KDE Commit-Digest for 24th February 2008

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: More work on runners, bindings into WebKit, and the beginnings of better composite manager support in Plasma, with support for multiple feed sources in the RSS Plasmoid. The addition of a "BBall", "Show Desktop", "KMLDonkey", and "IM Presence" (using Decibel) Plasma applets. An alternative alt+tab window switcher (similar to Compiz Fusion's "Cover Switch" effect). SuperKaramba gets support for Qt 4.4 "widgets-on-canvas". A long-overdue "major" rewrite of KCron is undertaken. Undo support in the KShortcutsEditor dialog. New plugins in Digikam and Krita. Various improvements in KTorrent and Amarok 2.0. Interface work and MusicBrainz integration in KsCD (student project). Lots of work on page transition effects in KPresenter. The start of work on integrating online reader support into Akregator. Kubrick, a Rubik's Cube game, is imported into playground/games. KDiamond moves from playground/games to kdereview, Kollision from kdereview to kdegames for KDE 4.1. kdebase (trunk, KDE 4.1) now requires Qt 4.4. Akonalendar (a small app to demonstrate Akonadi KCal models), and the Quasar graphics library are imported into KDE SVN. Read the rest of the Digest here.

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by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Wasn't there a new app/framework to easily create other games? I thought it was largely designed around board and game games. I can't recall the name and I wanted to check up on it.

by Dan (not verified)

It died before it was born. One of them projects that talked before it could walk, and was satisfied there.

by J Klassen (not verified)

There's a nice project that's been in dev for a _long_ time, called stencyl(.com). It's in Java, and I followed it's mother (that eventually died) when I first started programming. Should be pretty good...

by jospoortvliet (not verified)

How about Tagua:

(yeah I think it rocks)

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)


It looks like Tagua is still in development.

by Köki-Käki-Möki-... (not verified)

Sorry but I do not understand why talented developers waste time on those silly games.

What about the rest of the KDE4?
4.0.1 barely works and is mostly unconfigurable and unusable. FFS, work on Kmail, Konqueror or the new Kmenu-thingy (now you need more clicks than ever before to launch an application?) it sure is a usability frak up! :)

There is billjon more important things to do than waste time on apps that are for... wasting time :)
I have nothing against the KDE games (how about a good Go GUI that can connet to KGS etc or play Go against your PC? Massive waste of time btw!).

Please build the house first and then add the useless pink flamingo crap.

(BTW, I use only Linux at home and work. Our office runs 100% on KDE 3.5.9)

And yes, I know, this is only the beginning for KDE4 bla-bla-blaa... ;)

by JohnFlux (not verified)

Send me some money, and I'll work on what you want me to. Otherwise, go away :P

by Matt (not verified)

Not this whine again. Apart from the fact that you can't just reassign people away from something that they presumably enjoy doing and have fun writing and maybe they don't have the skills to write a mail client or a web browser, the games aren't a "waste of time" as you say. The games were some of the most complete apps early on in KDE4 development and put to use some of the new technologies, this was no doubt fuelled by the enthusiasm of doing something fun. I have never played any of them but I can appreciate the efforts of the games developers in the form of better tested KDE4 tech.

I hate having to waste my time like this.

by Grósz Dániel (not verified)

The new KMenu can be replaced with a classic style menu. Just remove the Application launcher plasmoid and place an Application Launcher Menu plasmoid in place of it.

by Lee (not verified)

More important to YOU, perhaps. But application developers tend to work on what they have some particular skill for, or interest in. Programming for fun (as opposed to professionally) is essentially a self-improvement exercise, where people work on things that challenge them in some way. That self-challenge naturally leads to better KDE devs, whatever they choose to work on. The result is that we get a better KDE.

by Diederik van de... (not verified)

Game developers are not Office-app developers, and visa versa. Moving people away from the things they're best at won't improve a lot.

It seams kde-games and kde-edu have a low barrier to enter KDE developer. They make it easy for people to join KDE. I guess that's both technically (code wise), mentally (you can't screw up really bad) and socially (becoming part of a team).

by Anon (not verified)
by jospoortvliet (not verified)

Yeah, Tagua must be what you are looking for...

by jospoortvliet (not verified)
by CJ (not verified)

DirectX ?

