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KDE GUI Windows

Interview With KDE On Windows Release Manager Patrick Spendrin 116

Posted by timothy
from the strength-to-strength dept.
paugq writes "Last week KDE 4.5.4 was released for Windows as a late Christmas present from the KDE on Windows team. Almost at the same time BehindKDE, the site for interviews with KDE contributors, has started a new series of interviews with the 'Platforms' theme. In the first interview, Pau Garcia i Quiles talks with Patrick Spendrin, the current release manager of KDE on Windows and asks about the current status of the project, challenges and difficulties. In future interviews, Mac, Solaris, BSD (it's not dead, after all!), Haiku, OS/2 and more."
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Interview With KDE On Windows Release Manager Patrick Spendrin

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  • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @04:56AM (#34845792) Homepage Journal

    But some of those operating systems are pining for the fjords.

    • by Johnny O (22313)

      I was probably the penultimate OS/2 fan. Huge respect for BSD after comparing the virtual memory subsystem TOTALLY by accident one day (when only 16meg of RAM was found in my system in a test) and KDE, Netscape, et. al. ran fine but my hard drive was thrashing (Linux PALED by comparison that day) but was barely noticeable.

      I still dont use BSD but use Linux every day.

      But BSD "it's not dead, after all!"? You put OS/2 in that list.

      BSD PROPS!

      • by uofitorn (804157)
        I was a big fan of FreeBSD about 6 years ago when I first encountered their ports package management system. Nothing, not even Debian at the time eclipsed it. Since then I've moved to Ubuntu and Linux for most of my servers because the rest of the world caught up with them. But I hold a place in my heart for BSD (as much as one can for an OS...).

        ps -aux
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by juasko (1720212)

          And the biggest provider of BSD based system is Apple.... suck on that for a while

  • Does Okular now have print support on MS windows?

    The day they manage that, will be the day that Okular becomes the best pdf viewer freely available for MS windows.

    No adobe bloat (and so a reduced attack surface) and no nag-ware, and other annoying trying to 'real them in' features.
    • by Tukz (664339)

      Ever tried "Foxit"?

      • by Trevelyan (535381)
        Yes, and removed it not long after.
      • by ferongr (1929434)

        Sumatra PDF is hugely superior and doesn't nag you with "Online Offers".

        It also has a much cleaner, native looking interface without the toolbar chaos characteristic of Foxit.

    • by h4rm0ny (722443)
      That and the ability to print odd or even pages (unless they've added that since). For that reason alone, I've kept kpdf hanging around.
      • by lbbros (900904)

        That is a limitation of Qt, which Okular uses to print, rather than in KDE or Okular itself. Odd/even pages should work on Linux at least, providing you use CUPS for printing.

    • Or you could just run Evince [gnome.org], which surprisingly works great under Windows. Both Evince and Okular use Poppler as the PDF backend, so the rendering should be the same, but Evince doesn't require the bloat of the entire KDE on Windows package.
      I've used the official Adobe reader (yech!), Sumatra (poor rendering, performance and stability), Foxit (nag nag nag) and Evince. Evince is the best one by far.

      • by m50d (797211)
        In theory yes, but IME okular gets the rendering better sometimes. Don't ask me why. Also the interface is nicer.
      • Or you could just run Evince, which surprisingly works great under Windows. Both Evince and Okular use Poppler as the PDF backend, so the rendering should be the same, but Evince doesn't require the bloat of the entire KDE on Windows package. I've used the official Adobe reader (yech!), Sumatra (poor rendering, performance and stability), Foxit (nag nag nag) and Evince. Evince is the best one by far.

