Tuesday, November 11, 2008

wow, KMail

Ivan already blogged about it, but I have to join in the festivities, KMail's new interface (using Qt4's model/view framework) totally rocks, it's so awesome and useful, and much faster than before (I use imap, so maybe that's part of it?) It's stuff like this that makes me want to get out there and code, code, code, and make kde totally rock as it already does, but even more so =) Good job guys.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back, with lots of help and thanks

Hello Planet,

I'm back, sort of. I've gotten a few good bug reports, and some thorough testing lately of KNewStuff which has helped poke me and get me back involved looking at code and trying to keep up with all that's going on. Thanks to the hard work of Petri Damstén of plasma comic fame, knewstuff will have less bugs for the 4.2 release.

I've also been taking a good look at ktts while I've been away from development, and it's in a decent but getting stale state. It's got a nice roadmap that Gary Cramblitt wrote before he had to leave the project is here: http://accessibility.kde.org/developer/kttsd/roadmap.html including the plan for moving to speech-dispatcher and working better with other desktop software. A lot has been done by him also, but there's still a lot to do, and a handful of bugs as well. Any devs with any spare time (spare time? what's that?) come join the mostly empty #kde-accessibility irc channel, and lend a bit of time =), even if just long enough to test kttsd with your app and some notifications and give bug reports =).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Holy crap, Akademy is going to totally Rock!

Hi all,

Just took a look at the akademy schedule of presentations, and have to say, I'm floored. It's incredible how the community can get together, hold hands, and move forward like that. There are some incredible presentations I'll definitely be watching as soon as they are available. I can't believe the stuff talked about in Frank's Keynote description, absolutely incredible, can't wait until all that is available. As usual Inge is right when he will be presenting about how integration is our greatest asset. I hope Olaf's talk on accessibility opens some eyes to issues that are faced there too, should be great I think. Those are only a couple that jump out at me at first glance, the rest look very good also. Anyway, it's a great feeling to know we will be accomplishing these goals as we all press forward. A big thank you to the organizers, and all involved in this event, it's gonna totally rock!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Hi everyone,

Just wanted to let everyone know why I've been missing lately I guess. My life is changing, hopefully for the better, but it's going to be an adjustment at first for sure. Stephanie has decided that she does not love me anymore, and has fallen for someone she met on irc but not in person yet, who lives in India (yeah, it shocks everyone). We filed for divorce wednesday, I'm keeping custody of both our daughters, and stuff. I plan to keep contributing to KDE, but it will definitely be a lot less than before unfortunately because of time issues. I've lots of family and friends supporting us and we will be ok, I just need to take on both father and mother roles. I'll still be on irc lurking and stuff, but will probably be afk a lot more and stuff.

Friday, May 9, 2008

KNewStuff with Goya

KHotNewstuff2 is going to be using Goya (once it moves out of kdereview and into kdeui on the 19th). So I thought publicly thank Raphael(ereslibre) and Kevin(ervin) for the great work on such a nice framework. I also wanted to let everyone see the new ui a bit and get some feedback.

This is 'khotnewstuff4 plasma-themes.knsrc' Currently the name, one line of description, author, and downloads are visible. I'll try to get rating shown, and a way to see more information about an entry. Also, notice the tooltip shows the complete description for each entry, it can be a bit big at times, not sure what the best way to show that would be, suggestions anyone?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Preparing for 4.1

April flew by. I was able to speak with Josef on irc for a while a couple weeks ago, and got some direction for fixing some DXS (Desktop eXchange Service) issues. The engine for DXS is almost fully functional, but will take some more love these last couple weeks before freeze. Frank added id tags to the kde-look.org type sites so if all goes well we should be able to rate and do other collaboration-type things with stuff hosted there (There's an API, I just need to hook up to it now that entries have an id to send).

