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Interview with Sebastian Kuegler, KDE Developer 125

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the peering-inside dept.
invisibastard writes "Linux Tech Daily has an interview with KDE's Sebastian Kuegler. Sebastian talks about the KDE 4.0 release event, goes into detail about how KDE has improved its processes and much more. '[...] there are many easy ways to help. The most obvious is helping people installing KDE, answering questions on forums, IRC and other media. Lately, we're getting also an increased amount of requests for speakers. Often local LUGs are interested in talks by KDE knowledgeable people. It might sound a bit scary, representing KDE in your local LUG, but it's really what KDE is about. Everybody comes from a local community, that is where our grassroots are. People often don't think that they are entitled to represent KDE, but that's just not the case at all. In fact, the marketing and promo team have a hard time finding enough speakers for all events. Slides are usually available, so it doesn't need all that much preparation.'
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Interview with Sebastian Kuegler, KDE Developer

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  • point oh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:45PM (#22267928)
    "The fact that the definition of stable varies widely within our userbase and the expectations of everyone doesn't make it any easier."

    Unless your userbase consists of no one but fanboys, I would expect the userbase to define "stable" as not crashing every 20 minutes. Shame on KDE for redefining the meaning of a point oh release. I realize they want more people to test their beloved product, but misleading them into doing it was a mistake. In fact, the tradition in open source is in the opposite direction - not calling it a point oh until it's acquired the targeted features and destroys no data.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      The article agrees, he believed that it should have been called a point-oh-oh release. But your completely wrong claiming they are redefining the meaning of a point oh release, the practice of releasing early and releasing often, is completely normal. They've got a development cycle quite similar to that of the kernel, only because kde is an end user "feature" they have to compromise with the distros and have a more ridged release cycle. I do however encourage you to go the the LKML and convince Linus that
      • by Jurily (900488)
        Yup. Plasma is a big disappointment. Give me an option to keep kicker and I'll help test the rest of KDE4.
        • by Joe Tie. (567096)
          Apologies if you're already aware of this partial solution, but figured it was just far enough out there to be worth mentioning. As long as you have kde3 still installed, its kicker should run fine in kde4. Just remove the plasma panel, and everything feels fairly normal. Even the effects for kwin minimization seems to run fine with it.
    • Re:point oh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pherthyl (445706) on Friday February 01, 2008 @06:27PM (#22268396)
      Shame on KDE for redefining the meaning of a point oh release.

      This gets tiring quickly. Gnome 2.0, PHP 5.0, Apache 2.0, Linux Kernel 2.6.0, etc, etc

      None of those releases were completely stable or polished, or had all features from the previous series. That's how .0 releases for large projects are, no matter if they are open source or proprietary (Vista, OS X 10.0).

      That doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to do better, but it's not like KDE 4.0 is an exception.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by garvon (32299)
        The difference is that they where complete at the time they hit .0.0 they may have had bugs but they had the features that they said that (2.0 or 2.6 o 5.0 pick one) was supposed to have. kde 4 is loaded with features that are not there yet not buggy, nonexistent . You don't usually have a big release party for Development version but a release should be feature complete..

        Also can someone tell me what is with those cartoonish windows around every icon?
        Is there any way to get rid of this butt ugly
        • by pherthyl (445706)
          The difference is that they where complete at the time they hit .0.0 they may have had bugs but they had the features that they said that (2.0 or 2.6 o 5.0 pick one) was supposed to have.

          Same with KDE 4.0. They said not all the features would make it into the .0 release.

          kde 4 is loaded with features that are not there yet not buggy

          Not there yet not buggy? That's the easiest software to write :)

          You don't usually have a big release party for Development version but a release should be feature complete..

          And
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by digidave (259925)
        Nobody expected KDE 4.0 to be completely stable, but as of this moment Konqueror can't use the ctrl-tab shortcut to switch browser tabs because that shortcut crashes it. Kate can't properly save a new file (or save as an existing file) when using the fish protocol because it always saves into the root directory. Also try setting the alt-d shortcut in Konqueror (focus address bar to make it behave like Firefox) and a bug will actually reset all your shortcuts to their defaults instead of creating the new sho
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I'm a Gnome user (because I value simplicity a lot), so naturally I'm less into reading about KDE than people who care more, but I think I've seen this pointless discussion 1000 times. Devs say exactly why they released 4.0 relatively early. And for every such statement there are 10 whiners who keep saying "but x and y are broken, it sucks", skipping everything the dev said.

          TFA mentions the reason, too. But you'll keep saying, that your fucking keybinding is broken.

          Please, oh please go back to 3.5.x and
  • I've been using KDE for a long time and I really like it. There is one thing that annoys me though, I'll find a bug and try to report it, only to be told that I'm not on the latest version. I'll need to upgrade and see if it's still a bug. Well, as much as I'd like to help make KDE better, I'm not going to upgrade my entire OS just to test a bug. They're not very receptive to bug reporting.
    • by Reivec (607341)
      agreed, I have had this problem as well.

