right now one can see all of the various pieces coming together in the form of the clock applet, the desktop background and the beginnings of interface elements such as the desktop toolbox which gives quick access to common desktop tasks such as adding new widgets and icons, zooming, etc. applets are loaded from plugins, can be moved around, configured, etc.
the separation between data and visualization has progressed nicely and it is at the point where DataEngines for various data sets can start to be written. working on a weather information DataEngine has started and the window task manager DataEngine (think: taskbar, pager, etc) will be started soon. they are easy to write plugins, so hopefully we will see more and more of them which will help to prove the API. once a DataEngine is in place, it becomes fairly trivial to have the results show in a widget.
and speaking of widgets, work on widgets and geometry management of them is progressing as well. much of our work is likely to be superceded by work currently happening at Trolltech for either Qt 4.4 or 4.5, but we need basic support for layouts and widgets for KDE 4.0 (which uses Qt 4.3).
visual transitional effects (which will also be pluggable), scripting, panels and widget packages are all going to appear in very short order here as well. i expect to see the work done on the Raptor menu to find its way into kdebase soon as well. work on API documentation is pretty complete at this point and development tutorials will be appearing on TechBase over the next month or two.
i've also settled on a definition for "plasmoid" that i'm fully comfortable with... i haven't altered it in a couple weeks, so i'm pretty confident in it now ;)
a plasmoid is the combination of files that go into creating a plasma plugin. this includes:
- metadata (e.g. .desktop files)
- svg images
- configuration definitions (KConfigXT)
- code (either something Kross groks or a compiled c++ library)
these packages will contain all the files needed to have a plasma widget.
so what's an applet? the code part of a plasmoid is the actual applet, technically because it provides a Plasma::Applet object. to users, this will be an implementation detail they probably never see.
part of the plasma work over the last 8 days has been on clock visualisations. Riccardo Iaconelli sends the following images:
KDE 4.1 will have a Plasma with even more features and capabilities, but we will have something that is both attractive, useful and usable for 4.0.
we have a meeting on irc in #plasma set for this thursday the 31st at 17:30 GMT. if you are interested in getting involved writing applets, widgets, DataEngines, documentation or helping to implement the core library and applications, please join us.