JUL
23
2007

KDE Commit-Digest for 22nd July 2007

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Plasma progress, with new Plasmoids: Browser, Notes, 3D Earth Model, Twitter, Desktop, and Tiger (scripting example), and the development of a mouse cursor data engine. Bug fixing spree in TagLib, K3b, and the Kopete Cryptography plugin. Support for encrypted storage devices in Solid, with better integration of device support in Amarok. Further integration of Plasma in Amarok. Work on making Konsole follow KDE settings more strictly. Much work on revamping Ark for KDE 4. Various functionality improvements in Umbrello. The start of a new version of the Smoke bindings access mechanism, Smoke2. Continued work in kdegames, with the import of KBlocks, a Tetris-like replacement for KSirtet. Rewrite of search-and-replace in Kate. Import of the Kubelka-Munk mixing algorithm, with a restoration of the MetaData framework in Krita. Work to enable networked document collaboration imported in KOffice. GetHotNewStuff experimentally reactivated in okular. A rewrite of the global shortcuts system added to KDE SVN. Pixmap Cache Summer of Code project merged into kdelibs, in time for KDE 4.0. KBoard, renamed Tagua, is removed from KDE SVN to continue in an external code repository.

Comments

Danny the plasma galore video is not playing.


By Ant at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Yep, working on getting it fixed at the moment.
While i'm fixing it, click the download link underneath the video to watch it.

Danny


By Danny Allen at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

The avi version looks corrupted here too, i've tested with mplayer (on linux) and with winamp on windows.


By Ant at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

It worked fine for me using Kaffeine.


By Soap at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

for whatever reason, mplayer has problems with files that come out of recordMyDesktop. xine (and therefore kaffeine and other xine based players) work just fine, however.

that said, it works perfectly here in mplayer.. it's stretched due to my widescreen (that's a recordMyDesktop annoyance), but it looks good =)


By Aaron J. Seigo at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Ok, afaik, the problem with kaffeine, mplayer etc. with recordmydesktop and similiar videos is due to an issue with the xv driver. Especially on gentoo linux I've never succeeded in playing those files with the xv driver. For mplayer just use the -vo x11 option to playback the stuff with the x11 driver. Use -vo help to display other available codecs. On my box trying to playback the files with -vo xv displays a blue screen but the x11 driver works flawlessly. Kaffeine lets you define a suitable video codec in the xine-parameters dialog.

good luck


By momesana at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

p.s. with codec I meant driver


By momesana at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

There is a youtube version now.

BTW. I don't wanna be negative about plasma but I _never_ see my desktop, since I always have maximized windows. I think it can be very useful on an independent layer, something like mac's expose.


By x0 at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Plasma is not just about the Desktop (as in the "background") : Plasma also encompasses the panels, taskbar, menus, etc. libplasma also contains some useful code that is being adopted in decidely non-widget-like applications, such as Amarok.


By anon at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

besides, maybe when the desktop becomes more usefull and easier to access, you WILL see and use it ;-)


By jospoortvliet-f... at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

I miss the golden days of 2006 and all the "Plasma seems still to exist only in /dev/imagination", "Most of KDE 4 is just vaporware", "Is nothing but a copy of Apple's dash board with some variations", "I'm just saying that it isn't *innovative*" posts.

Time to pre-announce KDE5 features for them to snipe at. :-)


By skierpage at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

> I miss the golden days of 2006

lol ... i sure don't ;)

> Time to pre-announce KDE5 features for them to snipe at.

focus follows mind, in KDE5! (finally!)

(old kde joke there)


By Aaron Seigo at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Oooh! Inside jokes! Explain it please.

(As an easter egg why not include a greyed out Focus follows mind option)


By ben at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

I guess you just spoiled it ;-)


By Andre at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

I could be done.
It just needs support for some kind of brain-computer interface... who knows maybe in 5/6 years it will really be a feature.


