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KDE Open Source Programming

Frameworks 5: KDE Libraries Reworked Into Portable Qt Modules 68

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the kde-for-the-masses dept.
jrepin writes "The KDE libraries are being methodically reworked into a set of cross platform modules that will be readily available to all Qt developers. The KDE Frameworks, designed as drop-in Qt Addons, will enrich Qt as a development environment with functions that simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of Qt development. For example, KArchive (one of the first Frameworks available) offers support for many popular compression codecs in a self-contained and easy-to-use file archiving library. Just feed it files; there's no need to reinvent an archiving function." This is a pretty major thing: "The introduction of Qt's Open Governance model in late 2011 offered the opportunity for KDE developers to get more closely involved with Qt, KDE's most important upstream resource. ... These contributions to Qt form the basis for further modularization of the KDE libraries. The libraries are moving from being a singular 'platform' to a set of 'Frameworks'. ... Instead it is a comprehensive set of technologies that becomes available to the whole Qt ecosystem." The new KDE Frameworks will be layered as three tiers of components, with each tier consisting of three semi-independent groups of libraries (the article explains the category/tier dependencies; it's a bit hairy for a quick summary). A dashboard shows the status of each component.
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Frameworks 5: KDE Libraries Reworked Into Portable Qt Modules

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  • I must know!
  • Release cycles of what? Release cycles of what?!?!?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    But what about us ugly people?

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Under Plasma 3 we all look the same.

    • âoeI have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you're out there and you're cute, maybe you're beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin' â" there's more of us UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out.â â Frank Zappa
      • ouch, guess I should've previewed..

        "I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you're out there and you're cute, maybe you're beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin' - there's more of us UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out."

        -- Frank Zappa

  • The enigma (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @11:18AM (#44949267)

    KDE does so many interesting things. I love modular, general purpose, and cross-platform tools that combine into a greater whole. This news item and also their work on a common desktop framework for mobile and desktop fall into that category. QT also has so much going for it.

    But why then is the KDE user experience so awful?? I just can't use it. Coming from Windows for Office, web, and gaming, and GNOME2 on my servers and workstations, trying KDE is like a huge regression. It looks bad, it feels clunky, it is always broken somehow. I just don't understand why they can't get it together. Does anyone actually use it?

    • I would guess you are using KUbuntu, which in my experience has matched that description. Ubuntu traditionally has been a Gnome distro, and KDE is tacked on the side. When I've use KDE with Slackware, it's really nice.
    • Re:The enigma (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @11:27AM (#44949389) Homepage Journal

      But why then is the KDE user experience so awful??

      Many of their defaults have very poor usability. The project has to be willing to listen to people who have HCI training who are not C++ developers for this to get fixed.

      Two small examples: 1) hiding the cursor when it's over a text field that's being typed in. 2) allowing for pure alphabetical sorting in file dialogs (not by-inode-type, then alphabetical). Both of these have long-standing bug reports in KDE and are the kind of "little things" that drive people crazy. ... Does anyone actually use it?

      Yeah, millions. They probably waste a huge amount of time switching defaults. I switched away from GNOME when they started to embrace mono - I felt my bug reporting efforts were better used on something not-GNOME that would eventually be the most popular desktop. It's still not here yet, but the direction is still good.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @11:53AM (#44949721)

        As a KDE user for the last 6 years I have never noticed either of those bugs.
        However now that you mention them they are annoying as hell. Thanks a lot for that.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        1) hiding the cursor when it's over a text field that's being typed in.

        This is a little thing but makes a huge difference. I use Windows 7 most of the time these days and it drives me insane that I keep having to stop typing and move the mouse out of the way so I can see what I'm writing. And Windows even has an option in the control panel to hide the cursor while typing (dating back to XP, if not earlier), but it doesn't do anything!

      • Re:The enigma (Score:5, Informative)

        by Tailhook (98486) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:45PM (#44951223)

        hiding the cursor when it's over a text field that's being typed in

        I just opened Dolphin, clicked on the location control to edit, leaving the mouse cursor over the control, and when I type the mouse cursor disappears. In Kate the mouse cursor vanishes when over the edit area while typing. Same behavior with the search control in the main menu.

        allowing for pure alphabetical sorting in file dialogs (not by-inode-type, then alphabetical)

        Open Kate, click File, Open; note that folders appear before non-folders. Click the wrench icon in the upper right, click "Sorting" and turn off the extremely useful "Folders First" feature; the file dialog will now sort "pure alphabetical."

