NewToLinux: KDE is so cool because...

Following the release of KDE 3.2, a friend and I have put together a series of articles promoting features of KDE that might change the way you work. We all know about the features of KDE that are promoted in press releases and demonstrated in screenshots, but the enormous power that lies "under the hood" of KDE in technologies like kioslaves, view profiles and kparts is often overlooked. So far we have three complete articles: Managing Websites, Extending Konqueror with View Profiles, and Using KPrinter in Any App. We hope to develop this into a decent series of promotional articles, beyond the "tips and tricks" already available, so comments and suggestions are welcome!


Sorry for the off-topic post, but I just wanted to say there is a GTK feature I really miss in all the toolkits, although it is not widely known. Maybe someone could suggest its incorporation in Qt ;) (Please)

When using widgets such as spin buttons (Spin Box in Qt nomenclatura I think, see http://doc.trolltech.com/3.2/qspinbox.html for an image) linked to a number, left-clicking the arrows will increment (or decrement) the value of one unit (e.g. "1") while middle-clicking will increase the value of another quantity (e.g. "10").

For example you have a value of 23 and want to go to 74. In other toolkits, you have to click 51 times or do a long click which will spin the numbers very fast but without precision. In GTK, you middle-click 5 times (23->33->43->53->63->73) and left-click one time (->74).

I concede it is off-topic, but that one of the last bit where improvement is possible for Qt widgets.

By oliv at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Have you tried using the mouse wheel in Qt? There is no need at all to click.

Still I think your idea is a worthwhile improvement - no need to be forcibly different from GTK here.


By Kristian at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Even beter would be to click on the number and drag the mouse up to increment or drang the mouse down to decrement. I think it's Photoshop on windows that has this, but I'm not sure.

By Amilcar Lucas at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Blender has a similar thing... but it is not very ggod in terms of deterministic control.

By oliv at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

I have no wheel on my mouse... ;)

By oliv at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

As it is a Qt wish, you can suggest it yourself to Trolltech by sending an email to Qt Bugs: mailto:qt-bugs@trolltech.com

Have a nice day!

By Nicolas Goutte at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

The step-value in the Spinbox can be set when the widget is constructed. The value can be read and changed afterwards, so I imagine that if someone needs to be able to implement some complex behaviour regarding the dynamics of this 'step-value', it would be possible.


By Marc Heyvaert at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

Your writing style is not suited for Newbies, in fact not at all:

"The usual cycle for working on any web site's content is: open network app (e.g. KBear),
---> open network app? ---> ap = application? "open" --> a verb?!
What's Kbear?

" download existing content, open in editor, save, upload in network app. With KDE we can do away with a lot of that, because of its network transparent kio slaves."

----> Hum? "can do away with a lot of that" "because" - clause--> logic?

KDE uses a vfs (virtual filesystem) idea to allow programs to save and load files to and from the network as though they are just normal local files.

---> What are local files?
---> Virtual filesystem -- hum what does this mean, your sentence is build like this: "I use a mumbo idea to allow me to improve my language."

"So we can operate on any content on with any KDE application."

----->What's "operate on a content"?

"Open it, edit it, save it."
------> it??

"Simple as that."


"Web programmers will have to do this ..."

"all the time to upload their scripts to test."
----> with KDE, usual web development? (Which is actually wrong, when you test on localhost)

"With this setup,"
----> "this" setup???

"it becomes no more difficult than hitting the save button and testing the script."

----> "More difficult than" -Irony may be misunderstood.
"hitting" and "testing" are on adifferent abstraction level

So viel erst mal, viele Grüße


By Andre at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

The articles are targeted to new to *Linux* people (new to KDE in this case), in order to show them why the platform is worthwhile for them, not for people with no idea about computers as you want to state.
Personally, I don't know anybody currently developing websites (even static websites, with no programming inside) who aren't aware about what are local files, remote files, and content.

By Shulai at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

These particular articles aren't targetted at computer newbies. They're meant for people who already work with remote content over FTP, who use samba shares, etc. already. The idea is to show how KDE can change the way you already work, to make things easier, and to lose redundant steps that slow you down.

By Tom Chance at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Well, my criticism was: he writes in a style where hidden knowledge is assumed,


socrates is a human
humans will die

--> Socrates will die

His Logic:

socrates, you know he is a human, he will die.

Persons who already understood usually use one issue to explain another issue. You have to create a real "latter" for your reader.

