Reply to topic

Access Plasmoids configuration dialog from System Settings

AGuiFr
Registered Member
Posts
64
Karma
0
OS
A new Plasma user asked on the French Kubuntu forum how to display only the windows from the current virtual desktop in the task manager. He had been looking for a setting in the System Settings, which was the most natural place for him to look, but he couldn't find it. You can actually do this from the Task manager plasmoid configuration dialog, which is available by a right click, or by a series of left clicks (unlock widgets, click on the icon at the right of the panel, hover on the task manager, and click on the button in the tooltip). Obviously, this is not discoverable enough for some users.

I think this is fairly logic to consider this a system setting, at least as much as configuring the buttons in the window decoration, which is possible though System Settings. But the technical implementation of the desktop in Plasma (every component being a separate plasmoid) made it "historically" separate.

I suggest that a new KCM could be created, where every plasmoid currently running is listed, and you could access its configuration dialog, remove it, and even choose an alternative one if available. This is only one possible solution to this problem, and there might be a better one to make these configuration dialogs more discoverable to users. The issue I have with this solution is that not every plasmoid can be considered as being part of the "system", but I don't think it is technically possible to sort them. Any suggestion of a more "elegant" solution ?
rumangerst
Registered Member
Posts
51
Karma
0
OS
I'm throwing in here my "concept", I made some time ago for a new 'widget control program'. I know it's not finished and may not be working and so on, but it could be some sort of in the right direction (?)




In KCM, you have to select your container/bar/... at first and then an 'edit'/... window shows up.
AGuiFr
Registered Member
Posts
64
Karma
0
OS
Nice ! I see that I am not the first one to think about that ! :-)

In my opinion, the current workflow for adding a widget is the good. You need to be able to position it as you like, to resize it, and the best way to do this is to do it directly on the desktop. Being able to add widgets from a KCM would make it overcomplicated. So I think accessing plasmoids configuration should be the primary goal (not spatial configuration, but settings available in the configuration dialog). Being able to remove a widget or to choose an alternative one could be considered, but it should be avoided if it gets in the way of configuration.

Besides, I am not sure a general widget configuration KCM is necessary. I don't think it makes sense to configure which folder displaying in a folder view or where to get your comic strip from the System Settings. But for a small number of plasmoids (Application launcher, Task manager, Pager, System tray), which can be considered essential to the system, people could expect to be able to configure them from System Settings.
rumangerst
Registered Member
Posts
51
Karma
0
OS
Some ideas. May not use the 'actual' KCM design and a search function would be great, too - but I was too lazy.

You have to select the container, first. The blue squares are there to help to determine the container.


The settings dialog is embedded into the control center.


The blue marking on the bar or widget or ... is used to determine which control's settings are shown. Clicking on the 'widget' should also be added to make everything easier for unexperienced user.


A user should always see the 'actual' control to create a relationship between abstract settings and the actual control he 'sees'. Unexperienced users always want to 'see' things, afaik.
AGuiFr
Registered Member
Posts
64
Karma
0
OS
I agree with you. The user should be able to see which is the plasmoid related to the settings being modified. At the same time, I don't like the idea of reproducing plasma containers inside the KCM. It just feels odd to me.

Let's come back to the root problem : a user might consider a plasmoid setting as a system setting, and look for it in System Settings. I can't find the right topic, but I am quite sure that there was talks about adding an area for "related setting you might look for" in System Settings. If this is included in the new version, then this could be a way to inform the user that he should check the plasmoid settings. So not changing the current way to change the setting, but pointing the user to the right direction from inside System Settings.
rumangerst
Registered Member
Posts
51
Karma
0
OS
The reproductions should not be 100% and without updating (only some sort of 'default' stuff similar to a screenshot). It's difficult to tell users that settings belongs to a widget if the settings are launched without context (e.g. by context menu) . Too much abstraction is no problem for experienced users, but for unexperienced users.
So, the quest: How to tell a user that this configuration is related to this widget. Also we have to keep in mind that the user wants too look for a specific thing to change (e.g. 'change the clock') - best identified by its real appearance.

If this is included in the new version, then this could be a way to inform the user that he should check the plasmoid settings.

Such a link should lead to an easy explanation (even maybe with videos) what these settings are.
rumangerst
Registered Member
Posts
51
Karma
0
OS
I made new mockups:

Some sort of explanation wouldn't be bad:


The relation between the actual widget and the setting is created by marking the position of the widget.
User avatar colomar
Registered Member
Posts
910
Karma
1
OS
Once again, great mockups!
About the hint on the first screen: I'm thinking about whether we even need widgets to be unlocked in order for them to be configured via System Settings. The widget lock mechanism's main purpose is to prevent accidental changes. However, if users change something from System Settings, they're doing it on purpose.
andreas_k
Registered Member
Posts
359
Karma
0
Hi,

I like the idea of a widget configuration center.

my idea of the widget system setting. there are a lot of waste space, but for a preview I hope it will work.



