KDE Commit-Digest for 21st September 2008

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Various work across Plasma, including improved applet handles with monochrome icons, work on the Weather Plasmoid and the start of an extender-based notification applet. Continued development in PowerDevil, including support for suspend. Long-standing "slow deletion of many files" bug is finally fixed. A System Settings module for choosing the default file manager. Basic implementation of red eye reduction in Gwenview. A generator for G3/G4 fax documents in Okular. Support for filter plugins in Kst. More work on code completion in KDevelop 4. Start of a D-Bus interface in Lokalize. First working implementation of KMenuEdit global shortcuts. Work on supporting different resources in the Akonadi OpenSync plugin. The return of Ark context-menu actions. Liechtenstein, Oman, and San-Marino maps in KGeography. Previews of slide transition effects in KPresenter now happen directly on the affected slide. A KFormula widget is extracted from KOffice and moved into kdelibs for use in other KDE applications. Work on porting Keep, a backup utility, to KDE 4. NEPOMUK query libraries move from kdereview to kdebase/workspace, with the search KIO slave moving into kdereview. A KDE 4 port of KnowIt, a note taking application, is imported into KDE SVN. Eigen 2.0 Beta 1 is tagged for release. Read the rest of the Digest here.



I can't be the only one obsessively checking the dot for digests...

By Tim at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

RSS, dude :)

And thankyou, Mr Allen :)

By anon at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

yeah thanks Mr Allen, you rock

By mimoune djouallah at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

Surely you're not alone!

By Danilo Luvizotto at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

No, you are not ;)

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

I guess Denny liked the last rush to catch up with the Digests so much, that he is now deliberately falling behind again only to do another catch-up spree later on? :-)

By Andre at Mon, 2008/10/06 - 5:00am

first i must say plasma is rock solid for my daily use, it has all what i need an even extra bonus, i know it is not crucial, but i really miss is the ability in taskbar applet to show icons ala Mac os, i have used this in E17 and it is really sweet.

thanks for work, and thanks in advance for animated wallpapers.

By mimoune djouallah at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

Combine that with the ability to make a panel background completely transparent, and you could put a dock at the bottom of the screen (obviously, the growing icons on over would have to be implemented, but that's not a sticking point for me).

By Leonardo Aidos at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am


That looked extremely promising, but it appears development stopped. Perhaps someone could pick it up.

By T. J. Brumfield at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

First a big thanks to a dedicated and very indistrous Danny.

I second your request for some more OSX like eye-candies. it's not necessary for life but Plasma is now rock solid so I think it's time to get that taskbar really sexy ;)
I also appreciate and thank the developers for their excellent work.

By Bobby at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

there's something in playground/base/plasma/applets/ called "peachydock" ... the fisheye effect is a little bit off in it still, but it's rather smooth. would need a bunch more work to get it "there" .. and it could probably be a containment proper ..

i've got a lot more interesting things to be working on in plasma that ripping off Apple, so i personally have no interest in working on it, but that shouldn't stop other people.

By Aaron Seigo at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

I love plasma and I think it's been a step in the right direction.

I do find that, over time, plasma memory usage ends up being fairly high, 100-120MB, and also it ends up sucking up quiet a lot of cpu power (a constant 10-15% on a 1.7GHz pentium m). Killing plasma and restarting plasma again solves it for a few hours. Only plasma stuff running are the desktop with two folderviews that are static, and then the panel with the taskbar, clock and systray.

By NabLa at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

I want and AWN / MAC OS X dock too. Couldn't get peachydock running so far.
I think Ivan CuKic will be working on that kind of stuff.

I really find the 'windoze' type of bar rather 'deprecated' as well as menu bars (see Google chrome for that xD ); HIGs should change a bit...

My main concern would be unification area for:
-commonly used applications
-running applications
-system tray

Because it feels really redundant and silly to have something like pidgin or quassel / konversation in system tray as a small icon, then press it and get a bigger icon+text somewhere more to the right each time you need to check them out for a bit; it's just not as intuitive imho :P

By Dread Knight at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

If you check out the comments from Aaron Seigo's blog, most systray applets will be replaced with plasmoids, which you could conceivably stick in a dock, and they would scale nicely.


He talks about it more elsewhere, but this is just where I remember.

