KDE's New Project for Portable Devices

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 11, 2011

Key KDE developers have been blogging about new projects aimed towards portable devices. As Aaron Seigo says, "In a nutshell, Plasma Active is about getting the KDE Platform with Plasma providing a compelling user interface ready for and available on hardware devices outside the usual laptop and desktop form factors." For us mortals, that means an interface for smartphones, tablets, and handhelds.

Dubbed "Plasma Active," the new initative encompasses several components to build a "data-centric user interface which is not concerned with applications but rather offers intelligently combined data through a context-sensitive recommendation manager." One might compare it to MeeGO. Marco Martin said the name of the project gives a hint to its future. He said, "An important thing comes already in the name: it's Plasma Active and not Plasma Mobile: why? What we are doing right now is exactly a mobile project: tablets to be precise, but stopping there would be a mistake. Our goal is to be sure that if an application is "certified to be active" can run as well in a tablet, as in an handheld device, as in a set top box, as in a type of device we have completely no idea about, once an user interface module specific for its screen size and input method has been added."

Sebastian Kügler introduced the project April 10 describing the goal as "to create a desirable user experience encompassing a spectrum of devices." He further said, "want to create something, people want, and people want to use. It means we are less technology-focused, but are taken a user-centered approach. Second, we are not targeting a single device, or a narrowly-defined class of devices."

Kügler also said they have some basic functionality in place. Instructions for installing it on openSUSE and MeeGO are located at kde.org. There is also a live image available at open-six.

Other posts of interest:

* Aaron Seigo: Active Routes

* Aaron Seigo: Plasma Active: Quick!

* Marco Martin: Welcome Contour