In addition to the desktops you also have activities. if it is not necessary to have the system setting for every activtie, than you can forget this picture.

When you need more information about the widgets or a preview what would be nice and should work with the ghns thumb, than you can use a control pannel on the right side for the additional information as written in the HIG (https://userbase.kde.org/User:Andrew/La ... ndPatterns).

You should also can use it for switching the plasmoid switcher as in thread viewtopic.php?f=285&t=122067&start=45.
User avatar colomar
Registered Member
Posts
910
Karma
1
OS
What we have to keep in mind regarding both Activities and specific widgets per virtual desktop is that both affect only widgets on the desktop. The ones which users might want to configure more often (like launcher or task switcher) are usually placed on the panel, which means they are the same across desktops and activities.
Therefore it is likely to be confusing if there are Activity/Virtual Desktop-specific settings and Activity/VT-independent settings in the same UI. We'll have to find a way to make that distinction clear.
What about putting the panels in a separate box in the UI, so that the tabs are only around the box which contains the desktop widgets?
rumangerst
Registered Member
Posts
51
Karma
0
OS
Ahh, yes - I forgot activities (Maybe because i'm not using them :P )

Hmm, maybe something like this:



@andreas_k:
Good idea how the plasmoid switcher could be integrated into system settings.
andreas_k
Registered Member
Posts
359
Karma
0
colomar wrote:What we have to keep in mind regarding both Activities and specific widgets per virtual desktop is that both affect only widgets on the desktop. The ones which users might want to configure more often (like launcher or task switcher) are usually placed on the panel, which means they are the same across desktops and activities.
Therefore it is likely to be confusing if there are Activity/Virtual Desktop-specific settings and Activity/VT-independent settings in the same UI. We'll have to find a way to make that distinction clear.
What about putting the panels in a separate box in the UI, so that the tabs are only around the box which contains the desktop widgets?


good point.

Now I can use the huge lost space. The new picture inkluding the panel setting. I hope with this scratch it is also clear, that there are different desktops for different activities, but the same panel in every desktop, activity.



as you can see in the picture, it is only a widget browser. settings for activities (additional activitiy), desktops (additional desktop), panel size was not includet. just a widget browser like you know it from android. where the widgets are located, in which size and so on, will done on the desktops as you use now. the feature is only to have a widget overview, pick up additional widgets, remove and change to different widgets in the same section.
User avatar pedrorodriguez
Registered Member
Posts
106
Karma
0
OS
I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but I'll go ahead. Regarding activities, they are a really powerful feature of Plasma, but not many people use them. I believe it is hard for a casual user to get the difference between virtual desktops and activities. Wouldn't it be better if they somehow replaced virtual desktops at some point? They would be easier to understand and use, and the configuration aspect would be much easier (in the case above a separation between VD and Activity wouldn't be needed).

I don't use them, for example. I just have several virtual desktops where I run my applications fullscreen. It would be nice to be able to set any of them to not turn off the screen for movies, etc. without having to deal with the current interface, which for me is overly complicated.
rumangerst
Registered Member
Posts
51
Karma
0
OS
I think you are right. I don't use activities either. Currently they are some sort of layer on top of virtual desktops.



Activities should be made understandable and distinct from virtual desktops. They also should be able to be configured by system settings (There are currently only advanced settings with modules, ...).
I played around with activities and they would be more useful if you go on and press something like 'Make a snapshot of yout current desktop' and an activity will be created, containing all your programs.

Activities would be like a snapshot of your opened programs and widgets and similar to a webbrowser you could create a new 'tab' of activity X or change your current activity Y to activity X.
If you close a 'tab' the 'snapshot' is not gone unlike current activities.

Last edited by rumangerst on Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
andreas_k
Registered Member
Posts
359
Karma
0
there is a new configuration for activities, it also looks nice, but the configuration is out of system settings.

http://ivan.fomentgroup.org/blog/2014/0 ... lasma-5-1/

 
Reply to topic

Bookmarks



Who is online

Registered users: andreas_k, askinner, Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot], Google [Bot], google01103, harrybarry, hirnsushi, hstoellinger, jmacleod, joaob, Majestic-12 [Bot], metzman, MSNbot Media, sdh, wperkins, Yahoo [Bot]