|Submitted: Jan 5 2005|
some proposions for a better UI for kde (plus screenshot!):
(all of them are IMHO, and excuse my english)
1. screenshot #1: "firefoxify" the toolbar edition
- meaning - use drag and drop (DnD) for editing the various
toolbars. make it global, meaning the default method for editing
every KDE application's toolbar, the Kicker panel, etc.
see screenshot #1 (it's a firefox screenshot, but thats
where i've taken this idea from).
-- i think it will be very cool to add remove applets this way.
2. simplify the default konqueror setting:
it's got far too many buttons available by default,
most of them aren't necessary for regular use of web-browsing/
(i actually use krusader for file manipulation, but for each his
some konqi points:
1. the side-panel is almost unusable when folded; when using
high resolution, the hardcoded 16x16 icons are barely visible.
2. the preferences setting is a mess; the web /file browsing
settings are mixed up together, and there's some extra setting
on the "view" panel (for setting the background of the window).
-- the web-browsing and file-browsing settings should be separated,
maybe using the new type of vertical tabs? (like in k3b)
3. there's no menubar since i'm using baghira-menu applet; it simplifies
the appearance of most programs, and as the menus are usually aren't used
for most programs, doesn't remove from the power the user have.
(but it's mostly a matter of taste)
3. KDE needs some applets to replace some of it's systray programs.
for example: battery monitor, dynamic sound mixer applet (meaning
that the relative to maximum volume is seen on the icon, etc.), wifi
strength applet, etc.
reasons: the order of the systray icons changes each time the system
starts, and as some information, like battery status, needs to be visible,
and in an expected position, and be a little bit larger than the
default systray icons.
(imho it's better to move all of the informative applications running
at the systray to applets - many of the are applets already).
- maybe add a trashcan applet? that way it can remain visible when working
with many windows open.
4. the way kcontrol is organized is very cluttered, and hard to navigate.
a program called magiconf, that was posted here (at kde-look or kde-apps)
does a much better job at organizing the various aspects of the system
configuration. (no screenshot, sorry)
(canonical example - kcontrol got a theme-manager (with some nasty bugs,
such as that some of the themes gets lost in some occasions, buts the current
post is not a bug report) and all of the different kparts as well, in the same
menu - why not just leave them all grouped under theme-manager?)
5. little annoyances (in no particular order)
a. the way scrolling through file-lists (as in the open-file dialog)
using the keyboard, is very confusing. when the cursor reaches the buttom
of the list, it scrolls up again, and when reaching the last file,
it returns to the beginning.
this behavior is very confusing when trying to browse quickly through a
length list of files.
b. in the clock applet, the background color behavior for the date part
have a strange behavior. once changing it from the default, setting
it have the same color requires a different colour (i've settled it
using the eyedrop tool (time background color: #EEEEE6, date's: #FAFAFA)
-- i guess it's a bug.
c. kde's help doesn't have de-wide search/ index !
this makes searching for general information (without resolving to the
web) a real hassle, as you need to know in advance which program you
are going to use. if you're using the help program, you probably
don't have this information.
-- a marvelous example of a help system is matlab's help, or for a
lesser degree, QT's own Qt assistant help system.
d. use as many ideas as possible from firefox. inline search, dnd toolbar
editing, simplified and task oriented configurations, etc.
-- cross pollination is a wonderful thing, especially in the FOSS world.
it shouldn't be seen as imitation, but as the appliance of some very
good ideas, that happen to first appear somewhere else.
e. the mounted drives list on the desktop isn't too good. it contains
too much information, most of it unneccary. using the drive's label
or name under /mnt should be enough.
f. a resize bar at the buttom right of each resizeable window.
make it mandatory! (in kde's hig)
g. (kdevelop) just a feature i'd like to see :context highlighting (and etc)
a la sourceInsight (but thats really hard to implement, as it requires
building a data base of various relations between functions, and parsing
the code on-the-fly)
h. a localization wizard, that works all the way to the X and kernel
configuration level. (it's not kde specific, but can be addressed
by the DE). (for example: trying to set the group switching keys to be
alt-shift, for example, simply doesn´t work).
6. screenshot #3 - my current desktop.
--left panel shows most commonly used applications, the icons are for commonly
upper panel is the menu/information (and systray) panel
buttom panel is active programs/ virtual desktops panel.
(baghira style (although i like Milk better, there isn't
any current kde version of it), gartoons icons)
-- obviously, i've been using some ideas from gnome/osX; because they
made sense, not because i've wanted to imitate their look/feel.
i'd like to have your comments and ideas.