Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Past and the Immediate of the Future, For Your Perusal

Why hello there! Gather round, and i shall spin you a tale of sadness and joy and the hard work of many, many proud and capable people.

Once upon a time there was a small community of people who wrote computer code. They had many great pieces of software, and lots of people were excited about them and wanted to make new stuff for them, like icons and templates and extension scripts. They despaired, however, when they realised it was really hard to get these new things to other people. They tried to staple them to trees, or to send floppy disks to people in the mail, but this was just not good enough.

Finally, one decided that this was just not right, and created the website kde-look.org. All who saw it were astonished and decided it was really great. The one who made it did not agree, and decided it was not good enough. Together with others, they created the GetHotNewStuff library, which was able to get those hot new things on kde-look.org directly from inside applications, and finally they were satisfied as well.

Many years passed since them, and eventually things grew and became much more than it once was. Many other sites joined the first, and the library expanded into a framework, and the babbling conversation between the website and library turned into a real language, the Open Collaboration Services standard.

The one who built this large amount of lovely stuff then became distracted with vast, new plans of malevolent world domination, trying to help people take back control of their own data, and ended up leaving his previous baby to simply exist on its own. Without the close attention of earlier years, it continued to work but did not grow or change to fit the changing world around it.

This was known by many, and many were sad but unable to do much about it. Attempts were made to at least reproduce functionality, if not content, but even those were not quite the right fit for what was needed. Then, suddenly, not long ago, another found themselves in the right place at the right time, and spoke with the first. Finally, things were moving again, and store.kde.org was born!

Comics For All By All

Why am i talking about this on a blog which is normally more about a comic book reader? Well, this is where you might want to watch the video below, of me on stage at QtCon 2016, talking endlessly and way too fast about the work i am currently doing to be able to get comic books into Peruse.

The gist of that presentation, which expands on the hints dropped in my previous blog about how Peruse Creator is becoming a thing, is that we now, with the new KDE Store site, have an actively developed digital content store again, and that this means the client libraries also need some work again.

Over the last couple of months, ideas were hatched and plans were laid, and finally code was produced, which means we now, in addition to the existing KNewStuff functionality people know as the Get Hot New Stuff star buttons in the wallpaper dialogue and many other places, have the beginnings of a set of Qt Quick components, named KNewStuffQuick, and a core library containing the majority of the non-ui dependent functionality named, cleverly, KNewStuffCore, if neither of the two ui options fit your needs.

In Peruse, what that means is that we are able to show the comic books available on the KDE Store very easily, with very few lines of code. When reading comics that you have downloaded from there, we are also able able to show those comics which are related and in the same series as that comic book, so that when you get to the last page and think you would like to read more of that comic, and there is more of it available, we can show that to you in the list, and let you download it directly from there without having to go into the store and break from your reading, alongside the rating and reviewing options available in the same place.

All in all, this is all (i think) terribly exciting stuff, and we are fast approaching the point at which we need to ask some of those makers of amazing works to help us out, so we can help them more. Nothing like a positive feedback loop to make people happy, when the positivity is both the topic and the function of the loop :)

KDE Store
Peruse ReaderPeruse Creator

The word of the day is: Laptop (because i left mine in England, which was silly when going to a place to do much hacky type stuffs)

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