My KDE’s priorities (for the next 6 months)

Hi there !

Once again it is time for me to organize my priorities within KDE for the next 6 months, I have had to drop a few things from the list since I’m not sure how much time Solid community and KDE-España are going to take from me since the work I will be doing there is rather not technical.

So, this is my list of priorities:

Downstream:

Downstream people are those who use our stuff to produce something else, for example: distributions, developers using our libraries, designers using our icons…
A few months ago, motivated with the need of giving a better support of how BlueDevil should be packaged I started to interact a lot with people working on different distributions. Because of that I was sponsored to go to the UDS and there I finally could understand more or less how a distribution works, how Kubuntu team works/thinks etc.

So, in the next 6 months I will continue working with “downstream” focusing my efforts in organize a meeting with people from all distributions so at least we can be synchronized in the lowest common denominator.

Solid:

Solid is now the sub-community within KDE that cares about hardware. We work in quite a few areas right now like Network/Power Management, irda …
I have to say that since last November we’ve pretty much catch up with other workspaces for example now people assume that KDE NetworkManager interface should work, and you know what? it does! Also our UDisk/UPower/UDev support is in my humble opinion excelkenet.

So, in the next 6 months, I want to see the Solid community growing and getting more projects into it, for example Printing or Input would be perfect candidates.

Kamoso:

Kamoso is a webcam application to take pictures and videos from cameras, this is what I call my “Pet Project”. The status of Kamoso is quite good right now, we’ve reach the 2.0 version which is demonstrating to be a really rock solid release.

Now that he project is providing the basics (it is stable and you can take pictures/videos) is time for us to move to the next step. which can be summarize in one word: effects. To get there we’ve defined this abstracted roadmap:

  • Kamoso 2.5: Kamoso ported to use camerabin2 (technicall stuff)
  • Kamoso 3.0: Effects and maybe some QML magic :)

BlueDevil:

BlueDevil is the codename of the KDE’s Bluetooth integration on which we’ve been working for a year now. Though the project may seem complete since it is fulfilling all the Bluetooth needs a normal user could have it is not perfect, or putting it in another word it is not excellent. So the target for the next 6 month will be reaching excellence.

  • 1.0.5: i18n will be improved and a few bugs fixed.
  • 1.1.1: i18n will be hugely improve, and bug fixing.
  • 1.2: Most changes will be on the KIO’s, also the wizard will be further improved.
  • 1.3: Port the project totally to obexd, deprecating the support for obex-data-server.

Finally, between this versions we may work on plasma-active support, which basically means write QML interfaces around.

Project Silk:

From my humble point of view, the laptop/pc is becoming a complement of two things: Our gadgets (cell phones, tablets..) and the so called “Cloud”. It is quite obvious that a computer without internet is only useful for those whom want to do some work on it, but for the rest of the users it would be useless. Because of that we’ve to accept our new role as a complement of something else and stop thinking that we’re the central piece of software or that even the user care about us.

KDE’s projects are doing quite a fine job integrating with the cloud, for example:

  • Akonadi supports exchange servers and of course Google
  • KDE-Telepathy is near the corner bringing to the table IM integration
  • Kipi-Plugins supporting facebook/picasa/…
  • Kamoso supporting youtube
  • Choqok and Plasma on microblogging…

Despite all that, we’re still failing on truly integrating these services into the desktop. To start fixing it here comes my proposal:

We need  a central place (maybe a KCM) where the user can configure her/his online accounts and we will do the rest, for example:

When I add my Google account, the KCM should offer me to auto-configure my account in: Telepathy (Chat), Akonadi (synchronize calendar, contact, rss, todo’s…), Choqok (microblogging)… Also some applications like Kamoso should be able to access to that account and use it for example to upload videos to Youtube.

Also, some good integration with Rekonq would be awesome.

I don’t have concrete plans of when or how I will do this but almost sure it will start just as a proof of concept (I don’t have time to do more).

XRandR:

Last but not least here comes my new obsession: fix the overall kde-workspace XRandR support. Right now our workspace supports XRandR more or less well but it is far from being good enough for me. I will publish an entire blogspot about my plans here but bottom line: I will try to fix everything for 4.8.

 

Well this is it, let’s see how much I can finally accomplish and see you by the end of the year.

  • http://blog.bauermann.eng.br/ Thiago Jung Bauermann

    The “Online Accounts” KCM is a terrific idea, and would be a killer feature for KDE! It would even make sense to have it launched the first time the user logs in to the KDE desktop.

    I’m also glad that you are interested in fixing xrandr quirks, it’ll be greatly appreciated.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      I’m not in favor of adding “First time” welcome dialogs, but if the usability people recommend they then I will obey :p

  • Steve

    If you’re working on XRandR support, make sure to handle unplugging of external monitors correctly- I’ve plugged a higher resolution screen into my laptop, and made it the primary screen. When I unplug it, I expect KDE to pick a new primary screen, not act like nothing’s changed (which leaves me with an empty screen, and a need to change the monitors around.)

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      In theory what it does now is show a modal dialog offering you to update your display configuration, what usually happens is that it is shown in the disconnected monitor… I will fix this for sure.

