to activities or not to activities

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to activities or not to activities

Stephan Kulow-3
Hi,

KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
once more the way many of us work with KDE.

Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.

But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?

Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?

Greetings, Stephan
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Pablo Sanchez-2
[ Comments below, in line ]

On Thursday, October 06, 2011 at 05:56 AM, Stephan Kulow penned
about [opensuse-kde] to activities or not to activities

> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?

Hi Stephan,

I prefer virtual desktops.  Probably because I haven't dug in to
`plasma activities'  It's possible `activities' gives me a whole whack
of nice features but I'm quite accustomed to `desktops'

Cheers,
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Vadym Krevs
On 06/10/11 10:59, Pablo Sanchez wrote:

> [ Comments below, in line ]
>
> On Thursday, October 06, 2011 at 05:56 AM, Stephan Kulow penned
> about [opensuse-kde] to activities or not to activities
>
>> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>
> Hi Stephan,
>
> I prefer virtual desktops.  Probably because I haven't dug in to
> `plasma activities'  It's possible `activities' gives me a whole whack
> of nice features but I'm quite accustomed to `desktops'
>
> Cheers,
> ---
> Pablo Sanchez - Blueoak Database Engineering, Inc
> Ph:    819.459.1926      Fax:   760.860.5225 (US)

I also prefer virtual desktops. To me they are far simpler to use, more
reliable, and more intuitive than activities. Every time I tried to use
activities, my desktop got completely messed up, and got frequently
followed by a plasma crash. One thing I could never understand was why
all the new "attributes" of activities could not be simply made
attributes of virtual desktops (or at least activities be presented as
virtual desktops) ... The fact that there are both virtual desktops and
activities is probably the most confusing aspect of this thing.

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Vadym

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Re: to activities or not to activities

Mathias Homann
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
Am Donnerstag, 6. Oktober 2011 schrieb Stephan Kulow:

> Hi,
>
> KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
> once more the way many of us work with KDE.
>
> Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
> shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.
>
> But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
> so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?
>
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>
> Greetings, Stephan

I don't even know how to try out "activities" mainly because all I've
found on google were other people asking the same question... "What
are activities".

bye,
MH


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Re: to activities or not to activities

Stephan Kulow-3
Am Donnerstag, 6. Oktober 2011 schrieb Mathias Homann:

> Am Donnerstag, 6. Oktober 2011 schrieb Stephan Kulow:
> > Hi,
> >
> > KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
> > once more the way many of us work with KDE.
> >
> > Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
> > shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.
> >
> > But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
> > so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?
> >
> > Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
> >
> > Greetings, Stephan
>
> I don't even know how to try out "activities" mainly because all I've
> found on google were other people asking the same question... "What
> are activities".
>
And I guess that's KDE's reasoning behind forcing it upon everyone. So that
everyone knows: activities are annoying

Greetings, Stephan


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Re: to activities or not to activities

Martin Schlander
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
Torsdag den 6. oktober 2011 11:56:56 skrev Stephan Kulow:

> KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
> once more the way many of us work with KDE.
>
> Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
> shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.
>
> But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
> so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?
>
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?

It's a tough call.

Ol' time Linux users will obviously prefer virtual desktops because that's
what they know and have adapted to.

Enthusiasts will like the activities because it's new and exiting and a bit
more powerful and flexible than virtual desktops.

As for the vast majority of casual users, I think they won't use neither
activities nor virtual desktops - they'll just use one single desktop/activity
all the time like they're used to on other platforms.

It's also possible to do some form of compromise. E.g. have virtual desktops
with different widgets (acitivity) per desktop as the default and remove the
activity manager. Or to have two or four virtual desktops by default _and_ the
activities manager too at the same time.

Conclusion:

My vote is to keep the activity manager, BUT:
* Increase the default number of virtual desktops to 2 or 4 (if 2, then tell
the pager to use 2 rows, to make the pager narrower)
* Add a folderview widget showing ~/Desktop to the "Desktop" acitivity

That way everyone should be pretty happy. Upstream get to strut their exiting
new stuff and users get a fairly familiar and recognizable experience.

I did some brief testing, and afaict virtual desktops and activities coexist
quite well.
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Michael Powell-8
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
Stephan Kulow wrote:

> Hi,
>
> KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
> once more the way many of us work with KDE.
>
> Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
> shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.
>
> But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
> so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?
>
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>

I much prefer virtual desktops. For me it has always been one main raison
d'etre of why I like/prefer KDE so much. This carries with it the fact that
most computing I do, whether at work or at home, is primarily on a fixed
machine.  

I might very well consider venturing into the 'Activities' realm should I
find myself in a situation where I was utilizing mobile computing more. If I
spent enough time using a laptop in coffee shops, I might try it out for
separation between work-related sysadmin functions and off-work personal
stuff.

My thoughts are that 'Activities' is potentially more oriented to a mobile
platform environment. Should the majority of those using KDE be doing so in
this mobile environment I might see the argument tilting in that direction.
Whatever the largest number of people want is probably where the default
should go, I just prefer not to get hit by a bus because my attention is
fixated on some gadget, but that's just me...

