Ubuntu Open Week - Kubuntu Netbook Edition - Scott Kitterman - Wed, Nov 4, 2009

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(02:01:24 PM) ScottK: There are three of us here to chat with you about Kubuntu, KDE, and netbooks.  Despite what the openweek handbook said, I know very little about Gimp (that's the next guy).  I've been a Kubuntu user since 6.06 and involved in Kuubntu development for about two years now.  I coordinated most of the integration work to provide Kubuntu Netbook Edition for Karmic.
(02:01:34 PM) ScottK: Marco Martin (notmart) is a KDE contributor since 2007, mainly on The Plasma desktop shell project and other workspace related technologies like the definition and the implementation of the new X systemtray protocol. He is currently working for Qt Development Frameworks on the development of the Plasma Netbook shell, a workspace tailored for netbooks and other small screen devices based around the KDE and Plasma technologies.
(02:01:43 PM) ScottK: Linux user since 1997, MoRpHeUz (a.k.a. Artur de Souza) works for INdT (Nokia’s Institute of Technology) as a researcher on the openBossa Stream, developing open-source solutions for mobile devices. He is a KDE hacker, hacking mainly the Plasma desktop shell project and creating a unique user experience for KDE users on mobile devices like netbooks and mobile phones.
(02:01:58 PM) ScottK: We have an overview of Kubuntu Netbook here: https://wiki.kubuntu.org/Kubuntu/Netbook - I also recently did an overview of the development process for planet.ubuntu.com that you can read here: http://www.kitterman.org/ScottK/2009/10/making_of_a_new_ubuntu_flavor.html - It also has more links on the background of Plasma Netbook.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iULB1zE7EJE&NR=1 is pretty close to what we have in Karmic if you don't have it
(02:01:58 PM) ScottK:  running and want to get the basic idea.
(02:02:07 PM) ScottK: The first Kubuntu Netbook edition is an experiment that is the result of close collaboration between Kubuntu and the upstream developers.  My experience is that while there are some things it doesn't do that are inconvenient, and it doesn't fully express the KDE netbook vision, it's pretty good and usable.  We use it on three netbooks at my house and everyone likes it (Including my decidedly non-technical 18 year old daughter).
(02:02:11 PM) akgraner has changed the topic to: Welcome to Ubuntu Open Week! https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOpenWeek (changes made, please check regularly) || Session:  Kubuntu Netbook Edition - Scott Kitterman   || All questions go in #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(02:02:18 PM) ScottK: I came prepared to talk about how the development of Kubuntu Netbook edition went, what we plan for the future, and how people can get involved.
(02:02:27 PM) ScottK: Now I'll turn it over to notmart and MoRpHeUz for any comments they may have ...
(02:03:31 PM) MoRpHeUz: well, just ask us questions and I hope we can answer them well enough :)
(02:04:08 PM) notmart: well, what i can say, i'm pretty happy with the kubuntu implementation, looks quite straightforward to test and use
(02:04:27 PM) notmart: and is important for us since can give a testbed really easy for people to test
(02:04:43 PM) MoRpHeUz: notmart: +1
(02:05:32 PM) dpm is now known as dpm-afk
(02:05:34 PM) ScottK: For feedback from users, there is a plasma-netbook product in the plasma project on bugs.kde.org for feedback that goes straight to the upstream developers.
(02:05:49 PM) ScottK: question:  can i run normal kubuntu/kde after installing kubuntu netbook?  can i switch between the two
(02:05:55 PM) ScottK: Not easily.
(02:06:12 PM) ScottK: From a package perspective, Kubuntu Desktop and Netbook are very similar.
(02:06:37 PM) notmart: for kde 4.4 there will be a systemsettings module that allows on the fly switch between the two
(02:07:05 PM) ScottK: To switch to Kubuntu Desktop you have to remove the plasma-netbook, kubuntu-netbook, kubuntu-netbook-default-settings packages and restart KDE.
(02:07:30 PM) ScottK: So we should have it integrated to switch easily in 10.04
(02:07:48 PM) ScottK: QUESTION: Is the emphasis more on making things run well on small screens, or on things like power saving and performance?
