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FAQ

I want to help, what do you have for me?

Lots of stuff to do.

Core

  • Tabs in header.
  • KDE-style dockwidgets (represented by a button and completely hideable by clicking on it).

New plugins

  • libvlc-based media player with support for collections, playlists, etc.
  • GUI for mpd.
  • Recursive HTTP sites downloader (like wget -m or Teleport Pro).
  • Window Manager for sure.
  • Tree-like tabs display, like Tab++ but sanely working.

Azoth

  • Make history plugin more user-friendly: search, date filter, etc.
  • Implement XEPs of your like in QXmpp, for examples, some of the red ones in the XEP matrix on Azoth Xoox's page.
  • MSN, ICQ, Gadu-gadu or any other protocol you want.
  • Vkontakte/Facebook plugins with friends' list, photos and comments.

Poshuku

  • Support for bookmarks/etc exchange with your favorite social bookmarking service like Read It Later (Poshuku OnlineBookmarks is to be extended for that).
  • Shortcuts for clickable elements on a web page, like those that appear when pressing Ctrl in Arora.
  • Speed dial.
  • Opera-like on/off for pictures.

Anyway, think about contacting us.

But I'm not a programmer!

That's OK. If you are into drawing stuff, you could design an icon set, emoticons set, or such. If you know some languages but English or Russian, you could help with translations. In either case, please just use LeechCraft, report your ideas, suggestions, tell us about your experience and feelings.

And, of course, help us to build a community, stay around in our XMPP conference, leechcraft@conference.jabber.ru, chat around, answer newbies' questions and such. You can't imagine how it helps when there is at least a person or two that can help you with all that support-related stuff so that you can free a bit of time and context switches to write a bit more code.

Project

Why do you write another browser (torrent client, RSS reader, etc), there is Chrome/Firefox/Opera/whatever?

Firstly, it's not a browser (or a torrent client, or whatever) with just some additional plugins. The project has quite another goal (see the next question).

Of course, we could use some external browser like Firefox or Chrome, but in order to achieve the goal of the project, we should have a browser plugin we can fully control and adapt to LeechCraft concepts. The same applies to every other plugin we have, basically.

OK, so what's the goal of the project?

Our goal is to bring a usable and handy all-in-one (but modular) application that would cover most Internet and common desktop tasks, like browsing, IM, news or media playback.

Implementing a whole Desktop Environment is also in the roadmap. For that, just some plugins like window manager and support for running external applications inside LeechCraft should be added. Unfortunately, that would be a *NIX-only thing.

Aha! All-in-one application, that's not Unix-way!

By saying "all-in-one" we mean end-user experience.

Architecturally, it's modular and split into different parts, where each module does one thing, and tries to do it well. These modules communicate via a global LeechCraft-wide message bus. Of course, the modules don't use UNIX pipes for communication: in the era of GUI applications using UNIX pipes with text-only data transfers is either extremely inefficient or not usable at all if one makes an application like LeechCraft, with modules abstracted from each other and from the core. One would need to define a quite low-level and abstract protocol for communication, based on something like JSON or XML. This text-based protocol would be used for defining GUI and transferring info about GUI events, and there is no need to say how that would slow things down.

To sum up, LeechCraft is split into different modules, communicating with each other via a standard message bus.

Why do you invent a bicycle and then try to turn it into a robotized swiss knife?

Just for fun. We have a chance to plan, build and implement some things right from scratch, experimenting with different ideas and playing with various concepts. And, well, we hope that these experiments would produce some interesting and usable results.

I think feature X is top priority and you should do it ASAP instead of all your crap

Seems like you think that opensource is like commercial development, but with free resulting product. Well, you are wrong. We write what you get as a hobby, and we do implement what we feel like is interesting and fun. There is no fixed, approved and unchangeable roadmap, and, of course, there are no deadlines: we have enough pressures in the real life. So, if a feature is heavily worked on, that's because the one who develops it found it to be useful for him, or just decided that it'd be fun to implement it, but not because somebody ordered him to do that.

So, as soon as someone with required skills is found who is interested in implementing the feature, it'd be worked on.

Nevertheless, please suggest your ideas. If you request something that one of us finds interesting to implement, we will surely do it.

But feature X would bring you lots of users!

To be honest, we don't care. We code for fun and self-development, not for popularity, fame or such.

Everybody wants fame, don't lie

You are bad at psychology.

Regarding deadlines... When feature X would be implemented and version Y released?

When it's ready.

We have the ability to focus on quality, not on fixed release dates, so we won't release unpolished things just because of some special date.

Moreover, we should eat, so we go to work, and some of us study, so we can't predict when we'd have enough time, energy and will to fire up text editor and write some lines of code.

Why can't I use standalone application for each task?

You can, nobody's forcing you to use LeechCraft. Nevertheless, we encourage you to try LeechCraft out to see whether it would be more handy for you then a set of poorly integrated standalone applications. Also, please report features that you miss in LeechCraft for us to make it even better, so that you won't ask questions like this.

Why did you chose such names for plugins? Please change them to something sane.

The names are no more cryptic then ones like Firefox, Chrome, Deluge, Liferea or whatever. It's just a matter of habit.

I've downloaded Windows version, and it's total crap

Well, Windows version isn't the thing that we are focused on due to the lack of Windows developers. Thus, Windows version will most likely have more bugs and lack some features present in builds for other OSes.

OK, I want integration with Firefox

Whatever you mean by these words, we will do it when we have all other tasks completed and goals achieved.

I want some feature implemented

Please contact us.

Code & technical issues

Why you've chosen C++?

Well, there are several reasons behind this decision.

  • It's better than C for anything but low-level system development.
  • It's better than Python, Ruby or other similar interpreted languages for such complex applications that should run as long as the user is logged on (provided you are good enough C++ programmer to write a stable code with little to no memory leaks).
  • Lead developer: I was unaware about Haskell or OCaml at the moment of starting the project, and if I started LeechCraft now, I would definitely chose one of those.

Why you've chosen Qt?

Since we've already chosen the primary language, the question is what's the most suitable framework for C++. We rejected Gtk, wxWidgets and other libraries in favour of Qt since Qt provides not only a widget set, but a lot more: from metaobjects and reflection to XML parsers, SQL helpers, networking, and such. It's a solid foundation for such application as LeechCraft.

Will you ever implement running LeechCraft plugins as standalone applications?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: it's already possible in some sense: you can use LeechCraft core to run any single plugin (or any set of plugins) you want. Use leechcraft -P path/to/plugin.so for that. Please note that this way LeechCraft won't load plugin's dependencies, you need to specify them manually. Please also note that LeechCraft won't check whether it's already running, and it would always start a new instance being invoked this way. Thus, you may end up running several instances of one plugin, and, for example, you may get the corresponding settings files corrupt. And when we give the short answer mentioned previously, we mean that we will never implement the corresponding checks, for example, and we won't "fix" the problems mentioned here, since they are not actually problems.

Plugins

Azoth can't connect to my GoogleTalk account

Use port 5222 instead of 5223.

Azoth doesn't store passwords

Install the SecMan plugin.