Baloo KCM

KDE sprint in Randa boosts productivity since VDG members and developers talk directly to each other. In this blog post we present an alternative for the configuration of Baloo file search that meets the guidelines for KCMs.

The discussion about KCM’s look and feel started on the forums and culminated in a voting with two options. A lot of brainstorming discussions and summarizing crunches followed (System Settings Application Design and SySe and KCM layout) and some first mockups on how the KCM could look like have been prepared (Network system settings and Mouse cursor theme kcm). All this effort is condensed in the preliminary Human Interface Guideline (HIG). Recently we discussed the KCM for pointing devices.


Recently, small changes have been discussed about the organization of this KCM. However, the current status provides some room for improvements. Not only the current layout is different from the proposed UI but also the content has a limited functionality. A simple by default and powerful on demand solution is needed.



Figure 1: Mockup for Baloo KCM.

1) The preview in the upper area is used to show the first level of folders in the home directory. Users click the icon to toggle its state on or off, which is fed back by the background color for instance. Icons should be selected according what is shown in Dolphin. That means the small emblem at top left indicates if the folder is completely disabled (minus sign) or just partially excluded (exclamation mark).

Next to the folders restriction it is very useful to limit the search in respect to certain file types. That might be a large collection of music or documents that shouldn’t get indexed for some reasons. The procedure is the same as for folders. The items could be easily collected from the mime type categories.

2) If the user wants to disable the search completely there should be a checkbox as in the current KCM. Disabling the indexing means also to grey out all items above. Additionally it would be good to have an option to disable the search for just external devices (which is again not available in case indexing is disabled).

3) When the user expand the advanced section by clicking on more, all details can be tweaked. First that is every folder. For example, he or she may have excluded the /home/user/music folder completely but want to index jingles below this first level. That could be done here- and has to be shown in the simple view at top as well using the exclamation mark emblem. On/off is configured using checkboxes that have to be aware of the intermediate state.

And in respect to file types the complete list is shown in the expert section. In both cases the default is checked, which means this folder or file type will be indexed.


Do you like this solution? Would you add another option or remove one? Please join the discussion.