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Talking With KDE Developer Martin Konold 51

Gatha writes: "The recently concluded Bang!inux conference was a great place to meet some Open Source developers. Among those speaking at the event was Martin Konold, veteran KDE developer. We managed to get an interview with him. Excerpts follow. Interview here on" Konold (along with Matthias Ettrich) began the KDE project several years ago, and in this too-short interview he touches on the project's origins as well as improvements bound for the stable release, like network transparent sound and anti-aliased fonts. (And a lot more apps -- soon.)
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Talking With KDE Developer Martin Konold

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    As long as KDE is kept relatively modular and happy to work with other environments, I see no absolute need for a a KDElite when you can use one of the many ultra-lite, yet functional, WMs with whichever parts of KDE (and GNOME) you want to use.

    But that's the whole problem. You can't just say "I think I'll just use konqueror". Just doing a ps after you start up konqueror proves that. And then you could say "but when I close it, all that's gone again", but that isn't true either. Run _one_ KDE application, and immediately you have cruft sticking to your system. It might all serve it's purpose while the app is running. But when I close the app, and revert to my trusted Windowmaker, I want all of KDE's stuff to get outta there. And it doesn't do that.

    And that's a shame, because there are some really nice applications part of KDE that I don't use because they start up and leave behind this whole mess. The worst of which is for example starting konqueror and suddenly finding icons on your desktop. Personally, I don't like icons on the desktop. I don't use them, and I don't want to see them. Yet, if I run konqueror only once, they're there until I manually kill each and every KDE process on my system. That's not a design I like.
    But hey, maybe there's an option --noicons that I haven't seen yet. Although I seriously doubt it.
  • But that's the whole problem. You can't just say "I think I'll just use konqueror". Just doing a ps after you start up konqueror proves that. And then you could say "but when I close it, all that's gone again", but that isn't true either. Run _one_ KDE application, and immediately you have cruft sticking to your system. It might all serve it's purpose while the app is running. But when I close the app, and revert to my trusted Windowmaker, I want all of KDE's stuff to get outta there. And it doesn't do that.

    Care to prove it? I am running WindowMaker as my WM and KDE2.1.1 with kdelib 2.1.2 (security/bug fix) and when I start up Konq it loads a ton of stuff.. true enough. But when I quit... within 10 seconds everything KDE is gone. The main thing is kdeinit and that disappears in about 10 seconds.

    Take your FUD elsewhere.

  • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @05:58AM (#197018) Homepage
    Even if it is inflammatory, that does not mean you have to respond like that. You could also just reply: "I disagree that KDE is ahead, because even though it does A, B and C, GNOME does A, B, D and F!". Personally I do think KDE is ahead of GNOME, but so what? First of all KDE started earlier and maybe even more important: many of the good things in KDE are there because GNOME is making good things also. Developers of neither project can sit on their arses and be lazy, they keep each other going. KDE would not be what it is today without GNOME, likewise would GNOME not be what it is today (or even be at all) if it hadn't been for KDE.
  • I'm not too sure. You claim that it doesn't offer compatibility. Well, the thing is, through the magic of import/export filters and Linux's ability to read many kinds of filesystems (including Mac and Windows fs's), KOffice can provide the same compatibility as OpenOffice.

    And since KDE is a Unix desktop environment, it can provide compatibility not only between office suites (i.e., Office and Office for Mac as well as WordPerfect, OpenOffice, and GNOME Office) but also between platforms (i.e., anything that KDE runs on). So, I consider your comments to be utterly unfounded. And as far as "wasted effort" goes, well, TMTOWTDI.
  • The author of the above comment, blackfam972, appears to be a KDE fan named CRAIG BLACK. He has been posting comments like this recently on Gnotices,, and probably others.

    This Craig fellow is the only troll that has sucessfully really gotten under my skin in years[1] of using usenet, Fidonet, 'blogs, and other forms of online communication.

    It's not that he's so disruptive, as the simple fact that he's so damn *convincing*. He may even really think that he's sincere, but I read the dot daily, and he's completely destroyed all on-topic discussion for awhile now.

    [1] I realized that my 20th anniversary passed, and I've got some time to plan for my 25th anniversary of the first time I logged into a global network (telenet)... I'm vaguely thinking about throwing a party. Hey, any excuse, right?


