Fruits of CSS2013

Putting unexpected visions of space tourists aside, now for something completely different. This was a busy weekend with Calligra Suite Sprint 2013 which despite of different timezone fully dominated Essen and Bangalore.


Google Code-in experience - Kexi

KDE is taking part in Google Code-in (GCI) this year once again. It's a contest to bring 13 to 17 year-olds closer to Free Software.

One of the tasks I proposed for Kexi was Adding d-pointers to the code. Because of its size I split the challenge into two GCI tasks for truly motivated students. One part has been taken by Shou Ya and second by Andrew Inishev. Both parts have been finished successfully, the patches (2 * 10 thousands of lines) are already in the Calligra master repository.


Awesome License

Good news. The Font Awesome project's founder responded at speed of light to my request and now he plans to release the icon set under the LGPL within a month or so, making the icons as accessible for reuse as the default Oxygen set.

After that the "only" remaining matters would be adaptation to KDE and artistic vision. Here's a mockup of how KWrite's look could be transformed. Original:

To make it play more right I also reworked the Oxygen style quite a bit. Nearly no gradients or shines, post-Vista aesthetics inspired by web and mobile UIs where contrast is king. "Awesome" style:

Last week fri13 commented: "Monochrome icons are terrible from usability standpoint. They don't offer at all same information as colorful skeuomophisim icons."

Whoa about the colorizing the icons to give benefits of color coding?


New icon theme for KDE: Awesome

Font Awesome is an iconic font designed for web UIs. It's a full open source suite of pictographic icons available with examples and documentation.

During the QML network lecture at QtDD, Jeremy Lainé has noted that icons based on Fonts Awesome are useful for optimizing network usage, especially ones with high latency. While I have never used them I knew the technique which seems to be quite popular among web developers.

So I came to related idea. How about adaptation of the Font Awesome icons for KDE? Obviously number of icons expected by KDE themes is much larger, but there's a way to start. It would be awesome (!) if someone implements that to show power of QIconEngine...

Of course the adaptation would only be semi-automatic because mapping is needed between Font Awesome naming and naming.


Kexi 2.6: Text Trimming

Kexi 2.6 now shows indication that edited or pasted text is trimmed if maximum length for field has been reached. See also for the same feature in tabular view. The rationale for this feature is to make sure user knows that data has been only partly entered into the database.

Text trimming in tabular view


Beyond Bug Tracking

During my short summer holidays I had the opportunity to perform overdue bug triage for Kexi.
Funny enough, that alone dominated (by numbers) the Commit-Digest's Bug Killers list for 12th August :) Some bug reports were really dated, 2006 or so, anyway the Calligra 2.6 series is a good occasion for such cleanup.


Towards Kexi 2.6

I hope that Kexi like all the Calligra software will benefit from having a big release every 3 or 4 months. This way more than ever users become co-authors.

2.5 series
First, it's worth mentioning the 2.5 series received many improvements in already released 2.5.1 and 2.5.2 versions. Many users apparently found the forums (the link is now more convenient than mailing lists; not only questions moved here but for actual improvement and some planning discussions. It's honour to work with people that not only devote their limited time to the project but also use Kexi for their daily tasks, yet they store and process their valuable data with it!

As always it's important to have updated software so I can only encourage to do that. If you distro is slow with updates - politely request it every time, that's their job as a part of the equation. Many distros catched up and Calligra is now pretty well supported. There is no reason to keep software in the waiting-room too long when every feature and fix counts.



Evening conversation with my 7 y.o.:

me: Michael, tell me what's the next number after -1.


me: OK...

what's the next number after π?


Close enough as he answered after ~1 second, never even hearing about π ... unless he's secretly reading Wikipedia articles instead of playing games...

What's your interesting moment of this sort?


MS to reuse name from KDE and NSIS

Oh my. Microsoft has been using the "Metro" name to describe their new UX without prior careful checking for trademark infringement. PR blunder: Teutonic retailer Metro AG had to threaten them with legal action just two months before Win 8 release, when I bet some folders advertising Metro were already printed out.


40 years of Atari

This week we celebrated 40 years of Atari, once #1 computer brand.

For football and/or Atari fans - on time, some of us think that Mario Balotelli celebrated the anniversary too after scoring during the Germany vs Italy Euro 2012 semi-final match:

Anyway, have a good time at Akademy!