Dock windows in Karbon, Kivio and Krita

Boudewijn Rempt boud at
Thu Sep 30 15:33:15 CEST 2004

I've been discussing the issue of dock windows in Karbon, Kivio and Krita with 
Peter and Rob. Currently Karbon and Krita use QDockWindows (not that they 
behave in exactly the same way in Karbon and Krita) and Kivio has its own 
implementation. It would be better to have the same dock windows in all 
KOffice application  that need them, obviously.

As discussed before, there are basically four candidates for palette-like dock 
windows for graphics apps.

* QDockWindow and descendants
* Kivio's dockers
* Qt 4 dock windows
* KDockMainWindow
* Write something new.

The requirements are:

* Take minimal screen space, but are easy to access when needed.
* Do not take shortcut focus from the application view (i.e., tool
shortcuts and menus must be accessible from the keyboard even after a
docker widget has received focus.
* Be placable wherever the user wants.

The only option that's almost ready now and comes close to the requirements is 
to use Kivio's dockers. Qt's dockwindows take focus from the application in 
unexpected ways (in both versions). They also have a nasty bug which makes 
moving the dock windows rather unpredictable. KDockMainWindow is not 
compatible with KOffice at the moment, and besides, the dockers occupy a 
whole border of the view, instead of a small space. Writing something new 
takes precious time from the development of features for our applications or 
from loved ones who'd like some attention, too. Kivio's dockers are nice, 
small and take little place. There are some bugs, but not worse than with 

So, I propose to move the kiviodockers to the KOffice UI library, and call the 
dockers from all three applications. I've volunteered to do that job. I'll 
write a patch for all three applications and show the patches to the 
maintainers, and I'm willing to take up maintainership of the docker classes 
in koffice ui libs.

If I get the okay, I'll start work right away :-).

Boudewijn Rempt | "Geef mij maar zuurtjes."
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