State of the Plasma – Kubuntu 8.10

August 28, 2008

Feature freeze! Pencils down! (Note to self, FF comes quite early in my timezone.)

So it’s feature freeze time. That means from now until 9.04 opens up no new packages can be added. That being said, I think we stand well in regards to our Plasma offerings in Intrepid Ibex.

A default install of Intrepid will give you:
-All the regular plasmoids in KDE4
-All the plasmoids from the kdeplasma-addons module.
-And plasmoid-quickaccess.

The default desktop currently looks like this:

Starting from the desktop you can see the standard folderview applet which houses all the icons in ~Desktop. We also have a notes plasmoid on there which we’re going to use to deliver some sort of welcome message, but we’re going to have to patch kdebase-workspace for that one since the message will need to be translated, etc. Will probably come when we package KDE 4.1.1

Moving down to the panel we have standard Kickoff.
Right next to Kickoff we have the QuickAccess plasmoid which by default displays your home dir. It’s quite nifty.
On the other side of the task manager we have the “Show Dashboard” Widget in between the pager and the systray for easy access to the Plasma dashboard. Then we have systray, new device notifier, clock, and trashcan. No explanation needed for those. :)

In addition to the default setup we also have quite a few plasmoids installable via apt-get or everybody’s favorite graphical apt frontend. Here’s the list of apt-get installable plasmoids:

plasmoid-am4rok – A controller plasmoid for Amarok and JuK (Doesn’t work with amarok at the moment due to Amarok2 DBus API changes :( )
plasmoid-flickr – A flickr plasmoid for KDE 4
plasmoid-lancelot – An alternative launcher menu plasmoid for KDE
plasmoid-previewer – A simple file previewer plasmoid
plasmoid-system-status – monitors the average cpu usage (vorian did this one)
plasmoid-teacooker – A Teacooker plasmoid for KDE 4 (Wubbbi did this one)
plasmoid-toggle-compositing – A Plasmoid for toggling desktop effects
plasmoid-weather – A weather display plasmoid for KDE 4
plasmoid-wifi – A Plasmoid that displays WiFi connection strength

One note, you have to run kbuildsycoca4 from the terminal before these will show up in the widgets lists.

I’d say that list looks pretty nice. ;-) Well, I hope it does, because that’s been my main packaging focus for this cycle. :P

The ninjas are gearing up to package KDE 4.1.1 soon, so here’s where I make my shadowy exit to the bowels of IRC.

Software-properties-kde PyKDE4 port

August 20, 2008

So this week I tasked myself with porting the apt sources list editor “software-properties-kde” from PyQt4 to PyKDE4.

About the first thing I did was add this message box when you ran software-properties-kde without kdesudo. It always annoyed me that s-p-kde would just say “no root, quitting” in the terminal when you accidentally tried to run it without admin permissions… Now it does this:

Ideally it would prompt for admin rights, but I don’t know if there is enough time before the feature freeze for that.

But that’s not even the main advantage! The main reason I ported software-properties to pykde4 was to make it stop looking like this:

And more like this:

Way better, if I do say so myself. Basically we get the KDE color scheme and KDE MessageBoxes throughout the program. That’s basically all the changes that will be noticeable to the end user.

Code can be found here. I’ll try to get somebody to merge it with the main branch and get another release out.

Firefox-Qt packages hit Kubuntu

August 16, 2008

As you may have heard, work has been done on a Qt-based frontend for Mozilla Firefox. Our own apachelogger has spent several days maiming, killing, and reanimating this embryonic Qt port in to Kubuntu packages.

WARNING. These packages may:
-Eat babies
-Cause your computer to soil itself
-You may die alone. In a ditch.

At the least, back up your ~/.mozilla directory in case of the worst.

Here’s how to get these packages:
Add this to your /etc/apt/sources.list file for Intrepid:
deb intrepid main

Or this for hardy:
deb hardy main

Do a sudo apt-get update, then install the firefox-qt package. If you want to help (pre)alpha-test, then you’ll also want the firefox-qt-dbg packages, which are HUGE LIEK XBOX.

Qt Firefox gets installed to /opt/firefox-qt. Once you install firefox-qt you will get a “Qt Firefox” menu entry in the Internet section of the menu.
You can also run Firefox by running /opt/firefox-qt/bin/firefox in the terminal.

In it’s current state the Qt branch has recieved a QPainter-based Cairo backend and just enough of XUL has been ported to using QWidgets for painting that Firefox runs. Nothing more, nothing less. Extensions work, and I’d recommend downloading an icon theme as the default theme lacks icons for the toolbar buttons.

Currently known issues:
-Flash will crash FF.
-Typing in some searchboxes will cause crashes.
-Menus won’t ever go away and you won’t even be able to click on other apps, panels, etc unless you either click on a menu item or press escape.
-You’ll only get 1 tooltip per Firefox session.
-The GUI doesn’t follow any sort of Qt/KDE color scheme because XUL hasn’t been ported to use Qt yet.
-Misc performance issues.

Bug reports go here.
All bugs reported for the Qt port are located here

So go out there, try it, and thank apachelogger while you’re at it. ;-)

Jockey KDE4

August 15, 2008

Ok, so here’s the lowdown on Jockey KDE4 integration. I had fixed up the work done by rbirnie and a few others about a month ago, but unfortunately nobody ever got around to including it in trunk and there have been some backend changes that make the current code not run.

So I imported trunk into a new branch here. and reapplied all the PyKDE4 portiness.

In essence, porting from PyQt4 to PyKDE4 allows us to better integrate Jockey with KDE. Here is what you get from PyKDE4 that you wouldn’t get from PyQt4.

-Icon theme integration. If by a longshot somebody made an icon theme that included a different jockey icon than the one jockey installs, then it would load that. Otherwise it will fall back to the one that is installed with Jockey. Nobody will notice this change really, lol.

-Color scheme integration. Since it’s now a KDE4 app it will follow your KDE color scheme. Before it always used the Qt color scheme. It also should look better when running as root.

-Dialog integration. All dialogs that require user input. (Yes/No, continue/cancel dialogs) are now KDE-ified. The best way to show this is with screenshots:

Compare bare Qt dialogs:

With shiny KDE dialogs:

Please help test. If we want to have this included before the feature freeze in a week and a half we need to make sure it works. ;-)

More on Kubuntu Intrepid Plasma defaults

August 3, 2008

Ok, so in the past few days I’ve been doing some hacking on kubuntu-default-settings. Boring stuff mainly. I migrated the contents of the kde4/ directory to k-d-s’s root directory and moved the kde3 equivalents into a new kde3/folder. Then I changed the Makefile so the thing would actually compile and changed a /usr/lib/kde4 path in the .install file so that it would debuild.

Oh, and I also imported the new plasma-appletsrc, which is what everyone cares about anyway. ;-)
So, I come bearing screenshot. Kubuntu Intrepid Ibex’s defaults in all their default-y glory.

Pretty neat, eh? As per the almightly spec, hovering over a different tab won’t change it. While I don’t use Kickoff myself, I do have to admit it’s sexy. I guess I’ll go back and wait for Raptor to be released.

So right now I need to get plasmoid-quickaccess included into main so we can have it with the default desktop. Speaking of quickaccess, there has just been a new upstream release. Thanks for vorian for a speedy sponsorship of the update.

In conclusion, I’d like brave individuals running Intrepid to check out the latest revision of kubuntu-default-settings ( and make sure it doesn’t eat any children or anything. Feedback is welcome too.



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