OCT
30
2007

KDE Commit-Digest for 28th October 2007

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Further XMP tag support in Digikam. Beginnings of a Plasma lock/logout applet and a weather applet, to display data from the existing weather data engine. Continued work on the new Plasma-based KNewsTicker applet. Continued work and development ideas in Parley. More various developments and optimisations in KHTML. Jamendo album download support in Amarok 2.0. Interface usability work in Kopete. Shredding functionality removed from KGPG. Fixes in the Sonnet spellchecking solution for KDE 4. Work on the foundations of KChart 2 in KOffice. Lancelot and Raptor develop as alternatives to the Kickoff menu of KDE 4.0. Okteta, a planned successor to KHexEdit, uploaded to playground/utils. KOffice 1.9.95 and KDE 4.0 Beta 4/KDE Platform RC1 are tagged for future release.

Comments

Lancelot looks a lot like KickOff to me while raptor seems to be different with new ideas. Let's see how they turn out :)


By patcito at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

I haven't seen raptor, but I think all of them are presenting cool ideas... I have no idea which one will be my final choice, but its awesome that we moved from one mediocre menu to three great sounding menus.

Actually, now I think I remember raptor... not sure if I'm a fan, but I'll keep an open mind.


By Level 1 at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Lancelot acknowledges the flaws of Kickoff, that by limiting the display to a few options at once, and requiring clicking through a level of menus, you slow down the task of starting the app you need.

Visually, Lancelot looks like Kickoff, and I think both look sharp. Conceptually, the two are quite different, which is a good thing.

I can't wait to try it out.


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

I thought Raptor was just fluff and mock-ups so far.
When I tried KBFX, which is/was developed by the same guys that are making Raptor, afaik, what put me off was the sheer amount of bugs on all levels. Animations didn't work properly, integration didn't work properly, "skinning"/themes didn't work for me at all, etc. Granted, it's almost half a year since I tried it, but still.


By Martin at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

Just to make things clear: there is no koffice 1.9.95. KOffice passed this time, but will be back in force for the RC1 release.


By Inge Wallin at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Nice to see that something happened with Sonnet again. Zack already mentioned that he thinks that Sonnet could be ready at shipping date.
I wonder if that means that we will have a working live-spell checking system in all of KDE's text edit fields? In KDE 3.5 this is/was possible with kspell (and kmail, kopete, konqueror, etc.) and was a huge benefit compared with other OS.


By Roland Wolters at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

I hope so. Spell checking in KDE 3 was ok, but not great. No context menu for misspelled words was really annoying. The "check spelling" dialog is quite outdated. Most of the time I just played around with variations until the word turned black, or checked the spelling with google instead of going through the dialog.


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

There is a dictionary Plasmoid, but I was really excited about Sonnet.


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

KHexEdit is being renamed to Okteta???

I thought renaming programs to obscure names that ensure that the mapping (task -> program) is as impossible as the mapping (program -> task) had fallen out of fashion? That seems so first-half of 2007 to me. I mean, khexedit is a perfect name. Three scenarios:

(1) "I wonder if there is a KDE hex editor on this machine?" ... khex ... "Yup! There it is."

(2) "I need a hex editor!" ... aptitude hexed ... "There we go!"

(3) "I wonder what this program does?" ... "No, actually I don't." ... "It's called KHexEdit and I'm not an idiot after all."


By Martin at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

From the digest, it sounds like Okteta is a new replacement hexeditor, not a rename of KHexEdit.


By Lee at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

(1) that's why alt+F2 search in description now
(2) use the search facilities of your package manager
(3) read the description


By Cyrille Berger at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Is there some reason that couldn't have been implemented while still retaining descriptive app names?

This is a retarded trend.


By jason at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Well, we could name all apps with a K in fromt of it, like Khexedit, Kwebbrowser, KMail, KWrite etcetera - but then everyone will say we are childish (after all, nobody else does that - there is no Gedit, or iTunes etc).

So we can just use Webbrowser, Email, Texteditor - and we'll be clashing with Gnome and other apps who can do the same.

So we must invent good names. You can't always make them descriptive, and if you try, ppl complain. Like they do if you don't, of course.

All in all, developers went their own way. Listening to the users doesn't always work, they will complain whatever you do. And having a name like Dolphin at least is more fun than Kfilebrowser.


By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Not to mention that names like Dolphin and Okteka work way better for text based launchers such as Krunner. (Just think how many matches there would be for K, versus D or O)


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Yeah, that's been discussed extensively. :-)


By Louis at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Don't want to nag the developers, but I was thinking exactly this when I read the overview of the commit-digest: I know "khexedit" doesn't sound as cool as "Okteta", but the former is much easier to remember than the latter.


