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

Do you use activities or plasmoids extensively?

User avatar Moult
Global Moderator
Posts
663
Karma
2
OS
One of KDE's potential strengths lies in the abilities of the new plasma workspace and activities. However as a user I haven't found a single plasmoid I think I would ever need and activities are left unused.

I was wondering if people did use them and if they did they could post it here with a description of their setup and how it integrates with their workflow. Screenshots required of course! At the same time this might help other users discover creative new ways they could use their desktop.


Moult, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
thinkMoult - source for tech, art, and animation: hilarity and interest ensured!
WIPUP.org - a unique system to share, critique and track your works-in-progress projects.
User avatar RGB
Registered Member
Posts
339
Karma
0
OS
I'm working on several documents at the same time (well, working is just a word... :< ). Those documents use data from different sources (graphics and more) so I have one activity for each project with folderviews pointing to appropriate paths (several folderviews on each activity). In addition, I have a "leisure activity" with an image frame and a couple other "nonsenses", like the analog clock. My activities are pretty boring for screenshots, but they help me a lot!


RGB, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Nov.
And proud to be a kde user since 1.1.2
User avatar annew
Manager
Posts
1155
Karma
11
OS
I've never been a heavy user of Desktops, so neither multiple desktops nor activities are hugely useful to me. Plasmoids, however, are a different matter.

I have two small folderviews on the desktop, giving me immediate access to remote drives. I keep them small - they show just three folders - because since scrolling appeared that's all I need, and I prefer not to take up too much desktop space. I love the ability to enter my spreadsheet folder and open the one I want without having to resort to a file manager.

I use yawp, for it's 5-day weather forecast, and the analogue clock for its ability to show me other time-zones - particularly useful if meetings are scheduled in a time-zone different from your own. The pastebin plasmoid is also useful, although an imagebin one might be even more useful to me. Finally, I have the picture frame, which shows me a seasonal slideshow. I used to use the same pictures as desktop backgrounds, but do actually prefer the picture frame, as it gives me a less fussy desktop.

As I said, I rescale plasmoids. All of them fit neatly into the top 30% of my screen, and since I use a theme that has transparency, the effect suits me very well, yet at the same time gives me instant access to tools that are needed daily.


annew, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct and a KDE user since 2002.
Join us on http://userbase.kde.org
User avatar Moult
Global Moderator
Posts
663
Karma
2
OS
One thing I've always wondered about folderviews is how can you easily access them? It must be dreadfully annoying to have to minimise all the applications to get to the desktop.

"I keep them small - they show just three folders - because since scrolling appeared that's all I need" <-- by scrolling do you mean the ability to hover over and go inside directories?


Moult, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
thinkMoult - source for tech, art, and animation: hilarity and interest ensured!
WIPUP.org - a unique system to share, critique and track your works-in-progress projects.
User avatar Madman
Registered Member
Posts
589
Karma
1
OS
Imagebin support is built right-in to the pastebin applet. Click and drag an image to it, and it'll paste on imagebin. I use it all the time :D

Anyway... whether or not I use activities much depends on my mood. It's quick enough to add four activities and the activities bar plasmoid to an auto-hiding panel, and I especially use them when I want access to several widgets at once. The folderview is incredibly useful as a widget for me, especially when working on college projects, but for example, I'll have a college project activity, an online services activity and a clean activity "just in case". Sometimes, I don't need all that stuff, so I just go with one activity.

The most appealing thing to me for Plasma is that it kinda makes sense. When I drop a folder on the desktop, I'm usually not interested in having a shortcut to that folder: more often, I'm interested in having quick access to the stuff in that folder. When I drop an image on the desktop, I don't want an icon - I want the image so I can quickly show other people, or just quickly see it myself. PDFs are the same (though the Preview widget is kinda slow to resize - I think Qt 4.6 will help remedy that, though...). Unfortunately, the multimedia widget doesn't work for me, only playing the sound of a video and not the actual video... I expect that will be fixed in KDE 4.4.

What I'm also looking forward to is dropping websites onto the desktop from Konqueror and creating a web browser widget, because, you know... when I drag a web page there, it's usually to get a quick view of that web page, not an icon.


When I demonstrated that to my mum, she rather whole-heartedly agreed, especially when, regardless of what it was she click-'n'-dragged, Windows created icons. I've also shown her KOffice, which she is rather fond of, and Kopete, which she also likes quite a bit (she hated that, on Windows, every chat thingimawhat needed it's own client - she'd have tens of windows open at once when talking to only 4 people. Kopete obviously goes a long way in solving that).

I'm hoping to install Linux on her next computer. Might get her a netbook, since they're shipping with Windows 7 basic, which is INCREDIBLY restrictive. "An upgrade will cost you £70... or £0, depending on what you upgrade to". :P

One thing I've always wondered about folderviews is how can you easily access them? It must be dreadfully annoying to have to minimise all the applications to get to the desktop.

Either Alt+F12, the Show Dashboard widget or the Show Desktop widget. You could also stick them in a panel.
"I keep them small - they show just three folders - because since scrolling appeared that's all I need" <-- by scrolling do you mean the ability to hover over and go inside directories?

No, she means that, when the plasmoid is too small for all the files/folders in it, it gives you a scrollbar to see the rest.


