Mario Fux

Archive for March, 2011

We need you for Nepomuk (integration)!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

First I’d like to thank David Vignoni for his work on the logo for the Randa meeting. It’s the basis for the work of the young informatic trainees. But the results are still secret (as even I haven’t seen anything myself but get the first results at the end of this week ;-).

And now to the ideas and proposals (btw this has nothing in common with the GSoC ideas of KDE!). As you probably or hopefully already know the KDE Nepomuk team will have a meeting in Randa this June (from the 1st to the 7th of this month) and we still want application developers to integrate this technology in their application or to work on some interesting and great new ideas. And there will be really good help as Sebastian Trüg will be in Randa and he is going to do one or the other workshop of Nepomuk basics. And here are some ideas and thoughts of mine to start your imagination engines:

  • The KDE semantic clipboard. There is some code in the old subversion playground of KDE and in December 2010 I wrote a paper about this topic. In short, this clipboard enhances to normal one with the capability of knowing what (in the context of meaning) it copy-and-pastes. This clipboard does not just copy numbers and formatting but addresses, geographic coordinates or blbliographic references. Take a look and bring it to a releasable state. There are even some solution proposals in the above mentioned paper.
  • All of the new KDE PIM application use Nepomuk technology through their Akonadi interactions.
  • Digikam had (or has?) some capabilities to exchange its information and metadata with the Nepomuk storage. What about tagging your pictures with the contacts (and PIMO::Persons) of the new Kaddressbook and projects which are then usable system wide.
  • And Amarok had (or again has?) some functions to share it’s music database with Nepomuk and thus make it system wide and not just enclosed in one applicatition.
  • But there are as well good examples for existing Nepomuk integration: Bangarang. A multimedia player which remembers what you like, what music and videos you have on your system and where is more information about this media data (in the web).
  • Another idea could be a (scientific) paper or article collector which understands the connections (or quotations) between the articles and that the strings at the top (authors) are actually persons and the references at the end of the articles are actually links and thus relations to other papers and articles. Take a look at the SWRC ontology.
  • Yet another project which extensively uses Nepomuk is the new KDE Telepathy framework. They don’t just invent yet another represenation of a person and its contacts but use PIMO::Person and thus make connections to them system wide comprehensible and reusable.
  • And let’s not forget the Plasma framework and its activities. But there is more and better information about this on the site of ivan Cukic.
  • Or something completely new. An ontology for TV series, recordings and shows… (Update: Sebastian told me that there is already one: NMM. And Bangarang and some other applications use it.)
  • And there is Zeitgeist and QtZeitgeist

Enough ideas? And last but not at all least and I almost forgot it: two ideas for plasmoids (and corresponding dataengines).

  • A person plasmoid which shows all files, documents, addresses, persons, music, pictures, etc. related to this person and if you drag and drop something to this plasmoid the things get related (and not tagged with the string of this person’s name (and if you don’t know yet the important difference, please ask as I seem to be a bad teacher and explainer then)). Imagine something like a plasmoid with the name and picture of the person and in the config some checkboxes for all related resources (documents, audio files, persons, etc.) which should be displayed in the plasmoid.
  • There is actually no second idea but an almost infinite number: more plasmoids (and dataengines) for other resources like projects, geographic locations (imagine a radar like plasmoid with resources depending on their proximity.)

I think these are some ideas and possible projects. As we want to send the e.V. board an estimated budget for Randa 2011 meeting we’d like to close the registration at the end of the this week.

And here are some more news about sponsoring and Randa 2011:

  • 200.00 CHF by a private person.
  • 500.00 CHF reducation for house renting (and thus another 500.00 CHF less for the e.V. budget).

If you have other or more ideas don’t hesitate to talk with us and do this live at the Randa 2011 meeting! For further questions just come to our mailing list.

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Registration for Randa 2011 is open

Monday, March 21st, 2011

First of all I’d like to thank again Emil Sedgh for his work on this tool. He fulfilled all our technical wishes in such a short period of time.

And here is to link where you can register for this years meeting: And yes, as the URL indicates, this tool is useful not just for the Randa meeting. This year in Randa there will be four groups which discuss and hack there for a week (beginning of June 2011):

So if you’re part of one of these groups it’s time to register for the sprint (and I’m sure (or hope 😉 it’s not the first time you hear about this meeting). To login you need your account.

And some special words about the Nepomuk part of the meeting. Sebastian Trueg will post some blog in the next hours or day about what he plans todo at the meeting and about what you could do with Nepomuk technologies and how you could integrate them in your application. Ivan Cucic will post a blog at the end of the week about KActivityManager and how you should and could integrate this in your application. If and when you’re interested about all this semantical and social stuff you could contact us on the Nepomuk mailinglist and perhaps it would be great to have you in Randa. In the coming weeks I plan to write some articles about the social semantic desktop for different user groups (normal users, application developers and hardcore hackers ;-).

Please fill in your information asap that we can send the e.V. board an estimated budget. Detailed information for the four groups will follow in the next hours and days on the corresponding mailinglists or other communication channels.

Update: You can relogin and thus add more information later.

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Randa 2011, KDE and young informatics trainees

Friday, March 18th, 2011

This morning at 8:30 I gave a presentation about KDE and design & graphics. The reason? It was quite spontaneous. Yesterday I got an email of a design and graphics teacher from the local (to the south of Switzerland and thus Randa) vocational school that he got an email of a colleague of mine that I need help in some "logos for Randa" stuff. After having a phone call I decided to visit the class this morning and present them about what KDE is and what the Randa meetings or sprints are and what kind of graphics I need for them. And since after the morning break they work on art for Randa 2011.