On the UI end, Ervin tells me he has one more api refactoring to do before Goya is ready for kdereview. I hope it's in time to be released for 4.1. It really is a nice thing to use, and has simplified much of knewstuff2's ui code.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sharing some hindsight

Right after thiago announced qt-copy had upgraded to rc1, I updated. Learn from my mistakes. Don't update without reverting everything (./apply-patches changes stuff, duh!). Also don't try to just make from your build folder, clean out your build folder first, and rerun configure.

Not sure why I was so braindead thismorning, but thought I'd share the wisdom of hindsight so you don't follow and make the same mistakes I did ;)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Color Scheme KHotNewStuff support

The color schemes kcm module (under display in system-settings) got connected to KHotNewStuff2 last night (thanks again to Frank of kde-look.org). He also set up a reference of the existing providers so if your app has data on kde-*.org and you want to hook up KHotNewStuff, look for the provider url here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Plasma themes via KHotNewStuff

hi again, Anyone out there notice the "New Themes..." button in configure desktop dialog got enabled today? It allows easy access to all the many (7) plasma theme's early adopters have added to kde-look.org. I added the functionality (3 lines of code, and a providers url from Frank to add to the knsrc file) then used it to download all the themes.

Here's the mandatory screenshot:

A couple small problems so far. The so-called themes, aren't all really themes. Pink bunnies is really just a widget style, so needs a whole theme to make it work right (shouldn't be hard to do), and for some reason downloaded slim-glow and ozone don't appear in the drop-down, while Akoma, Aya, and TiComb do (maybe we only scan capital letter folders). Also, heron unpacks without a folder for itself, so maybe wait for the author of that one to repack it into a heron folder before trying that one.

Otherwise, enjoy!

P.S. the above screenshot was taken on my work pc which is not using goya, in case anyone was wondering.

goya, goya goya

hello again, I've been playing with the next iteration of goya (I call it goya2, but Rafael probably has a better name). I also spoke with Celeste about a usability issue (system-wide install ui) which led to discussion about other usability issues in the KHotNewStuff download dialog (context-menu type actions in the drop down of the install button). I think the current plan is to separate the actions into three toolbuttons (Install/uninstall, info, and collaboration). We'll see if this makes sense or not in the ui.

I also got some artistic feedback from my current ui (not checked in) from Eugene and reacted to most of his suggestions in this screenshot.

Note that I'm using alternating row colors (white peach incidentally, is one of two in svn color schemes that actually has a different alternating row color), the black lines around the items have become the window color instead, and the install buttons are vertically aligned with the image previews on the left (which will have a frame and shadow soon).

Also note that since I'm setting a fixed width to the qtoolbuttons, goya doesn't render the whole button for some reason, Rafael will probably have a fix for this faster than I could write to tell him about it (he's been making leaps and bounds with goya lately).

Also note that if the summary of an item doesn't fit in the two lines I allow, the tooltip for that item will show the whole summary (in 4.0 the summary would often make the horizontal range of the items verrry long)

Anyway, suggestions, tips, questions?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Progress part 2

I've mistakenly been waiting for Goya to move into kdereview and then kdelibs/kdeui so I could check in my ui changes to the kns download dialog (mistakenly, because I really could work on it more, rather than sit on my backside) (pokes Raphael). In the meantime I've been looking around for other small projects to fill my time. Unfortunately, Pino keeps finishing them before I even figure out what the problem is ;) (thanks Pino).

Anyway, long story short, I got back to looking at the download dialog more thismorning. I still have lots to do to get it working as well as it did in 4.0 (at least including the same information in the ui, with a bit nicer and faster interface). Also need to get some caching stuff figured out, and probably some categorization figured out also to make Kalzium's dataset not such a pain to view in the dialog. Also need to work on/test dxs client side code to make sure it works for what we'll need it for when plasma starts to use it (Get new widgets from the internet).

So small progress, but a good start, I got the dialog showing downloads (which really helps when you look at Most Downloads feed). And the provider information action working. Next I'd like to get the rating showing (maybe with those nice stars nepomuk uses?) and enable/connect rating items from the dialog itself. Then proceed to enable/connect all the actions in the Install button's menu to view comments, and such from the dialog.

