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KDE Traffic #67 For 9 Nov 2003

Editor: Peter Rockai (mornfall)

By Henrique Pinto  and  Peter Rockai (mornfall)

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Table Of Contents


Welcome to KDE Traffic!

After a short break, KDE Traffic is back. Russell Miller, our previous maintainer, announced, in a message sent to the kde-devel and kde-core-devel mailing lists, that, due to personal reasons, he wouldn't be able to work on KDE Traffic anymore. In order to prevent KDE Traffic from vanishing, some people offered to take over the maintainership, therefore creating the KDE Traffic Team, that will be issuing KDE Traffic from now on.

We would like to thank Russell Miller for all he has done for KDE Traffic and for the KDE Community as a whole. Know that your contibutions were really appreciated by us all.

Some notes:

We hope you will like this issue!

1. KStart

29 Oct 2003 (2 posts) Subject: "Starting Desktop"

Summary By Henrique Pinto

Topics: KDE Tips

People: David CorbinChristian Mueller

David Corbin asked:

Is there anyway, when launching an application, to tell it which "virtual desktop" to start on?

Christian Mueller replied:

kstart is what you want.


kstart --desktop 3 konsole
will start a konsole on desktop 3

Read the help with
kstart --help

If you didn't know about kstart, this may be the right moment to learn all it can do for you (and yes, it can do a lot more than telling an application at which desktop it should appear).

There are many "tips and tricks" for KDE, as the one above. We'll be publishing some of them as they appear in the KDE mailinglists, as they can be really useful. If you want to learn more, there's also a tips page in the KDE Community Wiki. And, of course, you can add your own tips there, too...

2. PhotoCD IOSlave

30 Oct 2003 - 5 Nov 2003 (14 posts) Subject: "PhotoCD KIO-Slave"

Summary By Peter Rockai (mornfall)

Topics: IOSlave

People: Bernd LachnerWaldo Bastian

Bernd Lachner announced that he had written a PhotoCD IOSlave, much in spirit of the AudioCD one.

You can find the first version of this PhotoCD KIO-Slave under:

The PhotoCD KIO-Slave uses libpcd ( to decode the PCD files. If you want to use/compile the PhotoCD KIO-Slave, this library must be installed on your system.

Maybe there is interest to add this KIO-Slave to the KDE Multimedia package? If yes, I will clean up the code a little and maybe I add some features in the future (Parameter for the JPEG quality in the URL, or a KControl center modul for this parameter). If not, I think I don't do anything at this slave in the next time, because for my personal use it is good enough.

If there is interest to add the slave to the KDE Multimedia package, someone should help me to add it to the cvs.

Using the PhotoCD KIO-Slave:

Waldo Bastian promptly reacted, suggesting to Bernd that he should obtain an CVS account (pointing him to instructions at developers' website) and maintain photocd ioslave in kdenonbeta, while KDE is in freeze, moving it in place for KDE 3.3.

Soon afterwards, some confusion arose, regarding usefulness of the ioslave and appropriateness of a KImageIO plugin as a replacement. Bernd clarified that the ioslave is not concerned with individual PCD files (which are in fact image files, only containing multiple resolutions of the same image and, as Dirk Schoenberger pointed out, possible candidate for KImageIO plugin), but with the PhotoCD as a whole. In another e-mail someone suggested using kdegraphics instead of kdemultimedia (and she had a point in my opinion).

3. Look of Kicker, status of Crystal icons for 3.2

25 Oct 2003 - 27 Oct 2003 (11 posts) Subject: "Am I the only one who thinks this is ugly?"

Summary By Peter Rockai (mornfall)

Topics: Art, Icons, KDE 3.2

People: Eva BrucherseiferTorsten RahnAaron Seigo

Eva Brucherseifer was concerned about the look of current KDE HEAD:

There are some very strange things going on in KDE's look&feel and I am wondering wether I am the only one who thinks this is ugly...

The most ugly thing is the new look of the panel. Here is a screenshot: It has a color gradient as a background image. Color gradients are very antiquated and it horribly clashes with the overall design of KDE.

Well, i use the gradient myself (in gray colour though) and i can't say it is "horrible"...

She also mentioned fuzzy icons in systray, which was a completely different issue, and was solved in the meantime. The more important, and maybe harder to solve, problem she had was as follows:

Icons are another important topic. In the last weeks a number of new icons were introduced which don't fit into the KDE look&feel at all. They use other colors (too many and different ones), the incidence of light comes from another direction and they are way to detailed, so that the desktop looks very cluttered.

