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Looking back on Plasma on devices

Last week has been pretty hectic, i can't really believe that we are so near to the very first release of Plasma Active.


This is the platform that will be the basis of the pursuit of our vision about the device spectrum, is the platform we will use to build not only a very good user interface for tablets, but to go from there colonizing many other kind of devices.

This has been kind of a mirage for me from the last (two? three already?) years, we are playing with this concept and playing around a workspace for mobile devices since years.. there was plasma-mid, a first prototype designed to run on devices like the venerable n810, that was around 2008.

Then we worked on the first workspace of the KDE project that was not aimed to a strictly traditional desktop machine, KDE Plasma Netbook.

We had to go deeper..

At Tokamak4, we started a new shell, this time oriented towards mobile devices, way more customizable than the previous ones, because it was more heavily based on QML. as a demo state it was made run on cell phones and tablet devices, it learned how to make phone calls, it had many user interfaces looking completely different each other.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year, also thanks to basysKom that seen the potential in it, this shell was improved and merged with a really interesting project: Contour.

It aims to bring some really innovative concept to device UX: deeper use of activities, gathering of usage statistics for useful recommendations (watch out for Plasma Active Two ;) and in general diminish the importance of the "App" blending all in an uniform seamless "Workflow".

Plasma Active was born, and became something way bigger than it was expected in the beginning. Bigger than just a tablet interface, that is the "visible" part that will be released tomorrow.

Bigger than just the source code that will be released: it's a new way to approach to the development of components (not even saying "apps" anymore;) for an user experience composed of more than a single device. It's the first really fully open stack for devices, bringing an open (as in open process, not only code) system in the closest sector of computing to date.

It's also the manifest of commitment and reliability of an opensource community: we said over half a year ago that the release was going to be 9/10/11, and 9/10/11 is, showing how serious our intentions are.

What a ride has been, and what a ride will be from here, gonna be fun :D

RE: Plasma Active + Plasma: the convertible scenario

> Will it be possible to switch, with a quick command, between Plasma Desktop and Plasma Active?

yes, that's a possibility we sure want to explore in future versions

Sent from Marco Martin (mart) on 09/10/2011 at 11:47:49

am idea

here is an idea - a menu for activities. that would include quick access to files (sorted by type),contacts ,and applications used . a bit similar to the unity lenses. only defined per activity.
reminds me of ironman telling the computer - bring up project somthing - and all the related come up. only needs a good a.i.

Sent from yoni zeltzer (Anonimous) on 09/10/2011 at 1:45:47

Huge props

Thanks and congrats on the amazing work. I can't express how happy and encouraged I am by the Plasma Active initiative, especially in the wake of the string of disasters in potentially open device platforms everywhere else. Here's to a phenomenal release 1.0!!

Sent from Jason moofang (Anonimous) on 09/10/2011 at 1:23:32

switching between plasma shells

You could set up a global shortcut to run "kquitapp plasma-desktop;plasma-active" and vice versa.

Sent from Dhraakellian (Anonimous) on 08/10/2011 at 19:29:52


Congratulations for the amazing work you and the other have done!
I can't wait to try the release on the ExoPC :)

Sent from Kromain (Anonimous) on 08/10/2011 at 19:24:29

Plasma Active + Plasma: the convertible scenario

Will it be possible to switch, with a quick command, between Plasma Desktop and Plasma Active?

I own a convertible PC, of those that can be used as a normal laptop and as a tablet at the same time. I'm running a script to rotate the screen when I swivel it to lock it on Tablet mode, and the Active shell would be ideal for my ocassional tablet usage. Will I be able to mix Plasma with Plasma Active in this way?

Sent from Alejandro Nova (Anonimous) on 08/10/2011 at 13:06:19

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