Archive for November, 2008

OpenGTL 0.9.6/0.9.7

30 November, 2008 2 comments

Since llvm 2.4 has been released a few weeks, and since I have made a lot of improvement in the libraries, it’s about time I make a release of OpenGTL. So a twin release, 0.9.6 for llvm 2.3 and 0.9.7 for llvm 2.4.

The main changes are:

  • Lot of bug fixes… too many for me to be not lazy to make a list that no one would read… But among other things the conversion between types is done in a much more nicer way.
  • Library support, and start the standard library in OpenShiva
  • Add examples of Shiva kernel
  • Not really a feature but the libraries are now licensed under LGPL version 2 or later (instead of just 2, I hope I won’t live to regret that decision…)

You can download it here or get OpenSuSE package (10.3 or 11.0)

When can we release KOffice ?

13 November, 2008 2 comments

I have seen some concern about 2.0 from users perspective that can be easily sweeped off. For instance, the minor issue of KOffice saving hability came up on the dot recently, or some reviewers did not so long ago comments on the unstability of the beta (didn’t we tell that we toyed with KWord for an hour and half at the meeting before getting a crash ?). So basically, KOffice 2.0 is going to be released when it’s ready(tm). So that lets to define when it is ready, missing features doesn’t come into the equation, sure not having table support is a sad thing, since a lot of people are missing that, but writting proper table support isn’t an easy task and will require a lot of work, in the mean time a lot of other people will enjoy KWord without tables support but a good style manager.
So here are our two priority, when all of those issues are solved, KOffice 2.0 will be officialy out:

  • Crashes are release critical, stability is important, a feature that doesn’t work well is surely annoying, but a feature that crashes the applications is a bad thing
  • Data loss are release blocker, which basically means that if we know about a data loss in the native formats (aka ODF or .kra), then we won’t release, which means that as long as the saving issue in KOffice isn’t solved, you won’t see a stable 2.0

While this is our priority, this doesn’t prevent us to work on also improving usability, and fixing other kind of bugs.

Sure we do want packages for the KOffice betas.

11 November, 2008 Leave a comment

There is some sort of rumor telling that the KOffice developers don’t want packages for their beta. Nothing can be more wrong than this, I did spend sometime setting up KOffice’s nightly build for OpenSuSE, because we want packages, and we do release betas for this very reason. I can assure you there is nothing more boring than generating tarball for a release, and we don’t do tarball for people to build on their own, those that do build themself would better build from svn than from a beta. So beta are clearly intended for packagers, so that more people can test and report bugs. The important thing is that those beta are for testing only. Users have to be aware somehow that those packages aren’t intended for use, that if it crashes, destroy your data and makes your girl/boyfriend break with you, well that’s kind of expected (maybe except for the last things, we wouldn’t happen unless you tried to retouch your wedding pictures with krita and lost everything, I strongly suggest you make backup when you use koffice beta, not of your whole hardrive, but of the data you intend to use with it, I don’t think we have known data loss, but we never know). So basicaly, what I am trying to tell is that having packages of the betas for testers is a good things, having packages of the betas for unaware users is a bad things. And don’t tell me, it’s not a big deal we have put them on “non-officialy” supported repository, because everybody do enable “universe”, “multiverse”, “contrib”, “extra”, “whatever”… This is a bad things for the user, he will get a terrible experience, this a bad thing for the distribution, users will think “why do they ship such a piece of junk ?”, this is a bad thing for the project, users will think “what piece of crap, I can’t event make two pages without crashing, I will never use this again”. One can hope, that distributions and packagers care about their users, one can definitely think that they care about themselfs, and I do believe they care about the project other wise they wouldn’t spend their time making packages.

