Konqueror Gets Activ(eX)ated

Konqueror has received another
huge shot in the arm, this time
by gaining the ability to embed MSIE ActiveX controls such as
the popular Shockwave
. KDE developers
Nikolas Zimmermann and
Malte Starostik today announced
the initial release of reaktivate.
While not perfect yet, work is ongoing to support other controls
for which no native Linux/Unix solutions exist, such
as Apple's QuickTime.
Credit goes to the WINE developers
for providing the ActiveX support. So now that Konqueror can embed
MSIE ActiveX controls, Netscape Communicator plugins (for Linux), any
X window
(through X window parenting), Java applets and any KParts components, and does an excellent job at handling HTML, CSS and JavaScript natively, it seems to me Konqueror is fast becoming the best browser on any platform. Sweet. Read more for the full press release.




KDE Web Browser Konqueror Gets Activ(eX)ated

Konqueror Embraces ActiveX, Plays Shockwave Movies

July 9, 2001 (The INTERNET).
Nikolas Zimmermann and
Malte Starostik today announced
the availability of reaktivate for
Konqueror, KDE's web browser.
Reaktivate enables Konqueror to embed
ActiveX controls,
such as the popular
movies, for which no native Linux/Unix solution exists. Reaktivate relies
on the
WINE libraries to load and run
ActiveX controls.

With this addition, Konqueror now enables KDE users to take optimal advantage
of sophisticated websites that make use of Microsoft Internet Explorer plugins,
Netscape Communicator
plugins for Linux and Java applets,
as well as KDE plugins designed using KDE's

According to Malte, the reason he and Nikolas implemented reaktivate
is rather simple: it broadens the spectrum of web sites accessible
to Konqueror, and it was possible.

Successes and Limitations

Reaktivate can eventually be used to embed any ActiveX control into Konqueror.
Currently, however, not all ActiveX controls are compatible with reaktivate.
In particular, the Microsoft
Windows Media Player
cannot be installed using reaktivate (though it is not known if a player which is already installed will work with
reaktivate). Thus it is likely there exist other ActiveX controls which
will not yet work with reaktivate.
Work is ongoing to increase compatability with other ActiveX controls,
including the
Apple QuickTime plugin.

So far, however, reaktivate has been successfully tested with the
following ActiveX controls:


Shockwave Flash 5

No known problems.
Click here
[1], [2], [3], [4], and [5]

Shockwave Player 8

Some files require the use of a native msvcrt.dll instead of the
one provided by winelib. The post-installation dialog is functional
but hard to decipher due to drawing problems. Some movies do not
display properly (only black stripes and rects are shown)
Click here

Clicking the "info" button in the toolbar has no result, everything
else works fine.
Click here
[1] and [2]

Note on Security

Install ActiveX controls only from sites that you

Microsoft's ActiveX technology has often been criticized for weak security.
Those controls are dynamic libraries that are executed exactly like any
other piece of code installed on the user's system. This means they have
full access to the file system, the system registry etc. As a means to
establish the users' trust in the controls a web site wishes to install,
every ActiveX control is cryptographically signed and carries a certificate
issued by an authority known to the web browser (like
VeriSign). A control
that has no signature or no certificate or if they are invalid will not be

With reaktivate the situation is similar: the installed controls can call
every WinAPI function provided by the WINE libraries and therefore have
access to WINE's registry and all files visible to the WINE installation.
The current implementation of reaktivate will ask the user for
confirmation to install a new control, but it will not check the embedded
certificate and signature. This is due to technical reasons as well as
limited time. Therefore we strongly advise to install controls only from
sites that you trust. To save your files from malicious controls, you might
also consider using this feature only from a seperate user account that
has no access to your main user's files. Reaktivate will not run from the
root account.

Installing Reaktivate

Source code for reaktivate is freely available under a Free, Open Source
license from the
KDE's CVS repository
and its mirrors.
See the KDE website for
information about how to get a module from CVS. You only need
the toplevel, admin and reaktivate directories from kdenonbeta. Before
compiling, get the latest CVS
version of WINE
(a snapshot will likely not be new enough). Next,
apply all patches from reaktivate/patches-for-wine/ against the WINE
sources and build/install WINE. Finally, you can build and install

Disclaimer: reaktivate is not in any manner sponsored or endorsed
by, affiliated with, or otherwise related to,
Microsoft Corporation.