P.S. got an update of Rubber Windows kwin plugin from level1 this morning. Works great, can't wait to hear Stephanie's reaction when she gets on the computer later and sees it. (Will check in as soon as I get word from level1 to do so)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

progress (of others)

Tonight has been eventful so far (and it's not over yet). I got home and asked pino about ktts konq plugin which I'd fixed the icon for earlier, then noticed it didn't work. He fixed it up quickly (thanks pino) and now we can speak web pages from konq again.

While pino was busy doing that, Conor "Level 1" Sullivan, sent me a cool wobble effect for kwin I tried out for him. Besides when it causes a crash, it works fine and is pretty cool. (WARNING: when used in conjunction with the shadow effect, you get wobbly windows with square shadows;)

Anyway, one of us will be looking into fixing the crash so the code can be checked in for all to enjoy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Picross fans, I have not forgotten you

Thismorning while waiting for my ride to work, I spent a couple minutes on kpicross making the create window show up so I could see it. It runs... sort of... anyway, shouldn't be hard to fix it and get it workable so we can all start creating our own picross puzzles for each other ;) Next step will be to hook up KHotNewStuff to it so we can share them :) Then make importing from png files maybe. Anyway, I think it'll be a fun little game for those that like puzzles. So don't despair, it will get some love soon.

Speaking of khotnewstuff, the downloaddialog is working a bit better and I'll be finishing up the goya stuff soon, so when that moves into kdeui (after the required two weeks in kdereview) we'll be ready to check in.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What is goya?

The other day I mentioned goya in a posting, and liquidat replied that goya is not very known to users, and to explain what it is/does. Really, from a user's standpoint goya is just magic that makes it easy to put buttons, etc. into cells of a view. We get fast searching on lists/tables/trees, etc. by using Qt's Model/View framework, and now with goya we can easily put buttons, lineedits, and other interactive controls besides just text and icons.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

1.1.3 firmware trick

Just a quickie for anyone that upgrades their iphone or ipod-touch to 1.1.3 firmware using linux to put music on their jailbroken device. /var/root/Media is now /var/mobile/Media on the device. I must have spent the last couple hours writing and re-writing to the wrong place and wondering why it wouldn't find my music... Guess the ipod-convenience script needs to put the path in the config file now too ;-)


Well, haven't given any progress reports lately, so here's what I've been up to (in case anyone cares).

KHotNewStuff's download dialog has a major overhaul on my desktop at home using ereslibre's goya library to draw buttons etc. It's much faster, just need to work out some details in the actions coming off the toolbuttons. I think I have an idea for how to handle caching and loading stuff from the internet concurrently (the current model doesn't work, because it falsely assumes reading the disk cache will always finish before loading a provider from the internet.)

In other news, I spent a bit of time playing with kttsd the other night (inserting debug statements, etc.) to try to track down a bug where the output is clipped. Turns out the phonon mediaobject was saying it was done a bit early, so kttsd deletes the job, etc. which causes it to clip. I've installed newer xine libs and will see if that fixes the problem. Until then you can set kttsd to use the alsa audio device and it works fine. I also found out how to get kttsd into the system settings when it's installed, and now speech notifications are persistent because kttsd is run on re-login again :) (time to remove those test notifications on window minimize, etc. before they drive my wife crazy ;-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I've been testing more and more features of kde4 lately, and have noticed some things I'd like to fix if I had the time... I'm betting others have some of these also. I'd really like to fix up kttsd and get it working well again, as that is one of the things I miss from kde3 (listening to irc, etc.) It is somewhat working now, but could definitely use some love. Seems the maintainer ported it while kdelibs was in fluctuation, but there are still some things that look like they were written with Qt 3. Other kdeaccessibility apps could use some ui love also, simple things like finding out why &Language: can't be a buddy of a KLanguageButton in the kmouth setup window, etc.