By [Knuckles] at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Neither is Nero named WinBurn, and Gimp isn't named GPhotoShop. Nobody complains about Amarok, Banshee or Exaile. MS Excel, Powerpoint and Access don't communicate a lot of meaning either, and QuickTime isn't the most descriptive name for a media playback solution.

So what? Restricting app names to their exact purpose is boring, and why shouldn't have developers the freedom to assign a witty yet applicable cool name to their application? Right. So, get over it.


By Jakob Petsovits at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

I think that some distinction must be made between major applications that well be come well known in their own right such as Konqueror and the bunch of utilities that ship with KDE. The major apps should probably have distinctive names but the little utilities should have somewhat generic names starting with 'K'. I see this as basically a usability issue.

Note for the record that GIMP is an acronym and acronyms such as KATE are perfectly acceptable for both classes of apps.

I realize that there is an issue when a utility is replaced. But, if another suitable generic K-name can't be though of, I would suggest that we use the old name. One also has to ask why these utility apps are being replaced rather than just repaired/rewritten. I see that as part of the problem.


By James Richard Tyrer at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

> One also has to ask why these utility apps are being replaced rather
> than just repaired/rewritten. I see that as part of the problem.

+1 ... seeing the evolution of KDE (and other opensource projects), I have a bad feeling that a lot of people are doing their playground of it, rather than trying to really cooperate

sometimes, it is good to throw away the old code, all the nasty hacks, and start from scratch (possibly using the experience from the old mistakes) - but most of the time I see (the details of) such changes, it's just laziness to learn about the old code ... just glueing together new bits is soooo easy, and the new computers are so fast and have too much RAM so that one does not have to care about writing nice code and saving resources ...

p.s. please do not associate this post directly with Okteta - it's just a common complaint; as far as what I know about Okteta, this is the case of using experience from the old mistakes


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

>> Note for the record that GIMP is an acronym and acronyms such as KATE are perfectly acceptable for both classes of apps.

Just because you know it's an acronym doesn't mean any normal user will. Gimp and Kate are usually written in lower case, and people will just read them as words.

>> One also has to ask why these utility apps are being replaced rather than just repaired/rewritten.

Mostly because you didn't step up to repair/rewrite it.

Seriously though, it's the developer's choice to write a new app, or name it Wrzlbrmpft. Contextual search launchers make this issue more or less irrelevant.


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

>> Note for the record that GIMP is an acronym and acronyms such as KATE are perfectly acceptable for both classes of apps.

Just because you know it's an acronym doesn't mean any normal user will. Gimp and Kate are usually written in lower case, and people will just read them as words.

>> One also has to ask why these utility apps are being replaced rather than just repaired/rewritten.

Mostly because you didn't step up to repair/rewrite it.

Seriously though, it's the developer's choice to write a new app, or name it Wrzlbrmpft. Contextual search launchers make this issue more or less irrelevant.


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

> Neither is Nero named WinBurn, and Gimp isn't named GPhotoShop.
> Nobody complains about Amarok, Banshee or Exaile. MS Excel, Powerpoint
> and Access don't communicate a lot of meaning either, and QuickTime
> isn't the most descriptive name for a media playback solution.

you missed one thing - all (AFAIK all) these names existed from the first public appearance of that software, no renaming (which is the thing that is questioned at the beginning of this thread, and to which the post you react to adds)

to rename software that exists for years just because the name is not free-cool-and-in enough is simply stupid, IMHO

(note: Okteta is a brand new program, I do not object to it's name but rather to the arguments used in discussions)

p.s. the full name is "Nero Burning Rom", so "WinBurn" would not say anything new about the purpose of the program - the fact that you are so lazy to use the correct name or so historically illiterate that you do not know that emperor Nero was famous for _burning_ Rome is another issue

btw, there exists "Nero Wave Editor", "Nero ImageDrive" etc. so
a) you really should use the whole name
b) you've selected a really bad example :-p


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Having a name like Kate Text Editor would look pretty stupid with the description behind it, like in the KDE menu... Don't you think?

With the newer menu systems it's less of a problem, but for the KDE 3 series - this has once been discussed, and obviously dismissed.


By Jos Poortvliet at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

You know you can set K-Menu et al to just show the descriptions? Then you don't have to see the silly (in your humble opinion) names the developers choose.


