KDE Traffic #13 For 8�Jun�2001

Editor: Aaron J. Seigo

By Aaron J. Seigo �and� Rob Kaper

Table Of Contents


Welcome to KC KDE! It wasn't too many weeks ago that KDE CVS was in a code freeze and now we are heading towards another one in anticipation of a beta release of 2.2. After the beta release no new features are to be added until 2.2 is packaged and work on 2.3 begins. The beta has been delayed a few days due to some show stopper bugs, but should be out shortly. On the upside, the push for a "final beta" has prompted a truly impressive amount of bug fixes and feature completions being committed to CVS this last week.

We hope you enjoy this issue of KC KDE and as always, happy hacking!

1. KOffice File Extensions and Mimetypes

29�May�2001�-�2�Jun�2001 (19 posts) Archive Link: "kControl - File associations"

Summary By Aaron J. Seigo

Topics: KOffice, Mime Types

People: Ferdinand Gassauer,�David Faure,�Carsten Pfeiffer

Ferdinand Gassauer wrote, " The other day I asked why in koffice the "file save" does not append the extension (kwd to kword) any more. David answered, that the file is recognized by its mimetype. Beside the fact that I'd like to have this bahaviour configurable (append extension yes/no) to allow command line inputs like "l *.kwd" the kcontrol "file association" as it is now becomes invalid (or not?) and definitely needs explanation. A kspread file saved as test.kwd is recognized as kword file."

David Faure stepped in to explain the situation saying, " It's just as it has always been in KDE.

If you want that a kspread file saved as test.kwd doesn't look like a kword file, then we have to remove the .kwd extension for kword files. Is that what we want to do ? [It'd still work just fine btw]. Extensions look ugly IMHO. Especially the KOffice ones. "KWD" ? How unpronounceable is this, compared to e.g. "DOC" ? The point now, is that you can name your files the way you want. With .kwd, or .doc, or .myfile, or .kword, etc. (ok, just not .jpg :). Isn't that better ? About the filetypes module, yes, it doesn't let you see how the mimetype-determination-from-the-contents works. That would be quite too technical to show anyway (magic strings etc.), for 99% of the users."

To further complicate things, Carsten Pfeiffer noted that detection by mimetype is only useful when the file is stored locally saying, " the only problem I see ... is publishing those documents on remote servers, e.g. ftp. There we don't have any magic-detection and rely on the extension -> if there is no extension, we're in trouble." It was, after some discussion, decided that the best idea was to provide a checkbox in the Save File dialog box that allows the user to set wether or not to automatically add file extensions.

2. Avery Label Templates for KWord

1�Jun�2001�-�3�Jun�2001 (9 posts) Archive Link: "Labels"

Summary By Aaron J. Seigo

Topics: KOffice, KWord

People: Kent Nguyen,�David Faure

It is becoming a fairly common occurence these days to hear of large corporations cooperating with Open Source projects when it is in their best interests to do so. Kent Nguyen announced one such instance of this saying, " Avery has given me permission to create label templates for KOffice and allow me have them license under an Open Source License. Here are the screenshots for 4 labels: http://www.geocities.com/newyen/index.html"

While implementing these templates, Kent ran into some limitations in KWord including the lack of a DCOP interface he could use to automate the creation of the templates. Kent wrote into the list a few days later with his current work-around saying:

Since I can't use dcop, I whip up an application to create labels, did the logic, just need to know what api to use to write a kword file. David, can you help me?


I have the full specification to Avery labels -- all 1,500 of them. Yes I had to sign an NDA to get it, but rest assure there is no clause in there that I can't redistribute the templates I do. If you feel this is not enough, I can private message you about the specifics, including the dialogue I had with Brenda Dillion, an executive at Avery.

David Faure replied to Kent telling him that he could use Qt's built in XML classes to write KWord files himself. Thanks goes to Kent for working on this as well as to Avery Labels for showing their support for the KOffice project.

3. Kicker Improves ... Again

3�Jun�2001�-�5�Jun�2001 (6 posts) Archive Link: "Kicker improvements"

Summary By Aaron J. Seigo

Topics: Kicker

People: John Firebaugh

Kicker started out as a fairly humble desktop panel compared to some found elsewhere. With time it has grown remarkably featureful, due in large part to the diligent efforts of numerous KDE hackers and its good internal design. These days Kicker supports may types of components including:

The list of features also keeps growing as Kicker continues on in the quest of becoming the leading edge desktop panel. The latest step in this forward march was announced by John Firebaugh when he posted to the kde-devel list saying:

I'm about to commit some improvements to kicker, namely, more configurability of panel extensions. To do this I have created a common base class for the panel and panel extensions, which reduced a lot of code duplication and means that panel extensions now have all the features of the main panel -- auto-hide is the most requested of these. Right now there isn't any gui for this, but if you want to test it out, edit the appropriate config file (e.g. taskbarextensionrc) and restart kicker. The gui should probably consist either of another kcontrol module or another tab within the kicker control module. Suggestions here are welcome, as are any bug reports, praise, or constructive criticism.

The next day John announced that these additions were now configurable from the panel KControl module in a new tab labelled "Extensions". A request was made for being able setting the auto-hide timeout to 0 seconds and problems were noted regarding moving panels around the screen. These issues, along with the usual array of minor glitches to be expected with new code, were taken care of by John as they were reported.

