Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Fri Dec 11 12:05:03 GMT 2009

On Friday, 2009-12-11, Draciron Smith wrote:

> To answer earlier posts first. Kmenu does NOT find most apps. They
> have to be configured with a .desktop to be found and also have to not
> be "KDE specirfic" as Kevin also pointed out. That means lots of apps
> are not found.

You are misinterpreting what people are writing.
It is not about *finding* apps, it is about *adding* them.
If they were to be found they would already be in the menu.

> For the 20th time. Console apps CANNOT be found using the menu adding
> function as they are not menu items to start with unless you create
> your own custom .desktop file for each and every one of them.

It is quite certainly possible to *add* Console apps using the menu editing 
function. Because for any new entry you can specify a command and the advanced 
settings allow you to specify it should be run in a terminal.

> As I've pointed out repeatedly Krunner really offers no functionality
> not availible from a command line. It is essentially an ecapsulated
> command line which might be great for some but is nothing close to the
> functionality I rely on.

I have quick access to a real shell through Yakuake anytime I want one and 
often use it in favor over KRunner, but it is simply not true that KRunner 
doesn't offer anything over a normal shell.

My main use case are web short cuts (such as Google search, translations, 
Wikipedia search, Qt/KDE API docs, etc) and quick calculations.

> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 2:21 PM, Kevin Krammer <kevin.krammer at gmx.at> wrote:

> >> I'll disagree there. The Linux world missed a HUGE opportunity as the
> >> majority of apps out there are written in VB & the VB# languages. Yes
> >> system level stuff is C++ well sorta. VIsual C++ is almost C++.  At
> >> one point it was almost a decent language to write in. The early IDEs
> >> for VC were really nice but M$ of course changed just to change.
> That is true today primarily because VC.NET as these apps have been
> forced to migrate off of VC++ to the .NET as that is THE ONLY place
> essential functionality is exposed from.

I am not aware of any funtionality not accessible from C++.
.NET has been forced upon VB programmers due to end-of-life for VB6, but 
Visual Studio still supports C++ as a first class language and Microsoft's C++ 
compiler is becoming sufficiently standard compliant as well :)

> exclude Borland compiled apps and pressure on downstream vendors.  Big
> commercial server software as you mention is only a fraction of what
> is commonly on desktops. You go to a bank they use dozens of apps
> written in Delphi, VB, a real estate agent, an insurance adjuster and
> so on.  The VC.NET stuff is generally only the basics, the real work
> is usually done on Delphi and VB apps. You also see an amazing amount
> of Access stuff out there too, even today.

Right, I didn't want to imply that big commercial vendors actually have a 
large part of the market, I know that they don't and that most software, not 
even commercial one, is sold this way.
Just wanted to point out that C/C++ are in fact being heavily used for 
application development on Windows as well.

> Aside from Gambas WXBasic and the .NET clone are other good
> alternates. Most of these actually have better code portability from
> old VB apps than .NET and VB coders have to relearn far less jumping
> to Gambas than they do using .NET. So there IS a great VB equiv in
> Linux. It's just not often in the default distro and folks haven't
> heard much from it yet. I'm writing my writer's editor in Gambas both
> because it'll be quicker and too teach myself Gambas. Been several
> years since I wrote a VB app so I'm a might rusty LOL.

It would have a bigger chance to be in default installs (it is quite likely 
already available for all distros in their default repository) if there were 
any compelling applications using it for the target audience of the respective 

I don't see it as a big problem though, unless there is a popular distributor 
which does not have it in the package repository and thus not immediately 
available on-demand.

> I've been trying to get funding for years to advertise just such
> migrations. Wouldn't take much to build a test environment and take
> real world VB code and build Linux replacements for it. Porting the
> back end is often a bigger issue as SQL Server's not quite ANSI SQL
> and it's odd database design can be time consuming too port and so
> many of them still use Access DBs. I'm amazed at how often I've been
> called in to fix an Access DB when the problem wasn't IN the DB it was
> THE DB and that it was being overtaxed way beyond what it was designed
> to handle. Developers who knew no SQL would instead turn to Access and
> what they built worked  albiet rather slowly until the data grew and
> grew and eventually overwhelmed Access. Generally I was able to port
> it out too MySQL, streamline the schema and rewrite the SQL and left
> happy campers in me wake.

Which is why Microsoft still keeps this format a secret while they have 
(relunctantly) published specifications for other MS Office related formats 

> > Interesting.
> > I knew that Delphi had a huge following but thought that VB was mostly be
> > used for projects which are not sold (but for all scales)
> Nope Delphi has very strong bastions, one is contact management
> software.

That's what I wrote. Probably got lost by having the statement about VB in the 
same sentence.

> > Well, since there is Gambas and I've heard it is quite a sophisticated
> > framework, doesn't this fulfill the requirements for attracting basic
> > based developers? In masses?
> Yup ! It DOES. That's why I've been advocating putting it in the
> default distros.

Thats mainly a matter of having at least one really compelling application 
Say, for example, K3B would have been written with Gambas, there would have 
been (there are alternatives now, but not back then) no way end user oriented 
distributions would not ship it.

