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Rethinking Activities

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Re: Rethinking Activities

Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:25 pm
What about not even thinking that this is a feature that the user needs to see or try to make sense of? For example, if the user has a desire to extend the desktop and in the process the system allows for customization that keeps any arrangement made on such extended desktop then it really doesn't make sense that we advertise one or the other to the user. They will simply work with extra space that has a lot of capabilities.
airdrik
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Re: Rethinking Activities

Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:35 pm
yeah, I was thinking about this more as I was responding to yet another post about a user wanting the separate configuration capability provided by activities without having to switch to virtual desktops, and thinking that they really should be unified somehow so that you just use additional desktop space and configure the additional desktop space as you desire.

One recommendation would thus be to make Activities the default when the user wants additional screen spaces by reworking them to operate just like Virtual Desktops. Virtual Desktops may be retained as identical workspaces, only providing additional space for the windows of a given Activity for those who want that additional dimension of space for their desktop.

Or just add all of the capabilities of Activities to Virtual Desktops and get rid of Activities.
In all my years of using Activities, I've never really used both together. I've had enough stuff on a single Activity to benefit from spreading things out onto multiple VDs, but never bothered - largely because I only cared to have one way to switch around between spaces.


airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.
arucard
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Re: Rethinking Activities

Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:20 am
One way that I can think of to unify Activities and Virtual Desktops is to stop using Activities as something that provides extra desktop space. We could treat Virtual Desktops as the only thing that provides extra desktop space. The Activities would then become an abstraction for the configuration of the desktop, the linked files and applications and anything else an Activity does. This abstraction would then be applied to one or more Virtual Desktops, effectively becoming something like the "desktop context" for a Virtual Desktop (but without using that name as "desktop context" is terrible for end-users to understand).

This means that every Virtual Desktop is always linked to a specific Activity. So when you change the desktop wallpaper or widgets, you're changing the configuration of the Activity. But you can create also choose to save the changes to a new Activity instead, one for that Virtual Desktop that copies all other settings from the previous Activity. You could still create a new Activity directly, but only from its settings page. And you would have to apply it to existing Virtual Desktops or a newly created one.

With this, it doesn't really change that much from an underlying technical perspective. But it changes the mental model where "extra desktop space" is now only provided through a Virtual Desktop. And the UX of having Virtual Desktops linked to Activities needs to be worked out further. But I think this could provide all the power/customizability that was intended with Activities and unify it with Virtual Desktops.
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Re: Rethinking Activities

Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:23 pm
arucard wrote: With this, it doesn't really change that much from an underlying technical perspective. But it changes the mental model where "extra desktop space" is now only provided through a Virtual Desktop. And the UX of having Virtual Desktops linked to Activities needs to be worked out further. But I think this could provide all the power/customizability that was intended with Activities and unify it with Virtual Desktops.


That's what I mean, it's a supercharged virtual desktop idea. :D

 
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