The Logarithmic Calendar view

So, the other day I was browsing the web (quiet) and came across this post by Marco Arment. Where he talks about how the current generation of calendar software are too rooted in the design of the physical objects. His problem is that the things he cares about most on his calendar. Simply he cares about now the most important and as the time becomes more distant in the future he cares less and less. As to the past he doesn’t want to see what happened unless it is in a special view. Here is how I think a simple version of this Logarithmic Calendar could be constructed. I’m mostly going to talk in terms of Kontact since is the PIM I use.

Logarithmic Calendar Mockup

  1. Stack (Column) contains Today’s Appointments and Tasks. Beads represent an event or task. The top three beads (event/tasks) are passed their alloted times and are recent items only, grey beads are finished and the red beads are an unfinished task . This past area should never be longer then a quarter of the stack. Below these in the bright Green is the Current Bead. Below that are the upcoming beads for the day.
  2. This stack functions the same as 1 minus the past area.
  3. Two Days in this Stack
  4. Three Days in this Stack
  5. One week in the Stack the big change here is the day stacks now laid out horizontally to the previous vertical this allow easy pattern .
  6. One Month of horizontal stacks

This probably need more thought and work done before it is ready for prime time.

World of Goo Linux Users Kick Windows Users Asses

Helios brings up the point Linux Users are willing to pay for games.

So Linux has has 26.1% of World of Goo’s on Windows sale volume and earns 47% as much money.

So to rephrase Linux has just over a quarter of the sales but almost half of Windows revenue.

The numbers list below are derived the 2D Boy birthday-sale-wrap-up as of noon on the 28 Oct.  They are in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM OFFICIAL.

Just an analyst bored and wanting to get a better picture of the situation.

 2dBoy Total d/l                83,250 
                                  Number D/L     avg donation    approx amnt earned
 Linux (deb) 8%              6,660.00       $3.57               $23,776.20
 Linux (tar) 6%               4,995.00       $3.42               $17,082.90
 Linux (rpm) 3%             2,497.50       $3.19                $7,967.02
 Linux total 17%                                                          $48,826.12
 Mac OSX 18%              14,985.00       $2.54               $38,061.90
 Windows 65%              54,112.50       $1.92              $103,896.00
                                                               Total           $190,784.02

If you would like to know how I arrived at these numbers. I will send you my spreadsheet upon request.

P.S.  anyone have a good way to do tables in WordPress.

Open Source Game Renovation

So I have been pondering this for a while.

The idea is simple. Renovate the graphics in a series of FOSS Games, engage the games community and graphic design community and leaders. Maybe setup the project kind of like the tango project, i.e a defined color palette and style guide and let the community free on it. Make it a recurring project that helps out other project in need and I think you have a you have a winning plan.

There are lots of great FOSS games out there. Some with great Graphics and Game play. Those are would not be our target.

For a Game Qualify would need:
Great game play
Fair to not so good graphics
Open Source

We just need a list of games that fit.

My recommendations are Pingus, FreeCiv , and Singularity:Endgame though the latter needs a reworked in-game UI more than anything. Any other ideas

World of Goo Now for Linux.

In the past month or two there has been some talk about to move Linux into the mainstream we need games.
Well, I agree. The guys from 2dboy, Rock. Thank You for releasing this game and more importantly porting it to Linux. My four year old loves this game, he has beaten the first 3 levels of the game with very little guidance. In my opinion this speaks volumes for how discoverable this game is.

You can buy the game or grab a demo from 2dboy it comes in the 3 most common packages for Linux deb, rpm, and tarball.

Commandline client for Network Manager

Since I’m having issue getting KDE Network Manager to compile I have found a great little utility.  CNetworkManager While not feature complete yet more then suffices for connecting to my WPA2 encrypted wireless router.  It could still use connecting with static IP address and and specifying routes and host servers, etc. Best of all  it is a python script.

You  need to install cnetworkmanager.conf to /etc/dbus-1/system.d/ I recommend this even if you have one with similar settings for knetworkmanager or nm-applet.
Here is how I use it.

./cnetworkmanager -C my-ap --wpa-pass=secretsnottold
cnetworkmanager 0.8.1 - Command Line Interface for NetworkManager
pbkdf2 66cd7020f6df8dc9198943edba802e87b36db345da9bdd5187030c789892
Connected: /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/ActiveConnection/2
[1]+  Stopped                 ./cnetworkmanager -C my-ap --wpa-pass=secretsnottold
verbalshadow@tao:~/code/cnetworkmanager$ bg
[1]+ ./cnetworkmanager  -C my-ap --wpa-pass=secretsnottold &

If you  look you can see that I ran it, stopped it, and then made it a background proccess using ‘bg’ you can bring it back to the forground by using ‘fg’

This is a great program, especially when you have broken X.

The joys of installing clean

I decided to do a clean install of Kubuntu 8.10. Re-build my dev enviroment, clean out all the extra stuff I have installed from source, and stop Gnome apps from doing things I want my KDE apps to handle.  I figured it was easier to spending an hour doing the clean install, then worry if I got all of the Gnome Apps configured to not assume it is they own the system. The most annoying thing was nautilus would spawn everytime I plugged any  media CD/DVD/USBdrive. I like Gnome quite a bit but I don’t want it doing stuff while I’m in KDE unless I tell it to.

