[kde-linux] What's "skim"?

John Andersen jsa at pen.homeip.net
Thu Jul 5 08:51:27 UTC 2007

On Wednesday 04 July 2007, Thierry de Coulon wrote:

> There are some wonderful people on earth that make it possible to explain
> something so as to make sure no one understands.
> I've recently noticed that when I looked for kicker applets there was a
> "skim" applet proposed for installation. I wondered what it was. So  I
> googled a little and found that extraordinary piece of information:
> Description:
> skim is an input method platform based upon scim-lib under *NIX systems
> (including GNU/Linux and FreeBSD) systems optimized for KDE. It provides a
> GUI panel (named scim-panel-kde), a KConfig config module and SetupUIs for
> itself and scim-lib. It also has its own plugin systems which support
> on-demand loadable actions.
Smart Common Input Method 

An input method is what you interact with when you do anything on the 
computer, keyboard mouse etc...

There are lots of these key/mouse "handlers".  They tend to get invented
(again) with every new "platform" (like KDE or Gnome or Windows or XFCE4, etc.

This makes it hard for a programmer writing something (Say an accounting 
system) to make his system run on multiple platforms because he has to 
re-write that part of the program that accepts keystrokes from the operating
system, or the X system or what ever.

SKIM attempts to make it so you can write it once, using SKIM and have
it run under a variety of different systems, because skim will translate what
the system hands you when the user types the letter "K" into what your
program wants to deal with.  Also allows one version of the program to be
used for multiple different languages, so the bulk of the program does not
have to deal with language issues.

Its middle ware, something only a programmer could love, and because it
is so poorly explained its probably seldom used.  This is a common programmer
disease, trying to explain what a program does.

Unless you are a C++ programmer you probably have no need of SKIM.

Even if you were a C++ programmer you probably wouldn't use this package
for the very reason you've discovered: The programmers are incapable of 
explaining what it does - even to other programmers.


John Andersen

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