so i hit the "publish" button on my last entry about the new phase/animator screencast when it occurred to me that i hadn't actually explained what phase/animator is or does.
in short, p/a is meant to solve three related problems:
- make it easy to use animated transitions in desktop elements so that authors of add-ons will do so
- make the animations consistent by doing them all in one place (phase)
- make it easy to change the animations (animator)
why change the animations? well, besides the obvious "because people like to tweak stuff!" there's the issue of performance: what if you are using plasma over a network and you just don't have the bandwidth to have all those animations going on? what if your cpu is really short on power? what if you just don't like animation to begin with?
phase manages the registration and lifespan of various graphical effects, including animations and transitions. it hands off all the actual image processing to an animator, one of which (that doesn't do much of anything) comes built in. if you want special effects, then plasma loads an Animator plugin and uses that instead.
to try out the default animator, open plasmarc and put this in it:
there's still a good amount of work left to do on Phase/Animator, but the design essentially works at this point which is a good thing.