Quickies: Boson, K3b,

Boson, the real-time 3D strategy game for KDE has been freshly ported to OpenGL in its 0.7 incarnation (screenshots). There is no AI yet, so a minimum of 2 players is required. From "Do you miss the nice, slick GUI CD burning programs under Windows and Mac OS X? Or just want to stop using command-line tools to burn your CDs? K3b might just be what the doctor ordered." Check out the full review of K3b including screenshots. Finally, a couple of people wrote in to point out the launch of the web forums for German speakers. English web forums should be available soon.


By Anonymous at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

Great forum.
Why haven't this been anounced???
Btq, the page gets too wide on Ms Explorer 6....if anyone cares. :-)

By KDE User at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

maybe becoz its not ready??? read

By ac at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

Ok ok.
But it looks great in Opera 7.

By KDE User at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

I don't want to sound bad, but you see, I know boson sinse 0.4, it's a cool program and all, but...

I don't have a 3D board, so I can't play it anymore
Making 3D BEFORE AI dosen't sound good at all

I think Boson shold have kept 3D for later, but well, at least I still have freecraft :)

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

Use software GL. Mesa does this maybe.

By ac at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

I think people don't know how to use Mesa right. Every 3D game I've ever tried with Mesa has had framerates that are simply awful, even the ones with horrible graphics. Even the 2D OpenGL game Chromium is unplayable. I think people just aren't paying attention and are using features of Mesa that are godawfully slow in software but are accelerated in hardware. I mean, I can run Half-Life in software mode on my computer and it is playable, but GLTron practically brings my system to a halt. I can hardly even navigate the menu. More attention needs to be paid to making 3D games work without accelerator cards, especially since Linux's 3D card support isn't very broad. I do have a 3D accelerator but it is not supported.

By not me at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

It's not a matter of using Mesa properly. Most professionally written games, such as half-life, use various occlusion algorithms that eliminate parts of the scene that are hidden. Every polygon constructed in a GL scene is rendered, pixel by pixel, even if it will never be seen on screen. Modern 3D accelleration hardware removes most of the unseen polys and only fills the pixels it needs too. Software implementations like Mesa don't, as doing so really isn't correct. In professionally written games, the "world" is usually broken into objects which are stored in a tree structure, often refered to as a visibility tree. When one node on the tree is determined to be invisible, all of its children are as well. This is quite complex to implement properly, so most OSS projects don't do that till much later in the development cycle.

By Paladin128 at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

One way to get "free" culling is to use some kind of scene graph. I use OpenSceneGraph (, and it has view frustum culling based on hierarchical bounding spheres. So you can pretty easily get much of your data culled away.

For anyone not too experienced in OpenGL I'd suggest going with a scene graph instead of doing all the hard work by hand. There are other libs too, such as PLib, which is supposed to be really good too.

By chakie at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

You're confusing software emulation of OpenGL with software mode in Half-Life.

Software mode in Half-Life doesn't look anything like real OpenGL mode. If you would play Half-Life with software emulated OpenGL, you would get unplayable framerates.

By . at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

I'm not confusing them, I'm just comparing them. Half-Life's engine features an advanced software renderer that does everything Half-Life uses OpenGL for, except for the texture smoothing (which of course is a very nice feature, but slow in software). The game looks exactly the same in software and OpenGL, except for the smoothing. And it runs playably, while GLTron crawls, with much worse graphics. I think the above comments about culling are very interesting. Perhaps Boson should look into using a scene graph or something to speed up its rendering. Or maybe they could use Crystal Space, it seems to be getting quite advanced now, and it has culling algorithms. I guess they're probably too far along to switch to Crystal Space now though...

By not me at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

3D boards are pretty common nowadays, and are only going to become more so.

Granted, Open Source can cater to the minority (ex. those without 3D cards) quite well, if that minority cares enough to help solve their problem. Thats why KDE has such great internationalization, better then most commercial software.

By eean at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Nah, I don't think we should even BE catering to the non 3D cards any more. HELL, you can get a CHEAP NVidia clone for UNDER $50! And a DECENT one for under $100!

