For the first time ever, KDE is available for SPARC Solaris compiled with Sun's own Forte compilers. Thanks to the hard work of Stefan Teleman you can download Solaris packages here. Read on for details as to how the Sun Forte port began and how KDE finally managed to get a maintainer for its Solaris packages. Those of you with an interest in Solaris and KDE may also wish to subscribe to the kde-solaris mailing list.
KDE 3.1.3 on Solaris built with the Sun Forte compilers is out
First off, many thanks to Eva Brucherserifer, Dirk Mueller,
and to everyone at KDE and the KDE Solaris community for their
This project of mine has been a long time in the making. I started
thinking about it about one year ago, during a brunch with one of
my very good friends. I had taken the subway to Park Place, Brooklyn
to meet him for brunch, on a hot late July Saturday. He, and
his family were going back to France, so this was going to be
one of the last times we could hang out.
At the time, I was looking for the "next thing" to do. I had been
using KDE for a while, on Linux, and the idea popped in my head,
what if it were available for Solaris with the native Sun compiler.
I remembered seeing a 2.2 gcc version on someone's Sun box at work
about a year earlier.
So, while chatting at brunch, i mentioned to Seb "what if i ported
KDE to Solaris with the Sun compiler". His initial reaction was:
"You're crazy. Do you realize the time commitment. What if it can't
be done." I was actually asking myself the exact same questions.
Three weeks went by, we met again for brunch. This time around i
didn't mention anything about KDE. Out of the blue, he asked me:
"what about KDE." i said "i'm going to do it. Sun is selling
refurbished workstations on eBay. i ordered one yesterday". He
didn't say anything, but i could tell what he was thinking.
That was at the end of August 2002.
The box didn't show up until late October, and i started working
on KDE in November 2002. It was a clean slate start. My idea was
to build everything with Forte, including the additional libraries,
in order to get the best performance on Sparc. I also knew from
previous experiences that mixing compilers (gcc and SunProCC) does
not really work well.
It took me 6 months to get the first workable release out (3.1.1,
April 2003). A lot of work went into it, all of it done in the
evening and on weekends. Wasn't anywhere near fully functional,
but it mostly sort of worked. Except html rendering and multimedia.
I kept working on 3.1.2 trying to find out where the html rendering
problem was. Dirk Muelller ssh'ed to my Sun box in New York City from
Germany and we debugged kthml together.
3.1.3 came out pretty nicely. It's fast, it's very stable and Keramik
looks beautiful. It's truly the best desktop.
I am trying to get another Sun box with Solaris 9, which comes with
XRender and XFreeType. As soon as that happens, i will make KDE
available for Solaris 9 as well.
My plans for 3.2: kdemultimedia to work, and write a friendly
installation program. And one more thing: ask my doubting friend how
KDE Solaris is working for him. :-)