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

I posted this a week or two ago and didn't get many replies, but the Dot has been busy and it may have been missed.

I was thinking long and hard, and I believe KDE should form a strategic partnership with Google in much the same way Mozilla did.

As far as the API goes, you only get so many uses for your API key, so KDE couldn't just take the API and use it without paying for it, or striking a deal. They'd go over API usage with all the people who use KDE.

However, imagine Google contributing code to NEPOMUK and improving Strigi.
Imagine fully integrating Google services like GCalendar, GTalk and Gmail into your desktop.
Imagine easily integrating Google Docs to share documents.
Imagine being able to search an index with your account, and have it know that what you're looking for is on another computer you've used recently.

KDE 4 is now cross-platform. With plasmoids, open APIs, and the beginning of the Semantic Desktop, you could fully integrate your desktop experience with an online community, and simultaneously integrate online services into your desktop.

The partnership would profit both parties, and the end users would get much better features.

You could take it even further. It could create in-roads for KDE usage in the Enterprise environment through the strength of the Google brand. I can tell you first hand that integrating Sharepoint is very costly. Imagine an OSS alternative that allows the entire enterprise to communicate via email, calendar, IM, share documents, collaborate, search, etc. intuitively, and directly through your desktop apps.

We need to brainstorm this, and someone needs to approach Google about this.

by Cynical (not verified)

They seem much closer to GNOME-based technology at the moment; look at the number of SoC projects they got. There was also an article recently about GNOME getting help to improve its accessibility options from several companies, including Big G (http://www.linux.com/feature/127801). Could it have anything to do with the fact that KDE has Marble, which may one day rival Google Earth? Who knows.

by Anon (not verified)

"They seem much closer to GNOME-based technology at the moment; look at the number of SoC projects they got."

I thought KDE got more last year?

by Kevin Krammer (not verified)

If I remember correctly KDE got more SoC students than any other mentoring organisation.

Commenter Cynical might refer to the combined numbers of all organisations from the GNOME ecosystem, e.g. AbiSource or Pidgin.

However, getting one huge amount of resources for the KDE umbrella has some advantages as well, e.g. if some subproject doesn't have enough mentors on its own someone from a different subproject can probably step in and delegate only project specific questions.

Of course this kind of self organisation requires that the KDE subteams reach a consensus on the allocation of SoC slots and we certainly can improve the internal allocation process, probably persuading Google to give us an increased number of students overall.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Google has supported QT and GTK, Gnome and KDE. However, past support doesn't rule out a KDE partnership.

by Max (not verified)

I second that!!!!

Google would be a great partner. I'm sure they can support both gnome and KDE.
Let's email them and request it. The more people email, the more they see people want to.

I for one would love a Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. integration into KDE. Let google write it, the KDE guys are busy enough already. :)

by Lee (not verified)

Free Software is about Freedom and independence. It fundamentally should NOT get into bed with proprietary software/services companies. And that's aside from all the reasons that a desktop shouldn't depend on access to a website.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Google gives to open source as much as any company. They have open API's for their proprietary services. And I'm sure that integrating those services would be an option you could opt out of when compiling KDE if you so chose.

Claiming that Google is evil and proprietary is pretty silly. Google is the anti-MS.

by Philipp (not verified)

>Google is the anti-MS
That's nonsense. Google is the other (not yet) MS.

OTH Google is also a datasteelingandselling monster.

This is now my personal preferation, but I won't ever use any Google based services for my personal data.

If others do, I let them do as it is their live. I just want to have them warned.

Let the future tell us to where it will go when companies know all about your whole live...

by yxxcvsdfbnfgnds (not verified)

> Claiming that Google is evil and proprietary is pretty silly.
> Google is the anti-MS.

You are silly. Of course is Google against MS. MS is Google's competitor. Just like Wal Mart is against Amazon.
MS was also a strong supporter of open standards when Novell Netware ruled corporate networks. Once WinNT took over, all the standards support disappeared.