And if you don't have one, then chances are VERY good you shouldn't be playing games on it anyway. :) IE servers/business machines. :)

By jstuart at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Well, then, please, tell me, how to install this decent NVidia clone to my lovely ThinkPad i1400 ? I'll gladly pay $50 for card and $50 for work, if you'll do it...

By Yarick at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Hum, do you know that 100 dollars are aprox. 350 reais (brazilian currency)?
It's almost all my salary, and I still have to pay rent, water, eletricity, and we should not forget the important thing: food :)

Heheh, seriously guys, I'm not agains 3D support, but look at Quake2!
Even without a 3D board I can play it, because it have a software mode (and for what people said Half Life have too).
The question is that I think that programmer should not simply forget people who dosen't have 3D boards and simply say to them: go buy one for you :)

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

On the other hand, those people without a 3D card could also spend their time on writing fast software rendering. After all, *they* want it. Why should the developer, if he has no interest in unaccelerated 3D graphics, do this?

By AC at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

ye i know it sucks don't it.

By ma top at Sun, 2006/03/12 - 6:00am

so why don't we incorporate k3b into KDE's code. It's the prefect burning app. Much better than KonCD IMHO. a CVS merge is what ne need :)

oh, and has this been grought up before? If so what release is planned on intergrating k3b into itself?

Good article glorifying the wonderful-ness that is k3b.

By standsolid at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

Maybe merge the apps KonCD, K3B and cdbakeoven -> become the best cd-burning - tool ever. I know, it´s not possible :-(

By star-flight at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

Agreed! K3B is a very nice application and it makes burning cd's (audio, video, data) a breeze. It may just be a case where the best app is going to be an add-on. .i.e Think of windows xp (it comes w/ cd burner). However, most people go elsewhere for something more powerful (.i.e nero,etc) Maybe k3b will overtake koncd just as kopete is doing to kit..

By SmallThinker at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

I really like K3B. I've been playing with it for a few weeks. I mostly got it for my girlfriend, so she could burn CDs without learning a bunch of unix commands.

One thing that bothers me is that it needs to be installed in your normal KDE directory. I installed it in /opt/k3b/ instead, and it can't find its icons or pictures, and has trouble with the k3bsetup thing.

I read a bunch of messages about problems with K3B, and most of them are just answered with "did you set your --prefix correctly? It needs to be the same as your KDE directory".

So why is it imperative that it be installed into your KDE directory? Do most KDE apps do this? I seem to remember a similar problem when I tried Atlantik a while ago and threw it into /opt/atlantik. Is this the standard for KDE apps, or is K3B poorly designed in this respect?

Am I alone in wanting bundled-with-kde programs to live in /opt/kde/bin and not-bundled-with-kde programs to live in /opt/program/bin? I think it's a pretty silly thing. Don't most programs compile the --prefix string into themselves, so that they know where to read their own files from? I thought that was the whole point of --prefix! It seems like a waste also, since they can always use the KDEDIR environment variable to find KDE files.

I guess this turned into sort of an offtopic rant, but it's a pet peeve of mine. :)

By AC at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

it seems pretty logical to me that you put all your kde stuff in the same prefix.
What's the point of putting everything in /opt/.
To me it makes sens if you put gnome apps in /opt/gnome and kde in /opt/kde, and large apps in /opt/.
I always keep the source codes of apps that don't come with kde/gnome and then you can just do a make uninstall to remove it.
Just my opinion.

By dwt at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Well, I like to keep things clean. If I want to uninstall something completely I can delete the /opt/ directory, instead of searching hunting through the KDE dirs looking for everything to delete. I also tend to play with multiple versions of a program at the same time. So could have /opt/abc-0.9.7 and /opt/abc-0.9.8 both installed, and just by changing the /opt/abc symlink switch between them.

I kind of think it should be beside the point whether I'm compiling a "KDE app" or a "Gnome app", as far as where I can install it... Why can't it just check for its files under the --prefix dir like everything else?

I suppose I could keep the source code around and make uninstall, but that kind of thing tends to be the first thing I delete when I need some disk space...