      I am really looking forward to the OS X and windows ports for KDE 4 when they become stable. I have actually been looking forward to this for years. This would allow me to use all the same stuff in windows and linux and make everything uniform. The only reason to boot to windows will be to play games I want to play though. This could also help linux adoption. First people switch to firefox and pidgin and maybe even openoffice, then they see someone using KDE on wind
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pembo13 (770295)

      I've been using KDE for a long time and I really like it. There is one thing that annoys me though, I'll find a bug and try to report it, only to be told that I'm not on the latest version. I'll need to upgrade and see if it's still a bug. Well, as much as I'd like to help make KDE better, I'm not going to upgrade my entire OS just to test a bug. They're not very receptive to bug reporting.

      Well... KDE isn't an entire OS, as big as it may be. Besides that however... the bug may be of the kind that was likely fixed

      Besides that however, have you ever submitted a ticket and got that as a response? This wouldn't be a good thing, but not specific to KDE either

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Well... KDE isn't an entire OS, as big as it may be. Besides that however... the bug may be of the kind that was likely fixed
        Have you tried updating *one* KDE application? In my case it pulled all of KDE out of stable for 450MB of downloads. You're right, it's not an entire OS... but it tends to replace everything BUT the kernel!
      • Well... KDE isn't an entire OS, as big as it may be.

        What distribution do you use that always has the latest KDE in the current version repositories? It's unreasonable to expect users to update a major package like KDE (and quite likely all the arcane dependencies it has) just to verify a bug.

        The point is, the developers _are_ running the latest version and, assuming the bug report has enough information in it, they should be able to verify the bug, or verify that it's been fixed in the latest version. Put

        • by chromatic (9471)

          The point is, the developers _are_ running the latest version and, assuming the bug report has enough information in it....

          That's a big assumption! My wild guess is that maybe one out of four bug reports have enough information to reproduce the bug.

        • It doesn't surprise me, though. When I decided to try Linux, I examined the popular desktop environments before installing, to see which one I wanted. When I went to the KDE website, all I could find was advocacy; there was a lot about how wonderful it was and how happy I'd be to use it, but no details. I sent them an email asking for details and got back a reply full of more advocacy. Not one detail. No information about just what's so great about KDE. When I installed, I did not install KDE. After
      • I just got this response from OO.org for a bug I filed. I'll check when I next upgrade but in common with most users don't have time to "upgrade and see if it's still an issue".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Simpler Fix report it to you distro. I have reported issue in Fedora many times. People who do the porting look at find the issue a either back port the fix or fix it and send it upstream. Either way they are the best way to fix many thing.

      Thanks
      Robert
  • I like the dudes comment about KDE not neing a Linux desktop but just an open source desktop environment.
    • by mwlewis (794711)
      Well, duh. It runs on *BSD, of course.
    • I'm with you there.
      Everything seems so big and lollipop-ish. Since learning about enlightenment DR17 I always wanted to use it. But it's been in development for too long.
      I gave up hope on e17 and moved to XFCE.
    • by MrCopilot (871878)

      I like the dudes comment about KDE not neing a Linux desktop but just an open source desktop environment.

      He isn't kidding the Windows Port is coming along nicely. Can KDE Save a Dying Windows Platform? [mrcopilot.com]

    • by Ilgaz (86384) *
      While replying to your comment on Omniweb/OS X, I also have Kopete 0.2.17 running as my Leopard OS X instant messenger. Zero issues, in fact, it also remembers its window position on OS X desktop unlike many "native OS X" programs.

      People yet doesn't get what Kopete.exe or Kopete.app running on Windows/OS X means. I am close to experience it since Leopard comes with rootless X11. Now imagine a native OS X/Windows application. It will really change things.

      As Nokia didn't pay $150 M for nothing, now imagine Ko
  • Let me preface this by saying that I just downloaded and built KDE 4. I didn't get a prepackaged one, so, your milage may vary.
    Having said that- is it just me or does KDE 4 look cartoonish? I mean, I love the K apps- Ktorrent, Konversation, and K3B, which is probably the best burner software anywhere, and now looks great to boot, but KDE itself looks like mickey mouse and mario got together over a few powerups and decided to bang out some code. I can't really recommend it to clients anyway- even the KDE t
  • Really, what happened to Slashdot. I'm surprised there hasn't been any mention of Nokia buying Trolltech. Pretty big news, I think. http://dot.kde.org/1201517986/ [kde.org] Maybe it's been posted, but I haven't seen it.
  • I just didn't like it. When I used OpenSUSE Linux, I installed KDE. Right when I started using KDE, I noticed how cluttered everything was. Instead of a nice bar at the top with 3 items, one for Applications, one for Places, and one for System, you must navigate through endless start menu items to get to where you want to go.

    The file manager for KDE was also a little quirky. By default, single clicking a file opens it? And the icons weren't that good either...

