bkodama v0.3 released

November 17th, 2010

Hello planet,
maybe you have already heard of my simple-minded kodama

it wanders on your desktop and disappears again. In case you never heard about it you might want to read this or just go ahead and install it from here.

The good news version 0.3 is released with many bug fixes and the long awaited option to control the time between the appearance. It is still just a random value, so you basically only set the maximum, wouldn’t be fun otherwise ;-)
The only new major feature is the hourly special event, the kodama appears every hour and tries to do something cool, it will not happen every hour and has a very low chance to successfully happen. Some of you might think it is not very kodama like to do something like this, but don’t fear you can disable it in the settings.

The bad news bkodama is dead, errr no it isn’t. But let’s say I learned quite a bit about plasmoids and animation and the current codebase is horrible ugly. Please don’t look at it, it will only cause serious headache.
So it is not dead, but I need to start from the scratch, for the greater good. I have great ideas about how to make it much nicer and easier to extend. Well, it’s not extendable at all currently…
I have a vision and I know how to realize it, whats left? Oh yeah… time, so don’t expect anything anytime soon, but it will happen :)

Now it’s time to try out bkodama v0.3 and I hope you enjoy the release :)

Turning Kate into a Prolog IDE

November 14th, 2010

The thing you do most of time is consulting files and if you type it manually it can be pretty annoying. But Kate can help :)
Go to
Settings -> Configure Kate… -> Application -> Plugins
and check if “External Tools” is checked, if not check it and click “Apply”. Now you should have a
Settings -> Configure Kate… -> Application -> Plugins -> External Tools
go there and click “New”, lets call it “Prolog Consult” and set the script
qdbus org.kde.kate-`pidof kate` /Sessions/1 sendText "consult('%directory/%filename')."$'\n'
and as executable set “qdbus” (if not already set automatically), you can even assign it to some mime types and tell it to save the current file(“Current Document”) if you want. Now click “OK” and close the “Configure – Kate” dialog by clicking “OK” again. To make things even easier open
Settings -> Configure Shortcuts
and assign “Prolog Consult” to a shortcut you like, and that’s it. Now every time you press the shortcut a
is send to your Kate konsole.

The only bummer that’s left is that default mimetype settings only have Prolog with *.prolog extensions, but swi-prolog only likes *.pl files, an easy way to fix this is adding a kate modeline at the beginning or end of the file, like
% kate: hl Prolog;
And now you also have prolog highlighting, so Kate is pretty cool and I hope it will help the *cough*countless*cough* prolog hackers out there. I am pretty sure you can modify it for various other uses :)

Ready.. Steady… GO!!

July 13th, 2010

I am ready, all exams done and my flight goes tomorrow :D
Away for 5 weeks spain Way of St. James.
Bye Bye!

Whats next in the DCC world?

June 28th, 2010

It’s been a while since I last blogged, as I was really busy this semester with various projects and exams are still ahead.
But let’s get back to konversation. The DCC part has seen great improvements for the user with UPnP support and lately the Whiteboard extension. So what do you expect next? Oh, yes we still have open whishlist bugs but … oh well…

  • Conditional white lists for DCC auto-accept is a great idea and definitely worth implementing
  • Automatically abort stalled / timed out DCC receive transfers is a special network problems where the tcp/ip connection is still active but no data is transferred, I don’t think many users have seen it, so the priority for me is rather low. And note transfers with broken connections are already automatically aborted
  • Bandwidth control for DCC transfers the oldest and highest voted bug, is rather difficult to implement. Ok easy for send, but impossible for receive via the dcc protocol, as nearly all irc clients don’t wait for the ACK bytes before sending new data. Maybe there is a tcp/ip trick that makes it very easy…

On the other hand lets look what other irc clients have.
KVIrc has voice and video support, which makes it a great all-in-one irc client (except for whiteboard :p). But does konv need voice and video support too? Voice support is cool but for my use-case I want to chat with more than one person at the same time, which kvirc doesn’t over as it seems, or I just couldn’t find it. And it wouldn’t be easy for konv to act as “voice-server” to allow multi-voice-chats too.
The main reason why I implemented whiteboard is that there are not many “network-painting-apps”, but that is not the case for voice and video,.there are many voice and video clients out there. So konv would just reinvent the wheel with disadvantage.
Another big dcc features are xdcc and fserve, important features, but I am not too eager to implement them.

I wonder if I missed something and I am interested to hear your dcc-related ideas :)
But don’t expect me to code anything soon, as the exams are still ahead and after the exams I will be away for 5 weeks walking the Way of St. James

Konversation – Introducing DCC-Whiteboard

January 21st, 2010

So what is going on in the konv land? Version 1.2.2 will be released soon, which is great enough but I have something even better for you.
Post 1.2.2 we will have DCC Whiteboard!
(imagine the 20th century/fox music: “dadadadaaaa…dadadadaa”)

A basic “multiplayer paint” which implements dcc whiteboard, specs can be found here. It won’t be in 1.2.2 as it is not ready but, as you can see, it basically works :)

Now to the show-stoppers, the whiteboard specs lack many things to keep the drawing 100% in sync.
For example it is impossible to keep the size of the image in sync, it has no real size, but how can you save an image without a size? I ended up resizing the image as needed but with a limit to 2048×2048 pixel, for the sake of all broken gfx drivers. And now imagine one side uses floodfill with a different image size than the other, the result will be different. I *could* implement a extra resize signal, but that is not part of the whiteboard specs.
Also for text if one side uses a really fancy font there is no guarantee that the other side has it as well, so we need another extra “has font” check.
Until now nothing unsolvable, but I have no clue how to keep the picture in sync if both sides draw a rectangle on the same place with a time difference smaller than the network delay.

As conclusion, dcc whiteboard is meant for fun painting, it will never replace a krita or gimp, not even kolourpaint (ok maybe kolourpaint at some point). And dcc whiteboard also shows that dcc is not only made for filesharing ;-)
Try sharing your files with kolourpaint, hm… well I think you could if you really want, but please don’t.

Hello planetKDE

January 20th, 2010

Hi everyone,
my name is Bernd Buschinski (buscher), I am a konversation developer mainly responsible for the dcc part. So if konversation crashed with a dcc backtrace( which will never happen because konversation is rock solid :p ), it was likely my fault.
I am a Computer Science student and just finished my internship. I worked on a screenreader called SUE (Screenreader and Usability Extensions) which is currently aimed for working on the GNOME desktop, but not limited to only work on GNOME. With more back-ends it could, more or less, easily work on any OS and WM (assumed we have some kind of accessibility infrastructure there).

So from now on I will try to keep you up to date with recent exciting konversation changes and maybe some other smalls things too ;-)