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[Idea] See-as-well feature for system settings

User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Recommended somewhere and discussed quite controversially: the see-as-well feature. When settings (KCMs) are opened within the system setting framework (we should give it a better name, e.g. Kasymir) it would help casual users to cross-link KCMs. Since the top-level navigation is always displayed it makes not much sense to link within the same category (Appearance:Color <-> Appearance:Font). But why not try to find other connections?

We can start with the results from the card sorting study. In this study equivalent terms were sorted into the same category very consistently over participants. But for some items we find alternative classifications. For instance, 'gamma' is associated to appearance aspects (icon, desktop theme etc.) to about 15% and to hardware related stuff (mouse, touchpad etc.) with ~20%. This document shows all results with highlighting according the percentage of associations. And the next overview is an summary of the eye-catching cross-links:

    * Visual aspects contained in the Appearance section are associated too with
    ** Workspace 20%
    ** Launch Feedback (Personalization: Applications) with 18%
    ** Gamma (Hardware: Screen?) 15%
    ** Screen locking (Workspace: Desktop Behavior) 12%
    ** Virtual Desktops (Workspace: Desktop Behavior) 10%
    ** Window Rules, -Behavior... (Workspace: Window Management) 8%
    ** Notifications (Personalization) 6%
    ** Display Configuration (Hardware: Screen?) 6%
    ** System Bell (Workspace:Desktop Behavior:Accessibility) 5%

    * Personalization (Launch feedback, Notification
    ** Window Rules, -Behavior... (Workspace: Window Management) 20%
    ** Appearance properties 18%
    ** Shortcuts (Workspace: Shortcuts) 10-15%

    * Network (Proxy, Connection preferences, File transfer etc.)
    ** Web shortcuts (Workspace: Shortcuts) 27%
    ** Remote controls, Devices (Hardware) 13/8%

    * Hardware (Mouse, Keyboard, Joystick etc.)
    ** System Bell (Workspace: Desktop behavior) 8%
    ** Global-/Standard-Shortcuts (Workspace: Shortcuts) 19% (but not web shortcuts)
(Here is an overview of the current SySe organization)

Based on these information I'd suggest to start with the following see-as-well links:

    Appearance:Workspace Theme -> Workspace:Desktop Behavior
    Appearance:Color -> Hardware:Display and Monitor (because of gamma correction)
    Appearance:Font
    Appearance:Icons
    Appearance:Application Style -> Workspace:Desktop Behavior, Personalization:Applications

    Workspace:Desktop Behavior -> Hardware:Display and Monitor
    Workspace:Window Management
    Workspace:Shortcuts
    Workspace:Startup and Shutdown -> Hardware:Power Managment
    Workspace:Search

    Personalization:Account Details
    Personalization:Regional Settings
    Personalization:Notification
    Personalization:Applications -> Appearance:Application Style, Workspace:Shortcuts, Workspace:Startup and Shutdown, Hardware:Device Actions

    Network Settings:Settings
    Network Settings:Connectivity

    Hardware:Input Devices -> Workspace:Shortcuts
    Hardware:Display and Monitor -> Workspace:Desktop Behavior, Workspace:Window Management
    Hardware:Multimedia -> Workspace:Desktop Behavior (Accesibility: Bell)
    Hardware:Power Managment -> Workspace:Startup and Shutdown
    Hardware:Device Actions -> Personalization:Applications

Opinions?
AGuiFr
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I think this is a very good idea and I agree with your proposed links.

May I suggest that it is not limited to linking to a related KCM but could also to link to some kind of help page? One of the main complaints I have with Plasma is the separation between the desktop and the rest of the environment. For instance, in most environments, the wallpaper can be changed from the system settings. In Plasma, you have to do a right click or use the "cashew". However, some people might look for it in "Workspace appearance". Configuring the behaviour of the task manager plasmoid or the content of the Kickoff menu could also be considered a system setting under "Desktop behaviour". Configuring the clock (display of seconds, date, etc...) could be linked from "Regional settings".

I think there are good reasons not to include these settings in system settings and leave them as separate plasma settings, but I think having a link to an help page in the related KCMs could be an improvement for new users. The only issue is that appart from the wallpaper, the user might have chosen to remove his task manager or his0clock. So "Kasymir" should check whether the corresponding plasmoids are displayed or not. I don't know if it is technically possible.
User avatar colomar
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AGuiFr wrote:I think there are good reasons not to include these settings in system settings and leave them as separate plasma settings, but I think having a link to an help page in the related KCMs could be an improvement for new users. The only issue is that appart from the wallpaper, the user might have chosen to remove his task manager or his0clock. So "Kasymir" should check whether the corresponding plasmoids are displayed or not. I don't know if it is technically possible.


The reason why the wallpaper cannot be chosen in System Settings is that it is Activity-specific whereas System Settings is currently mainly Activity-agnostic. Heiko and Björn have some ideas for integrating Activities into SySe in general. If that is done, wallpaper could be included again, with a per-Activity setting.

The configuration for the task manager or launcher are actually done on a per-Plasmoid basis. There are pros and cons to that, but Eike, the maintainer of both, has decided to keep it that way. This makes it even more difficult to include it into System Settings, because then the relevant KCM would have to know about and list all instances of the Plasmoid, in all Activities.
It makes absolute sense from a user perspective to have all those things available in SySe, but this may face some tough challenges implementation-wise.

 
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