Create and ship LNF packages to replicate common UI styles found in macOS, Ubuntu Unity, Windows 10, etc
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Description

We've talked about this for years, and built up a whole global theme system that allows it, but never taken advantage of the power of that system by shipping anything that really shows off its capabilities. I think we should.

We could make and ship by default a set of LNF packages that replicate the workflows of popular environments that users may be familiar with:

  • Windows 10 (Replace Task Manager with Icons-Only Task Manager)
  • macOS (Replace default panel contents with only an Icons-Only Task Manager and add a panel on the top with a Global Menu, System Tray, and Clock)
  • Unity (Put a panel on the left side containing Application Dashboard, an Icons-Only Task Manager, Trash, and Present Windows. Put a panel on the top containing a Global Menu, Clock, and System Tray)
  • ...And so on

There are some 3rd-party packages on store.kde.org that aim to provide this kind of functionality but they also try to replicate the visual appearance of the target environment too, which IMO is really tacky and tends to produce an awful-looking end product. I think it's a better idea to make these proposed LNF packages as minimal as possible. No need for custom color schemes, icon themes, fonts, etc. The idea is to allow people to easily replicate the workflow of their favorite environment without removing the Plasma visual style.

See also https://userbase.kde.org/Plasma/How_to_create_a_Unity-like_look_and_feel_theme_using_Plasma%E2%80%99s_Desktop_Scripting_API

Looks pretty doable to me!

ngraham created this task.Sep 21 2019, 10:01 PM
ngraham triaged this task as Normal priority.

Sadly, I don't have the technical know-how to help with this, but based on user feedback and discussions I've seen, I can tell you people are going to LOVE it. So with my Promo hat on, I fully support this idea! :)

ngraham updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 22 2019, 2:35 AM
GB_2 added a subscriber: GB_2.Sep 22 2019, 5:20 AM

I think we should also create a task to add the option to only change the layout without changing the theme.

GB_2 added a comment.Sep 22 2019, 9:37 AM
In T11743#201866, @GB_2 wrote:

I think we should also create a task to add the option to only change the layout without changing the theme.

T11746

felixernst added a subscriber: felixernst.
filipf added a subscriber: filipf.Sep 23 2019, 4:52 PM

Strongly support this goal, I think the users will love it.

In T11743#201866, @GB_2 wrote:

I think we should also create a task to add the option to only change the layout without changing the theme.

This would be the ideal solution.

From the point of users' love, this indeed is a very popular request, plus it's a good way to showcase Plasma's customizability.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX5HwumKPP8

ngraham moved this task from Backlog/Planned to Sent to dev on the VDG board.Sep 27 2019, 3:13 PM
ngraham moved this task from To Do to Needs Review on the Plasma board.

One outstanding questions is whether we should use Global Themes for this, or create a new KCM that allows the user to change only the desktop layout. The reasoning for this proposed new KCM would be that the desktop layout is a discrete thing that can be changed independent of other visual settings.

Alternatively, we could implement the Global Theme component chooser proposed in T11746: Make it possible to only apply certain parts of a Global Theme.

mart added a comment.Oct 4 2019, 12:26 PM

I would be very against a yet another new kcm that is in fact a kindof a "dumbed down" global themes kcm.
among proposals like that and the new recent systemsettings reordering the whole "simple by default" efforts are pretty much gone...

mart added a comment.Oct 4 2019, 12:34 PM

From the point of users' love, this indeed is a very popular request, plus it's a good way to showcase Plasma's customizability.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX5HwumKPP8

It's a popular request, but my fear is that would end just providing things that look like cheap imitations (and can only be like that, neither we should spend more resources in changing our stuff in a way that looks more like imitations of other stuff) being potentially detrimental to our quality

I'm not against shipping different layouts in the global theme as default (i'm strongly against a new kcm tough) but i just fear that may damage the perception of quality so the message should be very clear that is *not* an attempt to provide the very same user experience