Practical uses for KDE Plasma Activities

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fabio formaggio, 123RF

fabio formaggio, 123RF

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KDE Plasma Activities remove the limitations of having a single desktop and allow you to have multiple environments with their own sets of launchers for applications, files, and URLs, each customized for a single purpose.

Most users of KDE Plasma have probably heard of Activities [1], but few ever use them. The trouble is that, although Activities have been a feature of Plasma for almost a decade, detailed examples of how to use them are few and far between. The result is that one of the most useful expansions of the classic desktop metaphor remains neglected, leaving users struggling along with desktop environments that are barely adequate for modern systems.

Classic desktops with a menu, panel, and workspace worked well when 200MB hard drives were the norm. However, as systems have grown, users have been struggling with a growing problem. Either their desktop is so crowded with launchers that finding the one they need becomes difficult, or else it contains a general set of icons that may not be ideal for any specific task. Increasingly, users have become accustomed to launching applications from the menu and leaving the desktop a blank space – a solution that is less than ideal because modern menus have also become unwieldy.

Activities remove these difficulties by removing the limitation of a single desktop. Each Activity is a separate desktop, with its own set of launchers for applications, files, and URLs, customized for a single purpose. Since any purpose rarely requires more than a dozen launchers, each resource can be quickly located.


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