Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fast, faster, solid.

Our last KDE on Windows release is already a month old, but still we have tons of bugfixes that result in updated packages (to be true, this hasn't been the case for all releases).
Today I just finished uploading several new packages again, including a new kdelibs package which contains a new solid backend. This doesn't really sound to interesting in the first place, so why should you care? Solid works completely in the background and gives your applications the system information it needs, whether this is the number of DVD-Drives and its read speeds, or your battery status or ... This also shows the problem: there is a call to solid each and every time you open a file dialog and in case your solid backend is slow and/or crashes sometimes you can easily see how bad the situation can be.

At the bottom left in dolphin you can see the device list (Geräte) directly taken from solid.

Already since quite some time we thought about improving our current solid backend, but only november Patrick von Reth (TheOneRing) actually started to work on a new backend implementation. Work continued for quite a while, I went to the solid sprint in Brno, and now the biggest part of work is done. So I decided to integrate that work already now, even though we haven't even started to bring this upstream. This will follow soon but given that this might count as a new feature, we might need to wait a while ;-). If you are curious, work has been done in the git branch win-solid-next.

But not only that has happened lately.
Andrius Ribas (Xiluembo) is trying to build KDE on Windows with yet another compiler, the Intel one. Of course this is not to easy, each compiler has a specific behaviour, and of course, specific bugs. A new compiler might not be to interesting for everybody, but it helps us understand how our compilers work, and specifically we are interested in producing OpenMP-code (parallel execution code) which the msvc compiler does not support.

But there is more going on, Ananta Palani (notedible) is fixing bugs for the digikam package (and sometimes has to fight the once I introduced) and I am trying to fix smaller bugs in all KDE applications, I even became top bug killer in commit digest once :-D.

tl;dr: Please update your KDE on Windows packages regularly and get tons of bugs fixes :-D

Friday, May 3, 2013

new release

Hi everybody, after over a year of silence, I have something new to announce: I will make a new release available of the KDE SC on Windows tomorrow. There have been several problems in the past year that spoiled new release attempts, beginning with a build server leaving together with Nokia and ending with our web server which hosts the original binary releases. But these problems have been solved and so there we are. I hope this will make it also more obvious that KDE on Windows isn't dead yet ;-).

In the next weeks I also want to blog about several features I worked on in the last year:
  • improvements/bug fixes for kate
  • improvements in our emerge build scripts, especially for packaging and building collections of software
  • making nepomuk (at least partly) available
stay tuned.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


The KDE on Windows sprint meeting in Osnabrück just ended 2 hours ago and me and my colleague Andy are still waiting at the train station. The train to Berlin is now more than 2 hours late, so we decided it is a good time to write a summary for the sprint.
First of all we want to thank Andre Heinecke and Intevation for organizing a really nice sprint and giving us a place to hack and discuss.
This time we had 7 participants with a lot of different interests and backgrounds. Andre is maintaining the Kontact builds for Windows, Boudewijn Rempt attended to improve Calligra and Krita, Fabian Aichele showed us his work on integrating windows menus and shell actions with KDE, Andy Holzammer worked on several Qt5 on Windows related tasks, Patrick von Reth set up the new buildserver and worked hard to get mysql building with mingw-w64, Dominik Schmidt worked on cross compiling Windows applications under Linux with the help of OBS and I, I quote "have been slacking" (I worked to get emerge in a better shape).
The meeting started on thursday evening when Patrick & Patrick arrived already in Osnabrück. On Friday the rest arrived and we continued to discuss and hack. In the evening we had a nice dinner in a bavarian styled restaurant sponsored by KDAB, but just after dinner we went back to the office and hacked a bit more.
On Saturday we had a nice Introduction into Qt5 and its development process by Andy, I spoke a bit about KDE frameworks and how this will affect KDE on Windows. In the afternoon we had a google hangout together with Andrius Ribas who is based in Brazil and couldn't attend. Again we had a nice arabian style dinner which was sponsored by KO GmbH. This evening was a bit more of a social event, we had planned to make a release party (even before the KDE 4.9.0 release ;-)) and went to the unikeller just around the corner from the office. Just, as you would expect from hackers, we couldn't resist to go back to the office after that, and so last ones stayed until late in the night.
Today the day started obviously an hour later, but still we had two nice presentations from Fabian (lots of cool features for the KDE start menu and the file open menu in Dolphin) and Dominik showed us how to cross compile Tomahawk on Linux. Since Fabian had one of the longer journeys, he started first, and one by one all the participants had to leave. I hope that even if the journey might not work out as planned (I already heard that Patrick has been delayed in Düsseldorf until tomorrow), everybody will have a safe trip.
We all thank the KDE e.V., KO and KDAB for covering the trip and the hotel costs and of course once again Andre for doing all the organisation work.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sprint Update