By Martin at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

I could not agree more. I start having difficulties to read the commit digest because the application name say nothing about what the application does. I believe that the trend towards meaningless names harms when people try to use the desktop and also from a branding perspective. Best example is this library, whose name I have forgotten, that always comes with a description how to pronounce it. Java, Firefox, Eclipse can do that... They are big... But not a hex editor or a library.


By Dominic at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Do you mean khalkhi? I remember the name, but I have forgotten its purpose... I also have difficulties reading the commit digest because the application names are meaningless. In the case of Okteta it is not so bad, because the name contains "octet" which is related to "hex", but e.g. khalkhi and parley are more difficult. I agree that for the small utilities such as KHexEdit, KWrite, KCalc, KFontView, KColorChooser, KSnapshot, ... it is better to keep the descriptive name with the K in front (the K shows immediately that it is a KDE application) and for larger projects such as Konqueror, Amarok, KWord, Okular, Kontact, K3b, ... it is nicer to have fancy names. If there are fancy names only for the large projects, then you have to remember less names and you can select the program from the menu much faster. The argument "press Alt+F2, type hexedit and the dialog will give you Okteta" is not valid, because not everyone might know the shortcut Alt+F2 and even if people know it, they may try to find the correct application by browsing the menu instead. And when you browse the menu, it is easier to find the correct application if the titles give you all the information you need (for larger well-known projects the fancy name gives you all the information because the name is well-known, for smaller utilities the name gives you all the information only if it is descriptive).


By Anonymous at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Kickoff displays not only the name of the application but also the description, and you can also configure the traditional K menu this way.


By Grósz Dániel at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Parley is an awesome name. Sounds like the french word for "speak" so it perfectly conveys the meaning of learning a foreign language (unless you're french I guess). The previous name was KVocTrain, which I think was terrible. Although the purpose can be figured out from the name, it requires quite a bit of effort, and the result is not a word or easy to say.

And searching is also available in the menu, so you don't need to know about Alt-F2


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

And if you start your aptitude and update the softwarelist, you can't see the "k-tools" on the first view. With the old k-names, you was interesting in every tool with a k as first letter. Now you must read all software descriptions.


By vicbrother at Tue, 2007/11/06 - 6:00am

See my other comment:

Well, we could name all apps with a K in fromt of it, like Khexedit, Kwebbrowser, KMail, KWrite etcetera - but then everyone will say we are childish (after all, nobody else does that - there is no Gedit, or iTunes etc).

So we can just use Webbrowser, Email, Texteditor - and we'll be clashing with Gnome and other apps who want to do the same.

So we must invent good names. You can't always make them descriptive, and if you try, ppl complain. Like they do if you don't, of course.

All in all, developers went their own way. Listening to the users doesn't always work, they will complain whatever you do. And having a name like Dolphin at least is more fun than Kfilebrowser.


By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

As someone that actually has GNOME installed (well part of it), I would like to clarify this.

I presume that your saying that nobody has an app: Gedit was sarcasm. That is the name of the GNOME editor. GNOME actually has names for their applications, however the Name= in the 'desktop' file is often not the application name but rather a generic name. So, Gedit (or gEdit) shows up as "Text Editor" in the menu (I don't exactly like this). If we are going to use these totally non-descriptive names, we are going to have to do that also or at least have the menu default to having the description first.


By James Richard Tyrer at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

The current method of showing Name (Description) is fine. Showing description only sucks, because then you can't keep programs straight. "Text editor"? Is that Gedit, kedit, kwrite, kate, or something else? Not everyone is a new user.


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

But people hate names like Kgolf, Kplayer, Kaudio, etc... "Amarok" is better then former "amaroK". So changing names in KDE4 is good IMO


By Kolo at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Indeed. Esp if the new names are smart, like Okteta, Parley, Decibel... I like those a lot.


By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

> But people hate names like Kgolf, Kplayer, Kaudio, etc...

thanks for noticing me that I am not human, since I do not hate these names ... I did not realise before 'cause my appearance etc. is so similar to that species

... now, I only have to figure out what kind of creature am I


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

dude....
you are human
you are not an average of all humans
there, wasn't too hard :/


By logixoul at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Yet I think he was rather funny ;-)


By Jos Poortvliet at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

Just like "Amazon.com" is a terrible name because it should have been "Internetbookstore.com"?

Personally, I think that having a distinct name actually helps people in growing a closer bond/association with an application. Naming an application exactly for its task -- without any room for artistic license -- makes it sound like the "generic toothpaste" Euroshopper products...

Moreover, the issue of not being immediately obvious is moot both for beginners and experienced users. The former will see the description of the application in the menu, or use the search capabilities of their package manager's GUI. The latter will simply issue "apt-cache search kde hex editor" (or whatever their distro equivalent) from the command line.

