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KDE Traffic #1 For 10 Mar 2001

By Aaron J. Seigo

Table Of Contents


Welcome to KC KDE! This Cousin covers events on the KDE developer mailing list. A lot of things are happening on the desktop lately, and it's very exciting. Hopefully KC KDE will help folks keep up on these events.

If any of our Gnome compatriots feel inspired to start a Gnome Cousin, they would be more than welcome! :-)

1. New KDE printing system

28 Feb 2001 - 2 Mar 2001 (33 posts) Subject: "New KDE printing system"

Topics: Printing

People: Michael GoffioulSimon HausmannMichael Gofioul

Printing is one area that the Linux and Unix desktops have never really excelled in. As one more step towards correcting this, Michael Goffioul announced:

As some of you have already noticed, a new component appeared very recently in kdelibs, called "kdeprint". This is actually a new printing library which should replace the Qt printing mechanism and the current kprint library. The goals of this library are:

This immediately launched several threads discussing the implementation details. Several developers wanted to make sure that the API for the new kprint was a one-for-one match with the QPrinter class. Simon Hausmann noted the importance of this, saying, "then I could convert existing code right away. (and it would make it really easy to keep an application compatible to both, kdeprint and qprinter)"

As discussion continued on regarding the wisdom of having a factory class for KPrint as opposed to simple a KPrinter class itself, Michael explained, " Actually the factory is (will be) used to create other objects as well, like job lister, printer manager, UI manager (those are objects defined in the printing management tool I'm developing)."

Near the end of the all the discussion Michael noted:

This will lead to a big rewrite of the current kdeprint code. The above structure also implies large changes in current kdeprint code, so maybe it's better to do everything at the same time.

The current kdeprint code is a "first try" and apparently can be greatly improved (just after one day on the CVS, I have to rewrite almost everything...). If anybody is interested in helping...

We will probably hear much more about this exciting addition in the future as kprint takes shape in CVS.

2. kio_smb and libsmbclient

6 Mar 2001 (23 posts) Subject: "Caldera's kio_smb and Samba's libsmbclient"

Topics: SMB, KIO, IOSlave

People: Matt PetersonRichard MooreWynn Wylkes

Matt Peterson wrote in, "For some time know Caldera has been working closely with the Samba development team to produce a SMB Client Library. The purpose of this library is to expose reusable Samba code to developers of SMB client applications... kio_smb is a new SMB kioslave written to use libsmbclient. kio_smb was developed in parallel with libsmbclient and is likewise in the final stages of validation testing."

While this is good news for everyone involved, Matt noted one small hitch: that libsmbclient was not yet widely deployed. Transparent desktop access to Samba is an important step in making Linux integrate seamlessly with win32 desktops, but the best tools to do so require libs not yet in common use.

Richard Moore suggested, "keep a copy of the library code in the KDE cvs in the same way we do with qt-copy." However, Wynn Wylkes pointed out a large barrier to this idea, explaining that "you need the whole Samba source to build the library. We just checked and the source is about _19_ megabytes." Obviously 19MB is too large to put in general CVS.

So for now, kio_smb will be built only on those machines that have the libsmbclient binary already installed. Hopefully libsmbclient will become a common library on Linux/BSD once a stable version is released.

3. Qt2.3, AA Fonts, XFree86 4.0.2

28 Feb 2001 - 1 Mar 2001 (16 posts) Subject: "Problems found in KDE2.1-final-1"

Topics: XFree86, KDE 2.1

People: Ivan E. MooreDavid Faure

Combining several new pieces of software is rarely a recipe for stability, and the release of Qt2.3 with support for the new Render extensions in XFree86 4.x providing anti-aliased text was no exception. Kai Duebbert reported a bug in Konqueror. Ivan E. Moore was the first to reply with a possible culprit, saying: "I'm not 100% sure but I *think* this is related to QT anyone else having this problem? I know that the same build *process* with qt 2.2.4 does not have this problem.." .