Thanks to Andreas "Dre" Pour and
Navindra Umanee for assisting in
drafting this release.

Trademarks Notices.
KDE, K Desktop Environment and Konqueror are trademarks of KDE e.V.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
Unix is a registered trademark of The Open Group.
Microsoft, ActiveX, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player
are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Shockwave is a trademark or registered trademark of Macromedia, Inc. in
the United States and/or other countries.
Netscape and Netscape Communicator are trademarks or registered trademarks
of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other
countries and JavaScript is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation.
Apple and Quicktime are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in
the U.S. and other countries.
All other trademarks and copyrights referred to in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.

Dot Categories: 


by Nikolas Zimmermann (not verified)

Wow you are taking this really too serious :)

Our goal isn't the dropping of KParts etc..
We just want to help companys, which migrate to Linux (_from Windows_), to be able to use their self-made ActiveX controls for the time they have no money to rewrite everything.
You may know that it costs _really_ much if you migrate to Linux for the first time. Companys relied on Microsoft's technologies (like ActiveX) and we want to help them.
Of course having everything native is the coolest thing.

Shockwave, Flash and Livepics are _JUST_ testing controls. I have no self-build activex control to test, that's why we take these ones.

So don't flame please, this is as always done for fun. (Imagine this cool stuff, we are mixing Qt and Windows stuff, throught winelib, in _one_ app). It's just cool stuff, not more.

by KDE User (not verified)

I for one would like to thank you for your beautiful work! Despite the flames, you have done some pioneering work and taken KDE/Konqi to a whole new level, even if it only shows what kinds of wonderful things can be done with KDE or if it only gets people like Neil off their collective rear-ends to implement native plugins for Konqueror.

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! We are impressed!

by Neil Stevens (not verified)

My problem isn't with your code. You wrote what you wanted, and shared it with the world. That's a fine thing.

My problem is that Dre is describing the lack of support for propreitary plugins for Windows as a major lack of Konqueror until now, in contrast with the KDE community's general pleasure with Konqueror until now.

Am I taking this seriously? You'd better believe it. By putting this site in the kde.org, domain, dot.kde.org represents KDE. I've put a lot of time in to KDE, and I care about it. I don't want it led astray.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

well, for a _lot_ of folks not having ActiveX controls is a big thing. this wasn't a Konqueror weakness, it was a Linux/Unix weakness. what they have done is build as good a bridge as is possible today (which means x86 only right now) for technologies that were, until now, bound to Windows. without this bridge, many users would also remain bound to Windows. this is all about making lemon-aide out of lemons for the short term and opening the way for more people to enjoy the Freedom of KDE. it is one piece among many of Konqi's abilities and compatibilities that no other linux/unix web browser can measure up to.

and that, if you calmly re-read the press release, is exactly what was said.

by Guillaume Laurent (not verified)

> I've put a lot of time in to KDE, and I care about it.

Then I suggest you take a vacation or something and return when the whole of your brain is back up, because right now you're not helping at all, to say the least.

Your take on this is nothing less than appalling.

by Timothy R. Butler (not verified)

Neil - tell me, if Konqi didn't support any Netscape plugins, only displayed pages that were W3C compliant to the letter, and wouldn't open pages served from non-open source web servers, would you use it?
The point with ActiveX isn't saying that KDE's native technologies aren't better, it's simply admitting the reality that KDE's technologies aren't being embraced by major companies yet, and for users to migrate to Linux, they need these technologies now.
I might note that many programs that have major lacks are still enjoyed. I really like KMail, Kicker, XMMS, Konqueror, KNewsTicker, etc. but still there are thing I would love to see supported that aren't _yet_. That doesn't mean I am not pleased with them, I simply notice they lack certain things I would like. I might note Konqueror has JavaScript problems too, but if Dre announced that they had all been fixed, that wouldn't mean that the KDE Project was really saying "Until now, Konqi really stinked like week old fish!"


by AB (not verified)

It's always like this. If any product is "criticized" by its own makers, you can bet there is a newer version of that product which solves those problems.

by Andy Fawcett (not verified)

Okay, here is my 'take' on this subject...