  • kyriakos

    For the end user is really important for things to be as straightforward and simple as possible so i really like the idea of the central place (kcm) that will allow auto-configuration of your preferred services in use for each service provider, is really a pain to have a google and yahoo account and have the need to configure them in kmail then in messenger then in calendar in addressbook and the list goes on. Imagine now that u are a poweruser and u use more than two services… This central place with auto-configuration will be for me surely my favorite upgrade. Great proof of concept Alex Fiestas!

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      Well well, first I have to implement it… I will do some mockup so maybe with a bit of luck some other developer can step up and do it before me.

  • Peter

    Thanks for your work on hardware related things.

    Bluedevil made nice progress. Perhaps you could work on supporting colibri (not rely on interactive notifications for pin input)? Isn’t that standard on kubuntu?

    And I am waiting many years for someone fixing xrandr support! Especially multi-monitor-setup, where you often end up with all screens black (should never happen!). bad xrandr behaviour is the worst kde fail in my opinion, because it affects very much people, may render your system useless for newbies and can force really unconfortable situations (beamer,…). So I have high expectations .. :-) perhaps something, that already works on 4.7?

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      I could fix some stuff in 4.7 but being realistic I don’t have enough time for it :/ so sadly enough I will focus my efforts on 4.8

      Colibri are breaking the standard, because of that I won’t work on them though I will be happy to accept patches.

  • procuste

    I suppose you intend excellent here :-) “my humble opinion excelkenet”
    in my very humble opinion I think the “central repository” for everything like passwords, accounts, registration, telephon numbers, email etc, is a good idea if it will be easily editable with text editors or worksheets like calc and encripted
    ciao
    pla

  • A. Heinemann

    Hello.

    Is not Kwallet a pretty place for the KCM? Or call it a wizard for Kwallet. Just a thought.

  • TheBlackCat

    Yes, please improve the input device support in KDE. That is the one area where I think KDE is seriously deficient, and the one area where I think it is significantly behind its competitors. Improving input device support has gotten almost no attention during the life of KDE 4 (besides the switch to kremotecontrol) despite the huge number of requests in bugs.kde.org dating back to KDE 2 (especially for mouse improvments).

    Also, with bluedevil, are there plans to implement screen locking when the device is out of range? This seems to be the only major feature that was present in the old KDE bluetooth stack but is still missing from bluedevil.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      I can’t speak for input, I don’t know anything abaout it, but please don’t hesitate to report bugs, reply on them etc

      And yes, we will implement bluelock someday, but it is not a priority.

  • TheBlackCat

    @afiestas
    I have been reporting bugs (such as https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=171295) and commenting on bugs regarding improved input device support. As I said, some of these bugs go back almost a decade, to KDE 2 (such as https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=34362).

    I also wrote a pretty extensive review on input devices in KDE, with suggested improvements:
    http://neverendingo.blogspot.com/2010/11/matter-of-control-state-of-input-device.html
    http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-core-devel&m=129165917207471&w=2

    I’ve gotten a lot of enthusiasm from users on the issue, but so far none from developers.

  • KenP

    Exchange sync? Is it available in 4.7 trunk at the moment?

    This is something i’ve been waiting on for quite some time — at least since I started using KDE exclusively on my work laptop more than 2 years ago :)

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      It is available somwhere I think…

  • ok_computer

    What would be very interesting with project silk is to have a central setup. I will try to share my thoughts as follows:

    on system settings you have a setup that takes a modular apis for every service you want to plugin. For instance google, facebook, skype, linkedin, dropbox etc…

    The moment you download the api, in the same way with plasmoids, and type the account settings, kde incorporates the information immediately with all the programs

    contacts, calendars, files, etc…

    I imagine to be something like the akonadi but for the internet services.

    Perhaps that is the idea for the silk project. I do not have enough knowledge. But I write here my thought, just to share it, even running the risk that it will be redundant.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      That’s more or less what I intent to do though I haven’t though about dropbox and services like that… and why not? having it would be awesome too.

      Anyway, Let’s see if I have enough time to do a PoC or even a mokcup the next months, with a little bit of luck once the project is designed somebody else will step up and help developing it.

  • TheBlackCat

    @afiestas
    The problem is that fixing the mouse button support requires a binary-incompatible change, which means it must be done for Qt5 (not after), and the guy who wants to do it cannot get answers from the Qt developers about whether he can go ahead with it. See here:
    https://bugreports.qt.nokia.com/browse/QTBUG-16092?focusedCommentId=158116&page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel#comment-158116

    So unless he can get some answers from Qt devs we probably will NOT see this in Qt 5, unfortunately.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      Then we shall move fast and try to spicy up the topic. Maybe an email to qt5 mailist?

  • promeneur

    you say with with bluedevil 1.2.3 you use obexd as server instead of obax-data-server.

    but i have 1.2.3 and it still uses ods
    i updated to 1.3.rc2 and it still uses ods

    i can’t copy files to smartphone when i use kernel >= 3.2.x because ods crashes.

    it’s a pb because today bluedevil don’t work with mandriva 2011, 2012 lts, mageia 2

    i am impatient to have this new feature i am stuck to mandriva 2010.2 with kernel 3.1.6

    thanks