MAR
5
2013

Plasmate 1.0: A Plasma Workspaces SDK

The Plasma Workspaces team is excited to announce the first stable release of Plasmate: an add-ons SDK that focuses on ease of use.

Plasmate follows the UNIX philosophy of "do one thing, and do it well". As such, it is not a general purpose IDE but rather a tool specifically tailored to creating Plasma Workspace add-ons using non-compiled languages such as QML and Javascript. It guides each step in the process, simplifying and speeding up project creation, development, adding new assets, testing and publishing. The goal of Plasmate is to enable creating something new in seconds and publishing it immediately.

The launch page provides a running start. From here one can create a new Plasma widget, DataEngine, Runner search plugin, SVG desktop theme, window switcher (or "alt-tab") plugin, desktop effect or window manager script. Previous projects are also listed, and can be continued with a single click. Importing existing projects from disk or from KDE Apps is also fast and easy.

The project environment reflects the creative workflow. Shortcuts for managing save points, previewing, installing and publishing, keeping project notes, reading documentation and managing assets are all within easy reach. As part of this workflow-based approach, saving progress to disk is handled automatically. A revision control system is transparently integrated to create, view and roll back to save points.

Plasmate provides automatic packaging and editors for metadata and other configuration files. Thus the focus is on creating rather than mastering all the implementation details involved in how a Plasma package is assembled. Image viewers, an advanced text editor, debug output viewer and an interactive live preview complete the experience.

When the project is ready to be distributed, the Export Project system will create a compressed package which can be saved to disk, installed locally, published online or even installed to a device over the network via SSH for quick and easy prototyping. Combined with the project import capabilities of the start page, an existing add-on from KDE Apps can be imported, modified, tested it on multiple devices locally and then uploaded as a new creation to KDE Apps in a matter of minutes.

Plasmate integrates several excellent Free Software tools in order to provide these features including Kate for text editing, git for revision control and GnuPG for cryptographic signing. Also bundled with Plasmate are a set of helpful development tools including a DataEngine viewer (plasmaengineexplorer), a stand-alone Plasmoid viewer (plasmoidviewer), a wallpaper plugin viewer (plasmawallpaperviewer) and a remote widgets browser (plasma-remote-widgets-browser).

A screencast demonstrating the features of Plasmate 1.0:

Plasmate has been made possible through the combined efforts of 46 different developers and numerous translators who have localized Plasmate in a variety of languages. The current maintainers are Giorgos and Antonis Tsiapaliokas. Find and interact with Plasmate developers in #plasma on irc.freenode.net or on the plasma-devel@kde.org mailing list.

Download the source code for Plasmate 1.0 or clone the source code repository via the Plasmate project page.

Comments

Any word on the possibility of Debian/Kubuntu packaging for Plasmate?


By Ken at Tue, 2013/03/05 - 6:17pm

Project Neon PPA has Plasmate .DEB


By juancarlospaco at Wed, 2013/03/06 - 8:25am

Experimentation commences in 3...2...1...


By Ken at Tue, 2013/03/19 - 8:33pm

Just what I need to finally experiment with plasma development.

Suggestion - perhaps link to the plasma-devel subscription page (https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/plasma-devel) rather than just the mailto for the list address. [Editor note: added - thank you]


By Lindsay Mathieson at Tue, 2013/03/05 - 8:59pm

Just tested it, and looks promising. How about adding some kind of UI editor for Plasma widgets?
It would be great for beginners who want to start tinkering with Plasma/QML etc.


By lokster at Wed, 2013/03/06 - 10:16am

«Plasmate follows the UNIX philosophy of "do one thing, and do it well"»

Ah, if all developers would think the same... we would have a quarter of the projects we have for so many things but most of them well done (home many QT browsers are there around, 4, 5? And how many work well, none?)

Anyway, a nice program to start developing widgets. I suppose it must be more limited than «real» programming, no? Anyway is a great program, necessary, I'd say, to let non programmers who have cool ideas participate in the KDE's development and enrichment. Thanks for your work.


By MEDINT for Chávez at Wed, 2013/03/06 - 3:33pm

Could it be that in Help > About Plasmate the version string is wrong? i only get plasmate 0.1alpha3.


By Anonversionus at Sun, 2013/03/10 - 11:41am

These are the tools that make the lives of EVERYONE so awesome!


By Jacky Alcine at Mon, 2013/03/11 - 4:16am

I love this and I hope this becomes a default app in future kubuntu distros!


By Iqscope at Thu, 2013/05/23 - 2:44pm