Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Draciron Smith draciron at gmail.com
Fri Dec 11 14:02:37 GMT 2009

On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 6:05 AM, Kevin Krammer <kevin.krammer at gmx.at> wrote:
> On Friday, 2009-12-11, Draciron Smith wrote:
> 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.

Actually Kevin I'm one of the ones who's talking about adding items :)
One of my biggest gripes about KDE 4's panel and menu system.

>> 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.

Aye you pointed out offline how to do it, but it's certainly not
simple or fast.

>> 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.

I'm not understanding.  The applets offered in Krunner are just really
links to apps you can call quickly and easily from the shell. The
autocompletion is in the shell but the shell has by default a longer
command history plus you can search it as well as having every
console/X app at your disposal if you know enough of it's name too get
it too autocomplete.  I'm sure for some folks Krunner is great but
it's not giving any added value if you already have console windows
open and are comfortable with them.

>> 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 :)

msvcrt.dll is one of a couple files that MUST be installed for a
Visual C++ compiled app to run. It's literally a run time lib, the
name even stands for microsoft visual C run time. VC is not truely a
compiled language.

It has full access to sys calls of course, then again any language
that can access the win api does. Even VBscript can which has made
VBscript so dangerrous and such a infestation bed of viruses and

> 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
> distributor.

It's in Fedora and Ubuntu for sure. Didn't look with OenSUSE though
going to give it a try and haven't looked at Mint though Mint is a
variation of Ubuntu and SUSE a variation of redhat so I'd be surprised
if they were not in the repositories. This is rather recent. Only a
few years ago I had to install from tarball to get Gambas. Not that I
used it much LOL. But I installed it anyway :)

>> 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
> [1].

I think they've killed Access. Could be wrong, I've been out of the M$
world for a bit but I don't think M$ supports Access any more. Even if
they did MySQL has gained such a foothold that I doubt Access would
have long anyway. Rekall and some others show real potential of giving
Linux users the features that made Access so popular.

There were openODBC drivers for Access at one time as well. Haven't
looked in a long time but I know I converted an Access DB to MySQL a
few years back and could swear I used some tool to make it rather
painless. Now windows machines were logged into to in order too
facilitate if I remember correctly.

>> > 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
> available.
> 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.

Yup, a killer app. Once one is written more will be written and so on.
Python is already showing what empowering non-C++ coders can do and
look at the huge base of Perl code out there now.

>> 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.

Bah windoze default is barely a computer. You don't even have a simple
compression tool. That's what baffles me about windoze advocates. How
can they tout a platform where you have to go out and download tons of
stuff just to function. I've actually in an emergency run a few days
just fine off a Knoppix live CD on a machine before by contrast.
That's about a basic install as you get unless your talking about
specialized distros such as floppy and old USB installs on an air
apped machine.

The main thing is too many Linux maintainers are not even interested
in attracting new people to Linux. Linux advocacy isn't even a
secondary consideration. Yet even here I've seen complaints about
propriatory drivers, complaints that wouldn't happen if we had a
larger and more vocal installed base.  Linux advocacy is essential to
Linux I feel. We may feel mighty fine about our choice and feel
technically superior but there's only so many techies in the world and
few of us control large company purse strings. OSS itself lives in the
grey zone, without so many companies and Gov agencies allowing their
people to work at least part time on many OSS projects on company time
the whole OSS code base would be a decade less advanced. Some entire
projects are pure the result of Gov or companies. SELinux the clearest
example, but there are other packages which were written to meet a
need for a company then released open source.

We need more not less people using Linux. We've reached saturation
point with the techies. Just about any techie who's going to run Linux
already is. Much of the remaining population has no interest in
becoming techies and sometimes not the ability even if the interest
was there. Linux needs to be windows covnert friendly to not only take
the next step but I think for OSS to continue to flourish. Patents and
gov bribes and a whole slew of dirty tricks can derail the whole OSS
movement right now.  If we can achieve a large enough user base it
ensures the necessary momentum and potential ill will to silence those
dirty tricks. That means getting people to try Linux and stay with it.

What I hear back is that is essentially that they can learn like we
did or we don't need them. The whole RTFM syndrome that has plauged
Nix apps for years and has turned so many people away from OSS.

It is also part of my dismay with KDE 4. As stands I would never
inflict it on a new Linux user. At best it is not ready for release
and at worst has some serious UI design flaws.

