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Plasma: now comes in tablets

When designing Plasma Mobile, it was immediately clear that wouldn't have been possible to do a "one design fits all" application: mobile devices vould have come in pretty diffrent forms:

  • Different resolution
  • Different phisical size
  • That implies, different DPI
  • Different use cases: an internet tablet and a phone put the emphasis on very different primary functions

What we have seen right now, is the development of completely different code, from the ground up for different platforms.

In Plasma we always tried to avoid this, by having everything as a plugin, so it will be necessary to replace maybe the shell itself and just the components that really have to be changed.

With Qt 4.7 a new framework ha been introduced: the declarative UI, that permits to do quite fancy stuff in the QML language in a very short time.

So with the development of Plasma mobile we started an experiment, and here it is (usual VESA drivers disclaimer about the speed that applies to all screencasts done on that weird tablet):

OGG version

Besides bindings to write plasmoids entirely in QML (or using QML bits into C++ plasmoids), the behaviour of the entire shell, how activities appear/disappear/are chosen is completely controlled by this language, so in theory should be enough to change the QML files set to achieve a completely different ui and behaviour.

In theory. But it gets interesting when this becomes actually practice: with just some adaptions to the C++ code of the shell to make it more flexible, last days I wrote a different QML set and a different default layout configuration aimed for bigger, but still touchscreen based tablets.

Those kind of devices always were for me one of the main targets of the netbook "Newspaper" containment, that's why a quite big amount of attention has been put into the behaviour of "flicking" arouund things in it.

Here the pages concept is taken to the extreme: you can phisically change pace with a swipe of the finger, dragging the new one into the screen, as you would change real pages ;)

The search and launch interface is dragged in a similar way, but from the bottom, since it should always be quicly available with a single gesture, no matter on what page you are.

This is just a quick proof of concet, but that shows itself very promising for the future.

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