KDE Commit-Digest for 11th January 2009

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: More parts of the Oxygen-based "Air" visual identity enters KDE SVN in time for the KDE 4.2 release, including KDM background images. Better integration of the new "NetworkManager" Plasma applet with KWallet. Initial work on a new "Welcome" Plasmoid. Support for more units added to the "Conversion" runner in Plasma, including "pressure", "currency", and "energy". Support for identi.ca (and laconi.ca) added to the "Twitter" Plasma data engine. Much work on choqoK, a standalone KDE Twitter application. Support for using imageshack.us as the backend for the "Pastebin" Plasma applet. More work on a "VideoPlayer" Plasmoid (based on Phonon). The VLC backend for Phonon is imported into KDE SVN. New LilyPond indenter script and RPM Specification syntax highlighting files in Kate. Lots of long-awaited new features in KRuler. Start of a new user interface in Rocs. General improvements to visual rendering of .odt documents in Okular. Lots of fixes in KPilot and printing in KOrganizer. Needed improvements in the LaTeX export feature of KSpread. Various work on Akonadi and Amarok 2, including an early "Bookmark" applet and changes to the way the Plasma canvas is presented in the application. An new equivalent to the old "dcopstart" command. Support for localized backends in KPackageKit, with the ability to configure the application from the system tray icon. A registry patch for registering KDE system settings modules as Control Panel elements for KDE-on-Windows. Updated browser user agents representing modern browsers in Konqueror. A major refactoring to convert all backends (VNC, RDP, NX, test) to plugins in KRDC. Initial release of "Magazynier", a KSokoban remake for KDE 4. Import of a version of Konqueror with thumbnailing support. Initial import of a "Solid Actions" KControl module (to replace the "Media Devices" KCM from KDE 3), and telepathy-accountmanager-kwallet. KFormula is removed from kdelibs, in search of better maintainership and to avoid code duplication with KOffice. Amarok 2.0.1, KOffice Beta 5 (, Eigen 2.0 Beta 5, KDE 4.1.4, and KDE 4.2 Release Candidate 1 are tagged for release. Read the rest of the Digest here.

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by andre (not verified)
by Aaron Seigo (not verified)

most of those issues aren't causing defects; but yes, getting rid of them would be great.

thanks to forum.kde.org's "kourses", we've seen a large number of patches from new contributors in this last week that fix a good number of them.

you could help too! =)

by R.J. (not verified)

Thanks for the digest, and for anyone interested. Opensuse have started to put up the early stages of 4.3 in the unstable repo

by Jon (not verified)

It's worth reading the linked Digest (I always do of course:) as well as the summary posted here, as there is a nice long piece from the developers about Konqueror File Management refining and also from the choqoK dev - the first Persian kde app?

cheers Dansta!

by Anon (not verified)

Considering how much pain gathering the articles causes Danny, I'm surprised he doesn't feature them more prominently. Just a single line after the main paragraph, like:

There's often a lot of very interesting stuff there and it seems a shame to hide it away like that.

by Danny Allen (not verified)

Yeah, I hadn't thought of that, but it's a good idea.
I'll see what I can do to integrate it into Digests in the near future.


by Anon (not verified)

Neato, you're my hero :)

by Hans (not verified)

Loved the Konqueror/Dolphin text, lots of awesome improvements there!

It was interesting to read about choqoK too, even though I don't use Twitter. (However, I have a really hard time remembering that name and would've preferred something like Kvitter (Kwitter?) - "twitter" in Swedish - but I guess that's just me. ;) It's cool with a name from ancient Persian!)

by Hosein-mec (not verified)

yes , developer of choqoK is "mehrdad momeny" from iran ! he's also the developer of mdic ...



by Atomopawn (not verified)

I really appreciate and enjoy these updates. Thanks for keeping the digest going.

One small suggestion -- is there any way the updates could be broken up into smaller paragraphs? It is kind of difficult to read when it's all one big paragraph.

Thanks again!

by Danny Allen (not verified)

Well, usually there are not so many commits and so many things that need to be covered in the summary paragraph ;)

Actually, the reason why it has to be kept in one single block of text is the Dot policy of only having a single paragraph of the story on the front page.


by Luis (not verified)

Thank you very much :-)

By the way, I just love that the feature freeze is over (4.3), means that reading the dot will be interesting again :-P

by me (not verified)

does the kdm module in systemsettings support "administrator mode"? in 4.2?

by Cyril (not verified)

At least in 4.2RC1 a kde-su pop-up shows up in order to enter the settings.

by me (not verified)

good! thanks to the devs!

by Anon (not verified)

Busy week - it's like reading the Release Notes for a GNOME major release ;)

Thanks Danny - your dedication in the face of overwhelming commit-blitzes is much appreciated :)

by Hans (not verified)

