FolderView is the awesome?! [updated]

So there has been a lot of confusion about the KDE 4 desktop and FolderView lately and some nasty stuff I don’t want to go into right now. In the comments to Aaron’s blog someone said they don’t see how exactly it will be better and help them be more productive. So let me show you it šŸ˜‰

For those who don’t know about FolderView: It is a Plasmoid you can add to your desktop in KDE 4 to show files. It can also be used to emulate the “normal” desktop (for those who really really want it) but let me show you a few more very nifty things you can do with it.

FolderView showing my todos

This screenshot shows my self made todo plasmoid. I have a ~/tmp folder where I throw in all the stuff that is, well, temporary. This stuff needs to be moved somewhere else and I was just too lazy to do it right away or is stuff I need to look at and that can be deleted afterwards. And there are also a few TODO files in there that need my attention. So Plasma to the rescue! I created a FolderView that shows the content of my tmp folder and (here comes the nifty) filters it to only show me the stuff I really care about. Which is files with TODO in the filename.

But what about this cool thing: In KDE we have KIO and it is just fantastic. And of course you can also use KIO in FolderView and show all kinds of remote folders right on your desktop.

Here it shows the folders that keep my irc logs on the server my irssi is running on.

FolderView showing remote folders

And here some files on my ftp server:

FolderView showing remote folders

And of course you can also show something totally boring like my home folder šŸ˜‰

FolderView showing home folder

I hope this shows how powerful this already is now.
But it will become even more awesome once Nepomuk search can be used with this. (Or can it already?) Imagine showing all files tagged with “todo” across your whole file system. Or how about showing all files related to your thesis? Just tell it to show all files containing words related to your thesis.

Get creative people! There is a lot of nifty ahead of us šŸ™‚

How are you going to use FolderView?

And before someone asks: You will be able to use it just like a “normal” desktop.


Daniel, the SoC student working on Nepomuk integration in Amarok, just send me this:

FolderView showing Nepomuk search results

Sweetness šŸ™‚Ā  (It is still a work in progress and therefore in Playground.)

Hug the beasties! and Kubuntu tutorials day

Amarok bugs, here we come again! We are going to have a bugday with the KDE BugSquad on Sunday. The goal is to clean up a little and close a lot of bugs for Amarok 1. If you ever wanted to contribute to Amarok or KDE in general this is the right time to start. Join us in #kde-bugs. We will start at 0:00 UTC and go on all Sunday in all time zones. Members of KDE BugSquad and Amarokers will be around to answer your questions and help. All you need is a working Amarok and preferably Amarok 2. For more information check the wiki page. Let’s hug the beasties šŸ˜‰

that kitten has a bug ;-)

Don’t forget to join us for the Kubuntu tutorials day in #kubuntu-devel. Lots of interesting stuff to be talked about and a perfect opportunity to join the awesome Kubuntu team.

links of the day: categorical imperative and Severed Fifth

Linuxtag wrap-up

Whoa, finally back home and no longer sleep deprived after Linuxtag in Berlin. It was a lot of fun. Got to meet some KDE people I had not had the pleasure to meet so far. And they were as great as I expected them to be. Every single one of them. The four I’d like to point out are Alexandra, Claudia, Monika and Franziska who made the number of women at the KDE and Co booths sky-rocket with me. You rock! Aaron even has a photo of the KDE booth that proves that the KDE team is 50% women :PƂĀ  But seriously: It is great to see that more and more women are turning up in the KDE community lately and the benefits of this could clearly be seen at this years Linuxtag. Thank you for being such a welcoming community. It really shows that we are doing a good job at being an inclusive community no matter who you are and that we are good at attracting people who are reluctant to join other FOSS projects. In the 3 categories I can see in the free software world (1. actively excluding – 2. indifferent – 3. actively including) KDE definitely belongs to the scarcely inhabited number 3 and that makes me proud. This is one of the things that is making and will make KDE successful in the future. Or as Wade puts it: “Let’s all be different together!“.

the Krew ;-)

Of course we worked hard at the booth every day showing people the awesomeness that is KDE 4 and Amarok 2. To make up for that hard work we had something planned for every night. After arriving in Berlin on Tuesday we went to the fair ground to set up the booth and then went to have dinner with around 30 KDE/Amarok/Kubuntu people.
at the Brauhaus

On Wednesday we went to an Indian restaurant. Delicious food!

Thursday was reserved for the official social event which was at the same location as last year which was very nice but a little too crowded for my taste.

