State of (common) search bars in KDE

In the discussions around the last commit digest the question if there will be a common, firefox-like search bar for all applications anytime soon which all applications can share. It will not make it into KDE 4 for certain reasons, but might be a possibility for KDE 4.1.

The question about the common search bar was raised by me because the current commit digest issue 57 featured a screenshot of the current state of the firefox-like search bar in kate:

kate development version with search bar

The problem with this search bar is that it is kate only: the code is in kate’s files, and not shared with other applications.
Other applications also implemented them by their own: konsole, okkular and konversation. Additionally, there is a very strong user request to add something like that to konqueror as well.

So you might think that this is rather dull because it is duplication of efforts – the code for the standard search field (ctrl+f) is in kdelibs to be shared among applicaitons, after all!
However, when I raised these concerns it turned out it is not that easy:

Pino Toscano:
As Robert pointed out already, it’s not really easy to do that. Every search bar relies on specific stuff of the application, thus reducing the potential sharing to just a simple widget.

I find it odd that there is so little code to share – the ctrl-F dialog is in KDElibs, right?

Robert Knight:
Yes. The search bar however is not a dialog, so managing it is different. The find dialog itself doesn’t actually do very much either.
It requires changes to both kdelibs and the applications, the search bar is not quite a drop-in replacement.

Since kdelibs is now frozen, we will certainly not see such changes in kdelibs before KDE 4.1. But since the developers are aware of the topic, we might hope for such a solution. And honestly, to me it looks like that we have to wait until that to see a new search implemented in konqueror, which is sad somehow.


2 thoughts on “State of (common) search bars in KDE”

  1. okkular with double “K”? 😉
    Apart from that, thanks for the informative article. I am also eagerly awaiting a search bar in Konqueror. But if the find dialog can’t be removed from kdelibs, why not have both a find dialog and a search bar, and let each application chose whichever they want?

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