Kommander 1.3 Snapshots
- I'll never forget getting Slashdotted and someone saying Kommander was a bad application because of how I laid out a dialog for my personal use. Our first snapshot is the editor with windows I'm editing. Remember, what a person makes for themselves is by defnition perfect software because it is what they wanted.
At the right is the Kommander editor which is editing dialogs used for an in house application. The context menus, scripts and database plugin that doesn't show when running are laid out so that they are easily accessible in edit mode and neatly do not affect spacing at run time.
- Not only does the text editor use the Kate Part for excellent editing, it can now have multiple editors open and run dialogs while using your edits without closing them. There is also highlighting for the new parser. I recommend setting the editor with line numbers and adding the Kate auto completion plugin. By default this will auto complete anything over 3 characters long. It's not full auto completion of the language, but it will work on all text, so it's pretty nice. Since dialogs are no longer saved on run you have full undo, automatic backup and the running dialog backup as well as the option not to save. Fire up kdesvn if you want easy versioning.
- What makes Kommander really easy is the Function Browser. It just got even nicer. Kommander's Function Browser is intended to make writing functions as easy as using a spreadsheet like KSpread. Improvements include new multi-line insert area, a new slots function type, boolean combos and intelligent optional quotes. Quotes are more important as they become required in many places with the new parser to distinguish between variables and non variables. For instance using an array function without enclsing the array name in quotes will cause unexpected failures.
- Kommander has some new widgets including the DatePicker and the Toolbox. Be sure to read the docs accessible from the Help Menu in the Editor. The Toolbox is quirky in design mode, but works fine in run time. It is also nice that you can optionally create a DatePicker and make it visible and invisible in your scripting so that it doesn't need to take up space. Here I just put it in a Toolbox. It's just a cool widget.
- Along with the other new widgets Kommander can now embed widgets in a table grid. This example leaves them up and disables some, but it's also possible to make widgets in a table grid disappear and write their content to the table cell, then reappear when the cell is clicked on with the correct item selected in the new wdiget. This is not limited to ComboBoxes, but can include CheckBoxes, DatePickers or any other widget.
- If you followed the 1.3 release you would be aware that Kommander has actually been able to run MainWindow files created in Qt Designer for some time. We made this a little better this release with new signals for initializing and destroy routines. Unfortunately all attempts at a native Kommander MainWindow have crashed the editor. This is a snapshot of a demo editor showing the ability to use the toolbar Actions to activate bold and italic text, set fonts and change the text color. It also demonstrates a Kommander script that finds the links on the page and enables scripts to be called directly by linking, which is sort of fun.
- This is a shot of an in house application using KParts to load a database form. We're using several plugins here. This also has context menus and submenus and uses icons on the menu. Even more fun, the loaded dialog has grouboxes that in this view are set to not visible, but selecting certain menu options "expands" those sections. This also shows multiple splitters in a layout. However it is when in calling mode the left Datepicker and splitter appear making it three across. This is an application that feels very grown up compared to what was available just a month before when new features were added.
This is just a small sampling of what is possible with Kommander. Custom widgets can easily be added with Plugins. A KDE4 executor is planned soon that will run dialogs you created in KDE3. When the full KDE4 Kommander platform is developed it will natively support any scripting language with full access to functionality and be capable of almost anything that can be done in KDE. Of course as we always say, it's not a good candidate for building a full office application. It does have limitations, but for small applications it's becoming a great option.