KDE Commit-Digest for 29th April 2007

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Continued work across kdegames, with the kbattleship-rewrite merged back into trunk/. Start of scalable interface support in Kanagram. Further functionality enhancements implemented in the Konsole refactoring effort. Small refinements in KSysGuard. More work on the KDevelop Subversion plugin. Preparations for RSYNC support in the icecream distributed compilation utility. Progress made in the Amarok-on-Windows porting and generic music store integration for Amarok 2. Initial milestones reached in the Music Notation Flake shape Summer of Code project in KOffice. Support for boolean operations on paths in Karbon. Primary iconset imported for KDE 4, as part of a general cleanup effort in kdeartwork - more iconsets to be added soon.

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by Patcito (not verified)

nice to see some work is going into karbon.

by Stephen (not verified)

For the Amarok Windows screenshots, go here:


by Louis (not verified)

I'm not usually one to gripe about this stuff, but I don't really believe the new "Joystick" icon will be easily recognizeable:


Sure, it's tempting to use a Wii controller since it's new and cool, but that icon doesn't say "Joystick" to me. Looks more like my TV remote. No offense intended.

by Johnny (not verified)

I agree. I've not yet seen the Wii, and looking at this was like wtf? Also, it's kind of hard to make out the buttons on the controller.

The original icon is better but too dark.

by kinema (not verified)

I couldn't agree more. In my opinion the joystick icon should be modeled after what is possibly the most identifiable joystick the classic Atari CX-40 (http://xrl.us/v5fg) that was included with the venerable 2600.

by David Miller (not verified)
by T. J, Brumfield (not verified)

I really prefer the old Bold, Italic and Strikethrough icons as well as the old Calculator icon.

They seem large enough that I'm not sure why they went to simpler, more high-contrast versions.

I believe the old versions looked sleeker, and more modern. The new versions look less refined.

I don't mean to be negative, and I appreciate everyone's hard work, but I figured someone should say something.

Is there any reason to go to more simplistic icons there?

by Kevin Kofler (not verified)

Look at the folders these are in, they get resized to sizes as small as 16×16.

by John Tapsell (not verified)

If anyone is interested, this is what ksysguard looks like with the X window information. Suggestions/comments are very welcome. I've also changed the memory column to just show the memory usage in "k"'s.


(Before the "k" change: http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/5198/ksysguard1pv2.png )

One thing I'm worried about.. it's not obvious how to show the command etc columns. You have to right click on the header and show it. It's obvious to any of us, but would there be a situation in which someone new to computers would need this info and be unable to discover how to view it?

by kill an app (not verified)


It looks very good I think, much easier then the current ksysguard!

Do you think it would be a good idee, to turn the combobox on "Own Processes, Simple" by default, since you can only kill those?


by John Tapsell (not verified)

I'm trying to avoid doing that. Instead all your own processes are sorted to the top by default (as in the screenshots) and clearly colour coded.

Btw, if you try to kill someone else's process, it asks for the root password.

by Davide Ferrari (not verified)

Great great great!

Anyway, I'm not really sure about the difference between "Name" and "Title name", I mean, I know the difference but what is "title" supposed to represent?

by John Tapsell (not verified)

Yeah I have to think of a better column name for that.

It's what's written in the window title bar. (If a process has multiple windows, it uses the most recently created one. The tooltip lists the other windows).

It only applies to X applications of course.

by Cerulean (not verified)

Window Title should be fine, though it's not really a major issue. All in all, it's far sweeter :-). Great work!

by Morty (not verified)

>I'm trying to avoid doing that

Please don't, it's missguided attempt to simplification just to avoid on checkbox. It does not make it any more simple and it results in grater complexity. And it needs workarounds to add perceived simplicity, like your own always on top functions.

The common way of sorting will not work properly, since there seems like no easy way to separate two common tasks. Sort for the processes consuming most cpu/mem, for all or only your own processes. How do you switch between your on top and not? It's simpler just to remove the unneeded data in those cases. Color cooding is nice and will be helpfull in some cases, but it's far nicer and easier to work with if the unneeded data is hidden.

In addition, the program icon is nice. But the implementation needs some more work, processes not having icons break left justification. Making it look somewhat messy

by Morty (not verified)

One more thing.

If you want to remove stuff, why not remove the toolbar. Seriously I doubt that more than 1-2% use the worksheet functionality, and for them it's still avaliable in the file menu. For the rest it's just visual noise.

by superstoned (not verified)

yeah, that's a good idea. I vote for this.

by John Tapsell (not verified)

Actually it's a misguided attempt to avoid hiding information from the user. If a process is using all the cpu/mem then you don't want it hidden from you look at the process list.

You can easy filter for only your apps. You just change the combo box in the top right. Just to be clear on this, I'm talking about the defaults. You can always just change the combo box to Own Processes, and have it exactly as you say.

by Morty (not verified)

Aahh, sorry. I completly missed the whole combobox thingy :-) My mistake.

