APR
1
2001

KDE/Qt Switching to Mozilla and JavaScript Technology

According to internal email correspondence, TrollTech, makers of the Qt widget set on which KDE is based, has decided to use JavaScript and Mozilla technology as core components in the next versions of their products. The KDE core team appears quite enthusiastic about this novel development. In one of the emails, Matthias Ettrich, KDE founder, explained: "Now we're pushing the envelope, making KDE more flexible and themable than ever before. By replacing C++ with JavaScript and HTML/XML where possible, KDE will become easier to program and to theme, sometimes with the simple editing of a stylesheet!". Most KDE developers agreed. A draft press release is included below.

 

OSLO - The K Desktop Environment (KDE), in conjunction with TrollTech, makers of the Qt Cross-Platform development kit, announced that Qt will be switching to JavaScript and Mozilla technology in the next versions of their products. The change will affect all Qt-based products, including KDE.

"It's well known that the K stands for Kuaint," commented KDE project founder Matthias Ettrich in a private email circulated to the core KDE developers. "Now we're pushing the envelope, making KDE more flexible and themable than ever before. By replacing C++ with JavaScript and HTML/XML where possible, KDE will become easier to program and to theme, sometimes with the simple editing of a stylesheet! This is the natural conclusion of previous XML User Interface efforts."

Almost all developers agreed to replace QPainter and KHTML, key components of the two systems, with Gecko, the Mozilla rendering system. "The technology", explained Haavard Nord, TrollTech CEO, "has been made possible by our long-awaited switch of QPainter to Gecko technology, which will appear in the next major Qt release (Qt 4.x). Work on the Qt-3.x branch will stop shortly in favor of Qt 4.x. We wish the best of luck to KDE, and hope KDE 3.0 will be a great success when it is released with this new technology."

Roger Lawrence, Mozilla JavaScript maintainer and Netscape employee, noted that the increased usage of JavaScript in Qt and KDE will be a great boon to its speed and robustness.

Following Matthias Ettrich's brief announcement, a long series of posts appeared from a variety of developers, almost all supporting the plan. Discussions are continuing regarding the continuation of
the KDE 2 branch, including suggestions that Waldo Bastian work on a new KDE release schedule which drops any further KDE 2.x releases in favor of an immediate jump to the new technologies.

David Faure argued in favor of branching immediately, and just releasing bug fixes to the 2.1 branch.

Charles Samuels, multimedia director for KDE, remarked "I think it's a great idea, as long as they make sure to indent with tabs! They'd better, or I'll claim my vengeance!" Samuels was sedated by his nurse at this point.

Simon Hausmann, KParts and Konqueror developer, agreed with Charles Samuels, except on the indentation.

Waldo Bastian, known KDE curmudgeon, was unavailable for comment. When we asked "Where's Waldo?" on the kde-core-devel
mailing lists, no response was received, save for a terse "ADMIN: Literature Discussion belongs elsewhere."

Update: 04/02 10:50 PM by N: Yes, this is an April Fool's joke. It was so good, many are still falling for it! Meanwhile, those of you waiting for some real news might want to check out the latest KDE apps. I hear new Opera and Aethera betas are out.

Comments

HA, using a interpreted toolkit and C++ underneath would be almost as bad as python and pyQt.


By robert at Thu, 2001/04/05 - 5:00am

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