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Aaron Seigo On KDE SC 5.0 — and What Getting There Means 157

Posted by timothy
from the slow-and-steady dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After years of focusing on further improving KDE4, two weeks ago the developers of the free desktop announced the next big step for their project: KDE Frameworks 5.0. But as long-time developer — and Plasma team leader — Aaron Seigo points out in an interview with derStandard.at/web, the source-incompatible changes shall be held to a minimum. He also calls Frameworks 5.0 only the 'first step;' new Applications and Workspace releases are to follow later. Seigo goes on to talk about their chances in the mobile market with Plasma Active and further areas of collaboration with the other big free desktop: GNOME."
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Aaron Seigo On KDE SC 5.0 — and What Getting There Means

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  • QML (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Psychotria (953670) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @06:43PM (#37213692)

    Aaron spend a lot of time speaking about a transition, in the long-term, to QML (I had to look it up) in the interview. He mentioned that it makes prototyping interfaces quicker, and I assume that also means implementation of the GUI aspects would therefore be quicker also. But I am confused. Is QML just for GUI stuff, or do you write the entire application using it? What other advantages over C++ does it offer?
    Cheers

    • Re:QML (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kjella (173770) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:21PM (#37213984) Homepage

      QML is pretty much like HTML/CSS+Javascript, except that you can do more Javascript magic to manipulate the UI. In theory the whole application can be written in Javascript, but I'd say normally just for the UI or things closely related to the UI. Personally I consider it a step backwards, to me it's more like trying to use web app tech to build a "real" app. I always thought that the only reason you'd want to use a declarative UI is because you need to send it as one big HTTP page, rather than set one and one property as you can do locally. To me at least the whole system seems way less intuitive. With an imperative system I always call setWidth() to set the width, in a declarative UI it's set in the declaration one way and I have to change that property some other way. Maybe I'm wrong but IMO it's throwing away the best part Qt has.

      • Thanks. That's what had me confused. To me if you're programming in C++ anyway, I would have thought you'd do the UI in C++ also (especially considering Qt is C++ [with the moc]). I get that using QML may make the UI design easier for designers, but I couldn't see any other real advantages. Anyway, I thought he was saying the whole application would be written in QML, so thanks for clearing that up.

        • by Carewolf (581105)

          I think one of the points of QML is that it can access Qt objects even ones written in C++ (and vice versa). This means QML can be used to script firefox-style plugins and extensions into any Qt application.

      • by tangent3 (449222)

        "throwing away"?

        You're saying like as if writing Qt5 app in C++ will no longer be possible.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          You're saying like as if writing Qt5 app in C++ will no longer be possible.

          Possible yes, but you can tell they're now pushing QML as "the next big thing" and the traditional QWidgets aren't getting nearly as much love as before. The rest of Qt will of course be there but without all the UI building blocks I'd say Qt is gutted. So you can of course be an old fart and use the widgets anyway, but I fear it'll become more of a legacy option. While I don't think Nokia is going to depreciate them, the priority of bugs and enhancements vs QML is a concern.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          "You're saying like as if writing Qt5 app in C++ will no longer be possible."

          well.. that's the thing, the qt folk have been pushing it as if it weren't. as the only thing on their pr agenda, heavily. somehow still a clean, simple c++ solution and qml solution side by side seems to have everything more in one place in the c++ version. qt's c++ (and helper classes etc) are the best out there, so it's a shame. not to mention following program flow from code.

          it's not one or two or even five new qt pr workers(de

      • by suy (1908306)

        With QML you can do "width: parent.width / 2", or whatever other expression, and the width is now bound (not assigned) to the width of the parent. IMO is waaaay better than defining a width, and having to create a bunch of logic to make sure the width stays the amount you wanted in the first place. For user interfaces is a great thing, and other technologies are already doing it (Clutter, JavaFX). I think that the way that works in Qt is pretty good, because you integrate with imperative code in a very conv

      • Re:QML (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EvilNTUser (573674) on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:50AM (#37216920)

        You misunderstand how QML is supposed to be used. It's nothing at all like building a web app. Its biggest problem right now is that there aren't any good books about how to use it correctly, and what your overall design philosophy should be.

        If we are to stay with the web analogy, in terms of usefulness QML/C++ is to plain C++ like CSS/HTML is to plain HTML. Positioning, reacting to changes, tasteful animations etc. are all extremely simple in a declarative UI. Explaining how to use it would be too much for one post, but it's becoming so powerful you'll soon be able to manipulate your UI using shaders. I've added comments to explain the basic QML, but the original article is here [nokia.com].