Technically, I like what has been done here. I think the guys have done a wonderful job in a short space of time.

And I agree with WildFox's sentiments that it *could* help companies migrate over to KDE.

It's a shame that the implementation isn't portable, but with the absence of file formats and designs, it is going to be nearly impossible to implement this on a lot of operating systems :(

As a final point, I don't see it as a bad thing to embrace older/other technology with KDE. If work such as this allows (some) KDE users to access information that they couldn't before, surely that is a good thing? Sure, it would be better if *all* KDE users could use this technology, but 'some' has to be better than 'none'.

Just my 0.02 euros


by Daniel (not verified)

Excuse my offtopic, but i dont know where i can post my opinion about one thing in KDE.

I really dont like the minimized KDE panel version. If we watch the Gnome panel or Windows panel minimized version (see the screenshots), we see that the KDE panel is less beautiful :-) than minimized gnome panel (or even Windows!).I think the problem are the small icons.

I like the standar KDE panel size, but i like a lot the minimized version, because we have more space to work with the apps, but the look of actual panel (small version) is horrible! :-)

And i want to say that KDE team are doing the best job i have ever seen! ...

byes! :-)

I hope this post will be readen by a KDE look coder team.

by Moritz Moeller-... (not verified)

I think there even exists one. Personally I hate the blurred look of them, a real strain on the eyes as your brain tries to focus them.

The MS and the KDE icons are better, because they have a clear shape much more visible.

KDE icons = symbols (cartoonish, like traffic signs)
Gnome icons = pictures (prettier, but harder to discern)

Apart from your dislike for the work of the KDE artists what else is the problem?

by wim bakker (not verified)

Quote:>Apart from your dislike for the work of the KDE artists what else is the problem?

I do not dislike the work of the artist team but I do have a what else problem. Why is the cvs server for such a long time unconnectable after a (beta or other)release?.
Now I can't try out this new feature (reactivate). Is there a need for more mirrors??
Would it help if there was created one more??

by Lenny (not verified)

>Why is the cvs server for such a long time unconnectable after a (beta or other)release?.

I read somewhere that it's also the ftp-server. After releases it gets slashdotted so they try to decrease load by shutting down cvs.

by Bryan Feeney (not verified)

I think he meant that the panel ends up looking *very* cluttered. He kinda has a point. Although I would say, if you like the KPanel looking like as neat as the Windows one, you can remove the Logout/Lock panel and the pager and make the taskbar work for all desktops. Then you'd end up with something very similar. However if he want sstuff to disappear and reappear when you change size, I don't think anyones going to do it. It's illogical and unexpected and most users wouldn't be too pleased.

by will (not verified)

Thats right - its too cluttered. It is almost strange how little need to be done to improve the appearence in many cases - just *remove* things (or economize and make consistent the stylistic elements - colors, textures, styles, lines etc as much as possible for better effect)

- but at the same time it seems to be so hard get it done.

By the way: the KDE "start" icon should be changed. It

a. isn't simple enough to be an icon
b. doesn't offer a clue (ie. a visual metaphor) for its function. Imagine asking a user "What do you think clicking on this symbol would achieve?".

by Kmax (not verified)

> b. doesn't offer a clue (ie. a visual
> metaphor) for its function. Imagine asking a
> user "What do you think clicking on this
> symbol would achieve?".

What would you suggest, a button that says "Start" that I must click to Stop my operating system. That's intuitive. C'mon, it is a desktop paradigm that has basically become a standard. Anyone that has used a computer, or even one that hasn't, will learn in two seconds that to run a program, start help, etc. you click the K button--just like they would learn the same thing the first time they used Gnome(footprint button I think), Windows, or a Mac.

by will (not verified)

Well, IMO usability is more important than what is politically correct, so - yes - "start" would be better. But there are probably many other ways to achieve this.

Gnome's footprint provides a visual metaphor and is in theory better - although I don't think it well enough drawn to make the point. Corel used a globe, which is also not entirely good, but is also at least a better attempt.