Moral of the story: Okteta is a wonderful name. It sounds good, fresh, and it reflects its task in a witty way. I like it!


By dario at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Projects need a distinctive name.
After all, it's not the only KDE hexadecimal editor, let alone the only hexadecimal editor.
Applications need a distinctive name.

But at the same time, people have hard time telling what a poetic application name means.

That discussion was raised a long time ago here:
http://blogs.qtdeveloper.net/archives/2005/08/10/on-naming-of-kde-applic...

And it's also why I named my application with both a strong-identity-name and a descriptive-name: BasKet Note Pads and Kirocker Music Display.

I'm strongly in favour of using those naming, and in any place (menu, application, help, website...):
- Okteta Hexadecimal Editor
- Dolphin File Manager
- Konqueror Web Browser
- Akregator News Reader
- Kopete Instant Messenger
- Amarok Music Player
- Konversation IRC Client


By Sébastien Laoût at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

OK. So the KDE menu would look like:

Okteta Hexadecimal Editor (hexadecimal editor)
Dolphin File Manager (filemanager)
Konqueror Web Browser (webbrowser)
Akregator News Reader (news reader)
Kopete Instant Messenger (chat application)
Amarok Music Player (music player)
Konversation IRC Client (chat application)

Well, nicely done. You've really improved the KDE menu. Any more ideas?

Sorry for being so harsh, but hey, I'm right, aren't I? THIS IS NO ISSUE in linux. It only is in windows, where you only see folders in the Start menu with undescriptive names and links to executables in them with the same issue.


By Jos Poortvliet at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

Jos, don't be ridiculous! The description in the brackets is not even required. You can change your settings to choose any combination of App name, description, or both in the KDE menus. I really do think that his suggestion would look nicer than the description in brackets.

Sometimes I wonder if you even know your own desktop configuration settings :P


By Troy Unrau at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

Although you are not all englo-american people, you tend to forget that not every KDE user on the planet can read english (and even if they do, KDE aims to be usable by anyone).
For people who do not speak english, khexedit is not necessarily more obvious than okteta.
Ironically, for a frenchman, both names are quite equivalent, since "octet" is the french word for byte (and "hexadecimal editor" is "éditeur hexadécimal").

I think one should not rely on the application name to relate it to its function, but rather on localizable metadata (generic name, description, etc.). Anyway searching in metadata as easy as searching in names (excepted for the bash autocompletion... ).


By Aldoo at Wed, 2007/10/31 - 5:00am

I'm wondering if this comment

"Like the most things related to Plasma, I intend to make Lancelot just-work(TM) for 4.0, and to make it Work-As-I-Think-It-Should(TM) for 4.1."

If perhaps KDE4 shouldn't be delayed until everything works like those writing it think it should. I'm not sure I want to upgrade to KDE4 if things just work. I'd rather wait i think.


By Richard Bollinger at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Most people are going to want to wait.
KDE 4.0 is going to be about the libs.
THe desktop is going to be torn apart and glued back together for 4.1, so this is probably going to be the release you should aim for to use.


By THIBOLOT at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

> desktop is going to be torn apart and glued back together for 4.1

what?

libplasma will be having internal changes, yes, and some applet will need to be updated because of this .. but .. torn apart and glued back together? nothing quite that drastic.


By Aaron Seigo at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Actually, that sounds worryingly like the GNOME philosophy (do things one "right" way, anddon't give user options) to me!


By Lee at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Don't be so alarmist. Do we have to keep wheeling out the OMG-terrible GNOME bogeyman every time a comment can be tortured into reading as "I intend to deprive users of all choice - muahahah!"? It's getting tiresome.


By anon at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

It's Halloween-time. The terrible Gnome Boogeyman will come out, remove all configuration code from svn, and turn KDE4 into QtGnome. He will transform Dolphin into QtNautilus, Okular into QtEvince, ... He will introduce plenty of bugs into the things that would make KDE4 better than Gnome (actually everything, but in particular Plasma). He will then release a buggy alpha-quality KDE 4.0 in December so that the poor KDE users will be living a "Nightmare before Christmas". And while he is at it, the Gnome Boogeyman will release a version of Konqueror with the evil QtWebkit instead of our beloved KHTML (and of course remove the option to use KHTML).


By Anonymous at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

...And turn Qtwenview into Gwenview! Oh wait...


By dario at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

Three menus (kickoff, lancelot, raptor) isn't enough options for you ? (especially considering that KDE3's menu didn't have that many options anyway)


By Cyrille Berger at Tue, 2007/10/30 - 5:00am

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