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Why is Plasma so configurable and Kickoff is not

hrvoojex
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If I remember it, the default principle of KDE was 'Simple by default, poweful when needed'. When you think about Plasma you thing about flexibility and customizeability. So why can not I custom configure Kickoff? I would like to change menus order, to have 'History' first. I would like to have items without icons that more of them would be in a list. I know there are alternatives, but I like Kickoff with just a little more customisation.
User avatar Rog131
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hrvoojex wrote:If I remember it, the default principle of KDE was 'Simple by default, poweful when needed'. When you think about Plasma you thing about flexibility and customizeability. So why can not I custom configure Kickoff? I would like to change menus order, to have 'History' first. I would like to have items without icons that more of them would be in a list. I know there are alternatives, but I like Kickoff with just a little more customisation.


Well - the Kickoff is part of the Plasma.
You could file a bug/wish report to the KDE bug tracker: https://bugs.kde.org
You could create a Kickoff editor and share it it with us.

Meanwhile - The Kickoff is using QML scripts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QML

At here:

1) Where it is:
Code: Select all
$ locate kickoff
...
/usr/share/plasma/plasmoids/org.kde.plasma.kickoff/
...


2) Editing the /usr/share/plasma/plasmoids/org.kde.plasma.kickoff/contents/FullRepresentation.qml

Moving the KickOffButton "History" to the top

3) Restarting the plasma shell

Image
Full image: http://i.imgur.com/VGloM3u.png

Seems to work.

Plasma5/QML2/GettingStarted: https://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tu ... ingStarted
jsalatas
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FYI: I have submitted a review request which provides the user the ability to change the order of the menu items and hide them.

https://git.reviewboard.kde.org/r/128402/

I would appreciate your feedback/comments :)
g00ey
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The problem is that it's difficult to follow the documentation. The is no guide nowhere telling you that, this is kickoff and this is what it looks like, this is kicker and what it looks like, this is kickoff launcher and this is what it looks like, this is the kickathon panel and what it looks like, this is application launcher and this is what it looks like, ....

I can figure out that the kickoff launcher is the "default launcher" of KDE/Plasma but I still don't know where to find the configuration files to that bottom bar and what's it called. It used to be kicker but today it appears to be that widget that pops up when you press L-ALT+space. Edit: No that's KRunner which I found out by chance when looking for something else, but you get my point...

So while I browse around those different configuration files I'm usually clueless as to what visual part of the KDE/Plasma they pertain.
airdrik
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What documentation were you looking at? (perhaps there's room for improving there, though the online documentation at http://userbase.kde.org/ is a pretty good starting place)

In general usage and configuration, you shouldn't need to go browsing the configuration files and making manual (error-prone) edits. Instead, all configuration (that most users should expect to do) may be done using the graphical UIs available. The Userbase documentation has information about the various components and how to configure them.

If you need something more than what is provided by the graphical configuration UIs then feel free to ask.


airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.
g00ey
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Well, I don't need the documentation to find out how to save files in KWrite or how to adjust screen resolution, a feature that is broken anyway in KDE.

As soon as I pop the hood and try to look into the configuration files, the documentation fails miserably at explaining what goes on in those. Perhaps I have missed the documentation. The reasoning that users *shouldn't* fiddle with config files is just pure garbage. Yes, users shouldn't *need* to manipulate those config files but otherwise a good transparency should be encouraged so that anyone who is interested gets to understand the innards of the KDE and the Plasma shell. That transparency will encourage more people to add value to KDE, you get more theme developers, more customizers and in the long run, more people who are willing to contribute to Plasma and KDE development.

But still, when I first installed Plasma 5, 5.2 or 5.4 I think it was, it was the latest stable version that were released last summer. I tweaked it and I was very happy with my configuration of KDE. But then, when I applied updates, everytime I updated Plasma, it broke something and added "features" to the theme that I didn't like. So things got broken anyway, even though I didn't touch any "sensitive" config files.

In theory, I *shouldn't have to* modify these config files manually, but in reality, in order to maintain the configuration and theming that I was so happy with, I really had to modify these files. I know that there are quite a few good developers involved with the KDE project, and they sure do a good job contributing to it. But if they want to apply a certain change to the theme, then why not make a new theme and let those who want use that while those who prefer the old one stay with the old one.

The thing is that I want a simplistic and stylistic theme. To be honest, I found, KDE4 a little too gimmicky for my taste, especially the large and colorful icons made it look like something from the '90s. But then I saw video clips of Plasma 5, on the Youtube I think it was, the simplicity and yet well made design of the interface is was what drew me from Gnome 2/Mate/Cinnamon to Plasma. With the redesign they redefined the expression "less is more". A philosophy that Apple have conducted with their products and Microsoft copied eventually. Heck even Android 5 is based on this philosophy. But reality is that with minimalistic design, some things work, and some things don't. I'm beginning to feel that MacOS is getting old. When I managed to customize the theme of KDE to my taste, I felt I got into something that really works. Something that is the GUI of the future. The key here is that the minimalistic GUI draws the focus from it and into the content. It gives an impression of professionalism, the developers behind the Adobe CS6 design suite understood this and I felt I achieved something similar with KDE. To make a minimalistic GUI work, different elements need to match in a certain way and be properly aligned. I like when you diffuse the boundaries, things don't really need to be encapsulated in boxes, sometimes it is apparent of the text, or a horizontal bar above will do. Things may look simple to the eye but behind every aspect of the design lies a lot of contemplation and consideration. You need to experiment, try it out and iterate in order to eventually get to something that works. Working with SVGs and using anti-aliasing yields very interesting effects, so does transparency and translucency...

