What's up about Plasma-MID?

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Today we have a lot of different netbooks out there but all of them fail to deliver a good user experience because the people behind netbooks tend to think as it being a small desktop or a big 'pocket computer'. Plasma-MID is all about this: deliver the desktop shell of the future (Plasma) and a custom experience without losing identity with the 'full version' of KDE.

During my talk I'll show different concepts and ideas taken from various existing MID devices and where their interfaces failed to give the user an ideal experience. I'll also go through the most common use cases and show the results of research regarding linux, netbooks and what really matters to the end user.

The current status of linux based netbooks and the current status of the Plasma-MID project will also be shown, with a live demo and explanations about the solutions for the problems we found during our research.

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What's up about Plasma-MID?

  1. 1. Plasma and Netbooks Improving netbooks interfaces Artur Duque de Souza - MoRpHeUz July/2009, GCDS
  2. 2. Agenda • Introduction • Important bits • Panels • Desktops • Virtual Desktops • Activities • Conclusions
  3. 3. Who are we? • Nokia research institute in Brazil - INdT • openBossa - FOSS stream at INdT • Collaborating with Qt Software / KDE: • Qt Kinetic <- that’s us :-) • Qt Webkit • Plasma Netbook <- that’s us :-) • ItemViews-NG
  4. 4. About me... • Open Source developer since 1997 • Graduated at UNICAMP - Brazil • Worked for IBM (Linux Technology Center) • Works for INdT (openBossa stream) • Contributions: Canola2, MythTV, HLBR, EFL, Maemo, MPlayer, KDE, etc. • Plasma developer
  5. 5. Sed sed s/mid/netbook/
  6. 6. NPD Research • Online survey: 600 people • 60% thought the netbook could perform as well as notebook • 65% of 18-24 year-olds were disappointed 18-24 year-old people are the people that most buy netbooks
  7. 7. Netbook vs Notebook • Definition • Intel definition: ’’...netbooks are for media consumption and notebooks for media creation...’’
  8. 8. Netbook vs Notebook • Definition • Intel definition: ’’...netbooks are for media consumption and notebooks for media creation...’’
  9. 9. Important bits • Panels • Desktop • Activities and Virtual Desktops
  10. 10. The Panel
  11. 11. Why do I need a Panel? Panels are the perfect place to show information that the user needs to see all the time • Clock • Systray (Notification) • Taskbar • Application Launcher
  12. 12. Panels vs Wasted Pixels Panels + window decorations can be a problem... Table: Wasted Height (pixels) Windows XP KDE GNOME Window Decorations 25 20 24 Panel 35 35 24 Total 60 55 48
  13. 13. Panel’s Location Where should I put my panel ?
  14. 14. Panel at the top Figure: Top panel and window decorations Figure: Top panel and no window decorations Figure: Top panel with autohide on
  15. 15. Plasma Netbook panel • Panel at the top • Simpler: less code, less overhead • Space is optimized • Special applets: new taskbar (show windows effect), window handler
  16. 16. Show Windows Effect As Taskbar
  17. 17. The Desktop
  18. 18. The first desktop concept...
  19. 19. ...a new concept... 1995: Windows created a concept that everybody followed... ...until KDE 4
  20. 20. KDE4 Desktop • Items are real-world objects • Desktop being useful: plasmoids • It’s beautiful ;)
  21. 21. Netbook Remix and Moblin Misuse of the desktop Figure: Netbook remix: Just a launcher
  22. 22. Average User • Average user uses the desktop as a launcher • Research with non-geek users: ’I use this way because that’s the only way I know’ • The discovery of KRunner
  23. 23. Search & Launch activity • Uses all the power of KRunner • Complex queries: user can search for what he wants • Predefined queries: applications, multimedia, etc. • Favourite Strip to save queries • DISCLAIMER: the interface is not ready, it will not be a ’stretched KRunner’
  24. 24. Search & Launch Activity
  25. 25. Virtual Desktops & Activities
  26. 26. Virtual Desktops • Well known for KDE/Gnome/X... users • When users discover virtual desktops they just love it :) • Moblin: Virtual Desktops == Zones
  27. 27. Activities • Containers of widgets • Different set of widgets for each context: home, work, travel, etc. • Activity tied to a Virtual Desktop: union of two great features • Integration with Nepomuk! • Perfect for small devices
  28. 28. Newspaper activity • Column centric layout • Simple concept for average user: it’s easy to understand • It’s better to use the available space
  29. 29. Newspaper activity
  30. 30. Applications vs Widgets When should we use one or another?
  31. 31. Plasma IDEAS
  32. 32. Plasma Ideas - Summary • Aimed for the average user, not KDE hackers • Simpler Panel • Newspaper activity • SAL activity: Search and Launch
  33. 33. Social Desktop It will help KDE community to get in touch. Specially average users
  34. 34. Qt Labs America • Qt / KDE place in America, starting in Brazil • Promotion and mentoring of FOSS projects • Tech-days in universities • Working together with KDE
  35. 35. Acknowledgements • Celeste • Aaron Seigo • Marco Martin • Nuno Pinheiro • KDE e.V. • Trolls • Plasma team and KDE community • Reviewers: Leo Franchi, Richmoore and Alex Spehr
  36. 36. Questions? Artur de Souza (MoRpHeUz) asouza@kde.org morpheuz@openbossa.org http://blog.morpheuz.cc Freenode #qt-kinetic #plasma
  37. 37. Thanks !

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