Posts about kde (old posts, page 13)

2008-06-16 22:27

Kid, wanna try a WM?

Reading a post on planetkde, I saw an apparently out-of-nowhere reference to blackboxqt...

Not all that interesting, I suppose, but I am fond of ol'BB,and this Qt4 remake could be pretty cool (although I can't test it because it doesn't build for me). Here's a link to the code.

2008-02-18 10:06

Text-based presentations

There have been a few posts on planet KDE about text-based presentation tools (1 , 2 , 3) and while their solutions are all probably better than mine, I have to say I did something in the area about a year ago.

Since I like restructured text and PyQt that's what it's based on, but you can just use it with vi and a wyse60, if you want.

My project is called Tobogan and it has a working version.

It has a GUI, but let's ignore it for this post about text-based software ;-) and show the text behind it:

Why use Tobogan

(If you are a nerd)

:transitions: from_left,to_left,from_top,to_top,from_right,to_right,to_bottom,fade_out

It's nerd-oriented

It's trivial to display source code, with
proper syntax highlighting.

.. code-block:: python

    from base64 import *
    def myFirstFunction():
          print b64decode ('YnllIHdvcmxkIQ==')

Even for things like shell sessions.
Dammit, I am a nerd, I will try to add every nerd
feature I deem cool.

It does things simply

This is a subtitle?

Wanna show a flickr photo?

.. code-block:: rst

    .. flickr:: myPhotoTitle

How about using to share your files?
And whatever else you can think of, it probably
**can**\  be done.

.. footer:: Smart thing goes here

And here is the result after running on it.


  • If you move the cursor to the top, you will get (broken?) previous/next arrows
  • If you click on the window, you get to the next slide.

I have not touched this in almost a year, and it would need lots of love, but it's not a bad concept, IMVHO.

2007-12-28 12:46

Thinking in 800x480: Web browsing

I am still anxiously waiting for my Asus eee (still a week to go or so), and I was thinking about web browsing in the 7", 800x480 screen.

Yes, you can do the usual things, go to full screen mode, whatever, but for many sites, 800 pixels is just too narrow.

You can make pages fit better in a limited width by reducing the font size. A good 8pt font is probably readable on that screen, since you will be pretty close to the screen.

However, that does nothing for layouts that are pixel-based, and for the size of images.

However, after reading about Qt 4.4's support for webkit and widgets in QGraphicsView, I started thinking... that's doing it wrong.

What you want in limited screen space is text in the usual size and the page in a smaller size.

So, my idea is:

  • Make the font larger. Say, 12pt.
  • Render the page in a webkit widget that's 1200x720 pixels.
  • Put the widget in a QGraphicsScene, and reduce it 33%.

The result? a 800x480 web page view that contains the whole page.

Of course you should be able to change all these parameters with a single control. Is the page too wide to see in 800x480 with 8pt fonts?

Then try 1000x600 with 10pt fonts, and reduce it to fit the screen.

Still too wide? Then try 1200x720 and a 33% reduction.

Possible tips:

  • Should work better with aliased fonts, since the size reduction should make antialiased fonts too blurry. A wide, open font will look better,
  • The scrollbars will look squashed, I expect. Probably checkboxes and radio buttons will look funky. Here, more advanced wizardry is needed.

Of course it would have to be tested, but I am willing to bet this will work better than other alternatives. If I had a working PyQt 4.4 I would try to do it myself ;-)

2007-10-02 14:11

Everything is still around

For a project I am doing for one of my customers, I needed a mailing list archive. I looked, and it seems the nicer one is Lurker.

Sadly, there are no RPM packages, so I had to build it manually... and ran into mimelib. Which, looking closer, is the same mimelib from Doug Sauder I used in KRN back in the late 90s.

And which I had a hand in GPLing, too. And it's still in use. One of the things I always liked about FLOSS: nothing ever really gets thrown away.

2007-09-14 18:35

New library: ChipScene

This is the real outcome of my PyWeek failure: a neat library.

Take Chipmunk and Qt mash them up, and what do you get?

A OpenGL-accelerated, multiplatform, easy-to-use playground!

But watch the silly video that shows no interesting features instead:

You can't see it but there are 29 balloons, numbered, that bounce around happily.

Performance in the video sucks because I had to disable OpenGL in order to capture it correctly (and video recording kills my notebook,anyway). That demo normally runs in 3 seconds, not 57.

