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Preview of KDE 3.4 315

Posted by michael
from the kudos dept.
comforteagle writes "In this month's KDE: From the Source George Staikos details what is to be expected from the upcoming 3.4 version of KDE. An Alpha release is due any minute so you might as well know what you're in for if you're a loyal K head. Some changes include major rework within KHTML & Konqueror, Subversion support, and Apple's Rendezvous."
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Preview of KDE 3.4

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  • Rendezvous? (Score:3, Informative)

    by LEgregius (550408) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:50AM (#10974724) Homepage
    I believe Apple changed the name for that. The internal name is ZeroConf.
    • Re:Rendezvous? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sc00ter (99550) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:07PM (#10974931) Homepage
      No. Zero Conf is an opensource project that has been around since before Rendezvous.

      Rendezvous is apple's version of ZeroConf.

      More info on ZeroConf []

      More inof on Rendezvous []

      • Re:Rendezvous? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xirtam_work (560625)
        Apple have stopped using the name Rendezvous in favour of 'OpenTalk'. ZeroConf is the another name for the same protocol used by the open source version of the project.

        Another company owns the trademark on the work Rednezvous when used in relation to networking.

      • Shouldn't ZeroConf be at the OS level and not at the desktop level?
        • Sure. Which OS? Get back to me when you've got it running on AIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, SCO, OSX, Linux, Solaris and the other *nixes that KDE runs on. Until then, it will have to be implemented at a higher level.


          • So it will work on AIX if you are running KDE? What about Gnome? or Afterstep, or if you are using the command line.
            Just seems like it is in the wrong place. Sort of like making your Browser and Email client part of the OS and not Apps
            • With support only in the OS, what is the point of having it in the first place? Without developing support into the individual applications, your mail client won't be able to use it to find your mail server. Your web browser wouldn't be able to use it to find your web proxy. And the server applications you actually run, would never be able to advertise themselves as available to the network!

            • Well, think of it this way - the OS provides basic hardware access. The userspace increasingly provides application level drivers (sound drivers, X provides mouse, keyboard and graphics). This allows the user to customize their system without the need to run or access kernel level processes. That makes things more stable and simple in the core kernel and allows the user more flexibility in their space. The system's access control cannot be bypassed by userland processes, so keeping as much high level st
    • Re:Rendezvous? (Score:5, Informative)

      by podperson (592944) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:32PM (#10975190) Homepage
      Just to clarify the preceding correction:

      Rendezvous and Zeroconf are the same thing, the latter being the Open Source release of the Rendezvous technology.

      The ZeroConf page is maintained by Stuart Cheshire, who is the engineer at Apple responsible for Rendezvous.
  • Article text..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:52AM (#10974753)
    Incase of slashdotting:

    KDE 3.3.2 was tagged today, so we should see a new bug fix release of KDE in the first or second week of December. Earlier this past week, the plans for a KDE 3.4 release were also finalized. This will be the last major KDE 3 release before KDE 4. KDE 4 will make use of the Qt 4 library which promises to be quite a revolution for KDE and all Qt applications, but will break binary compatibility with previous releases.

    The release schedule for KDE 3.4 plans for an alpha release December 3, a beta release January 7, and a final release March 16 2005. The 3.4 release will bring a large number of features and functionality enhancements over previous KDE 3 releases. Here are some of the features already implemented:
    Hardware Support

    - Support for special keyboard keys on Dell Inspiron and ASUS laptops.
    - A new battery monitor (under development).
    - media:/ addition to the KDE I/O subsystem to list devices on the system.
    KHTML and Konqueror


    - KHTML has undergone major work lately, though much of it will appear in KDE 3.3.2. Merging with Safari fixes continues, alone with new work and fixes by KDE developers. Site compatibility continues to improve, stability is very much improved, and KWallet no longer blocks Konqueror while waiting for a password.
    - Support for multiple site logins with KWallet (for all protocols, but not HTML form completions yet) added.
    - A notifier was added to visually indicate when user-agent spoofing is active.
    - KHTML plug-ins are now configurable, so the user can selectively disable ones that are not used. This does not include Netscape-style plug-ins.
    - Netscape plug-in in CPU usage can be manually lowered, and plug-ins are more stable.
    - Over the past couple of months, confirmed KHTML and Konqueror bug reports have been on a significant decline as bugs are fixed more rapidly and fewer are reported.
    E-Mail and Personal Information Management

    - Major improvements in synchronization, including support for synchronizing between two PCs.
    - Enhanced support for groupware servers, including Exchange 2000, OpenGroupware, Kolab 1 and 2, SLOX, Groupwise, and eGroupware.