-Mike
 


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Re: to activities or not to activities

Graham Anderson
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
On Thursday 06 Oct 2011 11:56:56 Stephan Kulow wrote:
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?

Activities, by a significant amount.

Took a week or so of using and tweaking, but now I just can't go back to
virtual desktops which I now find lacking in features I am now accustom to. A
bit like how I would find it horrible to back to using the traditional kicker
tree style menu instead of the Slab style.
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Graham Anderson
In reply to this post by Martin Schlander
On Thursday 06 Oct 2011 12:29:37 Martin Schlander wrote:
> My vote is to keep the activity manager, BUT:
> * Increase the default number of virtual desktops to 2 or 4 (if 2, then
> tell  the pager to use 2 rows, to make the pager narrower)

+1

> * Add a folderview widget showing ~/Desktop to the "Desktop" acitivity

This would mean there would be two pretty much identical activities by default
since it seems the only difference between "Desktop" and "Desktop Icons"
activities is the folder view widget.

Add a folder view widget to "Desktop", increase virtual desktops to 4, add a
pager with 2 rows (like we used to have anyway even in kde3), remove "Desktop
Icons" activity as it's now duplicated by "Desktop". Now we have the best of
all worlds.
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Freek de Kruijf-2
In reply to this post by Martin Schlander
On donderdag 6 oktober 2011 12:29:37 Martin Schlander wrote:

> Torsdag den 6. oktober 2011 11:56:56 skrev Stephan Kulow:
> > KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
> > once more the way many of us work with KDE.
> >
> > Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
> > shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.
> >
> > But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
> > so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?
> >
> > Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>
> It's a tough call.
>
> Ol' time Linux users will obviously prefer virtual desktops because that's
> what they know and have adapted to.
>
> Enthusiasts will like the activities because it's new and exiting and a bit
> more powerful and flexible than virtual desktops.
>
> As for the vast majority of casual users, I think they won't use neither
> activities nor virtual desktops - they'll just use one single
> desktop/activity all the time like they're used to on other platforms.
>
> It's also possible to do some form of compromise. E.g. have virtual
> desktops with different widgets (acitivity) per desktop as the default and
> remove the activity manager. Or to have two or four virtual desktops by
> default _and_ the activities manager too at the same time.
>
> Conclusion:
>
> My vote is to keep the activity manager, BUT:
> * Increase the default number of virtual desktops to 2 or 4 (if 2, then
> tell the pager to use 2 rows, to make the pager narrower)
> * Add a folderview widget showing ~/Desktop to the "Desktop" acitivity
>
> That way everyone should be pretty happy. Upstream get to strut their
> exiting new stuff and users get a fairly familiar and recognizable
> experience.
>
> I did some brief testing, and afaict virtual desktops and activities
> coexist quite well.

I second this view.

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Re: to activities or not to activities

Martin Schlander
In reply to this post by Graham Anderson
Torsdag den 6. oktober 2011 12:45:58 skrev Graham Anderson:
> On Thursday 06 Oct 2011 12:29:37 Martin Schlander wrote:
> > * Add a folderview widget showing ~/Desktop to the "Desktop" acitivity
>
> This would mean there would be two pretty much identical activities by
> default since it seems the only difference between "Desktop" and "Desktop
> Icons" activities is the folder view widget.

Not quite :-)

The "Desktop Icons" activity has icons directly on the desktop ("folder view"
activity), like KDE3 etc.

That is a bit different than having a "folder view" widget. (A lot different
judging by the drama the introduction of the folder view widget created back
in the day ;-)

But I wouldn't get worked up about deleting "desktop icons" acitivity or not.
But I think it might be good to have it, as a proof of concept: "See, you
_can_ have your icons directly on the desktop if you want" :-)
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Re: to activities or not to activities

todd rme
In reply to this post by Graham Anderson
On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:41 PM, Graham Anderson
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thursday 06 Oct 2011 11:56:56 Stephan Kulow wrote:
>> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>
> Activities, by a significant amount.
>
> Took a week or so of using and tweaking, but now I just can't go back to
> virtual desktops which I now find lacking in features I am now accustom to. A
> bit like how I would find it horrible to back to using the traditional kicker
> tree style menu instead of the Slab style.

Same here, I have totally switched over to activities myself.

-Todd
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Basil Chupin-2
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
On 06/10/11 20:56, Stephan Kulow wrote:

> Hi,
>
> KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
> once more the way many of us work with KDE.
>
> Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
> shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.
>
> But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
> so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?
>
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>
> Greetings, Stephan


Virtual workspaces/desktops please.

BC

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Re: to activities or not to activities

C-29
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:56, Stephan Kulow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> KDE 4.7's plasma is now centered around activities - breaking
> once more the way many of us work with KDE.
>
> Many on IRC voiced the oppinion that the activity manager
> shouldn't be part of the default plasma - including me.
>
> But this would be a major divergence with upstream's default,
> so I would like to discuss more widely first. What's your oppinion?
>
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?