By Coward at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Actually, the technology already exists. I saw it on the Science Channel. A sensor is inserted into part of the brain that controls the hand/arm. Then the user can control the mouse cursor with his mind by thinking about moving his hand. Of course, it's intended for people who have lost limbs, or are paralyzed, but it mass market applications may follow as the tech evolves.


By Louis at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

I read about that brain computer interface in Scientific American more than a couple years ago (they where using monkeys, I think) but there's also more down to earth implementations of the this technology like the one mentioned in slashdot some time ago (http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/07/2358232&from=rss - this one is using a helmet like device) I also remember reading something about a currently available product (but only for ppc mac) somewhere but can't find the link. Apparently it was mostly used for music creation an really simple games.
There's also stuff like http://www.ibva.com/ ...


By The same Coward at Tue, 2007/07/24 - 5:00am

Actually, I would contend the criticism is still pretty valid.

Desktop widgets aren't new or revolutionary. For real-life day to day usage, most people have applications open and won't see the desktop much. I will admit that the number of data engines might make Plasma superior to all previous widget-implementations in that you can make very viable application replacements, however what I've seen is somewhat superfluous. A dictionary applet seems nice, but it is just as easy to throw that word into the search feature of Firefox, and with various search plugins, you can pull up the same dictionary data without this additional app.

And for all this discussion of a clean interface, the idea of cluttering my work space with widgets seems counter-intuitive. I had a "corkboard" app with widgets back in the days of Windows 95, and it seemed fun, but it was never really practical. It got in the place of proper usage. I've toyed with various widget implementations since then, and they've never added much beyond eye candy. My Google start page tells me the weather and such. I don't need it on my desktop at all times.

The Plasma website spoke of rethinking of how we use our computer and this huge revolution. Some of the KDE 4 mockups over at kde-look were pretty ingenious, but we're not seeing anything like that.

If all this development has centered on creating an API for widgets, so be it. To each their own, and in the world of free software, either you code it yourself, or somewhat be grateful for what you get.

I am still very eager for KDE 4, and I appreciate free software, but I am disappointed, and I feel misled by the very vague Plasma website. What we are receiving really doesn't seem to add up with what the project's supposed goals were.


By T. J. Brumfield at Tue, 2007/07/24 - 5:00am

I'll have to reiterate this for the nth time: your argument does not contribute anything positive in *any* way. Instead of unconstructively bashing developers, find a way to help them.


By Luca Beltrame at Tue, 2007/07/24 - 5:00am

I use to say the problem of plasma was that page they built and the text written there.
Plasma today looks just like a super karamba with steroids, nothing like a revolution in the desktop paradigm as announced when it was born.

I was very critic of Plasma, but once I understood where it was really goind (and not that page/text) I really don't care much about it now (don't take me wrong here, it IS cool, but not what I am looking for in KDE4), it's just eyecandy for a while :)
Maybe in KDE 4.1 we can start to see some integration of it into the apps structure and kdelibs, I sure hope so.


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Tue, 2007/07/24 - 5:00am

> Plasma today looks just like a super karamba with steroids, nothing like a
> revolution in the desktop paradigm as announced when it was born.

I don't think so. Behind the scenes, the plasma-status is already revolutionary enough for the most people, including some small developer like myself.

Well, ok, we could argue wheather it's actually revolutionary, or only evolutionary. But i think, the first steps are good enough for a bright future.


By Chaoswind at Wed, 2007/07/25 - 5:00am

Well, if you think that Plasma today is something very similar to other plataforms as Karamba and that thing on Mac I can't remember the name, it's just another one.

But if you say it's a new, easier way of doing that on KDE I say: UH HU, GREAT! :)


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Wed, 2007/07/25 - 5:00am

"Actually, I would contend the criticism is still pretty valid."

Yep.

"Desktop widgets aren't new or revolutionary. For real-life day to day usage, most people have applications open and won't see the desktop much. I will admit that the number of data engines might make Plasma superior to all previous widget-implementations in that you can make very viable application replacements, however what I've seen is somewhat superfluous. "

Well, the fact that they're better than any other is good enough, but, I guess they'll be integrate whit notifications and applications, know it's even extendig to applications internals, like whit amarok. So if even the kicker replacement will be a plasmoid it'll bring easy ways of replace it and a enormous integration whit others plasmoids.