It's not the word "Kio-Slaves" ecc., you have to understand the concept of kio_slaves first, what kio-slaves actually mean to your daily work.

By Andre at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

If you think the artice isn't good enough, how about you write your own?

By Corbin at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

"Local" files are files known by the operating system (for example /etc/fstab or file:/etc/fstab )

"Remote" files are files not known by the operating system (for example floppy:/a/ or http://www.kde.org )

Be careful that "local" and "remote" are relative. A "local" file can be remote, for example by NFS and a "remote" one can be local for example with floppy:

Have a nice day!

By Nicolas Goutte at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Visit the annotation engine:


And enter their url at the bottom:

http://www.newtolinux.org.uk/wiki/index.php/KDE is so cool because...

And enter your comments as annotations. Then mail these instructions to them too,
so they can read the anotations. Alternatively, since it is a wiki, perhaps you could just
insert the annotations in directly (maybe in brackets), and let them remove them if they don't like them.

By Krishna at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

which font is used in the windows title of these screenshot?

Thanks a lot for your answers!

By Anonymous at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

It's Futura extra black italic. I'm not sure where/if you can download it, I bought it years ago in a font pack.

By Robert at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Thanks a lot, it look's nice!

By Anonymous at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Cool, Thanks a lot, I (we) want more!!!

By John Herdy at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Hi, I haven't had a chance to compile 3.2 yet so can anybody tell me if Konqueror has a pop up blocker? That's the only feature that keeps sending me back to Mozilla. Font rendering and just about everything else are superior in Konqueror.


By anon at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Konqueror have always had a pop up blocker, if my memory serves me right. All the way since KDE 2.0.

By Morty at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Shame it doesn't actually block half the popups, even in version 3.4.

By Trejkaz at Mon, 2005/05/30 - 5:00am

Did you report those sites? Are those opened by JavaScript or [Flash] plugins?

By Anonymous at Mon, 2005/05/30 - 5:00am

I'll probably report the next ones I find. But I think they might be doing it through Flash, which probably can't be helped.

By Tre at Mon, 2005/05/30 - 5:00am

Sure there is, since version 3.1 I think.

By Moi at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

What about pop-up notification? This helps when trying to figure out why a website isn't working properly and you noticed it has requested a pop-up. For example when you notice squirrelmail alerts aren't coming up and then you see that it was trying to but was blocked.

I'm waiting for KDE 3.2 to hit debian/unstable so this may already be in there. :)

By jeremy at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

set the policy to Ask ... that works nicely ... personally, i find "Smart" just right without the annoyance of dialogs asking me all the time.

By Aaron J. Seigo at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

I'll try that out and see if it does what I'd like, thanks!

By jeremy at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

One thing I don't like about smart is that you have no way of knowing a popup has just been blocked, in some situations this might be pretty bad.
I really like the way Mozilla Firebird (now firefox) handles popups. It blocks all of them but it lets you know with and icon on the lower left corner. You might unblock it if you like. It could be better though, the icon may go unnoticed, something (just a little) more visible could be better. It should also let you unblock the popup for that session only. Anyway I might mention this in the appropriate place, in more detail, later.

By Jorge Adriano at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Is there anyway to tweak the "smart" pop-up blocker? I find that "smart" blocking blocks a couple of important pop-ups that are generated by my companies firewall when I'm logging in. I'm running on "ask" right now, which is actually pretty good.

By Jon at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

I think that you can set your popup-blocking preferences on a per-site basis in 3.2. I say "I think" because I tried it with my bank's website, and it doesn't work.

By Tukla Ratte at Fri, 2004/02/13 - 6:00am

Please file a wishlist entry at http://bugs.kde.org, AFAIK such one doesn't exist yet. And don't forget to vote for it together with Jadrian.

By Anonymous at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

It is under the Javascript settings and not enabled by default. I found it difficult to find as well.

By agrippa_cash at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

While we are on the topic of tips and tricks, does anyone know how to intercept hyperlink clicks in konqueror? When clicking on a link to a certain domain I would like to reformat the link and then open the reformatted link instead of the original.

Any tips on how to do this would be great!

By Joel Carr at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

You could try running a HTTP proxy like squid locally. It lets you rewrite URLs and can be used outside of Konqueror as well.

If squid seems complicated, then I am sure there are other simpler proxies available that are easier to configure.

By Arnar Lundesgaard at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Thanks for the tip, that would work brilliantly. It's a bit of a sledge hammer though for what I'm wanting to do. I may have a poke around in the konqueror source code for an alternate solution if I get the chance.

