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Interview with David Faure of Mandrake & KDE 195

Posted by timothy
from the providing-us-with-free-good-stuff dept.
JigSaw writes: "OSNews features an interesting interview with David Faure, the french KDE developer who works for Mandrake Software. His code can be found on Konqueror, KFM, KWord and he is also the main bug hunter for KDE. David talks about KDE 3's enhancements and speed improvements, the future of KWord, the debugging tools under Linux, and even Gnome2, .NET, MacOSX and Mozilla."
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Interview with David Faure of Mandrake & KDE

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  • by Archie Steel (539670) on Monday February 25, 2002 @03:05PM (#3066240)
    ...between GNOME and KDE. Despite what some Windows fans may claim, I don't think it's detrimental to have two leading desktop managers for Linux. As I see it, the competition is really pushing the two development teams to outdo themselves. Healthy competition -- as long as it does not translate into flame wars on the Internet -- is a good thing, and we're all the better for it. I mean, look at how the UI for Windows has evolved in the past five years (and I'm not talking about eye-candy here - yes, alpha channels are cool, but it does not add any kind of usability)...It seems obvious to me that MS could use a little competition on the desktop before its GUI stagnates further.

    (Hmm..."stagnate further"...is that an oxymoron?)
    • True. But on the other hand, try explaining to the average Windows user that they have to change the themes they're using in at least two places (gtk and Qt) for it to work. Oh, and of course your favourite theme for one set isn't available for the other.
      • Why are you telling a windows user to use both?

        I don't even use both. I'm a KDE man...

        Telling a new Linux user to use both is just asking for trouble. I should know, I'm still a noob. I think I will be for a long time. Linux is tough, but it is a good pain. :)
      • Hopefully, a common theme distribution mechanism will eventually surface.

        Meanwhile, I find that I use very few KDE apps on my desktop, but when I do, I'm not bothered by the different look compared to the rest of my apps. Far more important would be to get a consensus on keybindings...

        /Janne
        • I agree. Themes that work on both distribution would be very sweet indeed! I was actually looking for a nice "Aqua" theme for Gnome, but it seems none of them work with the new theme engine...meanwhile, there are plenty of them for KDE...
          • While I agree competition is good I find it important, that competition, once it has produced enough "critical mass" gets joined into both environments as a base, a standard.

            However, I am a little sad to see the way things seem to work:

            I hope this won't get interpretated as a troll. It is just a listing of negative impressions I have and feel they sting me.

            On the one side we have many "conservative" developers (which I have sometimes the feeling is especially valid for KDE folks(who do not want to change too much, instead stay with the old and enhance it, read interview, and now I am going on thin ice, since KDE has some nice innovation built in ;-)) Of course, this conservatism brings the stability we all desire and which I enjoy daily as a user who prefers KDE due to stability over Gnome. On the other side we have "Theme-Junkies" who are mainly idealizing about the surface..just have a look what topic it needed over at Gnotices [gnome.org] to address a joint-effort of Gnome and KDE : Common theme-engine.

            I am really into Eye-Candy myself but it is not what makes my work being done. I see there are many MANY more issues both teams should address in a joint-venture:

            • Inter Process Communication on application-scripting level. Let's face it, most applications come with their own scripting support. For Gimp and XChat you can use either Python or Perl. For Emacs you can use emacs-lisp. Others use Tcl. And this is all nice, but is there a common Linux-Scripting API ? Something like ARexx was on the Amiga (not really an API but a powerfull language for any application) or WSH (Windows Scripting Host, the precedessor of .NET if I dare to say) on M$ Windows ? I think the desktops would be the first place to define such a thing, because IPC macroing is mostly a users/powerusers thing and they are the ones who get addressed by any desktop at most. There is more to user-level IPC than Drag&Drop.(And I am not talking about "Word-Macros",mind you ;-))
            • How many MIME-definitions do you have !? Uh, right, and how cool it was to take the Window$ approach of identifying files by their extensions...I found no place yet neither in Gnome nor KDE to identify files by a match against certain rules...
            • I am in need for global keyboard shortcuts.
            • I want applications to start implementing their functionality as exportable (to the scripting host) commands, adding the additional benefit, that the user can fully (!) customize all menus and keyboard- and mouse-events. This is configurability ! Not the fact, that I can set some themes...(both Desktops at least allow for global keyboard definitions per desktop system, I know).
            • How many contact lists do you have ? I have one in KMail (is up quicker than Evo and KDE's default), one in Opera (adding while surfing) and one in Evolution. Cool ? Not ! And the same goes for bookmarks of the browsers. Yes, I use Opera mainly but sometimes I just use Konqueror or Mozilla. The import/export is not enough.
            • I want a common base !(earth shakes ;-))

              Now, I, as a user and developer, do that movement, that the ballet-dancers do (and which I lack the english expression for), that moment when they have their legs completely spread apart while touching the ground. I got some training in this myself, I touch the "Desk's Top" but it hurts me often, still.

