[kde-linux] Users guide to KDE?

Kevin M Coonan MD kevin.coonan at gmail.com
Thu Jul 3 20:34:21 UTC 2008

On Thursday 03 July 2008 12:56:46 Gaffer. wrote:

> Yes I think that there is a lack of documentation too !  In fact about 
> a six months ago I started to put together documentation to form 
> an "Idiots Guide" !  Not with any intention of publishing it, but to 
> try to create something I could use as a reference.
Needs to be published, in print, with pretty color pictures, and an on-line website with updates.  Downloads for the common Linux platforms used by mere mortals (OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, etc.), esp. of those applications which our distros left out (KAppFinder anyone??) would be great as well.  But it needs to show up in the computer book section in all major retail outlets.  If you build it...and nobody ever hears about it...

There needs to be three versions (at least):  
	One for your average consumer who is familiar with Windows or Macs but doesn't know much about what goes on under the hood.  These are people who want to start using a GUI based Linux as a replacement for their current OS and may not have a huge fund of knowledge about things like file systems, command shells, scripting, etc. and need to be walked through anything more complicated than configuring KDE to use single/double clicks (i.e. assume no knowledge of BASH--but point them to resources).
	One for people like me, who use Linux everyday, but just cannot figure out the right/best/easiest way to use KDE for a range of tasks (I don't need a chapter on how to navigate a GUI file menu--I need a chapter on how to optimize Konqueror or how to use KDE to do the things I use the shell for right now such as file permission changes, using SSHFS/Fuse in general (on a laptop none the less--which screws up FUSE everytime I close the lid or it falls asleep on me--so I use fusermount -u all the time), HTOP, smart, database queries, etc.).   The KDE database UI options in particular seem to be very useful if I only could find the time to learn one or more of them...  I don't use my PC to "do Linux" or "do KDE"  I use it to "do work".  I am willing and able to invest time/effort, but it is a means and not the goal.
	One for developers which talk about both how to develop for KDE (e.g. chapter on how to use the Java bindings, a chapter on what all the various parts do and how, chapter on how to write new parts, etc.) and how to develop in KDE (e.g. How the heck do I import a UML diagram created with Umbrello into Eclipse and vice versa).

A good comparison/decription of what KDE applications there are, what their GNOME, shell, etc. options are would be very helpful in each.  Nice to have an index where you can look up digital photography and be lead to a discussion of GIMP v. Kritta as well as a discussion of Picassa and digiKam.

Also, how to make GTK+ (and other toolkit) applications work properly under KDE (I cannot stand the GTK+ file chooser, for example, but use Firefox and Eclipse all the time and it drives me crazy) would be a good chapter in all three books.  I also don't get why Bonobo and Evolution keep showing up running the background.

Introduction to the KDE Desktop environment (version 3.5 and 4)
Advanced/Poweruser Guide to Getting Things Done in KDE (version 3.5 and 4)
Developers Handbook to KDE (version 3.5 and 4)

> Actually that was one of the reasons for subscribing to this list, to 
> gain insights from others and to help if I could.
> I have however become a little disillusioned !  KDE3 is great !  KDE4 
> isn't worth houseroom !  Or rather it isn't at the moment.  Most of 
> the comments I hear, are about KDE4 and its failure to live upto the 
> expectations that have been touted.  I spoke to a guy the other day 
> who compared it to "Vista" !   I hope not.  But it does bother me !

That is just par for the course.  Open source projects get released sooner, and fixed quicker.  Vista is 'wrong' on so many fundamental levels, that the comparison isn't even close.  A more apt comparison is with the largely scrapped UI (Aero?) which has some of the features of KDE/kwin.  The difference is that KDE4 will eventually live up to the hype.  Vista will be lucky to live.  The decision to release KDE4 when it didn't seem stable is a separate discussion.  Unlike Vista, you can install KDE3.5 and KDE4.0 (and Xfce and GNOME or BASH) and not be screwed if your UI doesn't work for you. 

Maybe if someone put out a good description (in language someone who is not a KDE developer could understand) of the new and improved KDE4 features it would help.  I have used KDE3.5 for a few years now, but I am not a Linux/KDE hacker and I have no idea what the heck they are talking about.  I tried going to the website, but there was so much self-referential jargon, without any hyperlinks to a reference which said what was what.

Now will someone please fix KMail and/or ingegrate another KDE based email client (e.g. Mailody) into Kontact!  

Seriously, the inability to spell check HTML and refusal on the part of the KMail developers to allow users to forward HTML intact is asinine.

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