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Who are you? – Just a man with a saw. (or: KShisen and me)

February 13, 2009
tags: ,

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu

So, here I am. New on this planet, not quite that new on… you know, the other planet.
To make it short, my name is Frederik, a 28 years old computer something student from Germany. I have been active in KDE since 2006 as a translator and did some other tiny things here and there. If it comes to coding, I am currently neither very skilled nor very experienced. We learn basics about several lists andtrees but when it comes to writing real code, most of us just cannot do it (the results often make even me cry a little bit inside). While some might say that everything has its time, I do not like that aproach much.
Thus, a few weeks back I started looking at KShisen, a nice little game from the KDEGames module. The former maintainer Dave announced his retirement from this post in December and Mauricio, who did much of the porting-to-kde4 work, did not feel like being maintainer. So … *drum roll* … here I am.

What I did so far

Well, if over ten years of development, porting and maintenance from several people go into an application, it will likely become a little mess. Different opinions about tabs/spaces, camelCase/under_score, general naming schemata and all the other things that are not life-threatening but over time evolve into something ugly.
I started with cosmetics. The kdelibs coding style looked like a good thing to lean towards. Piece of cake, eh? Well, it took me some time, I broke the build once in a while and I lost the convenience to backport bugfixes by just applying the patch. But I think it was worth it.

While digging into the code, I also started to write apidox. As yet, there is not much to look at since it mostly feels like a job done by Captain Obvious:

/// Resets the game timer
void resetTimer();

Great eh? :D Well, there are better examples already and more to come soon.

One of the first things I did was triaging bug reports. Some of them were already fixed and some others invalid. A significant number of reports (three out of ten :D) did mention the highscore dialog in one way or another. One report suggested porting from KHighscore to KScoreDialog. That is what I did yesterday. KScoreDialog is a wrapper class around KHighscore so there was no need to bear converting highscore tables in mind.
A first (meaningless) result: 5 files changed, 62 insertions(+), 555 deletions(-)
Three of the “changed” files were removed. I just added them two days earlier to rework the get-player-name dialog. Life is a b…ananarama. :D The other twofiles lost quite a bit of code, some of which was even commented as:
// this may look a little bit confusing...
So, the new highscore dialog is in place. But I still have to iron out some rough edges.

What I plan to do next

As mentioned the KScoreDialog needs some more work to be in shape. After that there are plans to remodel board sizes. There are requests for a widescreen mode. While I ruled out the option of a pure widescreen mode switch (the current board sizes do not have the same aspect ratio so just adding columns would not work), I tend to a solution that gives the user the facility to define board sizes by himself.
Currently I am not sure how to present this to the user. The first thing that comes to my mind is the tea list from the configure dialog in KTeatime. No ideaif that is a reasonable way but I am sure when time comes, the KDEGames folks will help me find an appropriate solution.
After that, drawing stuff might be my next target. I have no clue how it is done now and I have no clue how it will be done then, but Mauricio once mentionedthat KShisen should be ported to the new drawing API so I put it on my todo list. :D

What time is it?

Too late already. Time flies. Let us see how much of these things can make it into KDE 4.3.
As yet there is not much to see from the player’s point of view, but if you want to help find all the regressions my big cleanup/unification/refactor spree might have introduced, play a game of KShisen from trunk (if it builds). :D

5 Comments leave one →
  1. koko permalink
    February 13, 2009 11:49 am

    Welcome home! :)

  2. DaveC permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:04 pm

    Great to see you pick up the reins and blog about it! I was quite relieved to find that I wasn’t the original author of the “this may look a little bit confusing…” comment :-) Good luck!

  3. February 14, 2009 4:25 pm

    Strange comment, but: Thanks. :D

  4. February 14, 2009 4:26 pm

    Thank you. I hope I can do some good things. :)

  5. 4k3nd0 permalink
    February 15, 2009 9:44 am

    Viel Glueck und auf gutes Gelingen :)

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