Review of Knoppix and KDE 3.1

After the public release of KDE 3.1 it was only a matter of time to see a Knoppix based Live CD using this version. The KDE Promo team worked on several custom versions, one of which was then used at Solutions Linux in Paris. The forum for Knoppix customizations,, then went ahead and offered a custom Knoppix KDE edition containing KDE 3.1 and many more KDE applications. Vinod Kumar, one of the editors of and also a Microsoft Certified Professional in VB 6.0 Desktop Applications, chose the above mentioned Knoppix KDE edition for trying Linux for the first time ever. He gives 4.5 out of 5 and concludes: "Being the first time I used Linux, I was highly satisfied. (...) the entire experience was wonderful. (...) What is even more amazing is that because of Knoppix, Linux is closer to anyone who wants to try it risk-free. I plan on using Knoppix more and more until I get completely familiar with it, then I will most likely install Linux on my hard drive."

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by Kevin Krammer (not verified)

In /etc/bash.bashrc uncomment the lines loading bash_completion.


by Moritz Moeller-... (not verified)

YOu can find it here, it is easily installed wherever you use bash.

I agree it is a shame that SuSE-8.1 did not ship with it.

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

I thought I'd take a look. He is very positive on Quanta Plus! This is exciting to see such praise. Ya gotta love it. Best of all we are not resting and Quanta is just getting better. Our current CVS opens quanta with a handfull of project files orders of magnitude faster than ever before and we are continuing to extend our feature set.

About Quanta Plus.. I am confused. Perhaps I misread this, but I thought Quanta Plus is now included in the KDE release. After updating KDE on Gentoo it didnt come installed. So do I need to emerge this as a seperate package? Thanks just in case.

by Andras Mantia (not verified)

It IS part of KDE 3.1. See: Some distros may have not noticed it yet, as it's in a separate tarball and has it's own tagging in CVS (just like arts), but it is released together with KDE, not separately like KOffice and KDevelop.


by Derek Kite (not verified)

emerge quanta quanta-docs

Works here.

My daughter is writing a blog, so needed some html help. I showed her a couple of very basic things, such as finding a page you like and looking at the code, where to find help in Quanta, a few basic tags, etc. Now she had done up a very nice looking page. No wyswyg, no problem. A very impressive application.


by Haakon Nilsen (not verified)

Quanta Plus is the bomb. I've had countless conversations more or less exactly like this:

Guy: Hey, did you check out the latest Quanta?
Me: Yes! It's fantastic, isn't it?
Guy: Are you kidding me? It's [profanity] unbelievable!
... etc :)

by isNaN (not verified)

Quanta Plus i amazing!

But there is two things that buggs me...

1. When i open a file from Konqueror Quanta doesn't check if i already have Quanta open... so it opens upp anotherone...

2. Some files that i can open fine when i open them with Quanta from Konqueror doesn't open from the panel i Quanta... he complains about it being binary but it is a html file.

If someone can fix these things i would owe him/her my life :)

by Richard Moore (not verified)

1. Would be easy - just requires making it a KUniqueApplication.
2. How odd!


by isNaN (not verified)

1. How do i do that?
2. Well... yea...

by Andras Mantia (not verified)

"1. Would be easy - just requires making it a KUniqueApplication."

There is a --unique switch. Just use it in your .desktop file.

"2. How odd!"

And if I tell you that some distros return an odd mimetype for *.php? Madrake 9 is one of them. Quanta uses mimetypes to find out if a files is binary or text. If it's under the text node, it's a text, otherwise it's a binary. On some distros the php mimetype is only under application. You should create a new mimetype under text for php files and Quanta won't complain anymore.


by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

Hey didn't I read...
> If someone can fix these things i would owe him/her my life :)

So you know we'll settle for much smaller gratuities. ;)

I made the decision to make the default not to go with a unique application because there are times I have a project open and want to open another project or just handle a file quickly. As I just committed KTips to CVS I'm going to write a tip for this. Thanks!

BTW this is another reason why Quanta may be the best candidate for KTips...

by isNaN (not verified)

> So you know we'll settle for much smaller gratuities. ;)

he he... i'll just say thank you very much then because your tips worked great! :)

And i have to say that i love the open source community! Whenever i have a problem i just go to a forum and ask and people are eager to help me! This is truly amazing!

by Haakon Nilsen (not verified)

>And i have to say that i love the open source
>community! Whenever i have a problem i just go
>to a forum and ask and people are eager to help me!

