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KDE Releases Plasma Active Two

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the that's-pretty-shiny dept.

KDE 49

jrepin writes with a snippet from the release announcement of Plasma Active Two: "Mobile devices that adapt to who you are, reflecting what you are doing when you are doing it. This concept is at the heart of the Plasma Active user experience. Plasma Active One was released in October 2011, providing early adopters the first opportunity to experience Activities on a tablet. Since then, the design and development team behind this open source touch interface has been hard at work on an update. ... information about real-world usage enabled the team to improve the end-user experience significantly over the past two months."

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First post (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38371596)

Plasma Active First Post, ENGAGE!

Re:First post (0)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38371870)

What??? This recognises who you are, as core functionality? This is the first step toward targetted advertising in public and the local Chief Inspector having and RSS feed on his iPad showing last know locations of "wanted" people, whether that's thieves (good usage patter) or dissidents (bad usage pattern).

Correct if I missed the point, I didn't even RTFS much...

Re:First post (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38371896)

No I think you missed the point. No word of it needing your real name at all or transmitting any information.

Re:First post (0)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372032)

No but the tech could be so easily be customized by OEMs and linked to other current controversial products (like CarrierIQ), installed and running without consent.

I've heard high-ranking police mention for years that the only thing stopping this happening is the availability of cheap hardware powerful enough to run this stuff.

The KDE devs have done shady governments everywhere a big favour by developing the software for them to do this stuff on the cheap commodity hardware flooding the market right now.

So Samsung + Android + KDE + CarrierIQ + Public Order Act (as amended 2012) or the Police Act (as amended 2012) = Big Brother, here, now.

Re:First post (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38372014)

So, you didn't read TFA or TFS, you missed the point by so much that your post doesn't make the slightest bit of sense, and you replied to a completely irrelevant post just to get your inane comment at the top of the page. Congratulations, you're the reason slashdot sucks now.

Re:First post (0)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372068)

Thanks. Or, I had missed the point of TFA, saw something you haven't, put some irrelevent information together to make a valid and interesting point for debate, and replied to a completely irrelevant post just to get my interesting topic at the top of the page. Great, I'm just one reason open debate is a good thing.

Re:First post (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372816)

The AC GP to this post is right. You're a paranoid freak who reads what isn't there.

Re:First post (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38376004)

Go go gadget Plasma Active First Post, ENGAGE!

FTFY

Curious (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38371656)

What tablets are people running this on? I'd like to try it out; I don't have a tablet right now though.

Re:Curious (1)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372050)

I would also like more information on this. But seeing as you can run Ubuntu in a card on a touchpad, that seems like a likely candidate.

Re:Curious (2)

GeniusDex (803759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372118)

Most developers seem to be running this from a WeTab, so that would probably the tablet of choice. There is about a dozen devices which are able to run Plasma Active quite decently though; they can be found by a small search through their website.

Re:Curious (1)

vizZzion (832507) | more than 2 years ago | (#38375004)

I'm using an exopc as development machine, for end-users, ARM-based devices, such as the NVidia Tegra base ones, or the Archos G9 are interesting options. Basically, as long as we can get kernel (and driver) sources from the device vendors, and the device has an open boot loader, we'll be able to get Plasma Active onto it. Here are two links showing interesting devices that run Plasma Active: http://dot.kde.org/2011/11/30/plasma-active-archos-g9-tablet [kde.org] (Plasma Active on Archos G9) http://dot.kde.org/2011/10/24/plasma-active-arm [kde.org] (Plasma Active on NVidia Tegra 2)

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38388710)

According to the Plasma Active site, it only runs on 5 devices. ViewSonic Viewpad 10, WeTab, ExoPC, Lenovo Ideapad 10 and Fujitsu Stylistic Q550.

Hardly anything to get excited over. Wake me when it runs on Android.

Clippy (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38371658)

From the article:

Plasma Active Two has one significant new feature Recommendations. Plasma Active is now able to learn as you use your device. It uses that information to make recommendations as to what content, web sites and applications are likely to be related to what you are doing right now. This technology uses the power of the "semantic desktop" efforts from KDE Nepomuk to make your device a more valuable adviser and helper. Future releases will build on predictive power as well as the breadth of recommendations. All of this happens right on your own device. Out of respect for your privacy, no data is sent through the network. And no active Internet connection is required for it to work. This brand new technology is not available on any other mobile device.

