{November 19, 2007}   random ideas

coding is too addictive sometimes.
I have an HSK exam on sunday, but I haven’t started studying for it. I’ve been writing down notes and ideas for new projects in class, instead of paying attention to the teacher (I don’t think I actually missed much, though).

I think I’m gonna have to keep myself away from kde4 for the rest of the week. wah. plasma seems to be really shaping up lately, and there are a zillion other things I wanna work on too… and 4.0 is supposed to be out soon… but school’s important too, I guess.

if anyone’s interested in my crazy ideas, here’s a few of them… if it turns out someone’s already done one of them, or if there’s a reason for it being infeasible, tell me :)
first, I’d like a screensaver containment for plasma (and after getting back from class, I found out someone had been thinking the same thing on irc). not only could you have a screensaver as your normal background, but we could potentially have plasmoids on the screensaver – I think that would be really cool. it’d also serve as a kind of lazy-kiosk-mode, and fulfil my wish of having a volume control on my screensaver (as soon as we get that kmix plasmoid). of course they’d have to be immutable while the screen’s locked, to prevent random losers putting up obscene images or anything, but normal actions provided by the plasmoids would be usable – you could theoretically have an amarok-control plasmoid so that your friends could change the music without having access to the rest of the computer. :)

second, I thought it might be nice to have a small app for flash games, so that you could play them without regular web browser stuff cluttering up the window. thanks to the magic of kparts it shouldn’t require too much code, and perhaps it could strip out annoying crud from the pages (or just load the flash app itself if the html is unnecessary). it might be feasible to have some kind of generated list of games – plus of course the user could bookmark new ones.

third – after hearing that okular wasn’t meant to be a magical view-anything program, I decided that I wanted such a program. konq can do that already, but I find it hard to remember all the steps to get it set up well, and it still isn’t exactly what I want. I’d like something that has a permanent file listing on the left (like that regular sidebar thing but with files, not just folders), a main pane for viewing the file, and lots of happy kde magic. it’d use the kde preferences to decide which kpart to load, there’d be a nice easy edit-button that did the same thing for opening the file in something capable of editing it (probably a drop-down thing to show alternate programs), good drag&drop support, thanks to kio it could view any file anywhere…

of course, all of these fun ideas are unlikely to happen in the near future – I’m more concerned with practical things like finding out whether kate will have a dbus save method and squishing bugs in the systray. oh, and homework, I guess.

btw, it turns out that you really shouldn’t use ungrounded power bars. pete needed an extra one, and noticed after buying it that it didn’t have a grounding prong. I plugged my laptop into it because there wasn’t anywhere else to plug it in…. later on he touched my leg and apparently it felt strange. he told me to put down the laptop, and the strange feeling went away. o.0 I shut down the laptop right away and unplugged it. looks like no damage was caused, but it’s kinda spooky to think I was charged enough he could feel it. now we’re back to sharing the grounded power bar. (it does have two outlets, but one no longer works. china may have really cheap products but you often get what you pay for!)

steve says:

I wrote the beginnings of a program you described third – the document viewer. I think I’ll dig it up and revive it in a few months.

I thought okular was a fairly catch all viewer though. Who says it isn’t?

Level 1 says:

the screensaver containment was my idea!

I didn’t write any code because aaron said I should wait until kde 4 became more stable. I really hope something like this appears in 4.1; maybe I’ll contribute some code if school isn’t too busy.

Chani says:

great minds think alike, eh? ;) I knew I couldn’t have been the first to think about these things. this screensaver idea seems fairly popular… I’d really like to see it in 4.1

Niyaz PK says:

Good ideas. :)
Good Blog too…

About the flash app, developers want html for displaying ads in their pages. So they will not support a new flash app.

Chani says:

niyaz: if those flash game developers had any say in the matter, we wouldn’t have popup and ad blocking features :) they don’t get a say in the matter, and they can’t tell if their ads aren’t getting displayed on my comp :P
and this is another reason why standards and open source are awesome. they can’t force their ads on me unless they stick them inside the flash app itself (damn nonfree flash…)

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