A KDE Developer Creates Quick Access / HUD Style Widget That Enhances Usability

A new widget mitigating menu navigation may soon be part of upstream KDE, depends on users “love”.

Apr 28, 2017Apps
Quick Access & HUD

Navigating application menus may be quick and easy when there aren’t many options to choose from. However when the amount of menu items is huge, navigating the menus can become increasingly cumbersome.

Tackling menu complexity head on, KActionRunner widget is based on the same approach that helps you find your way around the world’s largest data system – the Internet, that is, through search.

Similar to the way Unity’s “HUD” or Eclipse’s “Quick Access” features work (for those who are familiar with either of the two), KActionRunner works by “collecting” all of the actions an application provides and make them search-able as well as launch-able through the widget’s interface.

And in what desktop environment will it be more sensible to implement such feature other than KDE, which is renowned for striving to provide its users with the widest range of features possible.

KActionRunner widget in KDevelop

KActionRunner widget in KDevelop

According to the developer, Tomaz Canabrava, the motivation behind creating KActionRunner is his own need for such feature thus, at first, he actually made it to supply his own requirements.

However, briefly later did he realized that there might be many others just like him who might find it useful and thereof decided to “push it upstream”.

At the moment though, the app still hasn’t passed the review which qualifies it for being shipped as a stable KDE Plasma widget. According to Tomaz, it isn’t certain that it will be shipped in the future either, since not a lot of work was invested in it and the app is not very polished as of current.

Nevertheless, if it passes a certain amount of demand, Tomaz says, he will make a stronger effort to polish and push the widget upstream.

“The code is currently in review, and I do belive that in it’s current state it will not pass ;), […] if there’s enougth love for that idea I’ll polish it.”

You may check out Tomaz’s blog post regarding KActionRunner here.