Earlier this month I attended FOSDEM and the Plasma Mobile Sprint right after. Both of these events were especially important for our mobile venture. First, seeing how people are asking us to provide a good experience also in their pockets, then seeing how many people and energy is being put into making it happen.
Now what’s to coming from my end?
Better Wayland integration: keyboard
This was what I spent most of my time during the sprint. Now it was a bumpy one for me, since I got a bit of a flu and I wasn’t on my best shape. Still, it got me to produce this patch which implements zwp_input_method_context_v1 into KWin. Yes, there’re discussions of iterating the protocol, but as is, it already allows us to adopt Maliit, integrate some of ibus and in the end, exposing some very interesting features so one can care for text input without hacking them right into KWin.
Optimal EGL interfaces
Something else that was (made) clear to me that needed implementing was EGL_KHR_partial_update. This one is especially important specifically for the Pine Phone, but I’d expect other drivers to implement such an interface over time. It allows us to tell the driver which parts of the screen have changed, which is expected to in turn offer better responsiveness when rendering, since there’re some textures that won’t need to be fiddled with, when using a graphics card that uses tiled rendering.
For the curious, you can find the patch now here.
Having Android support for our applications has been undoubtedly useful for Plasma Mobile. We have a bunch of Free Software applications being developed on Android such as: Itinerary, Kaidan, Kirogi or Kongress. All these applications will be handy the day Plasma Mobile is in all our pockets. Until then, we can develop them for Android and get them used by the any of the millions of people who nowadays use the system, including most of us.
Now this is a delicate time since Qt 5.14 introduced a bunch of changes that made us have to adapt what we had, but now we are there and we’ll soon be able to start offering you all our applications using Qt 5.14 and newer stable versions as well. Volker explained it very well here.
I hope you’re all excited like I am to see Free Software reach our pockets. Plus, I’m also glad about how getting it in the pockets improve the experience overall: all the new apps will be useful when we are on our Desktops. All the Wayland improvements and optimizations will make our systems more useful and responsive.
What a time to be a free software hacker! 🙂