- Improve kiosk based lock down and deployment management: there is the new plasma-desktop scripting support, but action restrictions and more fine grained kiosk controls are not yet done. Let's call this one 50% done.
- Plasma Netbook: Plasma Netbook is now in kdebase, we have it running quite successfully on modest ARM based hardware (e.g. an 800Mhz ARM7 chipset) and cool things are afoot there as we work on improving and streamlining the interface both functionally and visually. Early reviews have been positive, and much has happened since then. We're certainly on track and then some with this one, even if 4.4 were to ship next week.
- Media Center Components: work continues on this with quite a bit of code already written. A plan for how and when to merge this into mainline is still missing and there is more work to be done. At least we have progress on the media center side, something that languished for the year prior.
- Remote Plasma: This works and is merged into mainline already. There's GPG signing left to finish so we can support the full range of TrustLevels we've defined (Invalid, Unknown, Valid, Trusted and Ultimate credentials), but otherwise this item is pretty well done and ready for 4.4.
- Pluggable Containment Actions: Works and is merged into mainline. There is one very small bug left but we have a patch that fixes it, though it requires Qt 4.6 which it looks like KDE 4.4 will require anyways. The configuration UI could use a bit more love, but it has also improved. As with Remote Plasma, this item is pretty well done for 4.4.
- Widget Explorer: The new widget explorer is much more Plasma in its nature and is also in mainline already. There are a few points of integration still missing, but the holes are filling in quickly and the results are nice. It's particularly good for Plasma Netbook and will be as well for Plasma Screensaver Overlay when that integration is completed.
- Improved KWin Integration: Slide in/out effect is now in KWin and we're working on a new Activities Overview interface that will also work better with KWin. Plasma Netbook and KWin also have been working on common needs. This isn't an item that can even really be considered "done" as much as it can be considered to be "where we need it to be right now", and we're getting closer and closer to that. It's certainly already improved of KDE 4.3, thanks to both the Plasma and KWin developers. Eventually, I'd like to see a new "composited window manager features" specification so Plasma and other window managers can work really well together and so that we have some documentation of all these tricks as well as opening them up to usage by non-workspace applications. Sort of a "EWMH" for the next generation.
- Plasmate: Git integration works and you don't need to know anything about revision control to use it, projects can be created and edited, plasmoids can be previewed ... it's coming together. Still more work to be done before it can go into mainline (either kdesdk or into extragear; still not sure which :), but major progress has been made already.
- KUIServer Resurection: This has been completed and it works. Now jobs can outlive Plasma and be viewed by other apps (e.g. Konq/Dolphin in the future?) simultaneously. Some glue and string left to put into place, but generally ready to go.
- Notification Improvements: Some, but not all, of our goals here have been completed. Queue control and logging are still open, but things like close buttons on all notifications (including ones with actions) and obeying the Persistent flag are done. More to do, but already improved over 4.3.
- Kinetic: There's a patch on review board for this. It needs some more work, but recently two other developers joined in and I hope to see it in mainline soon along with a good number of effects. We already have kinetic scrolling in mainline, in fact, which is great for the organic feel (one of the Plasma goals) as well as touchscreens.
- More KRunner: Not a whole lot of KRunner work as of late, but small improvements including someone appearing with a Kopete runner among others. KRunner always seems to develop at a slower pace than the rest of Plasma, but it does get new features and increased stability with every single release.
- Plasmoid Updates: This is still pending the Get Hot New Stuff improvements as well as some of our own security work related to signing and Trust Levels.
- Notification Item Goes Prime Time: KNotificationItem is in libkdeui now so any KDE based app can safely use it. The team is busy getting more and more KDE applications to do so by submitting patches to various developers of applications in KDE's svn via review board. We've also submitted a draft specification of the full system to freedesktop.org and a lot of good review has resulted. Things like making sure it works properly between machines with different endianess really only happen with such scrutiny. We're now working on ways to allow applications to associate Notifications with their Notification Items, which means instead of one massive list of notifications we can converge notifications and system tray entries and even buttons in the task bar. So while this one is at 100% as far as our KDE 4.4 goals are, we're continuing to build further on its successes to date. We're still looking for other projects such as GNOME, Enlightenment, XFCE, LXDE, etc to start picking it up as well; until then, only KDE 4 will let you escape the dark ages of the system tray and enter into one where you can do magical things like have a 16 pixel panel where everything fits and uses your selected icon them. ;)
- Improved Documentation: This is improving, albeit slowly. We're doing much better at documenting the things we've added for KDE 4.4 than previous releases. Then there are things like the new "how to do $THING" animated micro-screencasts that have popped up. It's all an ongoing effort, however, and can really use more hands on it. It's also something one can do even if they aren't a hard-core developer.
- New Configuration Dialogs: the global Plasma theme settings are now to be found in System Settings alongside the widget style selection and the Activity and wallpaper settings dialogs have been split out as well. Other improvements to various widget's configuration also have been done. More work? Yep. Lots accomplished already for 4.4? Yep.
That wraps up what I covered in the Plasma in 4.4 blog back in July. As usual, however, other valuable things have popped up as well. What kinds of things?
The device notifier in 4.4 will no longer require a pop up dialog when there is more than one action (they appear in-line in the notifier widget) and will support greater control over what's shown (e.g. not just hotplug devices and a show/hide of individual items that mimics the Places view as seen in Dolphin and the file dialogs).
The system tray can now aggregate full Plasmoids alongside Notification Items and legacy System Tray Icons. Plasmoids offer more flexibility and greater integration possibilities within Plasma as a whole, with Notifications Items being easier to talk to from external applications and legacy icons being, well, still just annoying. ;)
You can drop remote content onto a Plasma surface and the right things just happen, including setting of wallpapers.
Lots of improvements to Lancelot have been made and the Network Management widget progress is very nice as well. The Online Knowledgebase widget is also in mainline now and others are waiting in the queue. We're examining ways of teaming up with Qt Lively and extending our reach across the device spectrum.
Large numbers of bugs, performance bottlenecks and mis-features have been addressed and a good number of those have been backported for subsequent 4.3.x releases.
So it looks like 4.4 will be yet another massive release for us in Plasmaland. It's not 100% smooth sailing everywhere all the time, to be certain, and we're getting ever better at being agile enough to alter course when and where needed. It's a wild ride, and 4.4 will be another great pit-stop along the way.