little list of proposal for maverick from kubuntu italian users

Harald Sitter apachelogger at
Sun Jun 27 08:07:04 BST 2010

Am Samstag, 26. Juni 2010, 12:13:06 schrieb maggsimo at
> Hi Kubuntu Developers, we are a group of Kubuntu Users come from Ubuntu-it
> forum and we would like share to you what we would like see in Maverick.
> This is a little list of proposals. What do you think about?
> Thanks, regards.

Thank you so very much. You cannot imagine how much appreciate this. We, that 
is the developers, at times forget about the small things while hunting after 
the big issues, also completely forgetting that it is the small stuff things 
that make a truely great operating system. Getting a reminder every once in a 
while is just wonderful :)

> 1) Samba and share folder: In Dolphin, in a folder's menu, the option
> "Share folder" doesn't work because the package "kdenetwork-filesharing"
> is not installed. It's necessary to share folders via Dolpin. The bug is
> filed in launchpad but it's not yet fixed (LP bug #402015, #209873)

I think the tab in Dolphin should not be shown at all if knetwork-filesharing 
is not installed? :/
In either case, this is not settled by adding that package to the CD, since 
you would still need to install either Samba or NFS, so we would just be 
moving the problem along.
This whole difficulty in sharing is a long-standing issue that we wanted to 
work on for a long time, but somehow we never got to it. I am not really sure 
what to do here. Ideas anyone?

> 3) artwork for folder icons in the home directory: The oxygen icons
> "music","video", "documents" and "my pictures" exists and are in the
> oxygen- icons package. Kubuntu doesn't use them by default. It's a good
> idea to use them for a more positive user experience. Those icons are
> useful to identify quickly the contents of the home directory.

I really think this should be done in the KDE libraries.

> 4) Dragon player is only a video player and it lacks many feautures like
> show subtitle. Kaffeine is a multimedia player, it has more important
> features, for example dvb tv tuner. If it will be complete for lucid, it's
> important to include it by default.
> And why not the major Open Source media player in the World? I mean....VLC.
> We know it's in Universe but there's nothing you can do? About this, the
> political of Kubuntu is sometimes a bit strange, Firefox is not written in
> Qt so " you can't add " it in the CD, VLC is in Qt but it's in Universe,
> KPackageKit is in Qt but is not ready (it's never ready, it's not usable
> and has always many bugs) but you added in the CD when synaptic is always
> the best for now (but it's in GTK), knetworkmanager is in Qt but it lacks
> many feauture.

We really cannot add Firefox (well, not without headache anyway) - a CD is 
only so large and fitting an application in that is basically coming from a 
completely different ecosystem is a rather expensive task. Same applies for 
synaptic (which is IMHO from a usability POV just as bad, if not worse) and 
the network applet (not to mention that the latter would not integrate into 
the system and for example use gnome-keyring even though we have kwallet 

Now as for switching to VLC - rumour has it that at some point we will get VLC 
support for Phonon (i.e. use VLC as backend for phonon), which will then be 
preferred choice of backend. At least at this point we will have to make a 
decision on this. Because this backend will require a set of basic components 
of VLC (not the player itself though!). Question is if we want to go to the 
length of introducing VLC as default video player or not. And it is not just a 
question of do we want to, there are legal implications that ought to be 
reviewed carefully too.

In general I do not think this will see change for 10.10, but from what I have 
heared about phonon-vlc it will not be that far in the future.

> 5) in dolphin, nepomuk's search bar is too large. A small bar is nice.

Yeah, it looks silly. It should however be reported to the Dolphin developers 

> 6) video preview in dolphin by default

From what I know this is a bit of a difficult topic for 2 reasons.
1) the existing video preview "plugins" are stupid.
2) the existing video preview "plugins" are ugly.

Well, I suppose that is not going to be enough of an explanation ;)
As far as I know, each of the available plugins does not manage to limit 
itself to sensible default sizes. So if a folder happens to contain a 50 GiB 
video file then the plugins, stupid as they are will try to get a preview of 
it. And from what I know getting a preview is not like open-the-file-play-30-
seconds-get-snapshot, but at least one of the available ones will indeed play 
the whole video. Another case to consider here is - say the file is 50 GiB not 
because of playback length, but overall resolution. Playing 30 seconds of a 
super high resolution video is going to eat your system at any rate.
There is the problem that we cannot (and do not want to) distribute non-free 
codecs. Again, at least one of the available plugins (did) fail to correctly 
respond to missing playback capabilities and got stuck in an endless loop.
Additionally they all bypass KDE's multimedia abstraction which makes them 
super eww.

Personally I do not think we should go there. I do understand the desire for 
such a capability, but I do not think that it justifies introducing possibly 
buggy features. And if one of those plugins runs wild, it will take Dolphin 
and possibly the whole system with them.

Here is what I would be doing: file a bug report that suggests to make a 
preview plugin that works based on Phonon and not a specific backend 
application. The reason for this is that we do have control over what gets 
used as backend and at the same time will not have to distribute different 
multimedia engines on the CD. As mentioned above -> CD space is rare and say 
VLC and mplayer are rather fat beasts, so I do not want to end up with both of 
them on the CD, just because someone thought it might be a good idea to bind a 
preview system to mplayer. 

> 7) add desktop icon (link) in dolphin resources bar

Can you elaborate this a bit? The Desktop folder by default will be in your 
home along with the folders mentioned in 3), as far as I know it even gets an 
icon already.

> 8) Many windows have strings cutted, so more care on which dimension
> windows are showed in the default installation

Changing the default dimenions will only work around the issue here. Cut-off 
strings are perfectly preventable using proper user interface settings in the 
source code. Such things should be filed as bugs, the default dimension will 
then be dictated by the minimum amount of space required to present every item 
properly (i.e. not cut-off).

> 9) same above but for the notifications pop up.

I think there is a bug about this filed and this ought to be fixed for KDE 
4.5, not sure though.

> 10) The window dialog where you have to insert your password to run
> applications with root privilege, is always showed minimized in the task
> bar, instead of beeing showed in first floor

Always should not be the case. But first I think we need to clearify what you 
are talking about. Is it the simplicit dialog that asks you to enter your 
password so that applicaton foobar can be run or is it the (a bit) more busy 
dialog that asks you to enter your password to carry out a particular action. 
Former would be the one you see when running KSystemLog, latter is the one you 
see when doing stuff with KPackgeKit.

Generally speaking there is a system called focus-stealing-prevention which, 
well, prevents other windows to steal the focus of the current one. This is a 
very important functionality with regards to password dialogs, since if a 
window steals focus and you typed to swiftly your password might end up in a 
chat room or similar. Hence this focus stealing tries to be smart and only 
allows this in very specific circumstances in the default setup. As far as I 
know this should not be always though.

> 11) An empty plasma folderview doesn't make sense. It shows now Desktop
> folder, but it's empty, if it shows the home folder maybe my mother can
> understand the purpose of plasma foldeview.
> Please consider the purpose of folder view. For istance, it can show
> applications link in Desktop folder or the home directory. But an empty
> folder view doesn't mean anything, more, if you don't understand how to
> populate it....remain just a beauty square in your desktop.

Yep, we really need to do something about this :/

Harald Sitter
Kubuntu Core Developer
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