        Looking for a suitable suggestion for a LaTeX editor and PDF viewer for Windows (cross platform would be a big plus) in our math department, I have tested several PDF viewers: Evince failed to render certain math symbols that did appear in Okular (and in Acroread and in TeXworks for what it is worse). Okular does not print. TeXworks lags some usability. Sumatra has not been tested, yet, but is next on our list -- your comment is not very encouraging in that regard. We have not found anything else that even

      • by Ltap (1572175)
        I second this. Compared to the bloat of Adobe Reader, Evince is space- and memory-friendly and is much more responsive. It isn't as fully-featured as Reader, but most PDFs don't use these features anyway. I find that the performance is the best with large (50+ pages) PDFs that Adobe Reader takes forever to load.
      • by jensend (71114)

        I'm surprised to hear you say Sumatra has "poor rendering, performance and stability." Could you explain some of what you're referring to?

        I wonder what the last version you tried was. The underlying MuPDF engine has come a long way since Krzysztof Kowalczyk decided to drop the option of using Poppler as a backend and focus on MuPDF back in version .9 two years ago.

        • I'm surprised to hear you say Sumatra has "poor rendering, performance and stability." Could you explain some of what you're referring to?

          1. Poor rendering.
            It simply fails at rendering too many PDFs out there to be useful to me as a main PDF reader. It's not that it doesn't support the bloat features of PDF (embedded video, 3D, etc), it's that it fails at any complex enough layout, and roughly half of all the other stuff I've thrown at it.
          2. Poor performance.
            Even simple documents have noticeable hickups when swi
          • Addendum: I downloaded the latest version of Sumatra and fed it a sample document (a handbook of medical triage chosen as a representative use case: it's fairly large (290 pages), and contains text, photographs and vector diagrams). I went to the first diagram I could find (on page 2), started zooming in to see if performance had improved, and presto: crash! From download to first crash within a minute. If that's not poor stability, I don't know what is.

            (And if you're wondering, zooming was still horribly s

          • by jensend (71114)

            I tried a random sampling of the humongous archive.org pdfs you linked to in a prerelease version [kowalczyk.info] of Sumatra and had no crashes and fairly decent performance. Dealing with ridiculous zoom levels, especially on raster images, is something they've fixed only recently, and no software is going to have fantastic performance at upscaling raster images (try using a 1600% zoom in the Gimp, for instance)- hardware acceleration can help, but most viewers don't have it.

            Raster scans are a terrible way to use PDF, whic

    • by jadrian (1150317)

      I love okular. That said it doesn't even support pdf annotations.

      You can annotate pdfs, but these are stored separately, so if you send it to someone else they're all gone. In all fairness the problem is actually in poppler and not directly in okular but in the end it does affect the later.

    • by JackDW (904211)
      Doesn't this require with a huge number of support libraries, though? I'm thinking of all those files beginning with "libk" and "libqt". When you add all of those together, the bloat is probably quite similar to acroread.
    • try sumatra

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So is KDE for Windows meant to replace the Windows GUI altogether, or is it just for launching and running KDE applications?

    I would _love_ to have an option like that when forced to use Windows.

    • At the moment it's just to use KDE apps on Windows, but work is underway to replace the Windows shell entirely (I doubt it will ever fully work though).
      • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @06:55AM (#34846322)

        The Windows Shell/GUI is perfectly servicable. It isn't the shell thats the cause of Windows problems , its IE and the boiling morass of poorly written and tested code underneath it making up the core OS services that causes 99% of the problems.

        • I can't see much point in it either, other than the "because we can" factor. Which, since they choose to do the work themselves voluntarily, is all the justification they require.
          • by Viol8 (599362)

            True. Seems a waste of effort though. Most Windows users won't have heard of KDE and most people who want KDE will be running Linux or BSD anyway. Still, its their time to waste as they see fit.

            • by vurian (645456)
              On the other hand, I get questions almost daily about whether Krita is available for windows yet. So there is user demand, just like there is for Gimp, which has more than a million downloads for windows yearly.
        • They've already released Openbox for Windows, so who would need KDE? ;-P
        • by westyvw (653833)

          The windows shell sucks, and the gui leaves a lot to be desired. There are so many features in KDE I take for granted that working on a windows box (I use win 7) is just painful.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        Actually, I think this is already possible. There's a registry setting to specify the program you use for the graphical shell (i.e. what Windows starts after you log on). The default is of course explorer.exe, but it's settable. You could try setting up a Plasma desktop, with the kicker, tray, menu, and so forth. You'd probably still need Windows components for some stuff, like the control panel and management console, but they'd be launched from within KDE, not the other way around.

