DEC
1
2003

Ingo is Wily

so Ingo, in all his wilyness, got me into a debate on kde-core-devel over the new-ish address picker in KMail. turns out his REAL problem is that it is buggy. and he's right: there are several issues with it. some of it can be blamed on classes that were suposed to make it into the libs from kaddressbook that haven't, but there is some work that needs to be done, no doubt about it. getting me into a debate isn't all that hard (*sigh*) but the truly wily part about it: i've committed to spending some time on that dialog (which i didn't even write; hi Zack!) this week. huzzah!

NOV
30
2003

kscd, system tray

i've got several outstanding bugs to squash in kscd that represent regressions over 3.1. things keep coming up, or i keep getting prematuraly tired in the evenings: i have a lot on my plate at the moment, both for work and personal life. but i have to get the kscd stuff done this week. i think i'll take a couple hours out of work to do so. the problems don't seem very difficult, aside from the Linux ide-through-scsi emulation bug. that one's going to be annoying because it's likely due to work done on libwm by another hacker, so i'm not intimately familiar with every LOC in there and this just breaths of one of those annoying OS-specific quirks. such is life.

NOV
28
2003

KDE mem usage, printer toner

Crazy things happening around Mahlah's computer this week. First she complains to me that her KDE (3.1 on SUSE 8.2) is acting up: it's slower than usual and rather flaky. It started up after she rebooted two weeks ago. I went downstairs to check it out and sure enough, it's much slower than it should be. She's only got 8 konqi windows open, kmail, a konsole with three tabs (one of which was ssh'd into a machine to irc from a screen session) and some text document open. That shouldn't slow the system down. The CPU isn't showing much usage but there's a distinct slowness and disk churning when switching from the desktop with all the browser windows on it to the one with kmail on it. So I take a look at the output of `free` assuming something must have gone run-away on the mem usage. To my astonishment I see that, for whatever reason, the system thinks there's only 32MB of RAM! There's many times that amount actually installed, but on the last reboot the system took a left turn somewhere and figured it would only use 32MB. It was only 8MB into swap, despite running sshd, cups, apache and the afformentioned KDE session. No wonder it was "slower than usual"! I'm just amazed that it was usable at all.

NOV
15
2003

Basing the future of free software upon demand

What if, instead of basing our platforms, software and development paradigms upon chasing what we perceive the competition has today, we based our decisions upon user demand.

So when a group of people actualy need something, someone (probably people invovled that group having the need) make it. If nobody needs feature/library/component/technology X, nobody makes it and the platform isn't weighed down by it. If this sounds a lot like how things work in open source, it is.

NOV
13
2003

Why KDE: Components, Components, Components

I was out having a pint with a fellow when he mentioned he uses (and quite likes) Evolution as his email client. He had a few gripes about it, but then don't we all when it comes to the software we use day-in and day-out? He then mentioned how he was surprised at just how huge a program it was. i asked if he knew how many lines of code went into Evolution, and he guess about right. I then asked him if he could guess how much had gone into Kontact; he though a little less than Evolution, but probably a similar amount. This is, however, far from the truth. Kontact is dramatically smaller that Evolution in terms of code count, even when taking into consideration all the various apps that are associated with it (KMail, KOrganizer, KAddressbook, libkabc, the various kioslaves). Then he asked a very interesting question: if I wanted to make a KDE mail app that was an alternative to KMail, would I be able to, would the KDE project encourage such an effort, and how much work would it be?

NOV
9
2003

Why KDE

I'm going to try something different. (*insert knowing laughter here*) it seems the topic of "Why KDE" is coming up more and more often in my day-to-day life both on- and off-line. sometimes the actual topic is "Why open source" but i usually manage to steer it into "Why KDE" because KDE is something i'm rather interested in and it provides a great case study. through these conversations i've come across some interesting thoughts, and i'm going to record them here over the next little while, one per blog entry. here's #1.

SEP
3
2003

from the purgatory of kicker into the hell of kmail

i've been doing waaaay too much screwing around in kicker lately. there's a few more things that need doing, like alphabetizing the Add/Remove menus and possible splitting up the Applets menu now that we ship with a couple dozen applets, but it's generally in not too bad of shape at this point. i even snuck in a change to the default look of kicker. one less icon. one more background. the custom colour option for butons also looks pretty snazzy IMHO and should be friendly to low-resource machines that still want a panel that isn't completely boring.

AUG
27
2003

tides

people wash in on the shores of KDE as others are washing back out... if i close my eyes i can almost hear the waves of people lapping against the sides of KDE's CVS.

ok, maybe that's a bit overly poetic. but it's very rewarding to find out that people are reading the WhatsThis tutorial and actually creating useful patches because of it. others are already asking about the Bug Triage tutorial. wonderful. i'll be posting something to kde-policies eventually with a draft of "bugs.kde.org Best Practices"; something to go along side the CVS commit policy. the Bug Triage tutorial will then draw heavily on that document.

AUG
18
2003

Monday, Monday!

posted the first installment in my new "Non-Programmer's Guide to Participating in KDE" series, title Adding WhatsThis Help To KDE Applications. was posted to theDot, where it got the usual inane comments, but also lots of positive feedback. very happy about it. will be moving it to the KDE support page eventually. next topic will be Bug Triage.

AUG
16
2003

weekend, where for art thou weekend

this was the week that wouldn't end. plus 30 degree weather, tons of smoke from forest fires, work work work work ... but, bliss! the weekend is upon me!

i did get some KDE stuff done this week, mostly a bunch of kicker applet hacking... but most personally satisfying is how ksnapshot now looks and works. it has the general cleanliness that it had in early KDE2, but with several more features and a more standard and understandable interface. it's been an unusually long road with that app.

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