Google's most important goal is to spy on users to better target ads on them and in turn make more profit. Google supports open source to improve its image within the geek community. And it works. Every other company would get lots of bad "press" for the spyware included in e.g. the Google Firefox Toolbar, its use of tracking cookies, and so on. Google does not. It's sometimes even seen as messiah.

If Google wants to contribute to OSS projects (because they use those prohjects internally and don't want to maintain an internal patchset or for whatever reason) then fine. But don't become dependant on Google alone.

by Max (not verified)

Nobody ever said we would. We just want their support. The more people work on KDE, the better, the wider audience it gets.

by Max (not verified)

Well Google at least TRIES not to be evil!!

Name another big software services company that has so openly embraced that philosophy. Google is a good partner.

by Steve (not verified)

Or for you cynics out there:

"The enemy of my enemy (Micro$oft) is my friend (Google)."

So at least for now it's great to ask for Google's help, and to work TOGETHER with Google.

Why would you give up privacy if you did that?

by Carlo (not verified)

There are people who are concerned about the privacy of their data, who do not trust Google (or any other company for the matter).

So when you "brainstorm this", please make sure that such problematic service stuff is kept optional - at best opt-in - so KDE does not loose part of its user base.

by yxxcvsdfbnfgnds (not verified)

The Mozilla way is wrong. It's a full sell-out to a single company.

by Max (not verified)

Maybe, but Firefox is sure a great product.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

What have they sold out?

Default search engine is the only thing they've sold out. I think Konqui defaults to Google, but does it for free. It has been said time and time again, that Firefox's Customize Google add-on hurts Google by blocking ads, and yet Google has never once complained about it. Google has never once requested that Firefox block it, or not host it on their site.

Google has made no demands to Firefox/Mozilla that I know of.

by Andreas (not verified)

What is probably the most popular Firefox extension? (You know it...)
Now guess why it is not shipped and enabled by default in Firefox. Do you *really* think that this has nothing to do with the huge amount of sponsorship money they receive?

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Adblock Plus doesn't block Google ads. Customize Google does.

And Firefox doesn't ship with any popular mods. You can't blame that on Google. That has always been the stance of Mozilla, to be modular and not ship with mods.

by Max (not verified)

See, I'm really not jealous for Google to make money. They deserve it. They give me the information I need, when I need it. Something Yahoo, and Microsoft can't do anymore.

I also like Altavista as a search engine. I had good results. (I tried it again for the first time last fall after a good 10 year hiatus. They got better. I actually found something with it, that I couldn't find with google.)

by yxxcvsdfbnfgnds (not verified)

Besides the default entry in the search field:
Start page and anti-phishing.

That led to the effect that Mozilla is now completely dependant on Google. All main Firefox programmers are paid with money from Google. Of course they'll continue to add features that please Google while locking out the competition (eg. not using the community-based PhishTank.com blacklist for anti-phishing).
FF will also never ship with AdBlock due the Google involvement. While you claimed that Google ads are not blocked by AdBlock Plus, let me remind you that DoubleClick is a subsidiary of Google and indeed blocked. I think it also depends on the subscribed filterset, if regular text-based Google ads are blocked.
I'm sure that Thunderbird was also dropped because Google prefers that GMail via browser is used.

Some corporate sponsoring is OK but a "sponsorship monopoly" is bad. How much development community does Mozilla really have besides paid programmers?

BTW: I don't think that Google even wants a close collaboration. Google (with Android) and Trolltech (with Qt/Qtopia) are competitors. Why would Google want to promote a competing technology?

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Start page and anti-phishing were directly part of the Firefox/Google deal. Without the financial support and paid development, I doubt Firefox 3 would be would it is today.

And Thunderbird is installed with Google's internal distro, so I don't see how you can pretend Google hates on Thunderbird. It was dropped largely due to a lack of developer interest.

by Ian Monroe (not verified)

I replied to this last time, and unsurprisingly you've ignored my response in this message.

