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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:

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  • 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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RE: GL or not?

nope, that device uses a Via x86 processor, ad since accelerated graphics drivers for linux are unmaintained, it uses VESA drivers, so it's totally software rendering (that's why is still a bit slow)
Since Qt has interchangeable graphics backends, in the future especially on mobile yes, OpenGL ES will be the preferred one

Sent from Marco Martin (mart) on 17/08/2010 at 10:12:35


GL or not?

It looks great! I am wondering if it uses OpenGL ES assuming it is a ARM device.

Sent from ezjd (Anonimous) on 17/08/2010 at 9:52:13


RE: Tablet? Where? Improve your terminology.

I'm pretty sure your definitions are correct and thanks for your clarifications... however,
from a consumer standpoint all of this is really not much relevant, the term slate is not having much success and tablet is how those devices are being called, correct or not.
it's really the same thing of how we decided to give different "public" names to our internal architectural elements. You won't see in public announcement terms like "containments" or "Applets", but rather "Activities" and "Widgets", two terms that technically are -not- correct, but are much more clear for who doesn't know all the (irrelevant for a user) API details.

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Re: Tablet? Where? Improve your terminology.

Nice troll.
Look, people don't want millions of terms to describe a set of similar devices. The term "tablet" has obviously caught on. Deal with it.

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It has been great to see so many people getting more involved with non-traditional interfaces in hardware and software over the last year, but it seems that most of the newbies have gone around appropriating terminology that "feels" right despite being incorrect and against the standards of the industry.

Here's a brief, objective education. Some terminology applies to form factor. Such terms include "panel PC" (having only a display), "slate" (the mobile form of a panel PC), and "convertible" (a device with a swivel screen that can either offer a laptop-like or slate-like form). Other terminology refers to input technologies. These include "capacitive touch" (response to any and all capacitive contact), "capacitive multitouch" (like "capacitive touch", but registering multiple points of contact), "resistive touch" (response to any and all contact after pressure), "resistive multitouch" (like resistive touch, but registering multiple points of pressure), and "active digitizer" (usually resolving proximity of pen to screen prior to contact as well as levels of pressure after contact).

Unfortunately, the term tablet is currently misused to identify almost all touchscreen slates. However, the term tablet is an industry term that refers to devices with either active digitizers or resistive touchscreen devices with a form of palm-rejection (this typically disqualifies capacitive touchscreens) that support tool-based hand-writing input. This actually doesn't need to have anything to do with having a touchscreen or being a slate, although, coincidentally, it can.

While your software is great, it's got nothing to do with hand-writing or even tool based input. Therefor, it's got nothing to do with tablets. Moreover, if I had to guess at what you actually meant by "tablet" then I would say "touchscreen slate" (like the device in your video). However, your software seems equivalently useful for devices with convertible and traditional form factors as long as they also feature a resistive or capacitive touchscreen. Therefore, it seems as though you might want call this Plasma Touch rather than Plasma Tablet, unless you're more concerned with doing what you want than what makes sense. As a final point, the different touchscreen technologies, capacitive, resistive, and their multitouch variants are all VERY different in terms of how they're useful for interacting with a device. Therefore, you shouldn't expect Plasma Tablet to work equally well across all. It will be different because all touchscreen technologies have good and bad points that compromise in the user experience.

Good luck with your software!

Sent from Fairchild (Anonimous) on 16/08/2010 at 16:57:30


Re: What about typing?

Ah, I read some more and saw your comment on the osnews.com article (pasted below for others). Good luck!

>mart:
on screen keyboard:
yes, we are working on it (some time ago i shown an early stage of it on the blog).

this will also depend on what platform it will run.
Somewhere it could use an already present system-wide one, or have to use whatever system wide standard way to make it appear when and only when is necessary...

but anyways yes, all is at early stages of development, and work is going quite fast.

Sent from Vivek (Anonimous) on 16/08/2010 at 6:44:39


What about typing?

What about entering text and typing? I know about the desktop version of the "kvkbd" or whatever it's called, but a touch interface could use its own particular optimizations - size, responsiveness, even predictive letter choice.

Sent from Vivek (Anonimous) on 16/08/2010 at 6:37:15


blaarg

Ooo oi.. He has one finger, somehow that seems limitted to me.

Sent from lama (Anonimous) on 16/08/2010 at 0:37:47


Fine,

now they can get back and fix something like ssh access to remote files with dolphin?

Nah, jumping on every wagon currently hyped in the interwebs is just more fun. Nobody wants to work with their computers anyway...

Sent from 2s4u (Anonimous) on 15/08/2010 at 13:38:14


Re: Other

applications of course needs a new gui on the mobile environment.
Kontact did that really well, because while has a completely different gui, it share most of the source code with the desktop version
http://dot.kde.org/2010/06/10/kde-pim-goes-mobile

Sent from Marco Martin (mart) on 13/08/2010 at 5:24:00


Other KDE apps

This looks very nice. The first question that come to my mind, however, was "what happens when you launch an app?"

Presumably if you open Gwenview you don't get lovely smooth animations as you flick between photos, as-per the iPad, for example?

Sent from Tom (Anonimous) on 13/08/2010 at 3:57:59


Meego collab?

Hey Marco,
This is great stuff! (BTW, is this the mistery device you guys talked about some time ago?)
Anyway. I was wondering if you ever got a chance playing around with the Meego tablet UI. Does kde and meego collaborate on usability studies and design? Do they use plasma or code everything from the scratch or simply stick with 100% QML?

Cheers and again: great work

Sent from binarylooks (Anonimous) on 12/08/2010 at 23:29:04


Impressing, stunning, wow!

One of the best things I saw so far in the Plasma mobile development! I am deeply impressed by the elegance of the UI design and performance.

One thing: As far as I understand it, one can access every activity from every psoition. Which means that I can slide to the clock whenever I want by just sliding to any possible direction, knowing that I definately will see my clock. If so this would mean the most intuitive and easy way to access these information! Chapeau!

Sent from Burke (Anonimous) on 12/08/2010 at 17:10:38


Wow, just wow..

Wow, just wow. Everything looks so fluent now, and that's a quick step from mobile -> tablet. KDE meets iPad.

When can we expect KDE powered devices to ship? :D ;)

Sent from Diederik (Anonimous) on 12/08/2010 at 15:08:41


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