  • Write your code to be fast and optimized right now. Don't wait for processor speeds to increase. Look at java. Everyone predicted that Java performance would be much faster as processor speed increase. But, in spite of the processor speeds, java code still runs slowly

    Well, Java does run much faster now thanks to good JIT compilers. In fact, it is fast enough for many things. It's no good for certain tasks. So Martin should better stick to what he really knows - he made a lot of insightful comments...

    Also, the saying about premature optimization is still valid - statements like the above (Write your code...) will only give wrong impressions to unexperienced coders. It all depends on your time, deadline, resources, your exact requirements etc.
  • I have used both Gnome and KDE extensively, and I am currently running KDE 2.1.1 (or whatever) because it is way better, and does AA fonts. Gnome just looks too 'earthy' for my liking!

    However, can anyone tell me why running konsole requires me to go online? I run it, and instead of just running, it appears to want to send data somewhere, hence the going online. (I have the machine running KDE on an internal network, connected to the Windows machine that has the modem, running ICS). aterm, xterm, rxvt, etc don't do this, this is purely a KDE thing (in fact I think a lot of KDE software does this, not just konsole).

    Now when KOffice matures a bit, I think that there will be even more software from the KDE developers that is top quality. It is currently too rough, and has very limited import and export options at the moment (I wanted to save a KIllustrator picture as a bitmap image (any format) at a certain DPI, no such luck).

    Still, both environments have their pluses and their minuses. The continued rivalry is only good for those of us who want a usable Unix desktop system.

    Konqueror is great as well. Now if only it put a little more space between lines of text...

  • I am not quite knowledgable enough to know what to make of this comment: [...] "We're way ahead of [GNOME]". When GTK 2.0 is released sometime this year, they'll reach where we were, at version 1.4. QT 3 is going to come out later this year and that will take us even further.

    I would read it as a comment which is meaningless unless you're given more details. (Although it's quite possible that he did give more details but they got edited out).

    There's good reasons to point at certain bits of each project and say they're more advanced than the other project. I don't think your question can be answered more precisely in a way which is fair, without looking carefully at the technical details. I'd rather not get into the kind of flamewars that tend to emerge when people answer such questions here :-)

  • AFAIK, in KDE 1.X when you started kfm(the *old* file manager) this caused a bunch of icons to appear on the desktop.

    In KDE 2.X however, starting konqueror does *not* do anything but start konqueror. Ok, so that's not quite entirely true. It also starts some kdeinit processes that are used for the cookie jar(handling web cookies), ioslaves(transparent access to many different protocols) etc. However, as of KDE 2.1 these processes are also closed when you close your last instance of konqueror.

    NO cruft! Just a great set of applications(I use sawfish and access the KDE applications in this way).

  • Have you ever stopped to think that you aren't the one who gets to decide which license is "good" and which license is "not good?" I found it hilarious how people bitched about Qt being linked to KDE, even though it was the case of GPL'ed code including non-GPL'ed code, not vice versa. Trolltech was alright with it, the KDE devs were all right with it, and everyone else had no business having criticizing them
  • I would say that he is saying that QT 1.4x had the same degree of features that GTK2.0 will have, and that the realse of QT3 will bring even more features that KDE can use, thus theoreticaly leading to a more powerful desktop.

    I havent used eith GTK or QT beyound the first couple of chapters of their respective tutorials, so I don't know how accurate the statement is.
  • i'm guessing you haven't tried the version of KOffice in CVS? the one with the nearly complete rewrite of KWord? if you did you would find that not only are the apps becoming more robust, featurefull, and elegant but that the number and quality of filters is growing. this includes support for MS Word and Excel, Quatro Pro, Dia stencils, etc.. in fact an effort between a number of Free word processors is underway to build a set of filters, and this group includes the KWord developers.

    between kword, kspread, kugar, kivio, kpresenter, kchart, kformula, krayon and killustrator i think that good progress is being made and a very comprehensive office solution is emerging.
  • ok, lets assume for a moment that they didn't release it under the BSD (even though they have signed a contract stating that they will) .. there is still the GPL licensed version! and that version while Unix only (we would lose the windows version if it didn't go BSD) is exactly equivelent to their Qt Enterprise version feature for feature, line for line of code. the difference is only the license. so, We The Community would just take the GPL'd version. and that is a worst case scenario. more likely is that it would be released under the BSD license per the contract.
  • Sorry, you are right. That was my mistake - I misremembered the QPL, as I have sort of lost interest in tracking all of these roll-your-own license games.

    However, the QPL does allow linking with non-GPLed Open Source-ish software, so it gives developers more freedom to choose their own license (no, I know, this is not what the FSF calls Freedom, but I didn't mean to set off a philisophical argument).