On Friday we were invited to the Trolltech and friends dinner (Thanks to the Trolls for that.). After that karaoke was planned as I already mentioned. Boy, that was fun! We will have to poke danimo to publish the videos šŸ˜‰ I now know who would win the KDE vs. Gnome song contest and who has the better dancers šŸ˜› I will keep the result secret though for my own world domination plans. One never knows when things like this are needed šŸ˜‰
Harald and Lydia at the karaoke bar Jono at the karaoke bar

On Saturday Ubuntu-Berlin did a great job at organising a BBQ again. It was at C-Base this time, which is a great location modelled after an UFO landing side. Very different and very cool.
at the riverside at C-Base

The two talks I was giving together with Sven and Harald went well and people really seemed to have liked the Amarok talk which was pretty much a “This is the new stuff in Amarok 2”-talk including the Summer of Code and Season of KDE projects and the new internet services.
Harald and Lydia - KDE multimedia talk

And now I am back at home \o/. No more events/conferences for me until Akademy. I need a break after all these events.

Oh and to the people who take care of matching booths and projects at events: Please get Amarok and KDE booths as near to each other as possible. We belong together and tbh I hate having to switch from one hall to another all the time. (Before someone ask, yes we did ask for booths next to each other. And this was the 3rd event where we had booths that were way too far apart.)

(photos by Aaron, Carlos, Markus and me)

just for the record…

Frederik sums up OpenExpo and mentions “Nini is as good a table soccer player as I am.” Hell yea I am! We rocked (NOT)! šŸ˜› But it was great fun. YAY for whomever brought the table soccer to OpenExpo. I think we need to make karaoke and table soccer regular KDE activities. And we sure will do our best at Linuxtag ;-)ƂĀ  Karaoke is planned for Friday. Maybe videos will turn up somewhere at some point *g*

It was nice to meet Martin, who is doing the desktop cube for kwin as a GSoC project. Lubos, your student rocks ;-)ƂĀ  Everyone please check if there are other GSoC students living near your place. Would be cool if at least some of them could meet some KDE folks face to face and be welcomed by the community this way.

I have to prepare some last minute stuff for Linuxtag now. Hope to see some of you there at the KDE, Amarok and Kubuntu booth and thanks again to everyone who helped at OpenExpo. *hug*

Get your free on!

As I already mentioned before I did a session on free culture at FOSSCamp and I promised to write a little more about it. So here we go šŸ™‚

Nikolaj did a great talk at a few events about Amarok 2 and how it lives at the crossroad of free software and free culture. (Check out the video if you want to see his talk. It’s worth it!)
The main point is that the free software movement and free culture movement have very similar goals and ideas that drive them. But they also have similar problems. Both of them want to create something that makes a difference in one way or another and do not want to restrict the user’s freedom. Unfortunately both of them also are not as widespread and popular as they could be. And one of the reasons for that is that a lot of people don’t know (enough) about the great stuff that is out there. (Although it is of course improving.) And here is where the magic is: Collaboration and integration! It will eventually benefit both parties.

Take for example Amarok 2. We have integration for Jamendo and Magnatune (and others). There is a lot of really good music at both of them but they lack the exposure to the user. By integrating them into Amarok we give many people access to both services that would have never had a look at them otherwise. Of course this is also a great thing for Amarok because we have a music store integrated that sells (and a service that lets you download for free ) DRM free music, one of our developers gets paid for work he loves and we get some money for every album that gets sold through Amarok so we can pay for team members to go to conferences and other events. The other big benefit we get from this is example data. New users of Amarok have a whole lot of music at hand without having to think about it. With the infrastructure that Nikolaj worked on (service framework and scripted services) it is as easy as never before for people to get their own or other’s services integrated into Amarok and therefor accessible by a large group of our users. We also hope that this attracts new developers and that really awesome stuff will come out of it.

(free hugs [86/365] Originally uploaded by moonwire.)

But Amarok is surely not the only application that could benefit from a collaboration with free culture. And this is why we did the brainstorming session at FOSSCamp. Some of the ideas we came up with were:

  • Integration of the Creative Commons photo search at Flickr in digiKam
  • Integration of Project Gutenberg in Okular
  • Integration of the Creative Commons music search in Amarok
  • Integration of YouTube/$videoservice in DragonPlayer/Kaffeine

I am perfectly aware that not all of these are feasible for different reasons or might already be worked on. What I want however is developers to think about ways their application could benefit from free culture. A good starting point is

So what ideas can you come up with? Which project could benefit? And in which way?

rocking hard and swimming upstream

Saturday was the second and last un-conference day at FOSSCamp. There were a lot of interesting sessions, just like the day before.

