OpenGL and Canvas in KDE 4

There have been some posts in the last days about some upcomming graphical features in future KDE applications.

The first is about OpenGL functionality in KOffice: after Krita already started with implementing some OpenGL features into the program to speed up working with graphics Ariya Hidayat now started to hack some code into KOffice’s KPresenter to give it some nice effects. A blog post gives a nice impression what we can expect in the next versions of KOffice.
I really appreciate this because I think that KOffice is the long term solution for KDE, and probably for the FLOSS community at all since I do not like the performance of OpenOffice at all on a Linux machine :-/

Another graphics improvement we will see in KDE 4, or better, in Qt 4.2 using applications, is GraphicsView (or sometimes referred as QGraphicsView which is the name of one of the main classes of the project GraphicsView). GraphicsView is a replacement for QCanvas which is the standard canvas class of Qt. For the non-developers: a canvas is a 2D area of a program where you have items like texts, polygones, circles, animated pictures, etc. It provides the base field for all interactive/dynamical elements of a program.
So this part will be improved now, and this improved version will be the base for KDE 4.
And although I do not know which features QCanvas has, the list of features for GraphicsView sounds promising:

  • All items can receive key, mouse, focus, and accessibility events.
  • Items can now be rotated, scaled, etc., individually.
  • Support for OpenGL.
  • Animation support, not by static item velocity.
  • The text item has as powerful editing capabilities as QTextEdit.

You will find more in a QDevBlog post, together with some nice screenshots. I have to admit that these screenshots calm down my fears concerning the new graphic subsystem of Vista a little bit: I once saw some demos of the new subsystem, and this demo had similar features: animated, 3D accelerated buttons and similar stuff. That was very impressing and I lost a bit hope that Linux can battle Vista in an appropriate way. But when KDE 4 takes use of these new features, KDE/Linux does not have to fear anything 🙂

If you want to see a little bit more of GraphicsView in action, look at this blog post from Zack Rusin. He also describes some abilities and features together with the usual screenshot 😉

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