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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Latte Dock v0.6 - fresh air...

- @varlesh work -
Hello again!! :)


Latte Dock v.0.6 has been released!!! The first stable Latte release has been just landed! 

Go get it!!!  github  or  store.kde.org



if you dont want to build it yourself, another alternative would be to wait for a few days to launch on your distro repositiories! Many packagers have shown such interest.



- Latte youtube presentation -


- Latte Dock v0.6 -


You may ask, what is Latte and why are you so enthusiast about it?



History

@varlesh work -
As an author of Now Dock it was around late of November that I felt Now Dock to have reached its pontential as an internal plasma panel and plasmoid. At the same time @audoban author of Candil Dock reached me and pinged me to do something rare in the open source communities… and that was, combine our projects. Combine Candil’s fundamental philosophy of a standalone dock living outside plasmashel with Now Dock’s familiar interface for the dock and use only kde and plasma libraries in the process. That was enough for me to decide that the change worthed the effort. Time passed and in every step I am more than happy with that decision.

At this point I would like to thank a lot @audoban for the fantastic achievements, discussions and cooperation we achieved all this time we interact through the project!!! My girlfriend of course for her patience and support during the last development cycle!! :) and a big thank you to the many fantastic users, translators and enthusiasts that use the project through the master branch and are helping us discovering bugs very early, pointing us in new directions and becoming persistent when something is very important from a user point view and not that much from the developer’s one !!! :)

THANK YOU!!

You are the blood of the project without which a body becomes cold….

The new project was called Latte Dock  and the artwork and logo of course were created by the majestic @varlesh!!! :)

"...a plasma dock that provides an elegant and intuitive experience for your tasks and plasmoids..."

"Art in Coffee"


I think you had enough of my chattering around the history of the project :), let me outline some of the most important features:


Standalone executable outside plasmashell

Meaning that in the rare case of crashing your plasmashell, your panels will still be there to interact with, and of course the other way around




Single configuration window to rule them all

there arent two different windows anymore, offering various choices for the user, one for plasma and one for the dock. The configuration window combines all the user choices in one place.

- single config window -





- visibility modes -
Five different visibility modes

  • Dodge Active: avoid always the active window
  • Dodge Fullscreen: avoid always the fullscreen window
  • Dodge Windows: avoid every window
  • Auto Hide: auto-hide after a timer interval
  • Always Visible: the dock will be always visible






- timers -
Hide / Show Timers

specify the timer intervals for showing or hiding the dock





Docks manager

Latte is not a single dock but rather a dock manager. You can have as many dock instances you want around your screen..


- four Latte instances ;) -





Multi screen

Latte offers a new experience for your docks concerning your multi screen setup. A dock can be set always On Primary screen or always at an Explicit Screen.

On Primary: your dock will always move around your screens based on which screen has been set primary at each time. In the case of an explicit dock occupies that specific edge in that screen the explicit dock gets the advantage.
On Explicit: your dock will be activated only when that screen is present at your system. Meaning that if you connect your laptop at work at a specific screen over there, each time you connect it that dock will appear and in no other case.

added intelligence: concerning the above design decisions Latte trys to follow some rules. It will never leave you without at least one dock having the tasks latte plasmoid in it.

- robust multi-screen support -






Proportional Applet Size

Latte offers a setting for Always on Primary Screen. So your favourite dock will follow you between different screen resolutions. In such cases you can set the applets to be a percentage of the screen height instead of specific size in pixels. So your dock it wont just follow you but it will automatically update its size on resolution or screen changes.







Simplify working states and provide only normal and editing state

normal state: the user can interact with tasks and applets and can add launchers and applets from the official plasma widget explorer

editing state (when showing the configuration window): the user can add/move/delete applets and config Latte








- import/export -
Import/export settings

Your settings are always available if you create backups and of course the users can share their different configurations!! So a user can create configurations for Unity, Plasma, Gnome layouts and share them with the community


- Unity layout -
- Plasma layout -

- My favourite ;) -








Make your docks look like and behave like plasma panels

With Latte we can easily adjust the appearance of the dock to make it look like a plasma panel and of course behave as such concerning snapping, visibility etc...