You are saying that everyone knows anyway so it isn't needed. A well executed icon would make the interface more inviting, intuitive and professional. It makes a difference and would be recognized as making a difference. To avoid a better solution just because you don't have to is amateurship and slacker mentality.

by not me (not verified)

>Gnome's footprint provides a visual metaphor
>Corel used a globe, which is also not entirely good, but is also at least a better attempt.

I'm sorry, I don't see how a foot or a globe is a better metaphor than a gear with a "K." They are all the repsective logos of the organizations that produced the software. None of them have anything to do with launching programs/logging out.

by will (not verified)

>I'm sorry, I don't see how a foot or a globe is a better metaphor than a gear with a "K." They are all the repsective logos of the organizations that produced the software. None of them have anything to do with launching programs/logging out.


I take it that the footprint indicates "where you want to go" - you metaphorically "walk a path" when you navigate the menus to start a program. I guess this is what the Gnome people had in mind when they made it.

The globe is actually a similar metaphor as well - think of the MS-slogan "where do you want to go today". The globe indicates that you have the world at disposal (presumably by bookmarks etc) and intentionally blurring the distincticion between the internal workings of the computer and what you do out there on the net (after all "the network is the computer". A globe isn't a logo for Corel is it?

Still, they both fail the test of asking the user (not having this information beforehand) "what do you think pressing this icon would achive"? But MS "start" does not - which is by no means a trivial achievement.

by Hyd (not verified)

Not gonna validate this guy? This sort of design mentality is just what we need to make things more accessible.

by All_troll_no_tech (not verified)

It would be nice if workspaces panel could be removed.
Many people (like myself) do not use more than one
workspace and find the panel annoying. At some
point (maybe when I am done with my thesis) I was
planning to customize kwin to my liking (coding
a theme allowing for no title bar and just a
tab on the side, kinda like flwm and beos combined),
and finally banishing the workspaces panel. But
maybe someone has done or is doing those things?

by not me (not verified)

It's really easy to remove the desktop switcher - it's just like every other applet on the panel. Right-click the applet handle (the little thing to the left of the applet that you can move it with) and click "Remove." You hadn't discovered this?

by All_troll_no_tech (not verified)

No, I hadn't. I was trying to tell kwin to
only have one workspace but it doesn't accept 1
for some reason.

by Jamin P. Gray (not verified)

The screenshot he attached is horrible. The Gnome icons do not look blurred like that on my system.

http://dolinux.dyn.dhs.org/screenshots/2001_07_09_175145_shot.png http://dolinux.dyn.dhs.org/screenshots/2001_07_11_212426_shot.png

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

there are mailing lists for this sort of thing, both for users and for developers. visit kde.org to find them.

as for your issues, what exactly don't you like about the small panel (you were rather vague)? you know that you can turn autohiding on, that you can remove the arrows, that you can apply themes that change the appearance of the panel, that you can rearrange/remove applets, turn on icon zooming, and more, right?

also, if you post with an email addy you might get some good responses in that format.

by Daniel (not verified)

Sorry about my post if i could annoy somebody, but i was talking about the look&feel of the ICONS when you use the less size of the panel. If you see the screenshots, there is a big diference. I am not talking about to copy Windows or Gnome, only saying that both of them are a bit more beautiful than the KDE one (ONLY the small ICONS as you can see in the screenshots).

This is only thing i dont like in KDE, because i always work with this panel size (then, i have more space to work with apps).

This is the only thing i dont like. I like a lot KDE :-) ...

Best regards

by not me (not verified)

Actually, I prefer the small KDE icons over the small GNOME icons shown there, I think they look much better. I also like the "icon zooming" feature. Looking at that comparison screenshot, (which BTW is very interesting :-) I notice that KDE spaces its icons farther apart than GNOME and Windows. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, it is sort of a tradeoff.