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @12:47PM (#197030)
    Err, nope. You must mean the Swing classes and JFC infrastructure for user interfaces. That is definitely not the speediest or most well designed stuff in the world.

    Server side apps written in Java have the general benefit that you can produce the same application in far less time taking advantage of a more standardized set of library classes and simpler language syntax than C++ which makes team development much more pleasant. Of course, when I'm building end user GUI applications, I don't do it using Swing. But there are Java bindings for Qt now and other interesting options to check out too that might avoid a lot of the annoyances of Swing.

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @12:50PM (#197031)
    Qt is dual licensed under the GPL and the QPL. The QPL does not lock people out who don't use the GPL nor does it lock people out who don't use the QPL. It's closer in intent and spirit to the LGPL, as I understand it (and IANAL so don't take my word on it).

    But I know enough to know that the above poster is spewing FUD.

  • This doesn't happen with interfaces. If a KDE application doesn't conform to the KDE style guide, then it is considered a bug and will be fixed. There is a lot of thought that goes into KDE's interface. Of course we can't control applications that are not part of KDE.

    Matt Newell
  • Have you tried Koffice from CVS? I'm guessing that you haven't.

    KWrite is very stable and has all of the features that the average person needs.

    KSpread is rock solid and has everything a person wants from a spread sheet.

    KPresenter is also rock solid and has all the features needed to be a viable presentation program. It does a wonderful job of making HTML slides.

    The three most important Office apps have come a long way and will be released soon. They have matured a lot and will prove to everyone that KOffice is here to stay.

    Matt Newell
  • I meant KWord not KWrite.

    Matt Newell
  • What is the number of users of gnome?
    What is the number of users of KDE?
    I have been searching the net, but its hard to find data
  • first they've complained that QT is *not* GPLed, now they complain that it is. duh ...
  • Open office is *not* star office. But of course, you should put your efforts in the area you find most enjoyable. It's simply unfortunate that you wouldn't enjoy the same efforts directed at a larger goal.


  • If you think import/export filters make files "compatible" then you most certainly don't have enough experience in that area. I deal with compatibility issues every day, and they are a MUCH bigger deal than you seem to understand. A simple thing like text wrapping, or line format will always get through a "filter", and minifest itself in a critical portion of a file that has been converted.

    The interface is also very important, the koffice interface is amateurish at best, and downright clumsy and ineffective at worst. And above that, convincing someone to use a linux box and switch to a limited, clumsy tool like KOffice, when they've been using windows with microsoft office, or open office, just isn't an effective choice, and isn't going to happen in most cases.


  • "Essentially, the (openoffice) code is just too big and unwieldy to be worked on. So, we're concentrating on the KOffice suite of applications, which are looking quite good. "

    Understanding that quite a lot of work has gone into the Koffice suite, and the desire not to lose some of that effort, this is still a very bad choice.

    KOffice is many, many years from being in a state of usability for any serious production purposes. With all due respect, it's just not nearly good enough to be considered for any real world use. Sorry, but it's just not even close. Sure it will take effort to clean the openoffice code, but nowhere NEAR the effort it would take to get KOffice into a usable state.

    As most linux users (and most macintosh users) can tell you, a viable office suite is the single most critical link in desktop usage.

    Of course the open source community is rooted heavily in duplication of efforts, so that's not a compelling argument here, but in this case, you should seriously consider the costs vs. the advantages.

    A standardized office suite, compatible across distributions, and platforms is the boat Linux needs, and it will decide, possibly for good, whether we are all on that boat, or it sails without us because of pride or short-sightedness.

    A KDE desktop with a native Openoffice would be the closest thing Linux has ever seen to becoming a competitive desktop alternative to windows. Ya, I'll probably just have to switch to Gnome like everyone else, but I've always preferred KDE, and hate to see it shoot itself by missing an opportunity like this, not to mention lose all the potential here.


  • by Bad_CRC ( 137146 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @02:18PM (#197040)
    I teach software classes, and do support for these types of applications. KOffice is extremely simplistic, to the point of being ineffective.

    perhaps, very light home use, but for an office environment, these programs just aren't on the same level, and are lacking a large number of the features which are critical to good productivity.

    It's a commmendable effort, and at the time they started the project it was a good idea. But at this point, even if they managed to put the remaining 90% of features in, and rework the interface so it wasn't as clumsy, they would lack the most critical piece, which is compatibility.