By Leonardo Aidos at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

Please, no change just for the sake of change. I've seen lots of people get confused (myself included!) by an application without a menu bar. See MS-Office or IE7 as an example (I've switched people to the OSS equivalent simply because they are _more_ familiar-looking).

The whole reason for tool bars is to allow one to quickly access commonly used functionality in the menus. KDE reflects this by unifying the menu bar and tool bar actions and allowing any menu bar action to be placed in the tool bar.

As a result, the mentality the "if in doubt, it's in the menus" has (rightfully) been created in the minds of the average users. Since the tool bar is, as I already mentioned, simply an extension on the menu bar, removing the menu bar makes the various actions more difficult to find. It is generally considered bad usability to make actions more difficult to find, while simply including a menu bar does not hinder usability in any real way (the single line of text that a menu bar is does not take up much space and makes all actions readily accessible in a well-known and intuitive way).

By Michael "NO!" Howell at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

"Please, no change just for the sake of change. I've seen lots of people get confused (myself included!) by an application without a menu bar. See MS-Office or IE7 as an example (I've switched people to the OSS equivalent simply because they are _more_ familiar-looking)."

It's not about radical changes to the present taskbar. It's more about creating something flashy for those who find the Windows-like taskbars too boring and would like to have an alternative - something more OSX-like.
The present taskbar is quite functional but the wow-effect and the eye-candies are not there like somebody pointed out.
Can you believe that I once wanted to buy a MAC just because the Dock impressed me that much? The reason why I didn't was because of the price.

By Bobby at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

I wasn't talking about the OS X-style dock. I was talking about the menu bar as shown in applications (think File, Edit, View...). That is why I gave examples of programs that do not have menu bars.

By Michael "Contex... at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

OK, sorry for misunderstanding.

By Bobby at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

I would rather have KDE3 parity first.

By testerus at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

What's missing?

By anon at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

task grouping in task bar! multiline task bar!


how can you do any serious work if you can only read the first two letters of the name of running programs?

By John at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

since we have that in svn, again, what's missing?

the "kde3 parity" thing is getting boring. we've had features kde3 never had, and we have re-implemented the most useful and important features in order ...

if you really want to belly ache about somethin, we still haven't implemented per-virtual-desktop wallpapers. =P

By Aaron Seigo at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

" if you really want to belly ache about somethin, we still haven't implemented per-virtual-desktop wallpapers. =P " eh i thought activitybar can switch between activities which of course can have different wallpapers and icons plasmoid etc....

i hope mr seigo you don't have strong opinion against taskbar with icons, even gnome 3.0 will have an optional one, http://www.bomahy.nl/hylke/wip/gnome-art-roadmap-draft.pdf.

Plasma is damn awesome, but imho it is not perfect in the wow factor department.

Friendly yours.

By mimoune djouallah at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

that pdf is a work-in-progress and hardly concrete.

as for "strong opinions against taskbar with icons" i really couldn't care. i don't particularly feel a need for it, think it's yet another one of those cute fads that strikes the community every so often, but whatever. if someone wants to code it, go for it.

i'm not exactly required to write all the code myself.

By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

What do you mean by "taskbar with icons"?

By Kevin Kofler at Sun, 2008/10/05 - 5:00am

There is still something missing, something that you have promised us for many months but I have a lot of patience and wouldn't dare to put you nice developers under preasure.
Here is what it is:
I would like to be able to configure the clock so that I can see the American, Jamaican, Chinese, Ethiopian and of course the German time when I hover over it with the mouse, just like it is in KDE 3.5x. You told me back then that you also needed this feature, that's why it was implemented in the first place ;)

By Bobby at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

it's already in svn.

By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

Thanks, then there is really nothing missing :)

By Bobby at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

I just updated my openSuse package and tried it - wow! I have been missing that feature for so long and now it's there! You did a great job Aaron. It looks much more beautiful on KDE 4 and it's much easier to configure, so easy that one doesn't get it at first ;)

By Bobby at Sat, 2008/10/04 - 5:00am

Aaron, sometimes your arrogance is just TOO much.

SVN is nice and good, but only when you release the code into packages does it really "count".

So, saying "Yeah, KDE 3 parity, in SVN, what's yer bitching about?" is a bit...doucheish?

