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Friday, January 20, 2012

Work and spare time shortage

In the last weeks I have had too little time to blog or to do other things. As you already know my job at basysKom is very related to Plasma Active. Version 2 was released last month and we are working to implement new features and improve the current ones for version 3. Several task proposals are circulating in Plasma Active mailling list. In fact there are more things to do than developers to implement them, so if you are a developer and wish to implement your tablet app using Plasma Active API or improve something in Plasma Active pick your task.

In the Plasma NM front I have been fixing some few bugs, applying some patches that came to me (keep sending them, they are very important :-)) and changing Plasma NM to use asynchronous DBus API as much as possible. This last change is to prevent Plasma NM from causing freezes in plasma desktop, which is related to bug #287002. It is half implemented and I do not know when it is going to be ready. Anyway, it is an extense and invasive change, then it is not going to nm09 branch, only to master.

As you already noticed the usability changes are stalled. I really need help to keep improving Plasma NM. If you have interest in improving Plasma contact me and I will help with the first steps.


Jos Poortvliet said...

Usability is a though one. Looking at the current UI, I do think it's too complicated but I have no idea how to improve it...

Actually, you could try to ONLY show (possible) connections. So no interfaces left & conections right, but use the interfaces to group the connections and simply show a list with connections and headers. The headers should allow to disable each of the interfaces negating the need for 'enable wireless/enable mobile broadband/etc'.

I even went so far to create a mockup:

I rather like it - it has all the functionality but is far cleaner... Try it, maybe?

Björn said...

Hey Lamarque - I would love to continue working with you on the networkmanager. Just drop me mail! Best, Björn!

Lamarque said...

Hi Björn, sure, the problem is that I have not even finished to implement the mock-ups from the Solid Sprint :-/ The "Connect to another network" feature is still missing. I am also having problems with graphical artifacts as you probably know, that takes time to figure out a way to fix/workaround or at least make then a little more smooth.

I think we can try to create mock-ups for the other windows in the meantime. For example, the interface list window at the left side, I had to add it back for people who have more than one network interface of the same type (two wifi cards, two gsm devices). The two wifi cards is not common case, but the gsm devices is. For example a 3G modem and a gsm cellphone, both are identified as gsm devices by NetworkManager and without a proper way to indicate which device should be used to connect through 3G Plasma NM will use the first one it can find. I plan to use the interface list to select which device to use when activating a 3G connection.