Bug 390817 - Persistent user confusion regarding pinned apps vs panel launchers
Summary: Persistent user confusion regarding pinned apps vs panel launchers
Alias: None
Product: plasmashell
Classification: Plasma
Component: Panel (show other bugs)
Version: master
Platform: Other Linux
: HI minor
Target Milestone: 1.0
Assignee: Plasma Bugs List
Keywords: usability
: 315039 391762 468892 474620 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2018-02-20 21:49 UTC by Nate Graham
Modified: 2023-10-10 12:57 UTC (History)
12 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Commit:
Version Fixed In: 6.0


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Description Nate Graham 2018-02-20 21:49:05 UTC
I see this issue come up a lot in Bugzilla tickets online forums, and comments on my blog. Many users get confused about the difference between pinned apps in the Task manager, and apps added to the Panel as standalone launchers. They behave differently and their icons are different sizes; people get confused.

The distinction is logical and makes sense from a developer perspective and from a flexibility standpoint: you want people to be able to create launchers on panels that lack a Task Manager widget. But for panels that *do* have a Task Manager, it seems like unnecessary duplication of functionality, and leads to situations where people have both standalone Launcher widgets as well as pinned apps in their Task Managers, and this is confusing because some disappear when launched and some don't, and they looks weird because their icons are sized differently.

I have a possible suggestion: when a panel has a Task Manager widget that is capable of receiving pinned apps, remove Kicker/Kickoff's "Add to panel" menu item and make drag-and-drop operations pin an app in the Task Manager rather than creating a new launcher widget. Users should still be able to create standalone Panel launcher widgets by hand if they do it manually, but this would make it harder to do the wrong thing by mistake.

Thoughts? I'm open to alternative approaches.
Comment 1 David Edmundson 2018-02-20 22:55:51 UTC
Yeah, the cost of being overly flexible to the point that it's messy.

Concept wise, I think that's sensible.

Keeping that neat and layered code-wise will be interesting.
I think we'll want it so that containments accept all mimedata of child applets and creatable applets - and that it gets processed by existing applets first.
Comment 2 Alexander Mentyu 2018-03-01 12:43:43 UTC
Related bug https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=315039
Comment 3 Nate Graham 2018-03-01 14:10:39 UTC
*** Bug 315039 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 4 Nate Graham 2018-03-13 19:02:08 UTC
*** Bug 391762 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 5 Nate Graham 2018-05-21 12:58:44 UTC
Git commit 8d113b09598c0cd0f92d6395c7c7dec8c65fa735 by Nathaniel Graham.
Committed on 21/05/2018 at 12:54.
Pushed by ngraham into branch 'master'.

[Kicker] Only show "Add to Panel (Widget)" When there's no Task Manager

Users get confused by the difference between "Pin to Task Manager" and "Add to Panel (Widget)", and we get bugs about this.

This patch resolves that confusion by only showing "Add to Panel (Widget)" when there's no Task Manager widget.
FIXED-IN: 5.14.0

Test Plan:
Dragging-and-dropping an app from Kicker or Kickoff pins it to the Task Manager if there's a Task Manager, or creates a Panel launcher if there's no Task Manager.

Context menu items:

Task Manager, widgets unlocked:

Task Manager, Widgets locked:

No Task Manager, Widgets unlocked:

Task Manager, Widgets unlocked:

Reviewers: #plasma, davidedmundson, mart

Reviewed By: #plasma, mart

Subscribers: mart, davidedmundson, plasma-devel

Tags: #plasma

Differential Revision: https://phabricator.kde.org/D12969

M  +4    -4    applets/kicker/plugin/actionlist.cpp

Comment 6 Eike Hein 2018-05-28 17:55:31 UTC
This needs some more discussion and has been reverted for now, sorry :)
Comment 7 Björn Feber 2018-12-08 22:15:56 UTC
Why was it reverted?
Comment 8 Björn Feber 2018-12-08 22:20:51 UTC
(In reply to gamerbrownie2 from comment #7)
> Why was it reverted?

Oh sorry, I just read why on Phabricator.
Comment 9 Nate Graham 2018-12-08 22:25:40 UTC
My current idea is to revive the patch, but narrow the condition so that it only applies when using an Icons-Only Task Manager (not a regular one). The rationale would be that an IOTM user truly has no use for standalone app launchers in the same panel because the entire purpose of an IOTM is to hold app launchers internally. The type of person who wants a panel full of app icons they can click on to launch doesn't want standalone launcher widgets in that same panel.

I just haven't gotten around do doing this yet. Feel free to take a crack if you've got the time!
Comment 10 Claudius Ellsel 2020-08-24 14:49:36 UTC
As an alternate suggestion, is it possible to re-route that action on Kicker to add the icon to the (icon only) task manager instead, if that is available? I think that would best reflect what the user wants and not lose any functionality.
Comment 11 Nate Graham 2023-04-25 15:43:49 UTC
*** Bug 468892 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 12 Nate Graham 2023-09-18 19:24:21 UTC
*** Bug 474620 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 13 Bug Janitor Service 2023-09-25 12:23:02 UTC
A possibly relevant merge request was started @ https://invent.kde.org/plasma/plasma-workspace/-/merge_requests/3330
Comment 14 Niccolò Venerandi 2023-10-10 12:57:25 UTC
Git commit 62f47a72a1f2d1114d0bb8db978690cf774a6235 by Niccolò Venerandi.
Committed on 10/10/2023 at 14:57.
Pushed by niccolove into branch 'master'.

Only show "Add to Panel" in Kickoff if there is no task manager and make pinned apps behave as launchers on traditional TMs

Only show "Add to Panel" in Kickoff if there is no task manager and make pinned apps behave as launchers on traditional TMs

M  +3    -5    applets/kicker/plugin/actionlist.cpp
M  +19   -1    libtaskmanager/tasksmodel.cpp
M  +22   -0    libtaskmanager/tasksmodel.h