Friday, July 20, 2007

Icon/pixmap cache now in kdelibs

As the title says, I've finally merged my Summer of Code project - icon and pixmap cache - into kdelibs.

Buildsystem changes are not done yet, I'll do them in the next days. Until then, you might see old icons after new ones are installed. If you really need the new ones, do touch -m $KDEDIR/share/icons/hicolor/. Then the cache will notice the new icons.

The pixmap cache is meant to make disk caching of e.g. pixmaps rendered from SVGs very easy for app developers. It's API is similar to that of the QPixmapCache and I'm planning to create a TechBase tutorial soon to make it's adoption even easier.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My first plasmoid

Now that Zack has made it possible to create 3D plasmoids I had to try writing one myself, too.

It renders a virtual Earth model on your desktop, with subtle rotate animation and a day/night cycle, using NASA's Blue Marble imagery. And it has a rather crappy atmosphere as well.
It requires a shader-capable videocard to work, so minimum requirements are GeForce FX or Radeon 9500 although you'll want to use a bit better card than those for any smoothness.

It doesn't have any useful functionality, but if you just want to waste your processing power, then it does a pretty good job ;-)

The code can be found in KDE's SVN in playground/base/plasma/applets/bluemarble/.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

aKademy impressions

I'm one of the many KDE people who spent the last week in Glasgow, at aKademy 2007. It was a really great event and the first chance for me to meet many KDE people in real life.

The arrival went quite smoothly. I arrived late Sunday, a day after the incident at the Glasgow International. Luckily there weren't any problems there, although one could see higher security measures such as concrete blocks before the main entrance and a group of police with SMGs.

The problems started once I reached my hostel. I was supposed to be in a room with three other SoC students. But as it turned out, there were four others instead of three so my bed was already taken. After some searching they put me in another room. In the morning I was told I'd stay in that room until my departure, but to my surprise all my things had been removed when I went back in the evening. After talking to the staff again, they gave me yet another room. And after staying in two different rooms for two nights, they finally told me I should go and talk to the organizing team as they really don't have a place for me. So I went and talked to Kenny Duffus who put me into the university accommodation which was much more convenient and more importantly absolutely problem free. Big thank you to Kenny Duffus and the rest of the aKademy team for sorting that out (not to mention organizing this great event) :-)

Other than the hostel issue, everything was great. I met many KDE people, including my mentors Seli and aseigo whom I brought some chocolate for their good work (and almost made aseigo cry in the process ;-)). We also had a nice barbeque out of the city on Thursday although the end of it was somewhat ruined by the rain (yeah, it rained quite a bit in Scotland).

Tons of work also got done. There was a heap of additions to KWin which probably deserve their own blog post. Also, there were some very important additions to my icon cache. It got split into two classes: KIconCache, which is the KDE-wide icon cache, and KPixmapCache which provides application-specific cache functionality. This way e.g. applications that use SVGs so that they can cache the generated pixmaps without having to regenerate them every startup. The code is available from KDE SVN, under /branches/soc-iconcache/. It contains kdeui replacement (which I'm trying to keep mostly up-to-date with the trunk), a demo app showing how to use the app-specific caches as well as an old visualization app which was meant to list all entires in the icon cache but doesn't work anymore due to file format changes and me being too lazy to update it...
I've still got some hope to get this into 4.0 as there certainly would be apps in kdeedu and kdegames that would make use of it. And probably Plasma as well. We should know for sure in a week or two.