I'm pleased to announce the release of the first alpha of Plasmate, a Plasma add-on creation tool.
Plasmate uses a number of the great KDE components such as the Kate text editor and various Plasma goodies to present a lightweight "mini-IDE" specifically for creating Plasmoids, DataEngines, Runners and even assembling Plasma Desktop Themes. It includes built-in git support, which is why you won't find a "save project" button anywhere but instead a "New SavePoint" button and a timeline. A documentation browser is also included that pulls documentation from Techbase and api.kde.org.
The intended workflow is this: you open Plasmate, pick what kind of thing you want to create or pick something you had already started and you are brought to a project window with everything set up. So far you've clicked perhaps at most twice and entered a name for a new project. You add code and view it in the embedded previewer as you progress, reloading the preview whenever it's of interest to you and adjusting things like the form factor or screen location (handy for simulating use in a desktop panel, for instance). When you are happy with your progress you create save points (and roll back to old save points when you become unhappy with your progress ;) and at the end of it all click Publish to send your merry creation on its way.
At this stage, we are still in early alpha stage development of the application. So while many of Plasmate's functions work, there are no guarantees it won't eat babies with one hand and lay siege to your castle with the other. (I don't know what that means either, so don't ask. ;) There are a number of unpolished, unfinished and even some unstarted features. Theme creation is basically a stub at this point, the Publish page is mostly functional but not polished, there aren't previewers for DataEngines or Runners, etc.
However, we're aiming for a 0.1 release that we can call stable by the summer and to help us achieve that we'll be doing regular releases of alphas, betas and eventually release candidates. At the start we'll be doing at least one release per month and slowly accelerating as we approach release. At the end of each development time period, we'll be tagging svn and rolling a tarball.
We invite the courages, curious and interested-in-getting-their-hands dirty to check it out and join us in the journey towards 0.1. Here's how:
- The 0.1-alpha1 tarball can be downloaded and used to build from source
- The 0.1-alpha1 tag can be fetch from svn with: svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/tags/plasmate/0.1-alpha1
- The mainline development tree can be fetched with `svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/playground/base/plasma/plasmate` and can be updated with a simple `svn up` whenever desired
- Bugs are filed at bugs.kde.org under the plasmate product
- The developers hang out when available on irc.freenode.net in #plasma
- Development discussion happens on firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd like to thank the following people who have written code that has ended up in this release:
- Shantanu Tushar Jha
- Diego Casella
- Yuen Hoe Lim
- Richard Moore
- Artur Duque de Souza
- Riccardo Iaconelli
- Frerich Raabe