So that's where Clippy went off to.

Re:Clippy (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38371696)

Sounds more like BonziBuddy to me.

Re:Clippy (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38374526)

Or emacs modes.

Re:Clippy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38371818)

But now you won't be able to blame an animated piece of wire; you'll blame your entire tablet instead!
Nice move, KDE-SC-PA-whatever it is now-team.

Re:Clippy (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38376094)

But as I know the KDE devs, they'll make a big button which is labeled with "KILL THE FREAKING THING"...unlike some other devs from another DE...

Re:Clippy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38380728)

So, where's the button to kill the plasma cashew?

Re:Clippy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38381592)

lock plasma

Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (3, Insightful)

undeadbill (2490070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38371788)

The screenshots from the site are beautiful. I really like how they are *finally* taking focus on performance for lower end systems, and I hope it translates to better performance on lower end laptops as well.

But I also wish they had taken this focus more than 5 years ago. It would have made a huge difference for me, and other people who have since migrated away from KDE because of performance issues.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38371952)

So you didn't want them to start at the bottom and work their way up. You wanted them to start at the top and work sideways. Cool. With their infinite resources and skills in magic, one wonders why they didn't.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38372076)

Tablets are much easier to get working correctly than desktop PC's; their hardware is very limited compared to what is possible on PC's. Most performance issues of KDE on the desktop are due to issues with drivers and they are trying to fix and work around that as much as possible.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38372224)

seriously? apart from 4.0 and 4.1 speed has REALLY been a non issue.
i use (and only use ) 6 year old Dells, with integrated graphics and a 100MB net home folder. all graphics on. NOBODY has ever
said it's slow.
what do you find slow?

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38372346)

Agreed. My ancient laptop runs KDE 4.7 great.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372716)

The work with the OpenGL when they started working towards a target of OpenGL-ES really made it great IMO.

That was pre-work for the tabletty stuff.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (1)

ripdajacker (1167101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38373062)

KDE should have called 4.0 for 4.0 alpha, and focused all their energy on making it stable across platforms. The 3.5xx versions were power hungry, but innovated in so many other aspects.

Their focus seems to be diffused. They spread themselves too thin even though the GNOME 3 issues people are having is the greatest opportunity they've had in years. Bad management I say, that's all.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38374220)

I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet that KDE has resource limitations that prevent them from getting things done faster; in short, they don't have enough active contributors. This is an open-source project, after all, but more than that, it's in competition with several other projects (Gnome, Unity, and several other DEs), so they only get a fraction of the total number of people willing to do open-source DE development. Worse than that, they haven't gotten the corporate support that Gnome has gotten, for some odd reason; Gnome has gotten corporate support (as in developers paid to work on Gnome by their employers) from Sun and Red Hat for probably a decade now, and maybe Canonical too (Unity still runs on Gnome, just with a different top layer). KDE got some support from SUSE, but that's about it, and I'm not sure how much of that is still left since SUSE abandoned their KDE-only stance some time ago, around the time they acquired Ximian and hired that moron Miguel to integrate Mono.

If KDE had gotten more corporate support for the past decade, it'd be in much better shape and much farther along than it is now. That 4.0 debacle, for instance, would have been much shorter and less painful if they had had more developers to throw at the problem. Frankly, it's amazing they've accomplished what they have, with the resources they have. This whole story should be a warning about the dangers of fragmentation in open-source software; there's only so many resources to go around, so if you don't get enough resources together, and/or have too much fragmentation from competing projects, they'll all become irrelevant as users abandon the whole thing and go back to proprietary solutions.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (1)

undeadbill (2490070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38374546)

I agree, I just have a different point of view, in that the 4.0 debacle could have been avoided by, well, not releasing it before it was ready. Early on in KDE, the focus was on features over documentation, stability, or speed. Well before 4.0, I had submitted bugs to kde devs, only to have them acrimoniously closed or denied, subsequently opened up again by others filing the same reports, watching those get closed, and then opened up again when a dev was forced to fix it because it finally stopped the show for *him*. If that focus on continuously adding unstable features (without fixing them!) had changed direction during 3.x, I would still be using KDE, and actively hunting down and testing bugs for them. Instead, I stopped contributing, stopped tracking down issues, and eventually went away from KDE entirely.