        Both of these have long-standing bug reports in KDE and are the kind of "little things" that drive people crazy

        Someone should probably close those bug reports then; they're clearly both fixed.

        Does anyone actually use it?

        Yep. Also, some of us even update our systems to benefit from the ongoing and diligent work by KDE developers. That way we're not complaining about flaws from five years ago.

        • by Noughmad (1044096)

          hiding the cursor when it's over a text field that's being typed in

          I just opened Dolphin, clicked on the location control to edit, leaving the mouse cursor over the control, and when I type the mouse cursor disappears. In Kate the mouse cursor vanishes when over the edit area while typing. Same behavior with the search control in the main menu.

          Oh my god, this is so cool! I've been using KDE exclusively for the past 6 years, and never noticed this :)

        • by gunzy83 (2884769)

          I just opened Dolphin, clicked on the location control to edit, leaving the mouse cursor over the control, and when I type the mouse cursor disappears. In Kate the mouse cursor vanishes when over the edit area while typing. Same behavior with the search control in the main menu.

          Open Kate, click File, Open; note that folders appear before non-folders. Click the wrench icon in the upper right, click "Sorting" and turn off the extremely useful "Folders First" feature; the file dialog will now sort "pure alphabetical."

          Someone should probably close those bug reports then; they're clearly both fixed.

          Yep. Also, some of us even update our systems to benefit from the ongoing and diligent work by KDE developers. That way we're not complaining about flaws from five years ago.

          This is why I love KDE. If you don't like something, odds are there is a setting for it. KDE unfortunately does suffer from bad default settings, mainly in the look and feel department but being able to change everything to your liking makes up for it. I just wish syncing settings between machines and/or new installs was more robust than copying the .kde folder...

      • by Urza9814 (883915)

        I feel the same way about Gnome. Best description I've ever heard of the way I feel towards Gnome is that it's a "Fischer-Price UI". KDE just feels clean and simple, gives me *exactly* what I want with minimal configuration needed, that configuration is simple and obvious, and the apps are largely designed to display *information*, not big pastel icons. They did get away from this a bit with the early KDE 4 releases (and I stuck with 3.x for a long time because of this) but the past couple years KDE has rea

      • by stilborne (85590)

        > hiding the cursor when it's over a text field that's being typed in

        This works perfectly here.

        > allowing for pure alphabetical sorting in file dialogs (not by-inode-type, then alphabetical)

        Click on the configure menu (wrench icon), go to sorting, deselect "Fodlers First".

        And if someone thinks of complaining that that should be the default: it's what people are used to. At least it is configurable to your liking.

        You're welcome :)

      • by jbengt (874751)

        hiding the cursor when it's over a text field that's being typed in

        I do not want the cursor to disappear when typing. Sometimes Windows decides to do this, and it's extremely annoying. I want it to change from a mouse cursor to a keyboard cursor when I start typing, and back to a mouse cursor when I move the mouse.

    • by geek (5680)

      KDE does so many interesting things. I love modular, general purpose, and cross-platform tools that combine into a greater whole. This news item and also their work on a common desktop framework for mobile and desktop fall into that category. QT also has so much going for it.

      Agreed. The technology behind KDE is fantastic

      But why then is the KDE user experience so awful?? I just can't use it. Coming from Windows for Office, web, and gaming, and GNOME2 on my servers and workstations, trying KDE is like a huge regression. It looks bad, it feels clunky, it is always broken somehow. I just don't understand why they can't get it together. Does anyone actually use it?

      You said it yourself, "it looks bad". The KDE team are aesthetically challenged, always have been. They need good designers to compliment their great work. KDE can look like anything but the default is so bad that every time I boot into it I want to log back off without configuring anything.

      You shouldn't have to spend a week tweaking the DE to make it look somewhat decent. GNOME for all its functional impairment at least gets the aesthetics right.

      I've been hopin

      • by MarkvW (1037596)

        Hasn't anybody made a cool interface tweaking application?

        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          I find the built-in setting quite easy to use, although they're spread across about 3 different groups. In general, You end up tweaking your display configuration and preferences once, to exactly the way you want them, and never really need to do it again. It's worth the initial effort and you get get a very nice result.

