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Rating your medias

Heyo everybody! πŸ™‚

Just 2 days before attending the Nepomuk sprint i found some time to play with the amazing features it offers. Just few lines of code and the rating stuff is now available for my MediaBrowser. When using Nepomuk::Resource in your app remember to do Nepomuk::ResourceManager::instance()->init()Β  otherwirse your Nepomuk::Resource might make your app crashing πŸ˜› (thanks Lukas for the hint).

The implementation is still young but i really plan to add a model to the MediaBrowser in order to only browse among rated medias so that statistics will be easy to do and stuff like “Most Rated Videos” will be available also for your local collection.

But now enjoy the vid. Still sorry for the low quality but youtube is not wide-videos-friendly πŸ˜‰

As you may have noticed the Grid mode needs lots of polishing and i have to find a nice way in order to not overcrowd the view. In addition to this i should start better following nuno’s mockups πŸ™‚

And now cheers and looking forward to meeting all of you joining the Nepomuk sprint!

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Browsing your medias

And finally i’m back blogging again. It has been a busy period the last two weeks. University elections and exams (the latter didn’t go so well :/) took away my time. Fortunately the great guidance by notmart and aseigo helped me defining my work in the incoming days. Currently i’m focusing on something i just talked about in the past but never showed you something. Today you have the chance to see the high work in progress status of something i’m getting excited about: the mediabrowser applet! πŸ™‚

You’ll find lots of similarities with your beloved folderview but this applet has the aim to help you browsing only media contents and interact together with other media applets such as the mediaplayer, the playlist, the playback controls and so on. I’ve had an interesting meeting with notmart and aseigo and we defined some guidelines to follow while developing this kind of applets (media applets). I’ll soon start the development of the MediaContainment which will handle your media applets in order to give you a great experience while listening to your favourite music or watching your favourite action movie πŸ™‚

But now just have a look!

Sorry for the low video quality πŸ™‚

Things to do are still a lot but stuff is taking into shape. The browser already supports both grid and list view and i like the hover effect which makes use of an animated item. Differently from folderview we decided to use a QGW for each item. I know you could say this is too heavy but it’s still fast enough. Anyway i’ll try to optimize it trying to just allocate the visible items (which is hard enough especially with the grid view). Everything you see is available under playground/base/plasma/MediaCenterComponents so you can already give it a try.

The local file browsing is only one of the possible browsing mode that the browser will allowΒ  (currently it only allows local browsing though). As some of you may already have noticed i wrote a quick dataengine capable of looking for videos from YouTube. The mediabrowser will make use of dataengines in order to allow the so called “Remote Browsing” (better names suggestions are welcome πŸ™‚ . Using Remote Browsing you’ll be able to look for your favourite Youtube videos just browsing through them in the same way you do for your local medias. Mediabrowser will let you choose the browsing mode you want and then will change his contents to fit your needs. The Remote Browsing, for example, will show you a line edit for searches, an engine chooser (not only YouTube is in my mind) and then the results will be shown like your local files: a nice thumbnail together with video information (length, title, author…).

Ok that’s it for today, i just need to study also :/

Hope you’ll like my work πŸ™‚

Cu and cheers!

Teaching KDE

DISCLAIMER: We know KDE is wider concept than simply application development but in this post i’m gonna talk about development related issues πŸ™‚

INTRODUCTION: I suppose we all might agree with the fact that the most solid pillar of the Open Source World is the idea that every little piece of code might be an helpful reading for other developers in increasing their knowledge. This means that sharing knowledge is our strength. I really don’t want to argue against other form of softwares, i’m just underlining the strength of our personal form of software beliefΒ  (second disclaimer :P). As many of you may already know i’m a student of Computer Science Engineering at the Politecnico of Bari here in Italy. I’m not very happy of how *they* teach most of the subjects we study in the courses and most of my sadness is due to the way they teach (or try to teach) us programming languages. Nearly two years ago i passed my C++ exam but all we learnt was how to create simple command line-apps that we might have easily written in C. I’ve always dreamt about a C++ exam where the teacher picks a piece of KDE code as example and uses it to teach us all the funny things of developing an application, advanced C++ tricks and so on. I know i still have the “Software Development Engineering” exam at the 2nd specialistic degree (don’t really know how to say that in english) but i’m sure *they* won’t teach us developing applications starting from a real successful example from the Open Source World.

