on the upside, i got word yesterday that p. has been accepted to the waldorf school. so now we just need to complete the admissions process and that's done. i'm very happy about that. he'll be spending fridays in june at the school to start getting acclimated and make friends with some of the other students. neat-o.
also, as of today plasma now loads applets as plugins and by next week that will be upgraded to full on plasmoids. what is the difference, you ask? good question!
from a user's perspective an applet is an implementation detail. from a developer's perspective it's the code, be it a script or a bunch of c++ compiled into a library, that creates a Plasma::Applet object.
it takes more than just that to have a full widget in a plasma container, however. and that's where a plasmoid comes in. a plasmoid is the collection of files that, taken in sum, make up a plasma widget. these files include:
- metadata (.desktop file(s), sample screenshot, etc)
- svg image files (to be registered with Plasma::Theme)
- configuration data (KConfigXT xml)
- and of course ... code
the really good news is that we have, thanks to work by riccardo iaconelli, a packaging format that is tightly integrated with GetHotNewStuff2. for those who have been living under a rock for the last few years or simply aren't very familiar with kde, GetHotNewStuff is a way to provision application data add-ons over the network. the project has grown since kde3 and is now hosted on freedesktop.org. it includes both server and client side tools, and for kde4 we have some classes that allow developers to easily interact with packages of updates.
these packages are very simple, essentially documented zip files. they don't do complex dependency resolution or fight with your operating system's package system. they aren't meant to deliver complex pieces of software either. but they are perfect for plasmoids.
this part of GetHotNewStuff2 will appear in libplasma for 4.0 with the idea of proving them first in the workspace area and then moving more mature versions of them to kdelibs for 4.1. they are in playground right now, but should be svn mv'ing over to libplasma next week.
in the meantime, milliams is starting work on listing known applets in the desktop toolbox, which is handy little slide-out-of-the-side-of-your-screen widget that gives you access to things like adding new plasmoids to the desktop or panels, layout switching and desktop zooming. have i said how much i hate popup dialogs?
oh, and alexander "wirr" wiedenbruch has brought superkaramba into a library so now superkaramba themes can be rendered in plasma. he posted a screenshot the other day of it working. there's still more work to be done on it, but this is a major step towards providing a migration path for superkaramba users.
so .. things continue on a nice clip in plasma. lots left to do, so i don't foresee these blog entries stopping any time soon =)