How is the weather in Qt 4.6 ?

November 2, 2009
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Hmm…it looks sunny πŸ™‚ Take a look at this video. This is a demo we did using Qt 4.6 for S60 and the N900. You can find the source code in the same place where you can get Qt’s source code.

This is a “making of” video from the designers perspective, that shows from where they started and where they are right now in terms of design and of course, the implementation of the demo by the end of the video :). It also shows a little bit the work flow of INdT’s designers when designing new products.

Nice weather application. We didn’t have time to improve KDE’sΒ  one but for KDE 4.5 we’ll abuse so much of Qt 4.6! Performance improvements and features added. Who can imagine what’s coming in Qt 4.7 and 4.8 ???? (ok ok, maybe we know that and Thiago for sure knows that….but come on…you too can take a look at the repos and know what’s coming ;). Enjoy the video!

Changing the weather from Ian Moreira on Vimeo.

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Post Latinoware Post :)

October 28, 2009

Latinoware was a nice conference held in the south of the country last week, from the 22nd to the 24th of October. It was a really nice conference and we had a lot of KDE exposure there as we had our logo on the main website of the conference, a booth and also a lot of talks KDE/Qt related.

It was really awesome that Ade and Annma could go there. It shows that Brazil and South America are not “3rd class citizens” in the community. A lot of people here in Brazil tend to think that we are not that special in the world besides our beaches and carnival. So, specially for students this is really important. Probably it’s also important for those that are at the beginning of their free software careers as they think ‘ow, a foreigner came here for KDE…this project must be important’. Ah, of course: it was also really a pleasure to have them here. Great great great people :).

Ade explaining what is KDE

Ade explaining what is KDE

During my talk we had some people really interested in netbook stuff and it was nice to give this presentation as I did a similar one during GCDS but the one during GCDS didn’t have too much demos as everything was at the first steps. Now, with Marco working full time on this and some others that will join the team, I had a LOT of cool stuff to show off, not just the ideas behind everything.

During GCDS I talked about the base ideas and research we did for Plasma Netbook. It was nice from a concepts point of view but I had no demos, just screenshots of pre-alpha versions and nothing fancy to show off. But this “pre-alpha” stage for the project was important so we could create a vision for the project and stick with it. Now, after some (few) months we have done a lot of things and the vision starts to show off.

Instead of going on through all the details I’ll just explain the final demo of my talk: I had a netbook (with Plasma Netbook of course), running Amarok and playing some Cold Play song (bonus points for Cold Play that released a 5 songs live album for free on their website – funny fact: the music playing was ‘Viva La Vida’ , life is really great in KDE world, isn’t it πŸ™‚ ? I had the now playing plasmoid on my Newspaper desktop and just shared it. TookΒ  an N900 from my pocket and showed how far KDE can go: using our technology I was able to ‘get’ the shared plasmoid, and remote control Amarok from my mobile phone (btw, thanks to Vudentz to let me use his N900 as I don’t have one yet).

As you may already have seen in other posts on Planet KDE there is already a KDE-Maemo effort going on and yes, we have the power an can go everywhere, just as Qt. And we will deliver a really rich user experience for our end users. More to come, keep following…. πŸ˜‰

The KDE Latinoware Booth

The KDE Latinoware Booth

PS: really awesome to meet the KDE-MG people during latinoware. Kudos to them and of course to Live Blue guys. You Rock! πŸ™‚

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User Experience with Different Devices

October 17, 2009

It has been some time that I had some ideas regarding different devices. My first try was with the so famous “Mysterious Device” that we had during Tokamak 3 and later I played a little bit with my N85 and QtS60.

Qt Everywhere: yes, this means a lot of things. For Nokia it means that the same framework will be available for different platforms, for users that they will have more software being developed and for us, developers, that we can bring our software for all the devices that Qt is ported to.

Let’s also talk a little bit about platforms: Nokia has been playing with Maemo for some time now and the platform itself is pretty mature. Of course it will have problems but it’s pretty mature and compared to a lot of others out there it’s much better. But Maemo was “confined” to internet tablets…a device that was not good enough to be a netbook and not small enough to be a phone. It was “just” a pocket computer.

However the scenario changed and now we have a mobile phone running Maemo out there (N900) and Nokia learned the lesson about how to attract open source developers (just think that while Apple charge developers to get the full SDK and deploy their software, Nokia gives big discounts on new devices for developers).

