The Discussions and Opinions forum is a place for open discussion regarding everything related to KDE, within the boundaries of KDE Code of Conduct. If you have a question or need a solution for a KDE problem, please post in the apppropriate forum instead.
Reply to topic

Activities vs Virtual Desktops

canoe
Registered Member
Posts
6
Karma
0

Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:46 pm
Activities have been a component of KDE Plasma 5 for a while now, however there are some key features that are either missing or obfuscated, perhaps through lack of clarity in documentation or process.

I'd be deeply grateful for any kind of feedback on the inability to set individual wallpapers and widgets per virtual desktop.

Judging from the commentary on https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=341143 - this feature was originally removed with no plan for it to return, and then pushed back by Dave Edmundson following user feedback. In order to make a clear decision on which desktop to use moving forwards, is anyone able to confirm if ;

a) Activities are now the de-facto standard for Plasma virtual desktop switching, or
b) Virtual Desktops will regain the functionality originally available in earlier versions of KDE.

Dave's most recent comment from January 2016 shows there is some progress, https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=341143#c167 - does this mean both functionalities will be merged? Any clarity on the roadmap for this would be hugely appreciated.
airdrik
Registered Member
Posts
1698
Karma
4
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:40 pm
Reviewing David's comment on the bug report, it sounds like he enumerated a number of changes which he intended on making in order to be able to fix VD+Activity handling better in general, which would hopefully allow re-implementing the different wallpapers+widgets per VD feature in a simpler/more robust fashion.

As for the points you would like confirmation on: I suspect a) is correct: Activities is the preferred way for managing applications+widgets+wallpapers+etc. in Plasma going forward; Virtual Desktops are subordinate to Activities, mainly providing additional real estate for windows associated with a given Activity. As for b), judging from David's comments in that bug report it sounds like he has been working on it for some time and we may see it make a come back eventually.


airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.
canoe
Registered Member
Posts
6
Karma
0

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:45 pm
Thanks, mirroring my comments on that bug thread ;

I've had some time to work with this on the latest Plasma 5.9.3.

This is my solution using Activities :
1. Set virtual desktops to 1, (with 1 row.)
2. Create as many Activities as you need Virtual Desktops.
3. Add the Activities Pager widget, (this replaces the VD Widget!)
4. Go to Task Switcher settings and filter windows by activity.

You now have the equivalent of Virtual Desktops, with their own wallpapers and widgets per desktop. It works, and the only difference I can see is that you're using Meta+Tab instead of alt-tab.

I'm hoping more clarification is given on this, more so for how powerful Activities are, hopefully some closure will be given during on-going development. If they can merge the best features of Activities with the most useful parts of Virtual Desktops, perhaps everyone will be happy.
Laguna_x
Registered Member
Posts
2
Karma
0

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:06 am
in my situation, as i wrote in parallel topic here, i need about ~20activities... 20buttons on taskbar with text on them. i'v use touchscreen in most case (no mouse, no keyboard(only on-screen)). when VDs was able to work with personal widgets it was too easy: 6 buttons for VDs + 4 buttons fow activities.
for now my desktop in each of 4 activities hav a lot of widgets. it's not unavalable to work, but first was better.
i think it needs to return this feature in VDs.
basse
Registered Member
Posts
17
Karma
0

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:14 am
Laguna_x wrote:in my situation, as i wrote in parallel topic here, i need about ~20activities...


I'm curious.. why you need so many activities/desktops ?
how many programs you have open simultaneously?
do you keep just one application per desktop? or how do you ever remember which is where?


.b
frankb
Registered Member
Posts
8
Karma
0
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:51 pm
canoe wrote:This is my solution using Activities :
1. Set virtual desktops to 1, (with 1 row.)
2. Create as many Activities as you need Virtual Desktops.
3. Add the Activities Pager widget, (this replaces the VD Widget!)
4. Go to Task Switcher settings and filter windows by activity.


That works! Thank you!

You now have the equivalent of Virtual Desktops, with their own wallpapers and widgets per desktop. It works, and the only difference I can see is that you're using Meta+Tab instead of alt-tab.


1) You also lose the 'eye candy' of being able to use a rotating cube between activities.
2) I find the activity 'pager' to be much slower than the virtual desktop pager.
3) I cannot find a way to choose the order of the activities in the pager either. They are sorted alphabetically, and that appears to be that.

Edit - Correction: I named each activity with a number, then the name. 1 Online - 2 Text - 3 File - 4 VM, and so on. Once I rebooted, they come up in the right order.

I'm hoping more clarification is given on this, more so for how powerful Activities are, hopefully some closure will be given during on-going development. If they can merge the best features of Activities with the most useful parts of Virtual Desktops, perhaps everyone will be happy.


Amen, brother.

Frankb
User avatar anonprivate
Registered Member
Posts
127
Karma
0
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Sat May 05, 2018 10:29 pm
I don't understand

What is an activitiy?

. 'Create as many Activities as you need Virtual Desktops.'

Ps. I am using manjaro


Manjaro (KDE) 17.1.7, or,
Kubuntu 16.04.4
frankb
Registered Member
Posts
8
Karma
0
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Sat May 05, 2018 10:36 pm
Have you used multiple desktops?

