What do you use for network configuration

September 25, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Posted in KDevelop | 21 Comments

I just removed kdeadmin because knetworkconf wasn’t working “out of the box” and had basically no documentation.

Unfortunately that leaves me with no network-configuration possibility right now – except manually editing /etc/network/interfaces. Which sucks a lot if you’re changing your wireless network twice a day – which I do currently.

I’m right now building network-manager from svn because apparently the only network-management software for KDE4 in our svn is a plasma applet that needs something newer than the released version 0.6.6 of network-manager.

Am I missing something? Or is the network-configuration situation really that bad? How do you configure your network devices with KDE4?

[EDIT] And immediately the problem with software relying on non-released svn-versions of other software showed as well: the network-manager plasma applet didn’t build against current network-manager svn. I’ve been able to fix it, as apparently the nm-people just renamed a define, but its not always so easy.

KDevelop unit-tests run regularly

September 23, 2008 at 11:52 pm | Posted in KDE, KDevelop | 7 Comments

So we’re living in the year 2008 and test-driven development has reached open source communities since some time now. KDE4, especially kdelibs comes with quite a bunch of unit-tests (though still to few I guess, at least for some parts) which gives us a kind of “we’re safe” feeling.

Unfortunately that feeling is treacherous. Because writing unit-tests is only 33% of the whole thing, the other 66% are running them regurlarly and publishing the results of running. A million unit-tests don’t help anybody if they’re not run and thus nobody catches the introduced regressions early on. Ideally running unit-tests would be a pre-commit-thing, but unfortunately due to the size of our code-base thats not feasible. Also you’d need to run all of them, because a little change in kdecore might trigger a bug in kdeui which you wouldn’t see if you ran only kdecore unit-tests.

So far kdelibs unit-tests aren’t run on a regular basis – at least not to my knowledge and the results are also not published. Its not quite nice, but building kdelibs every night is a pretty expensive thing. Apart from that some of the automated tests even need an X11 server running.

For KDevPlatform and KDevelop I was able to “solve” the problem. The unit-tests are now being run every night on my machine and the summary of that run is posted to the kdevelop-devel list. Unfortunately we already have 3 failing tests in kdevplatform, not the best start. But we’ll get around to that.

PS: Using a KDE4 release build didn’t improve performance – SCNR :)

KDE4 Desktop performance

September 15, 2008 at 12:06 am | Posted in KDE | 54 Comments

Warning, the following text might be exagarated and over-simplifying matters, some might call it a rant.

Used the new desktop now for a few days for my FOSS work and I still have that feeling around. KDE4 simply feels slow, I can’t really pin-point it to something specific – if I could I’d write bugreports. I just have the gut-feeling that with a fresh new, state-of-the-art laptop my desktop should be a lot quicker.

Konqueror is worst of all apps I’ve used thus far, scrolling with cursor keys I can actually see the repainting happen – while opening a new tab seems to be a lot faster than in kde 3.5. Rendering in general also feel slow. Kate is another example of an application, that seems to be doing something extra which it shouldn’t. When typing quickly the response on screen often is a few msecs late and as a human you quickly notice such things.

I really expect a new machine, with state-of-the-art, but not super-fast intel integrated graphics, a SATA disk and a dual core 2.2GHz processor to perform better than my 5 year old 1.4GHz Centrino with KDE 3.5. Unfortunately reality is different, which sucks. I don’t know about other people, but personally if I feel that my working environment slows me down I tend to do one of two things: switch the working env (not an option due to size constraints on the disk) or find something different to do – like watching a nice movie and chatting a bit on IRC. Yeap, you could call that my personal problem, but I simply don’t have that when using KDE3.5, and no I don’t want to stick to KDE 3.5 indefinetly. Developing a KDE4 app means you’ve got 85% of the KDE4 desktop installed and then also the KDE3 one. I don’t like wasting my disk space this way.

I know people are working on making things faster/smoother and I actually expect them to do that. I’m wondering actually, since Desktop Effects with OpenGL work a lot faster than “normal painting”, wether we should all just switch to OpenGL for rendering the normal GUI’s :)

Before I finish, am I the only one having that gut feeling about slight slowness all over the place?

Finally using KDE4!?

September 11, 2008 at 8:25 pm | Posted in KDE | 19 Comments

So, after receiving my new laptop and reading Ruud’s Blog post (seems like planetkde somehow lost it, anybody knows what happened?) I’ve decided to install only KDE4 on it. Partly because I won’t use the linux installation that much and partly because its new hardware thats capable of using all the new bling – yes I like bling sometimes.

As always building trunk was no problem at all – thanks to kdesvn-build. Most of the time was spent to find the needed/optional dependencies and install them.

Altogether it seems KDE4 is going its way, there have certainly been quite some improvements, despite all the nay-sayers. OTOH I’m still missing the kde3-way of switching windows with kwin, particularly the border around the window thats selected in the list. I doubt I’ll have the time to that myself. Also I just noticed that konsole doesn’t have any menu accelerators and one can’t activate the menu via alt (going to file a bugreport later). I also think it has far too many shortcuts set by default, almost everything you can do in its GUI has a shortcut, which is problematic because the application running inside the terminal doesn’t get any of those shortcuts anymore. So I couldn’t switch between mailboxes in mutt, until I disabled the “Bookmark” shortcut – what the hell is a bookmark used for in a terminal application???

What still bothers me, but thats not necessarily a KDE problem, might also be in Qt, is the general slowness of things. Its not so noticeable on the laptop, but on the old its still pretty much impossible to have really smooth KDE4 experience – and its not _that_ old hardware (close to 5 years now). Even running KDE4 apps like kate outside KDE4 is slower than the kde3 version. I guess we’ll see another major improvement here with qt4.5.

To conclude: I think I’m going to stick with KDE4 on the laptop for now, I just need to find a proper IRC client as konversation developers didn’t have time for a port yet. If anybody has a tip for a non-kde3 app for that I’d apperciate it (I don’t have space for KDE3 apps on my linux partition).

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