Plasma: What the Bleep Is It?
Speaker: Aaron Seigo
Has any other KDE project caught the imagination of people quite like Plasma has? Unfortunately the early interest predated the designer's readiness to share his plans and speculation abounds. No more!
This presentation starts with a brief explanation of the problems Plasma is solving, namely a now-irrelevant desktop metaphor designed for the users and hardware of the 1980s. We examine how this compares with actual desktop usage in the 21st century to derive the conclusion that something needs to change.
The proposed solutions in Plasma are then showcased. The SVG and canvas driven graphics system will be explored, including how it allows new approaches to interface design such as the actually usable one-mouse-button icon interface. Usability implications are considered in some detail, ranging from file sharing that works like humans do to timelining and contextual displays. We also look at how users who have grown up on traditional desktops are expected to cope with Plasma as it is a requirement to not alienate existing users.
Finally, a brief tutorial on how to extend Plasma with custom components wraps up the presentation.
Aaron Seigo is a KDE developer, KDE e.V. board member, public speaker and writer who has has been involved with KDE since shortly after the 2.0 release and with the software industry in general since the early 1990s. He has centered his career and efforts around Free Software as it is one of his central interests and motivators.
Slides (PDF) (315k)
Video (Ogg) (185M)