New hardware => new KNewsTicker!

My kind employer decided to grant me a brand new ThinkPad R61 – yay! Not only does this new machine allow my to play my beloved World of Warcraft in all its graphical glory, it also made me spend most of this weekend on hacking KDE4.

I decided to use the latest Kubuntu release 7.10 and not only did it come with a nice default setup, getting KDE trunk to build on this thing was quite simple as well – I basically followed the KDE4 build instructions I found online.

My plan was to give some love to my pet project KNewsTicker by porting it to KDE4. After a while of research it turned out though that so many things changed which affect KNewsTicker:

  • Qt3 is gone, Qt4 is the new standard. In particular, the way of creating menus (like KNewsTickers context menu) changed a lot.
  • Kicker is gone, Plasma is the new standard.
  • kdepimlibs features the ‘syndication’ library, a further development of librss (which I factored out of KNT a few years ago for akregator to use). So I don’t need my own RSS parsing code at all anymore.

Given that KNewsTicker is quite small, I ended up throwing almost everything away and starting from scratch. By now, I have a KNewsTicker plasmoid which can scroll the headlines of the KDE news along. It’s still pretty rough, for example you cannot extend the list of news feeds at the moment (except by editing the configuration file by hand). In fact, the only things you can configure via the settings dialog are the font size, font color and update interval. It’s a start though!

The obligatory screenshot showing the new KNT in all its glory:

This shows my current KDE4 desktop in a Xephyr window.

12 Comments

  • koko says:

    Is it easier to write apps for KDE4 than for KDE3?

  • stevie says:

    Could you please write something about the linux-compatibility of the R61? I am planning to buy this notebook and i’m not quite sure about this issue.

    Many thanks in advance!
    Stevie

  • Thanks a lot.

    I was worried about my move to KDE4 because of KNT’s absence.
    But now I feel relaxed.

    KNT is one killer app I can’t live without.

    Ritesh

  • Frerich Raabe says:

    koko: It’s a bit easier even, because the Qt4 API is nicer than Qt3 and because there are more helper libraries available. In my case, I can now use an existing library (part of KDE PIM libs) which handles retrieving and parsing RSS and Atom feeds. In KDE 2 and KDE 3 I had to do all that myself.

    stevie: I can only speak for Kubuntu 7.10 (this is the first time I installed a Linux flavour after many years of FreeBSD): it works very well and the default setup is quite appealing. The only things I noticed so far which don’t work: hibernate didn’t work for me, the WiFi LED on the laptop does not blink during WLAN traffic and the volume buttons (except for the mute-unmute button) on the ThinkPad don’t work. I didn’t look for possible solutions though (none of these is critical to me), maybe it’s easy to fix. The important things (display, sound, network) worked out of the box, perfectly.

  • Eckhart says:

    Just one minor note: It’s akregator.kde.org, not akregator.kdepim.org – thanks. :-)

  • Frerich Raabe says:

    Eckhart: Ooops, you’re right. Thanks for mentioning that – fixed now.

  • Anonymous says:

    i was thinking about the knewsticker and how it make more usefull, and my idea was to connect it with command line applet in kicker to have both applets using one space and for example use the drop down menu for selecting specific rss channels, i know that kicker is dead but the command applet is there already, i believe (i cant imagine desktop enviorment without it, well macos is spoiled anyway)

    but icons have to be added to distinguish between rss channels and applications, also some input command like click into empty spaces has to be added for imputing command or some switch button between command and rss channel part

  • nescius says:

    the last entry was my idea, i had some problems with the security code picture

  • mcz says:

    Will knewsticker be only a widget?

    When I work I have some windows open and the only thing I can view is the panel.
    If kNewsTicker is not there I find it usless (at least for me).

  • Frerich Raabe says:

    mcz: I’m not 100% sure I understood the Plasma concept yet but technically it’s no difference whether a Plasma applet like KNewsTicker is on the desktop or in the panel; in fact, the panel and the desktop are both merely containers for applets.

  • hcs says:

    This is great news, it seemed like KNewsTicker was a little forgotten in favour of Akregator on KDE3.

  • Dohn Joe says:

    Hey Man,

    You gotta get back on it for KNewsTicker. I just installed KDE4 and my BIGGEST dissapointment is not having my beautiful little news headlines scrolling up on my panel. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me have my KNewsTicker back! The other RSS readers just don’t fill the void and convenience left by KNewsTicker’s departure!

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