Monday, August 27, 2007

Share and share alike

Well, I just finally made my last commit to KHangman to make it use the same folder for its kvtml files as KAnagram. It's been a long time coming, but I think it was well worth the effort. Now both KHangman and Kanagram have access to each other's translated data files (ping me on irc if you speak another language and would be willing to do other translations ;-). And also have access to any files downloaded through KHotNewStuff from either application. Kanagram benefited because KHangman has quite a few translations of its files done, and KHangman benefitted because KAnagram has 17 files in each language that has been translated (except Chinese which has only 14 so far, but they are huge!). All of both applications data files have also been converted to the new kvtml 2 xml format that is actually human readable, thanks to the changes in the library, and Frederik Gladhorn and Peter Hedlunds great design. Last week also saw much improvement in libkeduvocdocument by Frederik making things understandable, etc. cleaning out old code and fixing things to be more flexible (you can rename the verb-type now if you like!)

My computer is back up to snuff running Feisty again and it's great to be back. Last week was one of lost KDE productivity with the backup, re-install, restore, checkout, rebuild... But it was nice to do a build from scratch again installing libs as necessary.

On the Kompromise front, kleag, the KSirk maintainer has contacted us in #kde-diplomacy about some possible sharing of network code, and map drawing code, which will be a great benefit I think.

Friday, August 24, 2007

computer issues, Danes, and diplomacy

Well, this week Ann-Marie came back! We had lots of stuff for her when she got here, and she hopefully will have a bit more hacking time tomorrow sounds like. She also got to meet all the new folks that have been hanging out in #kde-edu since she left (groundferret, SaroEngels, timlinux, etc.) Interestingly, since she's been back more females have been in that channel than the whole time she was gone (kdeb, hannascott, etc.)

I've been debating downgrading back from gutsy (beta ubuntu) to feisty (latest ubuntu) all week, and finally made the decision when I couldn't get nvidia X drivers working anymore in gutsy. Backed up all my personal code, pictures, music, videos, etc. to the my local web-server and re-installed feisty. It's nice to have a clean new install to play with again, even though I know I'll do something to ruin it soon enough... :)

Thursday saw more Danish people on irc than I'd noticed previously. Terrax (hope I remebered your nick right) seems enthusiastic about helping with translation, but apparently Danish translation is/has been a one-man job lately (no mailinglist or website) but Kris Thomsen who translated kanagram's data files into Danish for us also has interest in translation, so maybe it's the beginnings of a translation team.

Lastly a couple weeks ago groundferret got a few of us started on Diplomacy which is a risk-esque strategy game set in Europe. You can see the game here. It's a pretty fun and interesting game, and has prompted the beginning of KDiplomacy a new kdegames project to make a networked diplomacy game for KDE.

Anyway, as for progress, what with my computer issues I haven't done much kdeedu stuff this week. I plan to remedy that by finishing the conversion of khangman data files to kvtml 2 format, and modifying them to have the words hints in the comment tag instead of the first translation tag. Hopefully I can fix the crash I introduced to khangman also... :)

Anyway, hopefully the weekend will make up for a less-productive kde week ;-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A kde-free weekend (almost)

I had planned to finish keduvocdocument lesson class last weekend, so I finally got it to build this weekend of course. Then the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing (took my brother to a movie for his birthday that was last week, got into a couple new video games, etc. Almost was a kde-free weekend, but then thismorning when I woke up I got a hold of Frederick, and checked in the lesson class for his consumption in kvoctrain (nobody else that uses kvtml uses lessons yet.) Anyway, it's been nice to relax for a bit, and will be easy to get back into the swing of work and kde tomorrow again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

hacking and real life(tm)

Had a great weekend with lots of collaboration, discussion, and hacking in kde-edu saturday and sunday. Kvtml version 2 is now what all apps that use it write with. There's a method to get around the KNS inability to put stuff in sub-folders. A sorting method to put files into sub-folders by locale.

We the folks of #kde-edu decided we want to get completed by the kde 4 release since it is geared towards students and teachers, wherease is geared towards developers of educational software. With lots of links to the simpler site from the dev site. Danny is working the design a bit, then we need to fill it with content on each app.

