Plasma Weather Wallpaper (Hello Planet KDE)

So after I implemented tooltip support in QuickLaunch I started to look around for some more Plasma related things to hack on. That’s when I happened upon this, which is how I stumbled upon this

I thought to myself, “That would be really neat!” So a few days ago I made a simple wallpaper plugin that would paint a specified picture to the containment background. Once that was working I raided the weather plasmoid of its configuration code and choice parts of its backend and ported it to work in a Plasma Wallpaper plugin. The result? A Plasma Wallpaper plugin that changes the wallpaper depending on the weather at a set location is. To retrieve the weather it uses the weather dataengine introduced in KDE 4.2, as seen in the Weather plasmoid and the LCD Weather Station plasmoid. Dataengines for the win!

Code is available from trunk/playground/base/plasma/wallpapers/weather. It should build with KDE 4.2 and KDE 4.3. Here’s a small build tutorial:

– svn co svn://
– cd weather
– mkdir build
– cd build
– cmake ../ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr
– make
– sudo make install
– kbuildsycoca4

You should now be able to change the wallpaper type in Plasma’s Appearance settings from “Image” to “Weather”.

Here are screenshots (click for bigger ones), stay tuned for limitations and bugs:

Limitations and Bugs

This plugin is quite new, and as such there are several limitations. Here are the ones I know of:
– It displays tiled versions of 1280×1024 wallpaper. If your screen isn’t the exact size of the wallpaper, the wallpaper will loop.
– The “Wallpaper is loading” wallpaper is cut off in mid-sentence. Dunno how that happened, but I plan to redo that image eventually so it’s sorta just a placeholder for now.
– It doesn’t have images for all possible weathers.
– At the moment it won’t work with the NOAA ion since the plugin currently relies on the icon name returned by the weather dataengine, and the NOAA ion doesn’t return icon names
– Setting the config the first time works, but if you change the config a second time the change won’t take place until you restart Plasma. (Though the preview in the Appearance dialog changes properly, it’s sorta weird)

So, I hope you enjoy it. Once it gets a bit less buggy I’ll probably post this on kde-look and maybe make some K/Ubuntu packages for my PPA.

Oh, in semi-related news I’ve also picked up maintenance of the QuickAccess plasmoid and have done a quick bugfix release that ports the applet to KDE 4.2 and fixes a crash:
Best wishes to the original author.

28 Responses to Plasma Weather Wallpaper (Hello Planet KDE)

  1. Hans says:

    Ooh, that’s really neat. Keep on with the great work!

  2. mart says:

    ehi man welcome to planetkde🙂i must say i really really like the idea😀

  3. Jan says:

    How cool is that!This is exactly the kind of bling I want on my desktop. And something to impress windows and mac users with as well!Please keep hacking on this. It would be great to get available through get-hot-new-stuff in plasma.

  4. Jud says:

    I hate to be another bling nerd, but…What are those fonts you are using? They look nice. Your system clock has those curious “typographic” numbers, and I’m pretty sure that rules out Arial, Segoe UI, Lucida, and Deja Vu.

  5. JontheEchidna says:

    I hope people won't beat me over the head with the "ebil non-free fonts" stick. >.>The font is Corbel for most of Plasma (including the clock), with Calibri for the taskbar.@AllThanks for the encouragement.🙂

  6. MadsRH says:

    Fantastic!I hate to ask, but does anyone know if there’s anything like this for Gnome?Keep up the good work🙂

  7. Martin says:

    Wow! totally cool!I was thinking about something similar a whil ago: a plugin that would set wallpapers from your collection according to the current time of day, season, month or day, matching the sason, etc they were photographed.Combined with the weather, this would be even cooler… 🙂