I attended a few sessions:

  • cross desktop (session 3): Who needs to do what to get the stuff done we talked about in the first two sessions?
  • PackageKit: Introduction and discussion on how to solve some of the remaining issues it has.
  • cross distro: a follow up on some of the discussions on the distro mailinglist at and the ##distros IRC channel – conclusion: A page/service which lists links to bugtrackers, patches, packages and so on for all distributions would be awesome.
  • OpenSSL: How to deal with it in the near future?
  • upstream bug collaboration: What do upstream projects need? How do they use Launchpad? How can triaging bugs for their projects in Launchpad be made more attractive to them? How can upstream collaboration be improved in general?
  • Ubuntu QA: How can the service be improved to be more valuable for Ubuntu developers and upstream? A weather report page for every package is planned which lists bugs, patches, build status and so on.

At the end of the day we went for some sightseeing again and checked out a few local pubs and restaurants. Prague thanked us with heavy rain and excellent food.
We checked out a karaoke bar that we came across the day before but a private room was way too expensive for only the 3 of us that were left at that point. So no videos of Jonathan, Jos and me doing karaoke this time šŸ™ Let’s see what we can do at Linuxtag šŸ˜‰ The last cafe we went to was the local Hard Rock Cafe including Absinthe, Blue Lagoon, White Russian and a fancy old video recording of a concert with various famous musicians done as a circus show. Rock on! šŸ˜‰

Jonathan and Jos Jonathan and Lydia

The interesting point that came up again and again during the day is how alien the concept of upstream and downstream is to a lot of people. There are a lot of bugreports where the user is not sure if the problem is specific to a certain distro’s package or if it a general problem with the program he is using. He will have to decide at some point where to file the bug and will make the wrong decision in a fair number of cases, which is fine and human. Just as common though are wishlist reports in which the reporter assumes that his distro is developing all the features of the software he is using. A distro is not seen as a product that mainly bundles applications and tweaks them to be sutible for a certain target group and purpose.
So what is my point? Bug triagers and developers should be very careful when closing a bugreport with a comment like “Needs to be implemented upstream.”, simply because the bug reporter is possibly not aware of the whole concept. A sentence or two to clarify might be helpful. (Yes I am guilty of this one as well sometimes when triaging bugs unfortunately.)
The other question is if this is generally a bad thing. Should we expect a user to know about things like upstream and downstream? I certainly doubt that. Why would he care? On the other hand it creates unneeded work and frustration on both sides. Maybe Launchpad needs to show a note before filing a wishlist bug asking if it is really a wish for Ubuntu or if it might be better filed in the upstream bugtracker along with a link to it.
And what would really be interesting for me to know is: Does this only happen for Launchpad/Ubuntu due to its target group? Or is it seen across distros and I just don’t recognise it since I very rarely or even never check bugs there? I would expect Gentoo for example to be different just for the fact that its whole design requires you to have at least a certain understanding of it all. But what about OpenSuse, Fedora, Mandriva and so on? Please leave a comment about your experience.

Sunday was planned to be used for sightseeing but apparently Prague didn’t want us to leave the hotel for that. Heavy rain again šŸ™ (Maybe Prague only wanted us to be productive. If so, it worked. Everyone was busy hacking in the lounge ;-)) When Celeste arrived we went to get something to eat and then I took a taxi to the airport to catch my plane. Right now I am sitting in the train back to Karlsruhe and miss everyone.

To make a long story short: Prague (except for the rain) and the hotel were awesome, the sessions were very productive and I hope to see a lot of the great ideas that were talked about realised and am sure the feedback everyone got was helpful. I had a great time and miss them all already. *sob*

flying high up there

Since a lot of people asked I am going to blog a little bit about FOSSCamp and what we did so far here in Prague.

First of all: It is awesome. The hotel is great, food tastes good and there are a lot of free software people here who are fun to hang out with, including, but not limited to some of my favorite KDE hackers šŸ˜‰

above Prague

Yesterday I took the train to Stuttgart and from there a small plane to Prague. Unfortunately my flight was delayed by over one hour due to bad weather and I was slightly concerned I am going to miss Nicolas who I was supposed to meet at the airport in Prague to share a taxi to the hotel. (My flight was supposed to arrive 30 minutes before his.) So when we finally landed I hurried to get my luggage just to find out that he was waiting there for his luggage and that his flight had been delayed as well. \o/ After checking in at the hotel I went to have a drink at the hotel bar with Jonathan, Jos and Inge.

