September 27, 2016

KDE Discover Gets a New GUI Thanks To Kirigami's New Release

KDE's Discover Gets a Slick New GUI
KDE's Discover Gets a Slick New GUI

Earlier today, Marco Martin announced the release of Kirigami 1.1. For those who may not be aware, Kirigami is the former Plasma Mobile, redesigned to be more streamlined and allow for easy adhesion to the guidelines laid out by KDE's Visual Design Group.

Martin describes Kirigami in the following way:

"a set of QtQuick components at the moment targeted for mobile use (in the future desktop as well) targeting both Plasma Mobile and Android. It’s not a whole set of components, all the “Primitive” ones like buttons and textboxes are a job for QtQuickControls (soon QtQuickContrls2) but it’s a set of high level components to make as easy as possible making applications that look gorgeous on mobile devices that follow the Visual Design Group UI guidelines

The target of those components is anybody that wants to do an application using QtQuick as its main UI, especially if targeting a mobile platform, without adding many dependencies. They work both in Plasma Mobile and Android. It will eventually become a Tier-1 KDE Framework.

Bringing relevance to the whole "in the future desktop as well" angle, in a small mention at the bottom of the blog post, Martin announces that KDE Plasma 5.8 on the desktop will have a new use for Kirigami: Discover. As you know, Discover is the "application store"-type GUI app installer for KDE. In the past, Discover had a few niggles, such as low performance, applications not showing up that were clearly in the repositories and installable, and applications that would show up but appear to be missing icons.

I haven't had a chance to test Discover yet in 5.8 due to a personal hardware issue, but if looks mean anything, Discover looks snappy and usable. Considering that a GUI-based application installer is one of those "gotta-have" things when determining the viability of a desktop environment for a new user (and users in general), I'd say that any work in this department is certainly a critical step in the right direction.

It remains to be seen in the future how Discover will integrate and play with sites like in the future, but more on that later...

Have any of you tried it yet? If so, what do you think?