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.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Fuchs on August 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I think one of the most important things for the Linux world would be improved pulse audio support. I do know that the main developer doesn’t / didn’t use it, but almost every single distribution out there uses pulse these days. And I still see myself frequently opening pavucontrol because kmix can’t do a couple of things in an easy way (e.g. using volumes > 100%) or has some UX issues only present with pulse (same icon and name for both the recording and the playback volume in the popup, so you have no chance to know which one is which)

    If things are being split up, maybe for some of the parts it might even make sense to put them in Qt for having some sort of volume control interface there, or use / improve an already present one.

    Anyway, I’m glad to see that kmix is still being worked on and improved, and I’m looking forward to visit y’all on wednesday 🙂

    Reply

    • Posted by Marko1 on August 12, 2014 at 6:43 am

      PulseAudio shouldn’t be required, all distros don’t use it. If support for it is added, it should be completely optional and possible to disable it, preferably at the compile time.

      Reply

    • Fuchs, PulseAudio volumes > 100% are available for quite some time (2 years probably). In December 2013 the feature was promoted for being officially supported, with an option in the configuration dialog. See https://kmix5.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/352/
      Same icon and name for both the recording and the playback volume is indeed an issue. There was a patch to fix situations like this, but for some reason it does not seem to apply in this case.

      Reply

  2. KMix should certainly get preferential importance in KDE environment because it is one of those applications that are absolutely used by all users several times a day. I would be great to get better pulseaudio support, MPRIS support and settings should be simplified with unified UI for Mixer and Configuring channel.

    Reply

    • A maintainer for the PulseAudio part is serverly being missed, Sudhir. I would be very happy if someone would volunteer to maintain that and develop KMix further for all the users of PulseAudio. But asking for “better” is rather unspecific – it could mean anything, even “less features and thus less clutter”. Could you also explain what you mean with “unified UI”?

      Reply

      • Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about PulseAudio to lend a hand to help improve it in KDE. I am just a KMix user.

        I time to time connect a pair of external speakers to my system but in order for me to actually listen audio from external speakers I have to go through maze of settings to Audio Setup and give the external speakers device preference on the other hand it should happen automatically. There is reason I would connect my external speakers to a mobile device if I didn’t mean to use them for listening audio from them.

        KMix’s current UI can be confusing. The Plasma widget has two settings Mixer and Configure Audio. Mixer then has a more separate settings like Audio Setup, shortcuts, etc. It’s like settings in settings in settings.

      • Sudhir, the configuration dialog has been reworked in December 2013. Please see https://kmix5.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/352/ . It is likely exactly what you asked for. 🙂

  3. […] Los avances de KMix, el gestor de sonido de KDE, han sido documentados en su blog habitual KDE Multimedia Mixer por Christian Esken […]

    Reply

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