This morning the actual un-conference started with a short introduction by Jono Bacon and Mark Shuttleworth, followed by deciding on the conference schedule for the day and having photos taken for a wall with pictures of everyone and a short introduction. One thing you were supposed to answer was: “3 things you don’t know about me.” It was quite interesting to read that. For example there is a KDE hacker (whose identity I will not disclose for reasons of confidentiality and his safety) with a certain interest in the Powerpuff Girls šŸ˜›

lots of cable ;-)

The sessions I attended today were:

  • KDE: We discussed release schedules of KDE and different distros.
  • Xesam/Strigi: What is it? How does it work and how can it be integrated into various programs?
  • 2 sessions on KDE/Gnome collaboration: We discussed the why, what and how of sharing of settings, caches, indexes, passwords, bookmarks and so on between the desktops. This was mainly focussed on large appliances where redundancy in these things is often not wanted for reasons like HD space.
  • Ubuntu Brainstorm: The main points that were discussed here was how to improve Ubuntu Brainstorm by getting Ubuntu and upstream developers involved.
  • Free Culture: This one was proposed by me and we discussed how different free software applications can work together with people making free culture to the benefit of both since there is huge potential for collaboration. I will write a separate post about that later.

Then the conference program for today was finished and we went into town for food and drinks and some sightseeing. Back at the hotel we sat down for another short talk with Mark on release cycles and some chilling and hacking.

Let’s see what the second conference day’s schedule will bring up šŸ™‚

GSoC: biased dynamic playlists in Amarok 2 = love

I think it is time to introduce my SoC student to Planet KDE šŸ˜‰
I blogged about dynamic playlists some time ago. Thanks to Google Summer of Code Daniel is going to do some magic work on dynamic playlists in Amarok 2 this summer and make them even more nifty. But let’s hear what he has to say:

My name is Daniel Jones. I study math and computer science at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. This summer I will be working on expanding the idea of dynamic playlists in Amarok to allow any number or weights or biases to be applied. This will allow you to set up a random playlist that prefers tracks you haven’t heard in a while, or prefers certain bands or genres. For parties you can set up more complicated biases to get exactly the right mix of fast songs, slow songs, novelty rap, obnoxious dance remixes, and, just to avoid offending him, a couple of tracks from your coworkers awful death metal band.

And from his proposal:

An example of this would be the condition the track is longer than 3 minutes with a weight of 0.6. Such a constraint would enforce that there is a 0.6 (60%) probability that a given track in the list is longer that 3 minutes.

As far as we know Amarok 2 will be the first player with a feature like this. Rock Daniel!

Everyone please welcome Daniel to our community. I want to see KDE-hugs! šŸ™‚

I am also very happy about Moncef, Tobias, Nicholas and Teo who applied for SoC, could not be chosen due to the limited number of slots and who want to work on their projects as part of Season of KDE now. You guys rock! But more about that later.

Gimme your events!

A few of you might have noticed it already. We now have events served by eventy on the dot thanks to some scripting by danimo \o/

We revived a little during the last few days and started by bringing the calendar back to life (which was 2 years out of date šŸ™ ) and integrating it into the dot. This calendar should list all events where KDE will be present be it with a booth, talk or something else.

We already added a few events but of course we cannot know about them all. So please ping me, Claudia or Danimo with name, date, a short description and a link for the KDE related events you will be at.

If you think you should have edit rights on this calendar please ping me as well and I can give them to you.

Let’s make it easier for everyone who wants to get in touch with our community in real life.

And now all together: Thank you, danimo! šŸ˜‰

While we are on the topic of events:
I will be having a busy May. You can find me and other gearheads at FOSSCamp, Ladyfest, OpenSourceExpo and Linuxtag (I’ll be giving talks at some of them). If you are at one of these events say hello and we can have a cup of coffee.

(hug the bugs) * 2

Originally uploaded by Hamed Saber.

Harald, I and a few others killed hugged a lot of Amarok bugs in Kubuntu today, in preperation for Hardy Heron, while having a lot of fun discussing the bugs on IRC, Mumble and Skype. Thanks everyone for participating.

And since this was so much fun we will be doing the same for on Saturday.
You can help us find the bugs in Bugzilla that need to be fixed before we can release Amarok 1.4.9. This will be the next stable release, so only bugfixes and no new features will be added.

Join us on Saturday (March 15th) in #amarok.meeting on freenode. We will be there to discuss and give free hugs šŸ˜‰