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KDE4 and the Plasma Desktop


Development of KDE4 began in the summer of 2005, and one of the more exciting sub-projects that was begun as part of KDE4 is the Plasma desktop: Plasma is a reexamination of the desktop shell which includes the desktop panels, icons, applications launchers and menus, applets and other supporting interfaces. Today's production desktops look much as they did a decade or more ago. In the case of desktop icons, little has changed since the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. During this same time, the requirements of users and the sorts of tasks we engage in have changed radically. Today we store large numbers of files, gigabytes of data and use extremely powerful systems capable of advanced graphics and networking. Additionally, technologies such as instant messaging, groupware and computer aided project management have all emerged as common desktop features. The Plasma project is attempting to bridge the gap between the current desktop and modern computing usage. It aims to provide an experience for the user that more accurately reflects and supports the reality of modern desktop computing. The primary focus is on easing artifical boundaries between applications, providing workflow support, new takes on common elements such as application launchers, ease of extensibility and modern graphics capabilities. This seminar will provide a tour of this new desktop shell by the project lead, Aaron Seigo.

Aaron Seigo

Aaron is a KDE core developer who works on a variety of desktop technologies ranging from the desktop shell itself to usability concerns. He is also active within the community of users and developers, heading up such projects as the Open Source Desktop Workshops and the Plasma project.