Activities and the move to context-oriented desktops
Posted May 28, 2009 12:12 UTC (Thu) by nix
Parent article: Activities and the move to context-oriented desktops
Well, this was as clear as mud:
After all, he added, "for certain people, the current metaphors work well," especially those who do not carry their computers about or those who use them for basic productivity.
How does carrying your computer about relate to a desktop (background/ widgets/visible apps) that changes between configurable sets on demand? And what on earth is 'basic productivity'?
I'd say a better way of putting it is that activities are useful if you switch tasks a lot: they mean you can put Plasma widgets in appropriate configurations for each task and have them follow the tasks around, while if you only used non-linked virtual desktops you'd find the widgets static and thus much less useful.
The advantage of not linking virtual desktops and activities is, to me, simply that you can have multiple desktops associated with the same activity, and changes to the widgets in one desktop propagate instantly to the others. If you linked the activities to the desktops, and you used several desktops for one activity, you'd need to make any changes three times.
Activities are a very nice concept, but, er, they're not revolutionary, sorry, although maybe they have revolutionary consequences. If anything was revolutionary it was the plasmoid idea --- somewhat pedestrian itself in hindsight --- that your desktop background could be more than just a file folder. Once it was dynamic at all, allowing saved, interchangeable states (which is basically what activities are, counting window presence as part of the state) seems a straightforward generalization. (I was actually surprised find that KDE4.0 hadn't done it already, and chalked it up to Plasma's unfinished state in that release.)
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