This was later confirmed by David Faure, who reported: "'s fixed in CVS. So: KDE 2.1 should be used with Qt 2.2.4, KDE HEAD can be used with either Qt 2.2.4 or Qt 2.3.0." . Several other problems appeared in other threads regarding the look of AA text, various display anomalies, etc. The answer to all of the problems were similar: the culprit was either to do with the new Qt or the new XFree86. Updates to both of these critical pieces of software and the KDE code that uses them promise to solve the minor issues some seem to be having.

4. KWrite Optimizations

28 Feb 2001 (4 posts) Subject: "kwrite: CachedFontMetrics - big speedup"

Topics: KWrite, Performance

People: Martin SchenkCullman Cristoph

Optimization efforts continue throught KDE2. Martin Schenk reported successes with improving KWrite:

The last big performance problem in kwrite is the use of QFontMetrics::width to calculate the width of characters. I implemented a class CachedFontMetrics, inheriting from QFontMetrics, that caches the width of characters...

...Using this class, changing the font from "courier new" to "arial" on 800K text takes less than 1 second, compared to about 10 seconds the old way.

The correctness of the patch and the speed improvements were quickly verified by Cullman Cristoph. This seems to wrap up KWrite optimization for now.

5. IOSlaves vs Kparts

1 Mar 2001 - 3 Mar 2001 (14 posts) Subject: "Konqueror view development"

Topics: KParts, IOSlave, Konqueror

People: Roberto AlsinaDavid FaureAlexander Neundorf

Roberto Alsina, in the midst of getting Konqueror to be able to display music collections as groups of albums, asked,

If I wanted to develop a way for Konqueror to display a certain directory in a scpecific format, how could that be done?

The simplest I can think is creating a kpart and using a new protocol, so that to get the effect of, for example "view as music album" ;-) you would use album:/home/ralsina/music. Am I missing a simpler nicer way?

David Faure replied, "You're mixing views and ioslaves. A view is the graphical representation - and it's indeed a KPart (with a BrowserExtension), whereas album:/home/ralsina is a new protocol, which requires an ioslave. Depending on what you want to do, you need to develop one, the other, or both :-)"

Through further discussion between Roberto, David, Friedrich W. H. Kossebau and Alexander Neundorf it was agreed that in this case Konqueror plugin and saving the information as a mime-type extension in the .directory file would probably be the best idea. It does show, however, the complicated decisions that developing coherently for a full-featured desktop requires.

6. KDE2 on HP-UX

2 Mar 2001 (7 posts) Subject: "KDE 2.1 runs on HP-UX 10.20 and not so bad !!"

Topics: Operating Systems, HP/UX, KDE 2.1

People: Holger Zecha

Holger Zecha reported, " I finished compiling kdesupport, kdelibs and kdebase (kdelibs took more then 24 h) but KDE 2.1 is running on HP-UX 10.20. I will test it heavily and if it runs well I'll upload some packages at the end of the next week." Everything did not go perfectly, however, and Holger posted several messages to the kde-devel list regarding various problems. All seemed to get the attention they required and packages for HP-UX 10.20 should be on their way shortly.

7. Sound for Solaris - Out of the Box!

6 Mar 2001 (1 post) Subject: "Solaris Sound Support"

Topics: Solaris, Operating Systems, Audio

People: Stefan Westerfeld

Stefan Westerfeld was happy to proclaim:

Thanks to Aaron Williams, Solaris sound should be available if you build KDE from CVS now, out-of-the-box. As it currently hasn't been tested at all (by anyone but himself), I'd like to get feedback whether the sound support builds and works fine if you just compile & install KDE

Stefan did note that there were two minor issues left to deal with, namely "8bit sound support (which doesn't seem to be quite working)" [and] "full duplex sound support (which has synchronization issues)" .

There were no replies.

8. 2.1.1 Release Schedule

28 Feb 2001 - 1 Mar 2001 (6 posts) Subject: "2.1.1 RELEASE SCHEDULE (proposal)"

Topics: Release Schedule, KDE 2.1

People: Waldo Bastian

This was a week for roadmaps to be made and sent out. The first of which came from Waldo Bastian for the 2.1.1 release. It set a furious pace with 2.1.1 being release on March 26th. There were some discussion as to how best to mediate the freezing of CVS and how to distribute the pre-release versions of 2.1.1 for testing.