    Open office can offer compatibility not only across desktop environments within linux, but also with windows users, and soon mac users. Teaching, files, interface, all compatible. And in the area of productivity tools for office use, without that, it doesn't matter how good your product is, cause you'll still be the betamaxx and you'll be doing a disservice to your users.


  • by Janon ( 137970 )

    KDE? GNOME ...? Sawmill? WINDOW MAKER?!!!


    The ONE TRUE window manager for UNIX is MWM, with perhaps it's successor CDE/dtwm. That's the UNIX look'n'feel for ya'. (OOOH those yummy three little buttons!)

    The ONE true wm for Linux is FVWM, configured into oblivion with GoodStuff and whatnot, but still looking somwhat like MWM (see above). That's what Linux should look like.

    An' don't give me TWM with a bazillion of Xterms. We're not living in bedrock and go back to Xenix on your 286 if you actually want THAT.

    /Of course, i personally use none of the above, but that's a whole different story []

  • by Laplace ( 143876 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @07:34AM (#197042)
    I think that KDE is great. It's slick, well thought out, and complete. Having said that, I don't use it. Simply put Windowmaker [] stikes a very good balance between usability, eye candy, and speed on my Blue and White G3. When I actually need to get work done (at places like work), I prefer to use PWM []. It loads very fast, handles windows well (I like have 9 or 10 xterms in one frame), and for the most part stays out of my way. Speed isn't an issue here; I develop on a dual PIII. What I would like to see from the KDE developers is some sort of KDE Lite. Then again, I guess that I could just join the development team and do it myself.

  • The Free Qt Foundation [] is an organisation dedicated to keeping Qt free and alive no matter what happens to Trolltech. Indeed, the agreement between Trolltech and the Free Qt Foundation specifically states that if Trolltech ever go under or stop development of Qt, then Qt will automatically be released under the BSD License - and you can't get much freer than that.

    Nice try, but fortunately for KDE (and us), somebody thought of this (and fixed the problem) a long long time before you did.

  • It's too bad the KDE developers are so careless about the Qt license, really. I think they miss a lot of users and developers because of that.

    Even though I agree that KDE is technically superiour to Gnome (except for Bonobo, Evolution and Nautilus :) I don't want to switch to a desktop environment whose developers don't care one bit about its users license concerns.

    For example:

    Did the fact that QT was not GPL ever stop you? Never. We saw QT and we knew how good it was. We just put out KDE. We're not forcing anyone to use it. We just put it out there. If you don't want to use it, that's ok.
    That's an additude I could understand somewhat if they weren't building a desktop environment. He's basicly saying that he doesn't care that people don't write KDE apps, what kind of attitude is that?

    Also it is still very bad that the Qt library is licensed under the GPL. This is locking out everyone that doesn't want to use the GPL.

  • That should have been that I *do* think this is optimistic. *sigh*
  • Where did you read that? AFAIK Gnome 2.0 will be frozen *this* summer and released by the end of the year.

    Not that I don't think this is optimistic.

  • I was indeed incorrect about the QPL not allowing other licenses than the GPL. That mistake was unintentinal.

    But the problem that commercial vendors must pay to Trolltech still remains. I think this is a very bad situation for a toolkit like Qt.

    Think about it, what if Microsoft charged money for linking against its APIs? I think a lot of third-party APIs would pop up and a lot of apps would use different toolkits and ruining the consistency in the OS.

    The GPL/Qt dual licening is doing just that, requiring commercial vendors to pay for the library, it is thus encouraging them to use another toolkit. And that is also why the licensing thing is a mess, developers should be encouraged to program for KDE, even if they have a closed-source mindset.

    Another problem is that the QPL only allows changes to be distributed as patches. If Trolltech were ever to stop developing Qt, the people that continued to work on Qt would only be allowed to distribute the QPL'd version as the latest one released by Trolltech plus a giant patch, a mess I'd say.

    Even worse, if I understand correctly commercial vendors wouldn't be able to get updates at all if Trolltech were ever to quit developing Qt because they are licensed under different terms from the QPL and GPL. If this were ever to happen it would be impossible to develop proprierty applications for KDE.

  • Note that if Trolltech would ever stop developing Qt people continuing to work on Qt would have to ship the modified QPL edition as one giant patch. Also, the proprierty version of Qt would not be upgraded anymore and thus the KDE support for proprierty software would die.

    This is of course a worsed case scenario but I think it's important to consider this as Qt is at the core of KDE.

