Humanizing metal and electrons
Let me talk briefly about one of the goals we have about Plasma Active, of which today's release of Active One is just a little baby step in this yet important direction.
We think that looking at different devices as isolated worlds, needing completely different "Apps" and UX stacks for each kind of device it's pretty limiting, and it's not the way who uses it (aka "humans";) thinks.
What we believe in, is that computing devices (doesn't matter if it's the laptop, a tablet, or something running in a washing machine) should exist in function of helping the people accomplishing the task they want to do, no more, no less, devices shouldn't be something complex, hard and therefore "harming", but should just be extensions of the user harm, of the user mind, just tools, and in every situation, the best tool for the best job.
The line between the devices should be as blurred as possible, what we should target on is the task the user wants to accomplish, a task (or workflow, if we want to use a more trendy term;) a task is composed by many actions, many subtasks, and for each one the perfect tool may or may not be the same device, in the same way that may or may not be the same application.
If I take photos in a vacation I need a camera, when I get back I need a big desktop to view, organize and eventually edit the photos, if I want to quickly view them or show them to my friends, I need the device more appropriate compared to where I am: it could be a mobile phone as small as possible, a tablet if possible, or if we are in the living room, a big flat screen TV.
The need of applications that show a familiar, yet device optimized user interface everywhere becomes evident. why was never really done? just a technical detail missing, now we have it; if used well, QML does an amazing job at that kind of "gapeless" customization.
As evident becomes the needs of perfect synchronization, the need of sending not only files, but metadata and pieces of applications across devices, and the need to have interface as natural and "chromeless" as possible.
That's one of the goals we're pursuing with Plasma Active. The KDE community can be a leader in this small revolution, a ground that no one of the other mobile offerings ever adventured into, neither open or proprietary.
waiting for your next realease
There's too much wasted space, unfortunately, The small buttons on the sides waste vertical space, the activity name wastes vertical space. Sae as Oxygen *sigh*
KDE really needs to hire a professional artist and have him develop a modern theme that is thin and elegant and up-to-date, not Winodws 3.1. Then have the programmers implement his concept pixel-by-pixel, without the right to say "no API for this", "X server does not have this" or "binary compatibility".
I'm already eagerly waiting for next release. I like the ideas behind Plasma Active and can't wait to see them come to fruition. Plasma Active could and should incorporate ideas from MeeGo Tablet UX that is if I'm not completely mistaken a dead project. It received extremely positive feedback and had easily understandable and beautiful user interface (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sPyHITrKlc&feature=player_detailpage).
Few things that I'm curious about:
1. Will the relase schedule be synced with the KDE SC in the future?
2. Will there be KDE Mobile (SC) or something similar in the furue?
At least I think that big cordinated releases give much more weight to the project than many small ones. Also including KDE in the name gives community more importance and helps KDE improve its brand.
Is this the Contour UI? I'm sorry to say, but last I tried it, it was nowhere near usable.
Contour was really missing the touch of a good UX Designer like Nuno. Also, the integration with classical KDE applications that are not designed for touch interfaces (which is pretty much everything) just doesn't work.
Last not least, it did not seem to make much use of QML's powerful features, like animations and smooth transitions.
But hey, congrats on the release. I guess you have to start somewhere. Plasma Active itself is a great technology :-)
I see that you have a special plasma active site. Nice, I wasn't aware of that and just saw the anouncement on the dot.
I think the UI still uses too much grey color (top bar, menus, buttons, ...)
Flat grey areas are so... Windows 98.
To be honest, I don't like the release anouncement. It fails to show proper screenshots of the most exiting features - like the activity switcher. Also there are no videos of the UI, afaik. I thing that's sad, because those things look quite modern and attractive. Overall, the anouncement look rather conservative. Weird, if someone knows how it looks in reality.