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Brand new Widgets explorer

The rewamp of the KDE Plasma Desktop is continuing: in the 4.8 release it got a completely new QML based device notifier (already quite improved for 4.9), now a new redesign has landed in master, scheduled for the 4.9 release of KDE Plasma Desktop.

The Plasma widget explorer and activity manager have been rewritten from scratch in QML, giving it s much smoother look and feel, new animations for free and what I love most, a way simpler code base.

By replacing the activity manager and widget explorer with the new implementation, over 4000 lines of C++ were removed (traded with around 1000 of much more readable and maintainable QML): this makes it easier to maintain, easier to spot possible problems, easier to modify and experiment new ideas.

With the rewrite of the various components of Plasma Desktop in QML I expect to slash away most of its C++ code base, making the entry level for contributors significantly lower (and being able to finally close long standing bugs ;)

How does it look now?

QML widgets explorer

And the Activity manager: designed to look as coherent as possible with the widgets explorer:

QML activity manager

Here showing the inline ui to configure and delete an activity

The overall design is almost the same, but the layout has been redesigned to overcome a problem of the old implementation: it looked quite crowded and dirty, because elements were too cramped together, not very well aligned and sizes were quite eterogeneous. Now we paid a lot of attention about the sizes and positioning of the elements, as shown below, everything is positioned along a quite precise grid, that makes the view look less crowded that it actually is.

QML widgets explorer alignment

I a good trend can be established here, for each release of the KDE Plasma Desktop having some element not only rewritten, but its UI becoming significantly more elegant with few but important improvements in the look or in the behaviour.

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