  8. rud0lph says:

    wooow!!!instantly remember this cool, wallpapers plugin-based rule the world😛

  9. Jonathan Jesse says:

    jonathan@jonathan-laptop:~/weather/build$ cmake ../ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`kde4-config` CMake Error at /usr/share/cmake-2.6/Modules/FindKDE4.cmake:84 (MESSAGE): ERROR: cmake/modules/FindKDE4Internal.cmake not found in /home/jonathan/.kde/share/apps;/usr/share/kubuntu-default-settings/kde4-profile/default/share/apps;/usr/share/kde4/apps Call Stack (most recent call first): CMakeLists.txt:4 (find_package)CMake Warning (dev) in CMakeLists.txt: No cmake_minimum_required command is present. A line of code such as cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.6) should be added at the top of the file. The version specified may be lower if you wish to support older CMake versions for this project. For more information run “cmake –help-policy CMP0000”.This warning is for project developers. Use -Wno-dev to suppress it.— Configuring incomplete, errors occurred!jonathan@jonathan-laptop:~/weather/build$

  10. JontheEchidna says:

    @JonathanAs discussed on IRC, you will need the kdelibs development headers package installed. (kdelibs5-dev in Kubuntu)

  11. derive says:

    KDE4 needs more time to get complete and polished. We (normal && enterprise users) need Solids Rock Desktop,, Kde 4.2.x (4.3.x) is still a playground for testing crazy ideas and leaving unfinished features, The normal user does no care too much about bleedging edge tech or the super whooper widget or the super Aqua theme or anything that makes no productive their work, normal users needs a functional and not too much eye candy desktop !!!!, please KDE comunnuty focus your development in a non-geek profile of user and a productive one!

  12. JontheEchidna says:

    I can safely say that my time would not be spent on anything more productive if I wasn’t doing this.This is also a good exercise for me to become more familiar with the Plasma programming API as a whole, and if I wasn’t doing stuff like this I wouldn’t have a chance to further my skills. As a new programmer in C++ and KDE as a whole, I sadly cannot become proficient in both overnight. One could even say that if I dived in to try to “fix” things I would, at this stage, likely make things worse rather than better.This wallpaper plugins will not see the light of day until it’s ready, so it’s definitely not hurting things either. The normal user will not see this until it works, and the normal user wouldn’t see any work from me otherwise if I didn’t do this.In conclusion, it is my right as a volunteer to choose what I do or do not code. If you don’t like what I am doing, it is probably out of ignorance, so I forgive you. Good day.

  13. derive says:

    “In conclusion, it is my right as a volunteer to choose what I do or do not code. If you don’t like what I am doing, it is probably out of ignorance, so I forgive you. Good day.”It was not my intention to cause war, simply i am also (as you) in my right to comment somthing, and that is not ignorance, simply is a different point of view ( programing efforts could be done in a productive way )Good Night!

  14. claydoh says:

    @derive:Some widgets are useful in a so-called production environment. Weather is an integral part of my work, especially in the winter months, for example. And believe it or not this sort of exercise will actually strengthen KDE.Keep up the work, JontheEchidna!!Bravo!

  15. rud0lph says:

    “In conclusion, it is my right as a volunteer to choose what I do or do not code. If you don’t like what I am doing, it is probably out of ignorance, so I forgive you. Good day.” not a dev, but think if a dev wanna develop something for a oss project we cant say: “if this make the code faster you can doit, if not, you have to wait”.the opensource world dont have a lot of of money like ms or apple to focuss in some areas, so doesnt metter if the code will change the world or only give wallpaper according to time, only can say thankz(user, devs).

  16. notriddle says:

    > please KDE comunnuty focus your development in a non-geek profile of user and a productive one!If it does nothing else, this wallpaper does two things:1) It stress-tests the KDE framework2) It introduces the JontheEchidna to the KDE framework. As (s)he already said, (s)he would not be working on anything more productive if (s)he were not working on this, though (s)he may later.

  17. behavedave says:

    I like it – could we also integrate time of day as well or is the image library getting a little large already?

  18. fgunni says:

    I dont get the plug between weather and wallpaper in the thing you’ve done, but i think its not about dbus. So iwouldnt it be better to do a dbus interface, and then from the weather plasmoid sending a dbus message to the wallpaper thingy?

