The plasmoid problem

posted in: Free Software, Technology | 0

I just installed KDE 4.3 RC 1, and it is fantastic. This will undoubtedly be the best KDE release to date and will answer a lot of the complaints about missing features and stability that people have raised.

The drop shadow glitches from 4.2 are gone from Kwin, but it seems as though they fixed it by regressing back to their earlier unmodifiable shadows. Nevertheless, I can live with that for now, and that is not the topic of this blog post.

The issue that I have on my mind is the problem with certain plasmoids in KDE that seem to take Plasma to its knees. What is supposed to happen when you drop a bad plasmoid onto the desktop or your panel is that a big red box with an “X” appears informing you that the plasmoid does not work.

Unfortunately, what sometimes happens is plasma crashes completely. Usually it restarts itself, and everything is fine. Still, it is shocking for a user who is not familiar with KDE or, even worse, new to Linux, to have their entire desktop disappear — even if momentarily. I am not a programmer, so I cannot offer any concrete solutions.

What I believe needs to done, however, is to isolate plasmoids so that the plasmoid itself crashes rather than the entire plasma desktop. I would much rather have a widget literally disappear and even uninstall itself with prejudice, than to have my desktop go black.

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