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Update on this netbook thinghie

At GCDS we did several shiny things, and talked about even more shiny still to come stuff, like the better integration with kwin and new crazy ideas on the ZUI.

A thing that received a good amount of work is the Plasma on netbook project, in the form of several little components. What is really good about plasma is exactly that is done by many little components, quite easy to code, mantain and reuse.

So what we have now is in playground and can be tried right now on Here is a video of the current progress of the project, as appeared on the dot.

It's also a little experiment on the html5 video tag, it should use an ogg file on things like new webkit based stuff (in qtwebkit it works, yay!) or firefox 3.5 and fall back to youtube otherwise, anyways the ogg file is there.

  • A plasma shell (the actual executable), if you were using it previously pay attention that now has been renamed from plasma-mid to plasma-netbook, that's the form factor it's targetted in the near future anyways :)
  • A panel, simpler than the one in the desktop, that contains several widgets a "current window control", an activity bar, a systray usual clock and a search widget (more on that later).
  • the two main activities: newspaper and Sal

So, the "current window control" is a thing that shows the title and the icon of the current open window, plus a close button, this because there won't be a titlebar for windows, just fullscreen stuff, and clicking on it it triggers the present windows effect, because there won't be a taskbar either.


The newspaper activity now looks like tthis, and compared to the state of te previous post is now possible to scroll, adding applets (yes, it needs a brand new add widgets dialog, but that's coming from a gsoc, yay!) and rearrange them by drag and drop.

newspaperThe thinghie that is called SAL, meand Search and Launch, and will basically an interface for krunner: in the desktop the alt+f2 dialog is something that is not very prominent so is not really used by the mythical creature called "joe user", but when you show the thing to them, they love it

So in the netbook, a thing like a menu is not really up to the job (in fact most of previous projects starting from the original eeepc shell to ubuntu netbook remix to moblin all have some different idea about how a small screen proof menu should look like). We have instead opted for a full screen prominent krunner interface, driven by the search box that pops up by clicking on the top right icon on the panel. Compared to the "normal" krunner there is a group of bookmarks in the top area and there will probably be some way to access saved searches (since the first time one uses it it won't be so obvious what to search for)

Aaand, for really putting the "net" in the netbook, there will be web based runners too, like the wikipedia runner that is already in playground (sebas and rich, you're great :p), the idea is giving access to network resources like that via runners, plasma widgets and libraries, even without always the need a browser, that is a great thing but not always the best ui possible.

Stay tuned for the next updates :D

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