              I know this ain't easy. There have been huge flame-wars, not so long ago between both teams, software-fidelity is some sort of spiritual believe...(Emacs vs. Vi, KDE vs, Gnome, Windows vs. RestOfTheWorld, etc.). A slight hope on the horizon could be the Linux Standard Base LSB [linuxbase.org]. In any case some head must be found both sides trust and we could have M$ struggle also on the desktop within four to five years. I tell you !!! :-D

              Also, I am pretty sure, this all will happen sooner or later. But I find it disturbing to see not much sophisticated movement below the surface (which, in addition, would be quite easy to implement) and users wanting theme-engines and "the-looks congiguration" mainly.

            • These are all KDE centric questions - not because I am saying Gnome dosen't have them, but just because I know KDE does.

              Inter Process Communication on application-scripting level.

              That's what DCOP is. You can even script via shell scripts... or tie in with just about any language (C, C++, Python, etc). It uses X to communicate, and the C bindings are being rewritten (right now, although they don't require any sort of GUI, they require you to link to Qt... this dependancy is being removed).

              I found no place yet neither in Gnome nor KDE to identify files by a match against certain rules...

              Right click on a file, and choose "Edit File Type...". Or, if you don't have an example file, do into the Control Center, and choose "File Manager, File Associations". Or go to Settings in Konqueror, "Configure Konqueror", and you can pull up the same "File Associations" panel that is in the Control Center.

              I am in need for global keyboard shortcuts.

              Well, if you mean global in the environment, you can go to the Control Center/Look and Feel/Key Bindings. There are settings for Global Shortcuts (like launching an app, changing desktops, etc), Sequences (a la emacs - these are being improved for KDE3), and Application Shortcuts (Copy, Paste, Print, Save, etc.). The Application Shortcuts obviously don't apply to Gnome apps, but the rest do (including the really nice "Alt-F2 to run a command"), even when the Gnome app has focus.

              I want applications to start implementing their functionality as exportable (to the scripting host) commands

              That's how KDE is fundimentally built... that's what KParts is. Konqueror is not an application - it's just a KPart container... there's almost no code other than things like saving window position, etc. As different KParts are loaded (possibly in different frames) the UI (like menus and toolbars) changes. Load a video into an app, and the video play controls appear, even though the app itself knows nothing about playing a video. KOffice is an app that looks like Outlook - icons down the side for KWord, KSpread, etc. It embeds the app inside the main window.

              In addition, you can even use DCOP to alter the UI in some apps like Konqueror (use bash to change your menus).

              How many contact lists do you have ? I have one in KMail (is up quicker than Evo and KDE's default)

              Interesting that you say that - KDE only has one contact list. All apps access it. You can even, in KMail, choose which interface you want to use for it... there are several little apps that are front ends for this universal contact list, and you can choose which one you want to use on a per app basis.

              I'd imagine that Gnome has similar features - but they are different. Just as Windows and Mac have different formats for communication, scripting and binaries. The key to remember is that these two projects are building more than just an interface - they are building structured, logical tools to build applications. With KDE3, nice things like data-aware widgets and database-agnostic connections are introduced... stuff that is *hardly* "eye-candy" or "useless themeing". That's what the rush is for - to make the best platform for quick and easy development of powerful and flexable applications - because, in the end, that's all that people use.

              --
              Evan

          • I was actually looking for a nice "Aqua" theme for Gnome, but it seems none of them work with the new theme engine...meanwhile, there are plenty of them for KDE...

            I use High-Performance Liquid with KDE myself. On the Gnome I found a GTK+ theme, that makes the buttons look very similare, sort of plastic buttons. I am not exactly sure what is its name (and I am in KDE now, so I can not easily test) but if you browse them all you will find it. I guess it is part of the standard distribution for Gnome (or whatever). I think it is "BlueIce".

        • one thing that i didnt like about konquerer when i used it last time is that it had windows keybindings as default. i would have prefered (and many with me) emacs keybindings. even vi keybindings would have been better than having windows keybindings as default.....

          anyone else who find this irritating?
      • First: The average Windows user is highly unlikely to swap OSes in the first place. They use what came on their computer. "Hey dude, want to upgrade that toaster of yours to be able to handle bagels?" Uhm. no.

