KDE Commit-Digest for 9th September 2007

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Colour Picker and Welcome applets appear for Plasma. Many bugs fixed, especially through the merge of the Summer of Code project "KRDC Revamp". A KPart created, amongst other improvements in Marble. Support for XESAM UserLanguage queries in Strigi. More work, especially in playlist handling, for Amarok 2.0. Improved search interface in KSystemLog. A return to work on KRecipes. KVocTrain is renamed Parley. Restart of development on a successor to the Eigen math library, Eigen2. Start of a port of KMLDonkey, a file sharing frontend, to KDE 4. Parts of the Cokoon decorator infrastructure ported from Python to C++. Security fixes in KDM. Work on page effects in KPresenter. Kross bindings for the Falcon programming language. Import of PyKDE4, new Python bindings for KDE development. KDE SVN housekeeping sees the move of a variety of unmaintained applications to more relevant locations with regard to the KDE 4 release.


Let's talk about Adept. I'm very sorry for the Adept developer (he even posts on PKO, maybe he's reading here) but this deserves a rant: how the hell is it possible to thik, imagine, draw and eventually implement such an horrorific, inusable, complicated, bad-looking user interface? Was the "just copy Synaptic UI" too difficult? NIH syndrome anyone? For example, why every fucking apt source has to get its own line with its own % bar, with line jumping in and out, bars scrolling and ground-shaking when I want to update the repos? A single, nice, simple, stupid, tiny, little window with only a general progress bar and maybe single text line dispaly the current repo, was it too difficult? And this is just an example, Adept is full of this crap.

I'm so sorry because I do love KDE and I am a Kubuntu user, but Adept just sucks and stinks. Fullstop.

By Vide at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

Well, I have to agree. It made good progress, and lets not forget that before it the debian landscape was even worse for KDE-based software managers.

Feature-wise it was getting there. But suddently Peter Rockai disappeared (and stopped blogging) and Adept got no better. Still that horribly slow filtering for example.

Of course the GUI is terrible, and always was.
By the way you didn't mention the confusion there is in Kubuntu with the three different Adepts: adept_updater, adept proper, and adept_installer. What a mess.
And Adept updater is fugly as hell. Compare it with the Ubuntu updater. And why does it have to be named "Adept updater". What is it updating? couldn't it be called just update notifier, like in Ubuntu?. I already suggested this long ago, but to no avail.

For Gutsy it seems Kubuntu gets single-click deb package installation. That's great. But the ugliness in the adept family remains.

By Vigilant at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

So why can't we just combine the best featurees from adept and kpackage, to reduce duplication amongst distros? and why did they ever drop kynaptic to make adept?

By semi-noob at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

I have to disagree.

I like Adept, even though filtering is slow.

I quickly find apps, it works just nice, and the integration with adept updater is great.

I can nicely search for apps and find new ones I might think interesting.

For me, there's not much to complain about, and the GUI looks nice.

The only thing keeping me from using it is, that i use Gentoo as main system, so sadly there is no apept for me, but I showed it to my wife and she quickly understood the GUI.

It will need updating to the new KDE4 GUI Guidelines, though, but that doesn't affect my vry positiv impression of its current GUI (slowness aside).


By Arne Babenhause... at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

Sidenote: My wife uses Kubuntu, but I think you guessed it :)

By Arne Babenhause... at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

Man forget the individual progress bars for each repo line. The main interface is far from optimal.

Synaptic is great with its combobox for all/installed/not installed/upgradable/scheduled changes/broken/etc. Adept does the same thing with checkboxes, and does so in a rather confusing way. For example, to get the list of upgradable packages, I have to uncheck "not installed" and "installed" (wtf.. updgradables are by definition installed).

The "preview changes" taskbar button can be duplicated with more checkbox fun. Check "installed", "not installed" and "upgradable" and on the next line unchecking "no changes" and checking "install" "removal" and "upgrade requested". Or more properly, the preview changes button duplicates that task. The second line of checkboxes is pretty much obsoleted by the "preview changes" button. Of course, "preview changes" uses the whole window for its list with no way to search.

Synaptic has it right with the combobox for various situations. One could see various lists of packages like all installed, all that are upgradable (and synaptic didn't try to pretend there was no overlap between those two groups) and scheduled changes, all while maintaining the search widget to quickly find a package no matter which list one was looking at.

Synaptic has a separate area to show the details of a package, including dependencies, reverse dependencies etc. In Adept, very basic info is shown *in the package list* once the arrow next to the package is expanded. I suppose it's nice to see basic info for more than one package at a time, but it makes the list look like a mess. For anything about dependencies or other info though, one must click the "details" button that then replaces the normal GUI wholesale. One might argue that it's nice to have the whole window available for information, but synaptic showed it just wasn't necessary. And even with all that extra room, Adept manages to not show reverse dependencies *at all*.

