Vacations, netbooks and…anchors ?

Vacations are great (and probably nobody will disagree on that, right ? 😛 ). It’s a time when you can relax, think about your life, check your health (doctor, dentist, etc..), set new work goals, evaluate the old ones and also visit your family: I’m spending all the time at my girlfriend’s house and that’s awesome!

However this vacation is special because I can also work on KDE a little bit more than usual, giving GSoC students a little bit more of attention, bug fixing here and there, triaging bugs and working on our new baby project “Plasma for Netbooks”. Aaron already talked a little bit about this and we have been discussing this a lot through mailing list and IRC. Right now we have a pretty solid plan and some code in playground. Marco did a great job with one of the containments and already has a screenshot for that (come on Marco! I’ll let you have the pleasure on this one hehe).

Basically we’ll have a new desktop shell that is lighter than current’s plasma-desktop and we’ll provide two basic containments: newspaper layout and SAL (Search and Launch – I keep writing search and locate for some reason all the time =P). These two containments reflects the ideas that we have to solve some problems and to bring innovation. As soon as we have more code for that I’ll post details about this ideas (maybe Marco or Aaron will do that also :P). In the end I think we’ll end up with a very nice solution that will make users happier  and also more productive while using their notebooks (besides the fact of being much more beautiful thanks to our artwork team hehe).

The last three days I spent time working on my paper for Akademy and I’ll post it as a serie of posts in this blog after it’s reviewed by some native english speakers :). This paper talks mainly about the research I did regarding “desktop-shell” solutions out there for netbooks. However no more spoiler here =P. Anyway if the paper get approved you can read it at Akademy and you can also check my talk about this subject and even see some real live demos. I hope vendors see all the potential around this and don’t make silly moves like this one. With all the features and bug fixing around 4.3 and 4.4 I really see a possibility of KDE coming to a larger audience in the next years…

Before Akademy I’ll attend FISL (unfortunately my paper was not approved) and meet old good friends there. Brazilian KDE community will be there with the Live Blue guys and the other brazilian guys that always have posts in planet KDE 😛 .

News from work (yes, I still read my e-mail while on vacations hehe): as Qt is in the public repository now we are able to release the code we have been working the last months: animated layouts and also anchor layouts! Animated layouts needs some fixing to  reflect some new API on Qt but it’ll come just after anchors. Some co-workers should post about anchor layouts and as soon as they post I’ll tell you ;)…Qt is going to rock even more with all this new layout stuff! Please, don’t forget to check this presentation during Akademy to learn more !

I'm going!

I'm going!

8 thoughts on “Vacations, netbooks and…anchors ?

  1. TheBlackCat

    A lot of those ideas look like they would be useful in general, not just for netbooks. For instance being able to launch a full-blown application from an applet, search applet for the panel or desktop (perhaps acting as a krunner applet in non-netbooks?), present windows applet (or integrate present windows into the pager, taskbar, or window list applet), and the launcher strip menu.

    The basic principles of the newspaper containment could be applied elsewhere. For instance if you take a single column, put it in a panel-like containment that can be resized, set to auto-hide or be covered by windows, you have a sidebar containment like discussed here:

    So I guess my point is don’t make these too tightly integrated, since a lot of that stuff may find uses elsewhere.

    Also, how is the “launcher strip” menu different from the raptor menu? They sound similar.

    1. morpheuz

      @TheBlackCat: yes, a lot of the ideas can be used on general computers. Thanks to Plasma’s architecture it’s really easy to use any of the new containments in your current desktop shell.
      Regarding the “launcher strip” and raptor: yes, the launcher strip itself is mostly like raptor and maybe we’ll end up using raptor there. There are just some UI differences between the two, but let’s see 😉

      Cheers and thanks for the comments!

  2. Matt Parry

    Hi! Your talk sounds very interesting!!

    Can it please be videoed so that people not attending can view online. (Hopefully all the presentations can be video taped – I’m still waiting from last year)

  3. Rene Levesque-Caline

    Seriously, is there a reason why these events are videoed?
    Heck, with the amount of geeks we should even have one or two live online events from there but video isnt rocket science.
    Bring any video camera, put it on a tripod (but spend two minutes on getting good sound) and put in online afterwards.

    KDE 4.2 is the one that I deemed ready to get my parents on.
    Both are in their 70’s and dad was on 3.5 but seeing my laptop he kept bugging me until I thought it was ready.
    Mom never used a computer before but both love the zoom features of kwin and being able to have icons that are HUGE on the desktop.

    I would hope a little more time is spend dealing with the needs of people with weak eyesight in the future.

    Not a fan of top taskbar in that mid mockup. Never heard one good reason why this is necessary.

    Its been a tough year since 4.0 but KDE is a thing of beauty. And I finally have a decent program (KDEnlive) for people that just want to put a few videos of their kids together with some music to put on Youtube.

    A friend even told me that since I installed Mandriva on her 5 year old Acer craptop she feels envigorated when she turns on her computer now.

    And while PCLinuxOS has been a favorite of mine for a few years, the 3.5 on it (while still a fine desktop) feels a bit dated now.

    One thing that I would love to see is the idea of KDE apps having easy modes. Take the 5 or 10 most used features of a program and make an easy interface for it.
    If you want more features or are an advanced user, you just click a button and those options/interface take its place.
    People are creatures of habit that repeat the same functions over and over. Removing all the clutter they wont ever use would make it less daunting but wouldnt dumb the program down for others.

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