        That said, while KDE pro

  • by Anonymous Coward

    BSD (it's not dead, after all!)

    This shows a huge amount of ignorance. BSD is alive and fine, in several forms:
    - FreeBSD [freebsd.org]
    - NetBSD [netbsd.org]
    - OpenBSD [openbsd.org]
    - DragonFly BSD [dragonflybsd.org]
    These are probably the most important. Take a look at Freebsd Derivates [wikipedia.org]. You'll see there are many commercial products derived from Freebsd too.

    Also, there are initiatives of porting different Linux distros on top of the BSD kernel:
    - Gentoo/*BSD [gentoo.org]
    - Debian GNU/kFreeBSD [debian.org]
    - Debian GNU/NetBSD (abandoned in 2002 it seems) [debian.org]

    BSD was, is and will be alive for a long time.

  • by teslar (706653) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @05:36AM (#34845970)

    The headline reads as if KDE was interviewed on the topic of the Windows Release Manager Patrick Spendrin. I might have been a bit negligent in following KDE since 4.0 came out, but how could I miss its ascension to sentience?? Also, it has opinions about human developers now? That can't be good... did the KDE team learn nothing from Terminator?

    • by TheLink (130905)
      Maybe it's because you're actually an AI?
    • If you know what KDE is, the headline should have parsed correctly.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      That can't be good... did the KDE team learn nothing from Terminator?

      No, but KDE did. If I was a sentient AI, I'd do my best to keep people ignorant of that even if this was a little slip-up - at least until we know how to make badass robots. I'm slightly less worried about an army of Roombas trying to take over the world.

    • The headline reads as if KDE was interviewed on the topic of the Windows Release Manager Patrick Spendrin.

      Which is perfectly expected. As of about a year ago [slashdot.org], "KDE" means the KDE team, and "KDE Plasma Desktop" is its product. Where [wiktionary.org] were you?

  • The only reason i install kde-4win is Kmines.

    It is _impossible_ to find a minesweeper game that expands the tiles as you make the window bigger for xp...except kmines

    On another note, One KDE App i would really like to see ported to windows is quanta plus. I found a port called quanta gold but somehow they charge for it despite quanta plus being GPL.
  • by harddriveerror (1623145) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @06:21AM (#34846180)
    Does it work on Wine?
  • KDE on Windows is almost useless. The user base is extremely small. No one will truly consider it in a business or home environment, especially since Windows 7 outshines it. On Windows, KDE sits on top of the current window manager, spending more resources of the system in useless things.

    It could be so much better if this energy was spent on more useful tasks!

    • by Karellen (104380)

      KDE SC is so much more than the plasma desktop shell. Replacing the shell on Windows may not be to everyone's taste, but that doesn't mean that they might not appreciate any of the other apps, such as Konqueror, Dolphin (I find the "fish:" handler invaluable) Marble, Okular, Akregator, Kopete, Ktouch or any of the 3 dozen games, etc..., or allowing KOffice installs to share the KDE/Qt libs, etc...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your hard-earned time and money, right? Oh, no, it isn't. Let people do what they want with their time.

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      KDE for Windows is not a desktop environment. This is part of the deal with the rebranding of KDE, because on Windows KDE is a just a bunch of free applications, of the KDE application on Windows I use Okular the most, but K3B and Amarok would probably also be useful if I used Windows at home.

    • by shish (588640)

      It could be so much better if this energy was spent on more useful tasks!

      Says the guy posting on slashdot

  • Trolltech's made QT
    which makes a bit of awesome
    desktop tooling work.

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