Look e.g. at the panel. What happened to the home icon? The red of the roof differs from the red of the help button, which makes it look strange. Also it has too many details. It doesn't have anything in common with the home icon in konqueror - now even the color is different.

The same you can see in the filedialog: Too many colors, very different styles - I see at least three types: the home icon (very detailed), the navigation icons (very symbolic and little color) and the folder icon on the right side (thick borders, many contrast in a little image - this one looks very cluttered).

If you know look at the icon view in konqueror you again get a different picture: Here is a directory icon with a different look. And the mimetype icons are very detailed making them again look cluttered and bumpy. BTW, the printer icon now has so little color that it nearly disappears...

I don't know if this is planned and if there is some major direction I don't see. But I don't really feel like presenting this ugly desktop next week on the LWCE in Frankfurt. This is not a KDE I'd like to have as a desktop myself.

Don't understand me wrong - I am not against changes. But changes to the look&feel of a desktop must be made careful and in a consistent way and this is what I miss here.

She also raised concern regarding absence of SVG source files for new crystal icons in CVS. Torsten Rahn was quick to contact Everaldo regarding these issues, and informed the list: "Here is a short reply from Everaldo via ICQ: "

  1. I will fix the red colors
  2. I will make different icons for large (with more details) and small sizes (more simple)
  3. about svg sources: I will publish them soon
  4. I don't make the kicker gradient and I dont like it either
"" This looks promising, and really (at least on the SVG source front, Kenneth Wimer started to add many svgz icon files to kdelibs/pics/crystalsvg in CVS.

On the other issue (regarding the panel), another subthread spawned, with Aaron Seigo stating he had coded the panel background pixmap changes, so it at least worked and was not really concerned with default settings, leaving it for artists to adjust. Also, Torsten suggested catching and arresting qwertz and forcing him to create appropriate panel background for the keramik widget style.

4. Status of disconnected IMAP in KMail 1.6

31 Oct 2003 (2 posts) Subject: "Status on disconnected IMAP"

Summary By Peter Rockai (mornfall)

Topics: KMail

People: Bo ThorsenStephan Kulow

Bo Thorsen announced he considers Disconnected IMAP stable for everyday work (and was quite confident it will not trash your e-mail):

Hi all,

I now consider dIMAP stable enough to use it myself for all my email. And I'm very cautious with my mail.

I have so far not found any bugs that are not already in the bug tracker. Disconnected IMAP really should be fine in beta 1 :-)

Current bugs in the bug tracker:

56792 is annoying, but you won't loose anything. I need help for 66469, since I don't know how to test this. 53954 and 65571 have lower priority than the first two to get fixed.

Stephan Kulow insightfully remarked that Bug#56792 also (apart from being annoying) makes it tedious to share your account.

Quick investigation of BTS showed that the 56792 is still unresolved, but i am sure someone works on it already :). None of the other bugs is resolved either.

5. Kontact issues

31 Oct 2003 (10 posts) Subject: "Kontact issues"

Summary By Peter Rockai (mornfall)

Topics: PIM, Kontact

People: Cornelius SchumacherReinhold KainhoferDaniel MolkentinLauri Watts

Cornelius came with a (scaringly) long list of issues he had with Kontact the groupware client:

When trying the current CVS version of Kontact I noticed a couple of issues, which have to be resolved before the release. This includes showstoppers like the missing manual as well as annyoing bugs like menu items with no effect. I didn't make bugzilla entries, because there are just too many, but I think that most of these issues have to be resolved before we can release Kontact.

Here we go:

container framework

  1. There is no Kontact manual.
  2. The "configure kontact" dialog doesn't make any sense. It contains unsorted modules of a subset of applications and the plugin selection dialog is hidden behind a "configure..." button which propably isn't found by too many users (I know that it was my suggestion to make the button as it is now). The whole configuration dialog should be removed and the individual apps dialogs have to be reinstantiated. The plugin selection could get an separate menu action.
  3. The summary view File menu contains a "New <itemfromlastselectedplugin>" action which doesn't work.
  4. status bar doesn't adapt to the selected part.
  5. When the app corresponding to a plugin already is running, clicking on the icon of the plugin has no visible effect. After a long while the app is raised, but the plugin isn't selected and there is no visual feedback.


  1. The KMail summary says "utbox" not "outbox", similar for other folders.
  2. The KMail summary view isn't updated when the content of mail folders changes in KMail.
  3. When clicking on the folder link of the KMail summary, the KMail part is activated, but the correct folder isn't selected.
  4. The address selection dialog of KMail is broken in several ways: There are two splitters which have no real use (hiding buttons with a splitter is a strange way to use splitters), adding an address to the recipients removes the address from the address book, for simply adding a single reciepient from the address book, the list view item "other addresses" first has to be openend (this is annyoing because it's the by far most common use case, this should be as easy as possible). Can't we use the addresseeslectdialog from libkabc?


