Yesterday was "one of those days" for me where my brain just refused to kick into gear. This happens every so often. Think of it as a sort of Paris-in-my-mind where the workers just up and strike every so often refusing to let the creative juices get moving. Inconvenient, but then I push myself pretty hard at times so I'm just happy it doesn't happen more often. ;)
So I took care of boring and mundane things, the sort of things I can do without my creativity cap on. Today, however, the Parisian mob was back at work and my fingers are moving again. On the day after such events, I always feel compelled to try and work a bit harder to make up for time lost. I'm perhaps overly aware of my own mortality and that I have been given only so many days in this life to do the things I wish to do.
This didn't stop others from kicking ass and taking names in the wild worlds of Qt, KDE and Plasma, though.
The people behind KDE Latino have been organizing a great KDE presence for the Latinowarea event in October, and I think we may have found some additional resources to bring even more people to it and set up an actual KDE Developer Sprint in conjunction with the event. It's still in the early planning stages, but if it all goes down according to plan I think this will be the first developer sprint KDE e.V. will have helped fund in South America. Hopefully the first of many ...... :)
Then Jani Hautakangas showed up on the plasma-devel mailing list with this nugget:
Yes, that's Plasma running an S60 device. Jani had to craft a few patches for KDE's libraries to make it all go (hopefully we'll get those patches and upstream all the ones we can!), but when he was done it all worked on his S60 device. As is evident from the video, we still have some work to do, but it shows that KDE and Plasma are indeed in the right ballpark to run on today's mobile devices... even the smaller ones like phones, and even ones running operating systems other than Linux.
Marco also posted a blog entry showing what the Plasma Netbook interface looks like after ~1 week of work by two people (Artur being the other). Neither are paid (yet? :) to work on this stuff, and yet the results are already impressive. You can read Marco's blog to learn more about the newspaper-style widget layout, the Search and Launch full screen interface and what else is coming down the pipe. We are eschewing the desktop paradigm completely here: no home desktop, no taskbar (we use "present windows" for that instead, giving you an overview only when you need it) and an emphasis on full-screen usage. You can grab the .ogg file from Marco's blog, or preview it via Youtube here:
What could you make with one week and two people working on it as they can in their own time? No other primary user interface ("desktop" is one PUI paradigm) framework that I know of comes close to providing the tools to do what Marco and Artur have just done. They key is re-usability coupled with an intentional bias towards being able to re-purpose objects. (Oh, and props to the KWin devs for making the desktop effects rock so we can take advantage of them ... :)
We (the Plasma community) also did another round of design and API work on the remote Plasmoids and QtKinetic-based animations system projects. Along with the other SoC projects and our usual development frenzies, Plasma is set to take another major step forward and we'll be sure to share it all with you as it lands.
This is one of the things I love about Plasma development: we hit new plateaus with each release (one Tech Republic said Plasma is "widgets done right"), and it feels great; but then we go and best ourselves with the next release. I don't know how many releases in a row we can keep this up (one expects there is a limit to the sky somewhere out there, right? ;) but I'm absolutely loving how we are progressing.
We already know some of the important components that will be released with 4.4 in January 2010, so we can safely say that the roof on the sky not not yet have been reached even two years out after the first actual release of Plasma (which followed quite a bit of design and development prior to that).
We're able to do this because we have a clear design philosophy that permeates the entire project and which we do not allow ourselves to compromise on. In turn, a very "hooked in" community with a steady stream of new faces has evolved around this efforts. Clarity and community: they are two ingredients to a successful project that produces tangible results. Many of the people in our Plasma community go on to work on other parts of KDE and even Qt itself as well, so the effects are not limited to Plasma itself either.
(Example: one of the main developers working on Qt's animation framework started as one of Kevin's University students and got sucked into Plasma and eventually went to work as a Troll; many more go on to work on areas of KDE itself that needs more hands than Plasma does.)