9. KDE 2.2 Release Schedule and the Fast Pace of Releases

3 Mar 2001 - 4 Mar 2001 (15 posts) Subject: "2.2 RELEASE SCHEDULE (proposal) [NOTE: 2.2 != 2.1.1]"

Topics: Release Schedule, KDE 2.2

People: Dawit AlemayehuVadim PlesskyDavid FaureDawit Al

Yet another roadmap, this time for KDE2.2. This proposal, drafted by Waldo Bastien, set the first beta of 2.2 to be available on April 23rd and the final packages on April 7th.

There were concerns about the fast pace of releases being too much for people to keep up with. Dawit Alemayehu opined, " I know our release were a bit too lengthy before, but I feel that we are doing a 180 and going in the opposite direction now. People, specially those that use slow connection to download this stuff, might feel overwhelmed and simply ignore our beta releases."

To clarify his position, Dawit said later on in the thread, " I am not advocating to scrap the beta. I am only requesting that it be postponed a week to give users time to try, out/play with, whatever with 2.1.1 for an extra week. " .

This inspired Vadim Plessky to resurrect the discussion about the size of the KDE packages, saying "I vote for one-Beta-per-Month here, so KDE 2.2 Beta at the end of March is OK, IMHO. Of course, I do no think that *every* package should be updated. There was discussion/opinion to release JavaScript/KHTML upgrades more often than once in 3(4) months. For some reason, that haven't happen." Vadim went on to say that for a more regular release schedule, the large libs and base package would need to be split up. David Faure waded in to explain things with, "Ok, let's go for this argument again..... By releasing the "big" packages as is, we give people choice (between downloading the monolithic tarball and downloading more fine-grained RPMs or other binary packages). If we released one tarball per application, there would be no choice."

10. KDevelop Roadmap

2 Mar 2001 (7 posts) Subject: "KDevelop Roadmap 2001"

Topics: KDevelop, Release Schedule

People: Ralf Nolden

A roadmap for KDevelop goals in 2001 was sent out by Ralf Nolden. Importantly he noted that: " KDEVELOP_1_4 is our main branch for further improvements. This version will be shipped with KDE 2.2, the KDevelop version will be 2.0."

Many have been anticipating the Next Great Revision of KDevelop with support for cutting edge Qt and KDE components. According to Ralf, " The version in HEAD is going to be as follows: While Qt 3.0 will arrive with some major changes to the API and KDE 3.0 will be on the way, we will rename the HEAD version to KDevelop 3.0. The main work should be taking place here with all new developers approaching pointing to this tag and version except those who want to put improvements into 1.4 resp. 2.0. "

11. Release Schedule for KOffice 1.1

6 Mar 2001 (1 post) Subject: "Release schedule for KOffice 1.1 (proposal)"

Topics: Release Schedule, KOffice, KWord

People: David Faure

Not to be left out, the KOffice team released a development schedule. David Faure introduced the announcement with " Well, it's fashionable to announce release schedules proposals those days, so here's one more :)"

The highlights include timelines for two code freeze, beta, bug fix cycles concluding on April 23 and May 21 respectively. The feature goals include general feature additions to KSpread, KPresenter and KIllustrator, a rewrite of KWord using Qt's richtext engine, much improved mathematical formula support, addition of theKompany's GPL'd Kivio flowcharting program, and filter improvements (especially for MS Office documents).

Of great interest is the note on KWord's rewrite. Many have noted that KWord looked great but performed rather poorly. This was largely due to limitations inherent in the text widgets used and KWord's internal data structures. So the KDE developers rolled up their sleeves and ported a new Qt text widget, QRichText, from Qt3 to Qt2. An amazing amount of effort has recently gone into KWord redesigning and rewriting the internals. Already improvements can be seen in the CVS version of KWord thanks to effort a few devoted hackers, including Faure, Laurent and Zander.







Sharon And Joy

Kernel Traffic is grateful to be developed on a computer donated by Professor Greg Benson and Professor Allan Cruse in the Department of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. This is the same department that invented FlashMob Computing. Kernel Traffic is hosted by the generous folks at All pages on this site are copyright their original authors, and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.0.