当苹果计算机公司在 1984 年发布了 Macintosh 之时，桌面──正如我们所熟知的那样，成为了主流。二十年之后，我们依旧在本质上有着相同的桌面概念：桌面上的文件和应用程序图标，菜单和面板拥有分割条。这些隐喻中增加了一些改进，比如在 20 世纪 90 年代时，任务栏的添加特性，但是实际上真正改变的东西还很少。
然而我们的桌面图标仍然沿袭着 1984 年的样式。我们的桌面面板自从 20 世纪 90 年代以来没有本质上的变化。越来越多的用户正放弃将桌面作为一个放置图标的地方了，我们的需求已经超过桌面所能承载的了。
是时间把桌面赶上现代计算机运算实践并再次使我们坐在计算机前的生活更加惬意、更加有趣的时候了。就好比在 1984 年为人们创造出的那些图标。
然后，这就是 Plasma 的目标和要求：采取我们所熟知的桌面并将其再次相适应。惊人的秀丽、工作流驾驭的设计以及新想法就是关键的因素，而这个网站便是它诞生的门户。
受到工业设计带给消费电子市场的典雅的启发，Plasma 美工者和开发者正努力地工作以求给您的桌面带来复杂高级的典雅。我们有着正体现在大量技术的每个层面中的又新、又现代化的图形图像处理能力的益处，如果您之前看见过 SuperKaramba 的器件，那么您就看到了所有这些可能的事情的一个开端。
从另一个方面看，Plasma 必须首要提供给一般 KDE 用户以高效并人性化的桌面访问。所以重点便放在了界面中的透明度和工作流敏感的设计上。配置将保持简单，默认设置将会被仔细地挑选以默认提供一个能激发兴趣的体验设置，而自定义和扩展环境仍会提供。
多个关系桌面的基本组建正重新审视和重新设计中。这包括了 K 菜单应用程序启动器，运行命令对话框以及任务栏交互性。以几年来用户的经验得出，桌面和面板的外观能更好地为新想法服务这一点很显然。
一致性是另一个关键要素。通过为桌面和面板提供相同的 applets 和图标，包括在它们间无缝的拖动，Plasma 将突破两个桌面元素间的障碍。如果用户想要把一个时钟从面板上移动到桌面上，他们就能那么做。任何可以在桌面上工作的东西也应该在面板上相同地工作，反之亦然。
当然，尊敬用户的经验是重要的。当创造这扣人心弦的新套界面时，项目也意识到，它不应该过于偏离现状的桌面设计以便使新用户不会感到当他们安装和使用 KDE 时好像跨入了一个完全不同的境地。
最印象深刻的，这完全是 自由/开源 软件，并且能够运行在任何硬件和操作系统平台的 KDE 上。
Plasma 团队正花费许多时间思考并工作在这些新的桌面组件。结果将是一个系统，它用不着您花很多时间思索或者使其以您所期望的方式工作而努力。实际上，我们的工作会在一般用户几乎不注意它工作机制的时候完成。简单地享受 Plasma 所带来的秀丽和感受吧。
A New Beginning
When Apple unleashed the Macintosh in 1984 the desktop as we know it became mainstream. Two decades later and we still have essentially the same desktop concepts: file and applications icons on the desktop, a separate bar for menus and launchers. Incremental improvements have been made to these metaphors, such as the addition of the taskbar in the 1990s. But very little has actually changed.
During this same period of time the Internet has become an integral part of business and even many people's personal lives. Computing is network-centric and multimedia is no longer a buzzword, it's the norm. Movies, music, instant messaging, workgroup collaboration and dazzling graphics all make up the modern computing experience.
And yet our desktop icons still sit there much as they did back in 1984. Our desktop panels remain essentially unchanged since the 1990s. More and more users are abandoning the desktop as a place to put icons as our needs outstrip what they can provide.
It is time that the desktop caught up with modern computing practices and once again made our lives easier and more interesting when sitting in front of the computer. Just like those icons did for people back in 1984.
Development of KDE4 has just begun, and it is during these major release cycles that we have the opportunity to retool and rethink our applications and environment at the fundamental level. The fact that the current desktop concepts have lasted this long is a testament to their effectivity, and we should not simply abandon all sense of the familiar and the useful. Yet we can not stay where we are either.
This, then, is the goal and mandate of Plasma: to take the desktop as we know it and make it relevant again. Breathtaking beauty, workflow driven design and fresh ideas are key ingredients and this web site is your portal onto its birth.
Beauty and Design
People want gorgeous interfaces built upon sophisticated graphic design. This may sound obvious, but expectations have risen dramatically even just within the last five years.
Inspired by the way industrial design brought elegance to the consumer electronics market, the Plasma artists and developers are working hard to bring sophisticated elegance to your desktop. We have the benefit of new, modern graphics capabilities emerging at every level of the technology stack and if you've seen SuperKaramba widgets before, then you've seen just the beginning of what is possible.
Plasma will deliver new looks for most traditional panel elements, an extensions system designed for beautiful results and graphic treatments that will firmly cement it as the desktop by which others are measured.
Looks aside, Plasma must offer the average KDE user efficient and ergonomic access to their desktop first and foremost. So an emphasis is being placed on clarity and workflow sensitive design in the interface. Configuration will be kept simple and default settings will be carefully chosen to provide a compelling experience by default while still providing a customizable and extensible environment.
Several of the fundamental components associated with the desktop are being reviewed and redesigned. This includes the K Menu application launcher, the Run Command dialog and taskbar interaction. With several years of user experience to draw upon, it has become evident which aspects of the desktop and panels could be better served with new ideas.
Consistency is another key factor. By offering the same applets and icons for both the desktop and the panel, including seamless drag and drop between them, Plasma will break the barrier between the these two desktop elements. If the user wants to move the clock from a panel to the desktop, they should be able to. Anything that works on the desktop should work the same on the panels, and vice versa.
Of course, respecting the past experiences of a user is important. While creating this exciting new set of interfaces, the project is aware that it should not deviate too far afield from the status quo desktop design so that new users will not feel as if they've stepped into a completely alien landscape when they install and use KDE.
It's probably quite apparent that meeting these various goals requires a good dose of innovation. Meeting the goals of usability and beauty is already pushing the limits of our imaginations and experience. Project based collections, network aware widgets for collaboration, interfaces that you can zoom in on to examine details and zoom out of to gain overiew and free-form layout of add-ons are all being experimented with. And this is just the start of it.
Once running, applets can be placed (and later moved) on the desktop, any desktop panel or even set to "float" above other windows. The desktop itself will be able to be called forward with a handy key combination, and floating applets can be stowed away or retrieved in similar fashion.
Most impressively, this is all Free / Open Source software and will run on any hardware and operating system platform KDE itself runs on.
The End Result
The Plasma team is spending a lot of time thinking and working on these new desktop components. The result will be a system that you don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about or struggling with to make it work the way you want it to. In fact, our job will be done when the average user hardly notices the mechanisms at work and just simply enjoys the beauty and sense of Plasma.