I was pretty sad that I couldn’t go to Maemo Summit and show my ideas to everybody out there and it became worse when I saw that everybody there had their N900 and would be able to create awesome stuff for the device. This is one of the downsides of living in Brazil: it’s almost impossible to get/buy new hardwares without paying huge taxes and the developers program always helped on this matter. Too sad =/. BUT it seems that today was my lucky day! I (and some others) received a mail saying that we would receive a discount on an N900! Awesome! So now it will be possible to do all the stuff I was planning to do!

Plasma Netbook is one of my main objectives for the short/mid term (take a look here for the last news). It has a lot of potential and a lot of great ideas around it. We already received good reviews even in “less than alpha” state and we’re looking for companies that want to sell their stuff with something that will provide a unique user experience. If you are interested, contact us…we can explain our ideas and provide details about it. Also know we have Marco working full time on this, while I’m working full time on Qt and others are keeping plasma up to shape.

And probably you’re asking yourself why you should be interested in what I said above. The reason is just below. Take a look at the pictures and at the videos.

Shared Plasmoid on N900

Shared Plasmoid on N900

I didn’t use Plasma netbook for this demo because I needed to recompile some stuff and it’s much better in a real netbook. This demo I’ll do during my talk on Latinoware. But for those that can’t go, I’ll talk a little bit: user experience is more than what the user does in front of his computer. It’s all about tasks. Recently, Rob integrated into KDE 4.4 his wonderful SoC called Remote Widgets. This enables two machines to share Plasma content in a very nice and easy way (I don’t even need to say that developers using libplasma get this feature for free, do I ?).

Original Plasmoid on Desktop

Original Plasmoid on Desktop (written using Javascript)

For me it was a pretty clear path to go. I want to share my widgets (that helps me during my day-to-day tasks) between different devices, so I can “take” them with me even if I leave my computer. This can be applied to many plasmoids and this is just a demo. I get a plasmoid that is in my desktop and share it with my mobile phone (in this case an N900 that a friend that went to Maemo Summit led me for this weekend). Pretty simple and easy to achieve (ok, it was hard to record the movie, talk and do all the stuff at the same time hehe). For security reasons it asks for pin codes between the two devices (just like bluetooth pairing – and you can have trusted devices too) and you can even save your passwords using KWallet :).

(if you can’t see the video above, try going here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1qxdYAUBbk)

Thanks to Mek and Darktears for sharing Qt/KDE compile problems in scratchbox, Vudentz for the device and Aaron and work mates for calming me down when I was compiling all the stuff πŸ™‚ Any questions are welcome and remember that we can extend this a lot! (preempting one question: yes, it’s possible to share the “now playing” plasmoid and control your Amarok from the device πŸ˜‰ ).

Cheers!

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Small status update

October 2, 2009

After Tokamak III I was not able to work that much on netbook stuff because we’re reaching the 4.6 release and we have a lot of work to be done on anchor layouts. We’re fixing the last bugs (that we know of course :P) so we can provide a really nice new layout for everybody using Qt. By the release of 4.6, Qt will be one step closer to make it easier to create rich UIs.

This week, Marco showed you how fast the netbook stuff is going on, it’s really awesome. It’s also very good to see how the netbook shell benefits from all the work being done on libplasma as well, like the integration with remote widgets. I had some nice ideas regarding integration with open Desktop stuff, let’s see if I can work on it during the weekend. I’m really looking forward the “social aspect” of KDE and how we can improve this. However, no spoilers before I get something done :).

By the end of the month (22-24 of October) I’ll give a talk on Latinoware about netbooks. I’ll use a lot of stuff from my GCDS talk but now I’ll have a lot of stuff to show off too, so I must change some bits of the presentation. On the other hand I think that this one will be much fancier and nicer to watch than the GCDS one that was more “theoretical” because all the work was at the very beginning. To show the power of remote widgets I’m planning to show a remote widget running on my netbook and also on a N900! This is not hard to achieve but I must have some time to put my hands on it.

This is the first time that I blog through an application instead of doing through the web editor. Blogilo just arrived on svn (at least for me :P) and I decided to give it a try. It’s really nice! It has all the features that the web editor gave to me like a visual editor, HTML editor and even a post preview. It supports categories (couldn’t find support for tags yet the tag support is just below it hehe) and also something like an auto configure based on the URL of your blog…really nice! I’m just missing it as a plugin for Kontact that is the place where I keep all my PIM stuff. Ah, talking about PIM I learned some nice stuff from Akonadi that I didn’t know with the series of blog posts on planet KDE about it.

