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KDE's Plasma Active Ported To Nexus 7

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the looking-handy dept.

Android 55

sfcrazy writes "KDE developers have succeeded in running the touch-optimized Plasma Active Linux Distribution on Nexus 7. Earlier Ubuntu developers managed to create a installer for Nexus 7, but those builds also showed that Unity, in its current form, is not ready for touch-based devices. KDE has an edge here as they have optimized versions for netbooks, desktops and touch-based devices so a user doesn't have to make any compromises as one has to do with other DEs or shells which are focusing more in touch-based devices only." Here are detailed instructions on how to install it.

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Unity, in its current form, is not ready for... (5, Insightful)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42368837)

Unity, in its current form, is not ready for touch-based devices

Well, it isn't ready for desktops either! :D

Re:Unity, in its current form, is not ready for... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42368879)

At least unlike Gnome3 or, Cthulhu save us, Metro, no one seriously tries to put Unity on touch-based devices.

Re:Unity, in its current form, is not ready for... (3, Insightful)

blackest_k (761565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369095)

I tried it with ubuntu on an archos G9 101 and touch orientated devices need a different interface to a desktop. Scroll bars are very tricky selecting a tool from the toolbox in the gimp for example too small to be usable. Now if you plug in a mouse and keyboard its pretty much the same as a 10 inch netbook. Theres a good number of gui's for linux but maybe kde plasma might be the only workable one. Theres a few things that need rethinking such as arranging text boxes to be visible when you bring up a keyboard even bringing up a keyboard when it is needed also needed.

In theory it should be possible to get tools such as gtk and qt to respond in a touch friendly way on a touch friendly device but there is a long way to go before you can just run what you want on a touch screen.

Re:Unity, in its current form, is not ready for... (2)

KugelKurt (908765) | about a year and a half ago | (#42379039)

KDE have worked a lot already splitting application core and UI in many components and thanks to Nokia's past ownership Qt turned into a first grade mobile framework with technologies like QtQuick. With QtQuick it's even possible to write adaptive UIs rather easily: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2MjFw_Pewg [youtube.com]

Complete desktop support for QtQuick will still take a while (Qt 5.1 or 5.2, depending on progress) but with the modifications KDE already made throughout their stack one QtQuick-based UI for mobiles and one traditional QWidget-based one for desktops is already possible, as can be seen in Kontact - Kontact Touch, Calligra Suite - Calligra Active, etc.

The other DE projects seem to try to find a compromise and make one UI that works on both device types (see Nautilus and the removal of not touch-friendly features) which is IMO the completely wrong approach.
KDE's approach with separate UIs and shared back-ends seems more logical.

Re:Unity, in its current form, is not ready for... (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42368887)

I know several users that uses it on their desktop. It's not a desktop suitable for everyone though.

Re:Unity, in its current form, is not ready for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42369499)

Yeah, and I know several people who have an IQ of 70 too.

Not being suitable for everyone, is a crass understatement. It's not suitable for anyone with an IQ above 70! Just like Metro.
Why do you think they made that video, showing how a 3 year old can use Metro. (FYI: A grown-up chimpanzee has about the intelligence of a 4 year old.)
Because they are the only ones who can use it.

Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops and... (4, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369179)

"Well, it isn't ready for desktops either! :D"

Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops. The ENTIRE WORLD KNOWS that...

KDE is cool with touch-based devices, not perfect, yet better than Win 8! :)

KDE is probably the best option for anyone using mouse and keyboard.

Re:Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops and (-1, Troll)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42370395)

KDE is probably the best option for anyone using mouse and keyboard.

And every time I fire up a KDE machine I'm like, "Hey-heyyy! Welcome to 1998!"

Re: Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops an (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42370663)

Kde is like 1998 and the shell is like 1970. Times when you could accomplish stuff with your pc, as long as you stayed clear of windows :)

Re:Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops and (1)

hendridm (302246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42370683)

> KDE is probably the best option for anyone using mouse and keyboard.

Ford is the best option for anyone needing transportation for use on the road.

Re:Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops and (2)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373233)

Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops. The ENTIRE WORLD KNOWS that...

I don't know that.

I am sixty five years old. living quietly in a small town in upstate New York. Geeks are thin on the ground here and I have never seen one in the wild. That is what attracted me to Slashdot.

I was almost fifty when I was gifted with a hand-me-down P75 Packard Bell and went online with Win 95, a 14K modem and dial-up AOL.

I completed the upgrade-in-place thing to Win 8 Pro on the desktop late last Sunday night.

I have since been moving freely and comfortably between Metro, Media Center, the Desktop and AMD's Android AppZone Player.

It has been easy and it has been fun learning the new system.

Re:Well, Windows 8 sucks even more on desktops and (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42377747)

Way to out yourself as a technically illiterate dumbass.