    GNOME has much more to offer...
    • by westyvw (653833)
      Gnome has a lot LESS to offer. I tried gnome once...You have to click twice to open a file? WTF you want carpal tunnel? So you want a bar on the top with 3 items like Ubuntu Configured Gnome? No problem with KDE, just set it up. KDE doesnt have to look like OpenSuse, and Gnome doesnt have to look like Ubuntu, but KDE gives you greater flexibility and more contextual menus then Gnome, along with their awesome KIOSLAVES (well with KDE 3.x anyways). BTW you can double click in KDE and Single click in Gnome, if
      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by cbart387 (1192883)

        tried gnome once...You have to click twice to open a file?
        Edit > Preferences > Behavior > Select 'Single click to Open Items'
    • Fact is, you can configure KDE to work pretty much the way GNOME does, if you really want to.

      The reverse is not true. Maybe the GNOME people have better defaults, according to you. But they have a nasty habit of removing functionality because it might confuse someone. Classic example: In KDE, I can configure what clicking my title-bar does. Or double-click, or middle-click, or right-click, or mouse-wheel. In GNOME, well...

      Here, Linus said it best. [linux-foundation.org]
      • by cbart387 (1192883)
        It really depends on what you prefer. Myself, I use GNOME because its defaults happen to be how I would spend the time configuring KDE to function as. It saves me time with setting up my desktop and more time doing the stuff I want to do. The GP's reason for liking it (organization of applications) is also something I like about it. I haven't tried KDE for a while, does it put all the applications in one 'start menu' dropdown by default like the GP says?
        • Yes, but again, "by default".

          There are a few other things that I've had to tweak. For instance, I've now set just about all KDE apps to respond to the ctrl+M shortcut that Konqueror did already -- hides the menu. (Except Konsole, for obvious reasons.)

          Basically, I tend to carry home directories around for many years. I figure, I can configure it once, and carry that home directory to my next computer, and the one after that. I do agree that sane defaults are nice, but I happen to like single-click-everywhere
  • From TFA:

    Should it matter to the user if he runs Linux or BSD on his machine? Not at all. It only matters because things just don't work so well (mostly caused by to driver problems, often a matter of ignorance on some vendor's side).

    The term "Linux" serves more or less as a buzzword, but I think calling KDE "The Linux Desktop" is harmful.

    So is calling GNU/Linux, Linux, yet he doesn't seem to care. Also, no mention of Qt at all. Was this interview done before the Nokia acquisition, I wonder.

  • KDE rocks! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Britz (170620) on Friday February 01, 2008 @06:54PM (#22268642) Homepage
    No seriously, by now there are sooo many programs for KDE for every possible use. I just checked for a gui program for creating bibtex files: kbibtex was the first one I stumbled over. KDE 4 will run under OSX as well as Windows. Personally I also dislike the MS Office / OpenOffice.org approach to Office tasks. OpenOffice.org might be great for people coming from MS Office, but I rather like the KOffice way of doing stuff. Though there are a couple features I am still missing.

    The user also doesn't care about the os their programs and their guis are running on. They only care about what they are looking at while using the programs they want to use. So I think it is rather KDE vs. Gnome vs. Luna vs. (whatever Apple calls their desktop) vs. "that new thing in Vista.
    • by JohnFluxx (413620)
      I find 'kbib' to be better than kbibtex, btw. Not much difference between them, but there you go.

      The only niggle is that you have to remember to save the file. I really wish it would just automatically save after adding a record.
    • [...] vs. (whatever Apple calls their desktop) vs. "that new thing in Vista.
      That would be Aqua and Aero...
  • Good thing he didn't use the Microsoft speech recognition software, or he wouldn't have spoken to Kuegler, but Freddy who hangs around on Elm Street.
  • by slapout (93640)
    I remember when I first started playing with Linux. I wanted to use KDE 2. So I had to download it and install it myself. This was when you installed Linux and got a command prompt. Of course, this was after I defragged my Windows 3.1 pagefile and used FIPS to partition the drive. I was proud of myself that I got it to work.
    • by RedK (112790)

      I remember when I first started playing with Linux. I wanted to use KDE 2. So I had to download it and install it myself. This was when you installed Linux and got a command prompt. Of course, this was after I defragged my Windows 3.1 pagefile and used FIPS to partition the drive. I was proud of myself that I got it to work.

      KDE isn't that old. By the time 2.0 came out, Windows 98 was on the market. The KDE project was announced in 1996, 1 year after Windows 95 was released. By that time, most distros already had default installs that installed X and FVWM.

  • In a time when companies are trying to patent a mouse click, I wonder at why MS never patented the Task Bar. That is, "an interactive strip, positioned on the desktop, displaying running programs and facilitating control over program windows" or something like that.

    Sounds like something that could have been be patented, since (I assume) MS first came up with it, for Windows 95.
    • by zakeria (1031430)
      Software patents in the EU mean nothing anyhow and KDE being German...
      • Then why does Amazon try to patent the one-click checkout? If a site in Germany can just do the same thing regardless, where's the reason for them to patent? There must be some benefit surely?
        • by arevos (659374)
          To stop companies in the US having that feature.

          The one-click checkout idea sucks anyway, so I can't see a lot of sites using it even if it weren't patented.
    • Prior art. Examples of earlier operating systems and desktop environments with Task Bars similar to that in Win95 include:

      There are others too that predate Win95, but suffice to say Win95 was not the first. Thankfully Microsoft did not also borrow the Arthur colour scheme!

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