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Tale of a little pixel

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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.

Activity screen

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.

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