Daily Archives: February 26, 2007

More KDE developers become official WebKit reviewers

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Since the official launch of the WebKit project other KDE developers already got reviewer positions. Now three other KDE developers got these rights too.

WebKit is Apples port/fork of khtml and base for Apple’s web browser Safari and other applications. It was in the beginning mainly driven by Apple’s own development team and there were actually discrepancies between the khtml team and the WebKit team since the WebKit team had a strange wa to release their patches.
However, fortunately this seems to have mainly settled: several KDE developers joined and helped to develop WebKit in the past, Zack Rusin and Rob Buis already got reviewers rights.

Now the WebKit team gave other KDE developers these rights too: Lars Knoll, the original creator of KHTML, and Nikolas Zimmermann, who created KSVG2 together with Rob Buis. Well, they have deserved these rights, no question. I mean, they were the main developers, they created the foundations for this project. Btw., I already blogged about these two guys and WebKit quite some time ago.
Also, Qt ninja George Staikos got review rights for patches for the Qt port of WebKit.

What does this all mean now?
First: nothing special. Some main KDE developers got review rights on an interesting project. But there are now good chances that the khtml and the WebKit development cooperate more now and share features and fixes. Keep in mind that the CSS3 support in khtml is the best available today, but that the WebKit people didn’t sleep either. Also, it could be possible that we see a Qt-WebKit port which would be available also as a browser for KDE.
Also there is the possibility that WebKit comes available as a kpart for KDE – that would mean you could exchange the khtml kpart with the WebKit kpart. You wouldn’t see the change directly (no new GUI, for example) but the rendering might be different from the khtml rendering.

But anyway, *afaik* there haven’t been made any decision about that, so we will see.

Small but nice KDE app: kis

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There are plenty of new applications every day in the Free Software world. Sometimes some of them are very small but yet can be very helpful because they manage a small but clear task in an easy way. In this regard, welcome kis.

I just came across kis which is actually more a kommander script than an application. It delivers one single service to the user which is yet quite important: internet connection sharing.

Don’t get me wrong, you can easily get such a sharing by yourself when you know which rules you have to apply to iptables. However, not everyone likes to do that or wants to write his own script. Also, there are users who are not able to perform something like that one the terminal. And last but not least: I don’t see the point of forcing users to the terminal.

Kis now does this for you – and it comes with a clean GUI for that task. You choose your interfaces, the IP range you want to share, and you’re done. Clean, fast and easy.
Of course the example of this application comes from the Windows world, but that does not mean it has to be bad ;)

And, since I was a bit bored but also interested how to deal with kommander scripts in rpm packages I tried to come up with a rpm – and it actually works. It even creates a menu entry ;)
Here are the necessary files: rpm (x86), srpm

This is, btw., again a good example of the difficulties to spread nice but small software among the Linux community – I honestly doubt that this tool will find its way into the repositories since it is very small, just performs one single task and does not even has to be compiled…

Creative Commons Version 3.0

Creative Commons is one of the most of used licences for content on the internet. Some days ago the set of licences were released in a new version.
I wonder that I haven’t read more about it, but Creative Commons released the new version 3.0 of their sets of licences. I also changed the licence of the content published at this blog to the newest licence. Please keep in mind that this only applies to content I created myself. Especially screenshots and quoted texts are most often content of other people and/or are under another licence.

The main changes are that there is a new generic licence: in former versions the generic licence was also the US licence. This is supposed to make the internationalization easier since the new generic licence is based on international intellectual property treatments instead of American copyright.

There was also a by-sa compatibility structure introduced. The idea is to define cc-by-sa compatible licences which are similar enough so that content can be mixed and released under one of the licences.

You can find a more detailed explanation at Creative Commons Version 3.0 Licenses — A Brief Explanation.

I wonder why I haven’t seen any bigger mentioning of that release…

KDE news: kget, WebKit-Qt, Solid and Phonon

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Coomit Digest issue 47 was released today and as usual features very interesting news. In the meantime Zack Rusin posted news about Qt and WebKit.

Most often small moving things show that a big change is happening. Such small things can be seen in the weekly Commit Digest also. For example that Noatun has dropped all other player backends except Phonon. And that Codeine was ported to KDE 4 – and Phonon instead of Xine. Also, Solid now works with knetworkmanager.
All these changes might be not world shaking, but added together they show that KDE 4, in especially Phonon and Solid, are real already. And Phonon is in a state were applications are ported to it in masses – this shows that the effort put into Phonon really pays off. Thanks, Matthias Kretz :)

But this Commit Digest features another application development: the new kget.
As you might now kget is the standard download manager of KDE 3 and for example integrated into konqueror. Dario Massarin, Manolo Valdes and Urs Wolfer decided to rewrite kget to get it ready for KDE 4 (project name: “make_kget_cool”), and now posted the first details and screenshots.
The new kget features now a plugin API so that everyone can write own plugins to support new protocols. Also, the new kget supports already Metalinks and also mirror search for downloads.
Other features are still developed:

  • BitTorrent support (we are going to co-operate with the KTorrent team, but we need to wait until libktorrent is ported fully to Qt 4/KDE 4). There is already a torrent plugin, based on libtorrent, but it is not ported yet.
  • Full interaction support with the new kio_uiserver.
  • Bandwidth limiting functionality.

But what is a program introduction without screenshots?

And, last but not least Zack Rusin reported that the Qt-WebKit browser is almost ready for usage. I wonder if there will be a KDE 3 ready version for that because I would really love to try it. But for a decent KDE 3 version there would have to be KDE-WalletManager support because I strongly depend on that…

Btw., the KDE news section really became interesting: every Sunday we see the Commit Digest, and every Wednesday Troy Unrau posts his awesome “Road to KDE 4″ articles. What a community!