Review request: network:/ kioslave now in kdereview

Friedrich W. H. Kossebau kossebau at
Wed Apr 22 00:02:26 BST 2009

Hi Kevin and others who are curious,

Le mardi, 21 avril 2009, à 09:15, Kevin Ottens a écrit:
> On Monday 20 April 2009 19:15:24 Friedrich W. H. Kossebau wrote:
> > This kioslave lists the network from a device centric point of view,
> > listing all devices in the (for now) local network and the services
> > running on them.
> Sorry, maybe I'm not done waking up yet but there's something I fail to see
> with this new ioslave. How does it relate with the set of ioslaves we have
> right now (remote:/, zeroconf:/, smb:/)? To me it seems like together
> they're providing the exact same feature set but in a more modular way, I'm
> not exactly sure which gap you're trying to fill with this one.

Let's see if I manage to make my motivation a little bit clear:

I want an object-oriented access to the network my computer device is 
currently connected to which comes close to what I see and handle with in the 
real world. I also want not just to see filesystem-like services, but all 
kind of them. Without being disturbed by unneeded technical terms like 
zeroconf. Just like lan:/ did for KDE3. Just better.

Long version:
Given all the mobile devices we have today, there is a lot of dynamics in 
connectivity, with quite some ad-hoc small networks with relative address 
spaces. Examples are meetings of family, friends, workmates, students, FLOSS 
developers, your local LUG.

You come together and want to do something with the virtual things your 
devices provide, not to fiddle with the different technologies, like 
zeroconf, smb, slp, whatever. Like one does not care if the filesystem is 
xfs, zfs or ext4 and is located on a RAID-driven harddisk bundle, which speak 
SCSI or SATA or whatever. One just sees the posix view on a file system, 
perhaps also enriched with what the Dolphin views add.

Currently with KDE4 there are the kioslaves remote:/, zeroconf:/, and smb:/ :
The remote:/ kioslave is a very strange kioslave IMHO (please pardon me for my 
honest telling, Kevin, you started ;) ). It for one serves as a simple 
bookmark/shortcut system for filesystem-type urls, with a hack to add new 
bookmark entries (context menu, type name and item preview still show that it 
is a desktop file, what might confuse users). It also lists links to other 
network related kioslaves, like zeroconf:/ and smb:/, which somehow breaks 
the concept of a pure listing of important filesystem-type urls. The url 
lists also has no clear relation to the the general bookmarks and the Places 
of Dolphin and the filedialogs which themselves also can contain such urls.
The smb:/ kioslave handles the filesystem shares of a static Windows network 
(no more experience myself).
The zeroconf:/ kioslave lists services found on the net, sorted by service 
type. And limits itself to http and filesystem-types services. So do not 
expect it to work like e.g. the avahi-browser, and do not wonder if you see 
your own published service of another type not listed there (what I did and 
what got me started).

Now the network kioslave (and partially the network library) should map the 
physical world as much as possible, with all the devices and services. The 
main purpose is discoverability of what there is around the computer and 
object-oriented access to it. Without having to know too much about the 

So if your mate connects her device to the same network, you will see the 
device in the list*, you can select it in the list and browse the services 
available on it. Now she wants to share her screen with you, starts the 
vnc/rdp service. The service appears as new service of the device on your 
screen, you click on it and have the handler for that type of service 
automatically started, without needing to search for the vncviewer program in 
the menu. Without needing to know about the way that service is found by your 
computer system. Because you should not need to.

* Could also be a plasmoid using directly the network library without going 
via the kioslave.

Like you already see media connected directly to your computer as the real 
media on the screen, in the same object-oriented way. Without needing to know 
about hal and whatever.

Not yet done, but in the end I would like to have some more spatial oriented 
views for hierarchical items in the network, based on concepts found in the 
environment view of Sugar and the Semantic Desktop DeepaMehta, best 
automatically structured by using the geo information of the devices.

Now, could this help a little to understand what I would like to achieve with 
this work?

Okteta - KDE 4 Hex Editor -

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