KDE news: Kamion, Step, Phonon

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Kamion

The commit digest issue 44 had a note that Kamion, a user data migration tool, has been added to the SVN and is pretty far in development (already with a first GUI). Basically with Kamion we will be able to move user data from one computer to the other with an easy GUI. Sure, to copy ~/.kde might be faster, but is not acceptable for normal people. Also, depending on the implementation, it could also help porting data from KDE 3 to KDE 4 or from KDE-PIM 3 to KDE-PIM 4.

Step

Another neat app I became (again) aware of is Step, an application for simulating simple physical processes. Such apps are very helpful when you teach children the basics of physics – and they can also be quite fun when you just play around (anyone remembers “The Incredible Machine”?). They can also be helpful when you need simple physical simulations to get an idea of what will happen in a specific set up.
Hm, ok, you might not be so interested, but for me as a physics student, it is very nice😉

Phonon

Troy Unrau, once again, posted an excellent article about a future KDE 4 technology. This time he wrote about the state of the art of Phonon. The Tenor: Phonon will make Multimedia easier for the user. And according to the article several of the real-needed features are already implemented. It is not only that there will be multiple backends available which can even send information about what they are capable of and what not. There will also be the possibility to have different outputs for different devices:

different devices for different output types

As you can see there are different types of Audio on the left, and different hardware outputs on the right. So in future you will be able to listen to the music with your normal sound card while you accept an incoming call with your USB head set – independent from each other.

Also, if you want to switch the music output device Phonon will be at your side:

Phonon device change while playing

This screenshot shows how the output device is changed while a song is playing – that’s just awesome!

Imagine now you are implementing a virtual hardware device to switch the output to the room you are in atm. Combine that with motion detector and you really have something to show your friends😉