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Extend Panels Accross Multiple Screens.

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eliwap
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I have a dual screen setup. It would be really great if I could stretch my panels across both screens.

Last edited by einar on Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar bcooksley
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Due to the technical difficulty related to matching up two ( virtually always ) different screens, having seperate containments on each screen is required, and thus seperate panels also, since they cannot span different containments ( as far as I am aware ).

It is highly likely the Plasma team will reject this.

Last edited by bcooksley on Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.


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User avatar einar
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As per the Plasma FAQ, it looks like indeed, as bcooksley said, the decision has already been made by the Plasma team.


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User avatar TheBlackCat
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There was a bug report on this that was also marked "won'tfix" if I recall correctly.


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eliwap
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xfce does it, and KDE 3.x did it. Technical Difficulties, Technical Shmicalties. Fix this for crying out loud.
Lukas
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What avoids you to simply have 2 different panels?
eliwap
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The fact that I am unable to position and size plasmoids on them. Besides, why would I want to take up more and more resources by having more and more panels. One panel would provide uniformity of appearance, because, I am unable to specify a size "value" other than by dragging.
User avatar bcooksley
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There was quite a big discussion a while ago on the Plasma mailing list. If I remember correctly, it was essentially stated that Panels would be locked to a single screen so that Plasma did not have to handle the split Plasmoids across two screens, or handle the change in resolutions between two monitors, because this would introduce unneeded complexity to the code, which would make it less maintainable over time. This is also the case for having a containment across more than one screen.


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User avatar blueget
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As a workaround anyone who wants panels etc. extended over both screens could set up the two screens as one big screen instead of two seperate screens.

This works only with two screens with identical resolution, and I don't know if you can do that with non-nvidia graphic cards.


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jlacroix
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eliwap wrote:xfce does it, and KDE 3.x did it. Technical Difficulties, Technical Shmicalties. Fix this for crying out loud.


I agree. This is not unreasonable by any means. I'm reading the responses as "this is too hard to do" which I don't think excuses it, with the right code, anything is doable.
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How many of you dealt with the bug reports filed against Kicker in KDE3 days? I'm guessing not many of you because there were unresolvable bugs reported against kicker due to this exact feature. So ...

Here's the issue with panels spanning screens: there is no guarantee, whatsoever, that screens have sort of positioning or resolution relative to each other.

They can be stacked vertically or horizontally, rotated (or not) and have different resolutions.

For two side-by-side monitors of the same resolution, it's trivial to do a screen spanning panel on the top or bottom. That's what we were thinking when the feature was put into kicker. Unfortunately, for every other configuration it sucks. Having features that don't work because of the way your screens are arranged is not something we want to provide.

The only way I can think of making this work is to have separate views on each screen which then share a single containment. This would mean some alterations to Plasma::View to make containment sharing possible. Then PanelView in plasma-desktop would need to modified to coordinate between themselves. Then the panel configuration window would need to be adjusted to work on two screens, resulting in the same set of issues: there would need to be one config window per screen. We'd need to detect stacking arrangements of the monitors so it works sanely in vertical as well as horizontal arrangements.

This is not a trivial amount of work or code, and would create a great amount of complexity that we'd then have to maintain.

So that's the cost side of the equation. What's the benefit side?

Having a single panel on two monitors allows a single widget to stretch between them. This is of rather dubious value, but some people apparently feel this is worthwhile. When I used multiple monitors at work running KDE3, I used two panels, one on each screen, due to the **** of the "one panel stretching", such as applets being cut off in the middle at the end of one screen and starting on other. Having a panel on each screen actually gives most of the benefits of one panel with the "bisected widget" annoyance removed. It's also a hell of a lot less code and complexity (and complexity leads to bugs and fewer people working on the code in the future).

So the benefit side of the equation is pretty small.

Cost/Benefit on this one therefore results in "not worth it".

As for "everyone else does it", well, everyone else has been doing a number of very stupid things. Just because "everyone has implemented the xembed based system tray" hasn't made that a brilliant idea either, for instance. The screen-spanning panel feature is only mildly stupid, but that others (including ourselves in the past) have done this is mostly due to people just not sitting down and thinking about it in terms of "this software needs to run on millions of computers and work as well as possible".


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eliwap
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Look you can make a simple solution to this. If the screen resolutions on the monitor are different then a dialog box can pop and say so and refuse to stretch the panel. If the 2 monitors are the same then stretch away.
eliwap
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Oh... By the way. I'm a proud kde user since 2.x.
Lukas
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eliwap wrote:Look you can make a simple solution to this. If the screen resolutions on the monitor are different then a dialog box can pop and say so and refuse to stretch the panel. If the 2 monitors are the same then stretch away.


Possible, but very dangerous to break the system in the future.

I, for example, use laptop + external display with the same resolutions, but sometimes I connect it to my tv, with different resolution. The system would get broken. And for average home user this would be the end of using KDE :(

Also different screens - different activities. What if I would like to switch them...?

Why to create problems in plain field?
eliwap
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Lukas wrote:
eliwap wrote:Look you can make a simple solution to this. If the screen resolutions on the monitor are different then a dialog box can pop and say so and refuse to stretch the panel. If the 2 monitors are the same then stretch away.


Possible, but very dangerous to break the system in the future.

I, for example, use laptop + external display with the same resolutions, but sometimes I connect it to my tv, with different resolution. The system would get broken. And for average home user this would be the end of using KDE :(

Also different screens - different activities. What if I would like to switch them...?

Why to create problems in plain field?


I see your point, it would certainly get ugly. In that everything on the panel would get scrunched up very tightly, If you're using an old fashioned crt then you probably wouldn't be using a whole lot of apps because it would be very difficult to read things.

If you are using a newfangled lcd or plasma, then you would have a wide screen resolution and stuff would be stretched out quite nicely.

However using multiple panels for multiple desktops isn't a great idea also. The scenario would be resolution 2560 X 1024. System tray on panel on the left hand monitor. Menu on the right. Change resolution to 1280 X 1024. Where is the panel with the menu. Where is the panel with the system tray. Are they ontop of each other. Or does everything get shoved over to one side, or are they both there only completely scrunched up.

There has got to be a comprise that can be found here.

 
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