By AC at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

> If I want to uninstall something completely I can delete the /opt/ directory, instead of searching hunting through the KDE dirs looking for everything to delete.

You want to use "checkinstall".

By Anonymous at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Couldn't agree more.


By Jad at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

In the infamous words of a certain kde developer whose name shall remain anonymous "KDEDIR is dead, long live KDEDIRS". Make sure that you include the directory where you installed the application to the KDEDIRS variable. You can also use KDEHOME to change your local .kde where you config files are stored etc.

And for those of you who might not be aware of this, KDE since the original 3.0 release (or might be a bit prior than that) comes with a kde-config command line tool much like many other open source apps. You can use this tool to see where the different things in KDE are stored and where KDE looks up when it searches for icons, config files etc...

Good day,
Your friendly KDE helper

By KDE Helper at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Thanks! That is a big help.

I still think each app should check under its own --prefix directory for files though. What's the harm?

But KDEDIRS will certainly help me work around my problem. Thanks again. :)

By AC at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am


My experience is that KDE apps work pretty fine installed in any directory you like if you set $KDEDIR correctly before starting them. The only minor problem left is that they cannot integrate themselves with the KDE menu and mime type configuration as they don't know where the KDE file are but that's easy to fix manually. :-)

Just try

export KDEDIR=/opt/k3b/
/opt/k3b/bin/whatever-the-k3b-binary-is-called &

on the konsole, there's a good chance that this could work. If it does write a tiny wrapper script to start k3b.


Gunter Ohrner

By Gunter Ohrner at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

Mh, okay, first read, then write, Gunter...
Is there any way to wipe already written artcles from this board? ;)


Gunter Ohrner

By Gunter Ohrner at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

Title says it all. Why are _all_ command line binaries installed into /usr/bin, while their auxiliary files are somewhere completely different, e.g. /usr/share/docs/whatever? The filesystem hierarchy is a complete mess.

It makes much more sense to put all the static files that belong to an application or package into a single directory. Apparently, Mac OS and BeOS-alikes are able to do that. Heck, even some Windows apps get it right (not messing up the System32 directory etc...). Unix fails completely.

Of course there are technical problems, but they can all be solved. For example, in order to find binaries from the CLI, you need to be able to quickly list all binaries on the system. But that's not really a problem - write some scripts that automatically place symlinks to binaries into a directory.

In fact, a similar system already exists, it's called Stow:
Yes, it has some problems. Yes, a really clean solution should be based on something like file attributes (meta-data like mime-types). But it's a step in the right direction anyway.

By Nicolai Haehnle at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

No, no, no ...

K3B is nice, but hardwired with SCSI generic implemenation of Linux. It make him very unflexible!!! See the source.

From "flexibility" point of view cdbakeoven is very better.

Best regards


By Alex at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

I think k3b use cdrecord as backend, and cdrecord runs on many diferent platforms, not only on broken ones (linux :-) ).

By fura at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

What's broken about Linux? I just made a couple audio cds and burnt an iso yesterday on my computer running Debian and omg, what to do you know, it works.

By rrp at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

You can read some realy bad words about Linux SCSI implementation in cdrecord's author's homepage (and *BSD userland too).

BTW I failed to build k3b on NetBSD box - unfortunately it's Linux only app :-(

By fura at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

In the end, it doesnt matter. I've never had a bad cd burn using my 50$ cd burner. I'm sure they're fixing the scsi implementation in the 2.5 kernel.

By rrp at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

With the 2.5 kernel, you can do CD burning without IDE-SCSI. There are patched versions of cdrecord which support the 2.5 development kernels already available. Of course, the command line parameters are different, so none of the front-ends support it yet. But it'll be coming soon.

By ShavenYak at Fri, 2002/11/22 - 6:00am

The article about k3b leaves you with the feeling that there was no Unix GUI CD burning up to now. That either you used windoze/Mac or you were doomed to the command line. This is unfair to the developers (mainly one) of X-CD-Roast. This program is mentioned but underestimated. The author states that he used to use X-CD-Roast for audio burning and command line for data burning. That was probably his decision, but ISO burning on the fly has been available for a long while in X-CD-Roast.