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

Sorta. Most PCs back in the day had BIOS versions of Basic then
Basica. M$ got thier start writing one of those bios versions. Then
came DOS and GWBasic was a big upgrade to Basic but then Basic
languished for a long time. M$ dropped support for it and nobody
picked it up prob fearing M$'s legion of lawyers.  Then came QB which
filtered into every nook and cranny of the windows world. It was
everywhere. Many commercial apps were written using PDS7 the
proffessional version of QB which was a compiled language with good
support for almost everything. VB 1.0 was a DOS app and not much
better than early versions of Glade. Great for creating a UI but
wasn't much you could DO with that UI LOL. Then M$ dropped VB. They
bought Foxpro and pushed it really hard. The various Xbase languages
really came to rule the end user app world while C and early C++ plus
early Delpi apps were the commercial world's languages of choice. M$
of course then changs course with VB 3.0 and it really takes off. Soon
Foxpro is religated too the scrap heap.

QB was really the only language shipped default with M$ OS's. You had
a primitive Asm editor, forget the name but I wrote a few small
programs using it and reverse engineered more than a few with it.
Debug or something like that. Really QB was the only language M$ had
for a long time. I wasn't aware .NET IDEs/compilers shipped with new
windoze versions. Then again I've not kept up with the windoze world
lately. Might be M$ has noticed the drying up of the shareware world.
Think about it, M$ has relied heavily on such apps for just about
every advancement it's had. Access was not a M$ product, it was
something they bought. SQL Server, Powerpoint, Foxpro. At times the
theft has been shameless. DOS 5.0 for example was essentially an
improved Mem model, more addressable HD space and PCMag utils. Every
single added command in DOS 5 was based on PC Mag utils. The mem
manager was broken and I was using QEMM anyway.  Those apps are just
not out there like they used to be. PKzip is still hanging on last I
looked. There are specialized apps that M$ hasn't boughten, stolen or
run out of biz but every year seems like there are fewer of them.
Every time I run out to help a windoze user find something as simple
as burn an ISO there are fewer apps out there too do it and fewer
places to download them. Ironically source forge is the first and
often only place such apps exist any more.

Linux and other Nix varients on the other hand thrive on people seeing
a need and creating software too fill that need. Some of the most
valuable like MySQL get ported and heavily used in the windoze world.
Frefox wasn't really a Nix proect but it was the Nix user base that
got it off the ground and gave it enough market share to make it a
viable alternate on windoze. Now it is the top dog in browsers.

OS2 was in every way a better OS than NT. It was more stable, faster,
more robust, more secure. It even had much better backwards
compatability with DOS/Win 3.11 apps than NT did. I did what most
people did upon installing OS2. I installed it and said "now what?"
LOL There were no apps availible for it because there were no cmpilers
except a very expsnsive IBM C compiler and some almost support for it
in PDS7.  If you used only the most basic commands you could compile
an OS2 app in PDS7 that actually ran. Not that it did anything useful
as that'd use unsupported functionality for OS2.  There was an eager
group of people who wanted to port to OS2 but the compilers never

OS's live and die on the compilers. Apple did the right thing making
it easy to write Iphone apps. If you had to wait for Apple to write
the apps the Iphone would have never really caught on I think. So the
more the avg Joe is able to write software the more software will be
out there, the more software the more chances of that killer must have
app being written, which means more people on that platform which
means more people writing software and so on.

> 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.

Yup, and rarely could they download anything with any oompth too it.
They could get active state Perl or use GNU compilers in basically a
primitive virtual machine. Anything else they had to buy and it was
neither cheap nor easy too support.

I think it'll flop though. The syntax of .Net is a might unfriendly.
.Net is not a great language even for a coder to work in and fledgling
coders are just going to muck up thier systems and trash their
registries I think. That and create tons of vulnerabilities

>> 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.

Been a bit since I looked at it.

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

Pascal is a good language. Wrote many a program with it up tilll the
TP debacle with backward support. Wrote some Delphi code but mostly I
just modified existing Delphi code over the years. Again a good

Have they added a good IDE for it? A good IDE can turn a bad language
into a good one and a good one into an excellent one.

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

I think we will.

>> 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 :)

Yup, it is. Wasn't that long ago I had to install Python manually. Now
it's automatically installed.

> 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.

I can see why they want to save bandwidth/DVD space, the contrast is
that you wind up installing the dev libs anyway just sporadically as
needed for this tarball or that RPM or that .Deb. Inside six months I
usually have almost the entire .dev libs already installed and long
ago decided it's just easier to install them right off the bat. Saves
me the hassle of tracking down which package contains the dependency
this or that tarball is complaining about. Once I have the dev libs
installed for KDE, Gnome and X usually dependencies easy to find by
the name that it complains about.

>> 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.


>> 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].

Discovered that last night looking for the source code for it. So it's
even more suprrising to see it dropped from KDE.

>> > 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
> base.

Aye and needs to be added back.
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