        Image { // Create a new image object
        width: 180
        height: 180
        source: "winter.jpg"

        Text { // Create a new text object parented to the image object
        id: theItem // Give this object an id to refer to
        anchors.fill: parent // Automatically and constantly adjust to the size of the parent
        horizontalAlignment: Text.AlignHCenter
        verticalAlignment: Text.AlignVCenter
        font.pixelSize: 120
        font.family: "Times"
        color: "blue"
        text: "Qt"
        }

        ShaderEffectItem { // Create a new ShaderEffectItem object
        anchors.fill: parent // Automatically and constantly adjust to the size of the parent

        property variant source: ShaderEffectSource {
        sourceItem: theItem // The object that the shader will draw
        smooth: true
        hideSource: true
        }

        property real amplitude: 0.02 // Define new variables for the shader to interact with.
        property real frequency: 20
        property real time: 0
        NumberAnimation on time { loops: Animation.Infinite; from: 0; to: Math.PI * 2; duration: 600 } // Animate the time variable. You can also make animations that automatically animate objects' size changes when you do, say, width = 300.
        fragmentShader: " // Embedded fragment shader code
        uniform highp float amplitude;
        uniform highp float frequency;
        uniform highp float time;
        uniform sampler2D source;

        • by Kjella (173770)

          You misunderstand how QML is supposed to be used. It's nothing at all like building a web app. Its biggest problem right now is that there aren't any good books about how to use it correctly

          Ah, the no true Scotsman fallacy. Sorry if I'm being rude, but I don't see anything in your post that couldn't be better solved with a QShaderEffectItem instead of the ridiculous QML UI. I get it, it appeals to all the people who know HTML/CSS/JavaScript. It still sucks to everyone who knows C++/Qt, no matter how much you polish the turd.

          • by Urkki (668283)

            You misunderstand how QML is supposed to be used. It's nothing at all like building a web app. Its biggest problem right now is that there aren't any good books about how to use it correctly

            Ah, the no true Scotsman fallacy. Sorry if I'm being rude, but I don't see anything in your post that couldn't be better solved with a QShaderEffectItem instead of the ridiculous QML UI. I get it, it appeals to all the people who know HTML/CSS/JavaScript. It still sucks to everyone who knows C++/Qt, no matter how much you polish the turd.

            A "no true scotsman" fallacy? No, it's like saying one doesn't like a saw when felling trees, but prefers axes, then being pointed out that hey, with a saw, you don't hit the tree, you move the saw back and forth... (Note: I'm not here implying anything about superiority of either a saw or an axe.)

            Also, feel free to do the example with C++, then compare the amount of code needed. Then multiply that by the number of screens/views/windows of an application.

            Also, as soon as you start having for example tables

    • by suy (1908306)

      QML is just for GUI stuff, but you can add logic to the interface in JavaScript. Some people are claiming that Qt is losing its C++ roots, but, IMHO, they are wrong. QML will replace the UI files that Qt Designer created, but with lots of advantages. First, QML can be written by hand, and also with a very smart QML Designer that only modifies the lines that you change. That means that designers and coders can easily work together, and that changes to the UI are readable in the history of the project.

      The oth

  • FTA:

    Also we will have a larger focus on quality, we are now requiring unit testing for changes to our core libraries.

    About damned time. Maybe the Nepomuk file indexer will stop crashing every time I start a large compile. I turn it on every point release to see if it has gotten any better. I let it go for a few days before I become fed up with its constant disk access... the damned thing never stops, ever. I'm not sure what it does really... it pisses me off that Dolphin uses it for its search. If you w

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      it pisses me off that Dolphin uses it for its search

      Dolphin does not use Strigi if it's disabled in System Settings.

  • I'm really started to get burnt out on all the new versions for "mature" packages. There are multiple examples of this: MS-Windows, Firefox, KDE, even the Linux kernel (which recently rev'd major numbers just because). All of these things and others are mature; they do what they basically need to do and new major versions haven't really add anything all that useful lately. I'm tired of getting new GUIs, frameworks, etc just because the developers need to be seen as doing something. Stop it! How about fixing
    • by gweihir (88907)

      You can ignore it.

      KDE? GNOME? I could not care less. I have been using fvwm for something like 20 years now and it still does everything I need. If you want to get work done, the GUI must under no circumstances get in your way. It must not hog your attention. It must not waste screen area. At the same time, it must provide what you need. I need 3x3 virtual desktops, edge-scroll, autoraiser, one icon box to the right, a clock and some mouse-menus. fvwm does this fast, efficient and in these 20 years I had to

      • by rastos1 (601318)

        I need 3x3 virtual desktops, edge-scroll, autoraiser, one icon box to the right, a clock and some mouse-menus.

        The point is that KDE is not only a window manager like FVWM. Though I don't think FVWM allows me to put a button on the title bar that makes the window "always on top". There also is a number of applications (ok, you can run them in FVWM too, but why?) and there is also lot of other useful stuff such as kioslaves, notifications, ...

        • by gweihir (88907)

          I have not looked at this as I don't need it, but I would be very much surprised if fvwm did not have that functionality.

