About bugs, notifications and Clean Blend.

Now that KDE 4.2 is in feature freeze, a whole lot of bugfixing and polishing is being done all over the place. Last week we crossed the 200 open bugs mark in place (atm of writing, there are 198 open plasma bugs) which means we’re doing pretty well. With beta 2 (to be released next week) a lot of new reports will no doubt enter bugzilla, but at the rate we’re closing those, I think 4.2 will be a quite stable release. Keep those reports coming!
It’s interesting to see how many bugs can only be reproduced on a select number of systems or under a very specific set of circumstances. Thanks to these bugs being reported I have still been able to close some of them, even though I couldn’t reproduce them myself. Which brings me to something I’ve noticed on for example the dot: people often don’t report bugs, because they think the bug is extremely obvious. Even if you think a bug you encounter is really obvious and think the devs are already aware of them, please still report them. There’s a good chance that this bug isn’t obvious to the devs at all. Or at least ask on IRC if the problem is known.

The job notifications in the systray have seen some love (they now also display transfer speed / processed amount / total amount for example) and I was able to fix a lot of extender related bugs that have been coming in since beta 1. However, the job widgets are still slightly less ‘advanced’ then the oldschool dialogs. You can’t tick a ‘keep open after finished’ dialog for example. Now they only stay 15 seconds to allow the user to at least see that they are finished.
If you miss this functionality there is a way to revert to the oldschool dialogs though. It’s not possible through the UI since that didn’t make it before the feature/string freezes, but you can disable them through ~/.kde4/share/config/plasma-appletrc. The only thing you’ll need to do is to add the following to this file:


[AppletGlobals][plasma_applet_systemtray]
ShowJobs=false

. The same thing can be done for normal notifications (kopete messages for example) with the ShowNotifications option. So people who don’t like the systray’s notifications (yet? we already have some nice plans for 4.3, like being able to detach to full blown windows, or have a ‘keep open after finished’ option) can at least disable them for now if they want.
You might also notice some not very useful jobs popping up every now and then (things like examining, moving files into tmp directory or stuff like that). Applications can hide their kio jobs using the KIO:HideProgressInfo flag, but that isn’t yet done everywhere in KDE where appropriate. So this is something that should be fixed in the apps creating those notifications not in plasma. Please report these problems to the correct application.

On another topic: Half-Left has made a new plasma theme called Clean Blend. It’s available in 3 different color schemes (a light, middle and dark one), though obsidian coast is not yet finished at the moment. I absolutely love it and since I don’t believe somebody has blogged about it yet, I thought I’d post a screenshot of it.

Clean Blend Theme

Clean Blend Theme

Update:

Some people asked where the theme can be found. At the moment it is in SVN playground: base/plasma/desktoptheme. If you like to see a fullscreen version of this screenshot, check https://pindablog.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/cleanblendscreen.png. I’m not sure why wordpress doesn’t let me make the image a link to the full version (or why it doesn’t do that automatically). If someone knows how to be able to do this, please let me know! You might even win a prize if you do… well, if a “thank you” falls under your definition of prize that is 😉

It’s not yet decided if this theme will become part of the default set of themes that come with 4.2, but even if it doesn’t, it will be provided to you through GetHotNewStuff.

Half-Left himself has also made a somewhat nicer screenshot of this theme: cleanblend

or go to https://pindablog.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/cleanblend.jpg for a full version.

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24 Responses to “About bugs, notifications and Clean Blend.”

  1. jollyG Says:

    I’m no developer, but is the default requiring a KIO:HideProgressInfo the correct way? Should not a KIO:ShowProgressInfo have to be invoked and otherwise no display by default? I’m just suprised that there are more kio jobs that in general the user is expected to want to see.

  2. Makosol Says:

    great theme indeed ! will it be available with 4.2 ?

  3. kobzeci Says:

    Hi,
    I really like the this clean blend theme, and in my opinion the theme presentation of this new blend KDE 4.x.x series default themes should be cleaner,lighter and more transparent simply more crystallized. First release of KDE 4 with black oxygen theme was elegant,but we should accept that darker themes are boring for daily usage. Users need somekind of simple,light an inspiring themes. Daily work isn’t enough boring ?
    And i am using KDE 4 Beta 1 on Pardus 2008, which is the one of the frontier distributions moving parallel to the newest improvements of KDE.
    http://www.kde.org/info/4.1.80.php#desktop

    Regards,

  4. James Says:

    Nice theme but it does not appear to be available in kde-look, link?

  5. highres Says:

    nice! thats the “high-res” version of the screenshot, btw:

  6. Chani Says:

    oooh, shiny. maybe I’ll try that with the oxygen panel…

  7. Dread Knight Says:

    Hate you for posting a tiny image of the theme 😀

    Theme looks pretty neat… hmm…

  8. me Says:

    The problem with reporting bugs is that I – as a normal user – never have the current version installed and therefore never know whether the bug still exists – so it’s pretty pointless to report it. I’m using Kubuntu (KDE 4.1.2) and although the distro provides KDE 4.1.3 packages I’m afraid to update because they are “not supported” (at least that’s what I’d have to activate in the sources) and I’ve got no idea what will happen when I update to Kubuntu 9.04 having unsupported packages installed… I asked on IRC a couple of times but noone could tell me whether or not there’d be any consequences – and since Kubuntu crashed halfway through the last update (I didn’t have any backports, but additional packages such as Skype installed), I’ve become pretty cautious…

  9. Stefan Says:

    I also tried to create a plasma theme, but there seem to be bugs with images in the svg-files. they are scaled wrong, and transparency does not work everywhere.

