The Plasma Workspaces team is excited to announce the first stable release of Plasmate: an add-ons SDK that focuses on ease of use.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.