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KDE GUI OS X Operating Systems Software Windows

KDE Goes Cross-Platform, Supports Windows and OS X 513

Posted by Zonk
from the strange-confluence-of-events dept.
klblastone writes "The KDE desktop environment is going cross-platform with support for the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. In addition to porting the core KDE libraries and applications, developers are also porting popular KDE-based software like the Amarok audio player and the KOffice productivity suite. New KDE binaries for Windows were released yesterday and are now available from KDE mirrors through an automated installer program. The Mac OS X port is made available via BitTorrent in universal binary format."
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KDE Goes Cross-Platform, Supports Windows and OS X

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  • Great (Score:3, Funny)

    by Divebus (860563) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:04PM (#22157592)
    That bodes well for kimovie, kiphoto and kitunes (for my kipod)
  • But why (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Would I want a desktop with a smelly foot on it?

    (This is the correct KDE troll, isn't it?)
  • So will this ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:06PM (#22157636) Homepage Journal
    ... allow me to finally have a working multi-desktop interface in windows? I've never seen a solution for multiple desktops in microsoft windows that was anywhere near as nice as the one in KDE.
    • Re:So will this ... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:22PM (#22157922) Homepage
      Not any time soon. The desktop shell got so many ties to X11 and would need so many ties to Windows. What this is mostly for is KDE applications that have little or no dependencies on any non-qt (well, non-kde) libraries. That should actually be quite many, but only what you'd consider "normal" applications.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:25PM (#22157962) Journal
      Agreed, the MSVDM crashes the only program I really need on windows, so it's a complete nonstarter. I can't believe that in 2008 ANY OS ships without this fundamental usability tool. And people give linux shit about having a crappy GUI when windows is 20 years behind.

      And while I'm at it, where's my window shading and sloppy focus too?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nuba (660398)
        fwiw you can enable x-mouse in tweakui to have focus follow your mouse. I usually use this, but some programs that do not expect it become a little hard to use (certain dropdowns, etc.)
      • by narrowhouse (1949) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:01PM (#22158574) Homepage
        http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] - obviously it isn't perfect but it is better than MSVDM. The worst incompatibility I have found is that some programs show up on every desktop.

        I have mentioned this before in posts on slashdot, but I have no relationship with the project.I, like many of us, have to use MS Windows for work, but with virtuawin at least I have ONE annoyance out of the way.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dfghjk (711126)
        20 years behind? What platform are you referring to from 1988 that is equal to or better than Windows today?

        At this time 20 years ago we finally got OS/2 1.0. No GUI at all in that version.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spitzak (4019)
          20 years ago we had X windows with (in twm):

          1. focus follows mouse

          2. Clicking in a window DID NOT RAISE IT!!!! You clicked in the title bar to raise it.

          #2 is the real killer and why overlapping windows worked 20 years ago and don't work now. And it is not just Windows, all the X desktops and OS/X have this foul behavior. A few people seem to remember how good focus follows mouse is, but the ability to click and do something in a window behind the current one appears to be forgotten by everybody...

          Until I ca
  • by Wordplay (54438) <geo@snarksoft.com> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:07PM (#22157642)
    Any word yet on whether it'll run adequately as a shell replacement under Windows? Running it over Explorer doesn't sound all that attractive, but instead of Explorer might be.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      It bodes well for those of us who are sick of supporting friends and families' windows viruses and spyware. Get them used to KDE and teh switch to Linux will be painless for all.

      I've started brand new computer users on KDE/Linux with no trouble. Windows users are too used to doiing things ass-backwards.

      Not having RTFM I'm wondering if it fixes some of the backwards shit in Windows (like the subdirectory separator)
      • by mhall119 (1035984) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:18PM (#22157846) Homepage Journal

        Not having RTFM I'm wondering if it fixes some of the backwards shit in Windows (like the subdirectory separator)
        No, it's just a port of the QT and KDE4 libs, and some KDE programs that use those libs, to Windows. While KDE apps will probably be able to use the correct / when specifying a path, don't expect this to fix any native Windows apps.
        • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:31PM (#22159026) Homepage
          Windows has supported '/' as a path separator since about NT 3.1...