KDE blog client

Ah, and before I forget: congrats to Amarok team for the release this week! I’m a “trunk user” but I know how good and stable the release is!

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White as Snow

September 4, 2009

Well, last day of Tokamak. It’s sad that I must say goodbye to all of these people that actually lived with me for one week. It was so intense that I almost didn’t realize that we were together for one week. But let’s talk about what we did during the sprint.

During the first days I talked with everybody I could about anchor layouts, animated layouts and Qt stuff. It was great as it’s hard to explain the stuff and get feedback from a lot of great hackers at once and as fast as we can get when we are in this kind of developer sprints. We had great discussions about Qt, regarding bugs, features, future and everything else we could talk about. I really can see that every time that we put all these great hackers in the same room, we save some months (maybe years?) of development. All of that to make you take less time to code πŸ˜‰

Plasma Developers

Plasma Developers

While everybody else was merging their brand new stuff on trunk, commiting bug fixes and new features I was fighting with cross compiling KDE to the “mysterious device” that Aaron brought to us. What I could achieve ? We have KDE 4.2.X working PERFECTLY on this device, with all the features and beauty that KDE could bring to you. It runs really really fast on this ARM device. We were all impressed!

And then came the second part of the experiment: run trunk on it. While it was ok to compile stuff on scratchbox using Maemo SDK, the lack of a proper SDK for the device gave us some headache: some bug on qmake prevented it to detect correct paths and made me find out each library that was not properly added to cmake’s links.txt file and correctly add it. By the end of kdebase compilation I already had almost all the names and did a script to fix that, but until the time I found out all the libraries it was compiling and stopping all the time (I don’t need to tell that it was really slow to compile and due to this problem, it was even slower).

After some days I finally had kdelibs + plasma-destkop and plasma-netbook compiled. However when we put all this stuff on the hardware we faced a problem with Svg files not being show. So althoughf we have plenty new stuff full of new features running on the device, it looks a little bit “ugly” without the proper background, etc.. we just have white background…white as snow. But come on…we just had a few days with the device…we can do MUCH more with it and imagine if we had a proper SDK ? We can make this hardware AWESOME with our software and I can only hope that we’ll have some more time with it in the next months…(we would need less than 1 month with a proper SDK to make it really really really ROCK!).

Ah, meanwhile it was compiling kdelibs I created the pastebin dataengine/service, migrated the pastebin applet to use that and also fixed some bugs on other applets…

Talking about snow, today was the first day I saw snow in my life πŸ™‚ It was a unique experience for me :). It’s really hard to describe with words how happy I was and how beautiful it was in the top of that mountain. Thanks Mario for this trip…it was one of those moments in our lifes that you never forget.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Brazil again. It was an awesome sprint. If someone asks me what comes next from my point of view, I would answer: running plasma-netbook on the “mysterious device” (please, I just need one week with a proper SDK πŸ˜‰ ), finishing and optimizing anchor layout for Qt 4.6 (I really hope this will help people out there to create rich UIs with Qt) and of course: keep all the stuff we have discussed during Tokamak going on!

Randa View

Randa View

Thank you Mario, thank you Plasma developers, thank you Qt/INdT and thank you KDE πŸ™‚ What a wonderful personal and professional experience.

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Tokamak 3

August 31, 2009
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I’m at Tokamak 3 in Randa where Mario is hosting us. First of all, thanks to Mario: everything is perfect!

Great landscape surrounding us

Great landscape surrounding us

During the last days we had presentations, meetings and talks. The GSoC projects are being merged in trunk (a lot of great features coming: new widgets explorer, mouse plugins, remote widgets, plasmate), the netbook stuff is going on, Qt stuff being solved, etc..

I talked about QGraphicsAnchorLayout, the new layout engine that will be present on Qt 4.6 and even did a small demo about that. We are nailing down the remaining bits (API, bugs) and hopefully we’ll have an awesome layout engine to create rich UIs when Qt 4.6 comes to “the streets” !

I’m also working with Alexis (darktears) to debug some problems that we’re facing with the raster engine on embedded devices. The thing is that the performance was not so good as it was in 4.5.0 and we’re tracking down where is the regression. Besides that we already tested Qt 4.6 on some hardware that we have here and the performance is much better than 4.5.X (regarding GraphicsView). While we wait Qt cross compiling, I’m also updating the pastebin applet to provide a nice dataengine/service so other plasmoids/applications can take advantage of this.