  • I think that there are a lot of developers that aren't willing to take that bet.
  • Of course Linux is not yet mainstream enuogh for getting a lot of attetion from the commercial vendors (concerning desktop applications, that is), it is not a problem at the moment but I can foresee it becoming one in the future.

    Also, I wouldn't bet for TrollTech to release BSD under the BSD license if they ever stopped working on Qt. Saying they ran out of money for whatever reason and they would have to sell their assets, you'd be at the mercy of the company buying Qt. IANAL but I don't think that it would be even legal for them to release it under the BSD license, I believe they would have to try to pay as much debts as possible by selling Qt.

  • You are correct in that there would be no dangers for the GPL'd projects (a.o. KDE), a fortunate thing. KDE would be a serious loss.

    I guess a solution for people not releasing under the GPL would be to develop for GTK+. Both toolkits would then have to interoperate better so that they use the same theme, have the same widgets, etc... one can only dream :).

  • A lot of people did argue that Qt should have been GPL, yes. But a lot of people are also happy now that Qt is GPL'd. There's no hypocrisy here.

    The ones that didn't get notice were those that complained that Qt wasn't released under the LGPL, BSD license, etc.. Which is very unfortunate since I'm one of those people :-).

    Anyway.. check out the other replies I got to that message, the many follow-ups might give you an insight to why I feel the GPL is not appropriate for a toolkit.

  • I believe that's Matthias Ettrich.
  • Isnt it strange that GNOME users, instead of posting their reasons why they would disagree with Konold's comment, decided to limit themselves to flame as ACs?

    C'mon, flame me!

  • I find this all encouraging

    Although I am not quite knowledgable enough to know what to make of this comment:

    Are you worried about GNOME?

    No. We're way ahead of them. When GTK 2.0 is released sometime this year, they'll reach where we were, at version 1.4. QT 3 is going to come out later this year and that will take us even further.

    Would anyone care to help fill in the details?

    (just to clarify, I am not a partisan one way vs the other as far as KDE vs Gnome. I am encouraged just by the increasingly viable alternatives to the Big Bad Software Corp.)

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • A standardized office suite, compatible across distributions, and platforms is the boat Linux needs, and it will decide, possibly for good, whether we are all on that boat, or it sails without us because of pride or short-sightedness.

    I'm a (very) minor KSpread contributor and can't speak for why the major decision makers made the choices they did. I can tell you, though, why I have no interest in working on Star Office.

    I don't get paid for my work either way, and I'd much rather work with a toolkit I love and with people I know. Furthermore, I'd much rather contribute to a hacker project than do unpaid labor for work that Sun is going to claim as its own. That may not be the "right" thing to do for Linux, but I honestly don't feel that I have any obligations governing where I choose to pitch in.

    Anyway, press reports had it that Sun has, what was it, 50 paid developers on Star Office? Either they have the project well in hand, in which case they don't need me, or they don't, in which case I think it would be unwise for everyone to drop what they're doing and join it.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • I don't want to switch to a desktop environment whose developers don't care one bit about its users license concerns.

    You mean that they don't care about every one of your license concerns, right? Their users are obviously satisfied.

    Look, I think your idea of how the developers feel is accurate.Their concern was to create the best possible GPL/LGPL desktop for Unix users, according to their understanding of what the licenses allow. Their concern is not to pander to everyone who raises an objection against them.

    The free software world has no shortage of people, groups and companies who are eager to assure you that your claiming membership in "The Community" gives you some incredible moral authority. The KDE developers don't do that and it seems to really piss people off.

    The reality is that today's KDE is licensed in a manner everyone (as far as I know) agrees is "Free" and "Open." At the same time, nothing is ever going to undo 1997-1999. If you're going to take the attitude that situations in the past make KDE apps permanently unacceptable for you, that's your call, but I can't imagine what you think could possibly be changed. Except for the devs groveling and asking your forgiveness.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • Still, all we can go by is what the licenses are _now_. Heck, GTK's next release could be closed source, if all the developers agreed to it. The community would have the most recent LGPL version though. Same situation with Trolltech. We'll always have the latest GPL version of Qt, even if they decide not to honor their promise to go BSD if they shut down. There are no bets here.

  • Ever read the philosophy pages at ? The LGPL is rarely a good idea. The only real good use is to "get your foot in the door". The funny thing is Qt managed to get its foot in the door without the LGPL. There was no toolkit at the time like it, and so it "got in" merely be technical merit. There is no reason at this point to go LGPL. Free software developers use Qt's GPL option, and commercial developers (see a list at Trolltech's website) pay the license fee.

