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Old 01-14-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
Donny Bahama
Registered: Aug 2009
Location: Southern AZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 46

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Custom ("Active") Desktop?

I'm making a computer for my mom and would like to create a custom desktop for her with the following content:
  • Email -- not a link to her email client but an actual list of her most recent email messages, newest first, so that each can be opened directly with a single click. Ideally, this would also include a "Compose New Message" link and an input box for searching for messages.
  • Bookmarks -- again, not a link to them, but a list (preferably scrollable) of individually clickable links. Ideally, these would be taggable and include an input box for filtering by tag(s)
  • An input box for direct web searches. Ideally with a drop down for choosing between Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc.
  • Clock/calendar with list of today's/upcoming appointments
  • Embedded Local weather/forecast
  • Embedded Facebook, Pinterest and other (e.g. CNN) news feeds

I would also like to incorporate a launcher for her commonly used apps and locations, while hiding the built-in (desktop manager's) "start" menu, panels/trays, etc.

The ultimate goal is to put *everything* she needs/uses on her desktop - one-stop shopping - while hiding everything else (which only serves to confuse her.)

I would prefer to do this using an "Active Desktop" such that the entire desktop is essentially a web page and I have full control over content and layout. Is there something I can install that will give me this capability? Alternatively, if there's something that provides a robust framework for embeddable desktop widgets (hopefully with the ability to easily create my own), that could probably work as well.

Thanks for your help, suggestions and comments!
Old 01-14-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Tennessee, USA
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 135

Rep: Reputation: 36
I can't vouch for every function you've listed, but my guess is that KDE will get you closest to what you want. There are tons of plasma widgets out there for email, RSS, showing arbitrary web pages, etc.

Alternatively, if there's something that provides a robust framework for embeddable desktop widgets (hopefully with the ability to easily create my own), that could probably work as well.
This pretty much describes KDE.

You can develop plasma widgets easily in python, javascript, c++, ruby, etc.

Last edited by lykwydchykyn; 01-14-2013 at 04:21 PM.
Old 01-16-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2011
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Distribution: LM 17.1
Posts: 5,034
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Rep: Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214Reputation: 1214 says in part "Joli OS features include heavy orientation towards web application and services, online backup option, web-based software installation interface, inclusion of proprietary hardware drivers and non-free media codecs, and extensive social networking features."

might be just the ticket?
I have NO association with anyone or anything related to the above mentioned references.


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