          The only app that doesn't work with it is cmd.exe, because it uses that as a command line switch.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by value_added (719364)
            Windows has supported '/' as a path separator since about NT 3.1... The only app that doesn't work with it is cmd.exe, because it uses that as a command line switch.

            And where is it, I wonder, that you are routinely typing path information?

            Between the goofy directory structure and the absence of meaningful $PATH (hello Program \Files and shortcuts!), pointing out a feature that's not a feature merits a "LOL" moderation.
    • by mhall119 (1035984)
      The screenshot in the links shows KOrganizer running under the standard windows shell. I'm not sure if kwin/kpanel/kdesktop will be ported as shell replacements for Explorer. Until they do, you will not be getting proper virtual desktops.
    • by Fred_A (10934)
      (warning, completely out of my league here so probably talking out of my ass)

      From the little I gathered of Windows, up to XP you could define whatever shell (which is what the Windows explorer is in the MS world) you liked. It probably requires changing a key in the registry.
      I've absolutely no idea if it can still be done in Vista but it's likely that it still can be.

      (note : the last version of Windows I actually used and understood was 3.11, use the above at your own risk, Google is your friend, yadda yadd
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:05PM (#22158622)
      Per http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KDE_on_Windows/Installation [kde.org]:

      "By design, KDE-windows does not provide the full-blown KDE desktop, thus no KWin composite manager, KDE-specific "start" menus, Plasma desktop, etc."

      Just Qt and KDE4 library based applications.
  • by gmf (810466) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:08PM (#22157666)
    But does it run on Linux?
  • by geek (5680) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:08PM (#22157668)
    I do enjoy some of the KDE applications and want to install them deep down in my soul, but because of the buggy nature and pre-release nonsense with KDE4 I'd really never trust it on my MacOSX system. I got my mac so that I wouldn't have to deal with the eternally beta Linux software situation. I want things to work, KDE4 doesn't work. Maybe in a couple years when they get their act together I'll trust it on my system but right now, as a MacOSX user, there is nothing KDE has to offer that's worth trying out. They really screwed up releasing KDE4 early. I don't trust it, I wont trust it for a long time and they're giving me no reason to begin trust any time soon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by poetmatt (793785)
      I understand your feeling but I think you conflict with yourself about what you said (although your statements do hold accurate/true).

      You're saying you want up to date and new stuff, but don't want to accept the instability that results from things being so new/untested/undeveloped. Its one or the other :) I understand Mac "just works" but with no doubt testing slows down development. Quality vs Quantity, same ole debate.

      I think KDE for windows is a nice way to break people away if the full shell can be us
      • by geek (5680) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:23PM (#22157932)
        Well I tested KDE4 on my Ubuntu machine, found it too be very incomplete and buggy. I understand that Qt4 is quite easy to develop with, much like Cocoa is for OSX, so the development time may be shorter than I expect.

        It's not that I want the newest up to date stuff. Amarok is hardly new, it's the underlying Qt4 that's the culprit IMO. Getting Amarok on OSX would be very nice as I could replace iTunes and switch my library over to Ogg, something I've really been wanting to do. The Ogg plugin for iTunes is a little lacking and iTunes has just gotten too "in your face" with it's store for my tastes. KDE4 has a lot of promise, I admit that and applaud them on their work. I just feel they broke a trust with the user base by releasing a .0 version which was clearly still alpha software.

        I really don't know when KDE4 will be "ready". I suspect when i can run it without trouble on my Linux laptop then it'll be very soon after that the OSX port would be stable enough.
    • by gardyloo (512791) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:17PM (#22157840)
      Hm. Kind of like OS X v. 10.0 (from Wikipedia):

      It proved to be a rocky start to the Mac OS X line, plagued with missing features and performance issues, although it was praised for being a good start to an operating system still in its infancy, in terms of completeness and overall operating system stability.
      • by misleb (129952)
        Yeah, except that KDE is LONG past its first .0 release. And it is only the desktop.. not a whole OS.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          except that KDE is LONG past its first .0 release

          The laterst version is KDE 4.0, which is almost completely different from previous versions, just as OS X 10.0 was. If you want a well-tested, stable and capable desktop environment and can live without the latest eye candy, you should stick to KDE 3.5.8, which is an altogether amazing environment.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AP2k (991160)

      I got my mac so that I wouldn't have to deal with the eternally beta Linux software situation. I want things to work
      I take it you aren't running the latest QuickTime software, huh?
    • by Fallingcow (213461) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:32PM (#22158094) Homepage
      Screw the bugs, I know they'll fix most or all of those.