      • by Urza9814 (883915)

        If you ask me, Gnome is the one that's aesthetically-challenged. I neither need nor want big puffy pastel colored icons. I don't want an inch tall taskbar or "dock", nor do I need an applications menu to try to tell me what apps I want to launch. Gimme a taskbar as thin as possible and a Windows 9x style launcher with some decent looking minimalist themes pre-installed and I'm happy. Takes less than five minutes to get a vanilla KDE install to exactly what I want (swap out the launcher and maybe change the

    • I actually do on my workstation - starting from KDE 3.10. In times of godawful 4.0-4.1 I considered changing DE, but starting with 4.2 it was somewhat usable, so I finally upgraded to 4.3, and starting from 4.5 I rarely encounter any problems. Of course, many of KDE components are disabled on my system, and DE is customized to my needs pretty hard (plus I am one lazy guy, and much of my work tools are scripts of some sort, so I don't use many of KDE's native programs). But once in a while I like to rearrang
    • by horza (87255)

      I totally agree. With the Unity spyware I will be moving away from Ubuntu, so I was trying different distros. I tried not long ago the latest KDE and the word "clunky" is so apt. It looks unpolished. There were lots of annoying quirks and bugs (I didn't make a list). It's not very nice to use. I really don't understand it. I suffered through the KDE 4.0 mess, and it rapidly improved from there into something approaching nice with 4.2... then just stagnated on the usability front. Such a waste considering th

      • Or maybe somebody will create a new desktop based on the QT libraries?

        They did, it's called Razor-Qt [razor-qt.org]. It's still in heavy development last I looked but they have packages available for several of the major distros out there.

    • by Draconix (653959)

      I think the problem is, as stated before, the defaults. I thought KDE sucked at first with the default installation from the Ubuntu repositories, but I played around with it more and more and took a liking to it. I found more and more useful features, and I configured it to fit my ideal work flow. I don't really like using anything else any more (especially Windows) because everything else feels far too restrictive to me. I've got my KDE desktop configured such that the applications I use regularly start up

  • by Dino (9081) * <jd_dinoNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @11:21AM (#44949297) Homepage

    There are many things Qt does very well, some not so well and some pieces completely missing. Opening up KDE as plug-in frameworks will fill in the holes in Qt for bringing very strong applications to a whole new generation of embedded and X-platform tools. Also, C11 C++ extensions and more specifically closures have really helped me fall back in love with C++ primarily through Qt.

    • by dargaud (518470)

      Also, C11 C++ extensions and more specifically closures have really helped me fall back in love with C++ primarily through Qt.

      As I'm getting back into C++ after almost 20 years and trying to start with Qt, I'd love to see some practical examples.

      • by Dino (9081) *

        > As I'm getting back into C++ after almost 20 years and trying to start with Qt, I'd love to see some practical examples.

        Sure. new signal slot syntax [qt-project.org] covers how to create anonymous lambda handlers for signals. No longer is it required to create methods on our public interface for a slot. This is pretty much The Big News (tm) when it comes to closures in Qt. But in general, I have late taking towards creating methods and interfaces which expect and rely heavily on callbacks-- and the new C++11 lambda

  • My fear is that QT will become almost dependent on KDE.

    I like KDE well enough, but if I wanted KDE, I'd develop with it directly.

    Having features overlap isn't good, but neither is using KDE plugins as an excuse for development that should really be in QT itself. Not that the current examples should be core QT, but in the future that may not be the case.

    • In the past features have migrated from KDE once they've gone beyond proof of concept and shown themselves to be more generally useful. I imagine that trend can/will continue. Having both so modular will probably make migrating components from KDE to QT even easier.

    • My fear is that QT will become almost dependent on KDE.

      The Qt Developers at Qt-project.org are making sure that does not happen for the official Qt itself.

      Now whether developers pull in enough KDE Frameworks to effectively make that happen is a different issue, and one Qt developers cannot help aside from pulling more from KDE into the official Qt releases.

    • by stilborne (85590)

      That's like saying you fear Qt becoming dependent on BlueZ because some applications need some bluetooth specific features and use libbluez. Which is to say: your fear makes zero sense. Which is good, as that means you can stop being worried.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      My fear is that QT will become almost dependent on KDE.

      Considering that Qt has an embedded version that's widely used on embedded devices, this isn't likely to happen. Moreover, Qt is extremely modular; you only load into memory the modules your application actually uses, so if you're building an embedded system you can leave out all the modules your applications don't actually use.

  • Honestly not trying to start a flame war here, but what's the best Linux distro for running KDE? Which ones do a really decent implementation of it (and which distros get it really wrong and should be avoided)?

