We've gotten into a bit of rut over the last few months here, though it's the good kind of rut: we've been going on hikes most weekends, exploring the outdoors. The southwest coast of Canada is just perfect for it: mountains, oceans, forests and relatively temperate weather. I bought some new hiking boots last week in recognition that we were going out more often and onto more difficult terrain. While the shoes I had had done me well in past hikes, it was time to move on up. This weekend we went out to the Sigurd Creek trail to break them in.
Yes, they suck, we all know it. Yes, they're boring to write, and annoying when they break, and generally - the bane of every developer's existence.
But please, write them. A lot.
I've worked on a lot of projects during my life (especially if I count ones I just throw a patch at and never look at again), but one thing that often runs true is that they usually don't have enough unit tests written. This is of perhaps because they don't have enough anal-retentive people like me badgering other people to write unit tests.
Humour aside, unit testing is important, especially when you're working on a library. Bugs are natural, and will happen, but unit tests help to catch bugs (so you don't release horribly broken code), and to prevent the same bugs happening in the future, which is also quite possible.
I was wandering around Qt's code the other week, and was a bit astonished to notice just how few tests some of the base parts of Qt had (QList, QVector, ...read more...
My name is Christophe Olinger aka binarylooks and I am a lurker….I mean, I was a lurker. Since the KDE 4.0 times I have been following KDE on mailing lists and blogs and recently also on irc with this constant feeling of awe and wonder about the ever evolving quality and beauty of the KDE desktop and its associated applications. I sometimes ranted about small things like bigger album covers for amarok or why the hack is there no sound in my flash video in rekonq. Some of the replies were of the shut up or contribute variant (righteously so) and I mostly followed the first suggestion. No more!
I always felt that media consumption on the KDE desktop did not really feel the way it should for me. I mean, I can do everything I want and need with dragonplayer, amarok, digikam or gwenview, but somehow I wanted a different experience. With the possible rise of tablets as personal computers in addition to the desktop or a netbook I wanted to have something more ...read more...
… that the ~QX11PixmapData(): QPixmap objects must be destroyed before the QApplication object, otherwise the native pixmap object will be leaked. warning most KDE applications display when exiting is actually false.
The X server will cleanup any opened resources, including pixmaps, automatically when the client exits. This is much like how the kernel automatically closes files and memory allocations when an application exits.
(The QPixmaps in question are the ones cached by KIconLoader as best as I can tell. They are cleaned up, just not before QApplication’s destructor runs.)
It's been a while since I posted a blog in the 'who is KDE' series (part 1, part 2). Meanwhile, there are of course still plenty of great blogs out there, and the ones I described last time might be worth revisiting.
This blog was prompted by me bumping into our cool buzz.kde.org site (which, btw, doesn't work properly in Chromium? Back to Konqi then..). A tweet in there pointed to this blog, in Polish (google translate here). It reviews a SVN version of the 4.4 release, mostly focusing on plasma stuff. But there is also news on KWin, Marble and Dolphin. My only gripe is that the author calls it Desktop Envirionment still - maybe I should comment on that ;-)
We’ve already got some excellent ideas on the wiki and there will be a Dot article quite soon with one last call for artwork and setting out the process for choosing the best. In the meantime, it’s not too late to add your design.
If you submitted a design already, then hopefully you got a message from me thanking you and providing some additional guidance – in particular we’d like some horizontal web-banner like variations. If you are the Ivan who submitted an idea or you know who he is please get in touch (drop a comment here is fine or you can find my email address on the About page here). If you’re about to submit a design please give us a way of contacting you.
Only a couple of hours before leaving for the KDE Finance sprint, I got this package on the mail. It was a gift sent by one of our users: The book is "C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4", and it will certainly be useful to us through this transition period to Qt4. I've already used it a couple of times, and I expect to read it fully over the next 2 months. Thank you! (you know who you are)
This is again a littlebit of a rant and hopefully a head up for people working on that stuff to eventually get the their stuff somehow working for KDE 4.5 and the next kernel releases.
Most of the time, I am working on windows nowadays during my day work (research). I am only using linux on my netbook (AsusEEE 1101HA) for some system administration and webdesign tasks, but that more and more starts to suck. I know I am partly to blame my self, because I am using openuse factory and kde unstable from the OBS.