      I just hope to god this menu isn't final. I installed it to try it out, because it looks *so* pretty, drooled over the desktop for a bit, then clicked the applications menu (or the K menu, or wtf every they call it in KDE land) and was taken aback. "OK, so I click this to get to my programs, I guess... Oh, no new pane, it just used the same one to display the new menu and shoved the other one 'off screen'... huh, this one ALSO doesn't have my programs on it. Click again on that category, it looks like the one I want. Now on the program. Oh, shit, wrong menu, how do I go back?"

      It's like navigating the menus on my fucking cell phone. Those menus are clunky because they have to be, since screen real estate is at a premium. I can forgive that. A desktop OS' menu should never be like that. It's actually WORSE than the Vista start menu, which is saying something.
  • by ichigo 2.0 (900288) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:08PM (#22157670)

    developers are also porting popular KDE-based software like the Amarok audio player
    Gah, there is enough bloat in the windows world as it is. Where are the linux equivalents of foobar2000 and utorrent?
  • Vista (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Taimat (944976)
    Maybe vsita will run faster using KDE instead!
  • Just tried it out (Score:5, Informative)

    by giorgiofr (887762) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:09PM (#22157704)
    About 10 days ago I tested KDE4 on an OpenSUSE system, now I've just tried it on Windows too and I must say I'm astounded - many applications work just fine although they feel a bit sluggish. But the basic system is there and I believe it won't be long until we have a fully functional KDE4 shell as an alternative to Explorer. Or we could just stick to the apps and not use the whole desktop environment - in fact I'd like to use KOffice and a few other apps on my Windows box.
    Considering it's such an early release, I'd say KDE4 on Windows is functional beyond any expectations, and in a couple of months I hope to be using it for real and not as a toy. Kudos to the KDE team, brilliant as usual.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:13PM (#22157776)
    (By getting ported to windows)
  • by Velorium (1068080) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:14PM (#22157780)
    Does this mean Compiz Fusion is able to be run on Windows now?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mhall119 (1035984)
      Short answer: No.

      Long Answer: No, but I think kwin has (or had) compositing capability, so it could potentially provide Vista-like features on Windows.
  • Point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by misleb (129952) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:19PM (#22157866)
    I thought the "best of both worlds" in OSX referred to having the OSS commandline tools and Cocoa GUI. What in the world would I want with KDE desktop on my Mac?? Ok, I admit that there is ONE GUI program from Linux that I really missed on OS X. And that was PAN (Pimp Ass Newsreader). Fortunately there is a Macport for it. Yeah, it uses X11, stands out like a sore thumb, doesn't integrate with the rest of my apps, but it is the best news reader I've found.
    • by geek (5680)
      Some people, occasionally myself included, often find the OSX GUI to be too repressive, inhibiting a lot of the functionality we may wish to have. It's a fine line between bloat and cutomization. KDE 3.X IMHO was very bloated and out of control, KDE4 in it's current form is just the opposite. It would be nice to at least have the option on OSX. Choice isn't a bad thing and only the people who truly want it will install it since there is no chance of Apple installing it by default.
    • Re:Point? (Score:5, Informative)

