Tales of software craftsmanship

Tales of software craftsmanship

LikeBack in Amarok

Amarok 2.3.0 has just been released but the Amarok team is already working hard on the next release. Shortly after mainline opened for feature commits I pushed a feature that will hopefully result in the next Amarok release being based on user feedback even more than 2.3.0: LikeBack integration.

What is LikeBack?

Short answer: a client-server system for gathering context-related, anonymous and immediate user feedback.

Long answer: described in a blog post by Valerio Pilo, KMess developer.

Pics worth more than 1K words (hint: the icons in the top right corner):

As I’ve read, LikeBack was originally developed for BasKet Note Pads and ported to KDE4 by KMess developers.

In Amarok the LikeBack bar is enabled by default only for testing releases i.e. git builds and betas. When the user has a good or bad experience, or gets an idea for a feature, he can click on one of the icons in the top right and submit a message. With LikeBack we gather comments of the types “like” “dislike” and “feature idea”, single and short suggestions, not discussions or bug reports. Bugs are still handled through the usual dialog that takes the user to bugs.kde.org, a system much better suited for bug tracking than LikeBack: this also means that if we receive something like a bug report under the guise of a “dislike” through LikeBack, we will have to consider it invalid.

The feedback we have received so far (several dozen comments in half a week) is quite positive, no insults yet (yay!).

LikeBack is available in Amarok’s git mainline (and in git/nightly builds if your distro provides them) as of a few days ago (*not* in the 2.3.0 release), so feel free to give it a spin and let us know what you think, either through LikeBack or the usual channels.

Amarok 2.3.0 “Clear Light”

The Amarok team is always at work, aiming with every release to deliver the best music player on earth and beyond. For some it may be just great fun, for others it may be a sacred calling, but for all of us a release cycle is a journey with its ups and downs, that comes to an end with a release. Each release is a time when we unleash our brainchild into the wild, and take a moment to just feel proud about what we have achieved.

This is such a moment.

Today I’m happy to announce the immediate availability of Amarok 2.3.0 “Clear Light”, which brings countless improvements and fixes over Amarok 2.2.2, and lots of new features. This release is the result of extensive user feedback, and it contains many patches submitted by members of the greater Amarok and KDE community. Check out the release announcement and please digg it.