a cute little home a cute little boy a cute little cow: mooo!

Tale of a little pixel

a cute little girl

Plasmanetbook breaths

With the usual disclaimer that is a very early barely working prototype that will be probably massively different from anything final, it's nice to show the screenshot of the other day in action.

So now I did some arrangements in the playground netbook stuff to give a thing that mostly works without too much hassle in the initial configuration and that it's kinda possible to use it as the main shell instead of the desktop.

Ogg version.

Here is possible to see the newspaper activity used for weather and to read feeds (will be able to scroll its contents in the future) and the one used to launch applications, in this video that is nothing else than a folderview, but the final launcher interface will be more like a crossover between a menu and something like krunner

In this video is also possible to see some things that strongly suggest the departure from the "desktop" concept, because when those kinds of devices are treated just like small notebooks they are just not up to the job, since te way desktop guis are designed simply don't work at those screen resolutions (and inches of screen). Of course we can't rewrite all of KDE applications (neither would be so smart to do so), but i'm pretty confident that KDE and Qt apps in genereal are quite easy to adapt to smaller screens :)

Anyways back on track, here can be seen that the thing usually called desktop is not a desktop for two reasons: we don't have that free layout for icons and widgets that we're accustomed to see, and it's not something to be seen as a background: is a window like the others (that by the are always maximized and borderless) that can be chosen and switchd to, so available in the "taskbar" (that here is the kwin present-windows effect, since netbooks harware appears to be a bit more standardized than regular systems, we can more realistically relay on desktop effects being on)

Also clicking anywhere in the panel brings the main plasma interface to front, since is the main interface between the user and the system and it's here where the user starts the apps, switches between apps and sees the quick updates of the favourite internet places, via the newspaper activity.



Can you put tar file of this somewhere for us to use. Yes, it is alpha but still interesting. (Promise not to spam bug reports)

Many thanks,


Sent from Karthik (Anonimous) on 01/06/2009 at 22:19:24


> but the final launcher interface will be more like a crossover between a menu and something like krunner

Sounds like Lancelot

Sent from LXj (Anonimous) on 01/06/2009 at 20:33:58

lets do it

hi, glad to see someone finally starting this.

I've been writing about this all over the blog talking about linux on netbook.

And i always think that KDE4 with its Plasma can be use to make a great shell/user interface for netbook.

To be workable, of course we need to start working on the interface work flow, how people manage their apps and task on such small screen. Then we can continue.

I'm thinking at least 3 main plasma component. Home screen plasma, application launcher shell and special task manager.

Why don't we started working on this? i'm willing to join such project. just let me know. find me in blogspot with my name at the front.

Sent from adicahya (Anonimous) on 01/06/2009 at 15:01:12

Nice progress

Invalid data? I'll try again:


Seems like you've come pretty far in such a short time. Good work!

Some things I don't quite like:

1. Way to switch applications. First of all, it doesn't seem very obvious _how_ you do it at first. Clicking on the already running application's name? Not very intuitive in my opinion.

2. Present window grid. Personally I prefer the "regular grid" layout for netbooks - that way I think it's easier to find what you're looking for (subjective) since most windows are of the same size.

3. Present window grid again. I can see why the "applications" activity is shown but not newspaper, but I think it would be better if it only showed running applications (windows).

4. Upper right screen corner. Can't it be used for something better than a clock/calender? (Fitt's law etc.)

My vision is as follows:

[Tasks][Applications][Newspaper][System tray][Clock][Current task (x)]

Tasks (needs another name): Running tasks (windows), shows present windows on click. It would be awesome if it could look like the other two plasma activities, so it would look like a 'page' that shows your tasks.

Applications: Your application activity (looking forward to see how it'll look like :)

Newspaper, System tray, Clock: Same.

Current task: Shows the icon/name of the current window and provides a close button (upper right corner). Not sure what it would do if there aren't any applications running though.

Tasks, Applications, Newspaper and Current task would look like tabs (most users are probably familiar with them by now).