        Second: I have both KDE and Gnome installed on the computers that I manage, and I allow the users to choose which to use, they always choose one based on their first 10 minutes of impression, or even based on which one I show them first. "Yeah, that's fine." They do not want to learn the workings of two window managers, one is hard enough for the "average user".

        The choice that is afforded by having both Gnome and KDE is great--Depending on the work habits of the individual they'll find one of the two more comfortable and gravitate towards it. Applications work under both, so that's not really a deciding factor.

        -Sara
        • Guilty as charged. I ran my server box without a gui for years, but when I obtained a spare 19" monitor, I figgured I better do SOMETHING with it, so I re-did the box with RH7.2. I installed both Gnome and KDE, but I've never booted it up in Gnome mode. It's an old P5, and I heard somewhere that KDE is a bit leaner, so I got used to it even though in retrospect I have no idea if that's even true.

          This year, they replaced all the HP/CDE boxen in the lab at school with Dell's running RH/Gnome. I don't do a lot of work over there, but when I do, most of the time I catch myself just opening an termenal and doing everything on the command line.

      • I was curious about this - on my system, I've got a particular GTK theme set. It looks terrible. But when I use "startkde" in .xinitrc, all the GTK stuff looks very nice - consistent with the KDE theme, as well as with the KDE widget style.

        If this is the case, why do we need any more integration?
      • by ChaosDiscordSimple (41155) on Monday February 25, 2002 @04:24PM (#3066656) Homepage
        But on the other hand, try explaining to the average Windows user that they have to change the themes they're using in at least two places (gtk and Qt) for it to work. Oh, and of course your favourite theme for one set isn't available for the other.

        I expect the average Windows user would take it pretty well. Your average Windows user is used to dealing with software that has private theming/skinning support (WinAmp, Windows Media Player) and software that ignores the global theme settings and does its own thing (most CD burning software, Cable modem branded Internet Explorer, RealPlayer, QuickTime). Your average Windows user is used to Microsoft changing interface styles leaving a glaring difference between new and old apps (addition of gradient title bars (originally on MS Office only), the new XP widgets).

        Many software developers feel the need to be arty and throw the standard Windows interface out the window. It's unfortunate, (It hurts usability and accessability), but it's the current situation. Windows is no better than Unix with X-Windows. The only way to get highly consistent theming in Windows is to use Microsoft applications exclusively. To get highly consistent theming under Unix, pick either Gnome or KDE and stick with it.

        • Windows is no better than Unix with X-Windows. The only way to get highly consistent theming in Windows is to use Microsoft applications exclusively. To get highly consistent theming under Unix, pick either Gnome or KDE and stick with it.

          I understand I will be modded down because I am not supporting the /. party line, but Windows's consistency is no better than Unix's?!? Now, come on, I hate Windows as much as the next guy, but I think someone's been spending too much time perfecting his Linus Torvalds impression here. There are two aspects of theming - visual and functional. You can change how an app looks while retaining the way it works completely. (E.g. I have three titlebar buttons, and rather than change what they do, I'll just change their color.) This is what most themeable Windows apps do.

          Now, I agree that Windows is butt-ugly, but one thing it's not, as long as you stay away from buggy-as-hell out-of-date shareware pieces of arse, is inconsistent.

          You stated that "to get highly consistent theming under Unix, pick either Gnome or KDE and stick with it." That's a pretty darned big limitation, isn't it? I suppose I could go write two apps that work and look the same, call them "consistent," and say I've just trumped MS. (Sorry. "M$.") Yippee me.

          Alex

      • If Windows users won't try Linux/BSD/Unix merely because there's not some hegemon forcing a single desktop on them, then they can keep Windows for all I care.

        And if they're complaining that not every application has the same theme, they've obviously not used Windows much. Think Quicktime and WinAmp which cannot have the Windows "theme", and Media Player and Netscape, which allow themes not available for other applications. Until Windows users start complaining to Apple for the inconsistant theme of Quicktime, I'll ignore their spurious complaints.

        And talk about shallow! Not even the Sahara Ocean is that shallow!
      • Okay, who hasn't figured out TheReverand yet? Anyone?

        TheReverand is one of those kind souls whose self-appointed task is to troll for the sake of humanity. Rather than attempting to help fix Qt's semi-broken GTK-pixmap-engine-compatible style, this person would rather troll, complain, whine, all with tounge firmly in cheek. Or between cheeks. Ew.

        Remember, if you want to improve the problem in the Free and Open Source world, the best thing to do is to either implement a solution, or try to help come up with a solution. Complaining (or trolling on the subject) incessantly only causes hard feelings, and dammit, I don't want hard feelings, as I find Windows to be a mostly-unusable sack of crap. Ditto for MacOS, especially OSX. And folks, I work with MacOS 9.2.2 at least 8 hours, 5 or 6 days a week.

