Python Plasmoids.

Simon, our worshippalicous python bindings hacker came by tonight for a bit of hacking (he lives across
the river from here, about 20 minutes by bike on a well OSM-mapped route. I was keen to get the new Python scriptengine Sime has just landed in SVN running so I can play around with Plasmoids written in Python.
The steps to get Python Plasmoids on running on your desktop are (assuming you have KDE from SVN installed): installing python, sip and pyqt into your development environment; building kdebindings, then you can build the plasma scriptengine located in kdebase. There are building instructions on TechBase.
Developing Plasma applets (which is pretty much the only thing you can do with the scriptengine right now, since there aren’t any applets written yet — except for the obligatory clock) is pretty easy from that point. You need to have a .desktop file containing some metadata and you actual script (which can be how ever long you wanted, it lands in contents/code/ and other .py’s). How you include graphics and more is well documented on TechBase, so I won’t repeat that here. To see if the scripting engine works, open the Add Applet… dialogue|Install new widget|…from local file. You should then see the scripting engine listed among the other options. In the future, we can make this part a bit nicer, installing and running and applet could be as easy as dropping it on the Plasma canvas and do the necessary security work. ll the needed information is already contained in the package.

This all is pretty new right now, and there are some rough edges here and there that need to be ironed out, but it basically seems to work at this point and is documented so we Pythonistas can get our hands dirty, with KDE 4.2 hopefully out of the Box.

The really exciting thing in my opionion about this is that with the scripting support, we can deliver full-fledged Plasma applets in Python. As they are scripts, it’s easy to deliver them in a platform independant way through webservices such as the OpenDesktop, KDE-Look and others or share them with your friends in other ways (hi JOLIE!).

KDE4 in Linux User, away for a bit.

Last month's Linux User - my first frontpage
As we all know, one can never travel enough. In that light, Kim, the supermodel that shares this life with me announced to me that she’ll be kidnapping me for a couple of days starting on Tuesday. We’ll not be going far, just far enough to get away for a bit and recharge the batteries. (Actually we’re running on solar energy and Port wine, but that doesn’t make for a common metaphor, so there you go.)
But fear not, I’ve taken precautions for this scenario, and the guys over at LinuxNewMedia have kindly helped with that. In the last and the current edition of LinuxUser Magazine, there’s a series about KDE4. It started last month with an article about Plasma that was the first part of a tutorial I’ve written. This month’s edition features a longer article that explains all the easy 129 steps you can follow to get to your own Plasmoid. There’s an example Plasmoids I’ve written for that article, it’s called Dr. Ade, courtesy of Adriaan’s promotion some time ago. (I’m obviously very proud of him — well, maybe it’s also the fact that we had this bet running. We’ve started off with one case of beer that I would give him. For every week I had to wait for his dissertation to be finished, he would give me one beer. Ade, you owe me two crates. No, I won’t forget that.) But I digress. Next month’s edition will conclude the KDE4 mini series of articles with an interview (again, with yours truly) about the future of KDE.
Me being away also means that you won’t hear from me in terms of email, chat, blog or one of the other ways we communicate (did I mention the new KDE Forum?) as for that occasion I won’t be taking my laptop, and I just refuse to write anything longer than a URL on those small devices that are taking over the lives of us geeks.
By now, you should have understood 3 points from this post: a) Don’t expect timely replies to emails sent to me next week, b) If you plan to sneak anything by my eagle eyes that I wouldn’t approve otherwise, concentrate on getting that done before next Saturday (instead of sending me emails), c) Go to your next store, buy Linux User magazine and start learning German (if necessary).

Portugal in Fall.

The Douro
I’m in Portugal right now, visiting Nuno to work on a top-secret commercial project for a couple of days. I think I’ve chosen the right time to come here. While the weather is mostly vile back home in the Netherlands (rain, grey, overall depressing), the sun still shines brightly here in Regua, in the Douro valley. Can’t say that this way of working is a pain. While we’re really productive, having good conversations, complement each other nicely (strategic bits: me, graphics and beauty department: Nuno), we also find some time to dive into Portugese culture.
Tuesday, we’ve taken the afternoon off to drive into the Douro valley, the region where all Port wine comes from. The cropping season is just beginning here, and the vineyards are starting to change their color from green to shades of yellow, brown and red. With the mountains here, that makes for beautiful scenery. Also the smell of fermentation is slowly coming up (that same smell you might know from your last visit of a wine cellar, if you ever did that). It’s funny and amazing at the same time to read the names of the wine houses, most are actually known to me, and then you see their vineyards…
Some of you, my dear readers, might know that I’m a big fan of Port wine, so I’m also taking this opportunity to understand a bit better the circumstances of making this great product, the weather situation, geographical circumstances, but also food that goes along with traditional Portugese wine culture. Tomorrow, I’ll be going back home, and next week, Kim has claimed a couple of days to visit Leeuwarden and Groningen in the South of the Netherlands, and to spend a bit of quality time — we didn’t have much time for that lately.