Sunday, December 9, 2007

Paris, KNS, other ramblings

Paris was great! I know I've been home for almost a week now, but it's been a busy one, so now I have a chance to share the few things others didn't mention. (I almost blogged about paris a few times, but then read someone elses blog about it and realized they'd said everything I would have ;-).

Meeting everyone was awesome, working together in one room even more so. It was the first time I'd met anyone from KDE in person, and the community could definitely be felt, even among our small number of 14 edu people. Step was presented by Vladimir and was/is awesome. I hacked on kns mostly and plasma background slideshow mode a bit.

Back home now yesterday was able to get searching working in the kns download dialog, and today with Frederik's prodding and discussion we got kns useable for okular which has 3 providers right now and previously there was no way to choose which one you wanted to look at/download from. In order to do this and not make the ui completely confusing, we put all feeds from each provider together, so currently background wallpaper kns doesn't differentiate between Highest Rated, Most Downloads, and latest uploaded feeds, all 3 are put together and called Maybe at some point we'll be able to ask for the whole lot of wallpapers and show them a page at a time or something...

I think next major thing to fix/make sure it's working is caching so you wont have to re-download all the entries descriptions that you downloaded last time already.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

好久没有寫 (haven't written in a while)

It's been a while, so I appologize in advance for the long post. I've tried to include screenshots to keep you interested ;-)
Edit: for some reason everytime I try to add an image to blogspot it replaces my whole post entry with the image tag. I'll post the images in another entry if you want to see what I describe.

We fixed KNewStuff2 a bit, enough so that it works ok for kanagram, khangman, klettres, etc. (I think it still needs some love, but it's functional at least). I guess this means I need to get kanagram l10n-kde4 translations of data files packaged and ready for kanagram to be able to download them. I should probably also convert the translated files to kvtml 1 format and pack them up for kde3 kanagram users to grab (had a request for the spanish ones already via e-mail).

Then I realized I hadn't tried kttsd in kde4 yet (I'm not blind yet, but use kttsd to listen to irc while working so I can chime in on any interesting conversations). Oliver Goffart (Gof) was able to get kttsd stuff into knotify right away when we noticed it was not going to quite work in the state it was in. It was ported to kde4 a number of times incrementally as kdelibs changed, but the last time was a while ago. Now it's functional, but has some audio issues (maybe Phonon related?)

Also noticed on the krush techbase page, someone mentioned an issue with kmouth, so I tried it and found something else interesting. In the startup wizard there's a page with a KLanguageButton and a QLabel "&Language", but for some reason when you try to set the languagebutton as the buddy of the label, Qt designer doesn't do it. Neither does QLabel::setBuddy(languageButton) work in code, not sure why this is, but most of the items in kde "Buttons" category in the designer don't work as buddies for some reason. Anyone with inside knowledge or that wants to figure this bug/issue out is welcome to it. I couldn't find any attribute on klanguage button or any others that might be the culprit, but I only looked for a bit.

Then moved on to look at all the great things going on in Plasma. Kudos to all those that built such a nice framework, and it's only going to get better from what I hear. I tried to fix some xinerama issues in it last week, but didn't get too far, was able to get background image configuring ui into place (though the static image one is temporary until Ruphy gets api for packages done, etc.)

Tonight Mwoehlke came back around and was able to fill in some of the effects slots in the colors kcm code, and explain what needed doing for the rest. It's functional now, but still needs some minor fixes like loading and saving of effects with the color scheme files, etc. I think now that that's working some of us (especially myself) can finally understand what kcolorscheme actually can do. Oh and apply color scheme to non kde4 apps should work now also.

Playing with kde4 is so much more enjoyable thanks to all the great work put in recently on krush days and bug fixing in general. This really is an exciting time for us to all band together and fix bugs in preparation for release.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Busy week and day

Well, this week flew by. I always had something interesting to work on at work, and it changed throughout the week which is nice. Today was good also, because while at work kde4-krushing got started and kanagram came up so I got a few bugs to fix. I love bug-hunting/fixing sessions because I get to see direct interaction in the community on a larger scale than normal. It just amazes me how we can all work together and help each other to make our hopes a reality. Anyway, hopefully this weekend will proceed to be nice and allow us some nice krushing (I should get some hacking time as Stephanie has to work saturday and sunday).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Colors, Colors, and more Colors

Well, last evening I checked in a small change to the colors kcm, that will allow you to save color schemes. Small change in that it wasn't much code, big change though in that we are probably going to want some default system color schemes by release time. I committed one scheme so far, BeOS, not because I like it, it was just easy. Actually making color schemes isn't too hard at all, I just don't trust myself to make decent ones, and with good reason.

