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Beautiful Architecture

Cover of Beautiful Architecture by Georgios Gousios... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.


The KDE 4 platform, both as a development platform and as a runtime environment for the execution of integrated applications, rests on a number of so-called “pillars.” These key pieces of infrastructure provide the central services that applications expect to have easy and ubiquitous access to on a modern desktop. There is the Solid hardware interaction layer, which is responsible for providing the desktop with information about and notification from the hardware, such as a USB stick becoming available or the network going down. Phonon provides an easy-to-program multimedia layer for playback of various media types and user interface elements for their control. Plasma is a library for rich, dynamic, scalable (SVG-based) user interfaces that go beyond the standard office look.

The personal information of the user—her email, appointments, tasks, journal entries, blog posts and feeds, bookmarks, chat transcripts, address book entries, etc.—contains not only a large amount of primary information (the content of the data). It also weaves a rich contextual fabric from which much about the user’s preferences, social interactions, and work contexts can be learned, and it can be used to make the interaction experience of many applications on the desktop more valuable and interesting, provided that it is readily, pervasively, and reliably accessible. The Akonadi framework aims to provide access to the user’s personal information, the associated metadata, and the relationships between ...

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