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How can we make existing applications more useful to you?

User avatar TheBlackCat
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KDE has a lot of applications and tools that can be useful to scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. However, few were designed explicitly with them in mind, and so they may have limitations that reduce their usefulness to these groups. So please let us know any deficiencies or limitations in existing KDE software and tools that are limiting their usefulness to you in your research, teaching, or studies.

These should be more specialized limitations that are not of sufficient general interest to be successful in the brainstorm forum. The ultimate goal would still be present these ideas to the developers of the applications. Note that this is not limited to applications explicitly designed for science or mathematics, suggestions for more general applications like dolphin, konqueror, or plasma are also welcome. But they should be ideas somehow related to science, mathematics, or engineering.

Also, feel free to discuss the ideas presented by others.


Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.
-NASA in 1965
User avatar TheBlackCat
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Here are some previous suggestions, in no particular order (see here):

  • Kalzium: 2D molecular diagrams
  • Kalgebra or Kmplot: logarithmic axes
  • Kalgebra: fourier transforms
  • Kalgebra: more advanced plotting capabilites
  • Cantor: variable management panel
  • KDevelop: better interpreted/scripted language support (especially python)
  • Kate/Kdevelop: Better fortran support
  • Kwrite/Kate: "Execute" button for scripts being edited
  • Marble: Support for GIS and other mapping and geographic data
  • Okular: storing annotations in PDFs that are compatible with other PDF programs
  • Kbibtex: Better document handling
  • Kbibtex: Document indexing
  • Kbibtex: Nepomuk integration
  • Kbibtex: Word processor integration
  • Kbibtex: Web browser integration
  • Kbibtex: Networking papers

And a list of KDE 3 applications people want to see for KDE 4:

  • Kommander
  • Kbibtex


Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.
-NASA in 1965
User avatar RGB
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Another kde3 app I'll love to see ported to kde4: qalculate-kde.
Qalculate! plasmoid is nice, but not complete and speedcrunch is not even near of what Qalculate offers (units and constants management, for instance...)
For example, if I type planck*c/800nm on Qalculate plasmoid I obtain a not so nice number on zJ, but on qalculate-kde I can click on a button, type eV, press enter and units are converted...
On speedcrunch this is completely impossible.


RGB, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Nov.
And proud to be a kde user since 1.1.2
arieder
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there also is an experimental Cantor backend for Qalculate in playground. It may not do anything you want yet, but It might be a good start.


arieder, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
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There is a KDE4-fork of KBibtex, and it is under active development:
http://home.gna.org/kbibtex/
BibLatex support would be nice.
avlas
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I would love to have all these applications within kde, in particular what refers to kdevelop, cantor, okular and kbibtex.

for instance, okular may present more flexibility in the comments to put/remove the background color, as well as to choose the color of the text and background, if desired.

also, to have a kbibtex with a nice interface, like the one in papers or mendeley, and interacting properly with kword/kile and konqueror/rekonq would be wonderful

in addition, including as many plugins as possible in kdevelop/kate and cantor would make more people use such a nice applications to manage the kind of work they do.

please continue with this nice progress, I really appreciate

thanks!
User avatar TheBlackCat
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These are the capabilities I think cantor needs before it is an effective replacement for existing mathematics software like Matlab and Mathematica:

  • Variable manager/viewer/editor with saving/loading
  • Integrated IDE with debugger
  • Integrated help system
  • Integrated plotting (some backends can plot, but the plots aren't integrated into the cantor UI)


Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.
-NASA in 1965
The User
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I think some support for help is already integrated into Cantor.
drdanz
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Kbibtex:
I think that the kde4 porting should be moved to the KDE svn...

It would be very useful if it could be used to organize bibliography (both .bib and .pdf) in a centralized way...
It could probably be done using akonadi for the storage and nepomuk for tagging, keywords, rating, comments, etc.
Actually it could just use nepomuk instead (possibly using http://bibliontology.com/) and then just export information in .bib or possibly in other file formats... Actually, this is probably a completely different program :D

Kile:
Using Nepomuk for handling bibliographic metadata could also allow to add to Kile some features for searching, exporting to bib and adding to the current project feature....

Cantor:
# Variable manager/viewer/editor with saving/loading

I think this is planned for the future

# Integrated help system

I think that help support is already there, but I don't know if the documentation about commands for all backends is integrated yet

# Integrated plotting (some backends can plot, but the plots aren't integrated into the cantor UI)

The octave plugin has some 2D and 3D plotting integrated in the ui, I don't know about the other.
arieder
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Yes, Variable management is planned (hopefully for 4.6).
About the plotting: what backends are you referring to?
Sage, Maxima, R and octave backends should handle plots just fine, the only backend without any plot support is KAlgebra.


arieder, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
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KBibTex should probably move to git.kde.org instead of the old SVN. Somebody may ask the developer?

Kile:
It has some weaknesses, I think it should be more like KDevelop:
  • It does not properly parse the source-files, it uses a lot of regeps for various parts, with proper parsing it could:
    • report syntax errors
    • allow more proper implementation of features
    • it would be easier to implement awareness about additional macros etc.
    • maybe be faster
  • It could use KDevplatform to have nice project-management, vcs-support, a good plugin-infra-structure etc.

There is a very nice feature-branch at launchpad: It is called kileip and it displays inline-previews of formulas. Maype the same could be done for images.
Another idea for Kile: Enhanced lstlisting-support with Kate-highlighting.
Well, there could be a lot of small features which could be implemented by small plugins…
schlappi
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A big improvement (I think a killer feature!) would be able to to properly view movies in okular. Right now, it works not really satisfactory. For example, it shows a black rectangle before starting the video. And my experience was that it does not show the videos until the end.

See https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=136574 for more information on the problem.
HmpfCBR
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Before I start to write a document (e.g. presentations, reports) or when I create overviews of projects I often use semantik. It is a really nice way to structure your thoughts and in my opinion way superior to the often used list approach.

However the document generator needs more flexibility and functionality to make it really useful:
  • Specify to which depth nodes should be converted into parts of the document, and what this part should be in the created document. For example instead of converting a third level node to a bullet point, it should become a slide and its content should be bullet points.
  • Including content (e.g. figures) from semantik nodes into the created document
  • Usage of own templates for document creation.

In general this application needs some love and polish, e.g. documentation, better KDE integration (path selection when creating documents, opening of semantik files with semantik when clicking on them).
zanoi
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HmpfCBR wrote:Before I start to write a document (e.g. presentations, reports) or when I create overviews of projects I often use semantik.


Thanks for pointing me to Semantik. It looks really good and I've long been looking for a native KDE mind mapping app.

The User wrote:KBibTex should probably move to git.kde.org instead of the old SVN. Somebody may ask the developer?

Kile:
It has some weaknesses, I think it should be more like KDevelop:
  • It does not properly parse the source-files, it uses a lot of regeps for various parts, with proper parsing it could:
    • report syntax errors
    • allow more proper implementation of features
    • it would be easier to implement awareness about additional macros etc.
    • maybe be faster
  • It could use KDevplatform to have nice project-management, vcs-support, a good plugin-infra-structure etc.


Never thought about that before, but Kile on KDevPlatform would be amazing :) The Kile developers might not be very enthusiastic about rewriting huge parts of Kile for KDevPlatform though ;)
stansage
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Please, add code model view in KDevelop. It my favorite feature in MSVS. I think that visual class diagrams is very helpful for understanding project architecture.

 
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