As the design and the code is slowly shaping up in KDE's repository, I'm in the mood to make some noise. Yes, KDE 4 will have yet another brand new framework: Solid. After Plasma and Oxygen that will deal with fluidity on the desktop, we're focusing on another state of matter because in the end we have real devices to interact with.
Solid will be a way to finally make the hardware and desktop applications work better together. First, it'll be a middleware KDE applications will be able to use in order to discover devices or networks available to the system. Second, it'll deliver a Plasma engine, to easier desktop applets creation. Third, it'll provide a knowledge base to add and consult devices behavior reports. I think this last point will be interesting in the long run, it'll be another way for the users to be involved by updating it.
What will this all mean to the average user? A desktop that is more robust and does more with the devices available. It'll also mean an easier access to hardware features. Most of those changes will be under the hood, but we expect some pretty neat new applications and applets using them.
And, what will this all mean to the developer? It means that the features provided by different platform will be streamlined while portability is kept by implementing Solid backends (currently only two backends are provided a HAL one, and a fake one allowing unit tests). It also means that all the building blocks to deal with the hardware will be at hand, they just need to be used.
A new website is around for this framework, it looks similar to the Plasma website and that's perfectly intended since I consider both to be complementary. They are the pieces of a same puzzle, and I'll do my best to see them fit together perfectly.
Speaking of Plasma, it leads me to beauty. In this area pinheiro strikes again since he designed the Solid logo. Moreover, the Oxygen crew provided us two brand new (and not seen before!) icons used on our website. Thanks a lot to our artists! They do a marvelous job!
And Happy New Year Everybody!