Some updates from the mobile land
Have been quiet on the Plasma mobile land lately but this doesn't mean there weren't developments on that, as this small video, on the usual two ugly pieces of hardware, shows two quite foundamental those days features that recently got in.
- Screen rotation, with a nice animation: so now screen rotation is supported both on devices that will rotate the screen in a "traditional" way, by actually rotating the screen resolution, and devices that will rely on the application painting itself rotated (such as MeeGo) in this case such kind of animation becomes possible.
- Our on screen keyboard now has also a "compact" mode for mobile devices, you can see it there reduced on the smaller device and full on the bigger one.
- More importantly, the keyboad knows when showing itself: when the user taps any editable text area.
Here it is also a smaller video that shows most of the things I've talked about in those months. (the nice musical background is by Nuno Povoa, made for the KDE4 launch)
Remove all lags please! Everything should be as smooth as POSSIBLE! I'm interested in it as end user!
Rereading my post, it sounds harsher than I intended: what you have done is fantastic.
You don't have to use real-world metaphors - they can sometimes speed up the novice user, but also mentally limit you to an unreal limit - computers can display physically impossible things that the user is perfectly happy with.
I was thinking...
It is very hard on the user went the graphical feed back lags behind the user's action: "Has it worked?", "Did I press hard enough?" and the user is going to repeat the drag/gesture assuming it did not work. Graphically simple feed back for when resources are limited: like the handle moving, but leaving the graphically rich card behind, and using a simple colour fill over the card area exposed, until the rich graphics drawing can catch up. Give the card's backs a darker or different colour to their fronts, so that the flip metaphor is more obvious (I thought it was the graphics slow to catch up).
Although the rotation speed and smoothness was impressive, the only real world metaphor is the icons/buttons are floating in a rectangular dish of liquid and get bumped into their new position by the sides of the dish and stay upright through inertia.
> the OpenGL backend for QGraphicsView evolving. Is it in a usable state?
Yes, in Qt4.7 is pretty good already, it largely depends from the graphics drivers (can be tested right now by launching plasma-netbook --opengl or plasma-mobile --opengl)
> Etc, etc... would it become possible ?
well, hopefully yes, given enough time and resources :p
> Rotation: could you, when the battery is low..
Yes, a necessary feature will also be the partial disactivation of animations depending on the battery status
> Desktop/activity sliding: I think the handle (and border) should drag with the finger
it does, you can uncover the control icons by dragging the handle. if you continue to drag you flip the workspace to show its back, that contains launcher icons.
the metaphore basically is: the activities are a series of "cards" that contain widgets, each one can be flipped to show what are the relevant apps for given activity.
The Potential Future
I was just thinking about Plasma-Mobile...
Just think about all that would be possible with ownCloud and the many devices that KDE will now support.
Imagine if we develop an app so you can synchronize the configurations of your multiple devices : you would be able to configure your mobile from your PC, then without using any wire you would update your phone.
Would it be possible to have a plasmo´ds reading the SMS from your smartphone ? Then it would be possible to store all your SMSes on your cloud, get it on your PC and store them.
Would it be possible to code your own app to do phonecalls ? Then maybe it would be possible to add an option to record a call... and then send it to the cloud ! Or to get good stats about who you're calling the most often, who's calling you, the average length of a phonecall... etc ! So you can make better choice between the many offers of your phone-operator !
Etc, etc... would it become possible ?
OpenGL backend and stuff
Wow! I really like how the plasma-mobile interface is coming along. The only thing I'm not fond of is the system tray.
You mentioned that MeeGo requires OpenGL and I was wondering how is the OpenGL backend for QGraphicsView evolving. Is it in a usable state?
Impressive work, but slightly let down by the hesitant graphic feed back.
Rotation: could you, when the battery is low or the processor busy, fade out of the old orientation and fade into the new orientation. The screen needs to react (give feed back) as soon as the device has recognised the new direction, perhaps fading to grey.
Desktop/activity sliding: I think the handle (and border) should drag with the finger, and the new area exposed (the old area covered) fade to the new background dominant colour.
What metaphors are you using? The screen does not seem to be a window to a larger desktop - it is a bit like trays sliding into view. My criticism is the metaphors seem mixed.
It looks amazing. Thanks for your work and your updates!
Yeah why not
It's going better and better !
So KDE/Plasma Mobile is gonna be both application and activity oriented : you have the categories, in which you will find both plasmo´ds (activity stuff) and applications.
It's kinda what Windows 7 Phone tried to do, except they did it the wrong way (the interface is ugly as shit, and when you face it for the first time you don't understand anything).
It will also be an AWESOME environment for tablets (hurrah for the big keyboard and the search'n'launch activity).
Except that you lost me with that search'n'launch activity : what was it doing here ? Can it also be used in a regular smartphone properly ? I didn't understand when the activities where coming and leaving (second video, 0:46), what was that ?
I mean you already have activities (games, phone, etc...), and for each activities applications and plasmo´ds.
What was that ?
Re: Slow rotation
> do you already know what causes the rotation to be sooooooooo slow
oh, yes, one single word: QGraphicsView.
to be remotely usable it needs the opengl backend, that none of those two devices support (situation will improve on newer devices since it's a prerequisite for MeeGo).
Really nice improvements! BTW, do you already know what causes the rotation to be sooooooooo slow, or you still have to investigate? It's unusable ATM.