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KDE's new Plasma netbook interface shines in small places

Jul 27, 2009, 12:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marco Martin)


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"The Linux platform is beginning to gain mainstream acceptance on low-cost netbook devices. The growing popularity of netbooks presents a major opportunity for the open source operating system, but it also comes with some challenges. One of the most significant problems is that much of the open source software that is available today for the desktop is not designed to deliver an optimal user experience on small screens.

"Linux distributors and application developers are exploring alternate user interface concepts that will work well at low resolutions without compromising productivity. There is also a clear need to boost usability as netbook devices are broadly intended for the regular consumer market. The KDE desktop environment has recently gained a new specialized netbook interface that leverages the strengths of KDE's unique Plasma technology. Ars tested it on Kubuntu to see how it compares to the conventional KDE desktop experience.

"About Plasma
Plasma is a versatile framework that provides the underlying infrastructure of the KDE desktop shell. It hosts several core parts of the user interface, including the panels, desktop icons, and launchers. Plasma's rich architecture encourages a clean separation between functionality and presentation. The presentation layer is resolution independent, which gives it an advantage on devices with unusual screen sizes."

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