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'Different Widgets for Each Desktop' missing in Plasma 5.6

rcameron
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Linux Mint has asked its users to download and evaluate their new 'Rosa' KDE edition (it's beta), with Plasma 5.6. I have done so, and wanted to make sure that the virtual desktop management I am currently using in Mint 17.3 will continue to function.

At least in the new Mint, it appears that the option (a checkbox) to select "Different widgets for each desktop" -- is missing. As previously discussed on this forum, being able to activate this function is necessary for not only the purpose it describes, but also for keeping a desired selection of icons on a certain virtual desktop.

When I say it's missing in Mint, I mean, missing in comparison to the earlier version of KDE, that was in the previous version of Mint's operating system.

I'm in correspondence with the forum at Mint, since if this doesn't appear when Rosa stable is released, I'll have to stay with their earlier version. Can you think of any reason why I can't find this checkbox in its former position?

? Has the 'Different Widgets for Each Desktop' checkbox been moved to some other location, by the folks at KDE?
Or, if it's only missing in Mint, is this something that happened 'on their end'?


Last edited by rcameron on Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Linux Mint 17.3 | KDE Platform Version 4.14.2, and
Linux Mint 18.0 | KDE Platform Version 5.28.0
stevek
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Yes it's gone, a design decision apparently. With plasma 5, this functionality can be more or less replicated by using activities instead though, if you're open to a little change.
rcameron
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stevek wrote:Yes it's gone, a design decision apparently. With plasma 5, this functionality can be more or less replicated by using activities instead though, if you're open to a little change.
Thanks for letting me know that further searching for it would be fruitless.

I don't think Activities, at least not as implemented in v. 4.14.2, will do it. I know this, because I tried Activities first, and found the functionality to be lacking.

That is, unless whoever decided to eliminate this feature has also enhanced Activities sufficiently, to make it a suitable replacement.

Actually, :'( this feature was one of the primary reasons I moved to KDE -- for the following reason: a few years ago, I posted a question on the Mint forum asking how I could duplicate the multiple virtual desktop capability of StarOffice5.2, and one of the answers I got was, 'try KDE'.

Again, unless Activities has been enhanced, the 'Different Widgets for Each Desktop' check-box was the only way I could get a desktop-setup functionally identical to what was available in StarOffice.

??? I wonder -- could you please find out if there's some sort of a 'hack' -- for example, manually editing a config file, somewhere -- that could toggle the setting that the check box used to set?

In the event Activities hasn't been enhanced, this would totally solve the problem, by allowing me to move to the next Plasma version -- which I'd otherwise like to do.

Could you please let me know what you can discover?


System information:
Linux Mint 17.3 | KDE Platform Version 4.14.2, and
Linux Mint 18.0 | KDE Platform Version 5.28.0
stevek
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Well, as far as I can remember, activities in plasma 5 have progressed since plasma 4. I suppose the best way forward would be if you could specify the functionality you find to be missing. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the specifics of how StarOffice is set up, so perhaps you could detail the features that the 'different widgets on each desktop' could do that an activity set-up can't.

As far as the current state stands, there's no way back, but maybe there's a different way to fit your needs.
rcameron
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Thanks for your continued interest in helping!
stevek wrote:... As far as the current state stands, there's no way back, but maybe there's a different way to fit your needs.

This seems to be correct. I located the parameter (in a Plasma 4.x configuration file) that toggles fixing widgets, icons and wallpaper to specific desktops (that check box actually does a quite bit more, than just fixing the widgets, in spite of its label). When added to the corresponding Plasma 5.x configuration file ... it did nothing.

Since my only experience is with Plasma 4.x, and the new version in the Mint-beta is 5.x, and as you said there are now considerable dissimilarities between the two, perhaps it's best to ask for your help only on 5.x, starting with a couple of questions:

1) In exploring 5.x, I momentarily saw a window with a check box, that read, 'Remember the virtual desktop for each activity' and a 'Restart is required to activate this option'.
Having seen it once, and then deciding I wanted to return to it and select that option, now I can't find it. How may I navigate back to it?

I don't recall having seen this option in Plasma 4.x, so perhaps this is an enhancement that may bring me closer to the functionality of the previous virtual desktops, with which I was familiar.