The overall look of Kicker is rather cluttered, though. Perhaps "Fade out applet handles" should be on by default, and the Logout and Lock buttons off? The left hide button should _definitely_ be off by default (I think it is now in CVS). And that "LCD" clock has got to go. What LCD has a brown and beige striped backround anyway? I much prefer the Fuzzy clock, it rocks!

by anonymous (not verified)

Icon zooming is a cool idea, but... there is no transition when the zooming happens. It goes right from small to medium or medium to large icons and that looks pretty jerky. Mac OSX does a much better job.

by anonymous (not verified)

Icon zooming is a cool idea, but... there is no transition when the zooming happens. It goes right from small to medium or medium to large icons and that looks pretty jerky. Mac OSX does a much better job.

by KDE User (not verified)

Erm, what's the problem? To me, the top panel there is very poorly done. Those lines in the background at the left and right are overly annoying, there are too many little, hard to make out icons. The second one is nice, because you can see the icons, the background isn't half some wacky pixmap. Plus it's very easy to move things around on it (ie, put the tray on the left, etc). The bottom one is about like the second one, with way fewer features. All in all, my preference is 2, 3, 1, in that order. So please realize that what you find nice looking, others may not.

by Tackat (not verified)

> I think the problem are the small icons.

Actually it would be nice to have Alphablending for small icons and toolbar icons. This would improve the overall appearance of KDE quite a bit.

Also I agree that the application icons need quite a bit of an overhaul. I hope that we'll have some time for this task before KDE 2.2.

Pleasing the people who prefer a simple 2-D shape and something that looks sharp as well as those people who like a rather blurry 3-D shape with a rather photorealistic look is difficult as you might see from the replies.

Looking at the most recent Nautilus-icons it seems to me that Gnome also heads into the 2D-ish direction now with rather clear shapes just like KDE already does. The reason is better usability - and usability is of course always more important than eyecandy in the eyes of the beholder.

If you want to help just send your improved icons to [email protected] or add alphablending to the kdelibs-code for small icons and toolbar-icons.

Also note that we'll get RENDER-supported Alphablending "for free" as soon as we move to QT 3.0.


by ralian (not verified)

personally, I find kde2 to be a lot sleeker and polished than either windows or gnome, and the panel looks pretty good too, imho

by AB (not verified)

Agreed. 2D icons are better than blurry 3D ones.

by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

...it seems to me Konqueror is fast becoming the best browser on any platform.

Konqueror is too slow, too ugly, have too problems with strange html and definitively its not the best browser...
I think it will be good to suport Mozilla QT port... Mozilla renders all pages without problems, and now it's engine it's fast enought (try moz 0.9.2 & galeon 0.11.1).
There's another project, dillo, what is the fastest browser i've seen, and its growing a lot, everyday... GTK-only :(

by Jeremy M. Jancsary (not verified)

You _do_ realise that gtk+ is used by Mozilla only for drawing, right?

IOW, there is no visible difference between gtk+ Mozilla and the Qt port.

by craig (not verified)

This guys just trying to be a cleaver troll. Everyone knows Konqueror is faster than that beast mozilla.


by William Leese (not verified)

not true, actually.. rendering wise that is.

konqueror *is* slow on slow computers which seems to be because it shows content the moment it comes in instead of waiting a little causing the layout of a page to refresh many times.. taking a great deal of cycles and making konqueror completely unresponsive.

mozilla on the otherhand, renders pages usually in one go causing it to actually be less processor intensive than konqueror.

don't get me wrong, i love konqueror. i just won't use it because on my low end machines mozilla actually does a better job. throw away mozilla's achilles heel: the GUI and you have one hell of a browser (galeon).

btw, does anyone know where i can find information on using konqueror with gecko as it's rendering engine?

I guess it just needs to me smarter about it. Internet Explorer displays content as soon as it can too and that's probably the best browser right now.

>Internet Explorer displays content as soon as it can too

No it doesn't. IE doesn't display tables until they are fully downloaded, which can be a real pain on a modem connection loading a big slashdot page or something, because most of the entire page is one big table and so it won't display until it's all downloaded.

It does this because it can't know what size the table's columns and rows will be until it gets every column and row downloaded.

Konqueror displays tables as soon as they start downloading and adds new stuff as it comes in. This is good for sites like Slashdot, but on some sites it can cause the page to shuffle around in an annoying way as table widths change. Plus it takes more CPU time.