    • by geek (5680)

      Honestly not trying to start a flame war here, but what's the best Linux distro for running KDE? Which ones do a really decent implementation of it (and which distros get it really wrong and should be avoided)?

      Probably OpenSUSE or Chakra. Chakra aims to be 100% KDE/Qt and GNOME/Gtk free. Chakra was originally based on Arch but has since branched off in their own direction.

    • by mx+b (2078162)
      I have really enjoyed OpenSUSE personally. It has a lot of features and rather large repositories, and KDE seems particularly polished.
      • by jodosh (1260096)
        I agree with this fully. openSUSE does KDE better than any other distro I have tried.
    • by Noughmad (1044096)

      Arch. The main point is that add almost no modifications of their own, and always have the newest version. And with KDE4 you always want the newest versions, because since the 4.0 fiasco, they've been very busy improving, and still are.

      Chakra is probably good as well, I never tried because I heard it's very much like Arch, but with a user-friendly installer.

      • by gunzy83 (2884769)

        Arch. The main point is that add almost no modifications of their own, and always have the newest version. And with KDE4 you always want the newest versions, because since the 4.0 fiasco, they've been very busy improving, and still are.

        This. I have one system running Kubuntu and one system just switched back to Arch. Based only on current releases, Kubuntu will be getting replaced with Arch on that machine too when I get some spare time. Arch will get Frameworks 5 etc sooner too which I will be looking forward to :)

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Linux Mint KDE edition seems to work decently enough.

    • by daniel23 (605413)

      SuSE used to have it as the default desktop and a far as I remember it run ok, but it has been a while for me since I left that distro after Novell bought them.
      I tried it with Kubuntu (which was awfull), debian (which was frustrating, but mostly useable except KDEPim ) mint (which was better) and arch linux lately. KDE runs rather nice on arch, I don't feel like a 2nd class citizen any more like I did with the deb - based distros.

  • I'm really not trying to flamebait here, but I thought Qt was a GUI library. Why does a GUI library need a "self-contained and easy-to-use file archiving library"? Isn't that something totally separate?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Qt isn't just a GUI library - but an entire application development framework, with support for XML parsing, custom data structure implementations (e.g. QMap, QString, and QList), embedding WebKit instances, a "signals-and-slots" mechanism for hooking events, abstractions for client/server sockets, and HTTP (via things like QNetworkManager), building CLI applications (and even CGI applets, if you feel masochistic), and a bunch of other stuff.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Qt is practically a complete framework that makes C++ prettier. You can, in fact, make Qt Console applications (I have), and they'll depend on just QtCore and whatever else you use that's not QtGui. Look at the standard library; it tries to have functions for everything.

    • QT is really a cross platform development library that also includes GUI. For example, it handles threading in a cross platform way so that you don't need ifdefs or roll your own replacements all over the map.

      There are a lot of pieces outside the core that while not necessities, are sometimes very useful and for the most part it's modular enough to trim down to just what you need.

      I can see occasionally wanting cross platform archiving, so that seems perfect for an optional plugin.

    • by jayrulez (2794643)
      You have misunderstood something along the way if you think Qt is just a GUI library. Qt is an application development library/framework.
    • by Laxori666 (748529)
      Ok, thanks for all the replies guys - my ignorance has been chipped away yet another tiny bit =).
  • I have been using PySide and Qt 4.8 which works great. However, the last time I looked PySide does not work with Qt5. Javascript was also supposed to be a first class citizen, and I can't find any info on how to get started with Javascript and Qt5 or any recent working examples. Finally Qt5 brought with it a new method for building interfaces(Qt Quick) and put the old widgets into maintenance mode only. However Qt Quick didn't have any widgets. Qt5 so far has been a huge disappointment to me.
    • by mx+b (2078162)
      I think PySide is working on Qt5 support. PyQt already exists though with Qt5 support (though I admit I have not tried it yet; its on my todo list!). A subset of JavaScript is implemented in Qt, but its called QtScript. QtQuick user interfaces are supposed to be written in QtScript (JavaScript) now to make it easier and generate UIs on the fly and make them dynamic. Qt5 seems like it is really doing an overhaul of the system, so give it some time to stabilize. What's coming sounds really good.
    • by Noughmad (1044096)

      Qt 5.1 comes with Qt Quick Controls. These are widgets. Why they didn't hold the 5.0 release to add QML widgets beats me, but it's true.

      See here: Qt Quick Controls [qt-project.org]

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