I almost wonder if other devs have these side projects in their mind they'd like to work on also, if we should start pointing people to a page with junior jobs, or side projects we could help a newcomer figure out and maintain. There's a mentoring site here: http://www.kde.org/getinvolved/development/ that we could use, or something on techbase could be made possibly.

Anyway, I think we are doing great work, but we could use a few clones ;-)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day 1, Building relationships and brainstorming

Today was a long day, but a very good one.

This morning we had some good prep time. I sat at a table with Inge and Benjamin mostly, and updated/switched to the branch, to make sure all the Edu apps I'd like to quickly demo were in a usable state. I also got some presentation tips from Anne-Marie and Frederik on irc and from Inge in person. Tom helped me polish the presentation so it looks a bit better, and saw some Edu apps running on Benjamin's Mac.

There was an interesting Bof before lunch about Marketing, that had a lot of discussion back and forth about who we should target and how, and what the message should be. After lunch a bunch of people left to go on a tour of Google, and the rest of us worked in the relative quiet. I did a dry run of my presentation tomorrow to the 2 kde-user contest winners, Jason Harris, and some others that were curious. It went well, but I found some things to change for tomorrow.

Late afternoon there was a well-attended Bof but it was mostly Aaron explaining plasma ideas, which was pretty useful, but the bus schedule kept us from breaking out into some further discussion groups. It'll probably happen saturday though I bet.

The evening was very enjoyable. There was good food, good company, and lots of KDE talk going on. I met Peter from OSU and spoke with him a bit about the things going on there for Education, other open source software being developed there, etc. Spoke with two Amarok developers (Jeff and Leo), then found Edit(Frank) who runs kde-look.org and kde-apps.org, etc. Spoke with him for a while about knewstuff2, and some things we can do to make it work well with the new features (upload, rating, collaboration). I think we'll get something started tomorrow.

Anyway, I'm going to finally crash for the day, I'm sure you'll hear more tomorrow about the event itself, and all the presentations that are made there.

pre-release event first thoughts

Hey, Tom (my brother) and I got here yesterday afternoon after a long 10 hour drive (taking turns so we didn't get too tired). We were greeted by a group of people I knew, but had never met before, Troy, Holger, Helio, Martijn, Jos, and Riccardo. We had a nice meal down the street _a few blocks_ where those from out of the country enjoyed our local steaks and burgers with a few more that showed up as we were leaving to eat.

The atmosphere is very excited as many are meeting people they've known on irc for a while for the first time (I'll never forget what Wade said when he met Danny for the first time :) and having a good time.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I know I'm a day or two late, but just a couple observations of the release tagging:

665 checkins the day before tagging, and though I only made 2 of those myself, I have to echo previous statements of a job well done. It was a bit crazy there at the end with lots of discussion about last minute fixes/check-ins, etc. but it's done now, and is what it is. Allen Winterz put it well the other day on irc when he said we did good and should be proud of ourselves. All is good, right? Wrong! now is the time to try to keep the momentum and realize the dream even more :) (As well as fix things that are still not complete of course)

Looking back for a moment, it's awesome to think about what has happened during the time leading up to this. I only joined the project May of last year, and even since then the project has grown by leaps and bounds (it probably grew much before then also, but I was not around to witness it) The first time I ran a kde 4 session back then, it often crashed, but was still fun to play with. Now a lot of us (hopefully all) are using it full-time which is awesome.

I spent part of today trying to fix a bug in the desktop containment, then spent some time with the family. When I came back to it, I noticed it was fixed. Alex Merry, (randomguy3) you rock!

Looking forward, for 4.1 I'd like to get KNS in better shape, get some small fixes into kanagram, help Frederik with keduvocdocument lib a bit, and hopefully get kpicross ready for full-time.

Lastly, I hope to meet anyone who will be at the release party/event in a couple weeks. I'll be there all three days probably.