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Het Open Web
Oktober 29, 2009

Freeing the Web from the Browser

By Sebastian Kügler.


Most of the user's interaction with the Internet, or rather "The Web" is currently going through the web browser. As a development platform, this appears to be rather limiting. The diversity of input devices, needs for caching and offline usage are all problems which are not consistently solved for most applications.

Deep integration of data from the web while using local UIs provide one way of getting around such limitation. The KDE team is working towards deep integration of online data and web services into applications and the primary UI of the device. This allows for streamlined user experience combined with merits, modern web applications offer the user.

In this presentation, Sebastian demonstrates and explains some of the technologies used in Akonadi, Plasma and Qt that integrate user's data such as email, contacts and bookmarks as well as the Social Web and other web services deeply into the desktop, taking advantage of locally available infrastructure on the client device. Akonadi is a local cache and one-stop-shop for applications that want to integrate PIM data. Plasma is the primary user interface of the KDE desktop, but also a library to build canvas-based user interfaces for wide range of devices, from mobile to media centers.

Qt itself offers numerous techniques that allow asynchronous fetching of data, XML parsing, XSLT transformation of XML data sets. Qt's webkit integration makes it easy to directly integrate content from the web into the applications, or give applications this "webby" feeling.


Sebastian, (or "sebas" as he is known online) is a KDE hacker and strong supporter of Free Software. Hacking is not his only focus, however. Sebastian started up KDE's Marketing Working Group and has since helped streamlining KDE's public relations, communication and branding. As part of this work, sebas acts as primary contact for the press.

He was elected into the KDE e.V.'s Board of Directors in 2006 where his efforts are spent on PR, organizational development and more generally making KDE e.V. (the non-profit organization behind KDE) support the KDE community in the best possible way.

Sebastian's role in KDE's release team is coordination of the communication around releases. He also represents the KDE community at events world-wide and is a frequent speaker at international conferences. Sebastian has written several articles for various magazines. On the development side, sebas's main interest is Plasma, KDE's primary desktop shell where maintains several of the default components and actively develops others. Being an expert in power management on Linux, Sebastian's special interest is Plasma on mobile devices.

Sebastian works at KDAB, a company specialized in providing expert Qt knowledge. You can follow Sebas on his weblog at http://vizZzion.org.

Najaar 2009

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