Oh, please stop this useless and silly GNOME bashing. GNOME and KDE are both out to make your computer more free to you. Apple and Microsoft are the ones to bash, no? If there wasn't a KDE you and I will be glad there is GNOME, so we don't have to depend on A and M.


by Fred (not verified)

Reading the digest headline, there is a lot going on in Plasma. Plasma is successfull and cool and hot at the same time :-). My only concern is more and more functionality is going the plasmoid route. Is there a clear policy on what should stay as a "normal" app and what could/should/must be implemented as a plasmoid? The difference between a plasmoid and a app is beginning to blur in some area's. I see, for example, more and more "file manager" functionality going into the folder view plasmoid. Where does it stop? How will a "normal user" experience this. Will (s)he understand the difference? Lot's of functionality is both in plasmoids _and_ in apps. Don't get me wrong here: I love plasma and I love KDE, but I really want KDE to be succesfull. There is a limited amount of developers and I see lot's of them doing cool plasma stuff, thereby duplicating app functionality. These resources might be put to better use, allthought it is difficult to steer FOSS developers into doing things less cool, like ironing out bugs and porting efforts. Is this a genuine concern?

by Anon (not verified)

"Is this a genuine concern?"

Not really - most Plasmoids are simply small-ish front-ends to backends that do the heavy lifting. For example, FolderView, which is a very unusually large and powerful Plasmoid, is still only a few thousand lines, and a huge amount of its functionality comes from kdelibs/ Qt. Most Plasmoids are a tiny fraction of this - for example, Marco's "Magnifique" and his video-playing Plasmoid represent a very small amount of code (and coding time) : Qt4+kdelibs_libplasma makes all this kind of stuff an absolute breeze.

by Aaron Seigo (not verified)

"more and more functionality is going the plasmoid route"

lol; now the problems stem from plasma being too successful. ;)

"more and more "file manager" functionality going into the folder view plasmoid. Where does it stop?"

you'll be pleased to know that we've put our foot down in a number of areas when it comes to folder view. e.g. there have been requests for:

* navigating between folders in the folder view (like you do in konq or dolphin)
* bread crumb nav at the top
* a complex "toolbar" of file management functions

all things that would make folderview more like dolphin, really. but we are very aware that the beauty of folderview is that it isn't dolphin. it's a simple, quick way to get at the contents of a directory. it's a jumping-off point, not a file manager in itself.

that it has so many useful features is a blessing we get from Qt and KDE libraries. but we are very careful about the scope of these components. they are meant to aid and assist in the usage of full fledged applications rather than replace them.

the rss readers are not meant to replace akregrator (but they do use the same library for fetching rss feeds! =), the calculator is not meant to become a full scientific/graphing/accounting tool, etc..

we are in the process of creating a new category of application somewhere between "desktop shell" and "application" in the process here, and so lines will appear blurry until everyone groks where those lines are.

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

oh, as we at file management: Then I start a longer file transfer I get in KDE 4.1.96 a notification plasmoid that disapears after some seconds. How do I get this file process notifier back e.g. to stop the file transfer?



big THANK YOU to and personal hero of the week is Tom Patiz who ported kdebluetooth4 to bluez4.x this week.

by Luca Beltrame (not verified)

You just need to click on the computer-like icon that appears in the systray. Then you'll get to view the transfer and choose to stop or pause it.

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

Ahh, thank you :-)

by MamiyaOtaru (not verified)

If this is not discoverable outside of asking on the dot I would posit that for most people it is not discoverable.

Perhaps the list of long lasting progress dialogs should minimize to said icon only when the user tells it to, but by default stay open.

by David Johnson (not verified)

Folderview is conceptually identical to the desktop available on all other desktop environment. From what I can see, users don't confuse the desktop with the file manager.

As for the differences between plasmoids and applications, they are numerous. Plasmoids all live at the bottom of the z-order, only resize proportionally, can be locked into place, all run in the same process (iirc), can live on the panel or other specialized container, etc. As such, they would be good choice for a biff mail notifier, but not so hot for a full featured mail client.

by Aaron Seigo (not verified)

"Folderview is conceptually identical to the desktop available on all other desktop environment"

it's very interesting how changing the context even just a little changes people's expectations, though. people are interesting. =)

by Fred (not verified)

I see the presence of a "/branches/work/nokia-pim-suite" branche in the digest? Could anybody explain what that is?

by Jakob Petsovits (not verified)

That's a project by a group of French students (6, I believe) for a university course, with the kdepim team as "clients".

by Kevin Krammer (not verified)

This is a really cool effort at the Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France.

A group of students there is working on Akonadi based PIM applications suitable for Maemo devices.

