Thursday, December 31, 2009

News from the KDEWin front - Part 2

Following the previous article, there's more exciting news in Windows-land ! In addition to Akonadi, we have another core technology of the KDE Platform (+10points) up and running: Nepomuk

The main task was to adjust to Virtuoso now being the official backend for Soprano, but only a surprisingly small amount of work was needed in order to get the Virtuoso backend to run on Windows. And guess what, it works like a charm, and it's fast. A big thumbs up to the people at OpenLink for providing us with a great open source version of their database.

With both these technologies at hand, there's a lot of potential for things we can achieve, on linux of course but also on Windows. To give you a little teaser, have a look at  the screenshot below :

This is the akonadi console on Windows showing a running agent based on Nepomuk: the contact feeder. This agent scans your resources and automatically extracts all contacts found (based on email addresses, event organizers, address book entries, etc...) and adds them to the Nepomuk storage.

You can then use the convenient querying API of Nepomuk to extract that information and put it back in context. For example, the following screenshot shows the results of searching Akonadi contacts by email address, these contacts having been automatically extracted by the Nepomuk contact feeder agent :

As you can see, the results are Akonadi items, not just strings. (note that for that example we use a SPARQL query, which is the querying language used internally by Nepomuk and Soprano).

Pretty cool huh ? :) This is just one simple example of what we can achieve by combining Akonadi and Nepomuk, and there many many more at hand...

Thanks a lot to Sebastian Trueg, the man behind Nepomuk and Soprano, for his help and cooperation in getting the Virtuoso backend running on windows, and to his employer Mandriva for their support !

So...that's it ! 2009 is out, and it was a good year for KDE in general and KDEWin in particular. Now it's time to go celebrate another great year to come !

Happy New Year everybody, and see some of you in a few weeks at CampKDE in San Diego !


Friday, December 18, 2009

News from the KDEWin front - Part 1

If you've been wondering how KDE on Windows is doing lately, well we're actually doing pretty good, particularly on the PIM side where we have reached important milestones this week.

First of all, Kontact on Windows got quite some TLC over the past months, with lots of stability improvements and bugfixes. Just to name a few : proper timezones support, ical calendars, GnuPG integration using gpg4win (in collaboration with our friends at g10), and more...
Of course this is all in trunk, so feel free to give it a try using our cool emerge build tool or using the kdewin installer ! Alternatively, for a more conservative choice you can try the enterprise4 branch of kdepim, available under the enterprise4 category in emerge. This branch has its own tag of kdelibs and frozen dependencies, so it's less likely to break or have regressions. I use it as my email and groupware client at work, and I haven't had a single crash in months ! ;)

But the real news come from the next version of Kontact, based on Akonadi. Our team of fearless developers at KDAB is working day and night to bring this to life, and making it work on Windows has been an objective from the start, with some help from yours truely. This past week we've had the first official demo of an Akonadi-based Kontact running on Windows, with the mail, address book, and calendar/todo plugins up and running, and already pretty functional.

Enough words, here are some screenshots :

Akonadi-based kmail

Akonadi-based korganizer

To prove that this is not a fake (nope, the shadows don't look all wrong), here's a screenshot from akonadiconsole, our development aid for Akonadi, showing a mail in the browser tab, with the data coming straight from the mysql backend :

As you can see, things are shaping up pretty nicely, and progress is fast. Akonadi is running great on Windows now, with many resources and agents already available. With the good progress of plasma in parallel, Akonadi-aware plasmoids such as Sebas's Lion Mail are now just a fingertip away on Windows. Of course there are still some rough edges, for example we're still accessing an external mysql server, but starting and running our own internal server is next on my TODO list.

Finally, I want to give a big thumbs up to the following :
  • Patrick Spendrin and Ralph Habacker from the KDEWin team, for their help and all the monster work
  • the Akonadi/Kolab folks who did an awesome job over the past weeks, in particular : Volker Krause, Allen Winter, Thomas McGuire, Stephen Kelly, Laurent Montel, Kevin Ottens, Tobias K├Ânig, and of course Till Adam.
Cheers !

print("Hello World !");

Hello World !

Ahem... we're almost in 2010, so it's about time I got a piece of The Internet ...

So I'll try to keep it short and use this blog to share some of the cool Qt stuff I do for KDE and KDEWin, for my employer KDAB, or occasionally on totally unrelated subjects.

Cheers !