"-And for all this discussion of a clean interface, the idea of cluttering my work space with widgets seems counter-intuitive. I had a "corkboard" app with widgets back in the days of Windows 95, and it seemed fun, but it was never really practical. It got in the place of proper usage. I've toyed with various widget implementations since then, and they've never added much beyond eye candy. My Google start page tells me the weather and such. I don't need it on my desktop at all times.
-A dictionary applet seems nice, but it is just as easy to throw that word into the search feature of Firefox, and with various search plugins, you can pull up the same dictionary data without this additional app."

Just because you do it in another way doesn't mean that's the better way, what is more useful:

a)Open Konqueror, Go Google, Check Weather.
b)Check weather

or your first example:

a)Install Firefox, open Firefox, add the search engine, look for the word
b)Look for the word

You have a rare concept os usuability, and what is "add extra applications" as far as I am concerned is the need of install firefox, or others extra non-kde appliactions.

"The Plasma website spoke of rethinking of how we use our computer and this huge revolution. Some of the KDE 4 mockups over at kde-look were pretty ingenious, but we're not seeing anything like that."

Give time to time. KDE 4.0 isn't KDE 4, Have you ever seen the difference between KDE 3.0 and 3.5.7?

"I am still very eager for KDE 4, and I appreciate free software, but I am disappointed, and I feel misled by the very vague Plasma website. What we are receiving really doesn't seem to add up with what the project's supposed goals were."

Ha, I don't think you know that the real goals were, me neither. But what I see is nice.

SOOOO CHEERS FOR THE DEVELOPERS.


By Luis at Wed, 2007/07/25 - 5:00am

>a)Open Konqueror, Go Google, Check Weather.
>b)Check weather
>
>or your first example:
>
>a)Install Firefox, open Firefox, add the search engine, look for the word
>b)Look for the word

Well.. I already have firefox instaled and it is open almost all the time, already with the search engine instaled because other needs. So its only go to Firefox (if I'm not already at it) and seach for the word. In the case of the plasmoid, I'd always have to click to show desktop (I never see it), install that plasmoid only for that (I don't belive that all sorts of plasmoids such as dictionaries, wether, etc will come by defaut in KDE) and finaly look for the word on that aplication that will run in the background always eating memory only for this.


By Manabu at Thu, 2007/07/26 - 5:00am

A super little mini application, that consume a lot less memory than Firefox.
Firefox may be install on your computer, but KDE focus on KDE, so they'll try to give better functionality whit just KDE applications.

Oh, and just calling floating widgets, aka dashboard (or even clicking on show desktop if you don't have composite) is still fast than searching whit your "probably open" firefox.


By Luis at Thu, 2007/07/26 - 5:00am

so we will have iso, zip and tar only for KDE4? I guess tar also means bzip2 and gzip right? that would be enough for me though, I don't care about rar et al though it would be nice to have 7z too :-).
Anyway, good work, I love the new UI.


By patcito at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Please don't confuse KDE4 and KDE4.0, support for 7z, rar and other stuff can be added in later version.


By Cyrille Berger at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Yes of course I meant KDE 4.0, sorry for the typo. Not having support for those formats during the whole 4.0 release could be a pain for some users though I personally don't care :-)


By patcito at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

it would be great also to have a nice progress bar that shows what's happening, what files are being processed etc...


By patcito at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

if it uses KJob, that'll show up in the kuiserver ui ... and that will hopefully be swallowed in plasma if it is running


By Aaron Seigo at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

"...and that will hopefully be swallowed in plasma if it is running"

Ooh - neat :) Are you envisioning a RunningTasks (or some better name ;)) DataEngine? It would be nice to be able to create different Plasmoids to enhance the functionality of the kuiserver - for example, by default it just lists tasks, progress, Cancel/ Pause etc, but power-users can install augmented ones as Plasmoids that also give options for what to do on completion of each individual task (run a script; log to a file; etc) or completion of all current tasks (shut down computer; etc).


