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KDE Plasma Active: the Mobile Interface That Works 70

Posted by timothy
from the hold-it-in-your-hand dept.
jrepin writes "Bruce Byfield is not a fan of interfaces for mobile devices. At best, he finds them clumsy makeshifts, tolerable only because nothing better is available. The only exception is KDE's Plasma Active, which not only works well on tablets, but, with its recently released version 3.0, remains the only mobile-inspired interface he can tolerate on a workstation."
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KDE Plasma Active: the Mobile Interface That Works

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  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @09:33AM (#41841331)

    The wall-o-text of TFA doesn't even have pics, and I barely noticed the link to the project
     
      Plasma Active [plasma-active.org]

  • by Shinmera (2514940) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @09:45AM (#41841431) Homepage
    Which this is. KDE Plasma Active is not the same as the default desktop KDE. It uses the same libraries and corer, but is a different interface. I don't see a problem with this at all.
  • by juanfgs (922455) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:21AM (#41841767) Homepage
    because you can enable plasma active on KDE on your desktop PC if you want.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:24AM (#41841791)

    Bruce (the author of the article) tried running it on a desktop system to see what it would be like there. It is not the intended use of the interface, but Bruce was curious and tried it out.

    However, we still have a separate desktop UX that, as Shinmera mentioned, shares the same core and libraries but which has a significantly different interaction pattern tailored for the mouse/keyboard/lots of apps method of using a general purpose device (e.g. a full laptop). Plasma Desktop will continue to be supported, developed and recommended for desktop systems (as the name implies) while Plasma Active is aimed at mobile and "appliance" style devices.

    Cheers, aseigo.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:34AM (#41841925)

    The design is completely different from ICS. Yes, there are resizable widgets on both, but that's where the similarities end.

    Instead of a highly modal menu based system, Plasma Active provides an always-available "peek and launch" area by dragging down the top panel which lets you see all your running applications as well as launch new ones. There is an emphasis on avoiding the modal menu labyrinth that pretty much defines the Android interface. This works more or less on phones, but really falls down on other sorts of devices.

    At the center of Plasma Active are activities, which lets you switch your device quickly from being focused on, say, a work or school project to planning a social event. There was a recent email on the devel list from a user who uses activities when travelling, for instance; it lets him keep maps, notes, documents and people relevant to the trip together in one place and with a flick of the finger he can switch to this very focused set of information.

    ICS makes a tablet a great application launcher and occasional widget viewer. Plasma Active makes a tablet a reflection of your interests and activities.

    Try it and you'll quickly see what it is capable of ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:31PM (#41843311)

    It uses the "go fuck yourself, freetard!" windowing system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:43PM (#41843429)

    Yes, a few people have, in the last days, installed Plasma Active packages (based off of Kubuntu) onto it, see this photo: https://yfrog.com/esup2ioj

      It's much better suited, input wise, than the Unity shell, which, for example, heavily relies on right mouse button actions, and also scrolling seems mostly broken. (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Nexus7/KnownIssues for a more detailed list). The input problems are being fixed just by the Plasma Active shell and apps, so if they get all the driver-level problems sorted, it will be a nice option and probably a lot closer to "working well" than Unity.

    -- sebas

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

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