By Joe at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

let's recap:

someone asked for more eye candy.
someone said "kde 3 parity first!"
someone said "why, what's missing?"
someone said "grouping and multiple lines in the taskbar!"

and that's when i stepped in because that work is actually already done in svn (well, in playground, working its way through to base; grouping in the lib is already in base).

the conversation was not about released code, but where we developers spend our efforts today. and as i said, the "kde 3 parity!" thing is getting tired.

you can call it arrogance if you wish, but i'm ready to stop hearing complaints for things we've put the work into already.

remember, this whole commit digest thing is about *work in svn*.

By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

Seems the dot is still a troll magnet. Your patience with them is quite amazing. :-)

By Svempa at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

How about working on some debugging? I have over 30 bugs reported, and asiego has only touched one of my twelve Plasma/Kwin bugs. Performance perhaps? Why can't I have two picture applets on my "Desktop" without killing performance? Why is the default setting at one second between pictures? Don't you think that's a bit much?

By Joe at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

i rarely touch kwin. maybe you're thinking of lubos? nor am i exactly required to deal with your personal bug entries.

in any case, there is lots of work on debugging and stabilization. counting your own personal bugs isn't exactly a measure of global progress, now is it?

additionally, we tend to do more debugging and stabilzation work towards the end of the release cycle (last 30% or so usually) not at the beginning.

> Why can't I have two picture applets on my "Desktop" without killing performance?

dunno; it doesn't affect performance here. perhaps you could be more explicit an include information such as: video driver, settings on those two applets (collections? size of widgets?), etc..

> Why is the default setting at one second between pictures?

it's 10 seconds actually

> Don't you think that's a bit much?

yes. maybe the author and maintainer of that widget should change it. perhaps i will, but .. yeah, complaining about a default setting of 10s in one widget is getting pretty nitpicky. which is great .. if these are the issues that are annoying you now, things must be pretty decent.

an we're, what, less than 10 months past the 4.0.0 release?

By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

How about gestures? Last I checked there's no khotkeys equivalent yet.

By jason at Thu, 2008/10/09 - 5:00am

This thread is about Plasma. Gestures in KDE4 would be great, though :)

By anon at Thu, 2008/10/09 - 5:00am

The function I miss the most: KDE3 taskbar had a button to display tasks of all desktops ("window list button").

By testerus at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am

i wonder if that would make sense as part of the taskbar as it used to be ... or as its own plasmoid? it would be easy to code as its own thing and keep the taskbar simpler; not to mention let you put it wherever you wanted ... since you used that feature, what do you think?

By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

More flexibility is fine with me. As long as I do not end up with a huge button on my vertical panel. In KDE3 this button takes up about 138x22 pixels.
Another downside of an extra plasmoid might be that the feature is no longer exposed in the configuration dialog.

By testerus at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

"As long as I do not end up with a huge button on my vertical panel. In KDE3 this button takes up about 138x22 pixels."

Going forwards, Plasmoids will be able to be placed in the system tray, and I think (please correct me if I'm wrong here, Aaron) that there is a Grid containment that can be used to arrange and constrain the sizes of Plasmoids on your panel ( can Containments be "nested" in this way ... ?). So eventually, I see no reason why one would have to worry about Plasmoids taking up loads of space if you don't want them to :)

"Another downside of an extra plasmoid might be that the feature is no longer exposed in the configuration dialog."

Plasmoids can certainly have their own config dialogs, so this shouldn't be a problem. Whether it can be configured centrally from, say, System Settings is another matter that I'm not sure about. Aaron? :)

By anon at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

Personally I would prefer it to be a own plasmoid for the following reasons:
+ You can move it wherever you want, as you said.
+ I also like the idea of keeping the taskbar simple. Make it possible to change the icon of the button - without cluttering the taskbar settings dialog. ;)
+ You can use the plasmoid without a taskbar. Wicked!

On the downside,
- It's harder to discover. Or is it really?

By Hans Chen at Sat, 2008/10/04 - 5:00am

That can be really replaced with current "expose like" kwin features. They need better keyboard navigation but fundamentals are there.

By Mikolaj Machowski at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

Personally I can not see how a graphical representation can deliver the same information as a list of window titles.

By testerus at Fri, 2008/10/03 - 5:00am

I always like to read all the new developments around KDE4.

