Friday, June 10, 2011

Live from Randa (timeshifted ;) )

Here is what was^W currently is^W^W we are^W^W. I give up, can fool anyone that I actually blogged about real work from Randa. But I did blog about foosball!

So in the aftermath of the Multimedia sprint I finished up a few branches I started working on in the Swiss Alps:

Drag and drop tracks to any Collection
While copying tracks was already possible using the context menu we've made it a lot more intuitive with drag and drop support. And as a free bonus drag and drop from The Playlist is also working now.
While this feature is not specifically meant to fix iPod support, it might earn us some cash:

Artify Amarok
Let's call a horse a horse: Amarok on desktop looks ugly. This is what happens when you put design up for review by a committee and bike-shed any good idea to dead. In order to improve the looks KRF and me skipped the whole discussion and started implementing some design artwork that was submitted to us by Lee Olson, Thomas L├╝bking and others.
I've removed the statusbar and replaced it with a smaller progress and message area on the colored bar in the Media Sources panel. This bar is always shown and is painted using the current schema's highlight color. Notice the logo in the background of the browser, this breaks empty areas a little, but there is still a "field of gray" effect going on. The other panels will get similar background logos.

Both features can be seen in this screenshot:

An the non Amarok specific front I participated in the Phonon, KDE-Multimedia & Communitydiscussions, help Colin with a little UI review and generally ran around like a headless chicken a lot, once time in the vicinity of Seif to find a good single malt.

Also did not get a single night of decent sleep, which I why you could find me crawling into bed @2:00 and asking for early breakfast @5:30.... man I hate bunk-beds.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Foosball KDE world cup @ Randa 2011

The daytrip got canceled so we need excuse to get us away from our laptops.

So I decided this morning @ 5:30 AM to host a foosball tournament. That is on the table with the red and blue plastic guys, not outside on the grass in the rain. Just to be clear.

Anyone that wants to join should keep an eye this kde-events thread and sign up on the wiki:

Teams of 2 people, if you don't have a team member yet add yourself to the loners sub-topic.

Update: We won!

Friday, June 03, 2011

KDE commit template

I would recommend every KDE developer to use this useful git commit template.
Enable it with
git config --global --add commit.template ~/.commit-template
or just for KDE without the --global from a repo directory.

It's very complete, so once you get the hang of it you might want to remove the first 16 lines so you'll have a nice reminder of the BUG:, FIXED-IN:, etc commit-hooks (I'm looking at you rengles ;) ).
Amarok contributors should also remember to include a Changelog entry to any commits introducing features, changes or bugfixes. Probably a good practice for all.

If you use vim as the commit editor (core.editor=vim) you could use this git commit template as well.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plans for Randa

Tomorrow an assorted set of KDE developer sprints start in Randa, Switzerland. Obviously I'll be attending the "Multimedia/Phonon/Amarok" part of that but I'll plan to drop in on the other teams as well to take part in a few meeting, socialize or extract useful technical information.

Looking at the topics I would like to take part in some of the discussions and planning. I hope I can contribute knowledge and experience about mobile & embedded development, which I deal with in my day job.

Amarok is still using it's own internal database for the main collection. But with the maturity of semantic desktop storage such as Nepomuk and Tracker and especially on mobile platforms, the time has come to use this platform resource. I'll look into and perhaps even get started on a nepomuk ontology compatible QSparql collection.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

House tech specs

For those who like to geek out on technical specs:
I've summarized all the technology use in our, almost complete, solar passive house on a dedicated blog .

The obligatory pretty picture:

And there is more on the linked to post.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Guess What!

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

But probably only one day.
Anyone planning a KDE dinner?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What we'll be doing the coming months

We'll be building a house, that's what.

For the past 3 years Wendy and me have been planning this project and it's damn time we started.... which we did the past 2 days. Here is photographic evidence:
big hole in the ground

That big hole in the gound is only the start of what, over the next few months, is supposed to become this beautiful piece of architecture:
The architects first sketch

Notice the sun in this sketch because it's what this house will use as it's main heating source. It will be solar passive house meaning it will use about 10 times less energy to heat then a regular house here in Belgium. If the budget allows we'll put enough photo-voltaic panels on the roof to never have an electricity bill over €15 per year. And since we are geeks it will have domotics and multi-room audio.

Designing and building your own house is common in Belgium. According to a saying we have "a brick in our stomach". We are not using bricks though, it's a combination of a concrete "pit" containing a wooden frame clad with cement bonded panels. And the layout is upside down, bedrooms downstairs (and partially underground) and the open-planed living spaces about 1.5 meters above ground level, which itself is 2 meters above street level.

This is as unconventional as you can get in this country but anyone that knows Wendy and me could guess we wouldn't have it any other way :).

If you are interested and can read Dutch (or just want to look a the photo's): we maintain a blog on a eco oriented site for (potential) builders called
And I'll add a few English posts to my other blog which I named after the house number we've been assigned: 12C.

Bart & Wendy