    - XFace support for associating faces with mail and news articles.
    - Blogging and journal support.
    - KMail supports KWallet.
    - Client-side IMAP search support.
    - Improved drag and drop in KMail.
    - Improved anti-spam support in KMail.
    - Uncountable other e-mail, organizer and address-book enhancements.

    - Novell Groupwise and Lotus Sametime protocol support added.
    - Support for adding URLs to bookmarks.
    - Drag and drop of files and contacts.
    - The NetMeeting plug-in now allows the use of arbitrary applications to start a chat.
    - Support for incoming MSN messages that are handwritten.
    - An adium look-alike chat window style.

    - KPDF includes new numerous new features including:
    - New rendering engine.
    - Optimizations and enhancements for zoom, search, and thumbnails.
    - Better printing (using Postscript directly).
    - Support for password protected PDFs.
    - Image extraction support.
    - Nicer user interface in general.

    - QCA - A complete cryptography architecture.
    - Usage of GCC 3.4 symbol visibility functionality for much improved application startup time.
    - Optimizations of various styles and other components.
    - Cleanup and reworking of KJSEmbed to make it much more functional.
    - Password dialog gives feedback on the relative strength of new passwords.
    Desktop / General

    - KDM theme support.
    - Numerous window manager enhancements, including indicators for remote applications.
    - Major Kicker panel reworking, with support for hiding tray icons.
    - Empty password support (password-less wallets) in KWallet.


    - Support for setting the clock with NTP.
    - Completely redesigned, more flexible trash system.
    Other Cool Things We Might See

    All of these feature
    • - Support for Apple's DNS based service discovery.

      Oh please please please let this be configurable (as in, I want to toggle it OFF) so those of us who used "company.local" for our Active Directory domains can still browse them from KDE.
  • I hope... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by strredwolf (532) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:53AM (#10974772) Homepage Journal
    ...they fix alot of old bugs with KDE, including no auto-refresh!
    • autorefresh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by b100dian (771163)
      This is my problem too. everytime I look at KDE I get the feeling of a window manager that shivers (or refreshes) and it feels 'unstable'. Menus flickering, Icons redrawing etc. I see all these.
      The problem comes when I try to find somebody that notices this too: google helps not, discussion lists either etc. Even people (like: real people) deny that they notice this refreshing/flickering.
      This is one of the main reasons I avoid using KDE.. and this is one of the first times I read from somebody that he di
      • by nick korma (836538) <nick.hewitt@logica[ ].com ['cmg' in gap]> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:19PM (#10975052)
        are you sure your monitor is not next to a large fan?
      • Re:autorefresh (Score:2, Interesting)

        by grqb (410789)
        I get this too! Mostly it seems to happen when I open a window that has large directories in it...I always thought that it was calculating the size of the directory. It also happens when I'm downloading or moving a large file and it re-calculates the size of the file on the fly (every time it flickers it recalculates the file size).

        This is quite annoying, I just shade the window until it stops flickering...sometimes this can take a while though...
      • Re:autorefresh (Score:3, Informative)

        by moZer (83729)
        If it makes you feel any better, I see it too :-)

        The flickering is due to the fact that QT is not double-buffered. There are, AFAIK, tricks to make applications/widgets double-buffered, but it's not toolkit-wide. Gtk is, however.

