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System & Utilities

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Chani Armitage (Chani): ‘Cause Life is Sweet

System & Utilities

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 more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 17.12.2009 | Прочитано: 608 | Комментарии

Aaron Seigo (aseigo): the pulse

System & Utilities 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 (, KDE more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 17.12.2009 | Прочитано: 848 | Комментарии

Aurelien Gateau: Introducing Colibri, an alternative to Plasma notifications

System & Utilities

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 more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 17.12.2009 | Прочитано: 534 | Комментарии

Petri Damst

System & Utilities
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.

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 17.12.2009 | Прочитано: 529 | Комментарии

Adriaan de Groot (adridg): Understanding licenses, bit by bit

System & Utilities

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 more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 16.12.2009 | Прочитано: 764 | Комментарии

Lydia Pintscher (Nightrose): Got a Tattoo?

System & Utilities

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.

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 16.12.2009 | Прочитано: 560 | Комментарии

Chani Armitage (Chani): KDE and git

System & Utilities

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 more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 16.12.2009 | Прочитано: 522 | Комментарии

Adriaan de Groot (adridg): KDE SC 4.4.0 beta 1 on OpenSolaris

System & Utilities

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.

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 16.12.2009 | Прочитано: 521 | Комментарии

RE[8]: *facepalms* in Stallmans general direction

System & Utilities

Thread beginning with comment 399657 To view parent comment, click here . To read all comments associated with this story, please click here .

Подробнее | Разместил: KDE News | Дата: 15.12.2009 | Прочитано: 537 | Комментарии

Johan Thelin:

System & Utilities 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 more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 15.12.2009 | Прочитано: 502 | Комментарии

DistroWatch Weekly: openSUSE wins KDE distro comparison, Archiso-live, Ubuntu 10.04 feature list

System & Utilities

"The verdict? The best KDE distribution today is openSUSE 11.2: "Our winner is openSUSE.

Подробнее | Разместил: KDE News | Дата: 15.12.2009 | Прочитано: 523 | Комментарии


System & Utilities

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 more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 15.12.2009 | Прочитано: 588 | Комментарии

Marco Martin (notmart): Plasma and KWin

System & Utilities

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 more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 14.12.2009 | Прочитано: 536 | Комментарии

Andrew Stromme (astromme): TimeVault Progress Update

System & Utilities

TimeVault is alive! Ok, so maybe it was never really dead. But I’ve found some time to work it and after reworking most of the internals I’ve finally gotten it to back up again.

For those who don’t know, TimeVault was originally a gnome backup system that I used way back when I was on Ubuntu. I liked the concept but disliked the implementation and so sometime after moving to KDE I started working on my own TimeVault. The goal is to have a user friendly, dead simple backup system that runs in the background, knows about (and exclusively uses) external media and isn’t afraid to integrate into KDE frameworks wherever it can.

Now the project has deviated quite a bit from the Gnome one with the same name. With that in mind, I’m contemplating a possible name change to reduce confusion. If people have suggestions feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.

The following is an image of the KDE System Settings page for TimeVault. It shows the current state and allows the user to more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 14.12.2009 | Прочитано: 593 | Комментарии


System & Utilities

I have self-backed policy of not mentioning competition if not really necessary, let it be G or M. So as a minimal effort I just quote these carefully selected bits (bias included!) instead of commenting the recent story:

[..] I think there is no reason to work on another package which is equivalent to Qt. If you want something like Qt, use Qt.

  --Richard Stallman, September 5, 2000 about then-disappearing need for creating Qt replacvement (aka project Harmony) after GPLing Qt

[..] We evaluated writing a free Qt replacement, but reimplementing an API would most likely result in less efficient software and would have taken too long to implement. GNUstep, Wine and LessTif were other projects that had attempted to reimplement a proprietary API and just had a limited success after a long development history.

  --Miguel de Icaza, ~2000 mentioning that the story of reimplementing proprietary APIs in FOSS did not start just with appearance of mono & moonlight

As much as I more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 14.12.2009 | Прочитано: 506 | Комментарии

Adriaan de Groot (adridg): Back from EOLE

System & Utilities

Wednesday I was at the European Parliament building for the EOLE. The event is a medium-sized (say 60 attendees) legal oriented event around Free Software; this year it featured a track full of definitional goodness — let’s try to formulate words commonly used in Free Software (in licenses, but also other writing) in terms that lawyers can understand.

This kind of event is useful because it works towards normalizing the vocabulary used by practitioners in this area: in other words, we end up calling a spade a spade. If we can agree on what “source code” means exactly in the context of the GPL (actually, version 3 has a fairly lengthy definition, which is something we can work with), then it becomes much easier to consistently advise projects and businesses on how they can best engage with Free Software.