Re:Unity, in its current form, is not ready for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42369467)

Just like Linux, basically. News at 11,

fpfpfppfp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42368849)

fpfpfppfpfpfpf

Also coming soon! (-1)

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is it still so laggy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42368877)

As in their demos? [youtube.com]

It looks really slow compared to iOS or the latest versions of Android.

Re:is it still so laggy? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369441)

I would guess that the underlying graphics support is not using hardware acceleration. It's certainly not optimized for the device and the KDE desktop in general is far more full featured than any of the tablet OSes. It's going to take both to be usable on that hardware.

Re:is it still so laggy? (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42378383)

Correct - the videos were done using xrender - software based compositing. Once they get a workable 3D driver for the Tegra 3 then they'll be sweet.

Why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42368927)

Why would you want to port an inferior desktop (KDE) to a Nexus 7

Re:Why (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372585)

This isn't desktop KDE, it's software specifically designed for touch screens.

Re:Why (2)

OolimPhon (1120895) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374301)

Why would you want to port an inferior desktop (KDE) to a Nexus 7

Perhaps because it doesn't have Google's pawprints all over it?

The Jolla connection (-1, Offtopic)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42368987)

Interestingly enough, I had already known about this, thanks to...Jolla.

I have them subscribed on Facebook, and they offered this news plus a healthy dose of *Nudge Nudge Wink Wink*

I wonder what you guys make of it...

https://www.facebook.com/JollaMobile/posts/452558308140997 [facebook.com]

Does it work on Debian?! (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42368995)

If not, forget it as a temporary workaround.

Re:Does it work on Debian?! (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372607)

Theoretically, yes. There are plasma-active packages in the ubuntu repositories and ubuntu is targetting (Unity) the Nexus 7 for 13.04

So provided anyone from debian wants to upstream the builds...

Full GNU/Linux distro (5, Informative)

TejWC (758299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369023)

Just a FYI: this is not like the other "Ubuntu on Android" solutions that exist. Android is actually wiped out of this tablet and replaced with Mer (formally MeeGo) with KDE Plasma running on top. You also get "real" multi-tasking with this distro.

Re:Full GNU/Linux distro (1)

SilentMobius (10171) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369847)

I curious as to what you define a "real" multi-tasking, such that it needs mentioning in this case

Re:Full GNU/Linux distro (2)

TejWC (758299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372795)

As opposed to Android (which requires you to save your state when your app is backgrounded), you don't need to write any code to make your app a "multi-tasking" app. Also, you can do things like view 2+ apps that are running at the same time.

Well, I'm switching to E17, now that it's released (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42369105)

The only thing in the whole wide graphical shell world, that doesn't work as hard as possible, to appeal to the dumbest people humanity has to offer, by creating the most crippling and limited UI in the history of mankind.

If you can't handle it, there still is Unity, Plasma Active, Windows 8 and iOS.
But don't be surprised if I laugh at your inferiority.

Re:Well, I'm switching to E17, now that it's relea (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369461)

I'd put KDE in the same category. Maybe E17 does it better ... I don't know, I haven't tried it, but I will.

Re:Well, I'm switching to E17, now that it's relea (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372627)

Well E17 is designed for desktops, no? This is KDE re-designed specifically for a touchscreen interface.

The chief of enlightenment is working on Tizen if you want a tablet interface based on the same libraries.

Maybe I should try this. (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369111)

I've been a KDE fan for a long time (sans the brief periods of horror, but the KDE guys at least can learn from their mistakes). The thing is, the user experience on the Nexus 7 is already downright decadent out of the box. If I install Plasma (which I have seen earlier), my Nexus 7 will be brain-meltingly awesome.

Re:Maybe I should try this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42370913)

What can you run on it that makes it so attractive?

Re:Maybe I should try this. (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372665)

I like Okular as a PDF viewer on the desktop more than Acrobat Reader, Sumatra, evince etc. A touchscreen version on a tablet would rock.
Calligra, the kde office suite has also been reskinned for a touch interface.

More or less the same kde apps, specifically reworked for finger input. With usb OTG plug your tablet into a powered USB 2.0 hub and your tablet interface could immediately switch seamlessly to a desktop interface. Allowing you to finish that letter you'd been writing on the bus or continue reading that scientific paper on a desktop screen.

Re:Maybe I should try this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373219)

I've ended up using okular (and kate) on windows as well - the current kde4win builds are really quite good, and okular is way faster than adobe reader.

Re:Maybe I should try this. (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42378401)

+1 for Okular and Kate. I'll also add Gwenview and Krita into that mix. I must say that some of the KDE apps are very polished these days.

