- speed: opening a whole new app can be slow, especially when the system is under unusual load which is often exactly when you want it
- user interface: since it was the whole ksysguard app there were menubars and tabs and all sorts of clutter
- discoverability: ah, ctrl-escape.. how many found that little gem? not nearly enough
so at last year's akademy john tapsell, who had taken ksysguard under his rather capable wings, and i chatted about the situation. we charted a cunning plan to fix all three of these issues. ok, maybe "cunning" is a bit of an overstatement. well, you be the judge.
to fix the speed issue, we decided to put the process table into krunner. this would make it faster to bring up because krunner would already be running. this meant getting the widgets into a library for external usage, which john came through on. now when you press ctrl-esc it appears instantly, even the first time, and better yet it is populated with information before you can blink. the kde3 sysguard takes a couple of seconds with no load to populate the window after the app has started up. this is such an improvement it's not even funny, and the credit for this goes almost exclusively to john's efforts (though qt4's model/view stuff probably helped out =)
and now that these widgets are all in a library, here's one for your inner geek: you can start Qt designer and pop a process listing on a form and interact with processes, live, from inside designer. not talking about doing a preview of the form, but right there when it is in edit mode. talk about sickeningly cool.
with speed addressed, what about user interface? since the table was going to be hosted by krunner, we could make the user interface quite slim. here is where it was at earlier today:
the buttons are a bit odd and the window title are wrong in the screenshot, but you get the idea. we're also adding an expander arrow that will grow the window to show some basic stats below the table (cpu, memory, etc). but notice the lack of a menu bar, tabs, etc.. and once the buttons are all squared away it'll be pretty nice.
think of it as a ksysguard-superlite-in-a-window. 100% of the code is shared with ksysguard; in fact, if you launch ksyguard it will share the library =)
this leads us to the solution for the discoverability problem. we are putting a button in the run dialog to get to your system activity monitor:
this shot is pretty bad, but it works (the important bit) and the oxygen team are currently nearly finished with the rework of the krunner ui so i figured i wouldn't bother trying to make it pretty in its current form. the important thing is that it's pretty easy to see how to pull up a system monitor now when you go to the run dialog.
ctrl-esc is still there and we may offer a link in the application launcher interface (the successor of the application menu) though that is still yet to be decided on for sure.
speaking of krunner's interface: i just got the final draft artwork by email late yesterday ... it's hot! =) there was also a bunch of work done on various bits of plasma, but this was more exciting. well, for me at least =)
yep ... today was one more baby step towards total desktop world domination. kde4: be free. boo yah! =)