        There is a speed vs. eyecandy/usability tradeoff involved.
      • This can be helped in several ways. First, by choosing a fast widget style so that buttons and things are drawn faster. Second, by using the newest Xorg server with the composite extension turned on so that windows don't have to be redrawn as often. Third, by upgrading to the newest KDE. A lot of work has gone into reducing the number of redraws that Konqueror does on its icon views while browsing files. I can't find it now, but there was a really interesting couple of articles by the guy who went in a
  • by SlashdotMirrorer (669639) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:53AM (#10974777)

    I know I'll probably be modded down as flamebait for promoting alternative window managers in a KDE message thread, but I think it might be a good time for the every day user to take a look at how bearded terminal hackers are making things more efficient. Many "LINUX power users" are making their every day work more efficient by using and developing great window managers such as EvilWM, which I am currently typing this post up in.

    Maybe a grassroots movement towards simpler window managers is in order. This would be a movement similar to what Bruce Perens trailblazed for GNU/Linux back in the early nineties to fight the onslaught of OS2 and Win 3.1. Now that we have a stable system to build upon after all of these years, we should concentrate on a good user interface. Not necessarily a Desktop User Interface, but a thin, lightweight interface that allows the user to more efficiently do their work without any messy cognitive analogies.

    • by zenmojodaddy (754377) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:06PM (#10974917)
      Good call. The problem I have with both KDE and GNOME is that some packages offered as part of the desktop are so dependent on various other components that they're unusable on their own. I don't use GNOME at all but have had to install the full shebang when I install Slackware, because working out the various dependencies for a few packages is just too much work.

      If Microsoft integrates a browser with a file manager, or hints at integrating a media player or anything else in the OS, everyone cries foul, so why is that considered good practice in the major *nix environments?

      I'd much rather see a truly modular system, so the the user is free to pick and choose a window manager, a file manager, a browser, a messenger etc. and have them all play nice together, regardless of whether they are part of KDE or GNOME or standalone projects.

      For the record: Slackware, Fluxbox and ROX-Filer all the way, baby.
      • I'd much rather see a truly modular system, so the the user is free to pick and choose a window manager, a file manager, a browser, a messenger etc. and have them all play nice together, regardless of whether they are part of KDE or GNOME or standalone projects.

        You can use a different window manager in KDE than kwin, as long as it's standards compliant.
        You don't HAVE to use Konqueror in KDE.
        You don't HAVE to use Kopete. You don't even have to install it.
        MS bundles tend to be UNREMOVABLE from the sy
      • I agree. I prefer to use Enlightenment [] (btw, DR17 [] is now in CVS!), and one problem I've run into is that if I try to fire up Nautilus, it stomps all over the E desktop and pulls up the Gnome desktop instead... well, actually it's a kind of weird fusion, with the Gnome background and icons but E stuff there as well.

        I do like E's eye candy, but am sympathetic to the parent poster's argument for a leaner, cleaner desktop/WM. Many of E's themes are over-the-top, but at least it's flexible and fast enough to
      • working out the various dependencies for a few packages is just too much work

        If you think working out package dependencies by hand is a mess (I definitely agree), why are you using Slackware? On Debian Testing, over 16000 packages are just an "apt-get install foo" away.

        If Microsoft integrates a browser with a file manager, or hints at integrating a media player or anything else in the OS, everyone cries foul, so why is that considered good practice in the major *nix environments?

        When Microsoft does t

      • by SyntheticTruth (17753) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:39PM (#10975282)
        "If Microsoft integrates a browser with a file manager, or hints at integrating a media player or anything else in the OS, everyone cries foul, so why is that considered good practice in the major *nix environments?"

        But KDE *does not* tie the browser to the OS, it ties the browser to the *desktop* and there is a *HUGE* difference in that. I can't think of any part of Konqueror that directly makes calls to kernel functions (though admittingly I have not dove deep into the code.)

        MSIE is a beast that is *tied* to the kernel, uses kernel internals, and thus, is bad. I have yet to see *any* *nix desktop/window manager that does such a thing.

        • by cortana (588495) <sam&robots,org,uk> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @01:19PM (#10975701) Homepage
          An app that didn't make any calls to the kernel wouldn't be able to do much...

          To see what system calls Konqueror makes, run 'strace -f konqueror'. This won't catch them all, of course, becuase KDE relies on other processes to do a lot of its work. You can start an X server with xterm as the only client, and do 'strace -f startkde' to see the lot.