A bit of Real Life (tm) hit monday evening, so not much was done kde-wise. I did get nvidia drivers working in gutsy finally yesterday though, by using the older kernel, so now kwin is much faster again.

Anyway, hopefully this weekend keduvocdocument will get a lesson class for kvoctrain to use later, and kanagram's kvtml editor will get some polish. Then I'd like to play with some plasmoids to learn plasma and get going on Danny's svn world view plasmoid.

P.S. I got khangman using kvtml 2 files from the shared location, but it's a bit weird. Annma if you read this, I hope you'll be back by the planned feature freeze August 26th, so I can ask you a few questions. :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Intro for Planet, and status

Hello everyone,

Chris Lee added me to today, so I thought I'd introduce myself to those that may not know me (I'm pretty well known by now in #kde-edu.) I'm Jeremy Whiting, and I've been working for Scientific Toolworks, Inc. for over a year and a half now. When I started the company had decided to use Qt as its cross-platform toolkit. Anyway, long story short, a I learned Qt from work, and a few months ago started asking where I could help with the kde4 porting efforts on irc. I submitted a couple patches, then made kanagram use svg to scale itself. I soon thereafter became kanagram's maintainer, and have added support for kvtml 2 files to libkdeedu with Frederik Gladhorn's guidance and suggestions.

For those that do know me, I've been spending the past couple days planning out my todo list for the release, besides getting chinese kvtml files for kanagram/khangman/kvoctrain/kwordquiz to share from new friends in #kde-cn. I'd like to get khangman using the shared "share/apps/kvtml/locale" kvtml files by the time annma gets back soon. And I hope after that to be able to get a helper method in keduvocdocument to sort files downloaded from KNewStuff to their appropriate locale sub-folder.

When Pete get's back and gets playground/edu/habitat app and room classes working, I'll finish the component class and start making the basic components. I'll also be working on a plasmoid for Danny that shows the svn checkins by region using his developer region data, and the marble with a plain map. These will both be in playground for a while, but will be exciting to bring to fruition.

P.S. It's been great so far to get to know the few kde devs I've met in irc so far and to be apart of this great community.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Germans and Chinese

Weird topic, but that's the people I've been meeting lately on IRC. Last week I kept introducing myself to people on kde-edu and kde-windows. Each one I'd ask where they are from and look on marble to see where they live. Every person I talked to that day lived in Germany. Since I've been trying to get people to translate Kanagram data files for the last while, I asked them to do German translations for us, and Saro Engels did the translation for us.

Then a couple days ago I met another (part?) German living in California that has a liking for British spelling, so he "translated" Kanagram and Khangman data files into en_GB for us. I think he has the record so far for fast translation, he did all 17 Kanagram files, and 3 KHangMan files in about 2 hours :)

Finally, last evening, I discovered #kde-cn when I did a channel search for kde on freenode. So I got on and practiced my degraded Chinese and learned a couple simplified characters in the process. Having learned traditional Chinese characters and trying to read simplified characters is a bit like learning how to read cursive first, then trying to read block print. Anyway, I met some friendly kde-enthusiasts there, asked them about how to make Kanagram useful to them, since chinese words are only one or two characters long. I had the idea that we could make a data file of idioms to unscramble, as most of those are whole sentences, or at least 4 characters in shortened form. They had the brilliant idea of using well-known ancient Chinese literature like lines from Tang Poems to unscramble. One high-school student volunteered to take some and make data files for me, since he knows xml a bit. Thus the first chinese kvtml file was checked in to kde svn thismorning :) I put it into zh_CN and zh_HK since both use simplified Chinese characters. I think I'll fire up the simplified to traditional perl script I have and make traditional files for zh_TW also soon.

Anyway, in other news I'm about done with the kvtml 2 support library, and have been focusing on converting kvtml files to the new format and fixing issues in Kanagram. I also planned out the architecture of Habitat today with Danny and Pete. Pete is going to do the room class(es) and I'll do the Component class(es) since I need to learn plasma data engines anyway for Danny's svn commit location plasmoid and to one day make a small anagram plasmoid out of kanagram's game class.