Then it's only the default we don't agree on, not really a big thing. But I have to say I prefer hidig of the information the user can't act on. For users not having the root password, it's just annoying knowing what's hogging the cpu/mem and not being able to act on it ;-)

by me (not verified)

For my case, it's better not to hide, because I'm the only
user of my PC and laptop, and I use the root account only
when necessary. When cpu/mem hog occurs, it's important to
identify immediately which process is causing it, and then
react appropriately (either as a normal user or root).

by Eike Hein (not verified)

> Please don't, it's missguided attempt to simplification just to avoid on checkbox.

You misunderstood John - he's trying to avoid having to change the default setting of that drop-down to only show the user's own processes. He's not trying to avoid having the option, i.e. it won't be removed.

by John Tapsell (not verified)

> In addition, the program icon is nice. But the implementation needs some more work, processes not having icons break left justification. Making it look somewhat messy



by superstoned (not verified)


by Morty (not verified)

Nice! Great work.

by MamiyaOtaru (not verified)

Thank you. Scanning for a process name looked like it was going to be a pain with justification broken. Glad you're on the ball :)

by andre (not verified)

The kill process button should just a context menu or moved to the upper bar

by superstoned (not verified)

nah, I don't fully agree on this. John should imho see if there are more usefull things which need to be there (eg information about the process? Switch to process?) OR, as you say, remove it. But if he keeps the button and adds a few, I think they should stay on the bottom.

by John Tapsell (not verified)

It's in the context menu, but since it's going to be one of the most common tasks, I wanted it to be fairly easy to do. The toolbar will probably be hidden by default to save space.

by Mark Dickie (not verified)

I've never commented on the dot before but saw this screenshot and felt I had to. I use Ksysguard all the time and I feel that this new version is so much better from a useability and presentation point of view. It's just plain gorgeous.

Best regards,

by mactalla (not verified)

I just have to say that having the window title is BRILLIANT! I don't know how many times I've opened up KSysGuard to figure out who's taking my RAM, only to be faced with half a dozen processes by the same name. I suppose I should have filed a wishlist bug, but I must admit I didn't think about it. Great to know it's there!

by superstoned (not verified)

mouseover gives a lot of info in the process tab, really cool! But maybe you can also make the sensors tab a bit more informative, eg most ppl wouldn't know what 'nice' or 'wait' are? And what's the diff between buffered memory and cache memory?

Load average might use some explaining as well - what do the numbers mean?

btw it's really looking better and better, very nice work you're doing!

by Matt (not verified)

So maybe use of the What's This? feature is warranted for that. I know what niceness is (priority basically), but I don't know what wait is. :/

by T. J, Brumfield (not verified)

Absolutely great work!

by anonymous (not verified)

man, the positive attitude and constructive collaboration in this thread is mind boggeling.

you guys rock!

by kollum (not verified)

Sebastian Trueg committed changes in /trunk/extragear/multimedia/k3b/libk3b/jobs:
Actually there is no need to reload the medium anymore. The original problem was due to the mounting for verification and that the new data does not show up before reloading. But now that the medium is not mounted anymore but read directly we do not have to reload.

The most anoying bug in K3B has gone
(yes, I've a slow burner, and I'am realy happy to be able to leave and let the burner burn whithout me to interact)

It's nice to see work on karbon, and Jamendo integration in Amarok is sweet.

A good week to read the commit digest, thanks Danny, and thank you all devs !

by Morreale Jean Roc (not verified)

Have a look to the new eraser's icon, to the zip's icon, you need to understand english for one and you need to know what the "zip" (an english word) is a metaphor for a algorithm.


by David Miller (not verified)

Regarding the eraser icon -- its an action icon designed to be viewed at 32x32 22x22 and 16x16. At these resolutions the text becomes unrecognisable. So when you are using KDE 4 you'll only see it at these small sizes.

As for the gzip mime, we are currently working on redoing a lot of the mimetype icons.

by T. J, Brumfield (not verified)

At small sizes, if you can't read the text, then why change the icon so drastically in the first place to one where the text is such a major aspect of the new design?

A red stick with unreadable text doesn't say "Eraser" to me, where as the old pencil/eraser image does.

