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Re: plasma search in application launcher?

Hi again;

actually, is this still a public, "active" list, by the way? Thought it would be sort of a KDE user forum / support channel but it looks like we're the only ones communicating in here. Nevertheless:

On 9/26/18 10:08 PM, Duncan wrote:

FWIW, the biggest problem I had identifying krunner in my first up-thread
reply wasn't "proper" name confusion, but rather, a different generic
name than I expected coupled with a different keyboard shortcut.  "Run
dialogs" aka "open dialogs" are reasonably well known and universal terms
due to their long history and broad implementation across many

Yeah. That's something I noticed as well. It's both good and bad, as far as I am concerned. The usual "glossary" issue, or maybe then again also just users (= my :) ) fault for getting started head-first without reading documentation. Then again, actually that's sort of how I would do things anyway on a desktop environment in 2018. Here, same as with the "search window", I guess a load of potential confusion arises from seeing or looking for desktop and interaction metaphors we got used to if using computers for a while. Desktop. Search window, ... . For "search window", it gets a bit maybe more confusing given that the thing I toggle using ALT+F2 actually has the default text "search..." in it. ;)

So I'm not sure where alt-tab to open the run/open dialog (krunner) came
from unless you or your distro customized it, but I would have expected
alt-space or alt-F2 for that, and between the alt-tab pointing to the
window switcher for me, and the fact that I'm not used to the run/open
dialog being called the search window, I was uncertain what you were
referring to, tho the functionality described sure appeared to match
krunner aka the run dialog aka the open dialog, now with a new-to-me aka
added, the search dialog/window.

Well that, apparently, is solely to blame to my dumbness of not being able to write what I actually mean, in this situation. Of course it's ALT+SPACE, on my device, as well. ALT+TAB indeed opens the window switcher. So this one's completely on me, sorry for the mess-up. :| I should be more careful.

[System settings]
On the other side however: Current Linux desktop "System Settings" also
*do* have system aspects in it (such as WLAN, Bluetooth, Printer
configuration and the like, or the systemd addin for configuring system
services). Maybe there's a gap here, too, between functionality and
actual user expectation - but that seems increasingly off-topic here I
guess. ;)

FWIW I covered the actual system settings found there bit with the "it's
the kde-based config UI for them", as opposed to the CLI or gnome or
whatever config UI for them...

Yes. That's how I see it, too. It's a config UI for things. But while I still do quite an amount of my daily work and "human/computer interactions" using the terminal, I still want to have this choice of using either a GUI or, say, a CLI interface to things. I always hated it when, back then on an earlier Debian installation, I always *had* to launch a terminal or to fiddle with the command-line openvpn to connect to our corporate VPN. It worked, but it repeatedly got into my way and just "felt" strange on a graphical desktop. For these purposes I like wicd or NetworkManager; I don't want to think too much about all this. Likewise, talking about configuration, I never really understood why I should have a GUI based program that requires interaction with text based configuration files in order to set it up right (and eventually a manual restart to actually apply any settings changed). I know it's a matter of taste, and I also know a load of people who are perfectly fine with this, but, well, I'm not. ;) If, in example, on a desktop I want to be the task bar on top not on the bottom, I want to be able to "drag" it there (using mouse or touchpad) rather than opening a config file, write something such as "taskbar_position: bottom" and restart my desktop.

["Intended behaviour"]
Indeed, to the extent that there's an "intended" way, the kde devs try to
make that the default.  But arguably (and I believe as it should be)
they're more concerned with making the default a functional lowest common
denominator usable by all, not seriously objectionable but perhaps not
ideal for most either, that can function "well enough" until the
individual user figures out what they want and gets around to changing
the config appropriately, then they are about defining some single
"intended-to-be-perfect-for-everyone" way, because arguably that's simply
not possible.

Well..... To be completely honest, I am trying to figure out where KDE stands, when it comes to this. ;) I see two different issues: Yes, of course it's not possible to make a desktop that is "perfect for everyone" out of the box (except maybe you're Apple and you are "perfect" for everyone using your technology because simply people *believe* what you do is right, no matter what it is).