"Imagine fully integrating Google services like GCalendar, GTalk and Gmail into your desktop."

They already do this for the Gnome desktop.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

All the more reason people should be willing to explore this in KDE as well.

by anon (not verified)

google is not interested in a partnership with KDE.

to the person who said Google isn't evil because they are anti MS, just more microsoft bullshit from the linux community. I trust you know the set up of google, and their close ties with the CIA including some of their top personal being former CIA.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Conspiracy theory much?

The US Government was demanding private search data. Yahoo handed it over. Microsoft handed it over preemptively even before they asked. Google said they'd fight in court before they handed over one ounce of private data to the government. Google was the only search company to even attempt to fight Chinese censorship. They promote open source and open standards. They give almost all of their services away for free. Name one evil thing they've done.

The facts contradict your conspiracy theories.


by jos poortvliet (not verified)

Imho you are right. I would object to integrating with Google if it's exclusive, but otherwise I prefer Google greatly over their competitors. They spend a lot of energy on 'not being evil', which I respect (it's hard for such a big company to appear non-evil: some people will consider pretty much anything as evil, just because you're big).

by yxxcvsdfbnfgnds (not verified)

Just because other companies are bad, doesn't mean that Google is good. Google collects a huge amount of user data though all its web services.
Google is not a charity. Google is a company and the goal of every company is to make as much profit as possible.
There are various explanations why Google resisted. It could be that Google didn't want others to find out how much data Google collects. It could have also been a publicity stunt.

It was just relatively recently that Google agreed to anonymize its saved user data after two years. Without pressure from EU data privacy regulators Google had never done that.

by winter (not verified)

That's right. I just have to say this:
Email clients are great because you can send and receive mail from various servers with various protocols. RSS readers, web browsers, media streamers, etc etc etc are great because you can use them with what you want to use them with at you do not have to use them at all or be online to use them. Some of these apps you are talking about can only be used with one service. So they are IMHO useless. IMPO(in my paranoid opinion) they are dangerous because they keep users masked from the details and promote reliancy on companies and services. Google Talk - what is it? Skype - What is it? Pidgin - what is it? YATE - what is it? etc etc etc ... I think you get my point.

by winter (not verified)

I really like some of the things Google does. However, I dislike much of it. Google is already a company that has a lot of power. It's not, "we are the good guys you can trust us." It's important to think about what happens when one entity controls so much and what they *would* be capable of doing.

by Max (not verified)

Agreed. Either way. Their help and their "coding power" at the moment would be very appreciated.

KDE is still GPL 3'ed so we don't have to worry about Google taking the project away from the community.

At the very least Google could help contribute some.

Hopefully even BEFORE Google Summer of Code. :)

KDE 4.1 is not too far away. It's nearing crunch time.

by kwilliam (not verified)

NO! Don't be stupid. KDE and Google should keep their relationship as is - just friends.

I don't trust Google enough to let KDE marry him.

by Max (not verified)

Why would they marry? Do you even know what open source means?

KDE is destined to forever bachelorhood, thanks to GPL V.3. Google can only help. They can't harm it, as the KDE team won't let that happen.

by riddle (not verified)

Right now, KDE and Google are not friends. Google and Apple are friends. GMail works w/o hacks in Safari, but Konqueror requires hacks to work with GMail (Standard View).

by sebas (not verified)

> I posted this a week or two ago and didn't get many replies, but the Dot has been busy and it may have been missed.
The Dot is probably the least suitable place to post this kind of suggestions. Those things simply do not happen by having a 'great' idea, but by making things happen. So if you're that fond of you idea, start implementing libraries for all those great services now, call someone at Google to pay you for it.

Otherwise, I'm afraid your suggestion sounds like wannabe-strategist-ideas-with-nothing-behind-it.

In general, integrating commercial services is fine, making KDE dependant on a large company is out of the question. Google being evil or not, it's just very stupid and against pretty much all KDE stands for.

The fact that you post this on the Dot suggests to me that you don't understand how KDE works, and that you also don't understand how corporate partnerships work, or are being worked on. Sorry, no dice.