One of the facts which I’ve been blogging about, is that I have erased Windows from a computer I had, which at the time was named ‘Mithral’, and that I had then installed Debian / Stretch on it, at which point I also changed its name to ‘Plato’. Debian / Stretch is the successor to Debian / Jessie, the latter of which I still have installed on two of my computers.
One of the main differences between the Debian / Stretch and the Debian / Jessie code-repositories is, that the newer Debian / Stretch is based on the desktop manager ‘Plasma 5′ – assuming we choose that desktop-manager – while Debian / Jessie was still based on ‘KDE 4′ as its desktop manager. And so one aspect of my ‘new’ Debian / Stretch system which I’ve been curious about – and anticipating – was how I’ll like Plasma 5 as opposed to KDE 4.
One of the facts which should be noted, is that although Plasma 5 has been altered enough to create major version issues with KDE 4 builds of applications, Plasma is not really that different, finally, from KDE 4.
The developers have focused on simplifying the experience. KDE 4 had almost unlimited options by which the user could fine-tune the appearance of his desktop, while Plasma 5 has reduced the number of settings. And yet I find, I can still do everything under Plasma 5, that I was used to doing under KDE 4. I do not necessarily need to be able to fine-tune, how translucent the Task-Bar is – which under Plasma 5 or KDE 4 specifically is named a ‘Panel’ – while its center-region, where entries exist for applications currently running in user-space, is actually named the ‘Task-Switcher‘. Linux people are sometimes particular about not wanting to seem to be copying the conventions of some other O/S.
Under Linux, we have a variety of methods, to display what processes are occupying the CPU, one of those being the command-line ‘top’, and another being the slightly-more-colorful, but still text-based command ‘htop’. We refer to htop as a ‘Process Viewer’.
One detail which went a bit far for me however, was the degree with which the default Theme – named ‘Breeze’ – made the icons and widgets seem uninteresting. From a package-manager, we can still install a throwback ‘Oxygen’ Theme, the appearance of which is more-similar to how KDE 4 looked. But if we choose the Oxygen Theme, then the default assumption would be that we want our desktop to have a dark look. I actually bypassed this result, by choosing my Look And Feel to be Oxygen, but by choosing my Desktop Theme to be ‘Air’, from the System Settings center. Air is what’s keeping the background-colors of most of my desktop bright-looking.
Also, I always took care to keep wallpapers which I had chosen, and not to allow any switch in Themes to replace those, since a bright-looking wallpaper is also necessary, for obtaining a Desktop Appearance which is bright-looking.