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Now that KDE 4 has been available for some time, we can see that its good looks is one of its most appealing features. In the meanwhile, fluid and rich UIs became a standard in the mobile world. Together, these trends made users see their desktop from a new perspective, where software must go beyond functionality and look nice too.
High level initiatives like the Plasma new generation desktop, KWin composite effects and the new Oxygen themes, as well as low level ones like the Qt Animation Framework and the Declarative UI, are enabling us to reach such high level of user experience, something that used to be a 'plus' but is now a 'must'.
An often overlooked tool that helps making KDE aesthetically better is the Layouting mechanism. The simple idea of describing how things look instead of moving elements to hardcoded positions on the screen has great and unexplored potential. We want to show how KDE projects can take advantage of that.
This talk will cover flexible layouts, self-animated layouts and animation between different layouts, recent features we have been developing for Qt framework, together with Qt Software. Subjects will include the use cases that drove us, implementation constraints we had, APIs, usage and the benefits that arise from the use of such technologies.