Here's the non-boilerplate code for that demo:

def fillWorld(scene):
  for x in range(1, 29):
      b=cs.CPBodyItem(bpos=[0+13*random.randint(0,25), -50-30*random.randint(0,10)],m=10)
      s=cs.CPCircleShapeItem(10, b, e=.5, offset=[0, 0])
      t=QtGui.QGraphicsSimpleTextItem(str(x), s)
      t.setPos(-5, -5)
  items.append(cs.CPSegmentShapeItem([0, 50], [500, 450], 1, None, e=.7))
  items.append(cs.CPSegmentShapeItem([0, 450], [500, 50], 1, None, e=.7))

  for i in items:

Neat, isn't it?

You can get it at the ChipScene google code project including, of course, the source.

2007-08-08 09:05

Me and FLOSS in the late '90s

I have no idea how, but I ran into this in Linuxtoday:

KDE Programming Tutorial 0.2 (Dec 22nd 1998, 00:09:36 )
Roberto Alsina announced that he uploaded to the version 0.2 of his excellent programming tutorial. It is also available here. Hopefully, this must-have material will be soon included in the kdesdk package and in CVS.

Now, this was pretty shocking because I don't remember writing it (anyone knows where a copy may be?). I have no idea what was in it, and in fact, the idea of people learning C++ from me in 1998 is so stupid it's shocking, since I knew very little.

Then it hit me, the URL! Ultra7? That was my 486 at college [1].

It had a webserver? What on earth had I been drinking back then? Why can't I remember this???

Wayback machine, come here! Fetch!

Here's my first home page. I must say it's pretty good. It's not garish. Very Web2.0 in the abundant white space.

First interesting thing: there is at least one extant copy of PyXForms, my first free software project, used by absolutely noone.

And there are even two cool screenshot of a functional program noone ever used [2]:


In fact, I have no idea how I did that highlighted message display.

Then all that proto-good taste goes away when you reach the page for my most "popular" project ever... Krn in my 1999 home page [4]. It' so 1999 free software style. All that's missing is an electric blue background.

It seems I had discovered The Gimp and it's banner scripts!

BTW: I wonder what's Magnus Reftel doing nowadays? We used to exchange dozens of mails a day and for some reason we lost contact.

There was also a mailing list archive for the very very very first posts of our proto LUG (which would later become LUGLI)

And here's the best part, and the one that makes me kinda sad... Themes for Qt1.

You can read a little about them in this thread.

I have written about them once or twice before but here's the short version:

Rasterman was starting to hack themes for Gtk. I decided they couldn't be the only ones with this cool new technology but I had the big disadvantage of not being able to touch Qt's code because of licensing issues. So I intercepted the drawing events using a LD_PRELOAD hack and implemented a theme full of gradients without modifying or recompiling Qt or KDE.

Now that's one of the most impressive hacks I have ever performed, even if it was a hack done with the most evil code ever, and... there seems to be no extant copy of the code or the screenshots.

Which is kinda sad, indeed.

[1] UNL, where every computer had a public IP address!
[2] The idea was a sort of GUI Pine, all handled with single key strokes. I still pine for that program! [3]
[3] And for the fjords.
[4] AKA the buggiest program ever to be part of KDE proper.

2007-08-06 09:57

A bit sad about this

It seems that during the big SVN conversion some data were lost in commits.

So, if you check KDE's svn for the really old stuff, it has no author information.

For example, check this out:

I know I wrote pretty much everything there, but you are probably not going to notice it, and I spent a good couple of years working really hard on that thing.

Sure, it was crap, but it was hard-worked crap, and there is at least one thing I am slightly not ashamed of: TypeLayout, which is still nicer than most toolkits have, even if it was shamlessly copied from LinuxConf.

But what the heck, it's old stuff.

2007-08-02 10:24

KDE 4.0 beta1 released!

Which is usually the point where I switch to new versions...

BTW: Cnuth? Best release name for KDE ... ever!

2007-07-21 10:23

Please, KDE marketing guys, start showboating!

I am no longer on planetKDE so this will probably not be read by many in the KDE community but...

Please, please, please start making big noise about the Asus eee. It ships with KDE and is expected to sell "up to 500.000 by middle of next year and 5,000,000 by 2009" [1].

Is that number not big enough? It's probably more than our current installed base.


2007-07-17 12:15

Way too excited about the Asus eee

Really. I can imagine having one of these as my main computer (with external HD and monitor).

I probably won't and use my full-size notebook or a desktop when at home/office, but it should take me back to the days when I simply carried my Libretto everywhere because it was light enough.

Here's the best review I found so far.

People worry about the 4GB or 8GB "disk". If you keep your media (ISOs, movies, music) on an external HD, you probably can have everything else there.

Using rsync to keep two boxes synced... lots of potential.

I am probably buying two of the cheap ones.

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