Friday, November 14, 2008

Help! Unsolved problems with maximized Kubuntu Intrepid windows

After quite happily having upgraded to Intrepid on two machines (a laptop and a desktop), I started upgrading a second laptop. By now, I had apt-p2p installed on my first laptop, and with the help of Cameron hacked apt-p2p to allow my laptop use the apt-p2p installation of my already migrated laptop. The download went rather smoothly. Anyway, that's not important to my problem.

The problem I encountered with my second laptop, after fixing the ATI-driver problem (I had to replace to old ATI drivers with the new opensource driver package to get X11 working again), was that all windows automatically maximized:

When I minimize the window, it does, but does not have any decoration:

There is little to find with Google, except for this closed thread on ubuntuforums. I followed hints.

I removed my .kde folder, made sure I was using kwin, checked window size settings (but it even maximizes dialogs!), and Riddel was kind enough to make some suggestions, which unfortunately did not help either. Worse, I rebooted my already migrated laptop, and now I have the problem on both laptops :(

So, at least the problem is not hardware related. Also, the most recent updated laptop showed the problem with both KDE 4.1.2 and 4.1.3, so that does not seem to be the problem either. A reboot triggered the problem of my first migrated laptop, which was last booted 4 days ago. So, it seems to have to do with a package I installed upon the upgrade of the second machine, and which I installed in the last 4 days... does aptitude keep a log by now?

The problem is rather annoying, and makes the desktop quite unusable... I don't want to reinstall Intrepid from scratch... I filed a bug report with some extra details. so, if you have any suggestion, any, I am likely going to try it. Any suggestion on how to debug the problem is also most welcome...

Update: problem could be fixed with: aptitude remove devilspie. Thanx to all who replied!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fish: my next generation sh?

Casper introduced me to fish in a nice write up of functionality. Nice tip! I have been using BASH for a long time now, before which I used csh, IIRC. Oi, that was on the old Solaris days. Anyway, default settings are quite nice, but one thing I don't like so much is the abbreviated pwd in the prompt. At least, not for the full prompt. It would suite me best of the last two or three directories were not abbreviated, but could not find an option for that.

Workaround is to simply define a new prompt in ~/.config/fish/, where I changed it default prompt to use pwd instead of prompt_pwd.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tagging email with Nepomuk?

Trueg is the KDE-Nepomuk dude, and has been running a few cool blogs, for example about Nepomuk Virtual Folders - The Next Level, We Don't Search... and Fetch, Nepomuk, fetch!

Tagging is the future. Overcoming typos in tags, synonyms is a conflicting feature, but does not limit the wide applicability of being able to tie information together. Now, Nepomuk is a bit strict on the type of metadata allowed, which is why Strigi has a super ontology (as in super set), to which we can add chemistry bits.

I have yet to install KDE 4.1, assuming that a good deal of truegs work found its way into that. At least, the virtual folders bit, I hope. But just imagine tying together PDFs, PDB entries, etc, I have on my desktop, all belonging to a diabetes, by just typing this URL: nepomuksearch:/diabetes.

On a different note, this tagging if available in Kmail would provide a powerful approach to organize the processing of my inbox; I can tag emails with todo, toreply, toread, toarchive, ...

Oh, and let me squeeze in this statement too (sorry, jriddel) : Kubuntu 8.04 has required me to tweak to work around bugs than any other previous Kubuntu release. Things tend to be encountered by others earlier, so that Googling generally helps sufficiently. But missing dependencies is a bit ugly (sorry, forgot which program it was, so can't link to the bug report). And, still am a happy Kubuntu user!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Synchroning KDE settings; Plasma updates

First of all, thanx to all who gave replied to my previous blog item KDE 4.0.0: no Yukuake for Kubuntu?"! I got my desktop machine run KDE4 now, with Yakuake and with being able to lock the screen.

Now, regarding the taskbar; I haven't placed it on top of my screen, as I could not find those coordinates adz21c was talking about. That's really a minor thing. Now, the Plasma taskbar has seen many improvements over the last days, like the two row taskbar, and the ability to make is somewhat smaller.

Riddel wrote a tool to synchronize KDE settings between machines. It's actually amazing that in the era where KDE is able to have a central architecture for 'personal information' (Akonadi), and we have technologies like bzr, svn, that we still have to hack workarounds to synchronize our desktop environments. Of course, I already have the data of my desktop synchronized via repositories, but things as far from automatically done...

The tool made by Riddel is such a workaround, a really promising one (looking forward to the Kubuntu package! BTW, does it support both KDE3 and KDE4?), but it is surprising that it is not the default yet.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

KDE 4.0.0: no Yukuake for Kubuntu?

Last week I installed the Kubuntu gutsy packages for KDE 4.0.0, and was delighted about the result (see the visual guide). Surely, I have some things I got so much used too, which do not seem 4.0.0 material:
  • taskbar at the top of the desktop
  • option to resize the taskbar
  • searching files with I tagged/rated with Dolphin/Nepomuk
  • Strigi still does not have PDF support (and I'm not that fluent in C++)
And, there are many things which showed up in blogs over the past year, which do not have made it into 4.0.0:On the other hand, maybe I just forgot to install some packages, though I installed the extragear-plasma.

Though I very much like the new Konsole, I got so used to Yakuake, this will keep me running a KDE3 for just now. KDE4 capable packages are reported (version 2.9b1) but I failed to compiled these on Kubuntu Gutsy:
cd /tmp
cp ~/Desktop/yakuake-2.9-beta1.tar.bz2 .
tar xvjf yakuake-2.9-beta1.tar.bz2
cd yakuake-2.9-beta1/
cd build/
sudo aptitude install build-essential cmake kdebase-workspace-dev
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/lib/kde4 ..
After which I am stuck with this error message, I have no idea of how to solve in gutsy:
CMake Error: Qt compiled without support for -fvisibility=hidden. This will break
plugins and linking of some applications. Please fix your Qt installation.
-- Configuring done

Anyway, congratulation to the KDE developers, and looking forward to the upcoming dotdot releases and KDE4.1 this summer! If not just for the planned better Strigi/Nepomuk/KDE integration.

P.S.: I just discovered the plasmoid section on, which I'm going to browse right now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF) support in Strigi

Last week I have been hacking on a Strigi plugin for FOAF files. Now, one will not expect FOAF files on ones desktop soon... unless, you start indexing your Konqueror history. I have not seen that feature yet, but not overly difficult to implement for a skilled Konqueror developer (just use the dbus interface for Strigi).

However, HTML files may have this line in the <head> element:
<link href=''
rel='meta' title='FOAF' type='application/rdf+xml'/>

This could be the trigger for a Strigi plugin, to download this file and provide that as substream for the HTML file. I am aware for security issues at immediately pop up, but that is something we can surely deal with.

Using this approach the whole semantic desktop takes shape. Say, I am searching what I have on my desktop on some topic, then, additionally, Strigi will make me aware that I recently read the blog from someone who showed interest in that topic too. Moreover, it will even allow Strigi to tell me which projects on SourceForge are related to this topic.

Far fetched? No, it's really just around the corner. If interested, you may find the source code in KDE SVN under trunk/playground/utils/strigi-foaf. The Konqueror history hack is not implemented yet, as I need to know first what efforts are ongoing in that respect.