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The "K More Tools" (KMT) Framework -- Draft

First version commited to src/frameworks/knewstuff/src/kmoretools. So the content here can be outdated.


This scratchpad page is the starting point for the draft specification of a framework or module called "K Tools Suggestion" (KMT').

KMT should provide an API to provide a consistent UI for the following purpose:

1) GOAL: Quick access to related tools in a given context.

2) GOAL: Give novice users hints about tools that are useful in a particular context even if the are not installed.

3) GOAL: Make it easier for application developers to add alternative application/tool suggestions without worrying about cluttered menus.

4) CONDITION: The tool suggestions - especially for not-installed tools - should be non-obstrusive.

5) NICE-TO-HAVE: When the user chooses a not-installed tool, the distro specific package manager should be used to start the installation process for the chosen software.

Use cases / References

See KMoreTools API documentation: ...TODO... link

ksnapshot's SendTo menu

... TODO ...

Dolphin's status bar disk space menu

RR: dolphin: add menu to SpaceInfo widget for detailled disk usage information

Screenshots of current implementation (without KMT):

KDiskFree and Filelight both installed:


Filelight not installed:


This could be improved doing it with KMT:

CURRENT: (without KMT)

 `- Filelight [not installed]
 `- View Disk Usage

NEW: (with KMT support)

 `- View Disk Usage
 `- More >
        `- Not installed >
             `- Disk Usage Statstics with Filelight
             `- <GenericName> with <Name>
             `- Configure this menu...
  • All applications which are not installed are placed in a submenu called Not installed which is placed in the More submenu.
  • [LATER] If such a menu item is clicked the systems package manager opens and asks the user to install the package. As an intermediate step one could launch a simple Internet search.
  • The More submenu can also contain less often used items (user-configurable in a later version of KMT)
  • Configure this menu...: Opens a dialog that gives the option not to show not installed applications.
| Configure More Tools Suggestions                               |
| Global settings                                                |
|                                                                |
| [x] Show menu entries of tools that are not installed          |
| If you do like to see suggestions of applications that are not |
| installed enable this option                                   |
|                                                                |
|                                        [Ok] [Apply] [Cancel]   |
  • Configure this menu... [LATER]: In a later version of KMT it could be made user-configurable which menu items should be shown in the More menu instead of in the first level.

Technical details


  • Library to be used by application developer (see API draft)
  • Some configuration GUI to enable or disabled suggestions (e.g. for not-installed tools)

User settings

  • User settings are saved _per id_ (todo: clarify what that means) in the application settings (KConfig). Similar to the "Recent files" entries.

Early API draft

Why .desktop files for not-installed applications/services?

  • From a given application name it is often hard to guess what purpose it has. The .desktop file contains a more understandable description of an application.

... [draft] / comments? ...

Q: Why add the .desktop file of each tool that should be in the suggestion list to the application that makes the suggestion?

A: The .desktop file contains the translated application name and generic name (short tool description) that can be displayed to the user even if the package is not installed yet.

Q: Maintaining the copy of the .desktop file?

A: In regular intervals the upstream .desktop file of the referenced package should be updated. But in general there is no tight coupling, so the application that uses KMT is not forced to do it on every minor change.

API usage by example

Dolphin's SpaceInfo menu

 1  KMoreTools kmt("dolphin-statusbar-diskspace-menu");
 3  auto kdiskfreeApp = kmt.addService("dolphin_resources/kdf.desktop"); // returns a KMoreToolsRegisteredService*
 4  auto filelightApp = kmt.addService("dolphin_resources/org.kde.filelight.desktop");
 5  auto gpartedApp = kmt.addService("dolphin_resources/gparted.desktop");
 7  //
 8  // add simple application with no parameters
 9  //
10  auto ktmMenuBuilder = kmt.getMenuBuilder(); // returns a KMoreToolsMenuBuilder*
11  auto kdiskfreeAction = ktmMenuBuilder.addAction(kdiskfreeApp); KMoreToolsAction*
13  //   when kdiskfreeApp->isAvailable() == true
14  //     the resulting action's name is kdiskfreeService->genericName()
15  //     the icon is QIcon::fromTheme(kdiskfreeService->icon())
16  //   if false: the icon is not set because it is probably not available
17  if (kdiskfreeApp->isAvailable()) {
18         auto kdiskfreeService = kdiskfreeApp->getService(); // is not nullptr because isAvailable() was true
19         // kdiskfreeAction->action() returns the action QAction*
20         connect(kdiskfreeAction->action(), &QAction::triggered, this, [kdiskfreeService](bool) {
21             KRun::runService(*kdiskfreeService, { }, nullptr);
22         });  
23  } // INTERNALS: else the menu entry will be displayed in the "More >" submenu
25  //
26  // filelight, 3 menu entries from one application but with different parameters
27  //
28  auto filelightDirectoryAction = ktmMenuBuilder.addAction(filelightApp)
29     ->appendText(" - " + i18nc("@action:inmenu", "current folder")); // also returns KMoreToolsAction*
30  auto filelightDeviceAction = ktmMenuBuilder.addAction(filelightApp);
31     ->appendText(" - " + i18nc("@action:inmenu", "current device"));
32  auto filelightAllDevicesAction = ktmMenuBuilder.addAction(filelightApp);
33     ->appendText(" - " + i18nc("@action:inmenu", "all devices"));
34  if (filelightApp->isAvailable()) {
35     // TODO .................
36  }
38  //
39  // add simple application with no parameters, but in the "More >" submenu by default
40  //
41  auto gpartedAction = ktmMenuBuilder.addAction(gpartedApp, KMoreTools::DefaultLocation_MoreSubmenu);
42  gpartedAction->connectDefaultRunServiceIfAvailable();
43  // INTERNALS: does the same as with kdiskfreeAction but as convenience method
45  // (TODO: example where no desktop file is provided, here or elsewhere)
47  //
48  // build menu
49  // 
50  // auto menu = ktmMenuBuilder->buildMenu(); // returns a QMenu*, or better:
51  QMenu menu;
52  ktmMenuBuilder->addToMenu(&menu); // adds the menu entries to the given menu

Later: package mgmt integration

Use case:

  • "KDiskFree not installed. If you would like to install it, click here to install it."
  • Similar to /usr/bin/cnf but for .desktop files of programs that are not yet installed: start the distro GUI package mgmt for the specific package.
  • Open with Muon discover

This page was last modified on 16 April 2015, at 22:55. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.