The sprint is over for some time. You can see summaries of the different sessions and some slides in the wiki. Besides talking about QtWebKit and how to improve it (API, features, speed, make people aware that they can contribute, influence the release schedule, policies.. *hint*) the thing that has impressed me the most is unrelated to coding.
We all hear when someone from our Community is leaving the Qt department, and we always wonder how life will continue, who will fill the gap. In the last year a couple of new people got hired at Oslo and I'm really impressed how they find such capable people that are technically skilled and willing to move to Oslo! kudos!
For the Bookmarks widget for Plasma you can now select which folder to use as base menu:
So you can set up a few Bookmarks widgets for your most needed groups of bookmarks. In a row on a panel, or for your different activities, or whatever you want to do.
Also will the tooltip of the Bookmarks widget be set to the name, the icon and the description of the folder. And even better, this data will be automatically updated if you change any of these in the global bookmark editor, like fixing a typo. Even in the settings dialog above the folder data will be updated. Thanks to the nice KBookmark* classes in kdelibs this all was quickly added.
For compile instructions see the link at the begin. Compiles also against KDE 4.3.
BTW: If you live in or around Dresden in Germany and want to have some fun and gather some experience running the ...read more...
I've put a little tutorial in the KDE userbase wiki about MIDI on Linux because Linux users have very little help setting up their systems for MIDI usage.
First, I would like to apologize for a joke, that was not my original idea. I've found it at the renaissance music web site of Alain Naigeon. He says that MP3 is like fast food, WAV is tasting the meal, and MIDI is cooking the recipe. He also says that playing a MIDI file is not reproducing a performance, it's a new performance. I agree, but on the other hand each MIDI file is a recording of a musical performance. Even more than a MP3 or a CD, because it contains no sound, only the musician actions. For instance, the folks at the Minnesota International Piano e-Competition distribute MIDI files of the competitors' performances, recorded in Yamaha Disklavier concert grand pianos, as standard MIDI files. And you can play these files in KMid2. Try this one: ...read more...
It is great to see how many people participated in the first icon test for KMail: 3327 started the test and 2399 finished. This is a drop-out of about 28% across the whole study and fairly good for this kind of study - especially seeing the technical difficulties we had when we started the study.
It is great to see that we got sufficient participants for reliable results in all languages!
As you might know, our test combines multiple indicators and calculates a single value for each icon-term relationship. The maximum value an icon-term-relation can reach is 10,0. Following I split up the results into 3 groups:
1. Icons working really well
All of the following icon-term-relationships show average values above 8 with no individual value below 7 for any language. We can assume all these icons to work well enough in all tested languages.
Hey! Again it’s been a long time since my last blog post. The main reason for this was me being busy with a lot of stuff…
First of all, let’s talk about KGet… There has been a whole bunch of work on it in the last months, including the merge of Matthias’ great work during SoC, a kget-krunner (thanks to Tomas Van Verrewegen), a lot of feature development and even more bugfixing…
Get it, test it and, most importantly: report bugs!
The other project I’m currently busy with is Shaman2. Dario wrote a long blog post about it already, so I won’t say too much. Just one thing: It’s awesome… Expect it to be rockin out quite soon…
I hope I’ll have some more time to keep you updated in the future…
I will give a presentation at Camp KDE as some of you might know. The topic is KDE and cloud computing. The idea is to give an overview over the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing compared with native Qt applications. I plan to give some ideas how we as a free software community could combine the best of both world and see what we have to do to create something which is better than Chrome OS combined with the traditional KDE Desktop and still have control over our own data.
I would like to have some input from you how you see the advantages and disadvantages of web based applications and storages compared with KDE Desktop apps.
So the questions are:
1. Advantages and Disadvantages of web based application for developers
2. Advantages and Disadvantages of web based application for users
3. Advantages and Disadvantages of KDE Desktop application for developers
4. Advantages and Disadvantages of KDE Desktop application for users.
Please post you answers below this blog post or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ha, what a bit of a bribe can do to me… Someday earlier today a user of the PHP plugin for KDevelop brought up the flickering issue in it again. Well as I told him: I myself find it very annoying and wanted to fix it since quite some time, but never got around to it… Usually that would be it and I’d go watch some more FamilyGuy until I’m in the mood to track this bugger down. But well, thankfully Phlogi wasn’t so easy to dispatch:
<Phlogi> milian: ok… I’ll send you pizza and beer if you fix this!
Hours of gdb sessions later, I finally committed a fix. So Phlogi, if you read this: You owe me ;-)
To all others: If you tried the PHP plugin out and the flickering was too much for you: Give it a try again! I’m personally totally overwhelmed, the difference is huge! I often perceived the PHP plugin to be magnitudes slower than the C++ one. Well, looks like most of this was only due to the flickering. ...read more...