  1. The KOrganizer part isn't automatically loaded when clicking on an event in the summary view or dropping a mail on the calendar/todolist icons.
  2. The calendar resources kcontrol module isn't synced with the resource view in KOrganizer.
  3. The "New event/todo" actions in the most left toolbar action don't work.
  4. There is no todo list summary.


  1. When the KAddressBook part is active there are two identical "New contact" actions next to each other.
  2. Clicking on a mailto url in the kaddressbook plugin takes a long while to open a composer window. There is noi visual feedback during that time.
  3. In KAddressBook there is no way to configure addressbook resources.


  1. Editing notes in the yellow window and the right pane in the KNotes view isn't synchronized. If I type something in the yellow window and then select the note from the list in the KNotes plugin everything I types is lost. The yellow windows should be disabled, when running KNotes in Kontact.
  2. The KNotes plugin randomly pops up small yellow windows when activated for the first time.

This post spawned some discussion, especially regarding the documentation. Reinhold pointed out that "We're in string freeze, which includes help and manual, too :-(((" But Adriaan suggested that they should be sent to some lauri at kde dot org (Lauri Watts AFAIK), who will commit them before release in a manner acceptable for translators (so these will remain English-only). At another place, Tobias wondered whether it would be feasible to make Kontact documentation only point to respective application manuals.

On a different note, Daniel stated that all the 6, 7 and 8 are different sides of one problem: "The problem is that the folder status is read from kmailrc which is an incredibly broken idea. Plus it doesn't cover imap folders. The problem is that anything else would require a permanently running kmail or the summary part would need to be linked against a convinience lib containing at least the kernel." . He also added that he will look into 3 and 4. Some suggestions on the other issues were made.

On the knotes part of the issue list, Michael (the knotes maintainer) said he had been busy with university work and that he would appreciate any help.

6. Qt License

24 Oct 2003 - 25 Oct 2003 (3 posts) Subject: "I don't understand the Qt licence?"

Summary By Henrique Pinto

Topics: Licenses, Qt

People: AnguoReinhold KainhoferWaldo BastianRoberto Alsina

The Qt dual-license scheme still confuses many people. Anguo, being one of them, asked:

I was getting ready to start developping a GPL'ed software based on the Qt/KDE libraries, but a look at Trolltech's website makes we wonder if this is at all legally possible without paying their hefty licensing fees.
"The Free Edition licenses do not allow the development or distribution of commercial software." The question is what is a commercial software?
"Use the Qt Commercial License to: *Build commercial software. *Build software that is not sold, but that advances the business goals of a commercial enterprise."

I wanted to start a GPL PointOfSale application project for my future business, but the last point above makes me wonder if I can do it. What is a software that "advances the business goals of a commercial enterprise"??? Kspread, Kmail or ever Konqueror can be used in an entreprise setting for the advancement of the business goals... Where do they draw the line between commercial software and the other kind (????) of software. I thought that I could built any GPL software using the Qt libraries...

Reinhold Kainhofer, Waldo Bastian and Roberto Alsina posted explaining him that Qt is dual-licensed, and the license he read was just one of the licenses under which Qt is released, so he could just use Qt under the GPL and ignore that license.

7. Layout of thumbnail-enabled iconviews in Konqueror

3 Nov 2003 - 6 Nov 2003 (8 posts) Subject: "Icons Layout and Previews"

Summary By Peter Rockai (mornfall)

Topics: Konqueror

People: Benoit WalterLuís Pedro Coelho

Benoit posted a patch to kfm-devel mailing list:

I have tried to improve the painting of thumbnails during preview generation. The problem of overlapped icons has been partially adressed by updating the iconview every 500ms ( revision 1.250). This does not really solve the problem because the display remains ugly while generating preview during 500ms. With the following patch, the icon view is updated when a new thumbnail has been generated, but only if the update is needed (in most cases once for each row). Otherwise, the icon is moved. This avoids having a messy icon layout during generation of thumbnails.

Possible improvement: Update the view less frequently when the generated thumbnail is not visible.

This solution is not yet perfect and it would be great if someone could try the patch and give some comments.

Later he posted an even more improved version, fixing few bugs and asking for review, which was done by Luís (as far as i understood his reply). His comment "Wow, this works wonderfully." looked approving to me, yet quick search on kde-cvs mailing-list indicated that the patch was not commited. Maybe i just overlooked it...







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.