"Konqueror displays tables as soon as they start downloading and adds new stuff as it comes in. This is good for sites like Slashdot, but on some sites it can cause the page to shuffle around in an annoying way as table widths change. Plus it takes more CPU time."

Please tell me that this can be disabled! It has annoyed the crap out of me all the time.

by Lempiälä (not verified)

You might be right, since IE is quite good. I use mozilla myself, but would
use opera if it would not be not free.

To sum it all together, there is no escape from the konquest of machines.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

if you haven't tried 2.2 yet you might notice that this behaviour has been modified recently so that it doesn't render as soon as it gets data but waits a bit to see if it gets more data shortly thereafter... basically it pauses... renders a bit... pauses... renders.. all the while geting data. i've noticed this cuts down on the rerendering quite a bit.

another cause of slowness in konqi is that it doesn't pipeline HTTP requests. work on this matter seems to be at the "let's discuss how we should tackle this problem and start some early test development" stage.. hopefully 2.3 will address the pipelining/multiple slave issues in a comprehensive manner. (kiotar also suffers from this)

by William Leese (not verified)

I'm afraid i see no difference with konqueror 2.2-beta1 rendering behavior than previous versions.

Perhaps it didn't make it for the beta release.

by Adam Jacob Muller (not verified)

Why cant this behavior be configurable. even on a per page basis. setting the pause intervals on a render pause render pause render pause render scheme sounds great also allowing me to say DONT render until the entire page is downloaded because i have a VERY slow machine. or the IE behavior wait for the full table to download ( though this is VERY bad because sometimes IE will not display tables if a tag is missing). this is open source. and personally i think people should be free to configure things down to the last minuta if that's what they want.

I love yoooouuuuuuuuu:D:D:D

by dc (not verified)

But the Mozilla rendering engine is incredibly fast.
Ever tried the latest Galeon yet?

by Lempiälä (not verified)

Not really.

by Tackat (not verified)

Hi Troll,

> have too problems with strange html and definitively its not the best browser...

Personally I think that it is the best browser. If you discover a bug you should fill out a bugreport at bugs.kde.org.

> I think it will be good to suport Mozilla QT port

Nobody keeps you from supporting the Mozilla QT port and nobody keeps you from improving the Mozilla bindings fon konqueror (you'll find them in kdebindings).

by Konqueror IS th... (not verified)

Konqueror is the fastest browser I know.

If you have a fast connection (like 5mbs download like mine), and you go to www.numion.com (http://www.numion.com/YourSpeed/Checkup.php?L=world&Duration=30&Repeat=6...) and test each browser you will see which is the fastest. Konqueror goes ~2,700killobit/second wile Mozilla and Firefox goes ~400killobit/second. Internet Explorer went ~800killobit/second. I know the speed is less then my connections full speed, but it's only browsing not downloading big files. And I tested all of them sevrel times at different time of the year, and the result always came to be very similar.

by asdf (not verified)

IE less useful than lynx - konqueror rules

by redfrog (not verified)

Personally I can tell you I hate konqueror. But then by design the developers never set out to be the best browser, only the best overall application. The thinking in linux is that as long as we follow the standards set by the standard makers and do not budge, people will start to realize that in order to use our application and see things as they SHOULD be seen.. then THEY have to conform to the standards as well.

Konqueror Developers just like Linux developers could care less if you can see web pages properly or if something is outputting correctly. All they care about is creating a product that is standardized. Hello??? Do you really think I am going spend my time redesigning my websites so that they work in Konqueror for 1% of the population and no where else cause of some stupid Linux developer thinking.. Good luck!

If it was up to me I would toss konqueror to the dogs.. it rarely works properly.. it does not view sites created with ms fonts properly.. if you even make a single change to the font sizes your screwed for life, One page is fine the next is way off. It does not understand half the commands you would normally use in every day life. etc...etc..etc...

Do yourself a favour people.. download Firefox for Linux.. you will be up and running in a few minutes.. and it works a heluva lot better then konq.

I am in no way bad mouthing linux.. I love linux... I just hate konq..

Kind regards,