Featured

#32: Google Summer of Code : Pencils Down

Wow ! What a summer !

Roughly 12 weeks have passed since I started working on KDE Now (well formally). Results came out some couple of hours ago and I passed the full term evaluation. In this post, I’m going to talk about what I’m planning for the future of KDE Now. How the past weeks have been and some other stuff.

 

To start with, the summer was awesome. I got to learn so much and that certainly made me a better programmer. Before this summer, I had worked on some parts of large codebases but never really started one from scratch. KDE Now taught me a lot about all the things you have to face when starting a project. The design choices you have to make. Even down to the bottom most nitty gritty details like using const correctness or avoiding copy of data while function calls. All these tiny bits eventually contribute to a better, working, cohesive whole.

 

As for my work, you can find the formal work report here. KDE Now now has a quickgit repository . It’s currently lying in playground and will continue to do so for a couple of months until I have everything sorted out before a possible release. First off, I’m gonna work on documentation. This is to attract other developers to contribute to it. Who wants to work on an undocumented software anyway 😛 . Next up, I will write unit tests. I have tested the application but only as a whole in some different scenarios. Unit Testing would be a lot better. But before all that can happen, I want a break. Haha ! I’ve been working for so long on this, that other things took a lower priority. School has started for much long and a lot of things require my attention. So I think, I should take a month off. You can hear me, with other updates from the start of October again. Meanwhile if you have any doubts/questions or want to contribute to KDE Now, I’ll be glad to to answer everything. Just comment below or drop me a mail 🙂

 

I am very thankful to my mentor, Ashish Bansal. He is simply an awesome mentor. He would point me to some direction and leave the rest to me for finding out on my own. He would tell me what design choices were better, their trade offs but then again, left it to me to choose on my own. We talked on every other (or two) day. There were some times when I wasn’t very productive but he was pretty cool with that too, as long as I was not terribly behind schedule. I even poked him during his vacation, and he still managed to reply ! I’m really thankful to him. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. Also I am thankful to KDE for giving me this opportunity and finally to Google for organizing this awesome program.

 

Cheers !

See you later.

#31: GSoC with KDE Now – 9

Hey ! I’m making KDE Now, an application for the Plasma Desktop. It would help the user see important stuff from his email, on a plasmoid. It’s similar to what Google Now does on Android. To know more, click here.

 

Roughly three weeks have passed since I last blogged about my project. School started and it was tough finding time for everything let alone blogging. This year’s Summer of Code is reaching it’s end and I have much to talk about this time around. In the end I also have a surprise for you.

 

To start with, I worked on the Database I talked about earlier. Now all plugins save their maps into a Sqlite database and when the daemon runs, it finds these maps and prepares to load it into a card. There’s a catch here though, as I will have to pass the maps over to D-Bus and there are synchronizations issues. There’s still  a way to solve it but that involves editing an auto generated xml file manually. We wish to avoid this manual editing however, for easy maintenance in future. This might be some bug in the Qt based parsing/generation tool I use. But I need to still figure this out with my mentor.

Since I had worked on all the points I had proposed, my mentor asked me to add support for more than one email account. So, now you can add multiple accounts to KDE Now and the daemon will fetch emails from all those accounts.

I also worked on the credentials input mechanism. It has improved largely since I last blogged. Now the user is presented with a kind of form when KDE Now is started for the first time. You will be required to add your email credentials in the form. It adds your data to KWallet and the daemon retrieves it later.

Finally, have a look at the demo below.

As soon as the application logs into your account, it fetches all emails within a span of one month and if it finds an email of Event, Flight, Hotel or Restaurant reservation that confirms to the schemas of Google Now, a card will appear. In the later part of the video, I have shown you how KDE Now works when an email arrives and a new card is generated dynamically with that information. I send raw html much like how a vendor sends to you.

 

I will add another blog post regarding my final project report in a couple of days so be on the lookout.

PS: I’m still looking for a graphics designer familiar with svg for KDE Now. If you are interested in helping me, drop a comment below with your contact details. Don’t worry your contact details will be kept private, as I monitor all comments before publishing.

That’s all folks. Cheers !