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Archive for January 23rd, 2009

Tabbed Browsing for Packages

January 23rd, 2009 by

There are many approaches to managing software packages. Some users like to use command line tools like zypper. Others prefer a GUI tool like the YaST2 package selector. And even within such a GUI tool, there are many ways to deal with the packages you’d like to install, update or remove: Install a bunch of packages that make up a functionality like “KDE desktop” or “web development”, find one specific package with a known name, or just look through packages that are available. That’s why there are different filter views for those different approaches.

How do you select any of those filter views? In previous versions of the (Qt) package selector, we used to have a combo box to do that:

That’s somewhat unusual, and there have always been critics who claimed that we should use tabs instead. Our standard reply was always that this would not really be helpful because there are so many of them; you’d run out of screen space quickly, and with the number of filter views we have, this would look overwhelming and confusing:

Ugh… not good. Not even at this screen resolution. Now think about 800×480 netbooks and more verbose languages like German, French or Hungarian. No way to make this fit on the screen. And left/right scroll buttons are the last thing you want for tabs.

So, what else could we do?

Smolt Popup

January 23rd, 2009 by

kupdateapplet shows a popup that asks the user to send his/her hardware profile to the smolt project.

I think kupdateapplet isn’t the appropriate application for showing this notification because smolt has nothing in common with update installation.
I’ve written a tiny python-qt script that shows the smolt popup.

You can find a package called smolt-qt in my build service home. Feel free to test and comment!