By anon at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

There's already a (basic) kicker applet for this in the KDE 4.0 alpha 2 release.


By Lee at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

It uses KJob, but I created my own (somewhat broken at the moment) progress widget because I couldn't find out how to make jobs show properly in the UI server at all. *Something* appeared at the dialog, but just the application name, no job description, no error messages, no progress information, nothing. Any help on this issue would be *really* appreciated.


By Henrique Pinto at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

IIRC, this is basically impossible if Ark continues to use command-line utils (tar, zip, etc) as the utils simply do not provide this information (% progress especially).

If Ark switches to a "library" style of compressing/ decompress e.g. using libtar, libzip etc, then this is much easier.


By anon at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

If Ark uses command line functions, then why is is so unbelievably slow?


By James Richard Tyrer at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Because it uses command line utils?


By Martin at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Maybe some more-or-less-broken KIO behaviour, so it first copies the file, then (de)compresses it, then copies it back or something... It didn't have a very active maintainer for a long time. I thought someone did pick it up for KDE 4, though.


By jospoortvliet-f... at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

There is worse: I was waiting for kio_rar and kio_7z to make their way
to the standard kde kio_slaves (I'm using them actually on kde 3.5.7, and beside 7z being a bit slow, they're great!!!)


By matte at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Depends on the freeze date. If the freeze is on July 25 (in two days!), then I'll have no time to implement more plugins. If the freeze is moved to August, I'll work to have at least RAR and 7Z supported too.


By Henrique Pinto at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

rar is important for advanced computer users who prefer rar always over zip. having rar support in KDE 4.0 will be a good required feature.


By Asif Ali Rizwaan at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

I guess it could always be added as a plugin at a later date than the freeze anyway, so any distro's could still choose to include it, even if it is not in the official KDE 4.0 release.


By Andre at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

yes, later as rar, 7z etc. plugins at kde-apps or by distros would also be good. thanks for all the "passionate" work with KDE!


By Asif Ali Rizwaan at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Just so you know, I've never seen a Linux user use either RAR or ZIP. They all use gzip or bzip2. Of course, RARs and ZIPs are often *received* from somewhere...


By logixoul at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Or *sent* to somewhere...


By Göran Jartin at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

> KDE 4.0 will be a good required feature.

KDE 4.0 will be a tech demo. It's better not to expect too much and wait for some 4.1.x or 4.2.x release that will actually provide a decent number of applications and features as well as the single feature "number of bugs you can live with", before it's worth comparing KDE 4 with KDE 3.5.x functionality-wise.


By Carlo at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

"advanced computer users"?

on unices, advanced computer users use gzip or bzip2.


By patcito at Mon, 2007/07/23 - 5:00am

Why not use 7z instead? 7-Zip/p7zip is Free Software (once you remove the non-Free RAR decompression plugin as has been done in the Fedora and Debian packages) and it also compresses better. And you don't have to pay a registration fee for compression.


By Kevin Kofler at Wed, 2007/07/25 - 5:00am

> Why not use 7z instead?

Because the user interface is crap.


By Carlo at Thu, 2007/07/26 - 5:00am

7z is a format. There is no official 7z gui for Linux, so I'm not sure how you're so sure the user interface is crap when the user interface doesn't exist.

Perhaps you're talking about the 7z file manager in Windows? That doesn't have the best UI, but I'd take that over Ark in a heart beat.

Regardless, rar isn't a free or open format. I believe the poster was suggesting that instead of fighting for a rar plugin, doesn't it make more sense to first focus on a 7z plugin since it is an open source alternative, at it compresses better?


By T. J. Brumfield at Fri, 2007/07/27 - 5:00am

> There is no official 7z gui for Linux

I meant the crappy command line interface, of course.

> Regardless, rar isn't a free or open format.

I didn't say a word about rar, nor do I care for it, the need to unpack an incoming rar archive every now and then aside.


By Carlo at Fri, 2007/07/27 - 5:00am

Pages