Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kxkb: users survey done - the hard way

The simplest way to learn about features used in the software is to remove them. This happened when "sticky switching" was gone in KDE 4.0. And it happened again now with couple of smaller things in KDE 4.5 when the whole code of kxkb was rewritten to make it more scalable and robust (and with the years of workarounds knowledge learned handing xkb right it was long due). Often user's request is sane and implementation is fairly straightforward, sometimes though not quite. So the short list is:
  • "Configure" item in context menu will be back in 4.6
  • "Layout name over flag" won't happen unless somebody sends a patch which does it right (i.e. not the way it was before :)), BTW with old/new "Label" field for the layout "Layout name over the flag" is not that needed really, clear text or clear flag (if you don't use same layout base twice) are better option (IMHO)
  • Simple adding layouts with drag-n-drop - not gonna happen soon: having two lists in the main config window makes it very busy especially that the source list is huge, plus it now needs to be filtered by language. Hopefully users don't configure their layouts too often so new additional dialog is not too much of a trouble. I'd like to make it more usable but it's pretty down at the bottom of my list
  • Showing "setxkbmap command" - it's gone, it was too hackish for end-user and it just didn't belong there, in short "use kxkbrc file" if you need internal info
  • Sticky switching & >4 layouts - these seem to be most favorite losses from KDE 3.5. We might have a solution on the horizon, so keep checking this blog ;)
BTW, there's no "kxkb" name in new "kxkb" module, it's now just a "keyboard": keyboard daemon, keyboard systemsettings module, keyboard layout applet. Though due to no new good abbreviation available (kde keyboard layout module - KKLM? ;)) and with still some popularity of the old one I'll keep using kxkb for this blog for now.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you and all other Kxkb/Keyboard devs for rewriting the module and now readding the features. I did indeed miss most of what you are talking about and am happy to hear it's coming back.

    Thank you,