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Do you use activities or plasmoids extensively?

User avatar ivan
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Open social plasmoid doesn't do much at the moment, but as the platform evolves, it will.

Unfortunately, since I'm doing a clean build of KDE, I can't make a screenshot now, but this is what it looks like:

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User avatar annew
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Thanks to Ivan's reminder - here are the ones I forgot. First, panel, from the left

Lancelot, launchers for browser, dolphin, konsole, kontact and kwrite (all ones that are accessed too frequently to use other ways), taskbar, desktop-pager, device notifier, systemsettings launcher, system monitor (temperature), systemtray, battery monitor and clock.

The other one I forgot, because it's not usually visible, is the activity switcher, which occupies a small panel, self-hiding, at the top of the screen.

All in all, then, I'd say yes, I use plasmoids fairly heavily. The attraction, of course, is that like firefox add-ons, you can choose as many or as few as suit your workflow.


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User avatar Serenity
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I only use plasmoids on my panels, and I only use activities linked to desktops. I use no plasmoids on the desktop now since ihatethecashew just broke for no apparent reason, so I'm stuck trying to find another way to get away from the cashew. The easiest solution right now seems to be to dump KDE entirely (seriously).


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User avatar Hans
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I wrote about it on my blog, but it's quite lengthy so I'll just put a summarize here. Full text here »

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Default activity with activity switcher - A clean desktop.

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Development Activity - Quick access to files I work with when coding.

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Study Activity - Sets the mood for studying. Again, important files in one place.

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Weather Activity - Shows the current weather forecast.

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Garbage Activity - A place to dump files and later organize them.

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Playground Activity - Mess around with Plasma, new plasmoids, wallpapers etc.


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bzhb_
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I'm only using two panels:
- a very small always on top in a corner with the time, the battery plasmoid and cpu usage
- a bigger one autohidding with system tray and task manager
No plasmoid on the desktop : my windows are almost always covering it (unfortunately I don't have a huge screen).

I also use the option "one activity per desktop" so that I can have a different wallpaper on each of my 4 virtual desktop. It helps me to know on which virtual desktop I'm in. This functionality is still buggy : sometimes I lose my plasmoids. It also makes plasma use lot of cpu. hope it would get better soon...

I tried lots of plasmoid but [ except Ihatethecashew, and the eeepc plasmoid (on my eeepc) to toggle wifi, camera, sd, and bluetooth ] I play with them 5 minutes and then don't use them until I remove them...
finex
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I use some plasmoids like notes, pastebin, colour picker, paste, device notifier and, obviously, the common task/kickoff/clock/systemtray plasmoids.

I'd like to use activities too, but on a multimonitor (twinview) setup, activities simply cannot be used due to a lot of bugs and performance issues.


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User avatar moofang
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I'm surprised that most of you don't use activities, I love them to bits and cannot live without them nowadays (yeah, the 'evil' of great technology is you can't go back :D ). Since only two other persons have posted screenshots despite what OP said, I'll just dump a shot of each of my activities here too :)

I only have three activites which are kind of bare now because I just nuked and fresh-installed opensuse 11.2, so they haven't had a chance to balloon up yet :)

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I call this one the 'Home' activity, and it's basically just a 'for casual use' activity - web browsing, IM-ing, amaroking and the sort. Nothing here except a folderview-turned-application launcher, and a slideshow of nature-themed wallpapers for relaxation and pleasantry (yes! Activities are not just about grouping functionality, they're about cultivating 'mood' too! :P )

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This one I randomly called 'Codeworks', and is meant to be for programming. right now it's just a kate plasmoid because I work mainly on kate, which is editor+konsole+file browser already so additional folderviews aren't necessary. As I go along it's likely that the place will fill up with notes and stuff though, but since I fresh-installed I figured I wanted a clean start :) It's great to know that I can plaster the place here full of programming-related notes and browser widgets pointing to useful references as and when I need them, and still be able to swing right back to a clean and pleasant home desktop when I'm not coding. Oh, and yeah, the notes plasmoid need not only contain notes :D Wallpaper is a slideshow of water-themed images, because you need to be like water when coding. Malleable, adaptable, but elegant. Okay, I made that up :)

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This one is アニメ - Anime, as is obvious :) I watch and blog anime, so there's the obvious folderview at the bottom right for direct video access, and the top right is a paste plasmoid with a bunch of unicode emoticons that are hard to type, but are handy sometimes when blogging anime. I'm also learning Japanese and usually listen closely for words when watching, and there at the bottom left is a browser plasmoid pointing to an online japanese dictionary - easy instant japanese dictionary widget, as well as a little notes plasmoid on the right as a sketchboard for quotes I feel like keeping for abit :)

When I go back to university next year undoubtably a schoolwork activity will also appear with folderviews to my material and browsers pointing to online university resources. I also used to have a 'playground' activity that I haven't gotten around to recreate this installation, where I put all sorts of trinkets to tinker with when I'm bored - comic widgets loaded with dilbert and lolcats, puzzle and game of life widgets, the like. :P


