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Profiles for all KDE-applications

Hi!

In Mozilla-applications so called “profiles”, sets of user-configuration,
are a quite common feature, Konqueror implements them, too. But wouldn't it
be possibe to provide this feature for all KDE-applications by changing
KApplication, KConfig and friends? It should be possible to pass some
parameters at startup to use a specific profile, KApplication would
recognize the paths and KConfig would adjust its directories and
independendent sets of configuration would be used. Those configurations
could be saved somewhere in .kde/extra-profiles or something like that. It
should work for most applications, only a small minority does not keep its
configuraion in the user's .desktop-files. Some simple GUI-dialogs and it
would be at least as good as Mozilla's support. I think it would be useful
for many applications, e.g. Kopete or Amarok. Any comments?

Regards
Jonathan

Comments

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By todd rme at 02/26/2011 - 13:09

On Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 4:58 AM, Jonathan Schmidt-Dominé
<devel@the-user.org> wrote:
Couldn't this be handled with activities?

-Todd

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Marco Martin at 02/27/2011 - 11:57

On Saturday 26 February 2011, Jonathan Schmidt-Dominé wrote:
well, ann application could even load a different configuration file with
different activities...
however, i don't think it's the right place for it
depends here why we want multiple configuration files.
to have things like a different set of bookmarks, a different set of file open
some mail folders hidden? that's something for activities, yes, but not to be
achieved by the means of different configuration files.

a place where i can see useful to have different config files altogether
(especially loading different default configurations) is to adapt to different
hardware profiles (right now the workspace kcm directly modifies the kwin
config file when the netbook shell is activated, that's not really optimal)

Cheers,
Marco Martin

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Jonathan =?UTF-... at 02/27/2011 - 16:30

Hi!

For each profile it shoud be possible to configure which config-files to
share and which config-files to recreate/clone, because you may want to
share bookmarks but use different plugins etc. That would be nicer than --
config and KDEHOME. And all that stuff could be handled by KConfig etc.,
they would keep some preferences and they would use the normal config-file,
create a new one, copy the old one or use a different one according to the
preferences, maybe it could even ask the user, because it cannot know about
all used config-files before startup (but that would probably involve binary
incompatibility).

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Marco Martin at 03/02/2011 - 05:40

On Sunday 27 February 2011, Jonathan Schmidt-Dominé wrote:
what about having two config file, a primary one that is the "real one" and a
set of secondary ones that can be loaded and changed on the fly depending on
activity change?

Cheers,
Marco Martin

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Stefan Majewsky at 03/02/2011 - 10:21

On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 10:40 AM, Marco Martin < ... at gmail dot com> wrote:
Perfectly possible from the technical side thanks to KConfig, but:
Upon changing a configuration parameter, how should the user decide
whether this change is local to the activity or global to all
activities (i.e. whether it goes into the activity-specific config or
the "real one")?

Greetings
Stefan

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Anders Lund at 03/02/2011 - 10:31

On Onsdag den 2. marts 2011, Stefan Majewsky wrote:
That is a good argument for this being a feature for the application to handle
- by offering the user a way to know what she does.

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Andreas Hartmetz at 03/02/2011 - 21:25

On Wednesday 02 March 2011 15:31:21 Anders Lund wrote:
In my experience the hardest question by far in a nontrivial configuration
system is always how to handle differences between different configurations - I'm
thinking of cascading systems where you can store differences against the
baseline as diffs or as absolute values, but it will hardly be easier with a
cascading system like KConfig *plus* switchable user-level configuration.
I recommend not to implement this feature because it opens a big can of worms
and it will cause headaches for years to come, and require application support
to work well.
We have more important things to do. Note there are no wishlist items for this
(prove me wrong ;).

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Andreas Hartmetz at 02/26/2011 - 10:27

On Saturday 26 February 2011 10:58:23 Jonathan Schmidt-Dominé wrote:

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Anders Lund at 02/26/2011 - 10:50

On Lørdag den 26. februar 2011, Andreas Hartmetz wrote:
I find the idea interresting, I was just thinking that I use marble in quite a
few different ways.

Changing KDEHOME changes more than the single application, so that is not
viable. Prepending the search path would be smarter. Or use the --config
<alternative config file> option that kapplication provides ;)

Maybe apps could just look in the existing config filesystem for alternate
configs, and offer to switch from the application menu? That could be done in
kapplication, and the required menu items provided as standard like other menu
itmes in KDE.

Re: Profiles for all KDE-applications

By Anders Lund at 02/26/2011 - 11:12

On Lørdag den 26. februar 2011, Anders Lund wrote:
... but then, I wonder if this works in any application, marble or kwrite for
example does not appear to care ...