  19. Quintesse says:

    @derive: no, this definitely is NOT a matter of a different point of view. J.E. is the one putting in his OWN time which is UNPAID and he does so VOLUNTARILY, so it’s COMPLETELY up to him how he decides to spend his time. Asking him to spend his time on other things just because you want him to is plain ridiculous.I can understand that you want things to work, but it’s just no use telling random KDE devs that they should do something “productive”. First of all you should first figure out if you’re talking to the right person. Then you should probably have gone through the trouble of entering bug reports for the things that you think are broken (talking about it on a random blog does NOT work). And finally, considering they all do it voluntarily, you should probably just be patient.

  20. Thomas Thym says:

    WOW! How cool is that!Great inventions come from experiments. Experiments with an open end, where you don’t from the beginning how useful this might get in the future. Keep up experimenting und playing around for fun! I’m shure that’s the right way to discover the future desktop.

  21. maninalift says:

    How about using a Photograph retrieval dataEngine to fetch photographs matching some search terms? The dataengine might use flickr or google image seach or even the users digikam database (if she has tagged her photos well enough).Not trivial but something for the future and I’m sure such a dataEngine would find other uses.

  22. maninalift says:

    I’ve just had a cool idea that would be possible:A garden that “grows” over time (making algorithms for generating 2D random plants would be fun) depending on the weather. Perhaps you could water it in the summer when it is getting too dry etc.Perhaps it could be a similar leaning project for me… I have made a few attempts to start hacking for KDE but never have the time to learn the skills.

  23. Lars Karlsson says:

    Quite cool and a nice idea. I haven’t tested this but I have ideas of how this thing could develop into an even cooler desktop blinger.Like I said, I haven’t tested this, but correct me if I’m wrong. I think the use of common wallpapers is the weak part of this. I imagine that when the weather changes, the wallpaper would just switch instantly without any smooth transition (right?). I’m thinking that it would be a better effect if it had some kind of smooth transition. Better again, what if your desktop actually would change weather.I’m thinking about the snowflake effect in kwin, what if there was raindrops there too, or maybe a nice sunshine effect that could integrate with this? And what if the transition between these different kind of weathers would be smooth, say like if the temperature climbs from below 0 centigrade to above, the transition would be first just snowflakes, than some raindrops mixed with snowflakes and than finally just rain. That would be pretty cool right?Just too expand this even further, what if it was a plasmoid, similar to the folder view plasmoid, that could be run in fullscreen without borders and act as a desktop weather terrarium. One that would have simple cycling animations in it for every type of weather (well maybe not all), complemented by transition-animations between them. So if the weather changes from rain to sunny, than there would be an animation where the rain clouds slowly disappear and the sun starts to come out. That would really rock!This is my idea(s) of the how this could develop further. I’m not a dev myself so I’m not even sure if it is doable, but I’m hoping it is. Also, it’s not any criticism of how it looks now, not even a feature request, but should be seen as ideas of where to go next with this. I really like that this is being implemented, so kudos for that and keep up the good work.

  24. Quintesse says:

    @maninalift: that’s actually a very nice idea. I was immediately thinking: how about a way to “build” your own background? A wallpaper where you can add your own items? Add new trees and flowers for example. Maybe even things like birds that fly around (could they just be plasmoids that move themselves around the desktop?)

  25. Xanadu says:

    I’d like to try this out, but it’s not in playground anymore. Today is April 11 @8:42PM Eastern USA time. I looked through all of playground in the websvn and didn’t see it.Has it been moved? Where to?Thanks!M.

  26. Xanadu says:

    Never-mind. I found it. It’s been moved into kdeartwork (already!):svn co svn:// CMakeLists.txt needs a line added to it:find_package(KDE4 REQUIRED)before the “kde4_add_ui_files” part so it’ll build. It does spit out a bunch of errors towards the end (after the 100%) needing “Plasma/” stuff. That’s probably just me since I only pulled in the WeatherWallpaper part.It was worth the shot. I’ll play with the snapshot available on kde-look. 🙂THANK YOU FOR THIS!M.

  27. risto says:

    Could someone point me to the correct svn repository, I’m not able to download it.. And of course a .deb for Kubuntu Jaunty would be nice too🙂


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