Any get-together of people with a strong legal background in Free Software is sure to bring out some more interesting interpretations or corner cases. There’s always another jurisdiction or recent ruling to take into account, and of course more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 14.12.2009 | Прочитано: 502 | Комментарии

Albert Astals Cid (TSDgeos): Calling Frisian KDE users

System & Utilities If you are using KDE in Frisian (fy) take a note that the team is currently having problems to fulfill the essentials to be released with KDE SC 4.4 and you should join them to be able of using KDE in your language. If you want to help mail me at aacid kde org and i'll tell you more details.

Of course this offer is extensive to most if not all KDE translation teams as more helping hands are always welcome. If you are a user that doesn't know how to code help translating and you'll be able to say

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 551 | Комментарии

RE[2]: It wourld be awesome

System & Utilities

More and more rumours and bits of news are making their to the web about Apple's upcoming Snow Leopard operating system.

Подробнее | Разместил: KDE News | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 484 | Комментарии

Jason A. Donenfeld (zx2c4/jdonenfeld): New Laptop for the First Time Since 2001

System & Utilities

Middle School

The last time I bought a laptop for myself was in 7th grade, 2001. I was 13 and I used all my savings to buy a $3,700 Dell Inspiron 8100 running a Pentium 3 processor with a whopping 512mb of ram, a 64mb graphics card, and a gigantic 60gb hard drive. What an incredible machine this was.


Finally it’s time I buy myself a new computer. I recently acquired an Alienware M17x that’s pretty high end, but I’m not a gamer, so I’m selling it on eBay and am going to use the cash to finance the purchase of a brand new Dell Studio 1747. This was my first time selling something big on eBay, and at first I screwed up quite a bit — I listed it at $2,200, which is the price I want in the end for it. No one bid (except for a Romanian scammer offering me $3,500), and a friend of mine convinced me to list it at $0.01 – one penny – with no reserve price, and let more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 744 | Комментарии

Jonathan Thomas (JontheEchidna): The Weather Wallpaper in KDE SC 4.4

System & Utilities

Any avid followers of the weather wallpaper probably noticed that in KDE 4.3.80 the weather wallpaper configuration page sported an “Advanced…” button that opened up a dialog that looked something like this:

You may have also noticed, as attentive as you are, that the custom-wallpaper-for-different-weathers feature does not work. :(

The story behind that is that this summer right after trunk opened after KDE 4.3 I committed the initial code for that dialog and then went on a road trip with the family. I knew that the code had a few bugs in it, and it didn’t save the custom pairings at all, but figured I would get around to fixing it later. The trip was over in a week or two, but I found myself busy over the summer and fall with one thing or the other, and pretty soon it was KDE 4.4 beta time. Well, I wish I had gotten around to fixing it before KDE SC more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 616 | Комментарии

Cornelius Schumacher: Virtual easter eggs

System & Utilities Easter eggs are fun. A special kind of them are winter easter eggs (do you still call this easter egg?). In the spirit of this tradition we added some snow to SUSE Studio last week. Now when booting a virtual appliance in SUSE Studio's testdrive today, the openSUSE boot screen was all snow with some penguins wandering around. What a splendid coincidence. I guess you can call this a virtual easter egg. Fun :-)

Looking forward to real snow now.

By the way, did you notice that you can stop the snow in SUSE Studio?

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 573 | Комментарии

KAlarm 2.4.1

System & Utilities

KAlarm lets you configure personal messages to be displayed, audio files to play, commands to be executed, or emails to be sent at scheduled times.

Подробнее | Разместил: KDE News | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 472 | Комментарии

Michael Pyne (mpyne): GNOME + Slashdot

System & Utilities

So our brothers/sisters at the GNOME Project managed to hit the front page of Slashdot.

There’s a lot one could say about the topic, but I’ll just leave it at this: I think it’s ironic that a project started essentially entirely due to the non-Free nature of Qt (at that time) would decide to separate from the Free Software Foundation and GNU based on Richard Stallman’s disapproval of proprietary software. I guess the times, they are a-changin’.

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 535 | Комментарии

Peter Penz: Version Control Support

System & Utilities Before a feature is added in Dolphin, it is checked whether the feature is mandatory for Dolphin’s target user group. If this is not the case, it does not mean that the feature cannot be added; first it must be clarified whether the feature might be non-intrusive and adds a value for users outside the primary target user group. Non-intrusive is mainly related to the user interface. A feature that adds a lot of clutter to the main menu, context menus or toolbar might harm the target user group. In this case the feature will not be added.

A good example of a feature that is non-intrusive is the embedded terminal in Dolphin. It only requires one entry inside a sub menu, but adds great value for a lot of people that are not in the scope of Dolphin’s target user group.

Another kind of non-intrusive feature will be available for Dolphin in KDE SC 4.4: version control support. In KDE 4.4 at least a plugin for Subversion is given: more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 13.12.2009 | Прочитано: 568 | Комментарии

Boudewijn Rempt (boud): Wow!

System & Utilities

Thanks to our latest donor, Silvio Grosso, we're at four thousand euros now on Pledgie: Help raise Krita to the next level -- which together with the donations people have made into my bank account directly, means that, even after Paypal has taken its cut, Lukas will be able to work on Krita for another month in the summer!

