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Archive for the ‘KDE’ Category

Surprised about the surprises (Or why nokias deal was a logic step)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

So.. Nokia and Microsoft heh? Well well what do you say about that. I’m for one are most certainly NOT surprised about that. Ever since Nokia bought Trolltech I was a bit uneasy and unhappy about it. Nokia never stroke me as the company that does much community work that doesn’t end up in their pockets immediately. Sure sure they have done some Open Source stuff in their times, but only to attract more developers and get even more money. To make long words short: They are capitalist. Always were and always will be I guess. So when they bought Trolltech I was not happy about it. And my experiences later on definitely were proof of that (I refer to a “nice” telephone session we had on the Randa Multimedia Sprint with the Nokia guys about Qt Multimedia). Qt was beginning to fall in line with Nokias “Money is everything. Community nothing” mantra. Call me paranoid but right then I already felt that it wasn’t quite the end of it. So Nokia now turns to a company that’s following the same call (for money and no community) they have for years. Its almost like people on a sinking ship holding on to one another and hoping they won’t drown. If not for all the implications on KDE and Amarok I most certainly would find it amusing. I for one haven’t used Nokia devices for a long time now and am only using Microsoft products if I have to. So the only thing (apart from the Qt stuff) this deal changes for me is that I can only party once instead of twice when the Nokia/Microsoft ship will finally bubble away in the deep ocean of “Nice try”. Too bad :-P.

KWatchman – An Idea given Birth

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

First of all: Thank you everyone for you comments and suggestions. They really got me on the road and showed my that there indeed is interest enough to do some more serious work. So I sat down and made myself a little planing and even some (small) coding today. Here’s what I got so far:

The project will consist of mainly 3 Parts:

  1. Part one being the kwatchman-service (in what manner I’ll realize this I’m not sure yet). Its basically just an empty rack to manage and run part 2 (maybe this will even be a daemon so it can run under higher privileges).
  2. Part two being Plug-ins that can be loaded by kwatchman-service. There will be (for now) 4 kinds of Plug-ins:
    • Sensor Plug-ins (they collect the data from a specific source e.g. libsensors-plugin, hddtemp-plugin, nvclock-plugin, etc.. )
    • Interface Plug-ins (they provide interfaces for all apps that like to access the collected data e.g. dbus-plugin, network-plugin, nagios-plugin?, etc… )
    • Database Plug-ins (they provide storage for long term data collection e.g. mysql-plugin, postgresql-plugin, nepomuk-plugin?, etc… )
    • Alert Plug-ins (they do something in case an alert is issued by crossing some threshold e.g. knotify-plugin, phonon-lugin, log-plugin, shell-plugin, etc… )

Apart from the database Plug-ins all Plug-ins can be used or not used at will. So the user can ultimately decide what gets refresh and which alert is being send if a threshold is crossed. Concerning the Database Plug-ins I guess its much easier if only one is allowed at a time. All other use cases can be handled by Interface Plug-ins (e.g. if you want nepomuk as your db but want to access the data via php on a webserver a php friendly interface Plug-in would be the solution).

  1. The last part are GUI’s that access the data and configure the Plug-ins via the interface Plug-ins. Those can be a very wide variety of apps and applets ( e.g. native KDE4 apps, plasmoids, KCModules etc.). Im not completely sure how the initial configuration of the service should be made so that at least the correct interface Plug-in for your favorite App is activated.

The first implementation will (most likely) contain:

  • The kwatchman-service (whatever it will be)
  • A lm_sensors sensor Plug-in
  • A nepomuk or MySQL database Plug-in (not sure yet)
  • A native (ksensors like) KDE4 app
  • A interface Plug-in for the native app (maybe via dbus?)
  • A knotify Alert Plug-in

As soon as I’ve got those components in working order I’ll concentrate on more sensors and Alert Plug-ins. After I that database Plug-ins will be my attention and finally I’ll write some more apps and Interface Plug-ins.

As for now I’ve got a (very rudimentary) cmake concept for detecting libs and deciding what gets compiled, a (also rudimentary) file structure for the code and some template for the KDE4 App.

So.. now to it: What do you think about THAT concept? Crazy? To big? Super? If you have any supplementary suggestions to the concept don’t hesitate to comment!

The King is dead, long live the king!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Have you ever wondered what became out of KSensors? I did. Many times. Well the sad but inevitable fact is: its dead :-(. And as far as I can tell there are no real successors standing in the doorstep. All the sensor apps available for KDE4 are hardly replacements. Most of them are plasmoids and I’d rather consider them toys then the real deal. Because of this I decided to bring in KWatchman (hope the name isn’t taken. Couldn’t find anything though). Essentially KWatchman aims to be a full replacement for KSensors. Showing sensor data on a dashboard, in KDE4 sys tray and ringing “the bell” if something is wrong. As of now the only thing that exists for this project is the idea, an (empty) git repository (http://gitorious.org/watchman) and an (mostly empty) IRC channel (#kwatchman @ freenode ). Before I begin on writing any code however I’d like to ask YOU about this ;-). So: What do you think about this idea and more important what do you think should be changed / made better as with KSensors? As this will not be a fork of KSensors but a complete rewrite I’d like to hear any Idea about this. Just drop me an E-Mail, write me in IRC or post a comment to this blog entry. I’m happy about any comment. Thx.

To trust or not to trust

Friday, August 13th, 2010

One of the major problems society is facing in the age of connectivity is TRUST.

Whom do you trust? Would you trust me with your life? Certainly not. What about your computer and all the Data on it? I doubt it. Would you trust me with your music player? You may be surprised to hear that but to a small part some of you already do 😛 (I’m coding for Amarok).Now a Question to all of you Amarok users: whom of you did read ALL the source code and search for bad or dangerous parts someone put in there? I certainly didn’t (and I’ve already read a lot of Amarok’s source code). So in the end even here all comes down to TRUST.

