Saturday, 25 March 2017

KDE Plasma 5 - Dolphin Right Click Image Resize and other fixes.

One Step at a time, fixing the problems in Plasma 5.

Step 1.

This time it is resizing or rotating images using the right click context menu in Dolphin file manager.  In previous posts I pointed out that this handy function has been left out of KDE completely, but at least in KDE 4 it was possible by using a little tool called KDE Image Menu (KIM).

There is a simple method to install KIM into Plasma 5 here:
But it didn't work.

So I unpacked KIM into my software folder, opened that folder in Dolphin, and opened the /src folder.  Then I opened a terminal in that folder and did:
sudo cp kim_*.desktop /usr/share/kservices5/ServiceMenus/

Next I opened the /bin folder and opened a Terminal there and did:
sudo cp kim* /usr/bin/

Now I can select some images and right click to get this..

This makes a lot of my graphic work easy as well as being able to really quickly resize anything from a single file to a whole folder of images.  It will also let me convert from jpg to png and many other formats as well as rotating and other operations.

Step 2

Those pesky mouse trails.  In Plasma 5, I would be working on something and move the mouse from one window to another or just move it while something was loading, and the mouse would leave annoying trails of its cursor all over the place.  It seems to be a well known problem with on-board Intel graphics.
Eventually I found that playing with the display settings fixed it.

System Settings > Display and Monitor
The choose Compositor in the left pane.

I changed the settings to look like this.

KDE has had a wonderful screen shot program for a very long time, called Ksnapshot.  For some reason that was not installed in my Mint 18.1 KDE, and I suspect it is because I had already been playing with XFCE and Cinnamon after I discovered all the things I didn't like about Plasma 5.

So I ended up installing ksnapshot using Synaptic.
Ksnapshot lets you choose a name for your screen shot.  The default Gnome screen capture program uses a default name and date format.  With Ksnapshot, firstly, it remembers whether you chose to capture the entire screen or just a region or a window, and the next time it will have that as the default.  Secondly, it remembers the name you gave the last snapshot, and increments it by a number each time.  If there is already a number in the name it uses that.  But the smart thing to do is simply append a two digit number to the image name.
You can also just change the extension from the default .png, to .jpg or .pdf and so on.

I wrote in a previous post that I found how to turn on desktop scrolling through my work spaces.  I still can't have a separate wallpaper for each desktop, but I can now scroll the mouse wheel on an uncovered part of the desktop, or on the workspace switcher in the panel.  To make this easier I add either a short vertical panel to the right edge of the desktop, or something like Docky.  This reserves a strip of desktop that is not covered by full screen windows, and this can be used to scroll the mouse on.

I generally run three or four 'Activities' as well.  These do give me the option for different wallpaper on each activity, so I can tell at a glance which one I am on.  Once you learn what they are and how to use them, Activities are a powerful tool in KDE/Plasma.

It is possible to set an activity up for a special task with particular windows and programs open on different workspaces.  Do you can have a 'Study' Activity which, when you open it, has all the progams and folders you use for study, open and ready for action.

Everything else so far is still being sorted.  There is a bug in Plasma somewhere that kills KODI for example, so for now if I want to run KODI I can either log out and log back in Cinnamon or XFCE,  or reboot into Mint 17.3 KDE.

Overall though, I dislike the style and themes of Plasma 5, while I like some of the other practical aspects.  I will continue exploring Plasma 5 on Mint 18.1 because once Mint 17.3 reaches its end of life I will not have much option.  Cinnamon and XFCE feel horrible after using KDE for so long, and the Mate desktop is just plain awful from my point of view.

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