{June 5, 2010}   status of activities in beta 2

so, good news: the activity bar and mouse plugin and so on are all safe to use in beta 2. :)
Thanks to neoclust, the main crash bug was also fixed. yay! :) I was seeing a second crash, but it was very odd and I can’t reproduce it any more, so hopefully that means someone else fixed it ;)

As for multiscreen – there’s still one bug to fix there. oy, and it seems I have some screensaver maintenance to do… I don’t think either of those will be trivial fixes, but I’ll try and tackle them soon. I’ve been busy lately – for the next three months I’m working on odfkit. :) It’s nice, but takes away a *lot* of my kde hacking time.

Added to that, I also installed opensuse last week, so I didn’t really have a kde dev. environment until yesterday. I’m still having some weird problems with 4.4 apps getting all broken in a trunk environment (somehow /usr/share/kde4 is getting totally ignored no matter what I do, if my PATH has trunk stuff in it, and kmail can’t get the imap protocol even if I run it in a 4.4 environment) but other than that it’s been surprisingly smooth. :) There were minor issues, of course, but most were easy to resolve, and now I have compositing and other such shiny things. :) I just wish I could figure out how to import my Amarok collection from the old hard drive…

Ivan says:

My advice for amarok is to keep the data in local mysql server – easier to backup and restore.

As for importing the old data, you can try starting the server with custom data path, do a mysqldump and then import it into the new database.

(or, if you don’t have important data in the new amarok’s db, just overwrite the new files with the old ones)


Some1 says:

Just in case my message was not seen (as it was a comment made on an “old” blog entry).


Just a quick note for Chani : in the activity I think it could be useful to have the possibility of selecting a work directory (for all the applications).

Use case : right now I’m working on a project and getting mad each time I must open a file because the file selector opens the default directory ! For Save that’s less important as it remembers the last directory used (but having it right already for the first time it’s used would be nice ^^ )

Chani says:

your comment was seen. I just don’t have time to reply to everyone :)

Lukas says:


I’ve just watched a video in previous post, and i have to say – great feature ;)

Just one idea for the future: For now, we have Open Windows feature when touching screen edge.

It would be great, if not only active windows, but also activities could be listed there (like row in a top of the screen or something…), thus making switching process between activities even shorter :)

Good news? Great news! Congratulations. I’m looking forward to the multi-screen support. Thanks.

Kai says:

Hi Channi,

at first thanks for your activity manager. But I have to tell you that the activity concept is still very unstable in 4.5 Beta 1. I don’t know how it works in Beta 2. We’ll see. But in Beta 1 plasma-desktop always crashes (kdeinit4 segmentation fault) when playing around (only the basics) with the activity stuff (adding/removing/cloning,…). Distro openSuse 11.2.

Maybe you find the time to read the last comments in Bug-Report 199729 (Enabling “different activities for each desktop” creates an additional activity).

As soon as Beta 2 comes out I’ll test it again, but I sadly don’t expect any changes in that direction.


Chani says:

so… you go to an old bug, about something completely different, and start rambling on about your problems…. and then come here to my blog post about how I’ve been fixing things and complain that you don’t expect your problems to be fixed? yeesh, of course they won’t be fixed if you can’t even be bothered to make a proper bug report about them!

and your comment there is far too vague for me to have any *idea* how you managed to break things, too – no steps to reproduce, no backtrace… so no, whatever it was won’t be fixed, because I haven’t a clue what it is. :P

Kai says:

OMG, it seems you’re are angry about my comment? Please calm down, I’m not evil.
You’re completely wrong and didn’t understand me, I don’t start rambling about my problems or anything else. Afaik you’re the right person to talk about activities and you’re one of the main developers of the activitiy concept at the moment. Tell me if I’m wrong. I’m a normal KDE user for years and I love KDE so much, but criticism should be allowed, right? That has nothing to do with that I’m botherd as you wrote. The activity concept is so good and I would like to see it working stable, but I wrote that it doesn’t work stable from the beginning on until today. That is fact, cause there are still crashes when playing with activities. So it’s not wrong what I wrote, it’s criticism, not more.

Let me say it again: When I use a fresh and clean KDE 4.5 beta 1 (4.4.82) setup on openSuse 11.2 then kdeinit4 and so the whole plasma-desktop sometimes crashes to a black screen when using activitiy functions. Tested on 2 different notebooks (HP/Dell). Exactly that happens when I (for example) “clone the current activity”. I could make a video about that. But it happens randomly. Sometimes it works and sometimes plasma crashes on an activitiy operation. I can’t reproduce it exactly. It’s always different. Only so far, when I play around with activitiy functions sometimes the desktop crashes immedialety after an operation, e.g. removing an existing activity or adding a plasmoid to an existing activity, playing with the option “Different widgets…” and so on. That’s what I mean with playing around with activities.

Is it wrong, that I write a comment on that? It doesn’t mean that I’m pissed off. I like the concept and I wanted to help. Even if I can’t write a bug report or give any backtraces as you would like it. All I say is, that there are still problems with the activities. Not more. And I described the problems in my words (sorry for my english). And the only thing you wrote to me is that I come to your blog and complain about thinks you fixed. That’s not true. Sorry when there are still problems. We shouldn’t talk about it in the future. Criticism is not welcome.

Anyway thanks for your work. Have a nice day !!

P.S. You’re right, bug report 199729 is maybe the wrong place for that discussion. That’s my fault.

Chani says:

criticism yes, but consider *how* you criticize. you basically told me the bug wasn’t going to be fixed without giving me any chance to try and fix it :( that leaves me feeling helpless and sad. I want to make activities stable, and to do that I *need* good bug reports.

hrm. random crashes are evil. next time it happens, please go through the crash wizard that appears, and file a bug with the backtrace. the backtrace part is vital – I won’t be able to solve this without it.

Kai says:

Sorry for how i critizized it. Believe me, I don’t wanted to complain about your work or about someone else. The KDE team is great. Maybe I used the wrong words (not my main language). I understand your last comment, you’re right and I will follow your advice.

But last thing:

Aaron wrote a new comment (#45) in my mentioned bug report.

There are problems with the PVD (per-virtual-desktop) function. Aaron wrote that PVD is a feature that -none- of the developers use or have any interest in using. I didn’t knew that. Maybe PVD is the reason for my troubles. When beta 2 comes out I will test it all again, but without using PVD function. Promise, next time I file a bug with a backtrace.


Chani says:

:) thanks.

as for PVD… it’s true, none of us use it. I did test it though, and it worked for me, apart from one little bug it shares with multiscreen.

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