Just a small update before we head out for the KDE release party:
We discussed quite a lot of topics already, came to some conclusions and committed over 130 commits since thursday night. Yay!
We also are working on the next release which will hopefully be ready in about two weeks.
Tomorrow is already the last day, but it is really nice and productive over here so even a short time is worth it...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

KDE Release Party Osnabrück and KDE Windows Sprint

Today I arrived in Osnabrück for the 3rd KDE on Windows Developer Sprint. It is hosted in the office of Intevation.
We have quite some things to do:
  • What do we want/can we do for KDE frameworks?
  • What changes in Qt 5 (in all respects there are)
  • Which improvements are needed for our emerge buildsystem
  • What improvements are needed for packagers for single app installers?!
  • a new buildserver is waiting at intevation too.
  • improvements for our own kdewin-installer

Some other nice ideas are floating around as well, we will keep you informed!

For all people near Osnabrück: we plan to do a KDE release party and we want to invite all KDE developers and all Qt developers around to have a nice chat and some drinks in the unikeller.

Friday, July 13, 2012

transqript v0.0.1

Today I want to announce a new Qt application called transqript.
Transqript can be used to bring interviews etc. that have been recorded as an audio file into written text.
Originally I wrote it as a christmas present for my wife since the free-as-in-beer application that was recommended for this task before was only available for Windows (and my wife uses Linux of course). The second point was of course to try out some classes in Qt and have a real life test application for that. Since my wife got a lot of questions regarding transqript I decided to clean the code, add some features and make a real windows installer too. You can download the installer or the sources required to build transqript from the sourceforge page.
Please be aware that transqript is still in a pre-alpha state, that means it looks really ugly and there are bugs in it!.
If you use transqript and you find some bugs, please enter them in the bug tracker. I will try to fix those bugs and I plan to release a new version every 2-3 months.

Have fun with transqript!

Heute möchte ich transqript vorstellen.
Transqript ist gedacht um insbesondere Interviews zu transkribieren die vorher als Audio-Datei vorliegen.
Ursprünglich habe ich es als Weihnachtsgeschenk für meine Frau geschrieben, da die dafür empfohlene Anwendung leider nicht unter Linux verfügbar ist. Da uns viele Fragen nach dieser Anwendung erreicht haben, habe ich sie nun ein bisschen aufgeräumt und stelle sie nun der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung.
Da transqript noch sehr neu ist, enthält es bestimmt noch einige Fehler die ich aber in kommenden Versionen ausräumen möchte. Falls jemandem Fehler auffallen oder neue Funktionen einfallen, einfach in der Fehlerdatenbank eintragen.

Viel Spaß mit transqript!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

finally 4.7.0

Weeks after we started, we finally managed to get out the KDE 4.7.0 release. Only after TheOneRing asked me several times about a new release (either a last 4.6 release or the 4.7.0 one), I finally gave in and told him what I know about the KDE on Windows release process... We needed quite a while to get most packages building again, very likely because our buildserver was stopped already some months ago due to lack of maintainance time. Also the splitting of the kdeedu & kdegraphics packages had not been done when we did our last release (KDE SC 4.5). But now we added new buildscripts and fixed our packaging scripts so now we welcome more packages to be split up (kdesdk or kdegames perhaps?).

Since I couldn't put everything into the release announcement, I want to add some more stuff over here:
  • Our release contains the latest version of Digikam (which is 2.0.0)
  • Also, there are now both skrooge and kmymoney available.
  • besides the kdepim package, we also ship a beta version of zanshin, a todo application based on akonadi.
  • a small but still nice scanning application is skanlite, which just works...
  • also contained are Amarok 2.4.3, Kile, Quassel, Konversation, KRegExpEditor and KRecipes.
If you want to have other packages available, ask us and we will try to make that possible. Also, if you are maintainer of an application and you would like to see your application available on windows, we can surely make that happen.