KDE's Plasma To Be Reworked, Use More OpenGL
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 14 October 2010 at 09:51 AM EDT. 65 Comments
While we already know that by the time KDE Software Compilation 4.7 rolls around it may optionally support OpenGL 3.0 within the KWin compositing manager, but with time KDE's Plasma may begin using more OpenGL too. Aaron Seigo has written a lengthy blog post about what he hopes to achieve with Plasma and its library going a few releases out into the future. This includes a rather extensive rework of Plasma and its drawing, which would include the use of more OpenGL to allow for greater hardware acceleration.

The blog post can be read in full at BlogSpot, but it basically comes down to leveraging QtComponents / QML / Qt Scene Graph to allow every paint operation to be accelerated on the graphics processor by using OpenGL. Part of wanting to do this is because some components (like QGraphicsView) are not as fast as they could be and there's just much room for improvement. All of this work though would result in a new library (libplasma2) that would be source and binary incompatible with the current Plasma library used by KDE SC 4.x. Nearly everything would need to be ported over to QML as part of this endeavor.

Let's just hope by the time this KDE Plasma overhaul is complete that the open-source graphics drivers have been bettered and that LLVMpipe is in a fast and modestly usable state for everyone else lacking GPU support.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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