Moreover, most of the basic functionality he praises in K3b has been available for a long time in X-CD-Roast. Don't get me wrong. I like competition, I like to see new programs emerge, and I would love to see a great CD burning as a default app in KDE. Not only that, but also the K3b screenshots look fabulous. But this doesn't mean we have to be unfair with software that has been doing the job for tons of people for a long time.

By NewMandrakeUser at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

xcdroast is ugly and ridiculously hard to use. enough said.

By ac at Tue, 2002/11/19 - 6:00am

I prefer X-CD-Roast to the various KDE front ends (haven't tried K3b yet, though) but the author certainly mentions that it exists, but that it's just not adequate for his expectations.

By Otter at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

I switched from xcdroast to k3b. Drag and drop of folders with konq and renaming/creating directories within a project made this my favourite front end.

By zelegans at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

X-CD-Roast was the first cd burning gui I tried for linux. For some reason I was never able to burn an audio cd properly. The tracks all became (sort of) 1 big long one. I think it had to do with an incorrect table of contents on the cd or something, as it would play correctly on a computer, just not with a cd player.

I also found the way some things worked to be a little unintuitive. I then updated my system, and the program stopped working. It said I didn't have a burner or something. The application's web site stated it couldn't work with the cd tools I had installed. It was then I bumped into k3b on the net and mate, it was brilliant. It is very easy to use, it makes sense, and it integrates nicely into my KDE environment. It gives you the option of configuring everything for you, and well, it just works.

Another thing is, you can tell just by looking at it that a great deal of time and effort has gone into making it as good as possible. I can honestly say k3b is the best, most professional application I have ever used with kde, outside of the kde CVS tree. It has a couple of little bugs though, and as soon as I have some time I will send in bug reports. Other than that, it is perfect.

So that's why I chose k3b :)

By Joel at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

No mention of cdbakeoven either. Nor of KreateCD (now defunct?).

By Kirill at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Never did figure out X-CD-Roast. I would rather burn from the command line than use it. Now k3b is another matter. Very nice.

By Echo6 at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Can k3b make cd's bootable?

By CJ at Wed, 2002/12/11 - 6:00am

Off topic? Perhaps.

Anyone know if we're going to see KDE 3.1 this week, or RC4?

I noticed they deleted the rc2 tree off the unstable dir leaving only rc3... and they deleted rc1 when rc3 showed up... but still no appearance of 3.1 final or rc4.

By Vic at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

RC4 already exists but only as tag KDE_3_1_0_RELEASE in CVS.

By Anonymous at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

"The future plans include (of course) a patch release named KDE 3.1.1
roughly 4 weeks after the KDE 3.1.0 announcement date, and a KDE 3.2 release
around early summer 2003."

YES! KDE for workgroups! Finally!

By ac at Wed, 2002/11/20 - 6:00am

Any progress on the "multisession" site?

I had X-CD-Roast, KisoCD I/II, KonCD, cdbakoven, KreateCD etc. running, but K3b is best.

Only problem so far K3b 0.7:

1. It couldn't empty CD-RWs in full mode, have to use KonCD
2. The multisession "editor", bottom half of the main window, do not show
the former CD content. Is it possible to change the source, so that we can
Drag'n Drop, "delete" and "overwrite" older files?

Go on with your GREAT work!


By Dieter Nützel at Thu, 2002/11/21 - 6:00am

Does mkisofs & friends really support changing the existing session at all? I know that you can overwrite old files with the new ones, but is there really any way, from the command line, to say re-attach directory trees from the old session in a new session, to change names of existing files, to delete existing files, etc?

I.e. rudimentary stuff that's supported since ages by formerly-Adaptec CD-burning thingo, and that doesn't seem to be supported by anything on linux?

By Kuba at Mon, 2002/11/25 - 6:00am

You are RIGHT.
Got the same answer from the K3b author.
cdrecord can't handle all that "nice" stuff which Winbloze can do.
But better multisession support is in K3b 0.7.4.


By Dieter Nützel at Tue, 2002/11/26 - 6:00am