2) In Plasma 5.x, how does one 'lock' a certain wallpaper to a specific desktop? That was fairly easy in 4.x (once the 'widget' check box was 'ticked') but I think there must be some different way of doing this in 5.x. At the moment, changing the wallpaper for one virtual desktop causes the same image to appear, on all.

Based on my experience with Plasma 4.x there would be no way to associate a certain wallpaper with a specific Activity, but given the changes/enhancements with Plasma 5.x and my apparent inability to associate it with a certain desktop, if this is the replacement, please advise and I'll try to do that.

Thanks again.


System information:
Linux Mint 17.3 | KDE Platform Version 4.14.2, and
Linux Mint 18.0 | KDE Platform Version 5.28.0
stevek
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Hi,

Regarding your questions,
1. You can find that checkbox in System Settings>Desktop Behaviour>Activities - on the tab marked 'Switching'.

2. It's not possible to have different wallpapers for each desktop, but it is possible to have different wallpapers for each activity. The same applies to widgets.
Try making new activities instead of desktops. Also you might consider reducing the number of desktops within each activity to 1. You can then use the activity pager widget to change activity in much the same way as the desktop pager.
rcameron
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Thanks again, both points answered perfectly.

I'm going to make a note of your having given me a solution, here on the KDE forum, that may make it possible to continue using KDE after LinuxMint 18 is released as a stable version. I may not have mentioned, but the first Mint release with the multiple-desktop regression is still in beta -- that's Mint 18 KDE that's in beta, not Plasma, of course.

Because Mint was late to adopt the the problematic Plasma version, Mint users -- myself included -- have been blissfully unaware of the turmoil -- at least, among multiple-desktop users -- that's been going on for the last two years.

If you take a look at bug report's title and then the responses of long-time users, many who came to KDE specifically for that very feature, you can understand why I was planning ahead, after running the Mint-beta live DVD, and independently discovering that multiple virtual desktops are now 'broken'. Maybe that's too strong a characterization -- it may be kinder to say, the feature's functionality has been reduced from its original high level to what one may now experience with multiple virtual desktops on Windows 10.

Your solution seems just fine and could permit me to remain with KDE, once the stable version of Mint 18 becomes available, and it's set up according to your directions.

A pity the developer ('David'), in the bug report thread, didn't offer a similar solution. It might have made the post shorter -- note its length -- and less vitriolic, if a work-around had been offered. Perhaps it's a good thing Mint is late with including this Plasma version, because it occurred to me that in its first version, it may not have been sufficiently mature that your work-around would have been possible ...


System information:
Linux Mint 17.3 | KDE Platform Version 4.14.2, and
Linux Mint 18.0 | KDE Platform Version 5.28.0
stevek
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Glad you could make things suit your workflow.

I wasn't a big fan of activities when they first appeared, but the current state works well for me. I use two different activities with two desktops on each activity and I prefer that now to having four separate desktops. I can add new activities or desktops easily if the need arises.

I must say though, I have a great respect for the effort and work that David, and all the other developers put in. I'm sure their time is best spent 'developing'. Usability suggestions can be made by anyone on the forum here :)

Cheers!
rcameron
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stevek wrote:... 2. It's not possible to have different wallpapers for each desktop, but it is possible to have different wallpapers for each activity. The same applies to widgets.
... You can then use the activity pager widget to change activity in much the same way as the desktop pager.

To prepare for whenever Mint 18 KDE comes out of beta, and I decide to set it up, in the same way as you just described:

1) May I assume that this feature (#2) is turned on-and-off by the check box associated with 'Remember the virtual desktop for each activity'?

2) You mentioned (only) that each activity may have different wallpapers and widgets. But, I've also expected to see a selected folder's icons on the desktop ... ??

May I assume you're doing this with widgets? I did try this approach briefly (in Plasma 4.x, on Mint KDE stable), when exploring Activities, but the widget I happened to select didn't quite give me the ability I was used to seeing -- that is, to simultaneously see all of a folder's icons, and then, to rearrange them to persistent locations so when the desktop is reopened, so I would know where to look for them.

Actually, I came across several widgets for displaying directory contents, but just from their names, it wasn't obvious to me exacty what they all did, how they differed from one another or which one(s) would be best for the intended purpose. Have you worked this out?

