Getting started with Kirigami

Learn the Kirigami framework by creating your first convergent application

In today’s world, there are many types of digital devices: desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, and so on. A harmonious and efficient user experience is only possible when the software’s user interface is tailored to each device’s physical characteristics and the way that a user will interact with it.

Some devices are adaptable, e.g. a tablet with a keyboard plugged in, or a convertible laptop with only the touchscreen in use. These types of devices will require the user interface to adapt as necessary for each usage mode. If minimal changes are needed (for example, a laptop plugged into a large external screen) this can be achieved with a “responsive” design, as described in responsiveness in the HIG. For more extensive changes (for example, a tablet plugged into a docking station with a mouse and keyboard attached), an entirely different user interface paradigm may need to be presented.

The design of KDE software, and by extension the Kirigami Framework, is made with convergence in mind. Convergence means that a piece of software’s user interface can immediately adapt its user experience to the particularities of each type of device that it can run on (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc).

This tutorial will guide you into creating your own convergent application using the Kirigami framework.

Kirigami is build on top of the QML language provided by the Qt project and Qt Quick Controls 2 components. QML is the declarative UI language from the Qt project and unlike the older QWidgets it is designed with (embedded) touch systems in mind and thus is ideal for mobile apps.

Kirigami is a set of QtQuick components designed for creating convergent applications.

While the UI code is done in QML in a declarative way, the business logic is usually created in C++ for performance reasons.