People Behind KDE: Werner Trobin

Werner Trobin is a member of the hard working KOffice team. He is the first non-fantastic entity to answer the new series of questions in Tink's weekly interview at the KDE People page. This is a very refreshing and colourful interview. Go there, read it and enjoy Werner's enthusiasm at being a part of KDE. We're lucky to have such teammates.
Also, please note that, as promised, Tink has added a People index with interviews, quotes and URLs.


For all those of you complaining about KDE speed, why not donate a SLOWER computer to Werner? As a key developer in KOffice, it might help if you can get him to attempt to run KOffice on a 486 instead of an Athlon Thunderbird.


By KDE User at Mon, 2001/05/07 - 5:00am

Hey, that made me laugh. :) Yes! Send this man some slowness!

By EKH at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

Last month I saw Werner commiting to kde-cvs a bunch of patches to make KPresenter work (and especially start) faster. I think that Werner is a right person on a right place (KDE :).

By krzyko at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

I've often wondered if there was any program out there to simulate a slow computer on a fast one. For example, one that took up half of your CPU and RAM so that you could test programs for their speed on, say, a 486 with 32 MB of RAM. It seems like a tool like that would be good for the KDE developers to have :-) Programmers usually have fairly up-to-date computers and may not see the performance problems that their users do.

By not me at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

What's a 486?

By reihal at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

Just run Netscape.. that blasted program takes up half the CPU and Memory all the time ;^)

By Steven Hatfield at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

You can tell lilo right on startup that you just want to use, say, 32MB of RAM (by adding a plain "mem=32m" at lilo's boot prompt). Please read the BootPrompt-HOWTO for further information. This makes KDE crawl, though :}

By Werner Trobin at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

He mentions kdeinit... What is it exactly?

I know it's used to start up kde in the first place, but it also seems to be used to start any KDE program?

With ps, my Konquereor session looks like "kdeinit: konqueror".

Sort of annoying, because then I can't "killall konqueror".

What's the point of that?

By AC at Mon, 2001/05/07 - 5:00am

the majority of the startup time associated with kde apps is the linker resolving all those C++ functions. However, if the new program is simply a child of kdeinit, the functions are already resolved. Bottom line: it's a startup speed hack.

By anonymous KDE wizard at Mon, 2001/05/07 - 5:00am

Can't an application later on change it's argv[0] name to the original one? I remember I could do it in Perl....

By Toastie at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

Of course, but then you can do `kdekillall konqueror`. But what would you be so cruel?? :-))

Ah, BTW, the previous poster asked for speed. Well, kdeinit's role is just this: make sure that KDE binaries start faster than what Linux architecture allows naturally. That's why Werner loves it so much :-)

By Inorog at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

You can read more about kdeinit in kdelibs/kinit/README and on


By Waldo Bastian at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

It's that c't article again ! Where can I find that article today ? Off course I would greatly prefer an english version (or danish) ;-)

By stig at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

>> He is the first non-fantastic entity to answer the new series of questions

It took me a few moments to figure out that wasn't an insult. Over here in America, that phrase equates to "He is the first non-excellent person to answer...". You might change that to "He is the first non-fantasy entity..." (assuming that makes sense to readers in the UK).

Fantastic is generally a superlative meaning "very good". Fantasy is the common adjective meaning "having a nature of folklore and magic".

Evan (Not a grammar flame, just a gentle hint as to the vernacular)

By Evan "JabberWok... at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

No, I (an American) got that quickly enough. You way of looking at it did give me a laugh, though. :)

By EKH at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

Moin Werner :)

how come that link is shown "visited" already in my konq? ;) Definitely one of the best games! I'd really like to see a Linux version of that.

By gis at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

I have also noted that there does not seem to be many developers working on KOffice. A cautionary note here would perhaps be that we shouldn't expect too much of KOffice.

A full office-suit that holds the same standards that MS Office has after ten years or so with development and god knows how many developers is obviously a major undertaking, and it may not be realistic that this emerges with from 2-3 part time developers any time soon. It could also be that OpenOffice realistically may be the best bet for a professional free office suit for Linux. Time will tell.

By will at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

Let no man say it cannot be done...

it must be done,

and we have UNDERTAKEN TO DO IT!

(ra ra ra!)

go koffice!

Jason ;)

By Jason Katz-Brown at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

Two things you seem to want to ignore:
a) the passion of developers
b) the talent of developers
c) (yes, I said two) the lack of interest into screwing the app for the sake of future paid upgrades.

If a productivity computer will be the same thing as today from now in 5 years, I'd rather bet on koffice being a standard at that time.

By Inorog at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

I have every confident in the KDE team. Look at Konqueror and you'll see the ability of this team.

Passion and a great team is all it takes to make things come true.


By Kent Nguyen at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

A maybe offtopic question, but what platforms do the developers use? Do all the (core) developers use Linux on i386, or is there any other platform and OS in use?

By Loranga at Tue, 2001/05/08 - 5:00am

i know some use FreeBSD. don't know of anyone using other *BSD, Solaris, etc.

By Evandro at Wed, 2001/05/09 - 5:00am

Most KDE developers use some form of Linux. SUSE, Mandrake, or Redhat are the common.

More people and company support Linux than FreeBSD. :)

I have friends who use FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, JeeBSD, SecureBSD, and various other BSD. And a few use Solaris.


By Kent Nguyen at Wed, 2001/05/09 - 5:00am