Help make Plasma Active 4 shine



Plasma Active 3 was released on 15th October 2012, and since then, work on the next version has not stopped for a minute, now the work on Plasma Active 4 is well on the way.

Another important release at the horizon is the KDE Plasma Desktop shell 4.10, due in February.

We believe our desktop and mobile products are closely interrelated, both from a technology point of view and from a continuity of the user experience, therefore Plasma Active 4 will be based upon the KDE 4.10 release. This will mean that PA4 will automatically gain some of the features of 4.10, at least from the technology platform point of view, but means also another important thing: ease of setup.


We are planning to release it around the end of March, and since some hardware is approaching as well, this release is more important than ever.

Plasma Active 4 will have a number of important new features over PA3, there are countless small improvements, and few features that will be really visible, including:

  • Faster and more usable web browser
  • Improved usability of the on-screen keyboard
  • Numerous improvements in the File browser application: faster, more usable and scalable to very big amounts of data
  • Device-wide ownCloud integration
  • “Developer mode” on the device, to more easily work with it
  • More user friendly ui for setting alarms
  • Better notification
  • New applications
  • Community support for new devices


But I want to know more!

This is where you can make the difference: it’s very important that the new release will have an user experience as smooth as possible. The work for new features is coming to an end (even tough you are still in time to present a work plan if you want to work on a particular one). But is starting an even more important period: testing, stabilization, bugfix.

There are many ways to help in making the release shine: it may be just installing an image and testing, it may mean getting random people to test and register the issue they had with it, it may be participating in the discussions on IRC or the mailing list, it may be setting up a build environment, and start hacking.


Starting hacking on the components of Plasma Active is easier than ever, because as i said, PA4 will be based on KDE 4.10, that means everything specific of Plasma Active can be built on top of the development packages of KDE 4.10 from your distribution of choice, while having the active workspace and active applications running from git from your machine in matter of a minute.

From a packaging point of view, is ridiculously easy as well, as all you have to do is to install the Mer sdk, that is completely self contained, can be dropped on top of any distribution and doesn’t really “touch” your system

If you are interested, drop in in IRC, on the #active channel of Freenode, or join the malinglist

11 thoughts on “Help make Plasma Active 4 shine

  1. gaboo

    What would be really helpful, is a single, simple page where I can have a list of available device images, with date, working stage, PA version, sorted by date.

    So that, quickly, I know if there is an image for my device, and where to download it.

    I vaguely know that it works on nexus 7 and some wetab, but a central place to get that information and an image to flash would help 🙂

  2. ndvl

    I second gaboo on the image directory.
    Could, please, anyone make an image for HP Touchpad? I struggle because of webOS’ browser and Android’s “multitasking” and PA would be great to have.

    I have seen a youtube video of PA on HP Touchpad, but the author never cared to share the recipe and I don’t have enough time to do it myself.

    I would be very thankful if someone tried this.

  3. Marco Martin

    > What would be really helpful, is a single, simple page where I can have a list of available device images, with date, working stage, PA version, sorted by date.

    yeah, that’s a god idea, it may be kept perhaps on the wiki.
    would you like to join the mailinglist and start asking around?
    some of the devices it has been demoed on probably have been an one-time work that

  4. Emanuele

    +1 on a wiki page with an image ready to flash on Nexus 7: in this way we can follow the devels and submit bugs

  5. Bugsbane

    Those photo’s look gorgeous. Surprised that no one else has commented that those last two photo’s are looking more like a 10″ than a 7″ form factor. I just *really* hope that there’s a version with 3G. That was the big roadblock for me with the Vivaldi.

    Very, very happy to see that the browser is being addressed, given it’s importance to any mobile experience (especially one that aims to support the open web over silos of different platform’s apps). As a tabaholic, the browser was probably the harshest bit to deal with in PA3 for me. OwnCloud integration everywhere would be absolutely brilliant. I know this could cover a million things, but it would be awesome if it could just cover syncing files, contacts, calendars and bookmarks it would be fabulous.

    Very curious what apps we’re going to see!

  6. Marco Martin

    > Those photo’s look gorgeous. Surprised that no one else has commented that those last two photo’s are looking more like a 10″ than a 7″ form factor.
    No, those photos are of the usual old ExoPC i usually use for videos.
    Specs of the actual Vivaldi hardware will be announced as soon is ready to come out.

  7. Djuro Drljaca

    What is the speed of PA on a WeTab?

    Even with PA3 it can be quite slow and unresponsive… I don’t know if this is just on my machine or is this common on all of WeTabs :S

    (I have the “better” version of WeTab: 3G + that hardware acceleration for video or something similar)

  8. e8hffff

    Biggrest problem is device support. It may help is Canoncial also put in latest version in their repositories then if there is a Ubuntu image for a device one can then inslal Plasma Active easily.

    Other problems I noticed in PA3 (testing on Nexus 7 unit);
    * No text field touch contextual menu, other words holding down finger on a text entry field does nothing, when you should be able to paste or copy, etc
    * On Screen Keyboard was awful and at most times got in the way or was slow
    * File application was shockingly basic
    * Could not delete some widgets/containers off screen
    * Get rid of the full screen thingy with apps, it’s awful and no reason on tablets. Give user options how they want the defautls to be. That way one cna drag items from one app to another
    * Most apps have ZERO options/settings, fix.
    * Control-Panel/settings was shocking. Only three sections with little options in total
    * The start screen had no restart option, onyl shutdown or sleep, and unlock
    * A good direction would be to design the desktop as being zoomable with a slider, other words everything is zoomable bar the pull downs and menus.

  9. sebas


    * The textfields should produce a context menu on touch, as do links in the webbrowser — if that doesn’t work for you, please file a bug so we can look into it
    * I don’t see the need for zooming, we will not add specific features and then try to come up with usecases. All our features have to address specific usecases to be addded in the first place
    * Restart won’t be added to the lock screen, it’s the same as shutdown, just switch the device on again after that — the usecase is not important enough to warrant a UI option
    * Full screen apps will not go away for the resolutions PA currently supports. Once we have higher resolutions where it makes sense to not run apps full-screen, we can add this functionality. Just disabling it without a good idea about its usecases and UX won’t happen
    * An app being “basic” is, to me, a good thing, unlessthere’s something specific missing, we’ll keep it basic, as simple is good. If there are important features for a certain workflow missing, we can add those, but we won’t add “random features” to make the UI look less empty (or simple)

    As to your other points, “shockingly basic” isn’t very expressive, except that you are personally missing something — but no word what.

    Some of your issues are real bugs, some are unfortunately only vague ideas how something should be done, without much thought or background info put into it. Some are just too unspecific for being useful (“more options in apps” — which options are really missing, for which usecase?)

  10. csebas

    @bugsbane owncloud support will only support file synching. Other assets might be added in the future, but the first version will be limited to files.

    Not that you can already sync contacts and addressbook using Kontact Touch, and access owncloud through webdav.

  11. Shmerl

    I hope mobile Okular will be fixed in time for PA4 release. Right now it’s practically unusable, since it’s crashing all the time on zooming.

Comments are closed.