Something that would be interesting would be a theme that is bright during the day and dark during the night so that the GUI adjusts after light conditions.

I understand that a simplistic and minimalistic design isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it does appeal to a lot of people, just look at the user base of Apple products (I'm mostly thinking about OsX).
User avatar rwalker
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jsalatas wrote:FYI: I have submitted a review request which provides the user the ability to change the order of the menu items and hide them.

https://git.reviewboard.kde.org/r/128402/

I would appreciate your feedback/comments :)


That's a great start for configurability... Though I can't help but notice that the initial state of the Settings window results in 2, of the 5 visible tab buttons, flowing off the RHS of the Appearance pane. Perhaps it needs a size hint for this - to expand the window horizontally?

Now is there any chance of some help fixing the kicker dash fullscreen representation? That's my preferred launcher at the moment...
That is crying out for the favourite side panel to well not be a side panel (which looks dumb). Ideally it would have it's own menu option down the RHS... So Favourites first (default) then Recent Applications, etc. This feels like a clunky hangover from the compact representation (where it might make sense to have the favourites down the LHS side of the menu). Any thoughts?

I am not a qml expert - so I tend to get a bit bogged downing in figuring out everything hangs together in that plasmoid... Then everything changes yet again every month - with the point releases of Plasma!!

Thanks for all your hard work!! At least someone still cares about Plasma configurability!!

Bob
hrvoojex
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jsalatas wrote:FYI: I have submitted a review request which provides the user the ability to change the order of the menu items and hide them.

https://git.reviewboard.kde.org/r/128402/

I would appreciate your feedback/comments :)


Thank you for your hard work! I saw your code was submitted to a master branch. Does it mean it will be implemented?

I'm using Mint18 KDE 5.6.5. so when could we see this change, in 2018? ;)
jsalatas
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hrvoojex wrote:I saw your code was submitted to a master branch. Does it mean it will be implemented?

I'm using Mint18 KDE 5.6.5. so when could we see this change, in 2018? ;)


It IS implemented :)

It will be available in version 5.9 I guess, so it will eventually end up in kubuntu's backports repository
hrvoojex
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Great news!
User avatar christianbueno
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Please there how increase the size of the icons on kickoff , please please please.
where find information about it please, i like application-laucher but i want that it would increase the icon size
User avatar Rog131
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Kickoff application icon size

You could file a bug/wish report to the KDE bug tracker: https://bugs.kde.org


The user can edit the plasmoids: /usr/share/plasma/plasmoids/... A bit better way is to copy the scripts to the user's home and rename the plasmoids(/metadata.desktop and metadata.json). Getting started: https://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tu ... ingStarted

Examples from the KDE Forums:
- Kickoff label background: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=140979
- My Digital Clock: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=134970&p=361132#p361132


An example - Kickoff application icons

With the Plasma 5.10.

Simply copying the /usr/share/plasma/plasmoids/org.kde.plasma.kickoff/ to $HOME/.local/share/plasma/plasmoids/org.kde.plasma.kickoff/. The KDE will prefer the user plasmoid over the system plasmoids. A bit better way is to copy the scripts to the user's home and rename the plasmoids. This is only an example so cutting the corners.

Editing the $HOME/.local/share/plasma/plasmoids/org.kde.plasma.kickoff/contents/ui/KickoffItem.qml

Image

Editing the line 183: 'width: units.iconSizes.medium'

Icon sizes from KIconLoader: https://api.kde.org/frameworks/plasma-f ... Units.html

small
smallMedium
medium
large
huge
enormous


Saving the KickoffItem.qml and restarting the plasmashell...From the small to the enormous:

Image
hrvoojex
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Thank you for your answer. However, making icons smaller doesn't change font size and I get the same number of items with the same menu height. The bug was submitted in 2008 :)
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=163283

Would it be possible with smaller icons to have a smaller font so I can have, let's say 15 menu entries in the same menu window size as 10 menu entries before?
User avatar Rog131
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Tighter application list

Plasma 5.10.

The application list element height is calculated at the KickoffItem.qml line 33:
Code: Select all
height: (units.smallSpacing * 2) + Math.max(elementIcon.height, titleElement.height + subTitleElement.height)


Less height -> more items.

At here, subtracting the height:
Code: Select all
height: (units.smallSpacing * 2) + Math.max(elementIcon.height, titleElement.height + subTitleElement.height) - 10


Result:
Image
hrvoojex
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That's it, thank you!

Now, if this would be implemented in Kickoff settings via GUI slider this would be great.

 
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