However, while Plasma et al. are finally taking shape and are really improving the desktop experience, one thing is drastically detoriorating in KDE4: The "web browsing experience" :(. I always read about fixes, commits, fast JS-engines and so on on the dot and in blogs - however, the number of pages in real life I can render flawlessly with Konqueror is getting smaller day by day.

I don't mean to flame here, I appreciate all the work put into Konqueror/KHTML, but as I currently need to start Firefox for every second page, I have now finally switched completely to Firefox. All my friends - all KDE supporters - have made this switch long before.

A few examples:

- Smaller, non-critical but annoying rendering errors everywhere (many text input fields too small to read the entered text, some pictures are not displayed, frames distorted)
- Critical rendering problems e.g. at maps.google.de - in fact, online map services nowadays almost never render flawlessly. www.ebay.de unusable since KDE 3.x days (no picture upload possible, "my ebay" dropdown menus unusable.
- The rendering of almost any page with plugins (flash, nspluginwrapper, xine-plugin), which work without any problem in Firefox, is a pure game of chance.
- FavIcon handling completely flawed - e.g. dot.kde.org-icon completely distorted, others are not displayed at all (packman.links2linux.de), FavIcons are often mixed up between different pages.
- Cookie management a mess - Konqueror keeps on bugging the user over and over again whether to accept certain cookies, even if it's been told time and again to accept all cookies from this domain.
- Sometimes links are simply not clickable, or clicking links does not work as expected.

That's only what I can think of at the moment, lots of small quirks simply add up to a completely annoying web browsing experience. It currently looks as if the KHTML development cannot keep up with the real web...

As I said before, Firefox does all this without problems. In fact, many of the rendering problems are even gone when using the experimental WebKit-part. Many of those bugs are in fact already reported as bugs, but nothing is done about them.

I'd like to have a working, KDE-native browser again, as Firefox looks really ugly and un-integrated (even with Oxygen-theme) on a KDE desktop. Which are the plans for the further development of Konqueror as a web browser?

By Anon Coward at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

"All my friends - all KDE supporters - have made this switch long before."

Odd, I switched to Konqueror/KHTML because I was irritated by Firefox's bloat and complete lack of integration in KDE.

And for the rest, did you file bugs?

By Luca Beltrame at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

actually, there is quite a nice KDE4 Theme for firefox3. It integrates firefox nicely into the KDE environment, except for the file dialogs. Besides, Nokia is working on a QT Version of firefox, so it should blend in even more nicely, in the days to come.

I don't mean to put down konqui, it's a great program, too, but mozilla just is an organization with plenty of resources (actually millions of $) that is dedicated to deliver a state-of-the-art web browsing experience, which is hard to beat. KDE's main focus is-and-should-be on improving the overall desktop experience, which is taking great leaps, if you look at applications like dolphin, plasma, okular, kopete, koffice and the countless other apps.

By chris at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

I am afraid to agree with you. Konqueror integrates perfectly in the KDE desktop because it's a native programme but as a web browser it's not quite there to beat the Fox - not yet. I would be happy to use Konqueror as my default Browser if it could give me the web browsing experience that the Fox does. It's getting better though and I am sure that it will get there because the KDE developers are very ambitious and hard working. Already one can see the tons of improvements.
As for the KDE Firefox theme, it's cool, not perfect but very good and the Qt port will make the fox feel even more at home on KDE.

By Bobby at Mon, 2008/10/06 - 5:00am

Well, you know, the number of smaller and greater bugs in my everyday web experience with Konqueror is really mounting. There are bug reports for some of the errors I describe (e.g. the Ebay thing), but as there is really not the slightest improvement for months and years, there's no real incentive to report all those bugs.

And BTW, WebKit doesn't have those rendering errors (but other flaws), so fixing them should be possible.

I tried to use Konquror exclusively since KDE2. And therefore yes, Firefox is bloated, yes, I hate its file requesters, yes, I'd like to be able to use something smaller, better integrated.

However, my computer's horsepower can stand a bit bloat, I can cope with some ugly dialogues, I can even live with a slightly different look'n'feel - as long as the main reason d'être of a web browser. i.e. rendering real life web pages - is fulfilled.

By Anon Coward at Wed, 2008/10/01 - 5:00am

> There are bug reports for some of the errors I describe (e.g. the Ebay thing)

I looked up your menu thing, and found https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=141907

there's a German there saying it works with current ebay.de...

By Leo at Thu, 2008/10/02 - 5:00am