Hotter new stuff on its way

Monday mornings, you guessed it, are not a good thing. Especially when it’s all rainy and you get run over by a car. Luckily nothing really happened to me, only a few scratches and a new experience (I’ve never had this Hollywood style “rolling over the hood of the car” thingy happen to me before). Let’s move on to better stuff then ;) maybe I can even write about KDE related things.

Just now I got the confirmation that KDE will have a booth at the 2nd Ecumenical Church Day which is way in the future – May 2010. More about that later.

What I wanted to talk about… Yesterday, Eckhart moved Attica into kdereview.

We’ve been poking at this nice library for a few days now, and we’re really happy that it’s ready to be used more widely now :D

Attica is a cool little library that allows us to integrate applications nicely with the web services provided by “Open Collaboration Services” servers. Yay, for the buzzwords there! Actually it sounds more complicated than it is. Can you hear the voices in my head? I can. And that makes me happy ;) So let me repeat for those not hearing (the voices in my head):

Someone in my head: So you might wonder, what’s that stuff good for anyway???

Me: Well, let’s see what could be done… we have a data engine to provide plasma applets with all that goodness, so it’s possible to let the user know what’s going on around him and with his friends. …

Someone in my head: Wait! You are telling us, you just wrote a facebook clone?

Me: Not exactly. We still have KDE and our users in mind. So imagine, you really like some application that is also on And since you use it daily and it’s really cool, you decide to become an fan of the application (come on, just click that button, it doesn’t hurt!). Now the author of your favorite app publishes a newer version. And you get a note right to your desktop, that a newer version is available.

Someone in my head: Ok, that’s like half way social… but…

Me (interrupting rapidly): More goodness comes from the neighbor list. Say you come to Stuttgart for a short visit. And once you go online there, you see, one of your favorite KDE developers is actually in town also. Quite interesting you think and just a click later you have sent a message to meet up. What a nice evening! Or take the event list. Here you get notified, when an event takes place close to your location. Get notified of that developer sprint next door and just drop by to meet all the cool kids. I admit, these examples are still a bit KDE-geeks-are-great centric. But they are just examples and the beginning. More stuff is yet to come. Maybe you have ideas too?

Someone in my head: Me, ideas? Uhmmm… maybe I’ll leave them in the comments…

Ok, enough talking, let’s see some action!

One thing I spent much time on last week, was getting our Get Hot New Stuff implementation knewstuff2.5 ported to use Attica in addition to the classical XML files we used so far. With the help of Jeremy I got something working by now. Yes, it still has many rough edges… Anyway – using Attica gives us some of the features that we wanted to have for a looooong time already. After ripping a lot of things apart, we’re slowly piecing the puzzle back together. Internally we now support rating and adding comments but that needs more GUI work. So today the Hotter New Stuff is server side search. If you like a certain wallpaper or that special script, it will no longer disappear after a while. Have fun watching me, trying to talk to myself here:

Get Hot New Stuff with Attica

Watch it on, download ogg video. (I can’t seem to get it embedded here… giving up now…)

10 comments to Hotter new stuff on its way

  • Nathan Bradshaw

    Looks really nice. Another thing I’d love to filter by is image size and aspect ratio. Ideally, GHNS would pick this up automatically from my current video settings and then filter the images that I see to the ones appropriate for my screen’s resolution and aspect ratio.


    • Frederik

      @Nathan: yes, I agree, picking up the resolution would be nice. Technically that would be quite doable, but the question is how many options we want to squeeze into the dialog. And I don’t want to think about dual head setups ;)

  • Kyashan

    Hi,I dont’ know if you are one of the developers behind GHNS…I like your ideas about promoting nicest works with this kind of “voting”.I had some ideas for GHNS,I wrote them here .Someone already proposed the automatic updating in kde brainstorm,i conseider that a really good idea!

    Let me know what you think about them!

  • Frederik

    @Kyashan: yes, automatic updating is something we also want to implement, it all just depends on what time permits… For now the most important thing is to get things cleaned up a lot and polished so we can include it with KDE 4.4 and after a big overhaul of the framework we can easily check for updates automatically. The user can then be asked if she wants to install the updates.
    There was some talk about “approved/checked” scripts such as plasma applets, but getting that right will take some more work from all parties involved. Especially making sure, that reviews are up to date will not be easy.

  • Kyashan

    And what about “approved” themes and wallpapers????:D

  • arwa

    When choosing graphical things like background images or kdm splash screens I would like the thumbnails to be a bit larger. Maybe twice as large. Also presenting them in a grid instead by rows could bring more thumbnails onto the screen so maybe you could catch a nice screen faster.

    But searching on the server to find new content is a really good thing.

  • Frederik

    @Kyashan: hehe, I guess the voting thing up and down takes care of filtering these out :)
    @arwa: I like the grid idea, maybe we can make that optional, since for some applications it makes not much sense. Right now getting everything to work is of course more important.

    And yes, we want to support showing more than 20 items for one search. Either by letting you advance a page or having the list grow as you scroll down.

  • Nathan Bradshaw

    @Frederik true… you would definitely want something that indicated you were only seeing images that matched your screen size, rather than only seeing a subset of the available images with no explanation as to why.

    Perhaps if images that didn’t match your screen res were greyed out or subdued, or some other subtle visual indicator was in place to indicate that a given image was either fit for your screen or sub-optimal in some way (wrong aspect ratio, lower res than what you run etc). Perhaps a ghost image of your screen dimensions overlaid on the wallpapers that aren’t a good match so you can see why they aren’t a good fit for your screen.

    And yeah… twinview type arrangement …… :(

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