Anyway, installing Kubuntu went fine except that I had to burn the cd twice and in the end neither of them worked, maybe my CD drive is starting to go out. 😦 That is no fun since I have a laptop. So want I ended up doing was installing Ubuntu’s USB Creator . This worked very well for me, smooth sailing.  The upgrade to KDE 4.2 from kubuntu experimental PPA don’t so much.  This failed and without a workaround was not good, a solution was easy to find.  unless you don’t know how to search. The solution is in the bug report The  .

The Development Enviroment installed smoothly as a ways but, now apps like KDE’s new Network Management plasmoid/KCM won’t build but configure without fault.  Weird. Things are get back to normal, at least soon as I figure out these issues.

Network Manager in KDE4

Updated Cmake commands 5 Feb 09.

So very stoked. This has been a long time coming.  Network Manager in KDE4

I been wait a while for KDE4 to get this.  I mean really almost everyone needs to connect to a network at some point, right? Not having a frontend to make it, easy it stupid.

Quick and Dirty run down how to get it and build it.

You need to have the KDE 4 sources/headers and make sure you have Solid.

I have 4.2 installed from the Kubuntu PPA. You will need to verify the DBUS Policy System Directory for your system.

svn co svn:// NM-plasmoid

cd NM-plasmoid

mkdir build

cd build

cmake ../ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`kde-config –prefix` -DDBUS_SYSTEM_POLICY_DIR=/etc/dbus-1/system.d


sudo make install

There are a some bugs and graphical glitches but it seems to be working ok.

The biggest thing I wonder is why the control module is under System Settings->Advanced->Network Settings and not under the System Settings->General->Network Settings as a the first sub module to make it easier to find for users.

Anyways don’t forget to file your bug reports.

Up Coming Bloodfrontier Release

The Bloodfrontier Dev Team is now in the final stages of this production cycle (hopefully) and will be releasing Alpha 3 in the next couple of weeks.


Better Balanced Weapons

HUD design

Map Warground

Dead Bugs ( lots)

Health is represented by Cross Hair colour

and Other Improvement I don’t recall.

Check us out, thing are being fixed on an often  please grab a copy SVN,  don’t grab the Alpha 2 release as it doesn’t even come close to the current state of the game.

KDE 4 as your Windows Shell?!?!

So I have been wondering for a while how usable KDE 4 is as a shell for Windows. The answer is it it not quite there yet some essential pieces and parts are still missing. This should work for all Windows 2000 and above.

1) open regedit (start menu > run, and type in regedit).
2) go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.
3) add a new string value (Edit > New > String Value) called shell. and set the value to the path of the new shell e.g C:\Program Files\KDE\bin\plasma.exe
4) log out and log back in.

This changes the shell only for the current user which is a good thing.

Quick run Down of what I have found to work and what does not.  For this look I’m using 4.1.80 the beta for 4.2 it may not apply to older or newer versions.

Task Manager Plasmoid – Missing

System Tray Plasmoid – Missing

New Device Notifier – Present but not functioning correctly, fails to show any new devices

Menu ( Kickoff or Classic)  – Both are present, and work great except that you have no way to access your Windows Specific Programs i.e. anything installed to your Start/Programs menu and none of the Leave Functions work( logout, lock, etc).

Quick Access Plasmoid – Missing, this could be used to access the Start Menu until that functionality

Quick Launch Plasmoid – Present and working, no way to add windows applications.

Also Plasma needs to be hidden from the Task Lists and Z-order of containers like the desktop and panels need to be enforced.

I feel like all of this is intentional.

By design, KDE-windows does not provide the full-blown KDE desktop, a preview on the plasma shell replacement will be available in 4.1.2 – Nevertheless this does not rely on kwin/X11 which means that desktop effects are not available – KDE TechBase Wiki

Are we sure that cutting out features is the way to go? I understand that there are some things like Konsole that my not be possible do because they are to deeply rooted in the way*nix works.  Users should be able to pick from everything the KDE system offers and not be limited artificially.

Cokoon a KDE4 SVG style and decoration engine.

Good news. So yesterday or was it the day before. I had a patch accepted to KDE for getting cokoon to compile and link again (thanks kdepepo and pinotree), i.e. port to KDE4.x. The style is functional although it is missing a few things like tabs. I would say it still needs a lot of work. The window decoration on the other hand is non-functional it doesn’t even show up in drop-down for selecting decorations in Appearances, of course I don’t know if it ever did, so since it compiles I’m not where to start yet.

I have been reviewing the theme file spec and they are written like it is a pixel engine, oy.

I haven’t read the code completely to back these assumptions up yet, but it looks like it loads and SVG, rasterizes it , and extracts portions based on coordinates + height/width so aside from loading the SVG instead of PNG or JPG it looks like a pure pixel engine. It’s not a bad way to attack the issue, if you just want it to look nice. In My opinion you lose what makes Vector graphics great though and specifically what is good about SVG. The ability to use object IDs to get the objects you want. Inkscape has used this technique to load its icons for ages. You also lose scalability. Yes, I know is has to be converted to a raster image at some point be it should be as late in the display chain as possible to prevent stretching and pixelation (aka ugly square blocks). Assuming your SVG render can handle filters you use the ability to render those out on the current background as well.

Anyway I’m going to have to give the code some looking and figure out what to do next.
I probably should have done that today but I’m lazy.

Works in KDE 4.1.2, I have no idea if it even works in other versions. Grab the source by running:

svn co svn:// cokoon

Follow the normal cmake dance.