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


Anonymous said...

Visual Studio supports OpenMP. Ok, OpenMP 2.0 is quite old, but it's supported:

Anonymous said...

Very good job guys! :-)

On the other hand, while I was looking the screenshot I noticed that paths looks terrible with that inverted slash in a Windows filesystem "C:/..../.../", that was one of the bug fixes or it isn't related to Solid?

SaroEngels said...

@Anonymous 1: Yes, but as you noticed it is old enough that nobody wants to restrict himself to that anymore ;-)

@Anonymous 2: no, the forward slashes are actually a bug/feature of the underlying Qt, which itself translates windows paths into forward paths. One of the things I want to do in the future is to make at least the common widgets use the backward slash (file dialogs, the address bar in dolphin etc.) That would already change a good amount of those strange occurances but of course there are far more occurances that must be fixed in each app.