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38374752)

I just have a different point of view, in that the 4.0 debacle could have been avoided by, well, not releasing it before it was ready.

I don't disagree with that either, sorry if it seemed like I did. But even if they had made the same mistake of wanting to push 4.0 out early (as they probably only had limited testing from people using 3.95, as most people just don't want to bother testing out alpha-ware and would rather wait until it's ready for production use), if they had double the number of developers, it wouldn't have taken so long for the 4.0 series to get back to production quality; instead, it took a good 1-2 years to reach that point.

Well before 4.0, I had submitted bugs to kde devs, only to have them acrimoniously closed or denied

Unfortunately, this seems to be a big problem with a lot of open-source projects. I'm not sure what the root of this problem is; ego probably, and the fact that the devs have too much power (whereas in a corporate setting, the devs don't get to just close bugs because they don't care about them, because their boss (who's not a dev) won't let them).

Re:Where KDE should have been 5 years ago (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38376578)

What are the "lower-end" systems you are talking about? Because KDE4 runs perfectly good on my "lower-end" systems, like my Atom netbook, my Atom desktop and my small laptop. In fact I don't see any difference between KDE4 and Xfce.

Or you talking about old systems and not "lower-end" systems? If you are really talking about your old PIII that can't handle KDE4 any more, that's not a problem at all.

Gnome and Canonical devs; take note: (4, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372112)

This is the right way to make a tablet UI; keep the desktop UI, and create an entirely new one for touch screens. The methods of input are so different that there is no silver bullet cure for unifying the two interfaces. The way users interact with and use such devices is fundamentally different, and the workflow for one is UNUSABLE on the other. Ever try using Windows 7 with a touchscreen? It's an absolute nightmare. Why would anyone think that it would work better in the other direction?

Re:Gnome and Canonical devs; take note: (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38374482)

I fully agree! KDE left their desktop as is, and only applied their new design concepts to the tablet, where the pre-existing installed base was zero, and it made most sense. Looking @ it [kde.org] , it looks like it could do a good job giving any challenger to Android or iOS a run for their money, should anyone want a tablet platform w/ a differentiating but competitive interface. There is no way I'd have used such an interface for my desktop, but I can certainly see myself using it on a tablet.

Only suggestion to KDE - for a tablet interface, try giving those apps generic names like Music Player or OCR instead of Bangarang or Okular - don't let devs (w/ their knack for cute names) totally confuse your customers as to what the apps do. Similarly, try and lose the K before some of the apps, such as KSnapshot - at least for this, so that it looks less KDE centric and more user centric.

Re:Gnome and Canonical devs; take note: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38380188)

The default (on Kubuntu at least) is for the menus to explain what the app does in big writing and have the name in small writing eg File Manager (dolphin). This I think is the best of both worlds since the generic word doesn't always work so well when searching the internet for help.

Re:Gnome and Canonical devs; take note: (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38380616)

Agreed - this is one of the reasons I went to KDE after Ubuntu went to Unity. The other being that it is currently more customizable than Gnome 3 and Unity, while still having a fair bit of eye candy.

Looking @ it it looks like it could do a good job giving any challenger to Android or iOS a run for their money, should anyone want a tablet platform w/ a differentiating but competitive interface. There is no way I'd have used such an interface for my desktop, but I can certainly see myself using it on a tablet.

There's also a version of Kubuntu targeted at mobile devices (i.e. phones) in the works. I imagine that's one of the things prompting the work on Plasma Active.

Re:Gnome and Canonical devs; take note: (2)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38381028)

Only suggestion to KDE - for a tablet interface, try giving those apps generic names like Music Player or OCR instead of Bangarang or Okular.

Your suggestion is default, and like everything in KDE the name presented to the user is fully customizable, not just per application but desktop wide.

