Looking back at Tokamak 3
I'm starting this entry on the train on the way home from Tokamak (and finishing it at home). Looking back it was probably the best KDE event I ever been. I'm already missing each one on every person that was there.
>Fisrt of all I want to thank Mario Fux forhosting the event. It was a really big job for him and everything was gone perfectly smootly.
The place was of breathtaking beauty, I didn't brought a camera myself but you can see from other blog entries on planetkde photos of this beautiful place. Last day we gone at the bottom of the Motterhorn mountain with the cablecar. This mountain is beautiful because it's an huge block of rock of the exact shape you would expect from a mountain, really makes you remember how tiny human being are on this planet (yeah, sounds cliché but that is)
I believe the beauty of a place like that really helps the productivity and the quality, I stiill can't really believe how much work we done during the sprint, KDE 4.4 will rock and will probably be the point release with more improvements since 4.0 (well, even if the complete refactoring of Plasma for 4.1, again done in a sprint was more than respectable :p).
We will have remote widgets: sharing of applets on the network (imagine controlling amediacenter with your mobile device, or sharing a folderview with pertinent data during a presentation), conratulations to Rob.
KAuth support has been merged, a multiplatform security policy manager that uses PolicyKit on Linux and other *nix and can possibly use different systems on other platforms: for this, big big props to Dario. Won't be anymore necessary to put the root password to acces configuration modules you're allowed to change by the policies (like changing the system tyme) or on the way around an user can be much more limited than usual, useful in more restricted environments.
The new widget browser has been merged too, congratulations to Ana. it's much more sleek, it works really well already, it's much more pleasant to use and due to its layout it works really well on both the desktop shell and our new netbook workspace. It will also be the central place where you can publish yourwidgets and browse the ones èublished by other perople, thanks to the work of Rob.
We halso had a cool little arm device that was really cool, sleek, energy efficient but massively slow compared to a regular desktop/laptop system (repeat after me, it was not a N900).
We did get KDE running on it (with the new shiny Qt 4.6), big thanks to Arthur and Alexis that banged their heads on the crosscompile environment until they did make it happen.
While I did expect it would have run somewhat decently, the actual speed was scary, Plasma did literally fly on it, even the zoom out intercace was perfectly responsive.
On my end well, the netbook interface has finally been merged in kdebase, a first version will be out for KDE 4.4.
This is important because it spreads the message that KDE isn't just for desktops, but it's for anything that needs a beautiful user interface, because KDE, both for our work (during Tokamak we did massively slashed the cpu usage in some use case scenarios, like file copying for instance) and for the work done in Qt 4.6 (the graphics view spends approximately 1/10 of the time in paint operations compared to 4.5).
The netbook interface recieved several fixes, like pretty animations over icon items and keyboard navigation of them.
It now uses the new widgets explorer, the main screen even relayouts itself to make room for it, so it won't cover the currently used widgets and the new wallpaper config dialog, thanks to Davide.
Yes, I know i'm a bad kid and still haven't done the much due screencast on the new stuff in it, but don't despair, it will come in the next days :D
Another thing that i'm quite proud is that the new Systemtray protocol implementation has been merged in kdelibs, so now is no longer "experimental" (yes, if you were using it you must remove the Experimental namespace and just use the KDEUI library instead of LibKNotificationItem). What occurred to me is: from some design ideas on a whiteboard to the merge of a working implementation (moreover, a firt draft of the specification has been submitted on freedesktop.org) passed exactly the time from one Tokamak to the other, I hope this will become a tradition.
As I said in the beginning of this post that is becoming quite lengthy it was not only coding, coding and coding. Sometimes I really believe it's needed to ake a step back, get away from the laptops and look at the bigger picture and discuss what we have got, where we really want to go and how. Every day we did go wandering outside in this beautiful scenery and with a much more "clear" mind we talked about our new ideas, the design of the architecture and what we will need to change. As I said I hope some of this will be ready during the next Tokamak, exactly what happened for the system tray.
I wonder how come we did find time to do all this stuff, but who needs sleep anyways? :D