Tag Archives: planet

You, KDE!

For me, it (still) feels very unnatural to talk about us as KDE. I’m still thinking in terms of the KDE community; and the KDE Project releases the KDE Desktop (or just KDE). I’m also fine with the KDE Workspace and other specialized variants. However, the login manager now also shows the term KDE Plasma Workspace. In my very own humble opinion, this is already too much of buzz words.

At university, I’m helping out with system administration. And since I’m very familiar with KDE, I fix all KDE related issues (and usually enjoy doing so). We have lots of colleagues that never used KDE. Now, try to explain the term Plasma… Well, it’s a desktop shell – also too complex. It’s the desktop, with all the icons and panels. That’s more understandable :) But next, a dialog pops up with some status messages: Akonadi. Well, try to explain the term Akonadi. It’s similar with other technologies. Explain what Nepomuk is doing with the difference to Strigi… When I try to explain what’s happening, and what all these components do, I sometimes feel pretty much stupid uncomfortable using these words.

It is similar with the term KDE SC. As part of the rebranding, the KDE Software Compilation or short KDE SC was introduced. I can understand that we build a platform and our target is more than just the Desktop. But talking to other people, I feel stupid saying KDE SC. For me, it simply is (and probably will always be) a no-go. But it changed already, to the KDE platform, or maybe I misunderstood that ? :-)

Funnily, I think it’s fine to use application names such as dolphin, kate, amarok and what not. So to some degree, I’m certainly simply used to these terms. But still, it feels right, also when talking to other users. We have to be very careful to use fancy names in very prominent places. Ah, and with respect to naming applications, there is a similar discussion on kde-core-devel right now ;)

Kate Modeline Editor

As you may know, Kate supports the concept of document variables, also known as modelines. In short, document variables can be used to set Kate settings local to a file. For instance, this is useful for settings specific indenter options than the ones defined in Kate’s settings dialog. Assume you work on two projects, the first indents with spaces and the second with tabs, then you can simply add a modeline that contains the specific document variables that set the specific indentation properties.

While the concept is very mighty, it is not intuitive to use: You have to know the exact syntax and correct varialbes and their valid values.

To improve this for the next KDE release (v4.8?), Kate gained a variable / modeline editor this week:

If you click the Edit button, a list view pops up showing all valid document variables with the valid values. Right now, this editor is included only in the “Modes & Filetypes” config page. However, the idea is to support it in the context menu over a Kate modeline in the text editor area as well.

KDE 4.6.5 > StarCraft 2

I normally enjoy StarCraft 2 in the evening a bit or like now, if it is raining and I have no fun in any more real work.

But just now and some days ago, it has again proven, KDE > StarCraft 2.

Just again, StarCraft 2 (played with wine, thanks a lot wine team, you do a great job!) got sluggish and then terminated.
A quick dmesg call shows the cause.
Like last time, the OOM killer got me.

Now, first I thought: What, this stupid game uses more than my 4 GB of RAM? (I have no swap, have only one ssd)
But now, the reason is much easier: KDE has beaten StarCraft 2…. (even if we call it KDE SC, it still not loves SC 2 :)

Looking at my process table, is is just clear: StarCraft 2 is the biggest memory user, that is just normal, around 2.5 GB, at peak.
But no reason to crash, or? With 4 GB.
But wait, I let my kontact run the background, big failure.

My stats here:

Kontact and co, just only taken the > 50 MB RSS offenders, there are lot of other smaller processes running around:

cullmann 1452 2.1 10.7 1243552 436228 ? Sl 11:05 9:33 /usr/bin/kontact
cullmann 1132 0.5 9.6 813136 391996 ? S 10:38 2:33 /usr/bin/akonadi_nepomuk_email_feeder –identifier akonadi_nepomuk_email_feeder
cullmann 1127 2.6 1.3 550532 54860 ? Sl 10:38 12:13 /usr/bin/akonadi_imap_resource –identifier akonadi_imap_resource_0
cullmann 1060 2.0 2.8 481124 114288 ? Sl 10:38 9:34 /usr/bin/mysqld –defaults-file=/home/cullmann/.local/share/akonadi//mysql.conf –datadir=/h

Summa around 1 GB, with the smaller ones.

+ my friend the semantic desktop :/
cullmann 1104 41.6 2.1 168752 88320 ? SNl 10:38 193:59 /usr/bin/virtuoso-t +foreground +configfile /tmp/virtuoso_hX1095.ini +wait

The planet is no place for bugs, I know, but anyway, this is no bug report. What should I report at all? That just using KDE + Kontact eats >> 1 GB of my RAM and virtuoso around 40% of my CPU? And yes, it even uses that with Kontact shutdown and all other apps closed… And no, I have no indexing active, that OOM’d me last time, even before Kontact + Akonadi on :/

I kind of think, we need to improve in that area, really.
Beside, in the old days, if Kontact did take too much RAM, I just closed it, now, still the akonadi parts + mysql stay alive, with around 1/2 GB memory usage :/
Guess need to kill them hard before starting to play :)

A lot of persons at work switched back to GNOME or whatever, because we can’t get rid of these problems. Either kdeinit eats our CPU (with Ubuntu Natty) or nepomuk/strigi/akonadi and Co. eat the memory + fill our NFS homes :/ And no, we don’t do bug reports for this, as these are not reproducable problems. (Beside the memory usage I guess and that virtuoso runs amok, but that are known issues if you look at our bug tracker)

Good side of things: In that light, Kate’s memory usage is kind of non-existing in comparison :P

I will continue to use KDE for sure and try to be more clever and shut down Kontact and co before playing (and turn of nepomuk completly, even if I get here and then a error message because of this) or I will just buy more RAM, 4GB to ease the pain should be not the biggest issue. Happy enough, at work I have anyway 8GB or more in every workstation because of our static analysis software needing it ;)

Kate in KDE 4.7

Now that the next version of the KDE platform is branched, it’s time to have a look at all the changes in Kate in KDE 4.7.

Current State of Kate

  • In KDE 4.6, we replaced the document list by the new File Tree. We got relatively few critical reports, meaning that the file tree seems to work pretty well for the majority.
  • Kate has two GSoC projects at the moment: Rewrite of the code folding, and Improving Kate’s vi mode. The work done in both projects will be available in KDE 4.8, so we are already working on the next major KDE release.
  • About 6 Kate developers are present at the annual KDE conference.
  • A year ago, the Kate homepage was redesigned. Looking back the last year, we can say that this has been a success.

Just in case you missed it: you can read about Kate’s state 6 months ago here.