Social Desktop in 4.3?

Sebastian Kügler sebas at
Tue Apr 28 15:12:13 CEST 2009


As some of you know, I've spent some intense cycles on the social desktop 
support in KDE and specifically in Plasma. This functionality integrates a 
social network, in this case which powers sites such as kde-, and The server-side parts are specified 
in the Open Collaboration Services API, to be seen on

The grand vision behind all that is to closely integrate the social web into 
the desktop. What's there right now is the tip of the iceberg.

This consists of mainly two parts:

- The OCS dataengine. This engine offers data sets (lists of people, 
activities, ...) as interface for Plasmoids. Dataengines provide easy support 
for scripting, as you don't need bindings for all languages.
The dataengine uses the ocsclient library, which -- with friendly permission 
-- has been lifted from Cornelius Schumacher's hackweek project. Some bits 
have been added already. The lib is currently private to the dataengine 
though. The plan is to give it some real-world usage and improve it in the 4.4 
cycle so it can be made available to more applications. There is already some 
discussion ongoing about the general direction. The lib works reliably right 
now though, and is I think in good enough shape for a private lib. The OCS 
dataengine is already in kdereview.

- The openDesktop Plasma applet. This applet displays detailed information 
about the user and his social environment, friends. It also hooks into the 
geolocation dataengine to retrieve the current location and uses this data to 
find people that are nearby. On top of that, it provides a button to update 
the user's current location, opt-in of course. This makes it much easier to 
update the loction information, and in turn makes the "find nearby people" 
functionality potentially much more useful.
For a basic version, the applet is now feature-complete. As it is still in 
playground, and we only have 6 days left until the hard-freeze, time's a bit 
short for the full two-week review period. I've aksed Marco Martin, one of the 
core Plasma hackers and also interested in this subject, if he would be 
willing to do a review before the hard-freeze, and he agreed to that.

We have a Dot story in the pipeline to explain the concepts, functionality and 
vision a bit more, expect it to be posted within the next day or two.

So while I've kind of missed that line in the sand 8 days ago (I was in fact 
promoting KDE in Turkey), I'd like to get an exception and be able to move the 
opendesktop Plasmoid to kdereview. There shouldn't be any grave issues with 
the applet, but of course if the review finds some, I'll go ahead and fix 
them. Note that I'm not asking for breaking the string freeze, and that the 
applet is on the feature plan since before the soft-freeze. So the only thing 
really is that the two week period in kdereview is shortened.
I also don't expect any regressions caused by this move, as it's completely 
new functionality and doesn't touch any other components.

Are there objections against this shortened review period? 

If not, I'll move the opendesktop Plasmoid to kdereview within the next two 
days, and we'll do a shortened review cycle (we, that's Marco and me) so I can 
address possible issues directly.

Thanks for your friendly consideration,
sebas | |  GPG Key ID: 9119 0EF9 

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