I primarily use Virtual Desktops, not Activites, but... not out of any
hate of the Activities concept... it's just that up until recently,
Activities were not very usable. Every time I tried them odd things
would happen.. even in 4.7 I've bumped into issues (although I haven't
tried it out on the12.1 Beta1 yet).

For example, on my 4.7 install on 11.4, if I drop into the Activites
interface (where you can add/edit Activities), my CPU load skyrockets,
and the fans switch to high speed.

I'm definitely willing to give them a go again, but there's a part of
me, and I assume others here too, that's gunshy about using them given
our quite negative past experiences.

C.
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Bob Williams
In reply to this post by Graham Anderson
On 06/10/11 11:41, Graham Anderson wrote:
> On Thursday 06 Oct 2011 11:56:56 Stephan Kulow wrote:
>> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>
> Activities, by a significant amount.
>
> Took a week or so of using and tweaking, but now I just can't go back to
> virtual desktops which I now find lacking in features I am now accustom to. A
> bit like how I would find it horrible to back to using the traditional kicker
> tree style menu instead of the Slab style.

I too like Activities, I have eight set up here. But I'm greedy so I
also have multiple desktops as well. It provides a good way of
separating graphics work from office work from games from
music/entertainment etc, while also having lots of screen real estate.

That's on my desktop machine, but even on my laptop, I have three
activity areas.

OTOH, I much prefer the old, tree style kicker menu, and hate the slab menu.

Mileages vary.

Bob
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Re: to activities or not to activities

Anton Aylward-2
In reply to this post by Graham Anderson
Graham Anderson said the following on 10/06/2011 06:45 AM:

> On Thursday 06 Oct 2011 12:29:37 Martin Schlander wrote:
>> My vote is to keep the activity manager, BUT:
>> * Increase the default number of virtual desktops to 2 or 4 (if 2, then
>> tell  the pager to use 2 rows, to make the pager narrower)
>
> +1
>
>> * Add a folderview widget showing ~/Desktop to the "Desktop" acitivity
>
> This would mean there would be two pretty much identical activities by default
> since it seems the only difference between "Desktop" and "Desktop Icons"
> activities is the folder view widget.
>
> Add a folder view widget to "Desktop", increase virtual desktops to 4, add a
> pager with 2 rows (like we used to have anyway even in kde3), remove "Desktop
> Icons" activity as it's now duplicated by "Desktop". Now we have the best of
> all worlds.

All this seems to have been the default when I installed Fedora 15 on
another machine.

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Re: to activities or not to activities

Patrick Shanahan-2
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
* Stephan Kulow <[hidden email]> [10-06-11 05:58]:
>
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
>

I prefer virtual desktops but possibly because I still haven't grasped the
usage of ?activities?......

I have 12.1b1 in a vb but switching between activities is cumbersom (to
put it mildly).

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Antw: to activities or not to activities

Stefan Kunze
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
 
 
>>> Stephan Kulow <[hidden email]> 6.10.2011 11:56 >>>
...

Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?

...


So far I never worked with activities (except one small try in 4.5 days)  but I would be very careful to deviate too much from upstream - this has the potential to make much work long term .
And I think the ressources for KDE are not to plenty anyway.

But the compromise suggestion from Martin Schlander sounds good to me. An with 12.2 it can be reevaluated .

Stefan




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Re: to activities or not to activities

Sven Burmeister
In reply to this post by Stephan Kulow-3
Am Donnerstag, 6. Oktober 2011, 11:56:56 schrieb Stephan Kulow:
> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?

http://chakra-project.org/wiki/index.php/Advanced_Plasma_Desktop_Features

Has some info for those who did not try activities yet.

And isn't it the way that the decision only affects new users?, i.e. somebody
moving from 11.4 to 12.1 with his .kde4-folder will not see any changes but
only creating a new user will have different defaults than in 11.4?

If the latter is true I would opt for activities simply because it's upstream
default and new users should get the new stuff while old users will not be
affected anyway when moving along their old configs.

Sven
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Re: to activities or not to activities

phanisvara das
On Thu, 06 Oct 2011 18:51:52 +0530, Sven Burmeister
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Do you prefer virtual desktops or plasma activities?
> http://chakra-project.org/wiki/index.php/Advanced_Plasma_Desktop_Features
> Has some info for those who did not try activities yet.
> And isn't it the way that the decision only affects new users?, i.e.  
> somebody
> moving from 11.4 to 12.1 with his .kde4-folder will not see any changes  
> but
> only creating a new user will have different defaults than in 11.4?
> If the latter is true I would opt for activities simply because it's  
> upstream
> default and new users should get the new stuff while old users will not  
> be
> affected anyway when moving along their old configs.

+1

adding activities doesn't break any workflow that excludes them; nobody's
forced to actually use activities, and they don't eat up resources and
next to no disk space.

i've tried using activities several times, and at this moment (KDE 4.7.2,
KDF) they're usable, i.e., don't break the whole plasma configuration when
playing around with them, as they used to earlier. there's still a lot of
integration lacking, like sending applications to activities via keyboard
shortcuts, windows behavior, or scripts, so i'll stick with virt. desktops
for now, but in general  i like the idea and see no point excluding the
concept.

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