          Of course, one can always apt-get remove konqueror if one doesn't want it installed, the rest of KDE will not stop working. Try that with Internet Explorer. :)

          WRT to MSIE using 'kernel internals': is there actually any documented evidence of when/where/why it does this? Internet Explorer probably uses the "Native API" *less* than a typical Unix process would use system calls; where Mozilla would open(2) a file, IE would call the OpenFile Win32 API, which would be handled by the Win32 server (csrss.exe, IIRC).
          • Even more to the point, Konqueror is a container app, similar to... say /bin/sh. It loads various KViews for different document types. These KViews are equally available to any app, and can be replaced. For instance, you can use Gecko instead of KHTML when viewing html. You can remove the file KView and wind up with just a browser (okay, it will also let you view Audio CDs with virtual mp3 and ogg directories so you can drag and drop rip, and a whole slew of other KViews - you've have to remove all but
        • Actually, I believe you could even run konqueror in Gnome if you wanted to, though what you'd end up with is konqueror loading tons of kde programs (like kdeinit) in order to start. Just like how nautilus works in KDE.
          • -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 39220 nov 16 21:35 /usr/bin/kdeinit

            You know, kdeinit doesn't actually do anything. It's just a way to get libraries into memory faster.
        • MSIE is a beast that is *tied* to the kernel, uses kernel internals, and thus, is bad. I have yet to see *any* *nix desktop/window manager that does such a thing.

          MSIE is no more tied to the kernel than any other application. Tied to Explorer? Absolutely, but no, not the kernel.

          Neither is Microsoft Office. Everybody claims that the reason MS Word starts so quickly is that much of it is already loaded when Windows starts. Nice theory...doesn't explain why MS Word running under Wine starts blazingly f
        • I think you're a little confused. As others have pointed out, MSIE isn't tied to the kernel, just to other things in the OS.

          The real difference between Konqueror/KDE and MSIE/Windows is that Konqueror and KDE are optional, and can be removed from the OS without affecting other (non-KDE) applications. Windows can't be pared down like this.

          If I want to build a small embedded computer that uses a simple nonstandard GUI on a touchscreen, it's fairly easy to do that in Linux. Just don't install all the KDE/
      • Okay, show me how to replace the "window manager" and "file manager" in Windows? Or Mac OS X? Modularity is all well and good, but I don't see why KDE or Gnome - which aim to provide an entire "desktop experience" - should support ripping themselves to pieces.

        As for strange interdependencies between "higher level" packages, that's just standard Linux dependency insanity - nothing to do with Gnome. I have a command-line only Gentoo system (only containing sudo, bash, and nano) that is insisting on installin
        • That's just life with Linux and its idea of "something is dependent or not", rather than "this is essential, these packages are optional for added functionality".

          That might well be life with Gentoo, but it's not the case with Debian. Apt packages can have both "required" and "suggested" prerequisites.
      • I too got hit with dependencies on Slackware. What I found you have to do is find the file that won't run due to unmet dependencies, and then go

        $ ldd /path/to/foo

        Make a note of what libraries are missing, and search on the Slackware web site to find the package they belong to. Then use wget and installpkg as necessary. You could probably automate the process.

        Alternatively, you could run Debian {bye-bye, my cred with the Slackware fans .....} You can even copy most of an ex-Slackware userland {no

      • If Microsoft integrates a browser with a file manager, or hints at integrating a media player or anything else in the OS, everyone cries foul, so why is that considered good practice in the major *nix environments?
        Easy. Because product bundling and product tying are not equivalent, and because KDE does not have a disproportionately large market share which would cast even more suspicion on such actions.
      • What's interesting about this post? Nothing, it shows great ignorance.

        Someone installs Slackware instead of a distribution that properly modularizes its package and dependency handling and then comes here and complains.

        In Mandrake and Suse, packages are broken into smaller part. You also have meta-packages if you wish to install the whole bundle. So you can install, kde-network or you can install kget and kopete by themselves.