Activites are one rung higher up on the heirarchy, and have been around in KDE since version 4, but were not used that much, near as I can tell. In KDE 5 they are being promoted much more than in the past.

They are similar to virtual desktops, but can do more. In fact, each activity can have multiple desktops.

With that said, I don't see the same level of development in Activities as there is in virtual desktops. A lot of the 'eye candy' is missing. The only reason that I am being 'forced' to use activities instead of virtual desktops is that the ability to have different wallpapers in each virtual desktop has been removed in KDE5. That feature IS available in Activities, however

Frank.
User avatar anonprivate
Registered Member
Posts
127
Karma
0
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Thu May 10, 2018 8:58 pm
frankb wrote:Have you used multiple desktops?

Activites are one rung higher up on the heirarchy, and have been around in KDE since version 4, but were not used that much, near as I can tell. In KDE 5 they are being promoted much more than in the past.

They are similar to virtual desktops, but can do more. In fact, each activity can have multiple desktops.

With that said, I don't see the same level of development in Activities as there is in virtual desktops. A lot of the 'eye candy' is missing. The only reason that I am being 'forced' to use activities instead of virtual desktops is that the ability to have different wallpapers in each virtual desktop has been removed in KDE5. That feature IS available in Activities, however

Frank.


I am still unsure as to what are activities. Can you give a couple of examples


Manjaro (KDE) 17.1.7, or,
Kubuntu 16.04.4
airdrik
Registered Member
Posts
1698
Karma
4
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Mon May 14, 2018 6:38 pm
On a basic level, you can think of Activities as being the same as virtual desktops: a way of organizing your desktop into a variable number of work spaces.
There are a number of features added to Activities such as different power profiles and associated files, as well as per-activity session management (you can stop and start individual activities at your pleasure), which make them more interesting and powerful than just organizing your windows (and widgets). These features are primarily aimed at separating the things you do with your computer more than just separating your windows into spaces.


airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.
daeron
Registered Member
Posts
7
Karma
0
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Sun May 20, 2018 5:35 pm
I like testing UI and desktop environments, and have experimented several times first with Kde4-Activities, and now Plasma5-Activities.
Currently Kde4 is still better than Plasma5 because the Kde4 virtual desktops are quick, efficient, and support as many functions & space as needed for any activity; the Plasma5-Activities does not, it is slower, uses (wastes) more resources, worse of all it cripples communications between applications either you attempt to use Activities as a substitute for virtual desktops (like "canoe" above) in which case you've lost all benefit of having an 'Activities' hierarchy, or you attempt to use both in which case the applications & users become hopelessly lost because you don't know which instance of an application a message or request has been sent to on which desktop on which Activity! You spend the next two minutes searching every desktop in every activity trying to discover where you request went; that's on top of the SLOW response time & heavy work load involved with changing Activities while still needing to return to your original task.
A temporary kludge to get around the current short-comings of Plasma5 is to use a couple of Latte-Docks, not as good as being able to set unique widgets & backgrounds for virtual desktops but workable until 5 gets the benefit of Kde4's more mature virtual desktop system, Activities are NOT a substitute for virtual desktops, but Activities can be a useful option for people who need them in addition to virtual desktops.
For example: Activities are good if you have a machine switching between tablet/laptop/desktop modes, or a workstation you use for both work & home activities.
frankb
Registered Member
Posts
8
Karma
0
OS

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Mon May 21, 2018 12:16 am
[quote=Activities are NOT a substitute for virtual desktops, but Activities can be a useful option for people who need them in addition to virtual desktops.
For example: Activities are good if you have a machine switching between tablet/laptop/desktop modes, or a workstation you use for both work & home activities.[/quote]

You have much greater knowledge of this than I do, but I tend to agree with you. If the dear devs would just give us back multiple wallpapers on desktops, I could ignore activities altogether. I'm not saying get rid of them, I'm just saying that I personally don't need them. I do need multiple wallpapers on my work areas.
Clancularius
Registered Member
Posts
36
Karma
0

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Mon May 21, 2018 10:30 am
anonprivate wrote:I don't understand

What is an activitiy?

. 'Create as many Activities as you need Virtual Desktops.'

Ps. I am using manjaro


Activities are like sub-sessions where you can divide off tasks. For example, I have individual activities set up for a few websites I run. There are widgets and instances of kate and dolphin set up for working on the specific website. When I don't work on it, I close the Activity and use my every day one for browsing etc. When I need to work on the site. open the Activity and everything is there.
kafoster
Registered Member
Posts
4
Karma
0

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Wed May 23, 2018 3:29 am
I use Oracle
_CWM030_
Registered Member
Posts
1
Karma
0

Re: Activities vs Virtual Desktops

Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:31 pm
I just recently switched back to using pagers.

I tried using activities for 2 days and I kept getting very annoyed with it and switched back to pages.

What annoyed me was, when you decide to switch to another activity, the application in the activity that you're switching away from gets minimized to the task bar! UGH STOP IT!

I have never had that happen with pager. Pager leave's everything just as I left it.

--- Chris

 
Reply to topic

Bookmarks



Who is online

Registered users: ahabgreybeard, Bing [Bot], claydoh, DarkFoss1, franzhall, Google [Bot], philhopkins, Snudl, Yahoo [Bot]