Until now, it has been a great sprint with lot of work being done on Plasma and on Qt 4.6. It’s awesome how much our speed increases when we are together! πŸ˜‰

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Photos from the training

August 20, 2009

As I promised, I’m posting pictures of the Qt training that we had last Monday πŸ™‚

photo1

photo2

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Talking about Qt at local university

August 18, 2009

It was a really great experience to talk about the basic concepts of Qt and to present new features such as the Animation framework to people that had never used Qt before.

Before lunch we had an overall look at QObjects (signals/slots), QWidgets, canvas based interfaces (QGraphicsView) and other basic stuff. After lunch we had “hands on” activities so people could create small applications. At first we created an address book using regular QWidgets, later we created our own QGraphicsWidget and played with canvas based interfaces and at the end we took a look at QAnimation.

You can take a look at the slides here (it’s in portuguese) and in one week we’ll announce the winners of a challenge: create an application using Qt. The prize for the best two applications will be free entrances for Bossa Conference 2010!

Regarding Bossa Conference, stay tuned for the call of papers that will be announced soon! Now I’m looking forward bringing this kind of training to other universities and doing more advanced trainings at UFPE.

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Qt Labs Americas is ready!

August 10, 2009

Hello!

During my presentation on GCDS/aKademy, I talked about the Qt Labs America and that it would be released soon. Some of you may have heard about it on the dot too.

But, what is this Qt Labs Americas thing ? Well, taken from the “about” page:

Qt Labs Americas is an openBossa initiative aiming the growth of local Qt and KDE communities all over America, starting in Brazil.

So right now we are launching the website and people are welcomed to send us links to their feeds so we can aggregate them on our planet and we’ll always try to have content in three languages: portuguese, spanish and english.

There you can find projects that we give some kind of support and also partners in this initiative. We are also on identi.ca and twitter.

So, check it out and if you can be part of it in some way or you represent a university in Brazil please contact us! The website is: http://qtlabs.openbossa.org .

Cheers!

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The theory behind the code

July 14, 2009
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I’ll not talk about GCDS on this post: others said everything one could tell about the conference! πŸ™‚ It was really awesome: meeting KDE people is just an awesome experience. It was good also to see more brazilians in the conference (after FISL, the brazilian kde community seems to have started to grow or at least organize more itself) . Ah, during GCDS I joined for the first time the e.V. assembly and it’s really good the feeling that I’m helping the KDE community a little bit more. KDE is all about it’s community and it’s community is great! Well, enough with the sentimental part. Let’s talk about the theory behind the code of plasma-netbook.

Newspaper Activity ready for the presentation

Newspaper Activity ready for the presentation

During GCDS I did a presentation about this project, explaining a little bit our ideas and why we had them. I also used the time to definetely fix the name of the project to plasma-netbook (instead of plasma-mid). This was done to reflect the objective of the project. We created the project to avoid the idea of putting a full desktop inside a netbook (using concepts that don’t fit well on the device), and we can’t fall into the same problem trying to have something for MID devices also.

It was good to see the interest of the community around the project and also to see that some vendors are already contacting us to ship their devices with our netbook shell. Great also to see that the Kubuntu team will have a “Kubuntu Netbook Remix” project and if we can deliver in time our stuff, they want to use it on their project.

One thing that is also really important about the project is the fact that we want to create a new user experience on these devices. KDE is not about a specific project anymore, it’s all about the user experience: starting on the desktop shell and going far away on social interaction, media, etc. Thinking about this we want to improve this experience by delivering great features such as the open Social plasmoid, the new wikipedia runner and others that will come with the time. This way, when some random user buys his brand new netbook, running KDE he will enter our world, he’ll start to fell part of something more and that was the strategy that saved a fruit company that makes computers and devices (they create a new experience around their devices). I really hope that the community and also vendors can see the potential that we have in our hands and start helping us on this journey and to believe that it’s possible.

If you want to read the paper that I wrote about this, download it here and also my presentation here. You can also check Marco’s last post about the current status of the project.

During my presentation I announced the Qt Labs America project and I hope to give more news for you really soon….ah, and the talk about Qt layouts (including live demos of anchor layouts and animated layouts) by my fellows Caio and Eduardo was also great. If you couldn’t watch it, stay tuned to the videos that the conference will publish (I hope so πŸ˜› ).

Now I’m really looking forward Tokamak3. I hope I can go but I have a lot of “ifs”. Let’s see what happens next weeks.

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