Plasma on MID, take 2

Emmanuel Lepage-Vallée elv1313 at
Sat Mar 28 21:48:59 CET 2009

I am agree with Michael Rudolph. The tab concept exist for those kind of
activity. Extending it will allow more of these uses. Micro blogging,
facebook, chat, map/gps/location aware information, fast Internet search
(semantic search in the future), small games, opening documents and send
them on a projector are things that are usually done on a netbook and mobile
devices. Those uses all have things in common, they does not require
traditional applications, those thing can be done using plasmoid and be
integrated with the tab concept. The main problem is how to fit so much use
in a tab bar, nor the vertical or horizontal one can show all of them at the
same time. If someone have an idea how to deal with that (and not idea like
arrow at the end of the tab bar, it solve nothing), I will be happy to ear
it. Back to

I got a new idea, when an onscreen keyboard (probably a plasmoid) appear on
the screen, the tabbar can be hidden have have optimal space for the
application (or activity plasmoid). Of course, this would be disable if the
user selected the search box. But now, I need some implementation details on
that (and on any things in my proposal, more I have, more clear it is, as I
said, I never went that deep in plasma).

  > For example while we all want "a web browser" on our devices, when our
  > use case says: I'm in a library and want to see how others rated this
  > book. We might be able to pull that off without the user knowing he's
  > using the web browser. He could start up the camera by opening the lid
  > and next to the regular shutter button is a (smaller) button, called:
  > identify product. Clicking it will snap a picture but also try to find
  > a bar code in it. Tapping the identified bar code fires of a search,
  > whose results allow you to buy the book, see amazon customer ratings,
  > find the book on google books and other related things. There's a lot
  > of web and and a lot of browsing involved here, but not really a web
  > browser.

This is the future, but not the present. I think this kind of interaction
between real life, user and computer is really the next milestone in human
history. A total interaction between everything -will- be the best evolution
of mankind (in them of discovery and technological innovation, not in term
of moral and privacy...). Just take a look at Microsoft 2019 vision video
(sorry for saying this name here ;) , but they made a good job on this
mockup and see the future there too). This is often called web 3.0. KDE, as
a project, can use these technology that will be made available through web
applications and network API. Currently, only a bunch of these things exist,
like locating a restaurant near you, gathering information about a place or
some time, individual (social network or the new .tel w3c initiative). Those
possibilities can be extracted from web browser and made available to the
user through plasmoids and activity. But we can not -yet- make use case for
these activities. This years 1 proposal will concentrate on the tab
framework and minimal tab/activities enabling user to truly use a MID and
netbook with KDE4. Years 2, 3 and even 4 may deal with those activity. I am
interested in that, but I can not go that far in a single summer. I will
continue to work on this plasma branch after it, don't worry about that. But
right now, it is too far.

I am not sure if dotevo will submit his media center proposal after all, but
if an other media center proposal is being accepted, I will work with the
student in question. Media center activities would be the main part of this
years 1 work on the MID and, as I called the concept before Aaron asked me
to use the work plasma-MID (to make sure everybody link the concept with
small factor devices), alternative plasma desktop. But this can be extended
to alternative way of using a computer.

Making an use case page on the userbase on techbase wiki is a good idea,
that will surely help in a more advanced phase of the project. For now, the
first use case will look like:

*The user just ended a meeting in a foreign city. He take his nokia n810 out
of his pocket. The device is in sleep mode. He open it. Now, he -want- to
know the weather. He access it very easily and see that there is a snow
storm coming. He now device to check for a near hotel to stay for the night.
He found one in no time and now -decide- to check for a near restoration to
eat before going to the hotel. All these thing are done in about 2 minute
while he is standing in front of the meeting building.*

In this case, I see that the interface need to have quick access to the
weather and a location aware search engine. The first one can be achieve
with a plasmoid while the second need a data engine or a web browser. The
interface itself need to allow the user to quickly access those information
because, in the first case, he know what he is looking for and in the 2
other, he took the decision from looking at the first one and had no idea
before that he was looking for that. In that case, he did not configure his
display to show those activity by default, but he wanted them at the touch
of a button anyway. In my project, this can be translated into a (location
aware, if possible (to be quicker)) weather tab and then a "current
location" one with search capabilities. The first tab can be done using an
existing plasmoid, adapted to be location aware and a new one gathering
information from a  bunch of non-existing dataengine. This years, I would
try to build a framework that allow type of use to be done.

There is an infinite number of different use case like that one with an
infinite number of different data. The framework (tab bar or similar
concept) need to support those kind of uses and have a really quick and
intuitive way of accessing the information. Can someone elaborate of the
concept, improve/reply to this case and provide more cases?
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