Here's a screenshot of Krita showing off a feature Silvio asked for that we never really highlighted before: using flake shapes, it's easy to add vector arrows to screenshots, to point out important items. In this case, the default color setting for a new image, which is what I'm working on currently:

Deep-felt thanks go to the more than 160 people who cared enough about Krita that they made this donation drive such an unbelievable success! It is a big vote of confidence and I am determined that we'll prove ourselves worth of it.

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 12.12.2009 | Прочитано: 504 | Комментарии

Thiago Macieira (thiago): Incremental improvements

System & Utilities

I don’t know if this is showing up for the community, but we in Qt have been dedicating a lot of effort for performance improvements in Qt. For Qt 4.5, we had a project codenamed “Falcon” whose job was to improve the graphics engines and make them perform much faster. From that project, we got the graphics engines, including the raster and OpenGL ones.

For Qt 4.6, there was a lot of work done on Graphics View. For Qt 4.7, we’re going to do some more. Where, I don’t know yet.

Among the many ideas, one I’m interested in seems very small, but may be of important benefit: removing volatile from QAtomicInt and QAtomicPointer.

Here’s what happens: QAtomicInt derives from the internal class QBasicAtomicInt, which is a struct of one member: a volatile int _q_value. Similarly, QAtomicPointer derives from QBasicAtomicPointer, which is a struct of one member: T * volatile _q_value. The idea here is to remove those two “volatile” keywords.

Before you cry foul and tell me that I’m going to break your more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 12.12.2009 | Прочитано: 589 | Комментарии

Mario Fux (unormal): KDE multimedia sprint 2010 in Switzerland

System & Utilities

As I already shortly talked about in my last blog (btw: Jara is not with me anymore but that’s another story) there will be another KDE sprint in Randa, Switzerland. The date will be during May 2010 (the exact dates will follow next week) and the place at the House Randa.

If you have any relation to multimedia in KDE (audio, video, players, metadata, ideas or proposals) please add yourself to the doodle survey (your name together with your project). Especially if you are a Nokia/Qt person and have any relation with Phonon or Qt Multimedia please add yourself asap.

Until now the following projects are informed about the doodle survey:

Which projects are missing?

If (yes, another “if” more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 11.12.2009 | Прочитано: 508 | Комментарии

Bertjan Broeksema: All good things come to an end....

System & Utilities

even so KPilot. After having been part of KDEPIM for years it has been moved to tags/unmaintained/4/kpilot today. For months now no real development happened, there was not even bug fixing. I guess we have to draw our conclusions from that. Jason already said he lost his interest after buying a new phone about a year ago, while I myself still do have a palm I actually don't use it anymore.

KPilot has been a fun ride for me. Adriaan de Groot once dragged me in when I requested a new feature. It where my first in KDE software development. It showed me the trickeries of syncing pim data between two devices and it got me in touch with Akonadi. I even think it was one of the first pim applications to make use of Akonadi.

So this means that from KDE SC 4.4 on users won't be able anymore to sync there palm with the PIM suite again. I'm sorry for the inconvenience for those who still did (I did see a bug report coming up every now and more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 11.12.2009 | Прочитано: 581 | Комментарии

Celeste Paul (seele): HCI Foundations: Web Interfaces

System & Utilities

This semester I have a class which examines foundational literature in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Each week we have a topic and have been asked to write a short response or position on a question related to the topic. These responses could be interesting to those who are interested in HCI or would like to know more about the real science behind usability and design. I’ve decided to share some of my responses here on my blog.

Question: What are design issues in developing web user interfaces?

Keywords: AJAX, rich information application, usability, user interface, web development

AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) (Garrett, 2005) is a relatively new web technology which allows the browser to make server calls and display new data on the page without having to refresh or “repaint” the page. The technology has been at the forefront of what some call Web 2.0, a host of web technologies and services which is often characterized by features such as improved interactivity (because of AJAX technology), user-generated content (such as wikis), and social networking services (such as Facebook). This more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 11.12.2009 | Прочитано: 589 | Комментарии

Michael Pyne (mpyne): kdesvn-build konversation

System & Utilities

Now Konversation has also switched to git.

Peter mentioned it being unfortunate that there was not a way to build Subversion and git modules with the same tool. Except that there is, and has been since October (and even before in the summer if you like unreleased code). kdesvn-build. Yes, I know I still need to rename it, I’ll get to that eventually ;)

Anyways, here’s what I added to my existing kdesvn-buildrc to build konversation:

module konversation
repository git://
branch master
end module

Now one catch is that scripts (including Michael Jansen’s build tool, last I’d heard) seem to have less success running git than doing so at the command line :-(. If you do end up manually cloning the git repository then make sure you’re using the trunk version of kdesvn-build to avoid git errors later.

One possible workaround is to use the HTTP protocol for the repository instead of the git:// version, but that’s less efficient so I’d really prefer to more...

Подробнее | Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 11.12.2009 | Прочитано: 470 | Комментарии
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