Project Submission

Farkas Máté wolfom at
Thu Sep 16 23:09:20 BST 2021

Dear KDE Team,

hereby I would like to submit a project I have been working on in the last
months with the aim of incubating it within the KDE project, as I believe
it could contribute to the user experience on touch-capable devices (such
as Microsoft Surface-like hybrid laptops, tablet users, Wacom-tablet users,

It is an application launcher aiming for ease of use on the above mentioned
devices. I believe Kicker is a simple and powerful launcher, but it still
uses a classical old-style approach (i.e.
menu-submenu-sub-submenu-navigation) to help the user to find the app
he/she wants to launch. Using a pen or an equivalent device, this procedure
(with misclicks and spending time looking for the right category,
subcategory, etc.) could unnecessarily worsen the user experience, which
motivated me to implement a launcher similar to those seen on smart devices
and other modern desktop operating systems.

The launcher (which I have named Rocket) places the user's applications in
a grid and allows him/her to categorize them by making folders. It supports
searching, so opening the launcher with a shortcut and typing the desired
program's name into the already focused search field already yields results
to keep a fluent workflow for keyboard-oriented power-users too. It aims to
be customizable and uses the KF5 framework to communicate with the

Having reached an inflection point in the project (where all the features I
need have already been implemented with some bugs and inconsistencies still
being present), I am asking you whether you have any interest in
incorporating it in Plasma. If you have, I would be more than happy to
continue the development while focusing on the needs of other users and
improving on the codebase; if not, I would continue only improving things
for myself only. In case of interest, I am also ready to comply with the
standards required by the community.

Things which need care include improving the customizability options,
fixing some graphical glitches, improving support for multi-touch input
(including double-finger trackpad scrolling which I – due to my hardware
restrictions – did not manage to implement as flawlessly as desired) and
some "complex usage cases" (i.e. cases where the user does a lot of things
while dragging and dropping an application icon). I would like to emphasize
that none of these things are of the kind which heavily restrict everyday
use, but they still force the user to make some compromises (and thus make
Rocket less "market-ready"); it is thus beyond the prototype/designing
phase. I am also sending you a video regarding the current state of
development attached. Regarding the future of the project, I have been
thinking about adding support for plasmoids (such that the user is allowed
to add widgets to the menu) and to allow the user to use KRunner as a
backend search tool.

Some months ago I posted a small video on a more primitive version of
Rocket in the official KDE Reddit-channel [1
which was also well-received (despite not having as many customization
options and not being able to create folders yet). Also, the KDE store
provides some less-powerful alternatives with a non-negligible user base [2
<>]. I also believe you have to know that I
am not a professional developer, which can be easily seen by looking into
the code [3 <>]. With some help from
fellow developers however, I think I can quickly improve on my programming
skills (which I am also happy to do).

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask me. You
can reach me in English, German, French or in Hungarian, if the people in
charge or the community prefer it differently.

Thank you for your consideration,
Yours faithfully,
Mate Farkas

Please make sure to create the folder ~/.config/rocket if you compile the
code yourself (using qmake and make or Qt Designer), as this folder is
necessary for Rocket to launch – another small thing to be fixed for the
general audience. Also, please turn on the blurring effect in the system
settings for it to take effect (an option using the system wallpaper as
background is also possible, albeit yet only by recompiling the code
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