16 August, 2009

Who wants to write a dot story 2!

Hi all,

As some of you might have read, the KDE forums are phpBB forum of the month. Who's up for writing a story about that with an interview with someone at the phpBB forum development community?

I've already written a start for the article you could use (don't have to, of course) so it's easy and quick to get started. Send an email to kde-promo or to me personally if you want to help!

And please don't think stuff like 'but my english sucks', dot stories are always reviewed by some native English speakers (and yes, they review mine, if they didn't the stories would be ridden with spelling and grammar and style mistakes).

Check my email to the promo list for more info. And even if you don't have time during this and next week, you could still subscribe to promo and help another time!

14 August, 2009

picture viewers/editors

Hi all!

Scanned an A4 using my HP all-in-one. It doesn't print (days of struggeling) but the first time I choose 'scan image' from KWord it worked all fine. Life's like that, I suppose. And I primarily bought it for the printing. Blegh.

Anyway, that's not the topic. The scanned image is, in a way. I scanned with defaults, so that's 600 DPI - resulting in a rather large 7000x5000 something pixels. Enthousiastically I opened it in Gwenview, which took at least 5 seconds to start, then freezed another 15 sec to open the file. And the file looked horrible - while the original was perfectly readable, on screen, resized to fit, it was almost impossible to read!

So I fired up showfoto. Which opened right away, showing a progress bar loading the file. And it looked great, while zooming works much smoother!

But it's not very nice to browse through pictures, like Gwenview, which is very easy to use and has all these nifty features... So I'm wondering... How about putting the thumbnail stuff, the image loading & zooming all in a lib or something and sharing it? Cuz really, showfoto and Gwenview share so much functionality and purpose yet it seems less code than they should ;-)

Yes, I'm not closely involved with either teams and I know it's easy to call for such things from the sideline. But I know both apps are actively developed, both are innovative and not afraid to experiment (I actually use both digikam and gwenview together with dolphin, showing their unique variations on the dolphin file selection mechanisms, during my presentations about KDE and innovation). Come on guys, make me even more proud of you!

11 August, 2009

help KDE? A request for a dot story!

So what if you don't code. And don't like doing translations or documentation. But you want to help KDE. There is always community work: help people set up linux, find KDE features. And you can blog about KDE, give it some publicity.

If you like talking and/or writing, consider KDE promo. We're doing lots of things - from (wo)manning booths all throughout the world to writing articles for dot and other venues.

And we can always use help. If you are willing to enjoy a day at a booth, talking to KDE users, interested windows or mac or gnome users, and of course some fellow KDE members - join the KDE-promo list and when an event is near your place, volunteer! I promise, it's big fun and you're doing something good as well. Can't argue with that, right? It's a way better way of spending your time compared to playing World of Warcraft, honest... It's much more gratifying and fun.

And for those who enjoy writing - here's an easy way of getting into that. Write a dot story about this. It's a google translation of an Italian page discussing KDE-on-windows running on ReactOS, a FOSS OS based on the design of Win XP/2003.

Friedrich Kossenbau found it while looking for Okteta stuff (he's the author of Okteta). And rightly assumed it would be interesting to have a short or longer dot story about it. It is interesting from the cross-platform perspective and keeps people updated on progress on KDE on win.

So what is needed? Anything you want. Keep it short, or write a longer story. Use some screenshots from the post. You might contact the writer of the forum post for an interview but just summarizing what he wrote is more than enough. (although an interview often means you have someone else writing most of your article, hehe)

20 lines of text is just as OK as 200. We want to get the news out, not write books - only occasionally do we write really elaborate stories. (yes, I know I'm guilty of writing way too long articles)

It's bloody easy, really. Write a rough draft, ask for feedback, incorporate it, repeat, done. Everyone gets feedback, lots of it, and that's good (especially if you're not a native english writer or have sloppy spelling habits - I suffer from both). And if you really have no idea how to start, just ask. Someone will get you started.

So if you're interested in writing about this cool piece of development in the KDE-windows world, or anything else, join the kde-promo mailinglist. Announce you're willing to write it, then start doing it. Send the draft, and make sure you have a dot account when you send in the final one. We'll throw it on there with your name slapped on it ;-)

10 August, 2009

Little gem!

While reading some scientific papers with KPDF Okular I used my mouse to grab the paper and scroll.

Annoyingly, you have to click and drag all the time. Then, after reading intensively for some time, I suddenly realized I hadn't used my mousebutton for a while. Yet I read through a few pages already. Looking for my mouse cursor, I noticed it was on top of the screen. ???

So - I drag the page down, continue to drag even while reaching the bottom of the screen and lo and behold! Once you cross the bottom of the page, the mouse cursor appears on top of the screen and you can just continue to drag! I used a great feature and didn't even notice...

I've admired Okular since it was KPDF. It's clean interface, speed, powerful search capabilities and ease of use were a hallmark of Free Software. To me, Okular, while 'just a PDF reader' was clearly miles ahead of especially the proprietary competition. A showcase of just how much better Free Software can be. The lovely auto scrolling (SHIFT-Arrow down; you can now use SHIFT[arrow] to increase and decrease the speed!), easy tekst selection, the annotation support - throughout the years I've enjoyed it. Not to mention how the Okular team provides us with a great example of cross-desktop collaboration on the Poppler library.

And yet, after being a faithful user for so long, the developers still surprise me. Way to go, Okular devs!

For the dutch readers, this prompted me to add an okular section to the KDE-tips in the dutch Mandrivaclub Wiki. Showing my love for both Mandriva and KDE :D

07 August, 2009

clutter/Qt/Arthur etc

Dear lazyweb,

I've been looking a while for some info about Clutter which just released version 1.0 and how it fits in the big scheme of things. Yes, I've read their website, but it doesn't help ME much... I've heard comparisons of Clutter and Qt's Arthur but googeling Clutter and Arthur isn't gonna help me either ;-)

I know you could use Clutter in KDE apps, and I've seen that KMPlayer does that. So what are the advantages to that?

I did find this reasonably extensive comparison between Qt and GTK: http://techfreaks4u.com/blog/?p=1021

It is informative but doesn't tell me that much about Clutter, besides it is probably outdated already considering the usual speed of development...

Anyone who can provide me with a (preferably unbiased) writeup?

06 August, 2009

Mandriva is SOO COOL :D


I just removed a blog which was unfortunately ridden with responses to a (admittedly rather stupid) misconception I had about Mandriva... I'm so sorry to all Mandriva ppl! Helio and all other ppl wearing a mandriva t-shirt ... wait, that's wrong, I can't offer beer to anyone wearing a mandriva T-shirt, Helio might just bring 400 of those to next Akademy and I'm done... Ok, Helio, you get a beer. Drink it for all Mandriva users.

Seriously, guys & girls, I love Mandriva. I'm one of the oldest dutch Mandrivaclub members. I've just been out of touch for a while, clearly ;-)

I promise: Next time I'll do a bit more reading before posting a blog. And I also promise to stay around for at least 10 minutes so I can fix things instead of leaving for a 1.5 hour trip just after hitting 'publish' :D

BTW did ANYONE grog the REAL topic of my (now removed) blog?!?