A dozen cool plasmoids for your KDE desktop

A new development environment spurs new applications

Lancelot is a plasmoid application launcher menu for KDE 4 designed to provide a place from which all jobs begin

Lancelot is a plasmoid application launcher menu for KDE 4 designed to provide a place from which all jobs begin

Okay, before I begin writing about plasmoids, we have to get one thing straight – what on Earth is a plasmoid? A plasmoid is an applet developed with KDE’s new Plasma application development environment. More information about Plasma can be found at its Web site.

When I interviewed Plasma’s chief architect Aaron J Seigo earlier this year, he told me one of the goals of Plasma was to make it easier to develop applications for KDE. Plasmoids are the embodiment of that goal and can be written in C++ or a scripting language like JavaScript and then easily shared among other KDE users.

So let’s take a look at what people have been cooking up with Plasma – the results are quite surprising and many are already shipping with the standard KDE 4.1 desktop.

Lancelot

As a plasmoid Lancelot must take the cake for the biggest so far. According to its sole developer Ivan Cukic, Lancelot is an application launcher menu for KDE 4 designed to provide a place from which all jobs begin. It provides quick access to applications, places, documents, contacts and system information. Lancelot features a no-click interface, integrated search and drag-and-drop to the desktop.

Color Picker

This plasmoid needs no introduction, if you’re doing HTML or graphics, use it to get the colour value of any colour on your desktop.

Panel Spacer

The Panel Spacer plasmoid allows you to put some blank space between the other applets located in a panel. You can set a minimum fixed size and/or allow the spacer to stretch if there is free space to the right. A line separator is optional. Panel Spacer is good for grouping icons on the panel.

KGet

KGet is a download manager for KDE, and the plasmoid lets you monitor your downloads right on the desktop. This plasmoid can show a bar chart, a pie chart and a speed graph.

PeachyDock

PeacyDock is a rewrite of PrettyTasks that aims to bring complete OS X dock-like functionality to the KDE desktop. It has an applet (PeachyApplet) and a containment (PeachyDock) and is now being developed in the KDE SVN-repository. It almost seemed inevitable that someone would try their hand at cloning Mac OS X’s dock in Plasma.

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