(02:08:10 PM) ScottK: I'll let notmart or MoRpHeUz answer that one
(02:08:30 PM) notmart: yep, perhaps you can ship in a different package, and the netbook option would be greyed out in this case if not installed (still question before)
(02:09:31 PM) notmart: ScottK: both, for kde 4.4 we are more focusing on getting the thing out of the door and work well, but we try to keep things with a reasonable footprint
(02:09:52 PM) notmart: next revisions will focus more on performance probably
(02:10:12 PM) ScottK: Question: what exactly are the differences between KDE and KDE Netbook Edition? What functionality will be lost from standard KDE
(02:10:20 PM) notmart: good thing is, as soon as it'll upgrae to Qt 4.6 there will be some performance improvement for free quite noticeable
(02:10:36 PM) ScottK: Kubuntu will ship with Qt 4.6 in 10.04
(02:10:47 PM) notmart: excellent :)
(02:11:37 PM) notmart: next q, the software available is the same, so is possible to use every program shipped with kde, supposing it's installed
(02:11:51 PM) notmart: what will change is the main shell the user sees
(02:12:00 PM) ScottK: In answer to the differences question, if you look at the youtube videos I linked above shows you how the netbook 'desktop' looks/works.  It's different
(02:12:19 PM) notmart: i.e. there isn't a real "desktop"
(02:12:28 PM) notmart: and the interaction of this main shell is different
(02:12:46 PM) notmart: another thing that will be different in kde 4.4 is the behaviour of the window manager
(02:13:13 PM) notmart: for instance windows won't have borders when maximized
(02:13:24 PM) notmart: and will start maximized as default
(02:13:40 PM) notmart: other things, let's see
(02:13:51 PM) ScottK: So working better by default on the smaller screens and maximizing the screen real estate you do have
(02:14:04 PM) notmart: exactly
(02:14:08 PM) ScottK: QUESTION: is kubuntu the only distro to use KDE on a netbook?
(02:14:12 PM) ScottK: So far, yes.
(02:14:22 PM) ScottK: I'm sure once KDE 4.4 is out, others will pick it up.
(02:14:42 PM) ScottK: I started this effort now because I want KDE on netbooks to get a running start next year.
(02:15:21 PM) ScottK: question: is there a FAQ section on the wiki i can reference to see if my question has been asked already?
(02:15:26 PM) ScottK: No, not yet.
(02:15:46 PM) ScottK: Documentation of all types for Kubuntu Netbook is pretty much lacking and we'd love to have help with htat
(02:17:20 PM) ScottK: <Jesi> this isn't netbook related, but is KDE supposed to feel like windows in some way? like with the main menu
(02:17:52 PM) ScottK: I'd say that people have often made that comparison, but I'm pretty sure it's never been a design goal.
(02:17:52 PM) notmart: well, it's not "supposed", some things are different, some aren't
(02:18:29 PM) ScottK: Unlike other efforts that treat netbooks as just small computers, Plasma Netbook is trying to develop an environment that really works at this new scale.
(02:18:31 PM) notmart: we do things in the way we feel works better/more intuitive and in the end it happens that some stuff works in the same way as in other environments
(02:19:00 PM) ScottK: <amik> QUESTION: any chance to see support for poulsbo (GMA500)? discussion in the bug on this says the dirvers are fully functional, but not packaged for other unknown reasons)
(02:19:15 PM) ScottK: The problem is that they aren't free software.
(02:19:41 PM) ScottK: Unless the owners of the drivers authorize their distribution for Karmic, there is nothing anyone else can do.
(02:20:13 PM) ScottK: <mark726> Question:how does Kubuntu Netbook compare with UNR resource wise? CPU, and memory use etc..
(02:20:31 PM) ScottK: The only think I've compared is ISO image size.
(02:20:44 PM) ScottK: There Kubuntu Netbook is bigger, by design.