  10. Syam Says:

    Any idea why the ‘Copying’ plasmoid (?) has a missing icon?

  11. xSacha Says:

    It is a nice theme.
    If you look at the picture’s URL you will notice it takes size parameters.
    Try: https://pindablog.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/cleanblendscreen.png for the full image.

    I hope KDE 4.2 comes out with sane defaults and no annoying or obvious bugs. They are the worst and prevent adoption. I’ll do my part :).

  12. Jaroslav Nesetril Says:

    Sory but that is one ulgly theme.

  13. Anon Says:

    @me:

    “The problem with reporting bugs is that I – as a normal user – never have the current version installed and therefore never know whether the bug still exists.”

    That’s precisely why initiatives such as the OpenSUSE Build Service, Project Neon, and KDE4Daily (which doesn’t even need you to be running Linux!) exist 🙂

    “so it’s pretty pointless to report it”

    No, it’s never pointless. Worst case – it gets marked as a duplicate.

  14. rscheepmaker Says:

    @JollyG: Well, I’m not really a kio hacker. I assume, the kio devs have good reasons for having choosing this default. But I would have to ask other people…

    @me: yeah, trying a beta is unfortunately more difficult for a lot of people then it should be. Maybe it would be neat if some distro would provide up to date images for use in a Virtual Machine. That would make it a lot simpler for people to just try the betas.

    @Stefan: please, report the bugs you’ve found, and we’ll try to solve them. Notice though, that real transparency works only with compositing enabled in case of seperate windows (the panel, dialogs, extenders sticking out of the panel etc). You can provide opaque versions to be used when compositing is disabled.

    @Syam: no, I don’t… this problem only occurs with dolphin, and not when you use konqi, kmail, gwenview or whatever other app. I think dolphin provides the wrong icon name, but I’ll investigate.

    @xSacha: so do I…. I’m looking forward to your bugreports :p

    @Jaroslav: one of the advantages of plasma being fully themable, you don’t have to use this look, you can choose!

  15. rscheepmaker Says:

    @Anon: ah, there are live CD’s of trunk available? Ignore my previous comment, it seems like it’s already quite easy to try very recent packages without chance of breaking your current installation.

  16. Kevin Kofler Says:

    @”me”: Chances are it will just work (as 9.04 will have something newer than 4.1.3 anyway), but they probably don’t want to promise it to you just in case it doesn’t. I wouldn’t worry too much about the “unsupported” part. Or you could just switch to a distribution which ships 4.1.3 (and other such upgrades) as a fully-supported update:
    https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/F10/FEDORA-2008-10206
    https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/F9/FEDORA-2008-9543
    🙂

    @rscheepmaker: Also watch rdieter.livejournal.com for KDE 4.2 live CDs. (These are remixes of Fedora 10, with KDE 4.2 packages from Rawhide rebuilt on Fedora 10.) Currently there’s a 4.1.80 (4.2 Beta 1) version up, 4.1.85 (4.2 Beta 2) is coming soon.

  17. Thiago Macieira Says:

    You say “The only thing you’ll need to do is to add/change the option ShowJobs=false in the systray’s section”. But which section is systray’s section?

    There’s no section called [systray] or [systemtray]. And Plasma’s configuration file is extremely complicated. You can’t expect users to do that.

    Any chance of sticking to good, old defaults until the bugs are ironed out? Hint: start ktorrent and you’ll see what I mean.

  18. rscheepmaker Says:

    Thiago: could you just tell me what happens when you start ktorrent? My compile of it fails and I don’t want to look into why right now. I suppose it shows a lot of unusefull jobs being precessed in the background or something like that? In that case: please report this bug on bugs.kde.org, file it under ktorrent. Most bugs on the plasma side are solved and there are just a some apps that should hide certain jobs, a type of fix which really should be a no brainer. There’s still more then a month until release, let’s just fix the remaining bugs instead of disabling this behavior by default.

    With the systray section I mean the section containing the line plugin=systemtray. And I don’t expect every ordinary user to do this (he must find my blog and discover the hidden config options first, which is a bit steep) Most people seem to quite like this systemtray integration…. I expect certain ‘power users’ to want to chance this option, which they can.

  19. Jonas Says:

    “Thiago: could you just tell me what happens when you start ktorrent?”

    What happens is that you get progress-extenders stacked upon upon one another as if there was no tomorrow…okay, a slight exaggeration but apparently ktorrent does a lot of reshuffling of its logfiles everytime it starts up. If their is one log and 4 log-#.gz you get 5 extenders on the screen until ktorrent is done with that reshuffling. Very annoying, especially if you have ktorrent start when you log in.

  20. George Says:

    what wallpaper is on the second screenshot ?

  21. rscheepmaker Says:

    @George: It’s a wallpaper made by pinheiro called “Air”. It will land in svn soon, as a Christmas gift for people running trunk. 🙂

  22. pano Says:

    For some reason, the ShowJobs=false option, isn’t working for me…

    [Containments][13][Applets][17]
    ShowJobs=false
    geometry=1098,3,110,34
    immutability=1
    plugin=systemtray
    zvalue=0

    Another thing I noticed:
    I always added the ShowJobs=false as the last line in the section, but after logging out and in again, the line is moved to the top (automatically)…

  23. rscheepmaker Says:

    pano: please note that I have updated my blog post: You’ll just need to add

    [AppletGlobals][plasma_applet_systemtray]
    ShowJobs=false

    It is a global setting for all systrays, because as soon as one listens, the fallbacks (oldschool dialogs/kpassivepopups) don’t work anymore.

  24. pano Says:

    ok thankyou!

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