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Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 08:25:07 -0400
From: Navindra Umanee 
To: lwn@lwn.net, editors@linuxtoday.com,
Subject: KDE Development News

KDE Development News

Mon 6 Sep 1999 - Sun 19 Sep 1999

Onto KRASH! KDE 1.1.2 (Kolor) was announced about a week ago. The reaction to this "beautify release" has been quite positive and other projects are already considering adapting the new high-colour icon sets, a tribute to the hard work done by the KDE Artist Team. Meanwhile, Waldo Bastian did not lose any time in initiating the release process for KRASH, also known as KDE 1.89. As the codename suggests, this release is targeted at developers and not end-users.

The goals of KRASH are to stabilize development and to offer developers a chance to familiarize themselves with the new Qt and upcoming KDE 2. The plan is to feature-freeze kdelibs on October 15th with kdebase following on November 1st. The final alpha-quality release is slated for December 1st. After the release, everything will be unfrozen and the release process for KDE 1.90 will begin.

The KOffice framework and family of applications are also to be included in KRASH. Lotzi Boloni has decided to help with KChart (formerly KDiagramm) and Montel Laurent has already been doing an admirable job on KSpread; hackers are still however needed for KFormula. Testers, documenters, and hackers in general are also welcome.

CORBA news. There have been some significant developments on the CORBA front. On the one hand, KDE 2 has been ported to the new and improved MICO 2.3.0 but on the other, several fundamental issues have been raised.

The discussion ranged from dropping CORBA altogether -- especially after folks have been comparing applications like KSpread and KIllustrator with and without CORBA support -- to dropping the multiple process architecture and instead switching to a shared library approach for local CORBA components.

The actual tangible result of all this discussion is cuteidl described as "an IDL compiler with marshalling code for the QTL" and which has been progressing at a very fast rate thanks in part to the amount of enthusiasm over it as well as the nicely modular MICO code. The intent of cuteidl is to hide all or most of the MICO/CORBA C++ bindings from the programmer and instead present a nice clean API that takes better advantage of the Qt/KDE framework and requires little or no knowledge of CORBA. As a consequence, a lot of unwanted bloat has also been eliminated. It is hoped that in combination with tinymico, and perhaps the shared library approach, the CORBA situation will improve immensely.

This issue is sure to be brought up and further decided at KDE-Two where about 50 core KDE developers the world over will be meeting.

KDE Chrome. Lots of updates (along with the obligatory screenshots) are available on Mosfet's site. Newly implemented features include pixmapped borders, more customized widgets and effects on user action, various updates and bugfixes. It's safe to say that Mosfet has brought theming to a whole new level.

In other art news, "the artist currently known as Torsten" Rahn has taken a 3 month break to work on his diploma-thesis. He has gracefully passed the onus on to Rik Hemsley who announced a plan of attack for KDE 2. Covered are icons, backgrounds, themes, and screensavers. In the latter case, he particularly emphasizes that he does not want "animations of Konqui the dragon flaming little terrified Gnomes". Perhaps he'd accept little nerds with glasses instead of the Gnomes. :-)

Rik also made available an extensive and illustrated tutorial on creating KDE icons.

KDE User Interface Standards. Peter Penz has set up a very nice site in an attempt to promote KDE User Interface Standards. It's been a bit controversial on certain points such as the push to eliminate one of the oh-so-useful pair, Close Window (Ctrl-W) and Quit (Ctrl-Q), but everything is still open to discussion at this point. Some of us Emacs users may never be satisfied by certain keybindings but in the end they should be mostly configurable.

KLPP update. Ivan E. Moore II, responsible for the very prompt availability of KDE 1.1.2 debian packages, wrote in with an update on the KDE Linux Packaging Project. There's been some problems caused by the huge amount of traffic generated by KDE users but thankfully people have stepped in to help. Previous list subscribers will unfortunately have to resubscribe.

KDE Quickies. Espen Sand updated us on the progress of his DialogCore efforts and also proposed a way of standardizing window captions. Cesar Gutierrez Corea announced frontends for bind and sendmail, dubbed KBIND (screenshots) and KSendmail (screenshots) respectively. Samuel Kvasnica announced SampLin, a data acquisition package for Linux. It includes a graph widget that may be useful to other developers. Michael Goffioul announced a new development snapshot of the popular kruiser file manager. Johannes Sixt announced the imminent release of KDbg 1.0. Lotzi Boloni announced a new homepage for GOFAI-WMT.

LinuxWorld ran a very positive review of KDevelop. Two new sets of KDE slides are up, one set from Reginald Stadlbauer's KOffice presentation at Linux Congress and the other set from Cristian Tibirna's talk at Marche International du Multimedia (PNG support required in both cases).

An archive for these reports is available. Une version francaise pourrait eventuellement etre disponible ici.