Possibly merge Tasks and Applications.

Good luck with the project!

Sent from Hans (Anonimous) on 01/06/2009 at 13:59:29

I like it!

Looking good so far! I hate saying it, but Ubuntu's netbook remix has the best UI for the little screens so far. I say "hate to say it" because it's Gnome based and I can't figure out how to do anything with it! But I like where this is headed. Plasma seems perfect for creating interfaces such as these. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Sent from Jeff (Anonimous) on 01/06/2009 at 2:58:26


I agree with Paolo Cesar, crowded UIs are a problem, which is realy disturbing. It is true, Dolphin and Gwenview were(and are) a good example of simplictic and functional design. I hope that devs are starting to overhaul their large toolbars and to implement a certain degree of easyness. But that is of topic.

I really love that prototype of netbook interface. On the one hand, it is easy to use and to understand for newcomers, and on the other hand it absolutely fits the need of people using a netbook. I also like that this is a new approach of using our computers in getting away from the desktop.

I cant wait to see the result of that work. Keep rocking.

Sent from Burke (Anonimous) on 01/06/2009 at 1:56:37

Good work

@Paulo Cesar, Konversation's impossible to use on a 7" screen? I'd like to hear your reasoning on that.

Through configuration settings you can strip away everything but the input box, the tab bar, and the chat view. Anything less and it wouldn't even be an IRC client.

Linked is an example of what Konversation looks like stripped down and without window decorations/borders as would be the case on a netbook.

Notice, even the scroll bar and Menu Bar are capable of being hidden.

Anyways, looks great, I'm a little hesitant about the use of compositing effects though. I've tried using them on my netbook and they work, but are a tad choppy, which imo makes them lose all of their appeal. However, the stripped down plasma shell should help speed things up in that regard.

Keep up the good work!

Sent from Travis (Anonimous) on 01/06/2009 at 1:15:00


It has some nices ideas, but the workflow needs some work to match things like Moblin UI, i don't know, on this example everything seems a little "alien"

Besides that, what to do with the inherent culture of some KDE people of making applications with tons of widgets all over the screen? I mean, just look at that Konversation, it's impossible to use it on a 7" screen..

I really liked when 4.0 was released and apps like Dolphin and Gwenview emerged, and I was really expecting that KDE culture would start privileging simplicity over gross complexity, but then all the raging nerds on the internet appeared criticizing the new kde and how Konqueror was awesome and crowded UIs started to comeback to KDE..

Sent from Paulo Cesar (Anonimous) on 31/05/2009 at 23:44:49

Good job...

Good work, I bet the an application launcher plasmoid is still missing (The desktop icon looks out of place).

Sent from Ramsees (Anonimous) on 31/05/2009 at 21:48:50

Nice Stuff

Really great

Also Kudos for always making nice blogpost with pictures and/or video's :)

Sent from Maki (Anonimous) on 31/05/2009 at 20:32:39


Just a small thing I noticed: The "newspaper" activity name is, in my opinion, a great name. Just like Microsoft Word (and KWord :) ) and some Apple product names, it is nontechnical and something everybody knows. Humans are generally better at generalizing than at making chains of logic to understand something (in that case, a name).

Of course the match between name and actual purpose should still be close enough.

Counterexamples of the too technical type would be "RSS", "Feeds". "Newsfeeds" is also good IMO.

Sent from Andreas (Anonimous) on 31/05/2009 at 20:21:09

Amazing !

OMG, that is a impressive work !

Very amazing ! The flow-work is so much better than the moblin.

Again (KDE > Gnome) && (Qt > Gtk+)

Sent from Bruno (Anonimous) on 31/05/2009 at 20:19:08


Amazing...very good job...I think can be a great project.

just a note... when choose the applications button, organize the applications by category (favorites, office, multimedia, etc..) can be a good way


Sent from gp (Anonimous) on 31/05/2009 at 19:48:27

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