Configuration of a Khalkhi service’s parameters: check!

Grepped some time to finally add a missing feature to the Khalkhi framework (say [χalχi]): the option to make the parameters of a Khalkhi service configurable. The configuration of three of the four hooks hardcoded in KAddressbook have already got a Khalkhi substitution, only that of the maps is yet to be done, before I can nuke them all from KAddressbook. I just didn’t find a quick’n’dirty solution to merge it with the “Open in Google maps” service for now. Obligatory screenshot:
Configure a service if needed.

I only hope that those (who?) working on the config subsystem for KDE4 will add change signals to it. For Khalkhi I just added a DCOP signal from the control module to the Khalkhi manager class which then looks up the service and triggers it to reload it’s config. But I really would expect the config system to do this for me 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Configuration of a Khalkhi service’s parameters: check!

  1. Yes, it’s really a mess. But how should the spreadsheet look like, to make things easier? And how much does this come from a database and tables centric person? 😛

    At least I am currently trying to dissolve the difference between services on a certain property and services on the whole person, so one tab might be lost. To gain a KMenu editor like control… yeah… or not? 😉

  2. The GUI you presented on the shot reminds me Designer’s GUIs, eg. the one for adding list items… So many mouse clicks are needed there and no easy keyboard operation…

    Am I biased because databases? I don’t think so – I can see people, again and again, who like to enter data in the spreadsheet. I guess most of us like this. Imagine you can easily setup comboboxes using a powerful metadata and everything is accessible via keyboard… but I do not advertise such feature yet as public framework (a library being a side effect of Kexi development). Just FYI. I hope one day more KDE GUIs will have this kind of interface for faster data entry.

  3. Spreadsheets might not ask people to keep a model of the data in their mind when navigating I guess. Understandable.
    We can agree on that this dialog is improvable. But currently I am already pleased to have a gui at all to the configuration 🙂 There are some more things to be done in the architecture of the framework itself, so that is where I concentrate currently. Only then I plan to streamline everything. Perhaps also with a table inspired ui, if there is such an easy to use kexi lib 😛

  4. Frinring, you might be the greatest programmer in the world, but in terms of usability and design you should really get the usability and artwork people more involved. This needs to be adressed soon in the development process to make sure that the UI is not an afterthought in the end. See you in Chemnitz.

  5. Tackat, the ui is an afterthought for me. After the data model. But not thought least, really. 🙂 The ui is the view (and the controller) to the data. Before the data model and the behaviour logic is not finished, the ui cannot be really done (cmp. to premature optimization) IMHO. So this dialog is just a quick’n’dirty temporary, which simply enables access to the data model. Yet better than nothing. Alright, this cannot be really understood from the blog text, will improve texts in the future.
    And Chemnitz, yes, I am hoping to be there 🙂

  6. > But not thought least, really. 🙂 The ui is the view
    > (and the controller) to the data. Before the data model
    > and the behaviour logic is not finished, the ui cannot be
    > really done (cmp. to premature optimization) IMHO.

    No. Unless you’re designing software without any real user in mind you know what your target group looks like. Even the framework needs to be created according to the needs of the target group. And with usability people involved early they can even give you advice which parts of the framework will likely need more attention and which will likely be used less. You also give them more time to develop the final UI which also will take quite some time.

    > Yet better than nothing. Alright, this cannot be
    > really understood from the blog text, will improve
    > texts in the future.

    I’ve seen such “temporary UI’s” become the ugly standard in KDE 3 way too often. This is because some programmers think that GUI development can be done by simply creating a nice framework and once it is complete in all its beauty visual designers and usability experts bolt the user interface on it within the remaining 5% of time. Even with the most gorgeous framework this isn’t going to get you anywhere in terms of success and user satisfaction.

  7. We are missing our points, surely 😉
    The data model didn’t come out of the blue, it is the result of quite some use cases, with a lot of workflows in mind. Sure, no officially so called usability expert was in the game yet. How could they, they might not have understood what I was thinking of, so far nobody did whom I tried to explain what the idea behind is about. And there was no prototype/prototyping material to demonstrate it. Now there is. And the framework is pretty low level and abstract, it rather enables all kind of UIs than to limit it to some. And I am no idiot in usability things myself.

    The UI I am talking about is things like the Person Kicker applet or KAddressbook. This is where the framework is actually made use of. That is where the UI should be made usable.

    This here is a temporary ui for the config, something a user might even never see if the default is alright. No place to spend time on in the beginning. And a temporary UI is still better than none at all. And noone is stopped to help improve it, bah.

    And who says the ui will just get 5% of the time? In FLOSS there are no such limits like dates. Stop ranting, please. And calling any developer to be dump in usability is, well, not nice. Especially if there was no claim something is tuned for usability.

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