Lets continue the wallpaper line with something I made for those who would like to celebrate the winter Equinox (also knows as Yule in Europe). Well this isn't my best work unfortunately. And I'm sure just like me you are too half-sick of blue already. Hope I can do better next time.
*This time I decided not to rely on plasma and has built my own installer. Basically this is just a self-extracting archive. Download it, make sure it's executable and click on it to run. I hope it works as expected (should on SuSE as that's what I'm on)
YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD that Mozilla released Thunderbird 3.0 last week . This update to Mozilla's popular multi-platform alternative email client was long awaited, reportedly having been under development for two years by more than 1,000 coders in the Mozilla Foundation's developer community worldwide.
"This trick in particular is one I stumbled on purely by accident, but when I first saw it, all I could say was, "Whoa", because I immediately had a surge of ideas go through my head as to why it's so useful.
Thanks to all those who commented on my recent proposal to “iconify” licenses. That is, representing the essential terms of various Free Software licenses as icons so you can quickly get a feel for their meaning. This is, in the current state of software licensing, no replacement for actually reading and understanding the licenses, but as a mechanism for quick (as opposed to deep) understanding it seems to work well enough.
ComputerDruid pointed out that we’d need an icon for the network-copyleft effect of the Affero-style licenses (AGPLv2 and AGPLv3). The salient point of the GNU Affero General Public Licenses is that the requirement to distribute source is also triggered by interacting with the program over a network. The license text has an addition (in version 3) to clause 13:
Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, if you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network … an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source ...read more...
So a week ago, I got my green belt in modern arnis. Through hard work, practice and persistence I earned this honour. This semester has been one of learning, of growth. Of awakening. I took on a group project, and although it was in many ways not quite what I’d hoped for, it turned out all right. I found myself joining another project, and that one was more fun – and stressful at times. :) I started the semester with a workload I knew I could handle, piled on more things until I was feeling overloaded, scaled back to what I could manage – and then loaded on more again and found a way to pull it all off. I’ve discovered things I’m quite good at, and some I’m really not. I’ve made mistakes, and hopefully learned from most of them ;) I feel as if a whole new world has been opening up before my eyes. It’s scary and tough, but I feel like I finally have the strength and desire to face it and ...read more...
December is almost always a hard month for me. Besides the seasonal brinkmanship with depression that I struggle with as the days dwindle away (something I liked a bit better about living closer to the equator in the past was not having to deal with that) it often seems to come with its own stew of drama. Some years are decidedly harder than others, and thankfully this one is somewhere in the middle of the pack. I'm looking forward to spending the holidays at my sister's (for the first time ever we'll get to do the Christmas thing together!) and things are looking like they are all coming together .. but the spill and slop of December can be seen as my schedules get routinely disrupted (excuse the irony / puns ;) and I fail to do the usual like keeping up with my blog. Mea culpa.
Much has been afoot, however.
Netbook World Summit
This was a bit smaller than I'd expected, but it was very useful to be there along with Frank Karlitscheck (opendesktop.org, KDE ...read more...
One of the features I worked on for Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) was an implementation of Ayatana notifications for Plasma. Ayatana notifications are passive (without buttons) notifications which are queued instead of stacked. An interesting feature of these notifications is that when you move your mouse over them, they fade away and let you click through them, making it possible to interact with the window below.
In Kubuntu 9.10, Ayatana notifications for Plasma are implemented as a patch against the systemtray applet (go to the systemtray configuration to enable them). This was accepted by the Kubuntu developers as an experiment, not as a permanent change, because the Kubuntu devs prefer to follow upstream KDE as much as possible. As a consequence, I was told the patch implementing Ayatana notifications would not be present in the next version, Kubuntu 10.4 (Lucid Lynx), because the idea of passive notifications does not fit with Plasma team vision.
I initially was skeptical about passive notifications, but it grew on me and I didn’t want to loose them. From the feedback I received, quite ...read more...
At the start of the year I was wondering if I could buy just one monitor and have a triple head setup with it. In the end it was just easiest/cheapest to buy two new 1920x1200 monitors. Other one of the old 1280x1024 monitors went to use but other one was still standing on the corner of my desk. I though that it could run another X server and work as view only screen for some plasma applets and perhaps for occasional TV. I grabbed some left over wood and metal plate and did myself a 0? monitor stand and so I ended having triple head setup after all.
