while the title makes it sound like i'm going to expound on the heretofore unrealized benefits of sandpaper, i'm not. the 'and' in this case denotes two separate topics.
unexpected benefits: an unexpected benefit of dividing up the libraries in kdelibs into internal hierarchies is that it makes it much easier to work on alternative versions of them. one can now branch just the one subdirectory, say kdelibs/kdecore/config, and work on it. one can even move that branch into the directory next to it with a different name, modify the CMakeLists.txt file in both kdelibs/ and (in this case) kdelibs/kdecore slightly and boom easy parallel devel. swapping one version for the other is a matter of swapping directories about, e.g. config <-> config_new. very, very nice.
and yes, this means i'm back to working on the kconfig update. it's been holding up too many people so i'll be working on that until it is done, barring dev wiki fridays (that's tomorrow folks! join us in #kde-www on irc.freenode.net) and libs mondays (which is on a tuesday this week... again.)
sandpaper: in my last blog i mentioned fixing kurt's bug in trunk/. my intention was not to take away an entry level job (a new coder is actually working on the fix in kde 3.x; i'm really not touching that branch much at all anymore these days). i did it because the printer interface was in really, really bad visual shape in trunk/. it's going to be hard to get people using kde4 as their play-about desktop until things look a little less hamma-janged (as we used to say back in nanakuli =). until people run kde4 as their desktop, even on their non-critical play about systems, it's going to be hard to get real q/a information.
so i was interested: how much hell would i be wading through to fix this appearance? are junior bugs still junior bugs when there is all this mess about?
turns out the mess was pretty easy to get straightened out. i actually got to delete an entire 40+ line method in the process (qt4 now Does The Right Thing(tm), and the old method no longer did. heh.) and otherwise it was "little fix here, little fix there."
for instance, qgridlayout's concept of row and col span has shifted slightly since the initial port was done and so some items were misplaced.
but now things look not all that bad. a little sandpaper applied to the finish was all that was really needed. now, this isn't to say that the printer configuration and manager dialogs don't need work. they could use love. but now i can imagine someone looking at it critically and saying "i'm going to fix that..." and actually doing it. whereas before it really gave the impression of being broken beyond broken, even though it wasn't.
for those of us working on kde4 we need to start taking a moment here and there when we see something truly broken visually to fix it. this will help us get more people developing and testing as they won't run screaming at first sight because the text overlays the icons or whatever.
bonus topic: the oxygen team is gearing up to replace icons in kdelibs with oxygen ones. this includes renaming them in accordance with the fd.o naming standard, and extending the standard with new names as appropriate. i'm excited about that.