Some KDE news: Decibel 0.5, Plasma Applet Browser and Kicker and Plasma

Decibel was released as version 0.5. At the same time a Plasma Applet Browser was introduced by Ivan Čukić. Also, it was once again made clear that we will see a kicker replacement for KDE 4.0 in time.


Not even a month after the release of Decibel 0.4 another version was released: Decibel 0.5. First of all the release once again shows that the project is healthy, alive and developing. But even more important is the way the development of Decibel switches from framework development over to the additional stuff:

There were very few changes at the Decibel daemon itself. Most work this time happened in the addons directory of the development tree which houses – you guessed it – addons history […]. It is really fun to add that kind of additional functionality on top of the existing framework!

This means that Decibel finally reached a state in which the most basic functions are ready and can be now used by application developers. Indeed, this release of Decibel is now considered feature complete in quite some parts:

  • Manage communication accounts for all supported protocols
  • Listen for incoming and outgoing communication channels
  • Start up components as configured to handle these channels
  • Support profiles of component configurations. This way you can eg. have different reactions to incoming communication channels when online or offline.
  • Create connections to contacts managed in an external PIM system.
  • Propagate presence state of contacts into an external PIM system.
  • Add support for logging of channels incl. open time, connect time and closing time.

As a result the first applications can now be ported to use Decibel – in return such ports will give Decibel the necessary real-world feedback about the APIs and the design. And as I already wrote a first application is ported to Decibel in these days.

Speaking about Decibel I just saw that a kcontrol module already exists to configure Decibel since April (i was away in April therefore I missed it I guess). While it was described as not very functional besides a delete button at that time I guess the development didn’t stop there. And it agaon shows that the Decibel people have their aim of KDE integration in front of them. Sad that we have to wait for KDE 4.1 to see Decibel 😉 .


Plasma is developing at an enormous speed these days. There are news almost every day, and it is hard to keep track of them all. However, one thing I’d like to mention is the new Plasma Applet Browser developed by Ivan Čukić:

The Plasma Applet Browser can be used to browse, filter and group Plasma applets – and of course it can add these applets to the desktop. The application is not written in Plasma and is therefore different to the current Plasma applet launcher which sits in the top left of the desktop in current KDE SVN installations. It reminds me more of the old kicker applet browser which was quite nice I think.

Speaking about kicker and Plasma, I was assured that we will see a kicker replacement in KDE 4.0. While I didn’t doubt that (you just have to trust the Plasma guys because of the work which is done at the moment) I didn’t state that clearly enough in a recent discussion on IRC: I listed the few things which are missing in KDE 4.0 Beta 1 although they were announced when the plans for KDE 4 were made, and aseigo immediately stepped in to clear any doubts about kicker:

<liquidat> “some of them” is good – the only things missing I see so far are Sonnet, Decibel (which is scheduled for KDE 4.1) and the kicker replacement. And I guess the last point will be resolved before KDE 4.0 stable.
<aseigo> liquidat: it will, yes
<liquidat> aseigo: I wasn’t in doubt about that 🙂

As I said I wasn’t in doubt about that, but it is even nicer to read such statements from a main developer. I’m looking forward to the new KDE bar!


9 thoughts on “Some KDE news: Decibel 0.5, Plasma Applet Browser and Kicker and Plasma”

  1. Good to see KDE4 moving forward so fast. Pity Decibel isn’t going to make in 4.0.
    You’r doing a good job at keeping us uptodate with current developments.
    Can’t wait till 4.0 is ported to FreeBSD so I can run it on PC-BSD.

  2. Feel free to try the KCM module for account management in Decibel again. It works now and you can modify/delete/register accounts with Decibel there.

    (OK, creation of new accounts is still missing. The KCM module already can request all required information, but I did not get round to routing it through Decibel to Telepathy yet;-).

  3. thank you once again for such a great article!
    i have one question, perhaps you can answer it:
    which protocols does decibel support? i mean something like jabber (xmpp), icq, msn etc… so do i understand it right that i only have to sign in my account data from e.g. icq and decibel connects me and every programm can send data over it?
    i’m still a bit confused…perhaps one of you can answer me..

  4. joni, simply said Decibel will manage all the accounts for the different protocols, and other programs will talk to Decibel to access these protocols, yes.
    Decibel itself supports all protocols which are supported by Telepathy.

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