(02:20:54 PM) notmart: i've not measured and compared the two systems
(02:21:04 PM) notmart: i think there shouldn't be much difference
(02:21:11 PM) ScottK: Since most netbooks don't have CD ROMs we assume people will install via USB and don't worry about the 700MB size limit
(02:21:40 PM) notmart: tough measuring accurately occupied memory in kde apps is very hard, since there is a lot of memory sharing
(02:21:49 PM) ScottK: This lets us ship all the available language packs plus a small selection of educational software and games that don't fit on the Kubuntu Desktop CD.
(02:22:13 PM) ScottK: <Jesi> Question: will there be a Kubuntu Network Remix version or is that just an Ubuntu thing...
(02:22:37 PM) ScottK: I "Remix" is a mix of official packages from the Ubuntu archive plus modified/new ones.
(02:23:04 PM) ScottK: In Hardy, UNR was a true remix.  They decided to keep the name, even though it is, from Jaunty on, fully in the archive
(02:23:22 PM) ScottK: For Kubuntu we've beein 100% in the archive from the start, so we call ourselved Kubuntu Netbook Edition.
(02:24:30 PM) ScottK: On the comparison front, I do find that plasma-netbook is noticably lighter than the regular plasma-desktop.
(02:24:46 PM) ScottK: It's a noticable difference on my Dell mini 10v.
(02:24:59 PM) ScottK: <jwisser> Question: Is the "1 running app" notification in the upper left-hand corner meant to act as an app switcher, or just a notifier?
(02:25:11 PM) ScottK: It's an app switcher (the primary one)
(02:25:21 PM) notmart: it's an application switcher
(02:25:24 PM) ScottK: Also the X to the right of that will close the current window
(02:25:41 PM) notmart: clicking on it can have two different behaviours depending if desktop effects are enabled or not
(02:26:08 PM) notmart: if they are, a present windoww effect is triggered, a la exposé
(02:26:11 PM) ScottK: If desktop effects are disabled, on the current Kubuntu Netbook, you need to alt-tab to switch
(02:26:42 PM) ScottK: I have it on my TODO still to see if we can backport getting the app switcher to work without effects.
(02:26:45 PM) MoRpHeUz: and with kde 4.4 it displays a list of the open windows...
(02:26:50 PM) notmart: in kde 4.4 if they aren't there will be just a normal popup
(02:26:54 PM) MoRpHeUz: (without effects)
(02:27:51 PM) ScottK: <amik> QUESTION: how far are KDE from making the official netbook release? both time-wise and feature-wise?
(02:28:10 PM) notmart: the release will be together with kde 4.4
(02:28:22 PM) ScottK: From a Kubuntu perspective, you will see it in Lucid Lynx, 10.04 next April.
(02:28:41 PM) notmart: so  february 2010
(02:28:43 PM) ScottK: KDE 4.4 is getting near feature freeze, so they are pretty far along
(02:30:28 PM) ScottK: <Jesi> Question: Are their any differences between the Kubuntu and Ubuntu Netbook Editions other than the obvious difference of desktop environment, or will the decision to use one or the other still simply be preference?
(02:30:38 PM) ScottK: Under the hood they share the same platform.
(02:30:46 PM) ScottK: Kernel, drivers, etc. are the same.
(02:30:58 PM) ScottK: So it's really up to what you prefer.
(02:31:16 PM) notmart: well, performance or how you prefer the interface to look/behave
(02:31:25 PM) ScottK: yes
(02:34:14 PM) ScottK: <amik> QUESTION: how does the design of a totally new interface paradigm come into being? are there usability tests? goals and guidelines on which ideas are based? or just hacked away into being, smoothing edges along the way?
(02:34:42 PM) MoRpHeUz: amik: we did usability tests
(02:34:45 PM) ScottK: For me it's easy.  Upstream writes the code and I package it.
(02:35:11 PM) MoRpHeUz: amik: my company did usability tests with non-geek users
(02:35:29 PM) MoRpHeUz: both recorded in tape (or dvd, whatever), interviews, etc...
(02:35:41 PM) ScottK: You may want to look at http://morpheuz.cc/netbook-paper.pdf for more background.