Re:Maybe I should try this. (1)

rdnetto (955205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42394003)

Kontact. Admittedly, Kmail's interface is a bit lacking compared to Thunderbird, but Kontact's killer feature is that it has email, an address book, personal organizer, and RSS reader, all of which you can sync across multiple devices if you run Kolab on a server. If you want access to all that information across multiple devices, you either have to put your data in the cloud, use a commercial solution, or use a varied collection of different programs.

on an android tablet... (2, Insightful)

drankr (2796221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42369119)

... all I want to run is Android. That being said, I'm interested to see that KDE tablet they've been announcing. There I'm sure plasma active will make all the sense in the world. Unity per se was not bad on a laptop, but they really blew it with that Amazon thing. That rendered Ubuntu totally ridiculous and unusable.

Re:on an android tablet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42369405)

On a gerneral purpose computing device in a tablet form factor all I want to run is whatever I bloody choose, on the hardware. Not what others choose for me, not in a VM bubble, not attached to either a walled garden of some other wet dream of a business model where they try to farm me like some ant stroking an aphids back. The very last thing I want to run is 'apps', whatever they are.

Re: on an android tablet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42370795)

at least some common sense. people were doing digital audio with dsp on 350mhz pcs and now we cannot do basic stuff with quad cores. shame on us, we deserve to be fleeced again with closed environments like we had been fleeced with closed source. android devices mostly ship unrooted

Re:on an android tablet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42371453)

Well said.

Posted from my Nexus 7 (stock).

captcha: ironies

Re:on an android tablet... (2)

drankr (2796221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372083)

Then we’re both in luck. I can buy hardware that is tested and fully compatible with the software it ships with, and then use it that way, you can buy the same hardware and then put OpenBSD on it. The difference between us is you seem to be angry for some reason.

Re:on an android tablet... (5, Informative)

rundgong (1575963) | about a year and a half ago | (#42370095)

on an android tablet... ... all I want to run is Android.

Why?
Isn't that like saying "On a Windows PC all I want to run is Windows"? By that logic there would be almost no Linux PCs since most of them come with Windows pre-installed.

Dual booting [xda-developers.com] Android and a full Linux dist seems like a pretty nice feature on a tablet.

Re:on an android tablet... (1)

drankr (2796221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372061)

I use Linux only on my laptops (have no other PCs) and I do suffer with unsupported and untested (for Linux) hardware. That's the only reason.

Re:on an android tablet... (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42378411)

I'd love to know what that hardware is. I've been hard-pressed to find anything that doesn't work out of the box for me.

Re:on an android tablet... (2)

lennier1 (264730) | about a year and a half ago | (#42370459)

Since modular tablets like the Asus Transformer are taking over the niche Netbooks filled a few years ago (portable computers for situations that don't require the power of a full-fledged laptop), it doesn't hurt to have more options in that segment.

Re:on an android tablet... (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#42370535)

Asus Transformers cost £470, they are not going to be a replacement for a Netbook in my world. That's about twice what I'd want to pay for a Netbook.

The Netbook niche is "so cheap that I don't mind throwing it in my rucksack and using it in public without fear of it being stolen/broken/lost". More than £400 is way too much for that niche.

Re:on an android tablet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42370761)

Asus Transformers cost £470

They're nowhere near that expensive if you get them from somewhere like Amazon or Newegg. $344 on Amazon, which is around £213.

Re:on an android tablet... (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374057)

America always gets things cheaper:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=asus+transformer&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aasus+transformer [amazon.co.uk]

But it's all relative, as your proper Netbooks are cheaper too. You can't get a decent Netbook in the UK for less than £200. I expect sub-$200 Netbooks are common enough in the US.

Re:on an android tablet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42370489)

One easily removable package renders the entire distro totally ridiculous and unusable?

Re:on an android tablet... (1)

drankr (2796221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372075)

It is not easily removable. I tried, there's at least half a dozen packages to remove all those ridiculous shopping "suggestions" completely from my desktop. I believe some were introduced before Amazon, music-related, for instance. I should have said though, "unusable to me". I just won't have that sort of thing on my machine, other than an opt-in. Opt-out's not good enough. Other people may love it and more power to them.

Re:on an android tablet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42372443)

You missed one, its called Xubuntu. You can also try Lubuntu that works too.

I wish I could "unsee" this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42371129)

As an OS geek who's getting a Nexus 7 in three days under the tree - I was hoping to have a few months of stock Android before hacking something else on it. Now it's going to be hard to resist knowing this is available.

I'll read up on difficult multiboot process and attempt to master it before trying.

Multiboot for Nexus 7: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2011403

Re:I wish I could "unsee" this.. (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42378427)

Yeah, I've got the Transformer Pad Infinity. I'll definitely be setting up dual boot. Since the specs of the Nexus 7 and the Pad Infinity are so close, I don't imagine it will require that much hackery to get it working....

Re:I wish I could "unsee" this.. (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | about a year and a half ago | (#42392265)

Unortunately multiboot does not (yet) work with this.
(Posted from Ubuntu on Nexus 7)

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