Guidance porting to KDE 4

Yuriy Kozlov yuriy-kozlov at
Sun Nov 16 18:35:27 GMT 2008

On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 12:24 PM, Nicolas Ternisien
<nicolas.ternisien at> wrote:
> Hi KDE and KUbuntu Developers,
> My name is Nicolas Ternisien, and I'm the kdeadmin coordinator. I am
> planning to port most of Guidance application to KDE 4, in order (if
> it does not take too much time) to include it into the kdeadmin module
> for KDE 4.3 release.
> I'm planning to import the 0.8 release of Guidance to the following
> folder, probably with the name guidance-kde4 :
> This porting will have fulfill the following tasks :
> - Port to the CMake build system (the
> project of Jonathan Riddell will be a good startup point)
> - Port main applications to KDE 4 (in my point of view, in the
> following priority order : userconfig, serviceconfig, mountconfig,
> displayconfig and wineconfig)
> - Succeed to integrate those applications as KDE 4 KCModule, to
> include them into systemsettings (as it was in KDE 3)
> I will try to make my best to succeed those tasks, but it will be a
> pleasure to receive help from anybody. I've discussed with Simon
> Edwards, which told me that the KUbuntu team already ported the
> userconfig app to KDE 4, so if you see no problem in this, the
> Launchpad bzr branch will be merged into the KDE SVN guidance porting
> folder.
> This achievement will have the advantage to provide an easy
> architecture for people interested in creating new Admin KCModule,
> using the really good Python language, and replace old and sometimes
> ugly applications from the KDE Admin module (more particularly KSysV
> and KUser). Of course, this replacing will be done only when the
> Guidance equivalent apps will have the potentially missing features
> those old applications had.
> I hope this project is being interesting you, and as you see, this
> project is starting early to have a chance to vastly improve kdeadmin
> module for KDE 4.3
> The KDE 4.3 schedule has been updated about this project :
> Cheers.
> Nicolas Ternisien

What is the target audience for the kdeadmin module?  Is it for
(casual) system administrators, or is it supposed to provide easy
tools for users?

To summarize the below: guidance is a nice set of tools, but I think
it'll be a little more than just a port of it to KDE4 to get well
integrated, user friendly configuration tools for KDE.

A straight port of guidance would have filled a hole for Kubuntu 8.10,
but I'm not sure if it's right for KDE.  I'm not sure about
serviceconfig and mountconfig -- those are probably good mostly as
they are but I haven't really looked at them other than to run into lp
bug 87829 [1], which blocks one of the most likely uses of mountconfig
for new users.

userconfig is a nice tool, but it seems to me a little too much like a
graphical editor for /etc/group and /etc/passwd.  Which is great if
the target audience is system administrators, but it doesn't seem all
that friendly for beginners.  When I started working on porting
userconfig (now I think txwikinger (Ralph Janke) is working on it)
Riddell pointed me to this a new user configuration tool the fedora
people are working on [2] for Gnome.  The interface is kind of a copy
of Mac OS X, but I think some of the ideas are nice -- integrating
some of the "About Me" and login manager settings in the tool.  It
didn't seem quite feasible to do all that for a Kubuntu tool, since it
may involve messing with other KCMs, but maybe some of the ideas can
be used if this is taken up by upstream?  Their tool is also supposed
to deal well with different configurations such as LDAP, which I don't
think userconfig handles, so it potentially doesn't really cover the
needs of a sysadmins either.  The Fedora tool is supposed to have a
backend, so I think it's worth looking into and sharing some of that.
I haven't looked at it since then though, so I don't know if it's
gotten anywhere.
The current bzr branch(es) of guidance/userconfig are here btw:

displayconfig is now replaced by kcmrandr, hopefully.  (Is that using
this Kephal library?)  The latter still needs work, and taking some of
the interface from displayconfig might be a good idea, but the backend
of displayconfig is outdated now, as ScottK can attest to after trying
to fix it up for Hardy.  However, there are also some features in
displayconfig other than resolution setting and such that are
currently not covered in KDE modules AFAIK, like gamma settings.
displayconfig also had display power settings, which system settings
already has, but is that taken care of by powerdevil now (in 4.2)?

Porting of wineconfig is probably not the way to go at this point.
There are some people working on wine integration for KDE (or at least
said they were planning to).  Scott Ritchie has had plans up for wine
integration for a while [3][4], mostly targeted toward Gnome, but
progress has been slow.  He told me recently that they are working on
a DBus interface to wine, so better tools can be made.  Once that's
ready, it'll be worth looking into whether to have a comprehensive
tool like wineconfig, which would need a new backend, or something
simpler like in his plan.  The one thing I'd like to port is the color
scheme importing and make a script for it, so if somebody could point
me to some documentation of how color settings are stored in KDE4, if
that's changed from KDE3, that'd be great.

Anyway, I think it's great that people are taking this on and I hope
it'll result in some really nice configuration tools for KDE 4.3.

~ Yuriy Kozlov


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