(02:35:56 PM) MoRpHeUz: ScottK: thanks for the link, I was going to get that right now hehe
(02:36:16 PM) notmart: then we discussed, discussed and discussed the results
(02:36:19 PM) MoRpHeUz: amik: based on this research we started having the ideas and I'm always showing them the results and getting feedback
(02:36:26 PM) MoRpHeUz: (a lot of discussion hehe)
(02:36:37 PM) notmart: a pretty serious design process i would say
(02:36:57 PM) MoRpHeUz: amik: and in the end we are aiming at creating a pretty unique user experience, not just yet another desktop shell
(02:37:27 PM) ScottK: <the_madman> QUESTION: The pillars of KDE 4 have been meaning to make it a rather, 'revolutionary' desktop, yet a lot of attention has been focussed on Plasma. Now that Plasma has been vastly improved and mostly stabalized, can we expect to see greater focus on the other pillars, such as Akonadi and Nepomuk?
(02:37:42 PM) ScottK: This isn't really a netbook specific question.
(02:37:59 PM) notmart: the_madman: absolutely
(02:38:00 PM) ScottK: From what I know, I think the answer is yes.
(02:38:38 PM) ScottK: From a distribution perspective, Nepomuk has been tough because we didn't have a backend that was both FOSS and had good performance.
(02:38:47 PM) notmart: the madman: development of nepomuk and akonady ha been pretty fast, not really visible because they are frameworks, butthey are being quickly integrated now
(02:38:48 PM) ScottK: It looks like that is changing.
(02:39:17 PM) notmart: there will be a kmail release based on akonady in the near future, probably 4.5
(02:39:47 PM) ScottK: I think it's another 12 -18 months before Akonadi is fully integrated, but honestly I'm glad it's slow and they are careful.  Email is some of the most imporant data I have.
(02:39:54 PM) notmart: yeah, the new backend, virtuoso should have both a good license and waay better performances
(02:40:02 PM) ScottK: Kmail/Akonadi is aimed at 4.5 currently.
(02:41:24 PM) ScottK: http://pim.kde.org/akonadi/ for those wondering what Akonadi is
(02:42:01 PM) ScottK: http://nepomuk.kde.org/ for Nepomuk
(02:42:41 PM) ScottK: Akonadi, although it is a KDE pillar has no KDE dependencies.
(02:42:59 PM) ScottK: It is hoped that it will be picked up as a cross DE free desktop solution
(02:43:19 PM) ScottK: I've seen a prototype of Evolution running off an Akonadi backend.
(02:45:13 PM) ScottK: <sebsebseb> QUESTION: Why is 9.10 the first release to get a Kubuntu Netbook Remix version?   I guess, because  KDE  wasn't seen as being ready enough before, and funding?
(02:45:20 PM) notmart: cool thing is that will be possible to have multiple apps accessing akonadi data without doing corruptions, so you will be able to have a recap of the last unread mails on the desktop for instance
(02:45:29 PM) ScottK: Plasma netbook just started development recently.
(02:45:54 PM) notmart: yes, early 2009
(02:45:59 PM) ScottK: I saw http://www.notmart.org/index.php/BlaBla/put_a_net_in_your_book while I was at the last Ubuntu Developer summit where we planned Karmic.
(02:46:18 PM) ScottK: Pretty much immediately I thought we ought to have a Kubuntu Netbook version and started convincing people.
(02:46:31 PM) notmart: wow, how it seems old alredy :)
(02:47:20 PM) ScottK: It was a very interesting process because as far as I know, no community developed *buntu flavor has ever started out in the official repositories before.
(02:47:41 PM) ScottK: I was quite pleased with the support from Canononical people throughout the process.
(02:48:11 PM) ScottK: We (community developers) did most of the work, but whenever we needed help or they were the best one for the just, they just jumped right in.
(02:49:09 PM) ScottK: A small example, https://wiki.kubuntu.org/Kubuntu/Netbook used to be very developer focused and wouldn't have helped users at all.  A day or two before the release Riddell rewrote it because it needed doing.
