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A Review of Code Reviews

When I first started hacking on KDE-Telepathy the original manager was very insistent that all code should be reviewed before merging. Initially it was something that I considered a complete waste of time but has since grown on me as a really important step in development.

Recently, I've been getting involved with following another very prominent important KDE project and I've been a bit concerned by the "hack and slash" attitude that I see in that IRC channel with commits coming from all over the place, with very few of them looking like they're actually reviewed.


An Update on LightDM KDE

What's been going on?

  • We have an official repository in KDE Playground
  • Whilst I've been busy with actual job work (boo) and KDE Telepathy, Aurélien Gâteau has been making some outstanding progress helping me on it.

What is LightDM-KDE ?

LightDM is a login manager, much like KDM, GDM, XDM etc. It handles all the complexity of setting up X, and dealing with PAM for logging in users.

LightDM is interface-agnostic, so we built a KDE front end on top, cleverly called lightdm-kde.


How to report bugs - Usability Issues and Wishlists

There have been plenty of blog posts/articles about how to report bugs of problems and crashes, but when it comes to other types of bug reports what's required is a bit different.

Report the problem, not a proposed solution

Reporting usability issues is great, it's perfectly valid and even encouraged to open a report that says "it's tricky to do XYZ" or point out when something isn't intuitive, but it should be done properly.


KDE Telepathy Moves To Extragear

KDE Telepathy has now moved from playground to extragear! This is the first step towards slowly taking over as being the official default messaging client in KDE, which will kick the crap out of any other IM clients out there.


KDE and LightDM revisited.

It's been a long time since my last blog post on LightDM and things have changed significantly since then.

LightDM is a login manager (think KDM/GDM) for Linux, it is written in a way that is completely backend/frontend independent so we can share our the complex parts with our Gnome friends, whilst keeping KDE UI layers on top. It is currently the default display manager in Ubuntu, and the front end they've made looks gorgeous.


KDE Telepathy 0.2 Released

We are pleased to announce the second release of KDE Telepathy.

KDE Telepathy is a suite of applications which together form an instant-messaging client allowing you to talk on Jabber, Gmail, Facebookm, MSN and much more. KDE Telepathy stands out from previous instant messaging clients by being able to integrate into the KDE workspace and plasma, as well as being able to be used like a traditional IM application.

This release features:


One week till KDE Telepathy 0.2

We're making the next magic release of KDE Telepathy next week, now would be the perfect time to help test and squash any final bugs before our second milestone release.

Included in this release:

  • KWallet integration
  • Auto Away and Now-Playing status messages
  • A contact plasmoid
  • Hundreds of bug fixes and other minor improvements

Compilation instructions are available here.


Padding and Spacing

What is padding?

Padding refers to the space between a border and an item, and between items. For simplicity we'll call padding, margins and spacing the same thing.

There are a few basic rules to follow:

Leaving room to breathe

If text or an icon ever touches the border it immediately looks wrong, visually you can't tell if something has been cropped, and it just looks generally messy. Anything less than 3 pixels looks cramped.


Things that I like in Gnome 3

A title that is effectively social-suicide to post on PlanetKDE, but I'll risk it anyway. I spent some time last week trying out Gnome 3.2, and it has a lot of really good ideas that we can steal take influence from.

I think as desktop developers it's always worth spending some time to see what our "competitors" are doing in both the open source and commercial world.

I've shared just a few of the things that stood out in Gnome 3 as things I liked.


Moving files between git repositories

In our project we had to move several files between git repositories. Having searched the internet, there didn't seem to be any well defined way to do it. I don't claim to be a git wizard, but I came up with a solution that I wanted to share in case it was useful to anyone else.

There is a method to filter a folder in a git repository which can then be used to move between repositories, but not so easily for files. I came up with a method that effectively involves rewriting the history to put everything into a folder which we then steal.



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