      by abigor (540274) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:31PM (#22158072)
      The desktop isn't being ported, just the apps. And they will run natively as Cocoa apps. Well, they already do, but they need a lot of polishing before they are usable.
      • by yerM)M (720808)
        Sadly, this is not true. The underlying GUI toolkit is Qt which is not [trolltech.com] based on Cocoa yet.
      • by misleb (129952)
        Using "native" somewhat loosely, of course. I know Qt apps can do a decent job of at least appearing native, but I have my doubts about anything that is further abstracted with KDE libraries. Doesn't KDE provide a lot of redundant facilities such as a VFS that would make integration with the Finder, the Dock, and other Cocoa apps somewhat... awkward? Will the K apps come packaged nicely in .app folders or would I have to manage packages and installers? I can't say I'm terribly excited by the prospect of K
    • by Devil's Avocado (73913) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:55PM (#22158480)
      I believe you just answered your own question. There are some really nice KDE apps available that would be great to have running native on OS X. Krita is a more capable image editor than just about anything available on Mac short of Photoshop. (Try finding any other free image editor that supports 16-bit/channel color and filter layers.) Digikam is also shaping up to be a powerful photo workflow app. I've adjusted to the Mac apps now but back in the day I would have loved to keep using kmail, which is still more functional than Mail.app. In short, more diversity == more choices == better.

      Mac developers can design shinier interfaces than anyone else, but too often they gloss over core functionality and/or remain closed-source. It's valuable to have apps designed from the opposite perspective available as well.

      • Re:Point? Diversity. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by misleb (129952) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:44PM (#22159236)

        I believe you just answered your own question. There are some really nice KDE apps available that would be great to have running native on OS X.


        Only if you consider a QT app to be native, which I don't. QT is an abstraction of the Carbon API. And KDE is further abstraction of QT. I doubt that any KDE app would ever integrate well enough with the rest of my OS X desktop to make me want to use it. And if the K app was really that awesome, I'd always secretly be hoping for someone to port/rewrite/reimplement it directly to Cocoa.

        Anyway, the app I mentioned was GTK. Though I should mention that I haven't read newsgroups in a while and haven't bothered reinstall PAN since I upgraded to Leopard. I guess my point is that for most common functionality, I find that native Cocoa apps are not only better individually than Linux counterparts, but also integrate better with each other. Like Java (Swing/SWT) apps, K apps would have an automatic handicap running on OS X in my opinion.

        -matthew
        • by Devil's Avocado (73913) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @07:51PM (#22161028)
          We can bicker all day about what's "native" and what's not, but it really doesn't make one bit of difference. If an app does a job I need it to with an interface that doesn't get in the way then it's an asset. Sure, it would be great if everybody ported every app on the planet to Cocoa with loving devotion, but that's not going to happen. KDE has innovative and powerful apps to offer, and being able to run them as first-class apps on OS X is a Very Good Thing(TM). Furthermore, having OS X as a supported platform means those apps are likely to integrate *better* with the system over time instead of staying in the X11 ghetto.

        • I doubt that any KDE app would ever integrate well enough with the rest of my OS X desktop to make me want to use it.

          Oh, there is one app I'm eagerly waiting for, but it seems it doesn't compile at the moment. That app is Amarok.

          I don't know what people are smoking who praise iTunes for being "great". I can only imagine they have lower expectations than I have and/or have never used something better. Personally I find iTunes a complete annoyance and a really shitty media player. It lacks real library management (such as automagically detecting new files, file movement, duplicates with different file names), it doesn't di

  • This is good... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tprime (673835) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:24PM (#22157948)
    I know this is considered by many as blasphemy but, it can't be seen as anything other than a REALLY good thing for the linux camp out there, provided it works well. One of the biggest barriers to people running linux is that they are uncomfortable with how it will work compared to their comfy Windows box. With this, people can see that KDE is really not that dissimilar, but is more functional.

    Over time, people will see that they can run the same thing on a VASTLY less expensive computer. Get people comfortable with how it functions, show them how cheap it is by comparison, increase marketshare.
    I guess I probably should have added inserted a step three in there before the increase maketshare as ??? to follow /. policies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by misleb (129952)

      I know this is considered by many as blasphemy but, it can't be seen as anything other than a REALLY good thing for the linux camp out there, provided it works well. One of the biggest barriers to people running linux is that they are uncomfortable with how it will work compared to their comfy Windows box.