Thanks again.

By Joel Carr at Sat, 2004/02/14 - 6:00am

This article is very informative. Not only did I learn a couple new tricks from the article itself, but the responses it has generated have enlightened me on some things as well. Eric Lafoon's explanation was helpful (thanks Eric). Please continue this series.

I do need some help with regards to accessing windows shares, and since one of the tips was about this I suppose I am not off-topic. I have a "SharedDocs" folder on a WindowsXP box than I am trying to access from my MDK9.2 Linux box. I have smb.conf configured with the same workgroup/domain as the XP machine. Also, my account and password info is the same for XP, Linux, and samba. I can access my home directory on the Linux box from my XP box with no problem. However, I can't access the "SharedDocs" folder on XP (it truly is shared) from the Linux box. Here is how I try to access it and what is happening:

In the location bar in Konqueror I type in "smb:/Matrix/". Matrix is the name of my XP box. At this point Konqueror seems to connect to Matrix. In the file list view I see C$ and SharedDocs$, along with a path to a shared printer. All looks good at this point. However, when I click on the "SharedDocs" share, it prompts me for my user name and password. When I enter that info, it thinks for a second or so and brings the logon window again. Does anyone know what I need to do to access this share?

BTW, I can access the XP shared printer just fine. Also, I have this same issue if I use the PCLinuxOS livecd on another machine. The network utility included with it will detect the share, but I can't actually connect to it.


By Paul Hawthorne at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Have you activated the 'guest' account on your XP box? It usually helps.

By Simon Roby at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

No, I hadn't. I'll give that a try. However, I would think that I could logon using existing account info. Thanks for your input.


By Paul Hawthorne at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

If you still have problems with smb, either contact me directly via email or even better file a bug report on bugs.kde.org.
But before doing this, make sure you have samba >= 3.0 and KDE 3.2 installed :-)


By aleXXX at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

Thanks Alex. I don't think I'm running Samba 3.0 unless it was installed when I upgraded to mandrake 9.2, but I will check. I didn't realize it was a requirement, but I will go to 3.0 if it isn't. I'll update you via email.


By Paul Hawthorne at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

I think the best samba support you will have with samba >=3.0 and KDE >=3.2.0 :-)


By aleXXX at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

I would like to thank the folks with the talents to make this such a seemless
reality. Nothing like having two Konqueror views side by side or in split view being able to drag n' drop from your local workstation to a remote site via ssh and update the server's web content.

When not using CVS this feature is a nice hidden gem. It by no means should be used in favor of CVS but when you don't have CVS running this just works.

On Windows 2k/XP this sort of behavior requires a third party app. I'm sure there are some add-ons to a system via Developer CDs or whatnot but not out-of-the-box.

By Marc J. Driftmeyer at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

Awsome stuff guys. Hope to seem more articles and more how-to's from you. Great stuff...


By brockers at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

Stellar article, I learned quite a bit. One of the things I learned while experimenting is that I could open and browse inside .zip and .tar.gz archives, very nice. Long ago when I ran OS/2 there was a GUI add-on that allowed you to open, browse, and add items to and even run programs directly from nearly every type of archive file under the sun: .zip, .tar.gz, .arc, .lzh, .ace, and a few I'm sure I can't recall. However with KDE I can view files, but that's it, trying to drag a file into an archive doesn't even produce a "you can't do that" error. Is this sort of functionality on the horizon? I used to find it extremely useful. I'm running debian testing, so it's possible it simply hasn't worked it's way in yet if it already exists..

By Tom at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

Is there any way one can add to a zip archive?

By KDEUser at Wed, 2004/03/31 - 6:00am

Didn't there used to be a kioslave for iso's?

By stumbles at Fri, 2004/02/13 - 6:00am

Thanks. These are a great set of articles. Ever thought about having an area on the KDE website for such things that people can post to?

By David at Sat, 2004/02/14 - 6:00am

Great job - these kind of how-tos are exactly what is needed to help people use Linux on the desktop. I have used KDE for quite some time now and can really appreciate some of these tips & tricks (I cannot remember how many times I have been stuck in Mozilla or xpdf and couldn't easily get a printout). Likewise the view profiles are very, very useful. Thank you.

I would suggest that a tutorials section be added to www.kde.org and these be added to that (and maybe the home page of kde.org be cleaned up and simplified a bit - the right side should be eliminated with some of the links put under the categories on the left side - it is just too confusing right now)

By john at Sun, 2004/02/15 - 6:00am