Better (more organic) window and Activity management

I just read the following blog post and it has some great ideas how windows on a desktop could be managed much more organically.

In fact, this looks somewhat similar in its logic to psifidotos’ WorkFlow Plasma/KWin way back from KDE 4.x, if you’d take that and introduced Activites into the equation (as the second dimension):

So I’m wondering if there are any similar plans in KDE Plasma / KWin.

In any case, let’s discuss how KDE could improve the window and Activity management :smile:

P.S. It was this toot that sparked my interest and pulled me into a rabbit hole.


In a similar fashion, currently Material Shell started popping up as a very interesting combination of:

  • spacial division of well, space:
    • horizontally it divides applications into several Virtual Desktops, that can be easily added
    • vertically it divides things into “Workspaces”, which I argue fit Plasma’s Activities pretty well
    • especially the overview makes things very easy to see at a quick glance
  • within VDs it applies window tiling (this can be optional in Plasma, IMHO)
  • it ensures persistence of where each app/window was, so whenever you spin up your desktop again (or a Workspace/Activity, if you would be able to suspend it), the position and layout stays the same

I have to admit, this looks pretty similar to what I would like to have myself, if it used Activities, esp. if sessions and suspension of Activities would work well.

Someone already made a video (and text) tutorial on how to (kinda) recreate Material Shell in Plasma:

Have a look at the zoom functions of Treesheets. Try the In-App Tutorial to get a feel for it.

Also, the whole screen could imitate more of the Treesheet behaviour, like easily adding or inserting cells (desktops), individual cell background (individual desktop wallpaper/solid color), auto-save layout (no more session saving), multiple documents (layouts/sessions), …

Additionally, have one menu and one toolbar per desktop, switching with the active window. No wasted space for individual toolbars and menus in Kate, Konsole, Dolphin, …

Just fantasizing…

I do focus my applications via shortcut eg Meta+[ABCDE…] configured as window rules,
additionally I use window rules to place every application on a ( Screen x Virtual Desktop x Activity ) - Matrix.

For example: [ [ “Portrait Left Screen”, “Landscape Center Screen”, “Tiny Right Screen”], [ “Creative”, “Development”, “Education”, “Work” ], [ “Research”, “Organize”, “Process” ] ]
Now as I press the shortcut for an application like Konsole as journalctl logger, Plasma beams my Focus through the Matrix to [ “Tiny Right Screen”, “Development”, “Research” ], where all other applications regarding this context are located.

Also every Activity got a different Background Color which is also translated into Window Decoration Colors. So I alway have a visual trigger to mentally switch into a different context.

Furthermore ressources (files, pictures) can be linked to certain Activities, and the per-activity Folder View Desktop Background can be configured to only show Activity related data. That’s what gives the current Desktop more context. Now as I press Meta+Esc all Windows disappear and I can see all the Activity-related desktop containments, plasmoids and files.

This workflow is the main reason I use Plasma, because its design is really out of the box.

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