[Panel-devel] The Plasma Keyboard

Wade Olson wadejolson at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 16:41:56 CEST 2005

Good point.

In general, KDE's flexibility on platforms forces awareness. Any UI design 
bring with it the past learning experiences of previous Windows, Mac, 
Solaris, Mainframe users (with regards to keyboard layouts), etc. Further, 
shortcuts on those keyboards are not all standardized.

I'd hazard a guess that a mature method of such desktop-control would score 
"Legitimacy" points with old-school Quixotic Users Evading Brazen Eye Candy 

Of course, trying to please everyone all the time leads to a well-known 
maxism. If Plasma too closely resembles another OSes Keyboard/shortcut/macro 
patterns, they're copying and not being original. If they're original, 
they're not adhering to standards and existing user habits (barrier to 
entry). Take your pick.

I do know this: Aaron is being very mindful of creating a workflow-driven 
experience. That would seemingly set the stage for such control mechanisms. 
Will you be able to move around plasmoids and DnD icon bundles on Day 1 of 
the release? Doubtful. But I don't think that the Plasma group will require 
the Clapper and Bluetooth Telepathy to be efficient with Plasma either.

As long as we don't mention setting up a freedesktop consortium to discuss 
options, I think we'll be fine.


On 8/11/05, Malcolm Dean <malcolmdean at runbox.com> wrote:
> Congratulations on a very exciting project which could potentially save
> desktop Linux from being sucked under the coming MacTel waves!
> Here's a design challenge from the days BEFORE the PC. Yes, Virginia,
> there were some very productive environments and applications, even
> before GUIs, which had many of the same capabilities as GUIs. The
> leading products took advantage of the fact that humans have ten fingers
> and a great deal of neural tissue devoted to both commanding and
> receiving input from them.
> Once GUIs arrived, keyboards were ignored, users started getting carpal
> tunnel, and some idiots decided to move the Control and Function keys to
> places where they take far too much effort to use. Today, our keyboards
> are designed and manufactured in countries where the alphabet is a
> foreign concept and speed typing in the native script is not even a
> possibility.
> There's a screenplay editor called ScriptWare. It was written for DOS
> but now runs on Mac and Windoze. Although it has the normal menu bar at
> the top, you can do almost everything you need to with TWO KEYS - TAB
> and ENTER - just like a typewriter. (Oh... it was a mechanical gizmo we
> used to use before microprocessors came along. Very productive.)
> Now if OS X menus typically have only one toolbar and seven actions
> visible at a time ( http://www.icefox.net/articles/kdeosx.php ), surely
> such simplicity could be reflected in the keyboard?
> Here's the challenge:
> Can you design PLASMA so that it is KEYBOARD-PRODUCTIVE, almost
> eliminating the need for a mouse (except for graphics applications)? Can
> you make this new interface so obvious and simple that, most of the
> time, the user's hands don't need to move from the Home Row of the
> keyboard? And can you therefore make PLASMA the most useful, fastest
> interface ever invented?
> Just a thought...
> Malcolm Dean
> Los Angeles
> malcolmdean-at-runbox.com <http://malcolmdean-at-runbox.com>
> _______________________________________________
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> Panel-devel at kde.org
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