4. KMail and KDE2 From CVS

4�Jun�2001 (6 posts) Archive Link: "WARNING to CVS-KMail users"

Summary By Aaron J. Seigo

Topics: KMail, Accidents, KDE Core Development, Performance

People: Michael H�ckel

Despite everyone's best efforts, sometimes changes that need to be made in one module effect applications in other modules. One such change occurred this past week that requires both kdelibs and kdenetwork to be updated together and affects everyone who uses KMail either from CVS or with kdelibs from CVS. Michael H�ckel explained in a cross-posted message saying:

I just checked in code, that speeds up retrieving huge mails via POP3 on a fast network heavily by a factor of around 30 and also fixes one bug. Unfortunately this required a functional incompatible change in the POP3 kioslave.

Therefore, be warned to update both kdebase and kdenetwork at the same time when doing your next update. Otherwise you will recieve either mails with some additional linebreaks or without any line breaks at all, depending on what package you update first.

Please don't send us bug reports because of this problem, when not doing so, thank you.

5. kio_http Connection Handling Problems

4�Jun�2001�-�5�Jun�2001 (11 posts) Archive Link: "kio_http, persistent connections"

Summary By Aaron J. Seigo

Topics: KIO

People: Rik Hemsley,�Dirk Mueller,�Lars Knoll

While working on a kpf, a personal webserver for KDE2, Rik Hemsley noted some problems with the way kio_http makes requests of a web server. Rik explained what he say saying,

When requesting a web page which includes quite a few (about 10) small images, it appears that kio_http creates about 4 connections to the server. This, I would guess, is to allow 'parallel' retrieval of the various components that make up the page.

kio_http tells the server that it wants to keep the connection open (it doesn't send "Connection: close" and it explicitly sends "Connection: Keep-Alive"). This is fine, if kio_http will send "Connection: close" in a future request on the same connection. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Instead, it seems try to open another connection to the server instead.

According to RFC2616, clients should simply pipeline requests without waiting for a response from the server. I can see that pipelining all the requests necessary for one page, on one connection, would lose the benefit of parallelism, so it makes sense that kio_http would use more than one connection.

If kio_http were to limit itself to 4 connections and, when it has reached this limit, send further requests (pipelined) on the existing 4 connections, with "Connection: close" as a header in the final request, there would be no problem.

With the current implementation of kio_http, I need to set quite a high simultaneous connection limit in the server, to handle the case when kio_http fires off what appears to be an unlimited number of connections.

Rik noted that this causes problems with web servers that limit the maximum number of simultaneous connections from a single host. Dirk Mueller replied saying, "so it should keep sending request headers without waiting for the first request to be finished ? that would explain why KIO is still a few magnitudes slower in retrieving webpages than i.e. IE/Netscape." Dirk also explained why it would not be possible or advantageous to explicitly close an active slave as opposed to just letting it time out, though he noted that if kio_http spawns an unlimited number of connections then that is indeed a bug. He concluded that pipelining is indeed the solution that will need to be implemented. Lars Knoll confirmed this while noting that in the http specification the maximum number of connections per client to a server should only be 2. Further discussion occurred on the technical details involved in improving kio_http.

6. KPersonalizer To Make Initial Set Up of KDE2 Easy

6�Jun�2001 (17 posts) Archive Link: "This Week's CVS issues :)"

Summary By Aaron J. Seigo

People: Ralf Nolden,�antialias

With a desktop as versatile as KDE2 new users can easily get lost in the vast number of configuration settings. One solution is to present a new user with a program that asks right questions and then sets the desktop settings appropriately. While commenting on the CVS issues for the week, Ralf Nolden announced KPersonalizer which is an application that does exactly that saying:

danimo and wildfox will probably come over to me this weekend to work on the kpersonalizer in kdebase. Who hasn't tried it yet, it's intended to be started on the first login of the user to customize the desktop settings roughly (language, look and feel, feature enabling like icon stuff and antialiasing etc.) Whoever is interested to help, just drop me a mail. The kpersonalizer subdir already contains all abstract classes to implement the features of the QWizard's pages and there's a readme that can be followed to implement stuff.

As the week drew to an end, Ralf said that KPersonalizer was almost completely ready. For those looking to try it out, KPersonalizer can be found in the kdebase CVS module.

7. Flash support for Konqueror/Embedded

7�Jun�2001 (5 posts) Archive Link: "Konqueror Embedded with Macromedia Flash player"

Summary By Rob Kaper

Topics: Konqueror Embedded

People: James Finnie,�Rob Kaper,�Shawn Gordon

James Finnie wrote to konq-e and asked: "I have Konqueror Embedded running on the framebuffer, and would like to get Macromedia Flash animations playing on it. Is there any way to do this?"

Rob Kaper noted that Oliver Kutter was working on this issue:

he has been working on integrating Konq's nsplugin viewer, to allow _all_ plugins to work under Konq/E. The GPL'ed Flash player is okay, but it's incomplete and it does not support Flash 5 animations.

It would however be possible to remove its dependency on X, I suppose. The Kompany was investigating this / looking at it, so you might want to contact Shawn Gordon <shawn@thekompany.com> on their progress, plans and release strategies.

The question was added to the Konq/E FAQ (http://www.konqueror.org/embedded.html) and we're all looking forward to this addition to Konqueror/Embedded.

8. Konqueror/Embedded kiosk mode and Lirc support

8�Jun�2001 (2 posts) Archive Link: "Features proposal"

Summary By Rob Kaper

Topics: Konqueror Embedded

People: Arnaud Rolly,�Simon Hausmann

Arnaud Rolly proposed some new features for Konqueror/Embedded:

When I'll have the possibility to compile the CVS version, i'd like to add few functionnalities :

Simon Hausmann had some remarks on the specific implementation, but was fine with the additions. Soon after, the patches (http://lists.kde.org/?l=konq-e&m=99200681113744) for the kiosk mode GUI were sent to the list. They should be committed soon, while Arnaud continues to work on Lirc support.

Sharon And Joy

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