???
    1. Could you please give the name, or names, of the widget, or widgets, that are making this work for you, on your set-up?
    2. And, all of this may be turned-on with the check box in #1?


System information:
Linux Mint 17.3 | KDE Platform Version 4.14.2, and
Linux Mint 18.0 | KDE Platform Version 5.28.0
stevek
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1. AFAIK the purpose of the "Remember the virtual desktop for each activity" checkbox is a way of remembering which virtual desktop you were last using within a particular activity. If you only have one virtual desktop, then I don't think how it's set makes any difference.

2. For that you need to set the desktop layout to folderview. Right click the desktop>Desktop Settings>Layout. I think that will give you the features you are expecting.
rcameron
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Thanks very much. :)
I have tried to 'clear the confusion' -- and reverse any I may have spread -- over at the Mint KDE subforum. May I assume I now have it right, or at least, almost rignt? >:(


System information:
Linux Mint 17.3 | KDE Platform Version 4.14.2, and
Linux Mint 18.0 | KDE Platform Version 5.28.0
stevek
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You're welcome :) I hope it's all working out for you.
steffie
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This has been an interesting post to follow; thank you to the protagonists. ;) I would like to ask stevek to kindly pls comment on the following.

Here's an extract from a post of mine elsewhere, directly pertinent to this board's thread, & my ongoing indecision about stay with the KDE family when i upgrade my current Mint 17.3 KDE4 to Mint 18 KDE/Plasma5, OR, leave "the family" & change to Mint 18 Xfce/Compiz.

https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic. ... 8#p1194824
"In my real OS [per footer] i use 9 VDs per Activity, & i have 3 Activities configured. I am a massive user of all the VDs [& this feature more than anything else was what utterly captured me from the dark barren Windows world a few years ago & brought me excitedly full-time to the gloriously rich Linux multiverse, specifically the KDE DE]. It took me only a few nanoseconds to envisage how incredibly beneficial multiple VDs are to productivity [& sheer gee-whiz factor]. However, coz i'm stupid, it took me a long time [at least 6 months] before i even understood how to use Activities, & even then it took me longer again to work out WHY i might even want to bother with them. For me, the major practical impediment with Activities is no efficient way to view with a single click or mouse movement the current disposition of all Activities simultaneously, AND then to efficiently move windows between Activities [yes, i do know how to do it via the window border context menu, but it's clunky & inefficient / inelegant compared to a GUI metaphor, as follows -->]. That instant visual status is provided with VDs by the brilliant Desktop Grid function of KWin, with which i can then also near-instantly move one window from VDx to VDy by drag & drop then immediately get back to what i was doing. I badly want some kind of equivalent tool for Activities, & without it [either coz there simply is not one, or else coz i'm too stupid to have found it], for me Activities remain much less useful than VDs."

For the past few months i've been tinkering about in VMs with Kubuntu x64 16.04.1 KDE Plasma 5.5.5 and Fedora x64 24 KDE Plasma 5.7.x. So far none of my experiments & what-ifs have revealed an elegant way for multiple Activities to replace my multiple VDs, wrt my preferred workflow i self-quoted above. I should clarify that yes i'm well aware that within each Activity, Desktop Grid remains available in Plasma5, thus i'd still have that hitherto-mentioned elegant VDs GUI overview-&-move metaphor, BUT i'd no longer have my individual desktop wallpapers & widgets, which play an important role in assisting me instantly visually knowing "where i am".

Am i overlooking something in Plasma5 that invalidates my comments here? [pls say "Yes" & show me, as i'd love to stay with KDE in 5, but at the moment i am very strongly leaning to moving instead to Mint 18 Xfce/Compiz, with which i've been intensively playing in a VM for the past few weeks, & which (after lots of pain & screaming) i've now coerced into a seductive config with multiple VDs (each with unique wallpaper), a workable equivalent to KWin's Desktop Grid, & lots of eye-candy now almost exactly replicating my main KDE4 KWin tweaks].

.......................................................................................
My on-SSD OS = Linux Mint x64 17.3 KDE 4.14.2.
stevek
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Sadly, I don't think it's possible either. I certainly agree that the features you've mentioned would be very useful.
steffie
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Sad is right. Oh well, thanks for your prompt reply.

Sob, sniff.

 
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