Beyond the color pickers

Andy, thanks so much for picking up the topic of color pickers (pun intended).

I'd like to discuss cases when accuracy is not as important at results. In this case there's a problem of abundance of choice. You don't have time to quickly and correctly pick one from the 16777216 colors. Plus alpha value? Come on! Whenever you're confronted with a photoshop/gimp-like color picker you either choose random color, or single color that's globally predefined in a palette. I also understand that very few 'casual' users maintain own palettes for consistency.


2.8.6 → 2.9 → 3.0 → ...

That was my first Akademy after a while, I've been following previous two with kids on my lap. I think Brno turned out to be both a pretty destination and decent host for all KDErs.
A new Kexi contributor Wojtek Kosowicz came with me. You can read about him here and his recent story here. Recently in Kexi there is a trend of new contributors coming from Poland, and specifically from Warsaw. I've heard they're a bit regretting afterwards they didn't join the Akademy too but I trust that will improve next year :)


Kexi Report Designer Jobs

It's not a secret that reasonable explained and mentored junior jobs attract new great contributors.

Based on a popular request, here's massive list of 10 new Junior Jobs for Kexi. Now they are mostly related to Kexi Report Designer, which receives a lot of love recently as an unique Free Software solution of this kind.


Be sure to ask for details or request different kind of junior jobs... there are basically thousands of them :)

SQL car by jepoirrier, CC BY-SA 2.0


Kexi: GSoC, JJ, Porting

There were quite a few Kexi releases since my last blog entry. I tell you, the focus in this work was on improving stability. As an effect, reportedly, there can be a whole day of work without stability issues. Not bad.

Kexi is in fact a family of 5 or more apps integrated into one environment. Given the scope and ambitions it can be easily stated that we miss 20 to 30 engineers! Encouraging and educating new ones is a neverending activity. Out of the possible approaches these are well known: Google Summer of Code, Junior Jobs, non-coding contributors.


Usage Stats

Kexi usage statistics is an experiment started two years along with Kexi 2.4. The information helps to make certain decisions related to design and direction of the project. Today I'd like to show you first results.

On every startup of Kexi, background job sends anonymous information to project's kexi-project.org server. User's privacy is a top priority here; users need to opt-in by enabling Share usage info option at Kexi startup. For detailed idea and plans behind the effort, click the "?" mark in the startup window, here's a copy of the text. Naturally, the raw data is never presented online.


I'm going to Bilbao

I'm going to Bilbao... well not quite to the whole Akademy but mainly to the QtCS. Looking at my calendar I conclude even getting these two days is a success. I'll try to show up @ Akademy too and say hello to you friends and chat a bit.


Ten years!

It's been 10 years since I joined Kexi and thus the KDE community. I think writing down some history and summary makes sense.

2003-03-28: first touch on Kexi sources for porting

It all started at a technology fair in Warsaw, 2003. I wasn't too keen to go but got free tickets and free time. I met a founder of OpenOffice Polska LLC (later renamed to OpenOffice Software) from Warsaw presenting its adaptation of deeply localized, nicely prebuilt office suite based on OpenOffice.org. The office suite has been open sourced StartOffice over two years before by SUN and then localizations or user handbooks basically did not exist. During the meeting among other topics we also discussed apparent missing bit in the OpenOffice.org suite: a rival of MS Access. I proposed to perform some research on how the app can be added. I got hired and engaged full-time from March 2003.


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?