Not just "people", but often the actual coders or project managers themselves (I'm not implying they're not people ;). Try that with the gazillion dollar multi galactical faceless heart-as-dark-as-coal software corporations.

by Herman Tolentino (not verified)

My favorite app too! The mime type change did it. Thanks!

by Void (not verified)

Last I checked (Mdk91b3) Quanta+ didn't have:
Ctrl+C == Ctrl+Ins
Ctrl+V == Shift+Ins
Ctrl+X == Shift+Del

For a guy trying to ditch Win32 & Editplus this is a must :|

by Hamish Rodda (not verified)

It is your default text editor part that handles this, which is probably Kate. This works just fine (cvs head I admit) with the shortcuts you've mentioned. Anyway, it should all be configurable, check the shortcuts dialog.

by rsv (not verified)

Like he said 'Except for WYSIWYG, this tool has got pretty much everything, including toolbars with buttons to different HTML elements.'

What happened to kafka anyway?

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

> Like he said 'Except for WYSIWYG, this tool has got pretty much everything, including toolbars with buttons to different HTML elements.'

And don't forget you can make more toolbars and buttons to your heart's content... including ones that live in a project and even load them with groups of files in project views. Vinod told me Quanta had him on a path Linux in an email exchange we had. I consider his praise no small thing for a guy running DreamWeaver Mx. To think I still have people trying to compare it to Homesite and not realizing it already does more. ;)

> What happened to kafka anyway?

Kafka seems to have fizzled since Jono Bacon left for other projects. Jono has remarkable organizing and documentation skills. I miss seeing more of him. Kafka was focused at being a "light and easy" HTML editor. However as I have long said you have to be able to do PHP, XML and things not yet dreamed or you are just working with nostalgia. Since I took over the helm I have steered Quanta to being a *serious* professional tool that still accomodates newbies. Traditional WYSIWYG tools have seroius baggage WRT XML and especially pre-process scripting. Hard coded visual markup editors invite eternal hack rewrites that forever lag the bleeding edge and fail to address more productive programattic approaches. That's what you get from your marketing department design sessions, not Quanta.

For all the nice things said about us I hope someday to hear this a little more, that we impacted the Linux/KDE community by enabling it to move ahead of the rest of the web development community... not hamstrung it by leaving it with a hard coded HTML only editor that left people switching from us instead of to us.

Andras and I are currently in the early exploration of WYSIWYG options. Next we can look at a timeline and when we might be able to get it delivered. If we had more help and some of our initial investigations show promise it might be as soon as KDE 3.2. I hope that it can be in for 3.3. That means that we are looking to deliver WYSIWYG *this year*. Our foundational key elements are nearly in place. We still need to do more with XML DTDs and Schemas and set up rule sets so that users can tune WYSIWYG performance per DTD/Schema. No FlunkPage hacks! We also want to use our parsing to interpolate between the rendered page, underlying markup and base scripting so that WYSIWYG will actually benefit PHP, Javascript and other languages underneath the markup. I don't think anybody else has this.

I joined this project originally to help with feature set and interface design. I had neither a clue nor any great credentials just a few months earlier. Along the way I had to teach myself C++ and sponsor developers to keep our quality and activity constant and high. I also fell in love with free software. To go to the next level we need people doing templates, assisting with XML, user interaction and more. So let me appeal to everyone... why settle for good. We want to be the killer app for web development to secure an open internet once and for all. Imagine thousands of web developers migrating to KDE this year! If you can't get excited about this you're not a true geek. ;) Anyone with a will can help. Most of the development of Quanta, even in the last year, has been done by a handful of people. Imagine the difference a few more people could make.

by Stof (not verified)

This is quote from an anonymous forum poster:
the only valid argument that developers of non-WYSIWYG html editors seem to use to justify producing an essentially obsolete product -- "our software makes cleaner code" -- doesn't make sense to me. what exactly are you afraid of? poor load times? there isn't that much difference between a 3k file and a 6k file, sorry to say. standards compliance? how about doing a little testing. i'm sorry it doesn't cut it.

clearly the producers of this software (as well as bluefish, quanta, and whatever else) are html purists who don't actually want anyone to use their software. i already *have* a text editor. i don't need another one. i need software that will actually push creativity and design aesthetic forward for the linux platform as a whole. i know it's asking a lot and i'm not in a position to do much about it (i have zero free time to learn how to develop applications) but it just seems that there is a niche to be filled and nobody is even bothering to fill it.

please, can somebody show me BEAUTIFUL website that was produced in screem (or bluefish or quanta). i love minimal design as much as the next guy but try getting creative while you're wading through a mile of table tags.

It was modded +4 Insightful. What are your comments about this?

by dkite (not verified)

> i love minimal design as much as the next guy but try getting creative while
> you're wading through a mile of table tags

Any, I mean all of the visual layout programs I have ever used, be it html, even an old direct digital control hvac graphic screen designer, required access to the 'code' to get the layout where I wanted it.