When I mentioned to coworkers that I'm working on the colors dialog for kde 4, some laughed, others thought I was joking or thought they should report me to those in charge. I've become notorious at work for having bad color schemes. I usually choose a scheme that's very dark with light text (green on black anyone?). This usually has issues on any platform, but so far the new stuff in KColorScheme seems to be a viable solution for the issues I've hit in kde3, windows, etc...

Anyway, on to the fun stuff. If you want to make a color scheme, just fire up the latest 'kcmshell colors'. You can choose most colors from the initial table (Common Colors), but you can fine tune colors in their respective tables also by choosing View, Window, Button, or Selection from the combobox. Once you have a scheme you like (or that is in line with your style, Oxygen palette, etc.) just hit save and a color scheme file will be generated in your .kde4/share/apps/color-schemes/ folder.

I've also set up CMakeLists.txt to copy anything that is placed in the kdebase/workspace/kcontrol/colors/schemes/ folder into share/apps/color-schemes as a system scheme, so simply move your schemes there when/if you want to make it ship with kde4.

P.S. if BeOS isn't a scheme we want to ship with kde4 release, feel free to take it out, I just put it there as an example, and so the list isn't completely empty for now until we get some more.

P.P.S. also note that the effects page is not functional yet, and changes there are not saved/loaded in schemes yet. Also Tooltip colors are not actually used by kde apps yet, but feel free to change the colors, as they will work when they are fixed ;-)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Surviving BIC monday, etc.

Well, BIC monday was tricky, but we survived it thanks to lots of cooperation in #kde4-devel, good work everyone. Work was hectic as most mondays when the boss just got back from a business trip are, but somehow I was also able to get mbrola going on my machine (Yes, I'm one of those weird people that hooks konversation and kopete up to kttsd so I can hear messages on my headphones.)

I was also thinking yesterday, that maybe some of you might skip over my posts because of lack of picture, so I included a picture of kpicross scaled with white-on-grey kde4 color scheme made possible by the new colors kcm (sorry, that was a blatant boast, but probably not a good one, as white on grey is horrid).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Colors, Picross, and Comminuty

Hey, it's been a while since I've posted. (insert standard excuse here) Some good things have happened since last time though. I somehow got involved with the colors kcm helping mwoelke with that a bit. It moved into trunk this week, and is somewhat functional, you can set your colors and apply/ok work, but saving/loading color schemes is not in place yet, and the effects page does nothing yet. Also an issue has been discovered in kwin when using the colors kcm or the composite kcm with composite turned on, it hangs on apply in both unless rivo or Seli got that fixed already.

In other news, in my daily reading on I read that kdenonbeta stuff is to be moved soon, so I checked out what was in there, and found KPicross, a picross game Zack made on a plane trip years ago. I just got back into picross with Picross DS and would like to see kpicross come back to life. So I asked Zack about it, and moved it into playground. I spent some time on it today, and got it ported to Qt 4 and KDE 4 and got it scaling and using KColorScheme colors for drawing. It's still got a lot of work to make it beautiful like the rest of kdegames, but I just keep imagining sharing picross puzzles with other kde-ers through KHotNewStuff and it keeps me motivated.

Back in kde-edu stuff, Frederik has somehow kept his pace up with fixes to Parley. Some Chinese contributors have donated some chinese vocabulary files that I think I'll be utilizing soon to review chinese characters with as my understanding in #kde-cn is not what it should be.

Anyway, enough rambling, my goals for this weekend are to have colors kcm functional to the point that the only thing missing is saving/loading of scheme files.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Watching Frederik go

This week I haven't done much, but it seems like lots has happened. Probably because the checkins in keduvocdocument were many and a lot changed. Thanks to Frederik for taking on the ugly conjugation class, and for making an identifiers class, as well as fixing kvoctrain issues that the changes in the library caused (Sorry about that fregl.)

Not sure if anyone cares, but in the kde diplomacy game on we are down to the final 4 players, and it seems sides have been taken. Groundferret (Germany) and I (France) have made war with SaroEngels (Turkey) and his brother haldir (Austria).

On the kde4 testing front (informally only for now) CPgmrSw2 (sorry, I butchered your nick) noticed about a month ago that shortcut keys were not working in kde 4 for some reason. We looked into it a bit at the time, but couldn't find any solution (or what the problem was for that matter.) This last week Seli got back from vacation, and when we mentioned it to him Mattias Kretz said his were working fine. Then we found his was working ok when launched from kde3, so we tried various combinations of kde3 and kde4 sessions with kde4's kwin window manager. Mikmak of yzis fame found the problem had to do with KGlobalAccel's going away when kded encountered problems. I found a way to get it working on my system by pointing kde4.dekstop at a small shell script that sets up my environment with kde4 paths, and then executing kde4's startkde. (I can finally Ctrl-F8 to get the desktop grid-effect, and alt-tab with composite, yay!) Mikmak also had success by removing old plugins from his KDE4/libs folder.

