KDE Plasma Workspaces
KDE Plasma Workspaces
|Initial release||January 11, 2008|
|Stable release||4.10.3 (7 May 2013[±])|
|Preview release||4.10 RC3 (18 January 2013[±])|
|Written in||C++, QML (Qt)|
|Operating system||Unix-like, Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Widget engine and desktop|
|License||GNU Lesser General Public License|
Plasma Workspaces is the umbrella term for all graphical environments provided by KDE. Plasma separates components into "data engines" and their visualization counterparts. This is intended to reduce the total programming effort when there are multiple possible visualizations of given data; and to make it easier for the data engine and the workspaces to be written independently. Currently there are three workspaces being developed: Plasma Desktop for traditional desktop PCs and notebooks, Plasma Netbook for netbooks, and Plasma Active for tablet PCs and similar devices.
Available workspaces 
Plasma Desktop is the first workspace that was developed by KDE. It was declared mature with the release of KDE SC 4.2. It is designed for desktop PCs and bigger laptops. In its default configuration it resembles K Desktop Environment 3 and Microsoft Windows XP but extensive configurability allows radical departures from the default layout.
Its technology is a fundamental rewrite of several desktop interaction programs included in previous KDE desktop environments for Unix-like systems, focusing on eye candy and special graphical effects. The Desktop Workspace replaces the previous KDesktop shell, Kicker taskbar and SuperKaramba widget engine used in the K Desktop Environment 3 series with a unified system of widgets that can be configured and replaced with alternative designs.
Plasma Active 
Plasma Active’s Semantic File Browser
|Developer(s)||KDE, basysKom, Coherent Theory, open-slx|
|Initial release||October 9, 2011|
|Stable release||3.0 / October 15, 2012|
|Operating system||MeeGo/Mer, openSUSE|
|License||GNU General Public License v2|
Plasma Active is not a workspace on its own. It is a service built on top of the Plasma frameworks that enables the creation of full-fledged workspaces using only QML files without the need to program in C++.
Contour is the Plasma interface for tablet devices. Its development was initiated in April 2011 by basysKom. Replacing an earlier Tablet prototype, Contour is now the main workspace and was shipped as part of Plasma Active 1.0 which was released in October 2011.
Plasma Mobile was targeted at smartphones and small tablet devices that are mainly used via touch input. It was originally expected to be released in 2011 along with Plasma Active 1.0 but development focus shifted towards Contour. Plasma Mobile, meanwhile, has become part and has been superseded by Plasma Active.
First technology preview of Plasma Mobile during “Tokamak 4”.
KOffice document viewer under Maemo 5
Early development version of KMail Mobile.
Plasma features containments, essentially an applet that contains other applets. Two examples of containments are the desktop background and the taskbar. A containment can be anything the developer wants: an image (either raster graphics or an SVG image), animation, or even OpenGL. Images are most commonly used, but with Plasma the user could set any applet as the desktop background without losing functionality of the applet. This also allows for applets to be dragged between the desktop and the taskbar (two separate containments), and have a separate visualization for the more confined taskbar. From KDE 4.0 to KDE 4.2, the default theme Oxygen was characterized by dark tones. In KDE 4.3, replaced by the new Air theme, which predominates in transparency and white as base color. New themes for Plasma can be chosen and installed through an authority.
The scalable nature of the Plasma widgets allows for them to be resized and rotated to any size, with only a brief pause to redraw themselves. The Kross scripting framework allows developers to write widgets in a variety of programming languages in addition to C++. Widgets are aware of their size and can be made to show more or less data depending on their size.
Plasma can support other widgets. Support for SuperKaramba (the widget engine used in the KDE 3 series) has been added for legacy reasons.
KRunner is a versatile tool to the user for various functions. Replaces the dialog box "Run Command" in previous versions from K Desktop Environment 3, it inherits from the application launcher feature, however, expanding the possibilities through a modular plug. KRunner stores the efforts made to propose them as needed via an auto-complete feature of search terms. It can be shown on the desktop via the keyboard combination ALT+F2 or by selecting "Run Command ..." in the desktop menu.
These functions are handled by the plugin:
- Application launcher, type at least three letters of the desired name or description, KRunner shows applications associated with the terms of the research allowed the selection of the desired one.
- Calculator, simply enter the desired operation to show the result, it also supports sophisticated expressions.
- Contacts can search for entries in the KDE address book allowing you to directly open, for example, KMail to write an e-mail. The address of the recipient of your choice is automatically added to the message.
- Unit Converter converts values between different units of measure.
- Web history, search history of recently visited sites in Konqueror.
- Recent documents, search for matches recently opened files.
Supported widgets 
This is a list of widgets that the current release version of Plasma supports. Not all widgets are supported by default in all Linux distributions; some may require different packages, or even a recompilation of Plasma.
- Edje gadgets and E17 modules
- Google Gadgets (desktop)
- Mac OS X Dashboard widgets
- SuperKaramba desktop themes (separate package in some distributions)
Default environment 
These operating systems offer it as the default environment:
- ALT Linux
- Ark Linux
- Chakra Linux
- Mageia (DVD version)
- Mandriva Linux
- Magic Linux
- Netrunner (operating system)
- Qomo Linux
- Sabayon Linux
Project icon 
- "KDE Ships May Updates to Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform". KDE. May 7, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
- "KDE Ships Third Release Candidate of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.10". KDE. 18 January 2013 .
- "Plasma/Plasma-Netbook". Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Plasma Active". Retrieved 2011-05-09.
- "Plasma Desktop". Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "SC 4.4.0 Caikaku Release Announcement". KDE. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Contour Open Source Project announced – a new and innovative usage paradigm for digital devices". basysKom. 2011-04-11. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Carl Symons (2011-10-09). "Plasma Active One released!". KDE. KDE.NEWS. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
- "Plasma Active 3 Improves Performance, Brings New Apps". KDE. 2012-10-15.
- Artur Souza (2010-12-03). "KDE's Mobile Team Meets for First Sprint". KDE. KDE.NEWS. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "Plasma/Plasma-Mobile". Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Linux.com: KDE's Plasma is heating up
- "KRunner". Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Chakra Project". Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- "Kubuntu website". Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- Ryan Paul (2009-08-21). "OpenSUSE community konfesses love for KDE, makes it default". Condé Nast Digital. Ars technica.
- "SuperX Distrowatch page".
- "Plasma". Retrieved 2010-11-21.