Plasma has a wonderful theming engine, that enables the creation of a really stunning visual appearance, with a great amount of customizability, just look at what is available right now, to not mention that being vector based makes the widget set pretty flexible and able to be used on really different hardware form factors with different sizes and dpi.
But we’re developers and we like to write code, hack on stuff, we often forget to document things, and this is an area that really can get better.
Yesterday I’ve forced myself to look at the quite incomplete and outdate documentation for the Plasma theme system and I’ve looked file by file, element by element and completed and ordered the whole theme.
Now if you have any doubt on the Plasma theme structure, just go to the relevant techbase page, and you’ll find the complete list of every file and every element in every file, updated to the upcoming 4.5 release. this should ease a lot the construction of themes.
It has been a long and painful work, of which developers may really want to avoid it, but it incredibly pays the effort, because it’s a really important part of the elegance we are trying to reach. A complete, pretty and documented framework is what is elegant to a quite relevant part of our audience: developers that are approaching the platform for the first time.
Now we are restructuring the techbase page for Plasma, moving here the pages that makes more sense here, having the two wikis more in focus and comprehensible.
If you are interested, if you are trying to approach the development in Plasma and have difficulties to grok some of the concepts, if you already work on some plasma aspects such as plasmoids, just stop on #plasma on freenode and you can give an hand in the documenting effort, being tutorials, wiki pages or API docs, you’ll learn quite a lot of the internals in the process and will make easier for others to learn.