Monday, March 30, 2009

Multiple improvements in KGet

* This is another GSoC related post, normal users please ignore it.

KGet is a versatile and user-friendly download manager for KDE.
This project will add various features to KGet to improve its functionality and
usability. These include semantic information via Nepomuk, support for digital
signatures, better Metalink integration and good Plasma support.

Personal details

Name: Nikhil Marathe

Email Address:

Freenode IRC Nick: nsm

Location (City, Country and/or Time Zone): Mumbai, India ( GMT + 5:30 )

Proposal Name
Making downloading easier, safer, better - multiple improvements to Kget

Motivation for Proposal / Goal
Kget is a very good download manager, with a crisp interface and nice
integration into KDE. At the same time there is always room for improvements. These include quick renaming of partial downloads, support for
verification of downloaded files and ability to download from multiple sources.
I will attempt to add these improvements.

As specified in the proposal:
* Add support for a context menu to alter download properties.
* Allow manual addition of URLs to multithreaded downloads.
* Integration of downloads from multiple sources - Bittorrent/HTTP/FTP.
* Integrate KGpg to verify digital signatures.
* Integrate Nepomuk support if available.
* Metalink creation support.
* Support to download an MD5SUMS file from servers if available and verify
downloads. Manual intervention possible if the MD5SUMS is not found.
* In case of a Metalink, attempt to verify PGP checksums using KGpg.

In addition I have the following features I would like to implement:
* Add Plasma applet drop target which can be added to panel - KGet's current drop target tends to cover up screen content. Tucking it away in
the panel seems a good workaround.
* Allow KGet to display transfer details in the system tray tooltip - this
feature ( seen in ktorrent ) is very useful.
* Allow KGet to restart on crashes - it is very annoying to find that the download you left on and went for lunch didn't finish because KGet crashed and didn't restart. This should fix it.

Apart from the motivation of improving KDE, I have a somewhat selfish motivation
for improving KGet since it seems to be the only download manager that can
resume partial files on my computer :)

Implementation Details

NOTE: Wherever UI changes are required, they will be made to the web interface too in case required.

My current implementation plan includes:
* Modify KGet UI for context menu. This also involves adding the appropriate HTML/Javascript/CSS to support the same through the web interface.
* Add KIO operations for moving/copying files when download location is changed
to the KGet core.
* Add support to verify signatures using KGpg command line options ( as KGpg
does not seem to have a D-BUS interface. )
* Add dialog for creation of Metalinks from downloaded files, or local
filesystem files, including automatic MD5 and PGP checksumming.
* Submit data to Nepomuk about download location, download server.
* Allow user to add tags/rating to download while it is going on.
* Discreet option to add multiple download links for non-Metalink downloads.
* For MD5SUMS verification, attempt to guess multiple types of filenames (
MD5SUMS, md5sums.txt etc. ) or allow the user to enter link or checksum
* Implement plasma drop target which should also have settings for the
following -
Prompt for download by raising KGet window or just downloading to a default location and not breaking the user's workflow.
* Provide a setEmergencySaveFunction and crashHandler so that we can attempt to rescue files from corruption and restart KGet when it crashes.

Tentative Timeline

now - May 23rd : Understand relevant KGet code. Take a look at how to hook into
Nepomuk. Plan the UI and backend design.

May 23rd - June end: Attempt to implement the core functionality of manual URL
insertion, renaming and moving, and integration of multiple download methods.
Integrate KGpg and Nepomuk. Add Metalink PGP verification.
Write plasma drop target applet. Implement tooltip functionality.

July : Implement Rating and Tagging support. Add configuration options.
Implement MD5SUMS verification. Fix bugs, write documentation.

August 1-10th: Fix remaining bugs, wrap loose ends, test test test.

More personal details
Do you have other obligations from late May to early August (school, work,

My 3rd semester begins in the last week of July, which means I'll have
a bit less time ( around 25 hours a week ) towards the last two weeks of coding.
Therefore I will attempt to finish almost all
of my proposal by the end of July.

About Me

I'm 18 years old. I study in Gandhinagar, India. I'm pursuing
a B. Tech. in Information and Communication Technology at DA-IICT where I'm in
the first year.

I've been programming and using Linux for about 6 years now. I'm fascinated by
all the areas of computing, including compilers, operating systems, graphics and
web design+development. Python is the coolest language for me, although C/++
comes pretty close. I have significant experience in Qt ( including the new MVC
architecture ) - having developed a local network instant messaging client using
it. I am also familiar with the HTTP and FTP protocols and have used PGP
encryption/signing to some extent. In addition I have a decent web development experience, including Ajax and JS effects, which are required for the KGet web interface.

A complete list of my projects can be found at

KDE has been a really great piece of software for me ever since I first used
version 3.2. I've always been a fan of its configurability and the momentum and
innovation in the KDE community, and KDE 4 totally took it to the next level. It
has been a kind of
dream to work on KDE someday. Unfortunately I could never participate in GSoC
due to age restrictions. I also didn't have the experience to enter such a huge
project until last year, but now I'm ready to become a full time contributor to
KDE. I have recently patched bug 164137 ( ) in KWin to remove a redundant
checkbox, which is currently awaiting feedback from KWin developers.

When not in front of the computer I also love playing football, reading and
listening to music.

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