KDE apps non Windows and mac Was: Re: Kill KIO (was: Repositioning the KDE brand)

Boudewijn Rempt boud at valdyas.org
Tue Jul 14 20:16:26 BST 2009

On Tuesday 14 July 2009, Alexander Neundorf wrote:

> I think we have a problem if even Boudewijn sees it as a problem to depend
> on KDE libraries on non-Linux.
> I can/could understand this concern in KDE 2/3 days, but with KDE 4 we
> should be able to make that work smoothly, now that Qt is LGPL everywhere
> and our software is (more or less) fully portable.

That's probably part of the problem. I've tried to run KOffice on Windows, on 
OSX and on Maemo -- and everywhere that runtime environment consisting of 
daemons tied together with dbus was a pain. Making a krita installer for 
windows, using cpack or bitrock, is hard. I've never been able to get a 
version of Krita running on OSX that enabled me to open files using the file 
browser. Of course, I'm not the smartest developer around, but, well, I should 
have a better chance than most users who aren't into software the way I am, 
and I cannot see any way of making an app bundle for krita like I've made at 

Because in the meantime I've been developing a Qt-based application at work 
that we've delivered to a few hunderd thousand users on Windows, OSX and 
Linux, and apart from Phonon (which caused crashes on Linux and couldn't play 
.wav on XP or mp3 on Vista and vice versa or the other way around), we never 
had a problem that wasn't caused by the platform itself or by clear bugs in 
Qt, not by design problems in Qt.

> How can we do that ? I don't know. I think the Windows and Mac developers
> need to help here.
> Maybe provide a dead-easy to install "KDE environment" package which brings
> everything you need to run a full blown KDE application ?
> Isn't that issue somewhat similar to programs installing their own copy of
> the JRE ? For them it's usually no problem.

Well, for a lot of people, the JRE _is_ a hurdle to far, and for the JRE, the 
situation isn't as bas as with KDE: it's fairly small, you can bundle it as 
one neat package that's smaller than Qt and it doesn't need all kinds of 
processes to run in addition to your application.

It's really the platform stuff Thiago described so much better than I can 
that's not worth the trouble. If we'd use something special like plasma, 
perhaps, yes, it might be worth it. But kio doesn't add enough for the 
ordinary user, and QSettings is good enough that we don't need kconfig. 
There's a cheap and cheerful statically linkable zip storage lib so we don't 
need ktar/kzip. I don't want my plugins all over the system, but neatly in the 
app bundle/directory, so I don't need the query stuff, qpluginloader is good 
enough. The KDE version of the widgets aren't as similar to the platform 
widgets, so I don't want them either, they may be nicer, but users don't want 
them -- and so on. Plus, it takes memory we might not have available.

Personally, I'd prefer to write a Qt-only program and have Qt adapt to the KDE 
platform, like it adapts to Windows, OSX, Maemo, Gnome or S60, i.e, the 
hierarchy is exactly the wrong way around.

Boudewijn Rempt | http://www.valdyas.org

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