        I'd like to see interest in improving X apps' visual consistency, say, rathe than people shrugging and going back to cursing at Windows. Oh, and that whole spyware issue is just icky.

    • Healthy competition -- as long as it does not translate into flame wars on the Internet -- is a good thing, and we're all the better for it.

      Yes, but they already have competition: Windows and the Mac. The good thing about having more than one version of a product is that they may pursue different approaches, and in the end demonstrate that one of those approaches is superior. The bad thing is that you have a lot of essentially duplicate work. Given Miguel's desire to follow .NET, perhaps the former outweighs the latter.
    • There is nothing wrong with competition. Its great that you can go and choose from all the different types of cars you can buy. However, incompatibility is bad. It's not like buying a Ford will limit you to using certain roads. Case in point. KDevelop is a far better IDE than Anjuta. Yet, Evolution is nicer than KMail. What to do? I'm not sadistic enough to run apps from both desktops (too un-asthetic), so I put up with Anjuta just to stay with GTK. The KDE/GNOME application landscape is rife with such choices. The base of GOOD Linux desktop applications is too slim to be divided up among multiple desktops. While I doubt there is anything that can be done about these multiple projects, but its a bad state of affairs nonetheless. Of course, none of this would be a problem if the desktop was in the X server, where ALL apps could use the same set of services, but apparently, nobody had heard of dynamic loading (to make the desktop a plug-in to the X server) when X was designed.

    • or its GUI will continue to stagnate.

      will be trapped in stasis?

      will keeps on sucking?

    • Subscribe to the mandrake club.
      Alot of people claim to support open source but only a few thousand seem to be putting their money where their mouth is. Theres mandrake club, theres transgaming, and plenty of other ways to fund development of open source.
  • by Ween (13381) on Monday February 25, 2002 @03:06PM (#3066243)
    I think that the print side of Linux is still very very lacking in ease of use and setup. Theres really no reason for this, especially when I can install Mandrake and have a nice wysiwyg gui ask me a bunch of questions and things just work (for the most part). CUPS should just come with something this powerful itself (and yes, im aware of the web interface, but it lacks.. bad).
    • by garcia (6573) on Monday February 25, 2002 @03:14PM (#3066294) Homepage
      I very much agree. I am pretty well versed in userland apps and setting them up (samba, etc) yet CUPS was a pain in the ass, a real big pain in the ass.

      Anytime I have to sit here and seriously think about what I have to install just is not right.

      An additional complaint is that my HP960c still prints color like all-hell. I have to print over the network from my Win98 laptop if I really want to print some sort of color page if I want it to look at all like it should.

      printtool worked wonders for my HP400 but not for this printer. Old printers aren't around anymore. We need some real support for some real printers :(
      • just use CUPS, cupsomatic from linux-print and the hpijs driver from on sourceforge (from HP) my HP 960c prints very, very, very well.

        using debian the setup is extreamly simple too
        • using CUPS, using Debian. Still looks like shit when it prints color.

          print to the printer in color using Windows, then print again using Linux. Tell me what you see.
        • just use CUPS, cupsomatic from linux-print and the hpijs driver from on sourceforge (from HP) my HP 960c prints very, very, very well. using debian the setup is extreamly simple too

          I've tried using the same setup tools you describe but I can't get my deskjet 932C to print! I suspect that it has something to do with it being a usb printer. I agree that this is definitely an area of linux that needs improvement for newbies like me.
          • Not at my Linux machine, but if you are using USB you do not mount using /mnt/lp0 - that's the parallel port connection. For usb it is something like /mnt/usb.

            You did not mention the version of Linux you are using. The latter did not help me with RedHat 7.1 kept saying there was a setup error. So instead we threw on a quick installation over the former's partitions using Mandrake 8.1 and the same settings worked.

            While KWord was quite nice even had a color Header for my company's name the print out was useless. Switched to StarOffice 5.2 for very nice output albeit in b&w.

            Should tell you too that this set of experiences were with an Epson 880, which may make my suggestions useless. HP seems to be moving towards more openness to Linux and I would expect an increased level of support for those developing printer drivers.

            Do not be too put off by some of the jerks that respond to honest pleas for information. Some are just conceded ..., while others are here just to cause trouble. The latter may consist of MS types playing dirty tricks. If you doubt the possibility of the latter statement being true, just research the actions of such types on the IBM's OS/2 site.