Posted from: "Web Browser (Konqueror)"

Re:Gnome and Canonical devs; take note: (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38375986)

Ever try using Windows 7 with a touchscreen? It's an absolute nightmare.

Conversely, ever try Metro on a desktop with a mouse and keyboard? It is similarly a nightmare of unusability. Yet Microsoft seems to insist on their quest for the interface Holy Grail of one interface for everything. They will learn, eventually.

BTW, I am betting that Metro will be the only interface available on consumer versions of Windows and if you want a traditional desktop, you're going to have to either shell out 400 bux for Ultimate, or the Small Business Edition, whatever they wind up calling them at release.

--
BMO

Re:Gnome and Canonical devs; take note: (0)

Ramin_HAL9001 (1677134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38379964)

This is the right way to make a tablet UI; keep the desktop UI, and create an entirely new one for touch screens.

I disagree. The engineering challenge is here to automate the construction of user interfaces. So an engineer looking for a challenge asks, why do you need two program two completely different interfaces just because one device has a smaller screen and a keyboard? I know it sounds crazy, but it actually would make developers lives easier if they could focus on the logic and design of their program, and have a computer pick the best interface for them automatically and for all devices regardless of their screens and input devices.

However, unfortunately, that is not the route KDE, Gnome, Windows, or Apple is taking; rather it seems they would create one general interface for everything regardless of how easy it is to use, and let the users get used to it.

In fact, I think what KDE has done here is a step in the wrong direction. I would rather not have a computer waste cycles on trying to predict what I like to do, and what am going to do next. Here's a novel idea: why not give me a computer to which I can issue commands, and the computer outputs exactly the result that I commanded to output, error or otherwise. Why can't we see more novel, creative ways of doing this, after all this usage pattern has worked pretty well for us these past 70 or so years.

Pinch to zoom? (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372148)

I watched the video and noticed that there was no pinch to zoom. Anyone know if that is because of a patent issue, or because the software is feature incomplete?

Re:Pinch to zoom? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38372790)

Probably patents. A lot of companies are using screw-zoom to work around it. Thanks Apple! Nobody would have MINORITY REPORT thought of that if not for your brilliant innovation!

Re:Pinch to zoom? (3, Insightful)

vizZzion (832507) | more than 2 years ago | (#38373496)

In the MeeGo and Mer images, pinch-to-zoom works for the image viewer, the webbrowser, and other Plasma apps that implement this gesture. It's just not shown in the video.

Re:Pinch to zoom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38376840)

There is, I have no clue why it wasn't in the video - I guess we noticed it was missing too late and didn't have the time to record a new one.

Gorilla glass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38372206)

"reflecting what you are doing when you are doing it" That's what it does :-)

Plasma is bloated (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38373786)

KDE should have stuck with version 3. Plasma is a poor copy of Windows. KDE 3 was good: it was functional and fast. It's great that it is still alive with Trinity.

Re:Plasma is bloated (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38374520)

The subject of this thread is tablets, which are a totally different beast. There was never any KDE3 for tablets.

Re:Plasma is bloated (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38376518)

I don't want to be treated like an idiot by my GUI, even when I'm using a tablet. I don't want to waste my power consumption for shiny buttons and computers that think that they are smarter than me. I want to be in the driver's seat, and I want to tell the computer what it should do next. And not the other way around.

There is already business for Ipad and Windows 8, and KDE will never be as good as it as Apple or Microsoft. KDE used to be a better alternative, as long as it tried to be unique itself, and not just a bad copy of Apple and Microsoft. KDE should really go back to version 3, and rethink what they are doing. I will rather switch my Linux distro then using Unity or KDE4 or Gnome3. And if I want an Ipad, I will buy and Ipad, and not a KDE Plasma tablet.

Re:Plasma is bloated (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38375174)

Did you watch the video or look at the screen shots? not a copy of Windows at all.

Plasma is what lets them keep three targets maintained (Tablet, Netbook, Desktop). The Desktop version is quite similar to Windows, but hardly a copy, it is an attempt to take the taskbar + start button concept of interacting, and build on it. For example, arbitrary and multiple folders on the "desktop", activities that group these "desktop folders" with the applications opened that you want.

this i5 goatsex (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38376330)

Op3rating systems,
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