      Ha! I've heard Windows called a lot of things, but "comfy" is not one of them. I'll assume what you mean is "ensnaring." ;-)

      -matthew

  • Jews? (Score:5, Funny)

    by withoutfeathers (743004) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:26PM (#22157978)
    Why is this article tagged "jews?" Is KDE4 now kosher?
  • ...we can run a Windows GUI on Linux?

    As if.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wall0159 (881759)
      "How long before we can run a Windows GUI on Linux?"

      Why the hell would you want to? As far as I can see, the only advantage that windows has is that it runs software written for windows.

      (mostly)
      • by rickb928 (945187)
        Gee, maybe:

        - KDE is in every way cooler and more useful than the Windows GUI (Explorer.exe doesn't need to run on my XP machine, so the GUI is a distinct environment to me. True, not much yuu can do).

        - KDE might actually perform faster. Ya never know...

        - And the standard argument in the Linux community: 'Because'.
  • Running the install program, it's not obvious where to get a list of mirrors. After googling around, setting up my own list, etc. etc, I realized that :

    If you click on the settings button on that screen you will find a pre-configured list of mirrors hiding there.

    Maybe I'm just slow today...
  • by MacarooMac (1222684) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:43PM (#22158256)
    "KDE developer Aaron Seigo [arstechnica.com] also spoke about KDE's cross-platform ambitions and discussed some of the broader implications. Bringing popular KDE programs to Windows and Mac OS X is somewhat controversial in the open source software community, because doing so is seen by some as a means of eroding incentives for Linux adoption."
    "Seigo and many in the KDE community contend that making KDE applications available on other platforms brings more freedom and choice to Windows users and gives them the ability to adopt open standards and establish an easier migration path to Linux."

    Is KDE's cross-platform approach going to backfire?
    • by EvilRyry (1025309) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:10PM (#22158690) Journal
      Approaches like that pulled me over to Linux on the desktop. KDE will always be associated with Linux. If you get Windows users hooked, next time they need to reload their OS because it goes completely berserk and dies for no obvious reason for the 2nd time in two years they might reconsider which CD to stick in the drive. That's basically my story ( not with KDE obviously , same laptop still runs Linux btw ).
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @11:37PM (#22162932)

      Is KDE's cross-platform approach going to backfire?

      I doubt it. First, the core QT developers are probably always going to be Linux people. Maybe that will change and the KDE people can start to worry, but I don't see it happening. The way things are now, these are apps that are Linux native, and will now mostly work on other OS's (but never perfectly or with all the benefits of native apps). Rather, the main advantage here is that there may be support from Windows and OS X developers who will contribute to KDE based projects when they don't have a good and fully native OSS project. It also can serve to give users of other OS's a preview of what they can expect if they switch to Linux and give large organizations using or considering a missed environment an easier way to keep or make Linux an option.

      Imagine you run a government agency and you occasionally consider Linux as a way to cut costs. You're currently using Windows, but you figure you could switch 80% of your systems without any real problems. Unfortunately, you have another project coming up where you're developing a custom application internally and you don't have the budget to build native versions for Windows and Linux. If you're in that place, this is an answer (as is Java). Move internal projects to KDE and target Windows and Linux and you can also use it for those graphics people on Macs who currently have two computers. The real question is, will this be a better cross-platform solution than Java is?

  • Sounds great to me. I'm using a Qt-based animation program (named Pencil) and it's terrific and also permits for the lead developer to respond very quickly to new ideas coming in. If that's what KDE has to bring, let's have it :)
  • I've been looking for some time, but I can't find any installers at the FTP sites or the wiki nodes. Is there something I'm missing?
  • by kop (122772) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:53PM (#22158428)
    Love the way Ars describes Autotools!

    Autotools, an intractably arcane and grotesquely anachronistic cesspool of ineffable complexity that makes even seasoned programmers nauseous.
  • by mozkill (58658) <austenjt@gmaiTOKYOl.com minus city> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @08:46PM (#22161632) Homepage Journal
    By design, KDE-windows does not provide the full-blown KDE desktop, thus no KWin composite manager, KDE-specific "start" menus, Plasma desktop, etc.

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