            You cannot believe how far Linux has progressed in a very short period of time; if necessary use both Windows and Linux until you can leave the former behind.
      • We need some real support for some real printers :(

        Just about every Epson is supported very well with the gimp-print CUPS drivers. This is because Epson printers are not stupid win-printers, like many of the new HP's, and because the Epson printer language is quite well documented and understood.

        So, real printers are supported. Terrible printers aren't.
        • Great, Epson printers are supported. But my HP printer is not. I could give a damn about Epson.

          We need some real support for some real printers.

          This statement is true, since the only real printers to me, are the ones that I own. HP, not Epson.

          So, real printers are supported. Terrible printers aren't.

          Calling HP Printers terrible is plain stupid, elitist, and damaging to the progress of Open Source. People like you are the reason that Linux advocates are seen as belligerant pompous assholes. The claim that the print support in Linux sucks is true until HP printers are supported. I don't care if the HP print language is obfuscated assembler. I care that Linux can't print.

          Andrew
          • Calling HP Printers terrible is plain stupid, elitist, and damaging to the progress of Open Source

            I disagree. Calling bad hardware "terrible" is neither stupid, elitist, or particularly damanging to Open Source (though this is more of a linux issue than a general Open Source issue). Here's why: supporting every single piece of hardware takes time. Most of this time is given freely by volunteers although some is supported by commercial distributions. Every piece of hardware someone chooses to support results in other hardware they don't support. If the hardware in question is poorly designed, has a bad interface, poor documentation, or some completely braindead feature like being a WinPrinter, then that hardware is going to probably take more time than it deserves.

            This is hardly elitest or stupid or damaing to Open Source - this is reality. We don't have infinite resources. If you want to help with printers in particular, donate your time, or buy a distribution that is working on the problem.

            People like you are the reason that Linux advocates are seen as belligerant pompous assholes. The claim that the print support in Linux sucks is true until HP printers are supported. I don't care if the HP print language is obfuscated assembler. I care that Linux can't print.

            This is of course a selfish and wrong way of looking at linux (see above). Hardware companies that can't be bothered to make it easy on people voluntarily writing device drivers for linux will suffer by having their hardware poorly supported. People who buy said hardware are better off buying hardware know to be supported by linux or using another operating system (unless they want to help). Also, for every operating system out there, there is some hardware not supported. Therefore, by your argument, all operating systems suck.

            QED.

            • This is hardly elitest or stupid or damaing to Open Source - this is reality.

              Then it is an unfortunate one. One that will keep linux off of the desktop.

              My anger stems from the fact that the grand parent of my original post stated that 'we need better support for hardware' a truism. He was flamed by jonathan_ingram who said (paraphrasing here) "your printer is terrible, buy a new printer, no one cares about your stupid HP printer, not linux, not me, not open source." (Okay, so that was a fairly liberal paraphrasing, but you get my point). The subtext of his statement (which I more or less fleshed out) IS elitist, stupid, and damaging.

              This is of course a selfish and wrong way of looking at linux.

              My statement may have been selfish, but it is was not wrong. For the user with the HP printer, Linux does indeed suck. My argument was not that "an operating system that does not support all hardware sucks," it was that the community that supports linux can be an arrogant one, and that the post I was replying to was not helping anyone and in fact, reflected poorly on the perceived attitudes of the Linux userbase. If Linux is unable to live up to the expectations of the average user (such as something simple like PRINTING) then to that user, Linux Sucks. Linux is unable to live up to the expectations of the user with the HP printer, therefore Linux Sucks (for that user). Windows works. It's a bitter pill.

              Andrew
              • For the user with the HP printer, Linux does indeed suck.

                FWIW, My HP DeskJet 895cse (both of 'em - I own two) print beautifully with KDE/CUPS. I've had no problem getting them to work, nor an HPLJ4. Just pick from a menu and print.

                Incidently, Microsoft has an even *worse* problem with printing to HP printers. I don't think they've ever made a driver for any HP printer for Windows. Luckily, HP provides drivers for them, and MS thoughtfully places them on the Windows disc. Now, if only HP would do the same for Linux.

                Just how many drivers *does* Microsoft actually write?

                --
                Evan

          • All I can say is:

            Linux is ready for the desktop! Linux is ready for the desktop!

        • I have a question...

          I recently set up a epson stylus c60 for my g/f. It works great, but... She is on redhat 7.2, and I used printtool with the latest packages from the redhat site to configure everything.

          It looks like when I print plaintext, the printer does a great job, printing using the black cartridge and doing it very fast.

