About me

I'm a web and software developer from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
I design and implement user interfaces, also contribute to open source projects.

2013年5月18日 星期六

SlateKit Shell - A Qt5/QML WebKit Browser with Sliding-Drawer UI

This blog post is now offered in Spanish language thanks to Webhostinghub.com.

This is a project I dream to have for almost two and half years, now I finally have the time and right tools to make it.

Why does it look like a drawer? Can't you make something new?

Even though Navigation Drawer pattern is quite trendy nowadays, but this was extremely influenced by the three-year-old Chromium OS tablet conceptual mockups. When I started this browser project, I set up a few goals to follow:

  • Explore layout and user interface design possibility
  • Make a Touch-First control, then add desktop support if needed
  • Write it entirely in QML and JavaScript, to see how far it goes

QtQuick looks like a perfect tool for UI prototyping, and I wanted to learn how it holds up without C++ glue code, custom Model or any other plugins. It turns out pretty okay.

What kind of features does it have?

Apart from the side-tab support, we have some basic features:

  • Custom Popover for select elements and inputs
  • Historical search suggestion and highlight using QtQuick.LocalStorage

Wait a second, is that a virtual keyboard?

You're reading it right! Shell comes with a modularized keyboard (using the Fakekey plugin), this makes it possible to be running as a self-host standalone kiosk-mode application, without using any input method engine or window system, on any touchscreen device comes with a Qt environment.

What's next? Conquer the world? Put it back to shelf and move on?

I think porting it to Ubuntu Touch (and platforms like Mer/Sailfish OS or Hawaii Desktop) with their SDK/Components seems to be a reasonable target. And I will work on small form factor for sure.

Please get it from Github, play with it, feedback/bug report/patch are more than welcomed! :-)

penk <penkia@gmail.com>

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How install on Ubuntu Unity?