(02:49:22 PM) ScottK: This turns out to be very much a joint community/Canonical effort
(02:51:23 PM) ScottK: Getting a workable plasma netbook with KDE 4.3 also had a lot of help from upstream.  notmart and MoRpHeUz both were a lot of help in the development process for us.
(02:51:50 PM) ScottK: This is particularly notable since the work we were doing had already branched off of what they were doing for KDE 4.4 and so it was not in their planned line of work.
(02:52:44 PM) ScottK: Karmic was, I think, in general a notable release for Kubuntu/KDE in that we worked together a lot more closely in a number of areas.
(02:53:03 PM) ScottK: QUESTION, are there little tasks for the new commers to Kubuntu development
(02:53:14 PM) ScottK: Yes.  Please join us in #kubuntu-devel.
(02:53:21 PM) ScottK: We need all kinds of help.
(02:53:44 PM) ScottK: Although Canonical supports Kubuntu significantly, it is primarily a community driven project.
(02:54:12 PM) ScottK: We need help with bug triaging, wiki updating, documentation, marketing, everything.  Not just coding an packaging.
(02:54:47 PM) ScottK: <amik> QUESTION: what future plans do u have for the netbook edition?
(02:55:16 PM) ScottK: For Lucid, we'll use the plasma-netbook that's released with KDE 4.4, so we'll be in the main line of KDE development.
(02:55:31 PM) ScottK: The plan is to continue this project.
(02:55:31 PM) MoRpHeUz: amik: ^ this will be awesome to align everything
(02:56:00 PM) ScottK: A lot of the specifics will be based on feedback and how much help we have to do the work.
(02:56:01 PM) MoRpHeUz: and from "upstream" point of view, we have a lot of ideas like "social integration" and others
(02:56:43 PM) ScottK: As with Kubuntu desktop, Kubuntu netbook aims to be a very upstream distro, so in many respects the Kubuntu plan is the KDE plan
(02:57:04 PM) ScottK: <the_madman> QUESTION: The design of Plasma was so that it would be scalable, a la the netbook remix. Are there plans to scale it down even futher, perhaps to smart-phones? If so, what work would go towards getting KDE installed on smartphones by default?
(02:57:07 PM) notmart: for us, is to continue along the line of what we have now, both in terms of features and stability, we aim to make it a good experience on the devices that are out there now and for future ones, that could be different, like the presence of touchscreens for instance
(02:57:25 PM) mode (+v akk ) by akgraner
(02:57:51 PM) ScottK: I've seen Plasma running on Nokia N900.
(02:57:59 PM) notmart: http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2009/10/27/qgraphicsview-is-a-hummer-plasma-is-the-luxury-version/
(02:58:24 PM) ScottK: <Jesi> Question: not to go off topic, but you mention marketing, what plans to you have for Kubuntu Netbook Edition here? I feel marketing is largely overlooked and am interested to know what is planned
(02:58:46 PM) ScottK: For marketing, I know we need to get some of that.  Kubuntu as a whole needs it.
(02:59:06 PM) ScottK: I'm a developer, not a marketer and would really like some involvement from people that understand about htat.
(02:59:39 PM) notmart: oon previous question: we aim to make it work as better as possible on every devices, smartphones are becoming powerful and interesting enough to give a try, it will be of course different from what we have in the desktop and the netbook... nothing planned right now but we'll see
(03:00:31 PM) ScottK: On that note, the current U/I (except a few installer screens) mostly workw on a 480 pixel height screen.  That's what the N900 has
(03:00:32 PM) akgraner: Thanks ScottK et al  :-)
(03:00:42 PM) ScottK: OK.  I guess we're done  Thanks everyone.
(03:00:46 PM) ScottK: Thank you MoRpHeUz and notmart.
(03:01:13 PM) MoRpHeUz: ScottK: thank you for all the help :)
(03:01:27 PM) notmart: ScottK: our pleasure :D

MeetingLogs/openweekKarmic/KubuntuNetbook (last edited 2009-11-04 20:03:02 by pool-71-182-105-84)