          For ANYTHING postscript (ie, web pages from mozilla, or text from abiword), the printer makes black by mixing color, even if there is NO COLOR on the page (hell, even if there is, if the text is black, print it with black ink, dammit!!! (it did this with the redhat postscript test page too). Is there a way around this stupid behavior short of creating a 'black-only' print queue?? Never mind that solution too, since many times I want color, but I want anything black to print using BLACK!

          I am using the stp driver for the Stylus 760, since there wasn't a C60 specific driver listed. Would switching over to cups solve my problem? Is there a way to get this working with the current LPRng supplied with redhat?

          • I do not know the true solution to this, but I know of a work around.

            Use the RedHat printconfig to set up two printers lp_bnw and lp_color, but both point to the same physical printer and both use the same driver.

            However, set the driver settings so that one always uses black and white and the other always uses color.
        • So, real printers are supported. Terrible printers aren't.

          This is why Linux is never, ever going to reach the level of popularity it deserves. As long as the Linux community and its developers continue to shrug and say, "Hey.. it's not the kind of [hardware goes here] that I like, so it deserves to not be supported" it's never going to get anywhere. How is Linux supposed to advance when the attitude is "Well, it was designed for Windows so we give up"? Newsflash: If you want to get anywhere with the Windows crowd you need to support their hardware, whether it's bad or not. If people wanted to go out and buy a whole new computer so they could use a different operating system they might as well buy an (egh) Mac.
        • I agree the HPs from the 540 on suck big green donkey dick - I've maintained enough of these bastards. But that doesn't address the lack of decent HP drivers in Linux, an OS that prides itself on providing drivers for some of the worst trash out there.

          The printing for the HP 600 series on is so bad I switch to my gaming Windows partition to print. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for printer support.

          Max
      • Amen!
        I've poured hours upon hours into trying to make KDE/OpenOffice print to our Solaris-Samba printserver, which supports BOTH lpd and samba queues, and it hasn't worked since I installed Mandrake 8.1. Period. The GUI tool is nice, makes nice test pages, but no printing.

        CUPS is a great idea, and is coming along well, but it needs a lot more work before anyone can say that *nix has proper printing. This straw will break the camel's back if it stays there.

        Sigh, time to reboot into Windows to print...
        • I've been reading this whole thread with some confusion, as I print to a Brother (1170?) via a Solaris lpd print server, and CUPS is fantastic.

          I'd rather not have to use my browser to configure it, or have it opening ports without saying so explicitly during the "make install", but I've had absolutely no problem with it. It's got no Brother driver, I just print it to a raw queue, and the Solaris print server farms the job out to the printer. As Plug'n'play as plug'n'play can be.

    • I should have an easy print setup... my printer is a postscript printer with gobs of memory... and yet in KOffice nothing prints as it appears on-screen and printing from things like Konqueror doesn't work, because a single text page in Konqueror creates something like a 2MB job (!) in which all of the fonts come out very tiny, as though they were being printed as bitmaps instead of using the PostScript font facilities.

      Printing from WordPerfect Office 2000 and Mozilla, on the other hand, works without a hitch, is very fast, and looks great.

      Anyone else have experience with this kind of print problem and KDE? It's my one major complaint about KDE2... in every other way, it's great!
    • >>Tis better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt -- Abraham Lincoln

      Just nit picking but Lincon didn't say that. Samuel Johnson did.
  • how come (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How come that the very first beta of KDE 3 was so nice, and all the following betas are so unstable? :-)

    KDE 3: The Windows Killer
    • I believe the first KDE 3 beta was just moving from QT2 to QT3. QT stays source compatible, but not binary compatible with previous versions. There probably weren't as many new features added in the first beta. I'm not sure though, since I haven't tried it.
  • other interviews (Score:3, Informative)

    by I Want GNU! (556631) on Monday February 25, 2002 @03:15PM (#3066300) Homepage
    Here [linux.org] is an interview that he with linux.org. A little outdated but still interesting.
  • "KDE 3 comes out soon. What is the best new advancement/feature found in KDE 3 in your opinion?"

    Heheh, screw functionality and "the greatly improved Javascript and DHTML support in Konqueror". What users REALLY want is translucent window backgrounds [kde.org].

    Seriously though, it does look might sweet. :-P
    • What users REALLY want is translucent window backgrounds

      They already have it. You're screen shot shows a transparent konsole. That's been around since 2.0.
      • Is that true alpha-blended, updates-as-you-solid-drag-it-around transparency? Just a question. If it is, good job - if it's not, OS X has you beat.