But: Throughout the last two decades, I have seen quite a load of FLOSS desktop applications that used right this understanding to completely give up and not even remotely think about usability, interface guidelines and all those things at all. That's, like, "you can't make it right for everyone so make it in a way that everyone has to configure it to be usable". I see that the GNOME and Elementary guys are spending quite some time trying to be useful for a "non-technical" target group. KDE (using the Neon distribution by the way), right now, seems to be pretty much targeted at users who have prior experience with the look-and-feel and interaction ideas found in Windows. Which is okay if it serves as a basic design and conceptual foundation.

Wow that *is* quite a workaround. :) I'm at some point amazed however to
see you even made the switch to post-KDE3 rather than following the
"former" KDE3 crowd to using and maintaining Trinity as a desktop

Fortunately or unfortunately, trinity was a bit late to the party for
that.  By the time it really got going, kde 4.5 was out, and I'm on
record as saying 4.5 is what /should/ have been 4.0, with 4.2 and earlier
being alpha previews, 4.3 being beta, and 4.4 the rcs.  In fact, 4.5 was
not only what should have arguably been 4.0, but 4.6 was actually much
worse than 4.5 due to konqueror bugs and the kdepim stuff jumping the
akonadi shark and not stabilizing again until far later, possibly 4.9 or

I guess I know what you mean. I made an attempt in late 2012 / early 2013, for the last time, to go "fully KDE" (including using KDE-only applications for web browsing, e-mail and the like). At some point I moved back to XFCE I guess, and I wrote a longer rant on that here:


Bottom line, back then, was: KDE is astoundingly ambitious (in example I always really liked the things they tried to accomplish using akonadi, nepomuk and all that integrations), but in a load of things the whole desktop felt heavy, half-baked and incomplete back then. And this was even rather late, KDE 4.10 I guess; I continuously have been playing around with KDE before that and the 4.10 release was the first one in quite a while I felt comfortable with installing on a day-to-day working laptop. Actually, this has been the second try for me to move to KDE. The first one happened literally ages ago, I guess it was Chemnitz Linux Tag 2000 or 2001 when I had longer and very inspiring chats with some of the folks hosting the KDE booth back there (Eva Brucherseifer and a few others I remember), and they introduced me kparts, the kioslave framework and some of the lower-level stuff in KDE 2.x. Back then I was astounded by how far this design approach went; yet in a day-to-day work, already KDE 2.x wasn't really something I got used to. Plus, also back then I had some applications that where GTK/GNOME based and for which there were no usable KDE equivalents, and GTK/KDE integration really sucked back then. That's something that has incredibly much improved recently. Right now I use KDE as my desktop, a bunch of KDE tools where I can (dolphin, gwenview/digikam, kwrite, okular, ...) while I keep applications we're internally using (Firefox, Thunderbird, ...) without having them feel "strange" on a KDE desktop anymore. That feels good, too. :)

It took me three months to switch, during which I first read the 600+
page Running Linux nearly cover-to-cover in ordered to get the
understanding I was previously lacking, then started what I knew had to
be a permanent switch, with the goal being to establish myself as a power
user reasonably on par with the level I had on MS after nearly a decade,
because I /knew/ that was the only way I'd actually stick with it.  Keep
in mind that I had been a VB-pro level programmer on MS, had run the IE4/
OE4 thru 5.5 betas and was active enough in the MS newsgroups that at one
point I was considering MSMVP (tho that didn't last long as I began
investigating Linux about the same time), and had an MS desktop
sufficiently customized with various apps and utilities including some of
my own that a number of people said they initially had trouble believing
I was running MS.

Cool. I have seen very few people with such a background who actually dared to make a switch to Linux (or even cared enough to take a closer look). Personally, I moved to Linux all along 1996, 1997, being in my junior years at university. Had a Wintel box running Window 95 at home and got in touch with HP-UX and Solaris at the university. Wanted something like that at home too. Got hold of a Linux installation medium that came with a load of documentation, the GNU Manifesto being one of them. For whichever reason that's one of the things I started reading and found myself agreeing with a lot of things in there. A lot of my interest in Linux in the years to follow arose from the GNU and Software Libre idea.

Spent several days completely trashing my Windows installation, cleaning my hard drive, installing the system and reading through numerous HOWTOs to get most of my hardware (soundcard, ...) to work again. This sort of got my enthusiasm started, in many ways: On Windows 95, I had many situations when the system just would fail for no obvious reasons, where apparently re-installing was the only solution. Even early Linux installations apparently only crashed for one reason: Me doing something stupid. I learnt a load about the system, learnt to write shell and perl scripts and used Linux for everything at some point. Yes I did have Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0 dual boots on my device back then, also because I needed to look into both and understand how they work in some ways but at some point, I just removed them and didn't feel like something was missing.

Yet, there are and were things I didn't manage to completely understand. Window managers were one of them: I wasn't sure why, later, early SuSE installations came with roughly two dozens of window managers out of the box - but they just looked a bit different and didn't really seem to offer any features that made them stand out, while at the same time something like a fully-featured desktop environment was missing. It all seemed like a lot of people enjoyed re-inventing the same wheel over and over again while no one felt the need or inspiration to do more than that. That's how I got interested in GNOME and KDE when they appeared. They seemed to have a vision to get the Linux desktop a bit further also in terms of features totally common on the Windows or Apple world and not completely stupid in itself (such as graphical file managers or somewhat homogenous dialog windows across applications for opening / saving files, ... - something that didn't work at all back then with applications being a mix of GTK, Tk, Motif/Lesstif and pure xlib at worst). From that point of view, things *do* have changed throughout the years.

Reading that, I can suggest looking into the "application dashboard"
plasmoid alternative to the "application launcher".  The application
dashboard is a full-screen alternative that I believe (having never used
gnome and its dash) to be plasma's dash parallel.

I have apparently installed this and played around with it for a while, but it doesn't work well for me, mostly for two reasons: Indeed it is way too clumsy on a "larger" screen and I didn't manage to tweak it in example by making fonts and icons smaller. And it doesn't seem to behave similar to plasma-search in allowing to switch to already open/running applications. It seems an interesting approach, but it's not for me.


One thing that recently changed for me, with the upgrade to the 4k/65-
inch, was that with the 1280x1080 standardized-size konsole, browser,
etc, windows, allowing six standard-size windows in a 3x2 grid without
overlap, is that for the first time in my life, I feel like I have more
screen space than I actually need or can make efficient use of.  The six
unoverlapped working windows on the 4K is a **HUGE** change from the two
smaller 960x1080 windows I could fit on the full-HD, and it makes
**MUCH** more of a difference than I expected it to.

Wow I *can* imagine this is more than enough space to work with. Actually, my setup is *way* more limited. In the office I'm using a dual-monitor setup running a what I think is 24" monitor at 1920x1080 as primary display and the laptop internal display (1600x900) as secondary, at times. On the road and at home, I only use the laptop display. Given that, I mostly use windows in full-screen and have multiple windows on the same workspace just in a very few situations (like merging code in editors or comparing different configuration files on different hosts using different remote screen sessions). This setup is somewhat small but for most of my situations it works well as, having been working with laptops for quite a while now, most of my workflows are accustomed to having "small" screens. Still however I guess I will upgrade my hardware at least in next year, the laptop display could be better in many respects. :)

[Cross-platform development]
FWIW as you mention cross-platform...  It's worth noting that just as qt5
is modular these days and you can pick and choose only the modules
necessary for the functionality you need, so kde-frameworks-5 is designed
with the same goal in mind.  Additionally, being built on qt5, the
frameworks functionality tends to compliment it nicely, so it's possible
to just choose the framework(s) necessary for that extra bit of
functionality that qt itself doesn't have.

I am on my way looking into this, right now. Got to work through a couple of tutorials and make myself comfortable with the tools and processes and see how it works, both for building applications and for getting them out to the actual users. I mentioned we have a strong Java background, as well as some applications on top of desktop Java (JavaFX) which is bit of a mess and even more getting difficult with Oracle doing dumb things to Java licensing and product strategy. However for that I need a better option *and* to convince my team to have a look at it, which also brings some tooling and documentation requirements. Curious to see how it will play out. :)