You can read about last year's projects and general information about this special universtiy course in an older commit digest here http://www.commit-digest.org/issues/2007-12-23/

by nuno pinheiro (not verified)

Great now I will have to get me one of those maemo devices :)

by Alejandro Nova (not verified)

Hopefully we'll get someday... the thing everyone is waiting for...

A KDE (and Linux-running) Nokia PC Suite! ;)

by Marcelo Russo (not verified)

Any news about the release of KDE 3.6??

by whatever noticed (not verified)

There is no 3.6

by Marcelo Russo (not verified)

what about 3.5.11?

by Aaron Seigo (not verified)

unlikely at this point, though always possible if enough changes post 3.5.10 happen and someone oversees the release management.

by Johnnatan Schultz (not verified)
by Birdy (not verified)

My opinion: Not worth the reading

by Anon (not verified)

I think "Review of KDE 4,2" is a rather ill-fitting title for your post :)

by Luca Beltrame (not verified)

I would hardly call it a "review", just a long rant with no or little basis, and even if it had merit, it's lost in the stream of negativity.

by Vide (not verified)

The typical "rant blog" politically incorrect just to get visitors. Nothing new here.

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

I found the part about 4.0 release very funny :)
The article should not be taken seriously, even that it contains some truths, it is so biased and distorced it does not matter at all.

by Michael (not verified)

Short summary of the article for those who did not care to read it:

foreach (app, RandomApps)
cout << app << " is a piece of shit"

by Luis (not verified)


I don't know if it's right that I actually find it funny.

by JoeSchmoe (not verified)

That's disingenuous to say.

He had a lot of good points, though I would say that for nearly every one of his points, you could add "Use the older version and/or wait until the newer version comes out".

New Amarok UI sucks. It will improve, but it sucks now.
Pidgin devs are very resistant to change. Truth.
KDE4 was a PR disaster. Yep, check.

That's about it.

by Aaron Seigo (not verified)

> New Amarok UI sucks. It will improve, but it sucks now.

you may think it sucks, a lot of us like it even now. it will certainly improve (already has in svn), but if 2.0's interface rated a "sucks" then i hope you're slapping that label on 90%+ of the rest of software out there. that said, rewrites of complex interfaces, esp when its a "re-imagining" run into two logistical problems:

* people tend to be very resistant to change, and take out their non-rational response to anything different (a biological imperative, btw) on the source of that change. often if that change is actually good for them long term.

* if you are replacing something highly polished and intricate, your first re-drafting will likely not be nearly as ornate. one can either sit on it indefinitely until it's "as ornate", but then one will never release. the way things *get* ornate is through the process of develop-release-use-feedback-repeat. in F/OSS that is not a process internal to a project.

> Pidgin devs are very resistant to change. Truth.

i don't know enough about the pidgin folk to make an educated statement. so.. i won't say anything. :)

> KDE4 was a PR disaster. Yep, check.

i don't call a couple of months of a vocal squealing minority of ill-informed individuals a "PR disaster". there was absolutely one misstep (clarity in the initial press release) as well as a noise blip. however if one looks at the attention it got, the continued attention it demanded and how 4.2 is shaking out as one series of PR events .......

unfortunately, people writing these kinds of drivel-infested blogs from negativeland tend to fail at being able to see pictures bigger than the end of their nose. *shrug*

by whatever noticed (not verified)

Well, it is quite funny to see that he first claims kde4 is a copycat of vista, and then he comes with all kinds of features that aren't available in vista :o)

I also noticed in other blogs that windows7 reminds people even more of kde4. I wonder how long it will take before people accuse kde 4.3 or so being a rippoff of windows7, not realising that kde4 was already out before microsoft started with 7...

by JRT (not verified)

This is clearly a rant -- it is very overblown with the intent of being humorous (and it is funny).

It is excessive and clearly over the top. But, I would suggest that there is some truth there and that the developers would be wise look behind the bombastic language and take it seriously.

Many thanks for all the dolphin/konqueror improvements !! I just love the filter bar :)

Maybe a dev will be interested by this wish, it seems like a useful feature :

"Newly created folders and files should be selected, because it's likely the user wants to edit the file/open the folder right after he created it"

Looks cool isn't it ? :)


Want to save a file to a folder that doesn't exist yet?

Right click, new folder, type name, hit enter three times. Works in WinExplorer. Would be nice for the KDE file dialog.

uhh... unless I'm missing something in your post, this already exists in KDE4. If you have a file dialog open, click on the icon in the toolbar that looks like a folder with a + sign on it. Type folder name, hit enter, done.

Or right click in the files area and click "New Folder", enter folder name, hit enter, done.

In Folder View plasmoid, right click on an area with no icon, highlight "Create New" and select "Folder" from submenu. Type in folder name, hit enter, done.