Madman, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
User avatar aapgorilla
Registered Member
Posts
247
Karma
0
OS
I am a heavy user of ihatethecashew xD that's it activities or plasmoids seem useless clutter to me
User avatar annew
Manager
Posts
1155
Karma
11
OS
Moult wrote:One thing I've always wondered about folderviews is how can you easily access them? It must be dreadfully annoying to have to minimise all the applications to get to the desktop.


Not really. I routinely run with windows open at around 75% of screen space, only maximising when something I'm doing really does need full-screen. I also fix my most-used apps to position themselves in different parts of the screen, so usually I can see part of any window and just click to bring it to the fore. If I have lots of windows open I may have to minimise an odd one that covers that corner of the screen, but that's all.

"I keep them small - they show just three folders - because since scrolling appeared that's all I need" <-- by scrolling do you mean the ability to hover over and go inside directories?


Yes and No. Both folderviews have a scrollbar down the right-hand side. I hover over there and scroll until I can see the required folder, then hover over the folder, and descend through any subfolders, scrolling as necessarily until I find my required file. It's much faster than opening a file manager.


annew, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct and a KDE user since 2002.
Join us on http://userbase.kde.org
User avatar annew
Manager
Posts
1155
Karma
11
OS
Madman wrote:Imagebin support is built right-in to the pastebin applet. Click and drag an image to it, and it'll paste on imagebin. I use it all the time


For some reason it has never worked here. The pastebin bit is fine, but I have not succeeded once in getting an image to upload. I thought maybe it was WIP, but if it works for some, perhaps I should post a bug report to find out why it doesn't work for me. Just as a matter of interest, does it post to imagebin or to imageshack? I'm wondering if there is a locale problem. Posting directly to imagebin works for me.


annew, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct and a KDE user since 2002.
Join us on http://userbase.kde.org
User avatar Madman
Registered Member
Posts
589
Karma
1
OS
Imagebin by default, but it also supports imageshack. Both work well for me on Kubuntu, and they worked on Gentoo when I tried it on that - maybe it's a problem with the Fedora build?


Madman, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
User avatar annew
Manager
Posts
1155
Karma
11
OS
Madman wrote:Imagebin by default, but it also supports imageshack. Both work well for me on Kubuntu, and they worked on Gentoo when I tried it on that - maybe it's a problem with the Fedora build?


Or maybe I haven't tried it recently enough. I'll try it again, next time I need it. :-)


annew, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct and a KDE user since 2002.
Join us on http://userbase.kde.org
User avatar ivan
KDE Developer
Posts
907
Karma
14
OS
Don't get me wrong, but if you don't switch everything off and use KRunner for launching applications and Alt-Tab for switching, then you just have to be a heavy user of plasmoids - kickoff/kmenu/lancelot, clock, taskbar, device notifier...


Image
User avatar Alec
Registered Member
Posts
565
Karma
1
OS
My desktop looks not much different from the KDE 3 desktop - a panel on the bottom, with the regular stuff - four icons, task manager, a two-desktop pager, systray and a clock. The only plasmoid I have on the desktop (except for ihatethecashew :) is the one I wrote some time ago to display some network information but didn't have time to make it into an icon I could stick on my panel. I don't really get to see my desktop often because I almost always have my windows maximized.

One thing I do like is Quickaccess, since it lets me open files without leaving a file manager window open.


Get problems solved faster - get reply notifications through Jabber!
User avatar annew
Manager
Posts
1155
Karma
11
OS
ivan wrote:Don't get me wrong, but if you don't switch everything off and use KRunner for launching applications and Alt-Tab for switching, then you just have to be a heavy user of plasmoids - kickoff/kmenu/lancelot, clock, taskbar, device notifier...


You're right - we take these things for granted :-)


annew, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct and a KDE user since 2002.
Join us on http://userbase.kde.org
User avatar ivan
KDE Developer
Posts
907
Karma
14
OS
Well, we did it like this so that nobody is able to say that plasmoids are useless :D

But, to return to the topic - my usage of plasma's applets is as follows:
- main panel (from left to right): taskbar, quick-launch, lancelot, pager, systray and clock
- other panel: desktop activity switcher, playwolf (I use keyboard shortcuts for controlling amarok, but despite that, I like the applet)
- main desktop: command output plasmoid (or whatever it is called) that calls a script that shows temperatures of hard disks and CPUs, disk space monitor applet, folder views or lancelot parts to show a folder with links related to the current activity and/or favourite applications.
- second desktop: opensocial and RTM

I sometimes add some other plasmoid (weather, dictionary...) that sits on the desktop for a few days until I get bored of it.


Image
User avatar Moult
Global Moderator
Posts
663
Karma
2
OS
I never understood what the opensocial plasmoid did. Ivan can you show a screenshot of your setup?
Yeah let's assume just in this thread that we're not talking about the majority of cases where we all use an app launcher, task manager and systray on a panel - let's get more interesting use cases :)


Moult, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
thinkMoult - source for tech, art, and animation: hilarity and interest ensured!
WIPUP.org - a unique system to share, critique and track your works-in-progress projects.

 
Reply to topic

Bookmarks



Who is online

Registered users: aleeksunder, Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot], Google [Bot], Hito, WickedJoker

cron