And given how big localization is to KDE, I don't see why English text should be in icons, period. And I say that as someone who only speaks English, but you should be consistent in your project efforts.

by Luis (not verified)

You're wrong, the new eraser icon is 100% percent easy to understand, and anybody speaking any language knows what ZIP is! (Sorry for my poor english, I am mexican)

by MamiyaOtaru (not verified)

If the text is unrecognizable, wth is it doing there bloating up the file size? A lot of these have more detail than will ever be seen at 32x32, adding to the filesize and rendering complexity (if SVG). Of course, it's better to have it and trim later, so perhaps as this gets finalized the smaller icons will be trimmed some. Couldn't hurt anyway, if stuff isn't visible in the first place ;)

by ac (not verified)

No single commit related to plasma, again...
Looks like KDE4 will come with kicker/kdesktop...? (means, without the most awaited feature/vaporware)

by Luca Beltrame (not verified)

Personally I don't mind if it gets pushed back to 4.1. It may encourage new people joining in and speed up the task.

by DITC (not verified)

You are right. It's amazing to see what get's done under the hood of KDE4. The problem is that the normal user only sees the eyecandy and that is what matters for him. KDE4 might be superior to e.g. gnome in a technical way but it would still look like Windows 95 if plasma isn't ready.

by ac (not verified)

Actually, Windows 95 wasn't too bad. It was just a pity that it wasn't that stable underneath.

by dario (not verified)

Guys, chill already with this obsession with Plasma! I don't deny that
eye-candy is important, but the first release of KDE4 already has a huge
number of cutting-edge technologies. It would rock even if the looked
like FVWM circa 1995! Moreover, don't forget the distinction between
KDE4 and KDE 4.0. You will get your Plasma eye-candy no matter what:
you might just have to wait a wee bit longer. Besides, lest you forget,
Oxygen is looking awesome. Combine that with the new composition features
in Kwin, and even the most fervent eye-candy lover is bound to be pleased
with KDE 4.0.

Having said that, I think that it's time for the Plasma developers to
clarify its current status. All this speculation is becoming annoying,
and the crowds want some reassuring words. Aaron: if you're reading this,
could you drop us a line here or on your blog?

by superstoned (not verified)

now we're talking about eyecandy, don't forget the new Oxygen theme! check it out, lots of cool animations, it's really becoming a hot style :D

by Jim (not verified)

The problem with Plasma was that it is practically the opposite of normal open-source development.

Successful open-source projects start with a proof-of-concept or quick hack and are refined into production code.

Plasma, on the other hand, started with a bunch of mock-up drawings and a *lot* of articles saying how brilliant it was going to be, and the *actual code* was an afterthought.

In every instance I have ever seen, the latter type of project has failed miserably and never even gotten off the drawing board.

The clamour about Plasma is a direct result of the hype that was coming directly from the developers who had yet to actually write any code. And now people are asking where is this great new tech they have been told about over and over, and it's *their* fault? Um, no.

Moral of the story: don't hype something if you don't have running code.

by Morty (not verified)

I think you and many others have let your mind misslead you by looking at mockups, rather than reading orginal descriptions of Plasma.

The main point of Plasma was to bring sanity to the whole kikcer/kdesktop mess. Intergrating those two into sane libraries, and including Superkaramba functionality combined with the new advanced GUI features from Qt 4.2 as an added bonus. It would create the fundation for something more, making a whole lot of new and fancy stuff possible. The key word here is fundation.

And most of that is already delivered. Most of the required functionality from Kicker, kdesktop and Qt are already there in library form. And when KDE 4.0 are released, if it only uses those libraries to deliver the functionality of kikcer/kdesktop. Even looking exactly the same as KDE 3, it fulfills it's promises. The fundation is ther and it's for people to build on.

And it's telling how much cool stuff you will be able to do with it, is not exactly hype when all is there to see and use. It does not require much imagination to see that either. Thinking of the power Qt gives you, combining that with better intergration of Superkarambas possibilities and libraries giving you easy access to the the desktop/wokspace. The new krunner already demonstrates a smal part of this. Lots of Plasma is done, it's time to start building with it.

by tikal26 (not verified)

I agree that maybe we need a word about the status of the plasma project. I think that we will some plasma in KDE 4.0.They have being working on it for a long time now and I have seeing tht some people are working on some plasmoid, clock and calendar and raptor seems to be feasible. I think that mos important things is that we will get new applications with kde 4.0. I was so worry that we would get kde 4.0 with all nice internals and plasma and no one would use it. I think it is really important that with KDe 4.0 we will get things like Amarok 2.0, Koffice 2.0, Okular, DOlphin, Konqueror, etc and other things that will use the new technologies like Solid, Phonon, Nepomuk. To be sincere I am more interested in getting Nepomuk than plasma. I think taht we will get a small version of plasma with raptor, a clock and a calendar and it will evolve from there.

by Emil Sedgh (not verified)

Its not the first time that people are talking about status of Plasma.but from the first Aaron told us that Plasma needs to be done in its time.
a few weeks ago Plasma development being started and now developers are working on it.they have IRC Meetings every wednesday and they are creating widgets.
The Plasmoid's are currently just some Ideas, first the libraries should be completed.

if you try the SVN, you will see that plasma developers are currently working on Widgets.
Plasma is in trunk/KDE/kdebase/workspace (i think)

I Think Trusting Developers of plasma is the best thing we could do.