After the presentation I had some time to go through the class and saw some quite nice work. They worked on some business card ideas with Adobe Illustrator on Macs. But the nice thing was that they had Gimp and Firefox installed even though the teacher didn’t know Gimp. And I mentioned Inkscape as well (yes, I know, what about Krita and Karbon, will do better next time). And I couldn’t resist to mention that Safari is based on KDE technology. The pupils are actually first year informatic trainees but noone of them heard of KDE – till this morning ;-). I’m curious what they show or send me next week and who knows probably one of this guys (yes, unfortunately no girls) will one day commit some code or artwork directly to the KDE repositories…

On the way to my parents for lunch then I decided to visit a friend of mine in his shop where he sells second hand hardware. Nice stuff and working perfect. But before I wanted to go to his shop I phoned him. Good idea as he was in hospital after food poisoning (get well soon, Luki). But that wasn’t the reason I started to write about him and his shop (he btw sponsored some stuff for the Randa meeting last year and will hopefully do so this year again ;-). Beneath the "normal" PC and notebooks he’s some Android netbooks in his sortiment at the moment – for half of the normal price. But mention my name when you order one ;-).

Another thing that happened this week is the agreement of my professor (in education, not computer sciences) that he allows me to setup an Apple system as a KDE build server and host it at our institute. Will talk next week with the IT guy for what old hardware he has for me. And yet another thing is that we (thanks a lot Emil Sedgh for your work on this thing!) will launch the registration page (and thus a first version of a KDE sprint manager) for the Randa 2011 meeting in a few hours or days. And thus to the todo items of last week:

  • Finishing registration form: done.
  • Reading some Sonnet code: no.
  • Doing more QML: can’t remember.
  • Bringing Oxygen to the devel env: no
  • Finishing the German translation of the booklet: no. I’ll do it this weekend – for sure. But if you speak German and want to help. Send me an email and I tell you the pages which are still to be done.

And here is the todo for the next week:

  • Send the translation to the layouter.
  • Do some code for my KDE morphology API work (and thus my colleague) and start the concepts.
  • Get in contact with more potential sponsors for Randa 2011.
  • And do a lot more work for Randa 2011. All the little details…

Btw you probably noticed that I deleted the "KDE work day xy" part of my blog posts title. At the moment I work much more then one day per week for KDE stuff even though I don’t find the time to blog that much. And thus the numeration is obsolete and incorrect anyway. And markey didn’t like it ;-). So see you next week and all a happy weekend.

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KDE work day 11: QML and ICT@school

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Morning dear readers. It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m sitting in the train from Valais, Switzerland to Bern back home. There is already some text written for this blog post but my (one of them 😉 plan for this one-hour-journey is it to clean it up and bring it in a publishable form and push the submit button when I’m at home. So what happened the last week?

On Wednesday I filmed another presentation of Prof. Petko at the university of Zurich (last time I filmed a presentation of him about "serious games"). The presentation was about ICT (information and communication technologies) in school and education and it was interesting to listen to him talking about Equador (right?) and Portugal where there is one PC per child which is not yet reached (or even targeted) in the oh-so-rich Switzerland. Somehow embarassing and somehow understandable if you know about the fear of technology in this area of the world. But you know which systems run on the PCs in Equador or Portugal? No? Ever heard about OLPC, Linux, KDE and Free Software?

But now to the four todo items I listed in my last blog post and thus to the first miss.

Instead of NLP and Sonnet code reading I did some QML and QtQuick learning and hacking. The screenshots below shows my playground to learn QML. It’s a prototype or rebuild of a bus stop information board. Not coincidentally it shows the train stops you pass when you arrive at the Zurich airport and want to go to Randa by train. I hope or try to extend this further to a plasma based information board for different stuff. We have a lot of great data sources ("dataengines" and "services" in Plasma speech) and for the public transportation stop display I’ll try to use the public transport dataengine by Friedrich Karl Tilman Pülz (if you read this is there any official release coming?). If it’s better to develop a new Plasma containment or if an applet or plasmoid is enough needs to be discussed with the Plasma professionals ;-).

Public transport stop information

My second todo item was it to further continue my KDE development enviroment and as a newer llibdbusmenu-qt-dev package arrived finally in Debian sid I succeeded here ;-). But now there is another new problem. The software doesn’t find the Oxygen icons. Another todo item was further work on the registration form for the Randa 2011 which I hope to finish tomorrow or the day after. Concerning Randa I’m in contact with two teachers of the local vocational school (both of them or participants of my Linux course) about a possible meeting of their pupils and the KDE guys in Randa. The two guys teach informatics and electro techniques at this school. And this btw wipes off my last todo items as yesterday I did another lecture (or three 😉 of my current Linux course.

And before I list my KDE work items for the next week here are some random thoughts of the last week:

  • KMyMoney is a really great financial tool with great documentation. Take a look if not yet done.
  • The Calligra Stage GSoC idea about a plasma presentation widget would be perfect for my planned Plasma Information Board (PIB?;-).

Todo for the coming week:

  • Read Sonnet code and write one or two concepts for my NLP and CL (computational linguistics) projects.
  • Finish the registration form for the Randa 2011 meeting.
  • Bring some Oxygen into my KDE development enviroment ;-).
  • Further working and playing with QML.
  • Finish the German translation of the KDE Booklet (if there is no more help I need to convince B. to help me as he has holidays ;-).

BTW I see your flattring as some mean of voting as well. The more one of my posts get flattred the more you seem to like it and the more I should work on this particular work.

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