So why am I writing about this anyway? As you may (or may not) have noticed the little “s” behind behind my “http” is vanished. I did this because some of my readers complained because their browser complained because their browser doesn’t TRUST me and my self signed root certificate. So there we are again.. now back to TRUST.

Back in medieval times man would trust other man by their word. But not every man.. just the ones who where rich like hell (or at least a little rich :-P). Poor peoples word meant nothing. Lets go ab bit forward in time. Say 20. century. you’d think humanity has evolved into a species of understanding and equal rights? You’d be disappointed. There is still a system of classes and still we trust people with money (gentleman) more or less by their word and those who are poor are not trustworthy. So what about today? Equal rights for all? Trust for the poor. I’ll have to disappoint you again. Today (at least certificate and IT wise which is the area my blog is about) we trust those who are buying (for quite some money, and thus are “rich”) a certificate from companys who do not much else then SELLING TRUST for money (And thus degrading certificates to a “certificate of having enough money to be trustworthy”).

So where does that leave us today? Back in medieval times I guess.

Are we there yet?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

What I hear a lot from users lately if I’m talking about my current projects for Amarok: “Are we there yet?”. I’m mainly working on three things at the moment: A spectrum analyzer applet, a visualization applet and song fingerprinting. Today I’m happy I can say to at least one of this projects (and maybe even a second one) the answer is: “YES we are!”. I’ve just pushed my last changes to my spectrum analyzer applet. Sadly it won’t go into trunk as of now because bugs in then xine and vlc backend are preventing it from working correctly. If you want to try it out anyhow have a look at my gitorious repository (Be warned! The applet currently only shows data if you are using the xine backend and with that you WILL get crashes as soon as you stop or end the current song in any way!). The second project I might give a positive report about is my fingerprinting code. It works. Suffers from the same problems as the analyzer though (use of xine backend will crash, use of vlc will give no data). If you’re feeling adventurous you can also find this code in my repository. If you find any bugs or stuff that bother you (or just want to say how you like it) don’t hesitate to contact me. As a little appetizer I’ve made some nice pictures of the analyzer (this time with real music input):


Monday, June 21st, 2010

This where an intensive few weeks. First the KDE Multimedia Sprint. It was awesome and a lot of fun. I met a lot of cool people and (hopefully) made a few new friends out there. We (me and my girlfriend) stayed 5 days longer in Randa / Täsch for some R&R. Every time I have to leave this place I feel like leaving home. And every time I come back there its just like I was never gone. I’ll miss it.. but in September I’ll be back ;o). Not even a week after I got home the next event was on the agenda. LinuxTag in Berlin. Helping Kuba and his Girlfriend at the Amarok booth. Winning new users, supporting present ones and convincing old ones to come back. I guess we had quite some success. At the end of the event my voice was gone, I had “cleaned out” the Google booth and had a wonderful time with old and new friends! Folks.. I’ll miss you!

KDE Multimedia Sprint

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Soon its time for fun, relaxation, good air, good code and mountains ( which of course means a lot of rock climbing 😉 ). Why that you might ask? Simple:

KDE Multimedia Sprint Badge

I’m very exited to meet all my coding friends in real life. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time now. Sadly enough this week is crazy like hell. filled with a lot of work for study and all surrounding stuff. I don’t really have the time to look forward and be happy. All the more a good reason for a long earned vacation! See ya all in Randa Fellows!

Plasma Applets and OpenGL

Friday, April 9th, 2010

I lately tried to implement an Plasma Amarok Applet that has an OpenGL Widget inside of it. One would think this is a rather easy task since all this new and fancy KDE Plasma stuff smells a lot like OpenGL. Sadly not by a long shot. Implementing an OpenGL Plasma widget normally works this way: create a widget, set the Viewport of the Graphics view to an new QGLWidget and you got it. This approach has 2 Downsides though: first of all if you Viewport is an QGLWidget all you drawing will be rendered via OpenGL. And not only on this applet but on all Applets that share this widget. One might think this is no Problem. But OpenGL handles a lot of stuff quite different then the Qt Implementations of the Graphics Objects. For starters colors. The same color values won’t give you the same output if one is rendered by OpenGL and the others by Qt. So you get strange colors all over the place (and not only in this particular applet but in all the others, because all Amarok Applets share one Viewport). The second problem with this approach is that it will make rendering of non OpenGL stuff and OpenGL stuff at the same time quite hard. You’ve got to watch out for what you’re painting when and in what order and a lot of OpenGL functionality will have to be left untouched because it would mess with you Non OpenGL windows etc. As you might have guessed this was not an acceptable solution. All other approaches I made (render into the QGLWidget and get the Framebuffer from there for example) ended in either an empty Widget or a separate window for my OpenGL stuff. Googleing my ass of and tyrannizing a lot of nice people on IRC finally got me the “right” answer to my problem: I had to render all the OpenGL stuff into a QGLPixelBuffer and then paint this buffer onto the Widget with all the other Graphics Objects. Insane? Definitely! But it works like a charm. And know what? Its quite fast and reliable. I even got it to paint either to a separate Window, the Widget or even fullscreen just by clicking a button. Looks like we’re living in an insane world after all :-P.


Friday, April 9th, 2010

Welcome to my new Website. This Blog will mostly be about me and my work. But there will also be a lot stuff about KDE/Amarok development to be found here soon. As I’m working for the Amarok Project and thus for KDE I might be able to give one or two insights to development under Linux and KDE. But I’ll also now and then give a hint about what I (and the other Amarok Devs) am currently working on in Amarok. So stay tuned as this Blog is going to get filled soon ;o).