Quoting from the announcement:
“KDE Neon is the intersection of these needs using a stable Ubuntu long-term release as its core, packaging the hottest software fresh from the KDE Community ovens. Compute knowing you have a solid foundation and enjoy the features you experience in the world’s most customisable desktop.”
This is pretty exciting for anyone who wants a stable core system with a setup of KDE Plasma software on to as recent as possible, setted-up and configured as good as possible, with hopefully less issues like “distro X has a slightly outdated version of kibrary Y which is know that makes app Z crash”.
Hell, I was so excited that during a sleepless night, I has been completely possessed by the Muse and I had to do this artwork based on a riff of its logo:
NEON written as a neon sign, how original :p It’s pretty tacky but it’s intended to be, here for your viewing pleasure at a typical wallpaper resolution.
One pretty long task of plasma themes is to manually rename all the SVG sub elements with the proper names. Let’s say we want to theme a button, we will need a SVG file with the following elements: normal-top, normal-topleft, normal-left, normal-bottomleft, normal-bottom, normal-bottomright, normal-right, normal-topright and normal-center.
This is for the button in normal status, then you need the same thing with active-, pressed- and focus- prefixes
This makes Plasma themes quite powerful (and always looking pixel perfect) but it’s quite fainful to rename over a hundred of elements by hand
Since usually the themes are designed in inkscape and it has a pretty neat system to write plugins in python, i’ve decided to write a little extension that eases the ain a lot: if you select 9 elements it will rename them with the usual topleft, left, top etc names, with an optional prefix asked by a dialog. If you select 4 items, it will instead rename them as hint-top-margin, hint-left-margin etc.
The extension is located at this address, to use it you have to copy those 2 files in the ~/.inkscape/extensions folder.
Unfortunately it requires a recent snapshot of inkscape 0.47, since the python scripts used have some bugs.
As usual a video is worth 1024 words 🙂
This is not a shocking news since the Air Plasma theme was developed all in the open, so there are literally months that screenshots of it are around the interwebs, but since today it’s official: the Air theme is the default plasma theme 🙂
It has been moved today into kdebase alongside Oxygen and made the default (Oxigen is of course still available)
Nearly all elements of this theme are redone from scratch, the idea of the look is of couse by Nuno Pinheiro, it’s amazing how he can make something that looks great out of nothing, I was just the mere executor of the elements (the fun activity of the “rename party” that who has done plasma themes knows :P)
The look of the theme is done to look really light an unobtrusive, let’s say that the target demographic of it should be wider: unfortunately Oxygen seemed to polarize people between love and hate, too bad, because i ireally love it eheh 🙂
There is a thing in this theme that is new in KDE 4.3 (besides the usual element additions here and there) tose circles that apear over the applets: they are really transparent, just a filigrane, and their position is random (well, actually highly predictabe pseudo-random, but that is what we need here), and that becomes useful to quicly tell apart one widget from the other (since the position of the overlay in an applet is the same across different sessions, until the widget gets removed). This can be useful also in the idea of common branding (with subtle differences across distributions, instead of total difference)