me a lot of problems by creating activities automatically so I end up with 7 desktops on top of each other without noticing it. Maybe some people like to use them and that's fine, but I would really like to just use KDE without the activities.

Maybe this has been discussed before, I hope it's not some sensitive issue or anything

Thanks for reading
User avatar giucam
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The proliferation of the activities is a bug and it should be solved already.
Then if you don't find the activity useful don't use them; nobody forces you :) KDE works well even if you don't use them.
User avatar Hans
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Activities is one of the key features of Plasma, so I doubt it would be removed just like that. If there are problems with them, why not fix those problems instead?

More importantly, activities are not the same as virtual desktops. For example see
http://chani.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/t ... -desktops/
http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2010/10/acti ... onyms.html

And as giucam said, if you don't like this feature, don't use it. It takes up one entry in the right click menu (configurable) and one in the desktop toolbox, and I think that's it.


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airdrik
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Note: the fix mentioned will be released in 4.5.3 (due out in the next week or so).


airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.
PooshhMao
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See, that's the thing. Activities are >seriously< tainting my overall KDE experience, not to mention the people I'm trying to get enthusiastic about Linux. Telling me 'not to use' it is not really a satisfying answer. I just upgraded to KDE 4.5.3 (Kubuntu 10.10) and yet AGAIN these damn activities cause me problems, by reappearing on startup, duplicating, overlapping the previous activity so I can't see any applications on that particular desktop, AAARGH.

I'm very concerned with positive end user experiences (being a systems administrator and software developer), and really, all they do is complicate the otherwise simple desktop metaphor needlessly. We have rotating cubes, and virtual desktops. We do not need another layer.
Especially if it is causing as much confusion and frustration as this.

There's no reason this system cannot be entirely optional (say, a separate package called plasma-desktop-activity or something) so we can kick it off our systems if we'd like to.

At least, MAKE IT OPTIONAL.
User avatar sebas
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I think you misunderstood.

The point is not to tell you "don't use it", that would be unsatisfactory as the Activities impede you when you're not even trying to use them. The point is that the behaviour that is annoying you has nothing to do with its design, but with bugs in the implementation (supposedly fixed with the 4.5.3 Update of this week).

Assuming the (fixed) Activities don't get in your way anymore, "just don't use it" is a fine answer in my books.

Your assessment that "There's no reason this system cannot be entirely optional" is not quite true. In fact, the system *is* entirely optional as it is (the "don't use it" part), but it cannot be easily separated from the rest of the system like you propose -- given the nature of this feature, it's not technically feasible at this point to make it completely separate.

Your point that there are rotating cubes and virtual desktops is also a bit short-sighted. First, those two are the same, with the cube being a somewhat poor but flashy visualisation for virtual desktops. Activities are entirely different, as they add context to applications and the workspace. They can *also* be used to separate sets of windows, but the concept goes a lot deeper than that -- Hans already gave links for more information about it, please read it so you don't need to use allcaps =)


-- sebas
PooshhMao
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Sorry to say this, but this reminds me a bit of the Microsoft way of dealing with their users. Don't like Internet Explorer? Then don't use it. No sorry, it's so integrated you can't remove it (unofficially, you could remove it with third party tools)

I can't image gaining market share is not in your interests. Features such as these discourage and confuse potential new users. Take it from me, I enjoy subjecting people here to user friendliness tests (among others), they get the desktop cube metaphor pretty easily. Also, it impresses them graphically, the importance of this is hard to understate in winning hearts and minds.

I bother with this because I love KDE, don't mean to annoy you people or anything. Make it better by listening to feedback from your users :)
User avatar TheBlackCat
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Internet explorer is an application, activities are a key feature of an application. It would be more like saying "let us uninstall tabs in firefox". You can't do that because it is built into the application and it would take a massive reworking of the application to remove them. If you don't like tabs, just don't use them.

Activities are not as easy to "get" right now because some of the features that will make them so useful and much more intuitive have not yet been adopted by applications. Once they are, I think they will be much easier to understand. In the meantime, like tabs for web browsers or multiple desktops on KDE, if you don't like a feature just don't use it.


Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.
-NASA in 1965
User avatar si.buluq
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what if KDE is configured using only one "activity".it can be done?
by analogy, it can be equated we do not use the "activity" (even though "activity" is part of KDE) because we only work on one "activity". :)
airdrik
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Well, by default there is only one activity.
There was a bug in 4.5.0-4.5.2 which caused extra activities to be created erroneously, but that should have been fixed in 4.5.3.

Activities can be seen as a productivity enhancement for those who want to further optimize their workflows through the use of separate activities for separate tasks; however most people (casual desktop users who only use the computer to check e-mail, browse the web, and play games) will probably only use one activity.


airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.
cin_
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Running Without Plasma

Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:49 pm
plasma-desktop is a Desktop Activity, but that fact has been better explained by more capable and competent people than I.

Here is an alternative you can test out to see if you like KDE without DAs... erm, plasma...
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/kde-running-without-plasma-desktop-activities-disabled-848517/

... also it will give you an idea of what a Desktop Activity really is, and all that that entails.

I don't know your endgame but another possible solution is you could just run K with only the 'win' and without the 'DE'...
http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KWin/4.0-release-notes#Using_KWin_without_KDE_desktop
matthewcarey
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I am afraid that "activities" are truly confusing and horrid and especially difficult to explain to other users of my computer who continually get stuck in unexpected activities by touching the wrong keys or clicking on the ... icon. Lets have a simple way to disable them.
apache
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@matthewcarey
It is very simple. Just right click on panel, unblock interface elements, remove activities' icon/widget. If you wish to keep activities for yourself just remove keyboard shortcuts in settings. Or just create separate users accounts where everyone can have customized settings.
Just take your time to learn more about KDE. There is a lot of material in documentation, google, youtube.
http://userbase.kde.org/Welcome_to_KDE_UserBase
http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kde-workspace/
http://userbase.kde.org/Plasma

 
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