KDE 3.4.1 is the first modern desktop environment being compiled, packaged and working fully on the OpenSolaris platform. The work has been mainly done by our friend Stefan Teleman. While KDE is known to compile out of the box on Solaris with GCC, using the Sun ONE Studio 10 Compiler still presents a challenge which requires a lot of patches. A list of georgeous screenshots is probably what makes lots of people think "KDE seems to be ahead of the game already". Read on for an interview with KDE on Solaris lead Stefan Teleman.
In the discussions on the OpenSolaris forum it is quite interesting to see how delighted long-time CDE users react to their KDE initiation, and an inspiration to see many of the fulltime Sun engineers congratulate the KDE developer community as well as Stefan for this significant achievement. This release is only the beginning of a long-term cooperation with various developer groups working for a stable desktop offering in OpenSolaris, that includes KDE on Solaris as a first-class ingredient.
To find out more about the KDE on Solaris project KDE Dot News spoke to Stefan Teleman about how he got started, why he loves Solaris and the new OpenSolaris Desktop project.
Stefan Teleman, KDE on Solaris Leader
A lot has happened since KDE first compiled on Solaris.
Sun liked my work on getting KDE compiling with Solaris, so at the end of January of this year I was invited by them to join the OpenSolaris Pilot program. This then became the main site for OpenSolaris, the Free Software version of Solaris.
As a member of the OpenSolaris Pilot, I have been building KDE for
both SPARC and Intel/AMD. KDE is enormously popular amongst Solaris
users, so there have been a lot of expectations (as well as pressure and nervousness on my part) for the KDE Solaris (SunStudio compiler/native) ports,
from both inside and outside Sun.
This has the potential of becoming something very big for KDE.
There is an established expectation at OpenSolaris that i will provide
the KDE Solaris builds for both Sparc and Intel, with Sun Studio.
Sun gave me free licenses for SunStudio specifically to build and
maintain KDE, and serveral engineers at Sun from the kernel and
compiler teams have helped me a lot with my Solaris ports. So it is
truly a joint effort at this point, and Sun deserves a lot of credit
for how open and helpful they have been.
I do all this in my free time, because my real day job doesn't involve open source or KDE at all. I live and work in New York City where I
write software for trading and valuing. So, given the rather dry and stressful nature of my daily endeavours,
I need some creative counterbalance to all this. This is where KDE
comes into play. It's fun to work on, and it runs on Solaris, which
is my favorite UNIX. It's also quite difficult to port, because KDE
is not originally written for the Sun's compilers.
Why do I like Solaris? First and foremost it's
the best UNIX out there. Says me. Second, I've been writing
code on Solaris for about 10 years now, and before that SunOS. So part
of it is habit and part of it is really rather biased: when
you get used to working in a certain environment for 10+ years, every
day... and this feels like the best possible fit ... how
easy would it be to let go of it? There's a link in Solaris to a not
so distant past when software, hardware and everything around them
were different. I was a small part of those times. And part of it
is because i like Sun as a company. They easily get a bad reputation, and
people tend to forget how much they have done for computing
and software engineering, and still do.
Why I like KDE? Because it looks beautiful, it's easy to use and because it's written in C++. Plus I have fun hacking on it.
There's something really interesting happening at OpenSolaris and KDE is part of it. So, i want to invite you to our discussion list, drop by and say hi and maybe sign up and join. We want to build the coolest desktop for OpenSolaris.