Adopt a KDE Util as your baby

The module KDE Utils is getting a cleanup currently. Which in the process opens opportunities for you to take over some responsibility for a part of KDE and enhance it even more:

The programs listed below are working, thus are going to be part of KDE 4.1, but are without a real maintainer. They got ported by KDE’s main v3->v4 porters and some, but then noone really sees them as their baby, cares for them and has a master plan how to make them even better*. Do you perhaps?

  • kcharselect – select special characters from any fonts and put them into the
    clipboard (applet variant still needs porting to plasma)
  • kdessh – front end to ssh
  • KFloppy – format a floppy disks with this program
  • KTimer – execute programs after some time
  • KWallet – KDE wallet management tool
  • Sweeper – cleans unwanted traces the user leaves on the system

Then there is kregexpedit, the good old regular expression editor, waiting for someone in playground/utils to pick it up again, as the person willing to do so before sadly has run out of time. Won’t be part of KDE 4.1 of course, but the luxury of being a program’s developer is that you can still compile and run it yourself and do so from the bleeding edge all the time 🙂

The programs listed next are not working or not compilable and also without any maintainer/developer. They got partially ported to KDE4, but nobody has really cared for them, so they are currently disabled in the build system. Are you interested in taking over development of any of them? As we are in soft feature freeze mode now you would have to restart development in playground/utils and have a first chance for inclusion of the program with preparations for KDE 4.2 again. Still you can make independent releases in the meantime of course. Or move to extragear if you like. All of the below which will not find an active maintainer until May 2nd will be moved to tags/unmaintained/4 otherwise.**

  • kdelirc – frontend for the Linux Infrared Remote Control system
  • kmilo – kded module to support various types of hardware input devices
  • ksim – plugin based system monitor

I suppose that ksim is obsoleted by solid+some plasmoids.
KDELirc looks like it should better end in Solid and kdebase/workspace/kcontrol/.
kmilo might be a candidate for that, too?

If you are interested in taking over maintainership of one of these programs please subscribe to the KDE Utils development mailinglist and say Hello.

You are also invited to subscribe if you are just interested to follow development in KDE Utils in general.

So far there have been two adoptions already:
Thomas Gillespie is looking to care for a future of the functionality of KLaptopDaemon.
And Nicolas Ternisien is already giving much love to KDF (KDiskFree) and is merging it with the Partitions module for KInfoCenter, and it’s looking good:

Partitions module for KInfoCenter

So, is one of the babies smiling at you? 🙂

* For KDE 4.1 you would be limited to make only existing features shiny, given that the soft feature freeze already set in. Yet this makes you familiar with the code base, so for KDE 4.2 you can go crazy.

** Of course this does not stop you from taking over even at a later point, but things in unmaintained just are out of sight and do not even get random updates to latest kdelibs changes.

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Okteta on its way to kdeutils + WhatsThis

The longest journey starts with the first step. Or: The biggest program starts with the first line. (Just: These terms do not contain any mentioning of the category time. I definitely need other proverbs which complement these to help me with life.)

Now, that a lot of lines have been collected in the subdirectories of the Okteta project, a new milestone is approached: The stand-alone program Okteta is heading for inclusion in kdeutils. Since Monday its code resides in kdereview, awaiting your objections or change requests.

Christian Ehrlicher already did what looks like almost every KDE4 module is having to cope with: He adopted 5 lines (in words: five, really only) and now it compiles also under another platform, delivered from Redmond. Impressive. CMake, Qt and KDE, your friends for almost-instant-multiplatforming, obviously.

Instead of an image (for a screenshot just go and build the code yourself) this time some words (just not thousands) for those, like Thomas Z., who are still curious what Okteta is at all:

Okteta is a successor to KHexEdit for KDE 4.x. It is a simple editor for the raw data of files. This type of program is also called hex editor or binary editor.

The data is displayed in the traditional view with two columns: one with the numeric values and one with the assigned characters. Editing can be done both in the value column and the character column. Besides the usual editing capabilities Okteta also brings a small set of tools, like a table listing decodings into common simple data types, a table listing all possible bytes with its’ character and value equivalents, a info view with a statistic and a filter tool. All modifications to the data loaded can be endlessly undone or redone.

Due to its very modular design it should become soon extensible for plugins.

So yet another hexeditor. Besides, this one can use sexy Oxygen. 🙂