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KDE Welcomes Ghostwriter To Its Collection Of Apps

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  • KDE Welcomes Ghostwriter To Its Collection Of Apps

    Phoronix: KDE Welcomes Ghostwriter To Its Collection Of Apps

    KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual weekly development summary concerning all of the progress made to the open-source desktop over the past two weeks. This status update actually covers the past two weeks due to last weekend being preoccupied with the annual KDE Akademy developer conference...

    Phoronix, Linux Hardware Reviews, Linux hardware benchmarks, Linux server benchmarks, Linux benchmarking, Desktop Linux, Linux performance, Open Source graphics, Linux How To, Ubuntu benchmarks, Ubuntu hardware, Phoronix Test Suite

  • #2
    Heh. The first time I opened up Kate and got the new popup, I think it was sometime last week or the week before, I was like "I don't know WTF is going on here but I can make this work." I've since opened up quite a bit of things from that.

    I hope I'm wrong on this, but it doesn't look like Ghostwriter supports the format that MediaWiki uses. ngraham A new markdown editor makes me curious enough to ask: Will the KDE Wiki will start using the Markdown Extension or have that as an option? Are the Wikis hosted on Invent or some other KDE host? If they are I'm too stupid to find them. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't embarrassed by that as slipping though that you fixed.


    • #3
      I didn't realize until now that Kwrite and KATE supported Markdown. I guess that should've been obvious, but it's nice to know.
      Also, Ghostwriter should've had a flaming skull for an icon lol.


      • #4
        Hmm. Ghostwriter looks like FocusWriter with less advanced theming and an outline sidebar that just uses headings rather than showing the beginning of the text after each "scene separator", but with support for a split view akin to ReText's Live Preview mode.

        ...which is funny, because, while ReText originally only did ReStructuredText rather than Markdown, both it and FocusWriter are already Qt applications, removing the historical main reason for the KDE ecosystem to not contribute to an existing established project.

        I doubt I'll be replacing FocusWriter for working on fiction, but Ghostwriter is on Flathub, so maybe I'll experiment with it as a ReText replacement for situations where Markdown would be the more appropriate language to use and Markdown's lack of native footnote syntax isn't what drove me to ReStructuredText in the first place.
        Last edited by ssokolow; 08 October 2022, 09:29 AM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
          I doubt I'll be replacing FocusWriter for working on fiction, but Ghostwriter is on Flathub, so maybe I'll experiment with it as a ReText replacement for situations where Markdown would be the more appropriate language to use and Markdown's lack of native footnote syntax isn't what drove me to ReStructuredText in the first place.
          Just tried it and, ugh, let me guess. It's written using Qt Quick? ...because, aside from the general "kinda Electron-y" look to it, which could just be a custom QWidget style sheet, the menus (including context menus) go from GNOME-esque drop-shadow blur borders I never asked for with compositing enabled to no borders at all with compositing disabled.

          Also, it just generally feels like, aside from FocusWriter's weird "only section separators, not headings" rule about what populates the outline sidebar, anything it has in common with FocusWriter is implemented with a much better design in FocusWriter​.

          (eg. FocusWriter uses auto-hide/show-on-hover for all toolbar elements while Ghostwriter keeps that bottom bar visible in distraction-free mode. That "0 words ^" popup menu that's just used to display statistics and select one statistic to display without prompting feels like a cheap hack that's inferior to FocusWriter's statusbar. etc. etc. etc.)

          Not to mention, I'm not a fan of how, despite my desktop using a dark-on-light theme (i.e. traditional/non-dark-mode), the first thing I was greeted with was. "We've tossed you into the deep end. Your first task is to figure out how to disable dark mode and change themes if you want your Markdown entry widget to match the white background on the QTextEdit (or QTextEdit-like) widgets used by things like Kate and Featherpad." Generally, I consider it a mark of bad developer attitude when something that has ready access, not just to the user's light/dark preference, but to the individual color roles of the system color scheme, doesn't default to using it.

          (Didn't we fight a war to get prefers-color-scheme: light​ in CSS? Why are ostensibly native applications now starting to feel less native than random websites? Grumble Grumble. You damn kids get off my lawn.)

          Yeah, I'm a grump... but there's also an element of "If you override the system default look and feel, then you invite criticism of what you overrode it in favour of".

          ...and also not a good look for the Qt app that's officially "a KDE application" to feel less native on a KDE desktop and more like an Electron app than the third-party Qt tool that implemented auto-hide for all UI elements that aren't the central widget and made the central widget's theming take inspiration from Kodi.

          The latency on updating the split preview is lower than in ReText, but I think the uncanny valley-ness of the Qt Quick-based UI means I'll stick to ReText for my non-fiction writing in addition to sticking to FocusWriter's "this feels like it's gone through more dogfooding by an actual author"-ness for my fiction stuff.

          (Also, why the heck does the Flatpak release want network permissions? ...especially when it also wants filesystem=home and Qt's QFileDialog has excellent out-of-the-box support for XDG portals to the point where I generally Flatseal-override things to disable any form of predefined filesystem access in Qt apps. Maybe I missed some minor feature or maybe it was because someone didn't understand that things like the sftp KIOSlave would run on the XDG Portal Host side of things, but I didn't notice any obvious reason for it.)
          Last edited by ssokolow; 08 October 2022, 10:22 AM.


          • #6
            Distraction free writing?

            Why not just use vim or gvim?


            • #7
              Originally posted by rogerx View Post
              Distraction free writing?

              Why not just use vim or gvim?
              A variety of reasons, mostly related to how tricky it can be to get into and stay in the right mindset:
              1. I use a monospace font, but not everyone does, and Vim doesn't support proportional fonts.
              2. If you force gVim to fill your monitor exactly using KWin rules, it'll pad out the remaining not-multiple-of-character-cell space with default window background color.
              3. No support for WYSIWYG editing. (I prefer to see raw markup for code and non-fiction, and WYSIWYG for fiction.)
              4. Focuswriter allows an image-based background, which I find can be very useful to help hold the mindset for a given work if you use the right image.
              5. It'd be a lot of work to re-create the assists Focuswriter gives in gVim. (In that context, asking why not use gVim is sort of a "why not NIH it?" thing. A lot of the value in FocusWriter is having something ready-made and debugged so you can just get into the zone and stay there. (I'm still running into and diagnosing warts in how my Vim plugins interact with each other.)
              6. FocusWriter can output RTF or ODT files.
              (I say this as someone who uses gVim in place of an IDE for coding.)


              • #8

                It's not AJR, but ARJ. It's clear if you read Nate's blog.


                • #9
                  Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause apps like VLC and Firefox to stop refreshing after being used for a while
                  Oh niiice! I have definitely experienced that bug on a few apps before, Firefox was definitely a common one.

                  I'm more annoyed by a similar one that I mostly only ever see with Chrome/Chromium, where it will suffer a worse bug and be completely frozen/unresponsive, you cannot resize or drag any of the open windows for it at that point.

                  But it's still nice if the flickering / resize frame update issue is fixed as that would affect chrome browsers too. I'd have to select the tabs and drag them out to make a new window and close the bugged window prior.

                  I've just always assumed both of these bugs are due to nvidia not Kwin/plasma + X11.


                  • #10
                    For the GNOME desktop there exists something similar called Apostrophe.