        Alex

        • Do you have the source code to this true alpha-blended, updates-as-you-solid-drag-it-around transparency? Just a question. If so, good job getting it. If not, then you'll never pry it from Apple's grip.
      • Thanks for clearing that up. I couldn't find that anywhere in my KDE2 setup, and when I looked through the screenshots between the two versions on kde.org's webpage, I noticed that the transparencies were only in KDE3 shots.

        My bad.
  • this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by donglekey (124433) on Monday February 25, 2002 @03:31PM (#3066368) Homepage
    but what's preventing many people from switching to Linux is the lack of more specialized applications. For instance, 3D modelling, audio/video editing, advanced scientific apps, accountancy apps...

    This is very true. People talk about Linux 'taking over the desktop' which is good, but there is much more immediate niches to fill in other areas. They are good spot for Linux because the people doing that need a complete system, but don't need it to work with every other computer out there, and aren't worried about being able to buy the latest games etc. Printing is another one which he didn't mention but someone here did. Linux needs a better print system, and whoever is in a position to do it could probably even take a look at MacOS X for some very good ideas. 3D is getting the royal treatment and is a very good place for linux right now with XFS, ReiserFS, PRman, BMRT, Mental Ray, Maya, Shake, Softimage XSI 2.0, Houdini, and all sorts of high end graphics stuff, no 3D production studio is locked into windows or SGI anymore. Video and audio on the other hand, really need work. The video toaster ran on an Amiga for fucks sake, that should be proof that ultimate compatibility isn't needed and a self reliant system can do the job well. This is where I really see Linux taking off, is with distributions specifically made for different niches. They could come with all the libraries needed for the different programs you might run, and of course have all the free ones already installed. It will take a few startups to do something like this, however, and startups aren't in a good position right now.
    • Re:this is true (Score:5, Interesting)

      by digitalhermit (113459) on Monday February 25, 2002 @04:12PM (#3066590) Homepage
      This is where I really see Linux taking off, is with distributions specifically made for different niches.


      This is a good point; the appeal of Linux is ultimately the ease by which it can be tailored to different audiences. This is not to say that the audience should do the tailoring, but that an interested party *could* do it. For example, I'm still looking for a distribution tailored to the needs of a student. I.e., one containing a bunch of necessary mathematics and beginning programming applications, good mp3 and DVD support, ability to talk with Macs and Windows with equal ease, good word processing tools with automatic formatting of documents for English 101, etc.. All these packages already exist, but no one actually puts them together as an integrated solution. As a result you have students trying out Linux, but having to boot back into Winders to do their research paper in a pirated copy of Word.

      • Get a Mac (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Gee you can get all of these things right now if you'd just get a Mac, and now you even get a Unix-like foundation under the OS. Computers are a too, choose the right tool for the job. How come only in operating systems do people have to be so rigid in their religion? The major auto companies are not exactly angels, nor are the soft drink companies, etc., but few choose what is obviously an inferior choice because of religion.
      • I think a lot of the distributions that try to do this would end up being all-in-one distros. If someone made a distro like you describe, that would fit very well for home and small office with very minor changes, so what you're looking wouldn't be targeted at a very specific audience. It's what nearly every desktop user wants (with the exception of beginner programming tools and math apps, but those aren't a big change).
    • Re:this is true (Score:2, Insightful)

      by abdulla (523920)
      i don't see how XFS and Maya go together, but i'm trying to see your point through an onion skin
      • Re:this is true (Score:2, Informative)

        by donglekey (124433)
        XFS handles very large files very well. It is another piece of the puzzle to a great workstation when dealing with lots of huge important files.
  • by Bollie (152363) <slashdot&jangutter,com> on Monday February 25, 2002 @03:32PM (#3066375) Homepage
    About .NET:
    From what I've seen - I admit I haven't looked very much into the API though

    About GNOME 2 and GTK+ 2:
    I am sorry to say that I haven't had a look at either of those.

    IMHO this is not necessarily a bad thing. Designing software from a "fresh" perspective allows for innovation and truly creative ideas. However, I think the time has come for KDE and GNOME to cooperate. It was a brilliant idea having two competing desktops, but unfortunately today we are stuck with two desktops (if you don't count the other windowmanagers and wannabes) where half of the apps work on one and their counterparts are broken on the other.

    A common ground would go a heck of a long way into solidifying the toehold Linux has in the desktop market. Actually, if Gnome and KDE merges somehow (where the best of each survives) we might not get stuck in a world where equivalent apps have complementary bugs.

    Yes, yes, I know that KDE apps run in Gnome and vice versa, but the best browser for Linux (Mozilla, all the way!) is based on a different model entirely.

    I hope the next hackers set upon Gnome and/or KDE are given the task of interoperability in stead of writing another "equivalent" app.

