Plasma Active Trims Down

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 07, 2011

Back in March we looked at KDE's new Plasma project for portable devices. At the time it offered some interesting effects and a new work flow philosophy. But as far as new interfaces might go, it wasn't totally alien. However, as developers sometimes do, they want to take it even further.

Martin Graesslin blogged today of some of the new ideas on which he and his fellow hackers have been working. Primarily, many features of KWin can be eliminated in order to reduced size and increase performance. One of the new functions was to add build option that allowed developers to remove undesirable bloat such as XRender compositing support. Another is the removal of window decorations.

Graesslin said that since they've been modularizing KWin, they were able to split more components out that can be disabled at compiled time. Some of these include:

» No window decorations
» No configuration modules
» Reduced set of effects
» No Alt+Tab (window switching)
» No Screenedge interaction
» No XRender Compositing
» Default build to OpenGL ES if available at compile time

In subsequent comparisons, Graesslin found that removing these elements reduces the size of certain KWin components for Plasma Active from 3239.5 KB to 1987.3 KB. These are just preliminary build tests and Graesslin hopes to have some more juicy number comparisons soon.

On a related note, Aaron Seigo today blogged that he received some PandaBoards from Canonical to help develop Plasma Active for the ARM architecture. He hasn't gotten too far just yet but plans to keep us updated. He said, "I'd love to see a downloadable bootable image with Plasma Active on it as a final result." Me too.