        Get a grip and keep it!
      • Because Microsoft is a monopoly, and Linux is not. Such is the law. End of story.
    • by a_karbon_devel_005 (733886) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:19PM (#10975051)

      1) KDE != WM. Repeat after me: "KDE IS NOT A WINDOW MANAGER." It's a desktop environment and it does way, WAY more than a simple WM. God it's 2004 people, HAVE YOU NOT LEARNED THIS YET?

      2) The IMMENSE proliferation of small, lightweight WMs has ALWAYS been active in the Linux community. EvilWM, IceWM, TWM, BlackBox, FluxBox, Waimea, Kahaki, etc. etc. etc. There is really NO NEED for any more WMs to "get back to basics" THEY'RE ALREADY OUT THERE. Most of them are damned good as they are. Real users want MORE features at this point, these kind of posts are just counter productive. It's 2004. People want to USE the 2.4Ghz 64 bit Athlon they just bought (for cheap). Mom doesn't want fluxbox, she wants her computer to put up a little CDROM icon when she inserts one into her computer. Congrats KDE team on making an efficient, fun, functional DE.
      • Real users want MORE features at this poin

        Real users don't want applications dependent on downloading bucketloads of Audio crap when their hardware doesn't even have a sound card.

        Many work environments do not allow sound, and why should we have all this aRts stuff unnecesarily?

    • [..] more efficient

      Yeah right. So instead of Konqueror being preloaded and popping up in half a second (still too long, but bearable) I have to load a standalone browser and wait for 5 seconds or longer.

      Same goes for filemanagers of course.

      Yes, if you don't run any serious applications alternatives might be "more efficient", but Konqueror running on KDE is by far the fastest browser on Linux.

      • by rmull (26174)

        app load times in kde has historically been a big problem. It's due to the way the library loader works with c++ apps. The current solution is "kdeinit", which is kind of a hack, but the right way to do it is to have improved control over what exactly is exported from a library, which gcc 3.4 gives.
    • First of all, I suggest you find out what the difference between a desktop environment and a window manager is.

      I wonder, what exactly are you trying to say with the title "Real window managers"? That KDE doesn't have a real (whatever that is supposed to mean) window manager? How comes then users of all those real window managers moan ( / 11/29/171204 [] - search for not stealing focus or opening new applications on the virtual desktop they were started on) about
    • I disagree... As one of the "bearded terminal hackers" (well without the beard, but from that generation) I moved to KDE back in the 3.0 days because I just got tired of using bits and pieces and getting a patchwork windowing system. I was (still am actually) an ardent WindowMaker fan but back at the time I made this choice I wanted a cohesive desktop. I wanted the apps to look and work similarly and I wanted the flexibility to bust out and completely customize whatever facet of the experience I needed.

    • I know I'll probably be modded down as flamebait for promoting alternative window managers in a KDE message thread, but I think it might be a good time for the every day user to take a look at how bearded terminal hackers are making things more efficient. Many "LINUX power users" are making their every day work more efficient by using and developing great window managers such as EvilWM,

      I used to think like that and be religious about using icewm, eventhough I had a powerful machine.

      Then one day I gave

  • by DarkSarin (651985) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:55AM (#10974800) Homepage Journal
    which is what this article lacks. Don't get me wrong--there is some cool information there, but I want to see screenies of the entire desktop--has that changed much or not?

    I would also like more information about the core KDE, not just the peripheral stuff like Konq & KHTML.

    All that said, the idea of a new version of KDE is fairly kool, but frankly, as an XFCE user (and occasionally Gnome), I find the KDE desktop & icons to be just a shade on the kludgy side. They don't look as clean or professional in my mind.

    But that's just one geek's opinion.
    • It is not that interesting because we usually don't change the look on minor releases. For KDE 3.4 you can expect a new much faster Plastik widget-set to be the default.

