firefox/open office integration with KDE

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at
Fri Jun 11 10:14:45 BST 2010


On Friday, 2010-06-11, mafeusek at wrote:

> I work with group of people that used windows and now `have to' use KDE.
> They are not computer scientists, just day to day computer users. In
> general they like KDE (modern look and feel), except one part they don't,
> it is firefox/open office integration with KDE.

This highly depends on the operation system and, in case of Linux, Linux 
I'v heard that for example Open SUSE has great Firefox and OOo integration.

> My concern is why KDE team spends time on developing separate programs
> (konqueror/koffice) instead using their invaluable capabilities to
> integrate firefox/open office?

There are several distinc points in this so I'll try to address them 

1) KDE team members working on providing integration

KDE, as a workspace and platform provider puts quite some work into offering 
integration points to independent software developers.
KDE developer actively participate and often spearhead work on specifications 
shared between Free Software desktop projects, so interaction and integration 
is not bound to using a specific software stack.

Whether or not application developers use these (directly or libraries 
implementing them) is of course up to them.
E.g. they might not want to follow icon theming and thus not use the icon name 
specification, or want to provide their own password storage and thus not 
using the D-Bus secret service API (though this one is a very new addition).

Mozilla, for example, intentionally tries to avoid certain aspects of desktop 
integration to allow their products to look and behave similar across 

2) KDE team members working on external programs for integration

Generally, as described above, the idea is to provide integration points for 
application developers interested in improving desktop integration.
Some KDE developers might be users of such applications and not be satisfied 
with their current offering and attempt to become a developer at these 
projects as well.
This might or might not be easy, largely depends on how the other project's 
community is organized, etc.

To some extend this happens at distributions that ship both the application 
and KDE workspaces, e.g. using plugin functionality present in the application 
to plug KDE integration (using integration point available in KDE) into these 

3) KDE team members working on KDE software

That's obviously what most KDE developers do, by virtue of being KDE 
Sometimes other communities start to work on a kind of application that some 
of KDE's developers have been working on as well.

Whether or not it then makes sense to stop working on the KDE applications 
depends on a lot of things.

The KDE framework based application could offer additional advantages, e.g. 
creation of libraries other KDE applications can the use as well, or provide 
tight integration with other KDE apps, or being easier to port to other kinds 
of compites ( devices).

The KDE framework based application could only require little effort because 
it is "only" a wrapper around an already exisiting KDE component. For example, 
Konqueror is a web browser shell around one of KDE's web engine components.
Compared to the work required for the engine component, work on the shell is 


Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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