Things that suck: *) I have to disable ACPI (grub acpi=off) with recent kernels (2.6.34-rcX) to get the kernel booting at all (kernels < 2.6.30 appear to work.) --> No battery status *) After the login Plasma (just one directory view) and one konsole window take around 3 minutes to show up on screen and start getting usefull. During that time dbus-deamon and plasma-desktop have an equal share of around 45% CPU load. *) Once KDE is up and running, ...read more...
Stu is awesome and because he’s awesome he wrote a nice wrap-up of the successful SoK 2009 projects for Google’s Open Source blog. Go and read it and see the cool stuff that has been done last year.
This is the package our 4 successful students received: Thanks a bunch to Giulia, ruphy and sheytan for designing the shirt and certificate and Claudia and Torsten for getting them printed and shipped.
Oh and btw: I’m still looking for more mentors – ping me!
KMyMoney is now in string-freeze in preparation for the release candidate of version 3.98, which we expect to RC1, on May 15th. Almost exactly one year after we started the work on porting KMyMoney to KDE4, we will release a version deemed stable enough for general use.
Just finished editing a dot story on Choqok (will go live sometime next week). Some of you might have noticed the initiative by its main developer Mehrdad Momeny to speed up development by soliciting monetary input. This will allow him to spend more time on making Choqok rock, but also give users a tangible way of influencing development priorities. This can increase commitment from the users, developers and the community - while bringing real benefits (in terms of code).
One of the best initiatives at FOSS Nigeria was the founding of the PyKano Python user group.
It is open for anyone (with a focus on people in Nigeria). The intent is for people interested in Python to have regular local meetings but also discuss on-line. If you happen to be interested in programming and in the region, join the group!
In my last post, I gave some background on what a shared-memory cache is, and how KDE already uses one (KPixmapCache) to save memory and make the desktop more efficient. I also noted how the current implementation leaves some things to be desired, and hinted at a new implementation I was working on.
In this second part, I’ll discuss some of the basic design principles of the new class, which I called KSharedDataCache.
Why a new class?
If you didn’t read Part 1, you may be wondering why I don’t just fix the current implementation, KPixmapCache, instead of writing new code. It’s a good question, but the short story is that due to the public API used by KPixmapCache, it is non-trivial (to say the least :) to improve KPixmapCache and take some necessary steps to improve its performance. The penalty of getting it wrong is pretty severe as well, as there have been probably hundreds of reported crash bugs already due to KPixmapCache.
Since forever (where we define the start of time to be when I started working on Plasma) it has been possible to run Plasmoids, or any widget that Plasma can display, in a window on its own using plasmoidviewer. It isn't completely satisfactory for running widgets in a window, though, because at its heart plasmoidviewer is a development tool meant for testing and debugging Plasmoids.
(By the way, did you know that there are similar apps for DataEngines and Wallpapers? plasmaengineexplorer and plasmawallpaperviewer.)
Marco worked up a small proof-of-concept app in playground some time ago that lets us run Plasmoids in windows slightly more satisfactorily. Here's a shot of a clock and the microblogging Plasmoids running with a Konversation window in behind and the pretty KRuner window nearby:
Right clicking on a Plasmoid gets you the usual suspects in the context menu along with a "Quit" entry that quits that Plasmoid. What's really cool is that they all run in the same process, keeping overhead down. Now, the goal for this ...read more...
Right from the time I found about the Gluon project (which I found on the GSoC ideas page), I've been very excited and having loads of fun with the Gluon team (as usual :)
I'm happy to announce that the Plasmoid has taken its first step, displaying a Gluon example game on an OpenGL rendered Plasma applet. The applet is a Plasma::GLApplet which uses the Gluon Framework to create game graphics and output game audio alongwith support for input.
Here's a screenshot (yes, the transparency is a bug)-
Wow, what an awesome development cycle! The Lucid Lynx has matured to a ripe old age of 10.04 and now brings you 3 years of support through free security and maintenance updates for your desktop. The Kubuntu team, as well as the entire Ubuntu community, did an awesome job this cycle and my hats off to each and every one of you, job well done friends!