THE IDEA: So, an idea came to my mind. I proposed to some friends the idea of building up a C++/Qt-KDE course open to every one interested in it. We have students associations that help us fight for our rights and realize self-managed courses like the one i proposed. The idea was accepted and really lots of student signed up!! This makes me really proud and happy since i have the chance to teach something i learnt (and continue learning) developing in KDE.

THE COURSE: The course will be of 10 lessons, 2 hours each. Students are supposed to have C++ basis since i’d like to deep start with the real development. Most of our courses at the university are just about theory (this is one of the big problems of italian universities: too much theory, really poor practice); so i’d like to help them make practice. I talked to two of them and their expectations about the course are just these: design and develop an application, practically!! Put their hands on the code, fight against build errors, optimize code and so on.. The stuff we do almost every day with KDE xD. So i’d like to use the 10 lessons to design and develop a real simple KDE application discussing the designing problem with them lesson by lesson. This way, after the course, they will be able to continue taking care of their little baby maybe making it grow as much as having the opportunity to publish it on KDE-apps.org maybe πŸ˜€

YOUR HELP: And now let’s come to the real goal of this post :D. I haven’t yet decided what application they’re gonna develop with my help. It just came to my mind the idea of a simple Text Editing Application but maybe you have nicer ideas. Of course keep in mind that most of them don’t even have ever touched Qt/kdelibs/cmake. I’d start from the techbase tutorials to help them write a basic KDE application and then start with the real development. In addition to this i was looking for a live distro that ships at least KDE 4.2 with cmake kdelibs-dev and kwrite to help those students without Linux on their PCs (i think i’ll force all of them installing it πŸ™‚

So please, lemme know your ideas, suggestions, insults and whatever.. everything but spam is appreciated xD

Cheers!!

Some hobbies are “easier” than others..

It’s been quite a long time since my last blog entry.. University, family and love took me a little away from the KDE scene.. Anyway i was able to follow the great success the incoming KDE 4.2 release is getting. You all have done a great job and we all should be proud of what KDE is and will be for the Open Source world. Unfortunately i’m in my exam period at university and i hope it’ll last soon.. Btw i was able to get back in touch with Plasma and committed two little patches this morning.. Nothing really relevant, just to feel i’m back to KDE development :).

Due to this busy period i’ve left Lukas all alone with our KConfigEditor port to KDE4 which is still there, just ported but not improved. I’ll get back working on it soon, i promise! πŸ˜›

PolicyKit-KDE is another big project i was contributing to till the end of the last year. Daniel Nicoletti, helped by Lukas, is doing a really great work and KDE will soon be enriched by a great PolicyKit library ;). I hope me and Dario Freddi will be back helping soon.

But the reason i wanted to write this (maybe unuseful?) blog entry was the interest Raptor is getting these days. Do you remember Raptor?? πŸ˜› Me, Riccardo, Lukas, Dario and some others (sorry, i don’t remember your names) started to work back on the abandoned Raptor promising we would have released it by KDE 4.2.. As you may have noticed we didn’t.. Sorry for that..

Someone asked in chat, some others in the mailing list.. I’d like to show you what a dear user said on raptor@kde.org =)

It is quite a sad ordeal that such a brilliantly planned and designed project has been halted. I hope someone can get to work on it. Now that KDE4 has matured though, I realise there may not have as many visionary developers willing to work on it. In saying this, it is still a worthy cause if anyone wants to give it a go. This would be a very powerful system, capable of running on any operating system and may change the paradigm of such systems in the future.

Please, if anyone is reading this. If you are interesting in it and have spare time, please work on it :).
Thanks,
– Sacha

It is always a big pleasure for us (you, me, us), developers, when users directly ask for our contribution and talk about their real feeling of need for this or that feature. As Sacha says, KDE4 has matured; yes, but i think that just because of the current state of KDE4 there’s now need to make real what Raptor (the idea) is! Unfortunately, for most of us, KDE is a question of spare time so sometimes we need to abandon it a little in favour of university, work, or whatever. So, Sacha, and everyone else interested in, sorry for the slowness of Raptor development, but i’d thank you for your mail. It makes us really proud of being KDE developers and it is for sure a motivation for us. IΒ  hope we’ll be able to make Raptor real soon. You can track its development with this repository: http://github.com/ruphy/raptor or just ask on #raptor. =)

P.S.: I have some news about Raptor, technical stuff.. Youll read soon a blog entry about it. πŸ˜‰

Hugs KDE devs & users.