After I learned the 'code', it was quicker and easier to layout in text. Scripts, shortcuts to automate the repetitive stuff, things like that helped greatly. But moving elements around with a mouse is the most frustrating and literally painful thing I have ever done on a computer. I shied away from applications that couldn't be edited directly for that reason.

Then again, I'm strange.


by Patrick Smits (not verified)

There have been some many suggestions on this list that are quite useful to many. Perhaps a wiki isn't such a bad idea for bundling these.

Given a nice frontend it might help lower the entry barrier by giving beginners a nice introduction and possibility to write down their experiences.

by Kavau (not verified)

"Screenshot showing KWrite. This was surely better than Notepad, ..."


by Liam O'Toole (not verified)

Yes, I enjoyed that one too. Next we'll be told that Konsole
is at least as good as MS-DOS.

by exa (not verified)

Aaron, this one goes for you :)

How do you guys think we could implement some kind of descriptions for all the inventive names we come up with for applications?

They can be pretty confusing for first time users.


by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

already done. put a GenericName item in your .desktop file and turn on "Name (Description)" or "Description (Name)" format in the panel config panel (Layout -> Menus). i don't know if this is the default setting though (i'm not at home to check right now) ... if it isn't, it should be =)

by exa (not verified)


thanks for the info Aaron, keep up the good work!

by Roberto Alsina (not verified)

Someone needs to explain this quickly to the guys at Red Hat.

For example, the "Network Configuration Wizard" looks like this if you enable it:

Network COnfiguration Wizard (Network Configuration Wizard)

Which is:

a) Wrong
b) Useless
c) Waaaaaaay too wide ;-)

This happens for pretty much every non-KDE app in RH 8.0´s redhat-menu packages.

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

No, I think it has to be explained to the KDE folks. :-)

Putting these parentheses in the menu is ridiculous...

by not me (not verified)

Already implemented :-)

KControl Desktop group, Panels control panel, Menu tab, choose "Menu item format: Description (name)"

Go KDE usability team!

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

No offense but my menus looks absolutely ridiculous now:

Arcade Game (KAsteroids)
Arcade Game (KBounce)
Arcade Game (KFoulEggs)

I kid you not... Can't we at least have descriptive descriptions? :-)

Maybe the default menu format should be "Menu item format: Name Description".

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

(btw i believe the above menu format is the default since i don't recall changing anything myself but I could be wrong)

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

this is exactly the sort of project that is perfect for someone who isn't a coder ... there are a number of such jobs available around KDE, actually...

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

I think putting parentheses in the menu in the first place is a visual and consequently usability mistake. Why not get it right the first time, removing the need for such clutter?

Examples: "Konqueror Web Browser", "Evolution Mail Client"

by sjc (not verified)

OK, after reading this, I tried to find Quanta in the Knoppix 3.1
distro, but failed. Can someone give me a clue as to where it's
hidden ? Doesn't seem to be hanging off any off the menus, AFAICS.

by Datschge (not verified)

Another magic key combo: Press Alt+F2 and type the program name.

(Hey Aaron, how about extending address/run/command interfaces to not only check bins and existing kio slaves but also the full names and descriptions used in kmenu? Or extending it with features Launchbar for OSX ( seem to have as well? ;) )

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

it is still case sensitive though, which sucks. perhaps i'll work on that next.

on the plus side it takes translations into consideration because KService rocks. hurrah.

as for the more complex pattern matching, that'll have to wait for another day unless i suddenly have lots of free time on my hands. but that would likely mean getting hit by a bus or kidnapped by aliens (who have a computer i can hack KDE on), which would suck in its own way.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

ok. apparently you aren't allowed to preview a posting if you want to attach a file. or at least you need to attach it last, otherwise it doesn't stick. stupid web boards.

by Vinod (not verified)

Hi everyone,

I am the author of the KDE review posted on I have set up a Wiki for all users using KDE. It will contain tips and tricks, things that all beginners should know and other important information.

Please contribute to this Wiki by going straight to and adding tips and tricks as well as any other information that KDE users will find helpful. There is also a suggestion box for new ideas for the Wiki.

Please tell all your friends to contribute as well.
Thank you and have fun,

by star-flight (not verified)

Very good, it's already in KTips.
There are so many different sites for KDE/help KDE/Tips and Tricks/Screenshots. It's time to merge all information on This is the place for KDE!

by Patrick Smits (not verified)

I couldn't agree more, however I like the initiative ...

by zenok (not verified)

Hey Knoppix is relly cool and usefull and now with KDE 3.1 it's great.

I am the developer of Kix the 8cm/minicd Knoppix Edition and the new release with a complete KDE 3.1 is coming! That's right! A complete Linux with KDE and much apps on only 8cms :)!

More infos will be on maybe this week.


(thanks for the great article of my/the new community: