An update on how to use Latte-Dock.

One of the features which I have posted about recently, is the Plasma 5 add-on called ‘Latte-Dock’. Specifically I wrote, How the user can install version 0.6.0 of this add-on, if it isn’t in the package repositories. What I had also written was, that a safe practice in using Latte-Dock would be, to keep the default Plasma 5 application-launcher in his panel, as a back-up, so that he will always have an application-launcher to click on, even if Latte-Dock crashes.

Well since then I have learned that a more avant-garde way exists to use Latte-Dock, which is, to place the default application-launcher onto the dock as well. This can easily be done because the default application launcher is a widget like any other, which can be dragged to this dock. As an additional detail, a method exists to get v0.6.0 of Latte-Dock to open the application launcher, by just pressing the Super Key, assuming that it has been added to the dock. The instructions I’ve just linked to do not count for later versions of Latte-Dock because those versions already have a check-box in their GUI, which does the same thing.

Hence, I’ve decided to be more progressive in my test-setup for Latte-Dock, and have also placed my only application-launcher onto this dock:

Screenshot_20190329_070015

There is one detail which the reader should note however. I have kept one quick-launcher in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen, in the Plasma panel: The launcher that restarts Latte-Dock from the GUI with one click. The reason I have kept this safeguard is the observation that Latte-Dock can still crash from time to time, which means that the user would be without an application launcher, until he or she gets to restart the dock.

But this way, the layout of that desktop is even more different from the Windows-like layout – common to Plasma 5 and KDE 4 – than it only was a few days ago.

Dirk

 

Yet another 3rd-Party, as in KDE-Store, Widget, that can help us Personalize the Linux Experience.

One of the subjects which I’ve been writing about is, that in principle, it’s possible to create a Linux, Plasma 5.8 (+) workspace, that resembles an OS/X computer somewhat, in that at least it has a dock. Well if one sets about to do that seriously, then one is also looking for ways to keep the total number of applets on that dock to a minimum, while giving the fastest possible access to all the features which we have a computer for.

Well one tool which can help users accomplish that, is The Places Widget, from the KDE Store. Don’t worry, the widgets available at this ‘store’ don’t cost any money, and if the reader doesn’t have a Linux computer, which happens to be running ‘KDE 4′ or ‘Plasma 5′ as its desktop manager, then there is no point to read any further, because nothing in the KDE Store could ever be of any interest otherwise.

But this one widget has a surprisingly simple premise: The user can define ‘Places’, a set of URIs or locations, within the Dolphin File Browser, that have always existed unobtrusively within Plasma 5. They include a collection of local and remote Folders, a collection of ‘timeline:/’ URIs which must first be Added to Places, a collection of Searches (…), and the current set of Connected Devices:

Screenshot_20190326_184606

Then, once the user has done that, the widget in question can be added to a Plasma 5.6 (+) Panel, so that when clicked on once, a fly-out opens, that gives access to all the defined ‘Places’ with one more click:

Screenshot_20190326_184726

Why does this interest me? Because, while the developer first intended for this widget to be added to the Panel of a regular Plasma 5 desktop, it can be added just as easily to the ‘Latte-Dock’, that I wrote about in the earlier posting linked to above. In fact, I’ve made it part of my recent test-project, to set up an OS/X -like desktop on the computer I name ‘Phosphene’…

Continue reading Yet another 3rd-Party, as in KDE-Store, Widget, that can help us Personalize the Linux Experience.

Latte-Dock 0.6.0 Tested

One of the facts about Linux that may not be very popular with some computing enthusiasts is that the mainstream Desktop Managers – ‘KDE’, ‘Plasma’, ‘Unity’, ‘GNOME’, ‘LXDE’, etc., are different from each other, are sometimes similar to a Windows-layout – especially KDE / Plasma – but are not very similar to a MacIntosh, OS/X layout. Yet, efforts have existed to create OS/X -like desktop managers for Linux, and one of the more recent projects is “Latte-Dock“.

What makes Latte-Dock different from otherwise similar projects such as “Cairo-Dock”, is that Latte-Dock assumes that we have Plasma installed, which must be of at least version 5.8, and does not conflict with the fact that we do. And the fact that my Debian / Stretch computer, which I name ‘Phosphene’, is not even a Ubuntu computer, did not prevent me from installing Latte-Dock 0.6.0. Latte-Dock does not start unless the user starts it, and the way I go about testing such software is, that I create additional users on the computer in question, as if I was going to allow a guest to share my computer, so that in the user-space of the additional accounts, personal settings can activate Latte-Dock.

One of the ways in which Debian, Plasma 5 -based computers are strong, is in allowing the user to create more than one graphical log-in, to more than one virtual session, between which we can switch by clicking <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F8>, or, back to the first virtual session, with <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F7>… So my auxiliary user-identity is installed with this desktop manager, that’s designed to be similar to OS/X, at least in its appearance.

Screenshot_20190324_134908

I think that this is nice software, with two major flaws:

  1. On ‘Phosphene’, if I select the settings either to Preview Windows (of open applications, as the mouse passes over the dock-icons), or to Highlight those windows, these settings cause the Dock to die. This is not tragic, because when running Latte-Dock, we still have at least one Plasma-Panel active, along the top of the screen, from which we can still choose applications to run, or from which we can drag application-icons to the Dock. (:1)  This means that when the Dock has in fact crashed, I can simply have a Favourite Application -icon ready, to restart it. But the down-side with this could be, that it makes the application look bad, when in fact the culprit just seems to be, the fact that my graphics card is not strong enough to display these previewed or highlighted windows. And Latte-Dock is extremely GPU-intensive.
  2. With Plasma 5.8 as the limiting factor, there appears to be no way to get a Global Application Menu working. Such applets do exist as software-projects for higher versions of Plasma than 5.8, but it cannot seem to be achieved for version 5.8 . So the OS/X experience is not 100% complete.

But if I respect these two limitations, that may not even be the fault of the Devs, I find this to be an interesting and stable piece of software.

(Updated 3/27/2019, 21h35 … )

Continue reading Latte-Dock 0.6.0 Tested