Some new things for this release include:
KDE Plasma Desktop 4.4
An official Kubuntu Netbook Remix featuring KDE Plasma Netbook 4.4
Installer slideshow (I did the text, so read it! Let me know how horrible it is and we can fix that up in future releases)
Today we released Kubuntu 10.04 LTS. This is the first Long Term Support release to feature KDE 4 Platform and Applications. It's very exciting that the long journey to KDE 4 has come to the level of stability where we can call it LTS.
A big thank you to the hard working Kubuntu team, too many to name but they have toiled day and night over the last 6 months to make sure you have the latest software with the minimum of bugs.
While Clarisse had chickenpox and then the other kids were on holiday for two weeks, develoment has been slow for me but I managed to finish a few tasks. - Picture Frame widget: I gave the Picture of the Day various providers a good test and repaired those which were not working anymore. Marco "notmart" discovered that the Flickr one was constantly asking for kio processes and he fixed that. I added today the change of the picture when the day changes. - Etienne "eti" who has been providing patches for several KDE areas got a svn account and implemented an auto-update feature on the Picture Frame for static pictures: the user can set the refresh time for his pictures. Thanks to eti for all the patches he is committing, it's great to get new people into KDE development! - I also got a contribution for KAppTemplate, the small program in kdesdk which generates templates to get you started in KDE programming (those templates being also used by KDevelop). Lindsay sent a Konq plugin template which I ...read more...
I wanted to blog last monday - but just didn't get too it. Bloody busy at work. And NOW is the only time I have, as later today I work, then it's queens night in NL, and then queens day, and then it's weekend again and I'd be a week late....
Anyway, I just wanted to write a bit about last sunday - which was a brilliant day. I went to the Elf Fantasy Fair in Kasteel de Haar, a beautiful medieval castle close to Utrecht.
And here I'll include a few pics (more on Picassa) to give a taste of what THAT was like ;-)
I'm sure you recognize them...
This dude just went over the top - he looked like he walked just out of the movie...
And this lady also must've spend quite some time on dressing up.
A big hello to all planetkde readers and authors. This is my first post here and it’s about my main current KDE project. Since KDE 4.4 the kdeplasma-addons package contains an onscreen keyboard. I decided to write one after I didn’t find a really useable keyboard for text input for a touchscreen-umpc. Well, I gave the umpc back. But the next time I buy a touchscreen device I want to have a nice keyboard for text input – that’s why I’m working on this. I never used the keyboard in 4.4 on a touchscreen – and I never got much feedback before its release.
Onscreen keyboard in KDE 4.4
Now I have to admit that the 4.4 version is not much useful for several reasons – but the good news is that this will all change in 4.5. This is the list of improvements I have already in place:
The speed and memory usage of the keyboard has been greatly enhanced. I ...read more...
Yes, this is the now customary "we have students in GSoC for our project" posting for Plasma. First, though, some updates on the scripting session from yesterday: Jonathan Riddel has posted logs of the meeting (thanks Jonathan! :); I've updated the documentation on Techbase for the Plasma Shell Scripting and review is welcome as are fixes made directly to the page, it is a wiki after all!
Back to the topic at hand, however: GSoC and Plasma! It's a bit of a different kind of year for us with GSoC, to be honest. In past years we've had a number of "brand new ideas being implemented from scratch" type projects. This year there's a much strong focus on finishing out features.
We tend to design a little bit ahead of ourselves so that we know where we are trying to go and always know what there is to do next when we finish what we're currently busy with. While this can sometimes lead to a feeling like we're constantly "behind" where we ...read more...
Hello KDE followers and developers. As some of you may already know this year I play the role of mentor for my baby, Plasma Media Center project. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes thanks to the big efforts Mr. Christophe Olinger is putting in this huge project. I'll probably talk about his work later on a dedicated post.
Say hello to Onur-Hayri Bakici, the one who will take care of improving and deploying a good API and some plugins for the Media Center. Here comes his personal introduction to himself:
"My name is Onur-Hayri Bakici. I am studying computer science since 2005 at the Technische Universit