Archive for August, 2014

KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

KMix on KDE Frameworks 5KMix is now ported to KDE Frameworks 5. After a one day long porting effort, the basic functionality of KMix is available: Main Window, Systray, Volume Key Shortcuts, Sound Menu, volume save and restore. More sophisticated parts require more efforts and are currently missing, like the On-Screen-Display (OSD), which requires a port to Plasma 2.

Soundcard hotplug and unplug is also not yet available, as support for this has been dropped from KDE’s Solid libraries. Alex Fiestas explained during the KDE Sprint that it was necessary to reduce complexity in Solid, and that Soundcard hotpluging is not a very widespread usage1. The required code will thus move to KMix in  a later porting step.

The part that looks most changed optically is the configuration dialog. In the picture you see some style changes from KDE Frameworks 5.

All other changes can be seen in http://quickgit.kde.org/?p=kmix.git .

1 To avoid confusion: “Not widespread” refers to the number of applications using this feature. Users tend to hotplug their devices obviously frequently.

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KDE Sprint 2014

Randa - the place of the KDE Multimedia  Sprint 2014

Randa – the place of the KDE Multimedia Sprint 2014

Currently a KDE Sprint is taking place – which means 43 people meet in Randa (Switzerland) and dedicate 7 days in a row solely to KDE.  Some topics are KDE Frameworks 5, gluon and many multimedia related topics like Amarok, kdenlive and KMix. I am attending to work on three main matters.

Polishing KMix

This mainly concentrates on generating a better user experience. It is not about adding new features, but about perfecting what we have.

High-DPI support was contributed by Kai Uwe Broulik. Icons now follow your icon size settings  in the KDE Control Center. If you own a High-DPI display and have not yet adjusted the icon sizes, you should do that. Setting most icon sizes to 32 pixels (and desktop: 48 pixels)  did the trick for me (Systemsettings -> Symbols ->Extended).

Jonathan Marten contributed an enhancement to the “Select Master Channel” dialog. It exchanges the radio buttons to list view, which is also the recommended way in the  KDE HIG).

There are various polishing actions that you can follow on KMix’s QuickGit. Most noteworthy is a fix for the configuration dialog that some time ago became ridiculously wide. The cause was very interesting: A very wide warning text about a missing “kmix_autostart.desktop” file. Even though the text is usually hidden, it had an effect on the width of the dialog.

Open topics cleanup

Reviewboard, the bug system and personal mails are the most important sources for open topics. My real life always wants me to do other things, so I am working on the accumulated backlog. Obviously it will not be possible to clean the complete bug system from KMix issues and wishes, but I will tackle a couple. Interesting too many people, there might be a new approach on the login delay problem. While there is still no real solution in KDE 4 in sight, I will try a workaround. By artificially delaying the application initialization,  KMixD will hopefully appear later on DBus which may solve some deadlock situations.

Determining the future of KMix

The release of KDE Frameworks 5 is a major change. Porting KMix has not yet been started, and before doing so it deserves discussion what role KMix should play within. Multimedia people will gather in BoF style to discuss future needs. The discussion can lead in various directions, like strengthening the background service (KMixD), moving to a default interface that is more plasma-like or separating the components more (tray icon, tray pop-up, main window, KMixD). I am sure other participants will have further ideas. I will keep you updated about this topic in this blog.