User avatar TheBlackCat
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I would use activities, the problem is that they are horribly broken if you are using two monitors with different resolutions, making them pretty much unusable on such setups. If you try to use an activity on a desktop with a different resolution that it was made on, the plasmoid positions get totally screwed up. I tried using activities, but this is such a big problem I always ended up deleting all but two because since it was far too much of a hassle to be worthwhile. This is a real shame, since I would really like to use them. It is even worse for 4.4 because they now have the ability to use the mouse to quickly cycle through activities, which greatly improves activity switching but using that interface means it is impossible to avoid getting an activity for the wrong resolution on one of your monitors, leading to all sorts of problems. If the plasmoids would just scale properly for the monitor resolution everything would be fine, but there doesn’t appear to be any indication that this will happen, so anyone using two monitors with different resolution is out of luck when it comes to activities.


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User avatar einar
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Remember that most Plasma developers don't own a multimonitor setup, so please file bugs (and if anyone is also able to help with coding, better). Some of the issues you point out may be not only in Plasma, but in the system it uses to handle multiple monitors (Kephal).
I also have to point out that apparently 4.4 also provides better multimonitor setup.


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finex
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einar wrote:so please file bugs


Already done time ago :-)
User avatar TheBlackCat
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einar wrote:so please file bugs

I filed a bug about this back in February. It is still unconfirmed, the only activity on it was back in March when it was changed from a bug to a wishlist.

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=184162

einar wrote:Some of the issues you point out may be not only in Plasma, but in the system it uses to handle multiple monitors (Kephal).

The desktop wallpaper resolution is correctly rescales when the monitor resolution changes, so the information must be available.

einar wrote:I also have to point out that apparently 4.4 also provides better multimonitor setup.

I am using 4.4, things are no better.


Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.
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yagami
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well , i dont use activities extensively :) i only have 10 of them :)

9 desktops with activities perDesktop
plus , the dashboard activity where i have the pager , kde menu , systray and taskbar

screenshot :
Image
User avatar blackbelt_jones
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I have a live CD that I've been working on http://www.thekiarablog.blogspot.com that is designed to keep me running KDE3.5 forever if necessary, but I'm interested in keeping abreast of KDE4. Most of the time, I have KDE4 installed on the hard drive and when I use it, there are two plasmoids I use. The analog clock and "Notes". The "notes" plasmoid is just about the only thing in KDE4 that I really miss in KDE3.5 or fluxbox. It's wonderful in its simplicity, it's utility, and in the fact that, unlike every other desktop "sticky", it really does stick to the spot. Inspired by the "notes" plasmoid, I worked out a button for KDE3 and fluxbox that makes it fairly convenient to add notes directly to the desktop background using Gimp. Not bad, but clearly second best. The wonderful thing about the analog clcock is that it's round. Nothing on the Desktop is round, and so it's a real visual boon. It adds interest and variety, and it tells the time.

There's nothing else that I run from the desktop, but I sometimes run a few plasmoids from the panel. I like Lancelot. The cool thing about Lancelot is that you can open it with Alt-F5, and it always opens in the center of the screen. No matter where you put it, it always opens in the same place, front and center.

In my opinion, the activities as I understand them are one reason why I consider KDE4 to be worth all the aggravation... but I haven't gotten around to learning how to use them yet.


airdrik
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I use a couple of activities:
"Stuff" - plasmoids with weather, comics, facebook, and other misc items
"Desktop" - folder views pointing to areas of interest.
"Clean" - empty, uncluttered desktop for when I'm not doing things with plasmoids.

I like using 4 desktops separate from activities so that I can easily switch to an unused desktop and switch to a certain activity (using the activities plasmoid - ZUI is just too cumbersome) to check something, launch something from a folder view, etc. I see myself getting a little frustrated merging the two as I would end up with windows on 3 of my desktop and the 4th would be the one that doesn't have the plasmoids I want to check really quickly, meaning I have to remember which desktop had the plasmoid I wanted and then minimize the windows, do my thing, un-minimize windows, etc. Switching desktops to an unused one and switching the activity with the activities plasmoid is so much more convenient.


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User avatar Ignacio Serantes
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I do an intensive usage of plasmoids, I have actually over 25 diferent plasmoids running in my desktop: translatoid, several folders views, picture viewer, weather plasmoid, magic folder, several stdin plasmoids, html widget, etc...

I don't use activities yet because I really only use one desktop and Plasma is not much stable.

I found this work method very productive, because I can click quickly in many places to launch programs, or have a lot of sensors, view the National Geographic Picture of The Day, learn kanjis, etc..., and this widgets don't bother other programs.

I hope that this kind of desktop evolve to be more powerful and connects all KDE programs. For example, for me would be great if I can put Amarok Lyric Widget in Plasma :).


Ignacio Serantes, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Nov.

 
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