Now, newer versions of Synaptic have done away with the combobox for all/installed/etc and use a list to pick from. Still easier than the checkbox puzzle of adept. Newer Synaptic has also done away with the quick search bar, and I find that less than useful. Synaptic < 0.5 was just fine, and I don't know why they've futzed with it so much, but it's *still* better layed out than Adept. List of package states to choose from > checkboxes that don't make sense. Separate info area > hijacking the whole window to show info for a package. Showing scheduled changes in the same list area > hijacking the whole window to do so.

Adept is workable, and what I use and I'm glad for a competent KDE apt front end. I would love to see the UI redone (see above) but I am still grateful that Adept exists, so I apologize for the bitter tone.

By jason at Fri, 2007/09/14 - 5:00am

One feature that Adept needs (and that Synaptic/Apt/Aptitude all have) is the ability to remove all dependencies of a package once the packages is removed. This saves a ton of disk space.

By Bill at Sat, 2007/09/15 - 5:00am

Where can one finds more information about the applications that have been removed ? There's only a quick sentence in the introduction about this, and the line "Move all application which are listed on techbase' blackhole page to this area.", with some links, most of them either dead ("Sorry, this page is not available.") or with some errors ("unknown location, HTTP Response Status
404 Not Found, Python Traceback..").

Thanks for the commit digest, i read it every week.

By orzel at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

I've seen that kooka is unmaintained, but is there a scanner engine on kde4?

By weintor at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

All the commits to move the applications were done by Tom Albers and are covered in the selections section of the Digest (the actual apps moved can be deciphered from the changes section):


By Danny Allen at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

Seems like a KPlayer port to KDE4 is under way!

I'm yet to try to compile it though, but still, this is awesome news!

By aha at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

yeah, cool it will be a real test for phonon, let's hope the next time they will change the name from kplayer to something more appealing

By djouallah mimoune at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

Nikolaj Hald Nielsen committed changes in /trunk/extragear/multimedia/amarok/src:
"By applying the highest levels of advanced user interface design and usability knowledge, it was decided that the back button should like, you know, skip to the previous track, which it now does"

See? See? KDE actually DOES care about usability!!!


By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

And another proof of that, this time slightly more serious:

Pino Toscano committed changes in /trunk/KDE/kdegraphics/okular:
"Remove the "Show Search Bar" option, mostly unuseful."

I love this. Remove options nobody needs... KDE needs more of this. See the work on KGet, pretty neath as well!

By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

What - search bar in kpdf/okular was removed? I am using it all the time :(

By m. at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

no, the option to show it or not. Of course the bar is still there :)

By hmmm at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

What a relief :)


By m. at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

My guess is the option to disable the little search bar on the thumbnails list was removed (not the search bar itself, just the option to hide it).

By Sutoka at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

You are guessing right. It was removed as we went through the settings and looked for options that are no longer needed or infrequently used. We had to decide between

a) keeping the setting and extending it to include the filter lines of all four tabs
b) removing it

We opted for b) since we want to keep things simple and clear

By Florian Graessle at Tue, 2007/09/11 - 5:00am

And you're doing a grat job with Okular, indeed.
Okular, Kget and Dolphin (if it doesn't get too crowded :P ) will be for sure the gems of KDE 4.0. Go on!

By Vide at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

It seems like a whole lot of old bugs got fixed. Impressive.

By Dima Ryazanov at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

What's the status on Akonadi, and KDE PIM in general?

By User at Wed, 2007/09/12 - 5:00am

Work is going on, but it'll be 4.1 material.

By Jos Poortvliet at Thu, 2007/09/13 - 5:00am

Yeah! I thought I would have to start using the web interface while switching to KDE 4, it's great to see it has been ported. I hope they also took the chance to fix some of the important bugs like when you search for something and you see the same file repeated many times. You rock!

By Víctor Fernández at Fri, 2007/09/14 - 5:00am

I see news about what seems like every other piece of KDE I love being improved for 4.0. But I haven't heard much about Konqueror

Is webkit being used? or is khtml staying

By Skeith at Sat, 2007/09/15 - 5:00am

Konqueror is such a complex app that's there's basically not all that much that *can* be done with it, to be honest, so I don't see much scope for improvement to the Konqueror shell from here on in. Even adding a feature like Undo Close Tab - which should be largely trivial - has proven to be a huge pain in the ass.

It will certainly be using the KHtml KPart for KDE4.0, with the possibility of a switch to a WebKit KPart at a later date. Personally, I'd prefer to see a dedicated, KDE-integrated, Webkit-based browser at some point (a kind of "Dolphin for the Web", if you will :)), with Konqueror left as the swiss-army knife tool of power users (like me ;)).

By anon at Sat, 2007/09/15 - 5:00am

I heard a lot of talk about just that. People wanted to make a browser akin to Dolphin for web browsing. But I can't find anything it because its name lead to such rage (people defending and attacking it) that it seems to have vanished. They wanted it to be named Napoleon (the little conqueror).

By Skeith at Sun, 2007/09/16 - 5:00am