An idea that is suggested every now and then is to look at software licensing and give it a kind of “Creative Commons” feel; that is, present the terms of the license in a pleasant and orderly way by means of icons. Now, we’ve already come to the realization that calling something “Creative Commons licensed” is vague to the point of being useless (just “some rights reserved“). Calling something “Free Software” is also vague, but there is a rock-solid guarantee at the bottom: the term guarantees you, the recipient of the software, at least the Four Freedoms. Any Open Source software you receive usually means at least the Four Freedoms as well. So you need to say which CC, which Free Software license, which Open Source license.
CC has six licenses; they are split neatly and orthogonally along the commercial / non-commercial and yes / share-alike / no axes.
The thing is, CC is a much simpler system because it applies to work where there are no patent concerns, where embedded systems don’t have ...read more...
The first (and only?) beta release “Tattoo” of Amarok 2.2.2 is out! Check the release announcement for all the nice features in it like moodbar support and help us with testing and bug reporting and fixing.
Between all the bikeshedding and confusion, there is actually work getting done on our git migration. ;) The list of tasks is slowly progressing – we have keywords like CCMAIL and BUG: working now, thanks to morice. :) yay!
Konversation has been chomping at the bit, and now they’ve jumped over to git too – with two projects hopefully we’ll flush out any issues amarok may have missed, and they’re enthusiastic about getting the git tasks done too. :)
Still, there’s a lot of work to be done. Some of the blockers listed on that page don’t have enough people working on them – one doesn’t have anyone at all. If you’ve got some time over the winter break, come help us! :) We have meetings in #kde-git every wednesday at 10am PST, which is 18:00 UTC.
If you can help out with documentation, tomorrow is a really good time to join us. After tomorrow’s meeting I’ll be returning to the techbase git tutorials and whipping that page into ...read more...
Just a heads up that the KDE4-OpenSolaris group has now got KDE SC 4.4.0 beta 1 (version number 4.3.80) building the following components: base, pim, games and graphics. For me that’s what makes a minimal desktop. Getting Akonadi up and running was the biggest challenge, because it needed a fix down in Qt related to bit-twiddling, compiler flags related to aliasing, and mutexes. One line, but it took quite some time to hunt down and rebuild.
You can get the sources for the specfiles here, and build from source. It will take a while. If you’ve built Qt 4.6.0 previously from the repo, do remember to remove it first because of this mutex change (we still don’t have a good means of getting pkgtool to decide when to upgrade). Background information for this effort may be found on KDE Techbase.
The wether forcast mentioned snow on Wednesday. We had some yesterday and today it is really snowing away. Looks like I'll have to buy a sledge for Lisa! Will be great fun.
Right now I'm sitting, writing about Qt's new animation classes released in 4.6. Looking at the snow, writing about this, makes me wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to implement animations that delete themselves and their items when the item leaves a given bounding rectangle.
Why? Then you can define a bounding rectangle, e.g. the screen, and create snow flakes with randomized animations and just let them drop.
I remember doing something like that back in the STOS/AMOS days. You created a sprite, defined an animation pattern and then forgot about it (as I recall). This was great for the 2D shooters of the time with aliens attacking in predefined patterns. Not 100% sure how the surviving aliens (yes, you have to take bad players into ...read more...
It is really great to see how many of you already took part in our KMail-Icon-Test. A lot of questions arrived my by mail or in my blog, so I thought I would just explain a little about testing icons…
We do this testing, because icons are useful and beautiful - they save place and people can recognize them faster than they can read text. Practically icons work via a visual-metaphor. If that metaphor, however, is not understood by the user, the icon does not work out. One can easily realize, that it will be much easier to find a visual metaphor for “save” than for “save as” or even more complex or abstract computer actions.
With the tests we mainly want to answer two questions:
We only have limited resources. Now we want to work on some new icons - but which icons should we work on?
We want KDE SC to be usefull for everyone in the world. So, do our icons and our terms work for everyone in the ...read more...
Those are not radically new features, but rather a refinement of what it was available in KDE Plasma Desktop 4.3
When the mouse cursor is over a task, the corresponding window gets highlighted (dimming all the others), this works for groups too, highlighting the goup's windows. This was already available in 4.3, but it's works in a way more reliable way now.
What's new is that now moving the mouse cursor over the taskbar tooltips triggers the highlight effect too, useful to quickly pick a window from a group, since the thumbnails are now clickable too, activating the proper window.
Another new and very useful feature (even if a bit "hidden"), is seen around the middle of the video: if you click on a task group with Ctrl pressed, it doesn't open the usual popup menu, but it triggers the present windows effect, giving you a fullscreen chooser of the group windows
Tasks should have text or not? The text in the taskbar is a really important disambiguation, so should always be shown when possible. but in some cases it's ...read more...