So, here we go with Plasma Active
the active project starts from a simple vision: Create a desirable user experience encompassing a spectrum of devices.
What does it mean? The KDE tecnologies have quite a lot of potential, i think absolutely everywhere, but right nowwe are still mostly targeted on the desktop.
I think that with what we got as platform, is fairly easy, once the last building blocks are there to build both workspaces and applications that can adapt to the whole spectrum of devices computing is today.
An importnant thig comes already in the name: it's Plasma Active and not Plasma Mobile: why?
What we are doing right now is exactly a mobile project: tablets to be precise, but stopping there would be a mistake.
The Active project is about taking a step further and build applications that have their user interface and implementation completely detached, is about forcing ourselves to not think about a small use case but always about the bigger picture.
Our goal is to be sure that if an application is "certified to be active" can run as well in a tablet, as in an handheld device, as in a set top box, as in a type of device we have completely no idea about, once an user interface module specific for its screen size and input method has been added.
But we have the technology, We have QtQuick and Plasma, that combined can provide a single package, that has diffent user interfaces for each supported platform, and the best available interface is chosen from the device. Hopefully the "just right" UI elements will be available, otherwise the best one from a list of preference will be chosen.
Most of the code for Active is developen in the Plasma mobile repository, with of course all the enhancements needed in the KDE libraries ending up immediately in the usual KDE repos, being immadiately available for the desktop as well.
We don't only plan to work on the development of the software tough. It's possible to test the current code from day one, pre packaged, updated continuously.
A bit of clarifications
After Sebas' blog about it, there was a question on how the various things, Plasma-mobile, Plasma-tablet and the various mobile efforts in KDE relates to each other:
- It's not a different project compared to plasma-mobile and plasma-tablet
- Plasma mobile and Plasma tablet are actually the same workspace, just a different UI loaded on top of it: that's the direction we want in both the workspaces and the applications
- It's an effort to define a good user experience on the mobile, from the distribution all way up to the apps, of which the workspaces are a part of
- Any application, any project is more than welcome to join, bigger the ecosystem is the better it is
- It is now targeted to tablets, this doesn't exclude phones, set top boxes and washing machines however, that's the future ;).
Right now it's available for OpenSuse, later.. who knows ;)
Let's create the best possible tablet user experience first, then the world :)
uhm, the keyboard should automatically go away everywhere...
however if you are using a 4.6 branch of kdelibs there was a known problem with it on some plasma widgets, which fix was too invasive to be backported
Just a question: In the demo, the virtual keyboard pops up when you move focus to an entry field but in my demo (--nodesktop) this did not happen. Is this a function of the device it is running on or is it an option one has to enable somewhere in settings?
Congrats. This is highly usable. In fact, this is what I had imagined plasma to be when I first heard of plasma!
Good to know KDE is taking on new form factors of computing ... and looking forward to using it on my HP touchsmart laptop.
Like kde SC but for any device?
So it is mostly something like kde SC but for tablets, you will be doing a new set of apps(image viewer, music player, etc) using plasma and qtquick, but separating the ui from the core?
I think that separating the ui from the code is the future, every app should have an special gui for every kind of device, that might be the future for kde5 (with qml using guis, and multiple guis). Maybe this kind of approach could also work for desktop in the future(obviously with a different interface.)