What I just said probably didn’t convince you at all, so lets take a jump in the past, about two years ago, the events happen after the last release of a stable version, 1.6. Sometime after the release, my brother told me “I tried Krita but it crashes on opening any jpeg and png”, hum, weird works for me, I didn’t had the oppurtunity to look at his machine and see what was going on. But a bit later, I saw someone telling on whatever forum “Krita sucks, it crashes on opening any jpeg file, who can have ever release such a things ?” (not actual words, but that was the substance), looking at the detail I noticed the guy is using the same distribution as my brother, my initial guess, since we are not stupid enough to release a version of Krita with a crashing jpeg filter, was that the version of one library differs and we are doing something wrong which works with the version I use, and not with the version of that distribution. It turned out that the distribution was shipping a beta (and yes we are stupid enough to release beta with crashing jpeg filter). The point is that those users had no idea they were installing a beta, and that it would be unstable. They were expecting to be able to use the application for their daily work or activity.

So what I believe benefits everybody is to have KOffice beta package accessible from a specific web page, explaining clearly what those packages are about, so that is easy for testers to test it, and that it wouldn’t hurt users that just want to use it. And if that’s mean no KOffice, because you don’t have the manpower to ship 1.6 packages, well that’s still better than shipping a work-in-progress unstable KOffice. Don’t forget that even if linux users are often knowledgeable in technical aspect, they are users before being testers.

KOffice Release Sprint Day 2

9 November, 2008 Leave a comment

Yesterday evening, we tried to go to a restaurant, but unfortunately google maps indicates the restaurant in the opposite direction from the KDAB Office, I must say this is not the first time something like this has happen to me (that’s one of the reasons I refuse to use it, and rely on more ancient technologies, wether it is real physical maps, or website that have work on the subject for a longer time, and which are probably not as focused on hypeness and coolness as google). But finally, thanks to Patrick’s hability to read maps (I guess it’s useful to have a marble developers with you), we were able to reach it, which allowed Sebas to try to feed Alexandra:

Today is the last day of the KOffice meeting.

We started with a presentation from Alexandra on the social web KOffice awareness (TM). If you know me a little bit, you might know that I have a strong dislike about the so called “Social Web 3.0”, so, at first, I was rather skeptical. But I must say that was she presented was actually interesting, in a few words, it’s an aggregation of the activity arround KOffice (blogs, commits, screenshots, news entry, new tutorials…) on one website, so one would just have to use this web site and see what is happening on the KOffice world. This is cool.

Then Thomas made a presentation on automatic (unit) testing, and what to do to write usefull and meaningfull (unit) tests. Which is an important things if you want to limit regression, like we currently are still facing in the koffice release.

Currently, we are having small group discussion, hacking and bug hunting. And, soon, I am going to leave for the airport.

KOffice Release Sprint Day 1

8 November, 2008 5 comments

So today was the main day of KDE Events. It started with Sebas explaining us the new marketing vision of KDE, where KDE is presented as the KDE Project developing applications, which includes, among other things, a Desktop and an Office Suite (called KOffice…). Then our four marketing gurou went into an isolated rooms to prepare the magic recipes for the message of the next release.

Since Ellen from the usability group was here, and since we had a lot of things to discuss about user interraction, we spend most of the day going applications after applications, with a strong focus on our dockers, and our tools. We found a lot of small issues, we did find a few solutions that are going to be implemented, mostly dockers reorganisation.

Thomas trying to crash KWord. But obviously he is not good at that !

All in all I found it was positive, sure there are many annoying issues, but it seems we are on the right track for user interaction. Which means that 2.0, far to be perfect on an user perspective, will show the road to what we want to achieve.

Then around the end of the day, our marketing heroes came to present us what they have discussed on how to present 2.0. Which end up in a discution on when we are going to be able to release, it appears clearly that there won’t be a 2.0 release in 2008. But it will happen shortly after.

KOffice applications can hypnothise people.

KOffice Release Sprint Day – 1

7 November, 2008 Leave a comment

Most of the KOffice developement team is meeting this week-end in Berlin, with some people from KDE’s marketing group, in the KDAB office. The main goal of the meeting is to prepare the upcoming 2.0 release. We will have two tracks, one dedicated to technical aspect, like UI polishing, the state of applications, in one word, what is needed to get to the final release. And the second track is dedicated to marketing, prepare the crowd to the arrival of KOffice 2.0, prepare the message, define what to do with the website…

Since where information is delivered a few minutes after it has happen, here comes the first image of this meeting, since we are all geeks, the first things we do is connect ourself to the Matrix: