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Joined: 05 Sep 2018
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:13 pm    Post subject: Recent KDE convert from Gnome, have a question or two Reply with quote

First I have to say -- *wow*. The last time I tried KDE it was a mess, but I decided to give 5.16 a try, and not only have they solved all the issues that I had with it in the past, but it has everything (almost -- or I wouldn't be making this post) that I have wanted in Gnome -- and more.

First the activities overview in Gnome (press the meta key and it gives you an overview of all your running apps). I found qOverview but it is way too buggy, and I know zilch about programming with the KDE framework / Qt, so it will be a long time before I could fix it myself. With that said, is there anything else out there that is similar that I may have missed in my searching? Hell, for that matter, it may be built into KDE and I just haven't found it yet.

Second -- wallpaper changer. Yes, there is a slideshow built into KDE, but it is pretty basic, and it changes the wallpaper on all workspaces to be the same. I was hoping that there was something out there like the Gnome Desk Changer extension:

Those are the only two things that I miss from Gnome, but I am more than willing to give them up for all the other things that I gain. kwin is just an awesome compositor. Not as good as compiz, but as far as I can tell so far it is rock stable (unlike compiz ;) ).

I look forward to the replies even if it is a "nope -- can't do it" .. at least I will know I did my due diligence in searching.

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Joined: 30 Aug 2008
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not being a GNOME user, I'm not familar with the full scope of its Activities Overview, but here are a few tips to achieve similar functionality in KDE Plasma:

1. Pressing Alt+F2 calls up the Plasma Search tool (a.k.a. KRunner), which I assume is analagous to the Search box on the GNOME Activities Overview.

2. To configure Plasma to enable you to e.g. temporarily view all windows simultaneously, select 'System Settings' > 'Desktop Behaviour' > 'Screen Edges', then select one or more screen corners and/or edges, and choose an option such as 'Present Windows - All Desktops', 'Present Windows - Current Desktop', or whatever.

3. To configure Plasma to provide an iconised view of the virtual desktops, add the 'Pager' widget to the desktop or to a Panel, and configure the widget to display a number or name (or nothing).

Regarding a wallpaper changer, this can be set up via 'Configure Desktop' > 'Wallpaper Type'. Either select 'Slideshow' and specify the folder with the wallpapers you desire, or alternatively select 'Picture of the Day' as a wallpaper type. It is not possible to display a different wallpaper on each virtual desktop. However, different wallpapers can be displayed on different Activities. I have not bothered to use Activities, but apparently some people use them as de facto virtual desktops with individual wallpapers.

EDIT: For minimal menus with icons, have a look at the alternative Plasma 5 menu widgets which can be placed on the desktop or a Panel.
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Joined: 05 Sep 2018
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply :)

I actually already found everything that I wanted. Present Windows is what I wanted, and manually adding the an entry in kwinrc to allow the meta key to activate it allowed me to continue my workflow.

As for a wallpaper changer, I went with the Vallpaper plugin so that I can have separate wallpaper per workspace as well as per window.

After installing agates kwin-lowlatency overlay, and recompiling kwin, I am really trying to understand why anyone would use Gnome. If I wanted, I can make KDE look and act exactly like Gnome (or at least so close that you would be real hard pressed to tell them apart), but you can't make Gnome look / act like KDE, it uses more RAM, more system resources, and now with the lowlatency patch, KDE has almost no tearing.

(BTW - I know I am preaching to the choir if you are a KDE user, but I just feel like rambling for a bit ;) )

Theming KDE so that GTK2 and 3 apps match Qt is a breeze (no pun intended). Getting Qt apps to look correct under Gnome is almost impossible. I have never had a more uniform looking desktop.

KWin is a FAR superior compositor. How I have missed something as simple as blurring, and all the other effects -- plus KWin scripts. Hell, all the plugins that are available for pretty much every aspect of the DE.

I last tried KDE back around 5.12, and it put such a bad taste in my mouth I *refused* to try it again. Then 5.16 was released, and I saw a video or two so I figured I would try it. It will be a cold day in hell before I ever switch back to Gnome.

-- Brian
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