> So far my advocay has fallen on deaf ears. I get the Python is good
> enough and if they want Gambas they can go download it. Wrong people
> like me can go download it. Many of the folks who'd be most interested
> in Gambas and WXBasic won't even know it's there and rarely stick
> around with a Linux install long enough to find out many great apps
> exist. I've been outspoken about creating a new Linux user friendly
> environment to keep people who try Linux using Linux. Far too often I
> hear people who try Linux, they do a default install, feel utterly
> lost and never find that one or two apps that reach out and grab them
> and generate the necessary interest to tackle the learning curve
> needed to convert to Linux. Get folks past that hump and they rarely
> go back to windoze. Most of the converts I lose I lose in the first
> day or two of running Linux and I lose them because of the default
> apps isntalled and because they see nothing in the default installs
> that they can't do in Windoze.

I find this hard to believe but then I don't know the circumstances.
But a default installation of any Linux distribution I know is far more 
comprehensive than any Windows default installation I know.

In the beginning of the PC era GWBasic was basically part of the default 
"installation" of DOS (as in usually shipped with the PC), later it got 
removed again, leaving PC owners without any possibility of coding their own 

VB got introduced a lot later and at first only as part of MS Office (so also 
not as part of the default installation).

I think .NET era is probably the first time Microsoft ships any programming 
tools as part of their default installation, so until now people wanting to do 
any program had to download something.

> > I think Borland gave up on the development tool business, i.e. sold this
> > part of the company to some other firm.
> > If I remember correctly they've made a huge mistake with Kylix when they
> > introduced a new component model instead of using the same one Delphi
> > used. They probably wanted to switch Delphi as well, but just resulted in
> > Kylix being ignored by Delphi based developers.
> I tried Kylix and it wasn't a bad language. Pity it died off. I'd used
> it more but I'd already converted more the the sys admin/network
> security world by then.
> Real pity about Borland too. They made some of the best compilers of
> their time. Borland C was long a standard of mine though I would often
> compile in Watcom. Their IDE sucked but Watcom gave you the tightest
> code of all the ciompilers at the time.

Well, they sat back, blinded by their success, and did not invest enough to 
stay ahead.
And in a market where someone like Microsoft is after you market share you 
better stay ahead.

> > However, I think the FreePascal people have a component model as well,
> > not sure how it compares to Delphi though.
> I haven't looked at in in a few years, probably several but last time
> I looked FreePascal was really more TurboPascal ver 5. It lacked all
> the later features of Turbo Pascal and really didn;t compare to Delphi
> at all.

I haven't had a closer look either, but I think it is far closer to Object 
Pascal than to V5 style Pascal.

I liked Pascal back in the early PC era, I only came to C++ through Java and 

> > I wouldn't call Gambas inew", it has been available for years and seems
> > to have loyal followers and all. But I haven't seen any common
> > application built with it yet so my guess is that it is, quite like VB,
> > mostly used for in-house and custom solutions.
> Far as I can tell it's not really heavily used yet for in house stuff.
> A few years ago connectivity to even MySQL was so so and lots of
> important functionality was still either not there or not real stable.
> I first heard of Gambas about 4 years ago. Began playing with it but
> haven't really written any large apps in it. Did port some old VB code
> I had laying around and was amazed at how little I had to change.
> Right now Gambas is I feel ready for prime time and a rising power.
> Just as 10 yrs ago you saw almost no Python code in repositories,
> mostly people scripted in Python. It lacked too many essential
> capabilities to write anything major in it. Today Id oubt there's a
> major distro without at least a few Python apps in the default distro.
> In a few years you'll start seeing Gambas apps showing up in
> repositories.

Good points, lets hope we'll see something impressive in the near future.

> Give it time and get it in default distros. I'd bet %75 of the people
> reading this list had never heard of Gambas before reading this.
> Gambas, Python, Ruby those really need to be part of the default
> distros. Something that's already there rather than something people
> hear about a couple years after the start using Linux.

Python most likely is part of default installs already.
Way to much system stuff being implemented with it :)

Development frameworks themselves are almost never part of default 
installations due to size and target audience.
They can become a part through being a dependency of something important 
enough, so we'll have to wait for one of those Basic based developers to come 
up with an app everybody would want to use.

> As a rule of thumb, 5 yrs is a good ruler for the progress of a
> language from the time it is able to do HTML, make sys calls, call
> console apps, talk to DBs without using third party drivers, use GTK
> and or QT, good support for things like sound, graphics, etc.
> Basically until it's ready for prime time. Then give it 5 years to
> catch on. After that you'll start seeing apps appear for general use.

Generally true, but the Free Software world usually adopts faster.
Maybe the problem is that the target group is not yet part of the mindset of 
the Free Software world.

> > The editor component used by KWrite is also used by other apps (such as
> > Kate or KDevelop) and I am pretty sure it is available in the bindings as
> > well. But that's probably better discussed on the bindings list.
> Now THAT is music to me ears :)  That is the part I'm really
> interested in. I'd have to build upon that basic functionality but
> I've written editors before even small script interpeters and it's
> tedious and involved work. Amazing how complex little things like
> keeping track of the cursor can be :)  Now I really need to look
> deeper into that and it also makes reviving Kedit more feasible. If
> Kdevelop ported it then they've done the worst of the work already.

KDevelop did not need to port anything, the text editor component is provided 
by a library which is part of the KDE development platform [2].

> > I'd say the other way around. Sure there are quite some lines of code in
> > kdelibs, but some of the application modules have large numbers of
> > applications, e.g. kdegames, kdeedu, or big ones, e.g. kdepim.
> >
> > My guess would be that there is no need to "add back" things unless
> > something has been removed during the porting (highly unlikely).
> There is missing functionality, I mean it's not just in a different
> place it's completely gone.

No. I meant that it is not likely it has been removed from the Kicker code 


[1] http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/4115
[2] http://api.kde.org/4.x-api/kdelibs-
Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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