      If you look closer, there are some nice details though. For instance the symbol hiding, which will speed-up applications start of all KDE applications.
  • Konqueror + Gecko? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ScriptMonkey (660975) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:57AM (#10974808)
    Does anyone know if this will include Konquerer with the ability to use the Gecko rendering engine?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone know if the new KMail will supported incoming message filtering on IMAP folders? The ONLY reason I'm stuck using evolution at work is because evolution can sort mails coming into my IMAP Inbox into various other IMAP folders.
    • by Daengbo (523424) < minus pi> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:25PM (#10975114) Homepage Journal
      From here []
      • Asynchronous encryption Ingo Kloecker , Marc Mutz
      • Namespace support for IMAP Carsten Burghardt
      • Using komposer Zack Rusin
      • Full text indexing Don Sanders
      • Leave on server for x days for POP Don Sanders
      • Asynchronous filtering Don Sanders
      • Multi/part related mails Don Sanders
      • Get rid of mimelib (a.k.a. KMime). Marc Mutz
      • Redesign filters to use Sieve internally. Allow editing of Sieve scripts on IMAP servers to get rid of the bug reports a la "KMail doesn't support IMAP folders for filtering" Marc Mutz
      • Make the visible headers configurable, allow for "show all and hide specified headers" as well as "show specified headers". Already available as a patch. Klas Kalass
      • Rewrite the composer window to drop KEdit and support richtext engines. (old ktexteditor patch available here). See also the new code in libkdepim/komposer Zack Rusin
      • Improved configuration of header and attachment views Aaron J. Seigo
      • Asynchronization of crypto operations. Ingo Kloecker
      • Automatic HTML to plaintext conversion when replying to HTML mails. Don Sanders
      • Make use of KWallet. Ingo Kloecker
  • by Mstrgeek (820200) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:02PM (#10974873)
    This is good Article dealing wih Kide written by Tom Chance 028209

    Hope you find it to educational

  • by kigrwik (462930) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:02PM (#10974883)
    A more complete feature plan can be found here []

    Though it's not always up-to-date (some devs prefer pushing their code first, and *then* update the page).

  • Mirror! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Mirror []
  • by YetAnotherName (168064) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:19PM (#10975057) Homepage
    ... but it's the applications that use it that will matter. Over on Mac OS X, Rendezvous is what lets you stream your iTunes music or share your iPhoto pictures. Will KDE's media player let you stream music to other KDE media players on the network? Or better yet, to and from other iTunes players?

    Unfortunately, the article doesn't say so.

    • Unfortunately, the article doesn't say so

      ...because most likely the answer is "not yet". Rendezvous was implemented in MacOS X 10.2, but when the OS came out, nothing really took advantage of it. It took time for developers (and even Apple) to understand the implications of Rendezvous and subsequently add it to their apps. The underpinnings have to be there first.

    • Yes! Must have iTunes playlist sharing in an OSS music player (interestingly I note iTunes is now supported under CrossOver Office - obviously a lot of geeks use it)

      Support for Jabber-over-Rendezvous as used in iChat to IM with other users on same subnet would be nice too.
    • No, but try opening a wish for it agains amarok on and see what happens.
  • It is good to see Apple improvements making their way into KDE and Linux. I recently purchased a PowerMac and made the switch from Linux/Intel to Apple/PPC. Mac OS X is absolutely everything I have ever wanted in a beautifully polished and useful user interface with everything I have ever wanted in a UNIX underneath. What a beautiful OS.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You've obviously never had to code for it. You would very quickly realize how thin the veneer is and how much of a square peg the UI is crammed into unix's round hole.

      The underside of OSX is the most fsked up nightmare you can imagine. It's two completely imcompatible OSes crammed togeather with nightmarish consequences. It's a huge pain for developers and a huge opportunity for virus writers should they ever bite.

      I initially thought the same as you, "Finally, a desktop unix with a usable UI!" how wrong I
  • Anyone know when the kitchensync will work generically with PocketPC devices?

    So tired of keeping outlook around just for the ability to sync/backup...
  • by jav1231 (539129) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @12:58PM (#10975480)
    There would appear to be no mention of improving the menu editor. This should be a priority.
  • "- Usage of GCC 3.4 symbol visibility functionality for much improved application startup time."

    That's the only thing that's irks me with KDE: Apps just don't seem to start as fast as in Windows. I hope this brings things up to speed.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil