All posts by Christoph Cullmann

Dr.-Ing. Christoph Cullmann is a Senior Software Engineer at AbsInt Angewandte Informatik GmbH. His work is focused on static analysis of both binary and source programs and the WCET analysis of embedded systems. In his spare time, he works on the KDE project and maintains the Kate editor application and component.

Good Morning Kate – New Day, New Design

Kate has since more than one year a new WordPress powered site. During last years Akademy, Dominik and I installed it and filled it with first life.

It replaced the old Drupal powered site, that Anders did set up years ago. Thanks again to Anders here, for the work he did on the old page. But since the day Anders didn’t have that much time any more for Kate development, it somehow lost its drive (as Dominik an I are not at all capable to work with Drupal, whereas Anders really was an well practiced Drupal admininstrator). The current WordPress site is much more usable for us, as we know WordPress much better than Drupal. The initial import of the content of the old Drupal page was kind of painful, but most stuff was moved over even during Akademy, just some outdated howtos and faqs got purged.

Since over an year, the current page is a vibrant source of news around Kate and KDE in general. It helped to promote Kate and for example provided our GSoC students with a central place to post about their projects.

Today I was kind of bored, after being back from the Desktop Summit in Berlin, therefore I have taken a look at the design of our page (and I searched for nice eyecatcher, here a Monarch, link to german Wikipedia, as there the image was found).

As we started the page, I experimented some days with WordPress themes and finally ended using Carrington Blog. Whereas it did not really have a suitable layout for our page, its look and feel was nice and 5 lines code later, it had a for us usable one column layout.

Today I revisited the design and somehow thought why not refresh the page. After wading for several hours through “free” themes of any kind, I arrived at PressWork. Its very plain design just caught my eye. And even better, it has some nice HTML5 based interactive editor to fiddle around with stuff like sidebar placement, sizes, fonts, colors, … Nice! After a bit over a hour playing around with it, I got a kind of nifty new and fresh design going. Event without any pictures, it really is kind of elegant ;) (At least for my taste).

Therefore, all that wake up soon, here it is, kate-editor.org in a new fresh design. It is not really finished, will play a bit with colors/widgets/sizes/… around in the next days. But overall, I think it will stay that way. Lets hope for a next successful year for both my poor small editor (component) and its website!

Together with the new design, I added buttons to allow easy sharing of posts with social media of any kind (thanks to Dominik for the idea). Lets see if that keeps even more readers rolling in here. Spread the work. We both want a lot more users and a lot more contributors (and yes, I count documentation writers, usability guys and others in, not only developers).

Thanks to all contributors, keep rocking!

Now: good night, or better, good morning!

200 Bugs only ;)

Kate (App + Part + KWrite) is down to 200 bugs, thanks a lot to all people helping with this effort, e.g. Dominik, Erlend, Adrian, …

Perhaps others want to join, we have still a lot bugs and many are quiet some work (and stuff like BiDi errors are not that nice to fix, if you have actually no clue about the used languages :/)

Bug Fight!

Lets fight the bugs (or here bugs fighting each other, from de.wikipedia).

Dominik and I did a nice bug squashing here at Berlin Desktop Summit 2011. We already met some weeks ago to hunt down bugs in Kate at Saarbrücken, but this additional time really helped a lot. The progress of the last 365 days look quiet promising.

We actually really fixed quiet a lot of them and sorted out no longer valid ones. In addition a lot of wish list items got either done or invalidated. We just can’t keep wishlist items for any missing feature we have, e.g. for any missing highlighting. It is not manageable. We won’t close any wishs for valid extensions, but stuff like: i would like a hl xml file for XYZ or I would like a js indenter for XYZ must go away. Either submit a own .xml or .js file for the job or we won’t get it anyway.

Here a BIG THANKS to all people that actually submitted for example new highlighting files in their wish list items or who pointed to places to get open source highlighting files to add!

It would be really nice to get some help with the bugs/wishs.
A lot are just very small things to do, but nobody in the Kate team has really a lot time for it.
Others just take a lot of time to debug and fix, which is not available, either :(

To write a highlighting, we have a real well tutorial here.
The same holds for indentation javascripts, look here.
If the tutorial lack anything, we are really happy about any update for them!

If you like Kate and use it and have any clue about developing with C++ (and a bit knowledge about Qt/KDE), please step up and help us to fix the remaining issues. Any help is welcome and on any recent distribution you can build Kate in no time with this tutorial. You need no bleeding edge KDE, 4.5/6 should be ok, for sure 4.7 will work, too!

Please all interested people, head over to Kate’s bugs and Kate’s wishs and help to get rid of them!

But please have a hearth for the real bugs, like the above shown Lucanus cervus, they are quiet rare, at least here in Germany!

Plasma Active, the stage is yours

Thanks a lot to Intel for passing around the ExoPC at the AppUp workshop yesterday. Its kind of nice hardware to start developing for Intel based tablets, whereas for normal use, the battery life and weight is kind of problematic. I really like the idea to be able to write nice and shiny Qt applications which run both on MeeGo and Windows and the AppUp store is really open in respect to allowing distribute open source software.

But…

After playing a bit with it last night (it runs some preloaded MeeGo image with the table UX from Intel), for me it is clear, Plasma Active is here the way to go.

The pre-installed tablet UX is really, lets say, interesting. Already the startup is kind of weired: your X comes up, you see the ugly X11 default cursor and then, after some flashing around small windows, the UX is there. Some triangle at the right let you go to the main screen. But no, you not drag at it, you need to click. If you then start using the UX, you get kind of scared away by either rendering artefacts, lags or really interesting design concepts (to go back to main screen from an application, you need to touch the left/right upper corner, without any visual hints, kind of confusing, I am dumb, I just rebooted several times to come back to the main screen). In addition, at least this MeeGo version doesn’t seem to be able to handle multi-touch, which really kills off any fun on using, you can’t even zoom your pictures (or just the applications don’t support it, in any case compared to this, Nokia’s N9 has really a powerful UI).

The good thing is: You need not to use the default MeeGo installation. The hardware is really open in the sense that driver support is no issue (the nice thing with mostly standard Intel hardware). So, go fetch your most recent and flashy Plasma Active image and have fun.

Plasma Active has really a big chance here! Given the current state of the “default” MeeGo table UX, Plasma Active is BIG step into the right direction. I hope the Plasma and KWin developers keep on improving this.

A shiny Wayland based KWin + Plasma combo might really be a game changer here (presentation about KWin + Wayland).

I hope more people and perhaps companies (like basysKom, which did a real nice job with the above shown Contour shell for Plasma Active, short article here) step up and start pushing this effort even more.

Therefore: Thanks again to Intel, I guess they will see more MeeGo apps around soon and lets hope that Plasma Active will get a nice boost, too. Intel will benefit from a better UX in any case!