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Put a net in your book

Ok MoRpHeUz, i'll show it :p, so here we go:


What's that screen? it shows the embryo of our idea of user interface for a netbook. the actua plasma executable is another one that is way simpler that the full fledged plasma-desktop one, and it features just a panel (final layout still to be defined) and a main view (don't call it desktop eh:p) that will display one of the two main activities we will ll come up for this project that are: SAL, a fullscreen application launcher/search interface/document browser/whatever (MoRpHeUz will talk more on that in the future:p) and the Newspaper activity, that's where i spent the last 2 days of development, besides making the mini plasma shell work a bit better.

The idea is the following:
It's an activity that displays a big scrollable view of widgets in two columns (with all backgrounds melted in only one to look less crowded and to save space), so it's designed to look just like a newspaper, the idea is to put many net oriended widgets in here, like a rss feed browser, weather, opensocial widget, microblogging and stuff like that, to give a central overview pointon what's going on in the online stuff you're interested in, kinda like scrolling trough an actual newspaper (with the difference that here you build it as you please) and from each one of the widgets you will be able to open a more detailed view of the item displayed in the widget. With a more detailed view i mean opening the proper application to view it, that could be a browser, could be akregator, gwenview, whatever.

For now there isn't much more than that, so i can just say stay tuned! :)

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I'm going to college soon and I need a new computer, as I go to my laptop with my mom and my desk is screwing me.
I know that everyone is the university has a laptop, but I really prefer desktops for regular use - and I have an awesome monitor.
I am also constantly on the computer, and I do not think a laptop can handle my constant abuse. : /

I thought I'd get a desktop (maybe the Dell Inspiron 570?) For my bedroom / regular use, and a netbook for taking notes in class and surf the Internet to int quad or something. (Maybe an ASUS Eee PC 1005HA?)

Please make some recommendations and / or comments about this solution:)
Thanks Alex,
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Sent from Mkhouse (Anonimous) on 17/06/2009 at 21:49:38

top taskbar? why?

Not a big fan of transparent widgets.

The weather text is pretty much unreadable.

I know it says Fri and Sat but you have to concentrate to make it out just like Sat day time weather and Sun night time. Same with the Google news where a change of colour from the white circle makes you have concentrate again.

The background is nice but it is also an obstacle to legibility.

And what if you want to change your background? Will the text font automatically contrast to match?

It looks cool but totally impractical.

As well, why a top taskbar?

Why change the habits of KDE users and of the 90% of computer users that are used to the bottom bar and that were are trying to convert?

Ask any ophtamologist how much strain difference there is between keeping your eyese always going to the top as opposed to the other way?

Nothing worse than change just for the sake of change.

I'd like to hear a reason that goes beyond the look.

Am running KDE4.2 on my Dell Mini 9 and have it installed on 7 other netbooks belonging to friends and family and everyone loved it. 5 of those people even asked me to install KDE desktop (Mandriva 2009 is my choice) on their main computers.

Sent from jerry gold (Anonimous) on 04/06/2009 at 6:45:25

Great concept

I like the concept very much and I'm eager to try it out. There are just two remarks I have:

1: Use the left and right screen egdes.

Like anon pointed out, vertical space is precious. Furthermore this can *not* be properly addressed by going fullscreen alone: Fullscreen will make the app use the full width of the screen, but the height is still partly occupied by the taskbar and the usual icons on top of every app. Unbuntu Netbook Remix (which I use) best shows the limits of this concept.

There are actually two use cases that I encounter regularly with a resolution of 1024x600 and which could be addresses by using less horizontal bars.

a) Watching pictures or videos on the web. Here a truly fullscreen mode (like some add-ons to Firefox offer) is your friend. However thos need to be activated, then cover the taskbar, so you need to deactivate it to be able to switch to another app using the mouse/touchpad (which method most people I know still prefer to simply pushing Alt+Tab).

b) Run applications with a native resolution of 800x600. Her the vertical space is in theory available but not in practice due to the horizontal bars.

2: Find a better name for "Newspaper"

It's a good concept and a nice name to work with, but I doubt that many people will understand, what it's supposed to be, from looking at the name alone.

Sent from Sokraates (Anonimous) on 29/05/2009 at 16:07:07

Not Fale

Hey Fale, I've been running KDE4 on my eee since 4.0, and while it isn't quite as zippy as the original interface (what could be, it's a tuned OS as well as a tuned UI), it's not as bad as you make out. First thing I did was to remove the panel and put everything directly on the desktop. it currently looks a fair bit like this mock.

Sent from John (Anonimous) on 29/05/2009 at 15:50:22


@blibli: yep, it's in the playground area of kde svn and it can be built against 4.3, no idea how long would take for an actual release tough

@Fale: yeah, the footprint should be smaller than the full plasma-desktop shell (that anyways i run and build with debug symbols on my laptop that is so old that is worse than any netbook)

@Anon: probably will have some kind of autohide panel to keep apps pretty much fullscreen

@anon: well, we have kwin and the QGraphicsview that can do cool transformations too, so we'll come with something cool, yes :p

@Luis: this is one of the ideas, yes

Sent from Marco Martin (Anonimous) on 29/05/2009 at 12:49:17


I would truly love a "Moblin like" interface with Qt/KDELibs, bundled with Kinetic and KParts shouldn't be too hard (seems better thought than your approach).

Since they aren't just making the "widgets" more netbook friendly, but the applications too, with KParts this should be easy (like the browser they made, or many other things).

Anyway, congrats for this.

Sent from Luis (Anonimous) on 29/05/2009 at 4:07:32


but will it get a super 3D zoom like moblin?

Sent from anon (Anonimous) on 29/05/2009 at 3:39:43

good start

Good start, but please try to avoid one particular trap most netbook specific project are falling into right now:

On a small widescreen where vertical space is very precious it is NOT a good idea to show important always-on stuff like tabs, taskbar, activity icons etc. in a horizontal line. Position it on the left or right, so that applications can use the full height of the screen.

Sent from Anon (Anonimous) on 29/05/2009 at 1:52:47

Another problem...huge

I have tried KDE4 on my father's netbook (asus 9"). The real problem is that plasma is way too big and fat to be run in a decent way on a netbook. I think that, in addition to this cool thing you did, plasma-mid should became way faster.

Sent from Fale (Anonimous) on 29/05/2009 at 0:26:19


Cool to see some results. I'm not sure I would use this, but I'm looking forward too see how this develops!

Sent from Hans (Anonimous) on 28/05/2009 at 23:46:57

Moblin linux

Good start.

Look at Moblin linux, it can give you ideas.

In my opinion, the activity plasmoid needs icons.

Sent from megabigbug (Anonimous) on 28/05/2009 at 23:40:09

Very nice

Beautiful! Can this be tested on KDE 4.3 at some point?

Sent from blibli (Anonimous) on 28/05/2009 at 23:02:19

Good start...

It's a good start, Im eager to see your proposal to netbooks.

Sent from Ramsees (Anonimous) on 28/05/2009 at 22:20:23


Really great, KDE gets better and better every day

Sent from Maki (Anonimous) on 28/05/2009 at 21:59:41


Guys, this is awesome. I've been staring at it for a while, and it just makes sense ;-)

I wish I could play with it but as long as my display is broken I have to enjoy KDE-on-Windows a bit longer :(

Sent from jospoortvliet (Anonimous) on 28/05/2009 at 21:33:00

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