Can't think of anything else for this week, but I'll probably think of something this weekend (and hopefully get some hacking done also to report about.)

P.S. thanks to all those that responded to either my last post or annma's e-mail and helped translate/update khangman/kanagram data files. It's great to be part of a community so willing to help each other out.

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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More boring progress

My wife read my blog the other day. Needless to say, she thinks I'm more dull than she did before ;)

Anyway, yesterday was a state holiday to celebrate pioneers that first came to Utah . So I got the day off of work and spent the day at home (not really anything pioneer related at home, but it was hot outside). I spent most of the morning doing some more work in kdeeducore library on kvtml 2. The rest of the day was spent playing video games, and watching a movie with my brother.

As far as kvtml 2 goes, now the reader is almost done, except for a couple crucial parts I'd like to ask Frederik about before I proceed, and the writer has progressed to the point that I can convert old format kanagram and khangman files to the new format. I've realized that kanagram has been missing me lately, as my todo is getting longer instead of shorter there. Well that's enough rambling for one post I think.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Kvtml Progress

Well, another couple weeks have passed, but hopefully this will be more frequent as I am doing more now and thus have more to write about.

First of all, thanks to Frederik Gladhorn and Peter Hedlund, we have a good design for the next version of xml to store vocabularies in (kvtml version 2). I've spent a good part of my evenings this week working on the reader for it, and only have a couple hangups so far that I'll need to ask help understanding what they are supposed to do. I hope to start the reader tomorrow and get it to the point that it can write the basic tags that are in kanagram and khangman's data files (information, entries, and identifiers). When I get that far I'll make a small test app that reads kvtml files, and writes kvtml v2 files for testing, and for scripting the conversion of all of kanagram's data files to the new format. Yes, the old format is still supported, but writing will hopefully all be done using the new format, assuming all goes well with the writer ;)

In other news, I think I met 5 or 6 kde people from Germany this week. I even was able to convince one "Saro Engels" to translate kanagram's data files into german for us. I also added credits to the translators I know about in kanagram's about info (Pino Toscano for Italian, Kris Thomsen for Danish, and now Saro for German.) If anyone knows who did the ca, es, or gl translations, please let me know (As if anyone reads my blog anyway...)

Until next time...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Week Off

It's been too long since I posted, but now I have a week of vacation starting tomorrow with my birthday. Yay. But seriously, I always tell people to congratulate my mom, since I didn't have to do much to be born. :)

Anyway, I plan to spend the week with my daughters, wife, and mornings with kde if possible. Who am I kidding, I can't sleep in even if I try, so I might as well make use of the time. Hopefully I can work out a couple more bugs/tweaks to kanagram, and get kvtml2reader writer going. If I get that far, I'd also like to design a kvtml editor for libkdeedu that all of us can use (khangman, kanagram, kwordquiz, etc.) from within our apps. My main motivation for doing this is that kanagram's vocabulary editor is very lacking in features currently.

I think once all that's done I need to hunker down and either get some stuff done in CPrgmSwr2's kollagame, or look into what it would take to get chinese into kiten. There, now that I've posted it I actually have to remember/do them. :D

Monday, June 4, 2007


Hello all.

First a brief introduction is probably in order. I'm a twenty-something software engineer at a small software company in Saint George, Utah. I am married and have two daughters. I also just graduated from Dixie State College.

Anyway, the main reason I'm writing this blog is to share experiences I have with KDE development. I'm just getting started with it, but allready I've met so many people threugh this, that I can't believe I didn't start much earlier.

First how it happened. I was looking for a way to contribute back to the opensource community that I've appreciated ever since I installed linux for the first time in high school over 10 years ago. We use Qt 4 at work for cross-platform development, so I've been using qt for a year and a half. I also noticed that kde4 was being worked on which is porting kde from qt3 to qt4. I started hanging out on kde4-devel irc channel and asking questions about anyone wanting help. I was told many times, to just build kde trunk and start fixing things, so I did.

With the help of dfaure and annma, I submitted a couple patches to ktimer and one to konsole (small fixes, but educational nonetheless.) At that point I started looking at ui work since I was doing some ui work at work also. I ran into annma on irc and she gave me one of her tasks to make kanagram scale visually with svg graphics. I got that started and working in about a week and got an svn account out of the ordeal. (And later became maintainer of kanagram)

Wow that turned out to be longer than I expected, I'll write more tomorrow to finish the story.