KDE 4 gains more and more speed these days, and it is hard to keep on track with all news and changes: Plasma introduced interactive icons, Solid now takes over the media, and the first taskbar mockups have been revealed
From the beginning of the reworking of the KDE desktop there were always people asking for interactive icons. The basic concept for this idea is outlined in this PDF file.
The Commit Digest issue showed a screen cast showing exactly that feature in Plasma:
In the screen cast you can see how the icon itself shows another icon when the user hover the mouse over it. Since this is a development version some things are still missing – like more “edge icons” like they have been proposed in the PDF file.
The more technical side of this Plasma implementation was covered by Aaron Seigo. He shows that the icon animations and all Plasma animations in general, while appealing, can be deactivated in a certain way, making it possible to also use KDE 4 and Plasma on thin clients or over a network connection.
Btw., as you can see drag and drop is already working. As a user you don’t have to take care about anything when you want to have Plasma enabled icons, it will simply work.
The same Commit Digest issue also covered some interesting parts about the current state of Solid. The kioslave medianotifier has been initially ported to Solid. Also, the mount/umount/eject functions of the desktop are reworked for Solid, featuring a more abstract attempt which might lead to support of cryptical or other more complex devices:
more portable, and that can do more than simply mount, think crypto volume, or unmount, think about ipods which need an eject
That reminds me of a bug I filled a long time ago regarding the auto-recognition of cryptfs/LUKS devices. I would be very pleased to see this in KDE 4!
Nookie showed mockups of his idea of the KDE 4 taskbar:
The basic idea is that your bar is split in two parts: on the left hand you have the window bar, and on the right hand you have the system tray. The content of each bar is only coming up when you hover the mouse over it.
I particularly like the idea of breaking at least a little bit with the usual way of showing and viewing task bars: the idea to place the menu in the middle kind of makes sense since the most important bit should be in the middle – and for most people (not for me, I don’t use it at all!) the menu is most important.
But this mockup also reminded me of one of the basic ideas of Plasma: with Plasma writing your own task bar should be much easier, which is in contrast to today where kicker is said to be a nightmare (from a developer point of view).
So I really hope that there will be more than one task bar to choose from with the start of KDE 4 – at least two. That would please many power users and would also show the immense capabilities of KDE 4 and its new base technologies.