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 firstname.lastname@example.org