          The reason for running the occasional KDE application in fvwm is pretty simple: An application has no business being tied to a window manager and choosing your window manager not by what works best for you, but by what applications it comes with is just completely backwards and decreases efficiency. Kind of like using Windows because you want IE. And why use fvwm? Simple: It is a far bett

  • Our goal is to give us better tools for desktop app development, give our KDE mobile projects a leg up and make KDE's libraries something that Qt developers can and will use.

    i'm aware that KDE's API is based on Qt but it has some big differences. including/assisting Qt people will add a large sum of people to the KDE development platform.

    KDE is looking better for dev'rs but the desktop itself is not friendly enough for me right now and it doesnt help that ease of use for lay people isnt a focus.

  • Please correct me if I'm wrong in this analogy, Are _KDE_ Frameworks 5.0 is to QT the same as _Apache_'s many frameworks are to the Java SE/EE platforms? Really no major coupling at all?
  • Am I the only person in the universe who likes gnome 3?

    I'm a sysadmin, so I usually have millions of windows open at once, and I've always been looking for ways to find the bloody one I'm after. I'm often in the middle of programming something when something urgent comes up, and I'm too lazy to switch to a new desktop so I just fire up a few more windows, then I always put my computer in standby every night (to keep my code open and remind myself what I was doing the following morning) until about twice a

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      I like it more than KDE4

    • "Linus Torvalds... hit two nerves with me"

      1)
      2)
      3) ;just top save you all being smartasses!

      • I personally like Gnome3 and Unity. I like them both. I also really like Gnome2. On my laptop I have Ubuntu 10.10 with Gnome2 and my desktop with Gnome3 and Unity. Let me give you an example as to why I like Unity specifically. My girlfriend uses my desktop when I'm at work as I "inherited" her laptop for work purposes. I told her about Linux, Unity, Ubuntu, etc. etc. All she said to me was "does it work?" I said yes. I told her about the Unity Home launcher thing, where she can move the mouse to t
        • I told her about the Unity Home launcher thing, where she can move the mouse to the upper left corner and type in what she wants to do. "Like Google?" she replied. YES!

          I've got a great idea: Expand that line to a multi-line display where you can also see previous inputs. We just need a name for that ... command line?

        • by richlv (778496)

          She can type in Firefox and VIOLA there it is

          omfg. you just type "firefox" and somebody plays a viola ? or do you magically get flowers ?
          that sounds very awesome, wondering what kind of nanotechnology assembly is used there. do you need new hardware ?

        • She can type in Firefox and VIOLA there it is, no clicking on menus or anything. To further this, she needed to scan something and, according to her, she typed in "scanner" and VIOLA XSane opened up and she could scan whateverthehell it was she needed.

          If only there had been some reliable, full-featured way to do this already... [davebsd.com]

    • by tyrione (134248)
      You're not alone. I switched the moment GNOME 3 came out for Debian, even in it's incomplete status. I cannot stomach all the Nepomuk crap, the widgets here and there, Dolphin being a bloated pig, etc. The only apps I'm down to using are Kile and Kate. The Plasma crap I could live without.
    • Am I the only person in the universe who likes gnome 3?

      Nope! I love it.

      I love the increased screen real estate for applications and I love the ease with which I can find and switch to windows on other virtual desktops. I typically work with eight virtual desktops, each one having multiple windows open. Gnome 3 lets me easily (and beautifully!) fly from one window to another across my different virtual desktops.

      I love that all of my windows render faster. Compared to Gnome 2, Gnome 3 flies and every frame is picture perfect. No flickering. No tearing. I u

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      Am I the only person in the universe who likes gnome 3?

      I'm a KDE guy but I find GNOME Shell to be the second best thing after Plasma Desktop. I really can't stand GNOME 2.x and all the other DEs that still cling to 1990s conventions two decades later. If I wanted a Windows 95 GUI, I'd just use Windows 95.
      I prefer KPD's "everything is a widget" approach because I like high configurability but GS's completely new workspace approach is great, too.

      • by sqldr (838964)

        WOW, I've found 3 people who like it!

        I actually use gnome 3 at work (for millions of windows management) and KDE4 at home, namely because I'm a demoscener in my part time, and I think kdevelop 4 is the most innovative IDE I have ever used. The syntactic highlighting and code generation tools are genius.

        • by KugelKurt (908765)

          I'm not aware of any drop in usage statistics of Fedora which ships G3 as default. So there should be a lot of people who like it, just not those who spend their time commenting on Slashdot ;-)

    • Check out http://i3wm.org/ [i3wm.org]

      I've used KDE since the beginning, but used ion3 for many years (long after he abandoned development). I'm currently using kwin with very custom rules, but I dabbled in, and really should look at i3 again. It's capable of being easily configured exactly like my ion3 configuration, only with a much cleaner codebase.

  • Seriously. The software gets heavier and heavier with each release and productivity software more often than not is just a KDE interface over some set of utilities or a port from GTK+ and vice versa. KOffice will never strike a chord beyond the 1% crowd. Same goes with Amarok and many others. How about working with corporations to port a flag ship CAD/CAM or FEA, solid modeling solution to KDE?

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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