    With LGPL, commercial companies would be able to take,take,take without giving a single line of code back. It's a watered down version of the GPL, and not good.

  • I must say that the KMail/Konqueror combo available in the 2.2 alpha is a most stunning achievement. Not to mention KDevelop.

    The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank.
  • Microsoft don't need to make money of their toolkits cause they use it to attract/lock developers to Windows. Having closed-source developers pay for the development of a GPL toolkit is a good thing.
    Why should developers who want to charge you for their closed-source software get their toolkits for free? Qt's licencing terms encaurages developers to make GPL software.
    Windows have different toolkits, but they have the same look and feel. Linux applications should look and feel the same without having to use the same toolkit. This is something Gnome and KDE developers are working on.

    As other people already have mentioned, your last two paragraphs are false.

    Spelling/grammar corrections are -1, Offtopic
  • Think about that quote: "We always keep a look out at other environments and grab what we like. We say, 'hey! that looks good, let's put it in.'" That's maybe a good way for technichal ideas, but it's bad for the interface. By simply stealing here and there you lose consistency, one of the most important points of an interface. You end up with hundred nice features that looked good somewhere else, and with hundred different ways to uses that features.

  • Are you from the KDE team? I'd love to hear more about KDE's "official" opinion concernig the UI. I found the UI sites on and I think it's good that they quote from people like Tognazzi, Nielsen and Raskin. But why do they stick that much to Mac and Windows UI when all the above agree that the road UIs took in the last years are a dead end road? Why do they use windows-style menu bars (inside the window frame) by default instead of the (proven by Fitt's law) faster Mac-style menu bars at the top border of the screen? (Yes I am aware of the fact that you can change that, but it took me a while to find that option, and I think 95% of all KDE users don't even know that it exists.)
    The KDE and Gnome people have the opportunity to create innovative GUIs and break with all old bad habits and compatibility issues, why do they now make the same mistakes that Microsoft and Apple made again?

  • Sentiments echoed here as although I use the odd KDE2 component like konqueror I much prefer to use a smaller, quicker, less cluttered WM like IceWM [] for my everyday desktop.

    Even on high-end (athlon/piii with 128MB+ RAM) machines you can really tell the difference.

    I'm all for everyone using what suits them but how many from now on are going to be proffered GNOME/KDE by their distro and never really realise that there are alternatives? (Everyone here but me would be using KDE all the time if I hadn't forcibly pointed out alternatives...which they're now using of their own accord).

    Meanwhile I'm thankful to KDE for providing an easy to get into desktop for my new users, but that doesn't mean I like it much or like the direction it seems to be taking (at least RAM-wise my app server is drowning in swap because of KDE2).

    As long as KDE is kept relatively modular and happy to work with other environments, I see no absolute need for a a KDElite when you can use one of the many ultra-lite, yet functional, WMs with whichever parts of KDE (and GNOME) you want to use.

  • Any library that uses the GPL (as opposed to the LGPL) is not allowed to be used in closed source apps.

    Trolltech's license agreements really having nothing to do with that. It is the viral effect of the GPL. All Trolltech's license does is to provide an alternate license for closed source developers to use...of course they have to pay them to do that. Programmers need to eat, too.

  • The author of the above comment, blackfam972, appears to be a KDE fan named CRAIG BLACK. He has been posting comments like this recently on Gnotices [],, and probably others.

    Here is some information about him:
    HomePage: epage []
    Your ICQ: 103920729
    Your AIM: blackfam972
    Location: Suagr Grove West Virgiana
    Occupation: Navy

    Apparently, Craig has figured out how to spam PHP-NUKE webpolls, and done this two two recent "What's your favorite Desktop Environment" polls: one at Warped Systems [] and another at [www.pclinuxonline], which was removed due to the controversy.

    The evidence for this accusation can be found here [], where the admin of warped systems notes that the web poll is being spammed by a user with the same IP address as Craig. Craig has also posted several other comments in the current thread, including Here [] and here [], and a reply to the "anonymous coward" post that links to the second poll he spammed.

    So, if you've had enough of Craig, send him a little note telling him how annoying and counter-productive he is being. Tell him how he's giving a bad name to KDE users, the Navy, Backpackers, and Virginians in general. And tell him if he is going to indiscriminantly rig polls and spam web boards, he should hide his tracks better.

    Phew, at least I did something productive today.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972