First release candidate of Khalkhi framework 0.2.2

Now that the code of the Khalkhi (say [χalχi]) framework for KDE 3 has settled again and the Kicker applet and cards server are ported to it, it is time for another release. Missing the time to organize a proper one currently, for now the code is just declared to be a release candidate. But you are still welcome to go and test it now!

I just uploaded some tarballs for your convenience to KDE-Apps.org:

I am especially interested in how the event notification system works for you. Thanks for any report! 🙂

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“Your aunt is now…”

Let’s just add this little feature, and then… oh, not so easy, wait a moment. Hm, some more moments…
Got hit by that this week. But I really wanted this feature to be done, because I needed it. And so I just had to give in.

But now it’s almost done, and now one can control how status changes are reported by the Khalkhi applet. I could not reuse the KNotify framework, as it’s assumption are not met. With Khalkhi each set of events is not defined by a whole program, but by the corresponding status service plugin, e.g. the one for IM presence, or the one for number of unread emails, the one for last.fm, or whatever. And the possible actions are not the same, at least there is no taskbar entry to flash, rather icons in the Khalkhi applet or in KAddressbook. Tricky is also that there isn’t a centralized Khalkhi demon for now, so all the programs using Khalkhi would all e.g. play the same notification sound. Because of this the events are currently just handled by the applet and nothing else.

The GUI for configuring all that is imitating that of the KNotify control, so it reuses at least the workflow pattern:
Control how events are presented

One can even control the settings per addressbook entry, so for aunt Lilly a new email triggers a sound, while it doesn’t for all others. But I am not sure how to do a good configuration GUI for this, so for now this is left as hidden feature, until I find some time. There is so much else to do… Like making the panel button really flash, finally.

E(xiting) environments

KDE developers seem currently all focused on getting KDE 4 into shape. So far it looks very promising, now that also Plasma is changing it’s state from vapour to, uhm, even plasma 😛 It’s really time for me to return to KDE 4 development, given my ambitious plans with Khalkhi for it. Attending the Decibel hackathon in two weeks might help me 🙂

The rest of the FLOSS desktop planets show activities, too. The GNOME, XFCE, and ROX planets are blooming and enhancing.

But since my first steps with Linux there are, besides KDE, two other projects I once in a while have a look at: Enlightenment and GNUstep. While the 0.17 version of enlightenment is really taking it’s time, the seldom reports on the state and the activities make one wanting to have it here and now. Just saw the video of Carsten Haitzler’s talk at linux.conf.au from two month ago. Forward to the end, and look at the demo. Cool, or?

GNUStep seems to develop even more slowly, but still. This is sad IMHO, as OpenStep/NextStep really had some great ideas and architectures. More than ten years ago. Things have not really enhanced since then on the desktop IMHO. At least, there is now a new and fresh plant on the GNUStep planet: Étoilé. At FOSDEM 2007 they released a first(?) Live CD, I did not test, only looked at the screenshots. But I wish them much success. Especially after browsing their very interesting wiki with all their plans and ideas. Lots to think about.

Been to the CLT 2007

Was on Sunday at the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage, the second biggest german FLOSS event. While I went there as visitor, I obligatory also got drawn into helping for half an hour at the KDE booth 🙂 My car lift from Dresden to Chemnitz and back already consisted of two of the KDE booth people, Bernhard Schiffner and Konrad Rosenbaum. The other ones I meet over the day, like when sitting in a talk and after some time having a closer look to the person right next to me, recognizing Kevin Kramer. Well, Kevin as the author of kabcclient (the console interface to KABC) and me with the Khalkhi dreams for KDE 4 just had to meet there, as the talk’s topic was an overview about groupware systems.

Then there was our cmake hero Alexander Neundorf, now concentrating on promoting another software he uses at work, that is the open source, royalty-free, real-time operating system intended for embedded applications named eCos. I see now the big plan behind his activities, which is obviously making sure there is a big community behind the software he needs, so it’s development is ensured. Great move 😉

Daniel Molkentin, looking busy as always, was just a few minutes in my sight, before he went to give his workshop about development with Qt 4. It was enough for him to tell me that the next edition of the german journal Linux-User might have my name in it, because of a short note of the Khalkhi applet. Hu! 🙂

My day ended with an interesting talk about the CRM system vtiger, some time ago forked from SugarCRM. It was both interesting in form of presentation (which scratched the surface of being comical given the event’s style) and in content, as vtiger really looked impressive (to me as an unexperienced person) and to be a quite enhanced CRM system. Could not check if it’s sources’ licences all really match the OpenSource criteria, but it seems so. Definitely something to check out, when looking for an CRM System. Or for supporting any other organisation, that has kind of customers. Still, it has a big flaw: There are no connectors for KDE-PIM! Any takers? 🙂