- plasma looks, an Always Visible Latte dock instance -









- auto positioning -
Occupy space based on the real free screen space

Latte offers various alignments for your applets, Left, Center, Right, Fill (all three). Top and bottom docks gain the priority to fill the screen and left and right ones will try not to leave free space if it is not needed… Unity paradigm is set very easy and it is auto adjusted...



Notice: for these calculations dock’s maximum length set by the user is used e.g. 90% of screen and not the current running size of the dock.











- alternative session -
Alternative Session

Sometimes the way you organised your panels is not sufficient. You are travelling or you just want an alternative layout for specific cases. Switch to your alternative session and organize your work at your preference. Welcome the Alternative Session, a fully functional secondary state!
















Support plasma 5.8 and provide transparency and blur out-of-the-box

In Now Dock a special produced plasma theme was needed from plasma 5.8 in order for the dock to gain its transparency. This works directly now without needing from the user to do anything around that. Transaparency/Blur/Background Contrast Kwin Effects are used directly.
Execute Latte and you are ready to go.


Notice: For cases that the user does not like the transparency provided from the plasma theme, the user can also choose from the Latte settings, a solid background to be used instead


- kwin blur effect -






Experimental support for alternative desktop environments

Even though we didnt focus on supporting alternative desktop environments a test showed that there is no such barrier. Watch out a Latte Dock with plasma plasmoids and full plasma frameworks stack inside MATE ;). At the bottom-right corner you can notice the hidden MATE panel.


- Latte Dock inside MATE -






All features of Now Dock are already supported

Latte is not trying to break your previous Now Dock workflow but rather to make your life easier concerning panels. It trys to make that happen with an elegant and beautiful way, not a disturbing one. The familiar interaction concerning launchers in different activities, window previews, shadows, different coloring for different states etc are already present…




Τhank you all for being part and making possible this fantastic community called KDE!!!! ;)

That’s all for now… :)

regards,

michail




We would like a lot hearing your experience with Latte
and the issues you may discovered...

Even more, help is always welcome!!!!




-------------------
Tips:
- the purple woman wallpaper can be found at, coolwallpapers.org
- music in the video: 1. Riot - Jupiter One, 2. Steve Combs -  All Your Faustian Bargains (Extended Mix)

14 comments:

  1. Happy release and it's nice to work with you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent work and excellent presentation here in the blog! KDE was missing such an eyecandy and usefull application. Well done developers, continiue improving Latte :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks good ☺ ! You gave some explanations about screens but what about virtual desktop ? Is it possible to have different layout by virtual desktop ?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank u!! Unfortunately not, different layouts can have only per screen or by using the Alternative Session... you cant have different layouts per virtual desktop or activity...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have to congratulate you both on such a great amount of work that went into this release. Latte is absolutely awesome and it is much appreciated by everyday users like myself.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for your work, the dock is excellent. I have created a deb package for it - https://github.com/ubuntuvibes/Debs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much!!! Thank you also for the packaging!!!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for the package

      Delete
  7. Outstanding work!!! Amazing outcome!!!

    Congrats and άπειρα ευχαριστώ για το χρόνο και τον κόπο σου!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!!!
      Ευχαριστώ πολύ!!!

      Delete
  8. Hey, this looks really awesome also really appreciate the joint efforts!
    However I'm not able to install it here:
    Add Widgets -> Get new Widgets -> Download new Widgets: "Latte":
    Install: v0.6.0.tar.gz: "installing"-> ok and then?

    It doesn't show neither under add new widgets nor under new panel?

    Ty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Latte must be built first before installing... So the "Get new widgets" is not working correctly...

      what distro are you using?

      Delete