    Urg. Tired of ranting. must go sleep now.
    • Ok, go for it! Let's see you convincing each developer (combine both sides and you could have over 1000 active?) that this is good, and organizing the integration (where does QT meet GTK?).

      The first part would be the hardest, because these people (for the most part) are doing this for fun, and will not listen to someone who tells them to go work on another project or change the way they work.

      All these arguments are trying to prevent people from doing thing themselves, and they just target KDE and GNOME because they are the largest projects. I think what you are saying is that there should only be one popular desktop environment, which sounds bad enough when you aren't trying to change how people give away their work.

      If you want interoperability, how is this failing right now? I (with Mandrake 8.1) can run KDE apps in GNOME and GNOME apps in KDE - where is the lack of interoperability here? Of course, GTK/Sawfish themes will always look different than Mosfet's Liquid style, but there's nothing to prevent me from running what I want where I want. This actually reduces the choice for programmers: they can choose the KDE objects of the GTK api based on what they like, and it will run fine.
  • Is that people ends up not writing configuration utilities for any of them.
    They rather write a html administration tool, and this is not allways the best option.

    If the kde is going to keep breaking ground, they should start thinking about writing kde/qt configuration tools for XFree, samba, cups, networking, fstab, nfs, maybe apache, sendmail, etc. Basically all the tools that come now from the distros but are different for each of them.
    Something like a linuxconf front end. This toguether with LSB, could give us an easy to administer system.

    Also, They could write a xml DTD for configuration files, where the configuration gui is generated automatically from the configuration file. This would unify the mess we are in with all different configuration file formats.
  • by Bish.dk (547663)
    Can be found at the dot. [kde.org]
  • by bluGill (862) on Monday February 25, 2002 @03:44PM (#3066439)

    To be frank, I'm not really a "visionary". I have recently realized that all the major changes in KDE which I took part in, were all initiated by someone else, I simply joined in and offered my help, usually doing quite an important share of the work.

    Thank you! We don't need more visionaries. Anyone can be visionary. I'm a visionary, and I have a lot of ideas. We don't really need more though. We need someone with the dedication to get the work done. Once the current vision is achived we need the next one. (actually we need some overlap there)

    Remember, anyone can have an idea. good ideas are rare. Someone willing to do the work to make an idea reality is not common. So for those who get the work done: Thank you.

  • Artists and KParts (Score:2, Interesting)

    by abdulla (523920)
    I'm a big KDE fan, so i'll get that out of the way, but I think KDE REALLY needs a flash designer/artist to make the whole thing looks spanky, i mean from the programming perspective its a work of art, but from the aesthetic view, someone needs to give it a coat of paint Just with Kparts, I was just thinking there might be a faster way to make applications aware of plugins and use them no matter what type of plugin they are, this is just arbitrary thought, until i actually try something i can't know how right or wrong i am
  • Development Tools (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nakedman (37561)
    One part of this interview I wish was more developed was the discussion of development tools in Linux.

    For my main job, I development mostly Windows applications. In this environment, I have a number of high-quality tools at my disposal for development/debugging/testing.

    For development, Visual Studio is a very nice environment. In fact, Kdevelop (which is also a very nice program) emulates VS's IDE quite clearly.

    For debugging, there are also great tools. For low-level (ring 0) applications, there is SoftICE. For user-mode applications, there is BoundsChecker (which, among other things, can validate API parameters at runtime, detect and locate memory leaks, warn about buffer overflows, etc).

    For testing, there are also a number of good tools. AutomatedQA mixed with a few tailor-made programs can provide a complete and quick testing environment.

    In the interview, he mentions the "printf" and "cout" method of debugging. While this is useful to some degree, there is nothing more satisfying than clicking a "memory-leak detected" indicator, and having a program jump you to the exact line that created the leak.

    It has been some time since I have done any development in Linux, and maybe I just haven't had the fortune of seeing development tools that match those created for the M$ OSes, but it seems to me that this is one area that could still use a little work before more programmers jump onto the Linux bandwagon.
    • In the interview, he mentions the "printf" and "cout" method of debugging. While this is useful to some degree, there is nothing more satisfying than clicking a "memory-leak detected" indicator, and having a program jump you to the exact line that created the leak.

      The "cout" method of debugging is close to worthless, IMO. I find gdb to be much more useful. Linux does have tools that deal with bounds errors and memory leaks. For example, electric fence is a popular bounds checker. There are also commercial tools available, like Purify.

      Re: memory leak detection, there are numerous ways to do this in C++. One can use audit trails, and/or overload operator new. I've used both of these techniques, and I've never run into trouble with memory leaks.

      Cheers,

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