new network KCM

Stop me if you can 🙂

If you followed my last post about sessionk you might be wondering “what the hell…”, well I like to code on stuff I’m in need, about sessionk I hope soon I give it an update now that I have more or less the whole picture.

So what’s up with networking? If you didn’t see the new plasma network manager go take a look, the greatest thing about it in my opinion is to have new blood around, so when I look at it I decided I should stop complaining and do something I wanted for a long time.

There’s nothing basically wrong with the NM plasmoids, it’s just that for the use case I’m interested in no plasmoid will ever fit it. The Mom’s use-case. If you have non nerd friends, wife, kids, parents that use Linux you know that they will someday call you. And when they do you need some sort of script to diagnose why isn’t “Facebook” opening. My script is like this:

  • First click on the (hmm) icon that looks like (hmm) a dot with semi-curves next to the clock
  • – There’s none.
  • Ok then try to find one that is a square with a smaller square inside
  • – There’s none.
  • Maybe a square with a black empty square in?
  • – Ah ok…
  • – But it says the cable is not connected and I just plugged on the power
  • ….
  • Do you have an wifi right?
  • – I have a Wifi…

As you can it’s hard to describe a plasmoid UI by phone, also the user might have removed the plasmoid from the tray or might be using plasma-netbook (I took half an hour trying to explaing where the K menu was till I figured out it was netbook edition…). Also the current Network Manager KCM only handle connections which means you must have a plasmoid if you want to manage network.

This is where System Settings comes in:

  • The user can’t screw the interface
  • The user can read labels like “networking”
  • It has regular buttons (not flat things that are transparent and hard to distinguish)
  • It offers the possibility of a more advanced user interface

With this new plasma-nm I felt it was just the right time for me to do this, more people active on looking at NM means people can fix your code and the other way too. Last week then I started this and at the same time I tried to give some Qt/C++ classes to Jayson Rowe and we immediately feel that some parts of the API was hard to use, like the IPv4 class was giving you an Int, when I saw this I had no idea how to convert that easily to an string, luckly there is a QHostAddress class that I never had used but it turns out I decided to make libnm-qt actually return a QHostAddress, and I started lot’s of changes on the lib, among them a change on how to handle pointers which has fixed some crashes here.

And here is the first screenshot 🙂

Network Manager KCM
Network Manager KCM

If you want to take a look it’s at git://anongit.kde.org/plasma-nm.git

Have fun 🙂

new network KCM