Posts Tagged ‘planetkde’

As you may remember from my last post, I was talking about faceted browsing panels for Dolphin. As Peter wrote a few days ago, we had some discussions, and from that on I started working on a simple file manager application, in which I wanted to test the faceted panel that was included in the last screenshot, or actually a better version of that panel.

The application is far from finished, but now I need some opinions on three different UIs that I’m trying for the faceted browsing; so, here is the screenshot.

Different panels

Different panels

It is a collage of the UIs, please forgive any white space left in the corners…

Anyway, the leftmost is quite a standard faceted browsing system: you have three (for now, maybe more later) list views, all equal to each other, in which you can select only one value (the first two boxes) or more than one (the last one). I have put the numbers only in those facets for which I thought it made sense, in particular when multi-selection is permitted.

The central panel has been suggested by Sebastian Trüg during that discussion, I don’t know why my window theme gives the same style both to the tool buttons and to the group box title, anyway the idea is to substitute the single selection lists with a button group.

The rightmost panel tries to use the most intuitive widgets for each facet, so there are buttons for the document type, a calendar widget for the date section, and a tag cloud for selecting tags (its code has been adapted from the Semnotes program by Laura Dragan). The idea of making it started during some discussions at the Nepomuk Sprint, and it tries to be more intuitive than the other two, but of course it loses the UI similarity between the different facets.

So, in the end: what do you think? What would you find more usable/intuitive/useful/whatever? I won’t tell you what I like the most, I’d prefer some fresh opinions on it… You can find all the three panels in the project repository (I have a branch for each of them), but their actions are not connected to anything, so you cannot actually browse any file 🙂

I want to decide the definitive one, before finishing its implementation.


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So, my first Nepomuk meeting is over (as you will probably get to know from other sources), and here there are my impressions.

First of all, it has been a real pleasure knowing Sebastian Trueg and all the other guys (and the only woman, of course!) who met in Freiburg the last weekend; the place was quite cool (especially the fact that the conference room was just below the bedroom floor), and the surroundings were really beautiful.

Three devel days

Well, actually for me they were two and a half, because I arrived on friday noon, but anyway they have been surely interesting: I have to admit that I got a little lost in the first day discussion about some ontologies details; at least now I can say that I know something more about the Nepomuk internals.

On saturday the use cases discussion about social desktop and how to integrate it with the semantic one continued from the evening before, but we also started developing some things, about which I will tell in a few lines; I especially liked the sunday: we took one of the case studies, and each of us took a piece of the necessay libraries and tools that were missing from current Nepomuk release, with the aim to be able to make that use case real; we didn’t finish it, but it has been interesting and even fun to collaborate with the others with one common target.

My place in the world

So what was my part in all this? Well, I will start with the last day’s work: the use case was about allowing users to share metadata about files from a computer to another computer, so the user of the latter would be able to see those files in his searches, and to open them (downloading them on the fly) and add more metadata; anyway, I’m sure other people from the meeting will explain all this with more details.

My task was to add a popup menu for Dolphin, so a user can right-click a document and decide to share it with friends; then a little dialog searches all the user’s contacts, allowing him to choose whom to share with and if he wants to be informed about any changes.

Konqueror plugin

Konqueror plugin

For now, I have been able to create a popup menu for Konqueror, in the form of a Konqueror plugin library, and later I will add it to Dolphin too (why Dolphin does not read also library plugins? It would be so useful…); what is missing in the plugin is just the final call to the Nepomuk service, of course through DBus, and this will be done in the next few days (and maybe I will blog about it later).

In this workshop I also wanted to share ideas about the smartsave dialog and its current status; for now, we decided to rethink about the filters UI, and put this new UI also in a Dolphin side panel, so users will start to see it and use it, and realize how useful it can be; this side panel may also be able to get into a KDE release easily.

Faceted panel - early preview

Faceted panel - early preview

So what I did on saturday was to bring the filters panel, as it is now in the semantic open dialog, into Dolphin itself: the integration is still in an early stage, there are still some bugs to be solved, but it basically works; the next step will be to change the way in which filters are shown, and this even deserves a new paragraph.


The filter panel will become a complete faceted browsing system, and we decided to reduce filter types to three categories (at least for now): time (today, yesterday, this week, last week, this month…), “rough” document types (documents, images, media…) and tags; probably contacts/people will be the next category to make its way into the panel, but at the current status it is not a priority.

I will prepare soon two different UI layouts, because there have been some debate in how to show these facets, and I think some screenshots will be better than lots of words trying to explain it, so for this you’ll have to wait 🙂

Final words

In the end, there have been three wonderful days, lots of fun and code and chatting and pizza and things; I really liked the whole meeting, and I hope I will be able to participate to the next one, too.

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I’m pretty excited, because my first Nepomuk meeting (and in general my first KDE meeting) is coming!

The next weekend I will be in Freiburg (my first trip in Germany) to meet with my Summer of Code mentor, Sebastian Trueg, and a bunch of Nepomuk developers: the program is quite rich and interesting, and my first purpose is to absorb all the informations that I can about the Nepomuk framework and infrastructure, and of course to be useful, if I can, in planning the next semantic desktop steps.

I also hope to plan the next steps for Smartsave: I have to admit that I haven’t worked on it since september, so I have to look at Sebastian’s modifications, to be able to resume my development in the next few days.

Last but not least, I would like to have a look at the city: for what I have read on the net, it looks like Freiburg is a nice city, so I think it will be worth going a little around… well, we’ll see what is going to happen!

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If you don’t mind, I would like to leave for a moment the devlopment behind, and ask a question: what do you think about netbooks and development?

I mean, I would like to buy a netbook, and I’ve already found and affordable one, and I’m going to buy it for carrying it around at the university and in conferences, so I can access the Web, chats and things like that with a light instrument; what I’m asking is: for your experience, how is using a netbook in events like hackmeetings or development meetings, for example like the “KDE projectname sprint” ones?

I have already experienced programming on an Atom (I have an eeebox at home, and I had to use it for a couple of weeks while waiting for my new notebook), and of course I had been able to develop some code without much fuss, yes I had to wait some time while recompiling code, but not that much in the end, so is it worth bringing a netbook to that kind of meeting?

The positive aspect is that a netbook is light in dimensions and weight, and I can survive on a 10″ screen for a few days (I had a friend who survived on a 7″ screen for a year!), and I can bring it with me every time (I don’t want to leave a computer in a hotel room, for example…).

Please, comment and tell your opinion! 🙂

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