Another Tokamak is over, and a very good one indeed
Many things have been done, many things have been decided this week. The main topic was prevalently about the architecture of our next workspace, and the frameworks needed to make such a vision coming to reality.
As you may already know, the new Plasma workspace we are now working on is based on Qt 5, QML2 and KDE Frameworks 5.
The platform will still run on X11, but down the road Wayland support will be added as well, work is ongoing in KWin for that.
First thing, when the new workspace based on that new technology will be released?
When is ready, where ready means there are no significant regressions left, so there will be a big technology change, but no significant disruption on the user interface.
There will be some small changes however, because the incremental improvement of the UI is a process that never stops. The login screen, the splash screen, the lock screen, the logout dialog and the fast user switching interface will look consistent all across the board, with a single, coherent QML theme for all those elements. As a side effect will make very easy to heavily customize the look and behavior of those components, either by users or vendors.
As the components mentioned before, also the shell itself will be defined by a single package.
This packae will define things such as the behavior of the desktop (icons? what plasmoids? what default wallpaper?), of the panels (how many? where?, what they do contain?), of the run command interface, and so on.
It will be possible to change this shell package at runtime, this means that user experiences such as Plasma Desktop, Plasma Active and Plasma Media Center can be loaded on the fly, on the same device and only when needed. You have a Plasma Active tablet that comes with a docking station? attach it and you'll have Plasma Desktop on your screen. You attach your laptop to your 40 inch TV, and you get Plasma Media Center.
One interface does not fit any device, but one technology does, especially when it can give you an user interface always optimized for the device you are using in a particular moment.