28th February 2003 by Derek Kite

This Week...

Large merges from safari. KOffice developers improve the filters and add useful templates. The development tools, Kdevelop and Quanta receive new templates and bug fixes.
Regarding the 3.1.1 release, Dirk Mueller announced:
I'd like to suggest to tag / package KDE 3.1.1 on March, 3rd. If you think that doesn't fit for any reason, please speak up now.

Otherwise please consider backporting safe bugfixes if not already done so to the appropriate branches. Also, please document notable bugfixes to the changelog file, located in CVS module www, path announcements/changelogs. Everybody has write access there.
George Staikos responded saying:
There are still a few critical issues to resolve, such as Konqueror/KDesktop icons and previews. We have a partial hack in but it's not good enough either. Also we should look at the compile errors and critical bugs in bugs.kde.org before 3.1.1 comes out.
Ferdinand Gassauer asked what we all want to know:
Did someone decide what to do with the safari enhancements? IMHO reported bugs which seems to work in safari should be fixed for 3.1.1 in khtml/kjs.
Lars Knoll, who has been merging much of the safari stuff responded:
If it was that easy. They have done lots of fixes and changes. A lot of them are far from trivial to merge back into our source. We're working on it, but most probably lots of what they did still won't be in 3.1.1.
Regarding VFolder support, Waldo Bastian made this annoucement, with an important note to developers:
If you release an application from CVS HEAD for KDE 3.1 or older, make sure that any .desktop files that are supposed to appear in the KDE menu are being installed somewhere under $(kde_appsdir) and not under the newly introduced $(xdg_appsdir). That might mean that you have to revert the commit where I changed it to use $(xdg_appsdir). You can also drop me a mail and I will revert it for you.

You do not need to revert any changes to the .desktop files themselves, only the Makefile.am change is important.

(End of the important part) Introduction of VFolder-based KDE menus

I'm happy to announce the introduction of the VFolder based KDE menu in CVS HEAD. For a long time the KDE menu structure was determined by the directory structure under the $KDEDIR/share/applnk directory. The VFolder based KDE menu introduces a new concept: .desktop files now describe themselves by including a number of categories that are applicable to the application, the KDE menu is then build by filling sub-menus with .desktop entries whose categories meet certain criteria. A full description/specification of this process can be found on http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/menu/draft/menu-spec/menu-spec.html


The advantages of this new concept are the following:
  • Uses less directories which makes it easier to autodetect changes.
  • Makes it easy to replace the KDE menu with a complete custom menu.
  • Allows for an easier menu-editing implementation.
Another important aspect is that this spec will be implemented by GNOME and hopefully others as well. This will bring the additional benefits of:
  • Single method for ISVs/independent developers to install their application in start menu, regardless of desktop environment.
  • (User) changes to menu-structure can be preserved when switching desktop environments.
  • Allows distributors to define a single menu-structure regardless of desktop environment.
Backwards compatibility

Greate care has been given to preserve full backwards compatibility with existing installations.

Things you need to know

As KDE developer you need to know a few things:
  • Your .desktop file should contain a "Categories=" entry describing you app. This entry should contain at least "Qt" and "KDE". For a list of standard categories see the specification on freedesktop.org. For KDE we will most likely add a few KDE specific categories. One of those categories is the X-KDE-More category, which indicates that the application is not of primary importance. If you are unable to find appropriate categories for your application, please post to this list.
  • If your application is going to be released for use with KDE 3.2 or newer only, it is adviced that you install your menu .desktop file to $xdg_appsdir instead of $kde_appsdir/Some/Submenu. Typically it is enough to add xdg_apps_DATA = yourdesktopfile.desktop
You mustn't do this if your application is supposed to be used with KDE 3.1 or older, because these versions of KDE will not look in $xdg_appsdir.

Make sure that your Makefile.am doesn't redefine "datadir". $xdg_appsdir is expressed in terms of $datadir, redefining $datadir will break it.

Things you need to know II
  • KMenuEdit still needs updating. It will most likely not work now.
  • Make errors involving xdg_apps_DATA or xdg_appsdir can be resolved by updating your admin directory and rerunning make -f Makefile.cvs; ./configure
  • Please report any problems that you experience to me. There are without doubt many bugs left that still need fixing.

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