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.

How to Bring Back those Sticky Notes!

KDE 4 and Plasma 5.x have had it as a common feature, that if we middle-click with our mouse-wheel ‘anywhere on the desktop’, a Sticky Note appears, which we don’t even need an installed application to manage. Firstly I need to explain why I was not aware of this feature before. The reason is my custom, to Lock the Widgets of my Desktops as soon as possible, after modifying them. With the widgets locked, this behaviour does not take place because the sticky note in question is an additional widget each time…

Screenshot_20190325_215803

But during a recent project, I had a desktop environment in which the widgets were unlocked all the time, so that eventually, I middle-clicked on the mouse button accidentally, and faced the popular dilemma of how to delete the sticky notes created, and eventually, of how to keep them from re-appearing. The way to delete each individual note, at least on my computers, is to hold down the left mouse-button along the inside, of the right border of the widget in question, until a side-bar pops out, that allows widgets to be moved, resized and deleted, as of Plasma 5…

Screenshot_20190325_215827

The thing to do next is, to release the left mouse-button, and to move the mouse-pointer quickly, to the red ‘X’ button that has just appeared at the bottom of the side-bar, and then to left-click that once.

To prevent the behaviour from taking place again, it’s necessary to right-click on an empty part of the desktop, so that the usual context-menu appears, and then to left-click on “Configure Desktop” (under Plasma 5). Then, one can modify the “Mouse Actions” that appear there, so that the action to middle-click the mouse-wheel, is either deleted, or no longer specifies To Paste.

So I hurriedly disabled this feature before realizing that in this one specific situation, it might actually be useful to me. The reason for that is the fact that my usual note-taking application, “Tomboy”, creates redundant icons and window-place-holders, on a desktop manager where I’d like for there to be as few window-icons as possible. Additionally, on this setup, I wouldn’t be syncing my Tomboy application, which is a main reason otherwise to be using Tomboy.

What I did next was to re-assign the function to the middle-mouse-click, To Paste, and then to hope that I had restored the original feature. But what I found instead, in the immediate term, was that middle-clicking with the mouse wheel, no longer brought back the sticky notes -creation. So the next question which raced through my mind was, ‘Have I deleted a detail in the configuration, which is difficult to restore? Does that Mouse Action require more than just To paste? Help! Help! I can’t get the nuisance back, even though I no longer think it’s a nuisance!’

BTW, This is not a question which most people ask, so there are few if any Web-pages that answer this question…

Continue reading How to Bring Back those Sticky Notes!

Plasma 5 Notifications In Wrong Locations

I use a version of Linux on the one of my computers named ‘Plato’, that has Debian / Stretch as its base, but which also has Plasma 5 as its desktop manager. This was a system which I created from a Kanotix Live DVD, from before Kanotix had an official Debian / Stretch release. According to that Live Disk, the desktop manager was LXDE !  LXDE stands for “Lightweight X Desktop Environment”, while Plasma 5 is the successor to KDE 4, and is a powerful, CPU-consuming desktop manager. In the meantime, Kanotix has created two official ‘Stretch’ releases, one with LXDE and one with Plasma 5, both named ‘Kanotix Steelfire’.

What I felt I needed to do with Plato, was to install Plasma 5 via the package manager, even though the Kanotix developers had not yet done so. This customized Plasma 5 environment has been running fine for some time.

But only recently, after my email client – Thunderbird – received an update to version 60.x, I did notice that some of my desktop notifications seemed a little odd. Instead of appearing as official Plasma / KDE notifications, they appeared either as stylized bubbles, or as more-boring drop-down lists from the center, of the top, of my screen. And so this can lead to some confusion, or to some doubt in whether the system is still stable. In fact, I’ve read some other complaints from the Web, of people who ran in to the same behavior exactly. What seemed to irk them as well as me most, was that although we can use our KDE / Plasma Notification settings to designate, where we want notifications to appear, these apparently rogue notifications seem to disregard this setting.

Continue reading Plasma 5 Notifications In Wrong Locations

“Weather Widget” for Plasma 5 -based, Linux Computers

One of the observations which I’ve made about the practical use of Linux, is that in recent years and weeks, the number of weather widgets which we can use to decorate our desktops, and which provide some semblance of forecasting, has become more meager.

I suppose that one important reason may be the fact, that companies cannot extract revenues from operating servers, which simply respond to URL-requests, and which hand out weather information on that basis, for the client software to process as client wishes. Companies will only make profits these days, if they can force their clients to view advertisements.

And so recently I installed a widget, to my Debian / Stretch, Plasma 5 -based desktop computer named ‘Plato’, which is named ‘Weather Widget’, and which has the following display available:

screenshot_20180831_105340

This widget has as option to display information from ‘openweathermap.org‘, which has as intention to remain open and available.

There was a detail in how to get this widget running, that wasted some of my time yesterday, for which reason I’d like to share my experience with the reader. First of all, the preferred way to install this widget is, to right-click on the desktop, and then to left-click on “Add Widgets…”. If the desktop widgets are locked, the command must be given to unlock them first. Then, in the side-bar that appears, we click on “Get new Widgets” (at the very bottom), and then on “Download New Plasma Widgets”. In the window that appears, there’s a search field. In it, type ‘Weather’, and the widget in question should appear as available.

One great plus to adding widgets in this way, is the fact that we can do so, in user space, that is, without requiring root. However, here comes the catch: This widget will only display correctly, under Debian / Stretch, if the following two packages are installed:

  • ‘qml-module-qtgraphicaleffects’
  • ‘qml-module-qtquick-xmllistmodel’

Under other Plasma 5 -capable distributions, the same features may be provided by packages, which are named slightly differently.

Continue reading “Weather Widget” for Plasma 5 -based, Linux Computers