MAR
28
2008

Aaron Seigo Talks About Kontact's Bright Future

Sirius' Tom Callway interviews KDE's chief-hugger Aaron Seigo. He talks about KDE 4, communication within the project and what effect the 'new platforms' (Windows and Mac OS) have on KDE development. Seigo also talks about the KDE 4.0 release and how that compares to the 2.0 and 3.0 releases of KDE. About Kontact, he explains, "We are going to see some very interesting developments happening when Kontact is available on all platforms. For instance, finally there will be a groupware solution that looks and behaves exactly the same on all platforms (a support win) that lets you choose your groupware server (a server side win). Kontact represents the client side of the first realistically competitive threat to the Exchange-plus-Outlook hegemony. And that's just one application."

Comments

I view anon troll posts here like I view anon troll posts on other forums.

These posts are the driving force to help people realize they have to make up their own mind and choose software that works well for them. I really don't like that anon troll posts bait me into replying. But thankfully, millions around the marble appreciate the hard work put into KDE. So here's hoping they continue to enjoy it.

See how just a few word changes can make something positive? Please keep criticism 1) constructive 2) clear 3) actionable.


By Wade Olson at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

Amen, brotha, amen. I for one switched _permanently_ to KDE4 a long time ago and see no reason to go back. Please count as one of the silent many who greatfully use KDE. I see the improvements everytime I update my openSUSE 10.3 install. Fact is, I have not used my FC installs since I started using KDE4. So in closing, all I can say/write is please continue the good work you are doing.KDE4.0 was released at the right time.


By ne... at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

The technology under the hood of KDE 4 is what will drive the "interface nazies" (Gnome Users) to KDE unlike what the troll a-non want people to believe. KDE 4 is not quite ready for the masses yet but when it is then I am sure that it will blow away any- and everything out there including OS X. This is something that the Gnomes should worry about ;)


By Bobby at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

I do agree that it will drive people to Gnome - but that will depend on KDE 4.1 or maybe 4.2 and depond on what K/Ubuntu will do, since its such a popular distro (even tough Kubuntu feels unpolished compared to Ubuntu DE-integrationwise) . I was glad to learn that Kubuntu still will have 3.5.9 along KDe 4.0-x - If it only had 4.0.2 then i would after 10 years have left for Gnome - i wond do it this time.


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

KUbuntu is not a very good example of what a KDE distro should be like.


By Bobby at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Can you please elaborate a bit?
As an end-user, confronting concepts about 'good linux distributions' is appealing.


By Pol at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Several of the modifications they make to KDE are less than well thought out. They are supposed to be some kind of usability improvements, but in most cases it's only removal of functionality whitout any real gain in usability.

But I find the most telling is when you watch Bugzilla, it seem like it has a higher amount of distribution specific bugs than other distributions. Bugs that don't exist if you compile KDE from source or use other distributions.


By Morty at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Install KUbuntu, PCLinuxOS and openSuse 10.3 on the same computer, all running KDE and then you will understand what I mean.


By Bobby at Sun, 2008/03/30 - 5:00am

Hello,

it's not like there is no chance for return if somebody tries out Gnome now, he can always switch back, once KDE has surpassed Gnome again.

There is one reason to have 2 big desktop projects, and that is to allow the users to use them both and switch between them without hassle.

Yours,
Kay


By Debian User at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

First off, as it has been said, anon posters have no sack.

Secondly, you're talking about comparing KDE 4 to Gnome. Why? If you're not happy using KDE 4 right now (and many aren't) there is KDE 3.5.9, which is still being supported. If you honestly think Gnome is better than KDE 3.5.9, then why haven't you switched already? Please do so, and stop posting here.


By T. J. Brumfield at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Well said!


By Paul Eggleton at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Hello,

actually I _did_ switch to Gnome on my work desktop out of complete disappointment with KDE4.0.x and my desire to try out something new (I have not tried Gnome since 1.4 days methinks).

Truth is, it's not as good as KDE 3.5.x, but the compositing of Metacity is one of a mature window manager and therefore practical as such.

It's also true that Tracker appears to work and be well integrated, where as Strigi never really worked for me.

Of course gg: and my custom variants of it are much missed in Epiphany now, so that's a bigger drawback.

But on the whole, it's not an as bad experience. In KDE 4.1.x I will return as a user, but for now it's good to break with habits. And KDE 4.0.x, seriously, is such a total and complete failure due to Plasma, that the KDE president should step down. ;-) It certainly would have the right drama about it, not... but still. :-)

Yours,
Kay


By Debian User at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

I switched to XFCE. I see the whole KDE 4.0 move as a partial betrayal to their current users. I personally just don't know how people can love KDE 4.0. In my opinion it is going in the completely wrong direction. It has become "trendy", "hyped" and not easier to use.

XFCE is not as feature complete as KDE 3.x, but in my opinion it is certainly more mature than KDE 4, and I don't really care what is under the hood, I care about the user experience, and where it is going.

Seeing that KDE 4 probably will keep evolving towards what is Vista and MacOS X(with a windows touch), I thought switching to something else now would be a good idea. Some said that KDE 3.5.9 would be the last 3.x release, and in addition, v4 is clearly blocking the 3.x path, so, KDE as I know it is seemingly dead.

BTW: those who point out twm/blackbox etc as "Light" alternatives are clearly wrong. AmigaOS 1.3 had more features than those and ran on a 7mhz computer. Why nobody has made a truly light weight desktop which is truly *fast* is beyond me. Perhaps programmers have become sloppy and ignorant to effective use of resources. In other words, you don't need megabytes of ram to show icons in a window =)


By m0ns00n at Sun, 2008/03/30 - 5:00am

Wow, with your grammar and spelling it sounds like you'd be a much better candidate for the promotion job!

Great to read such a well thought out, clearly articulated post as yours. Please, I'm there will be 'negative Nellies' out there that will call you 'an over opinionated tool who writes at a 3rd grade level and contributes nothing to the planet but greenhouse gas' and other such unsubstantiated, poorly thought out personal attacks with no visible basis in reality, but you keep up the good work! As I'm sure you must be aware, you're a great asset to the community and if more people spent time writing posts like yours the world would obviously be a much better place and certainly KDE would be a better project. Kudos.


By borker at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

Screw my grammar.. im no native english speaker and if you understood what was written then it good enough. Remenber that most of us here are not native speakers.
And.. KDE4 really sucks and we make a world a better place.


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

nice come back... I love the way you went into a detailed list of what 'really sucks' in KDE4 and your proposals for making it better. It certainly went a long way towards repairing the mistaken idea people may have come to that you are in fact a pointless, complaining troll.


By borker at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

Well, i find you to be a pointless complaining moron .. but i can live with it. Why should i make proposals? for years proposals have been ignored and you can just search for Seigos comments to see what he thinks about proposals - its a complete waste of time. Something you would know if you had been here for more than two months.


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

coward.


By borker at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

"you can just search for Seigos comments to see what he thinks about proposals - its a complete waste of time"

True, he has repeatedly asked for constructive criticism and well reasoned proposals. Not useless and pointless whining and complaining, or repeating of the same already answered "issues". Since you obviously are incapable of that, in your case it's a complete wast of time.


By Morty at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

"True, he has repeatedly asked for constructive criticism and well reasoned proposals."

Well, when KDE 3.5 started, I realised that KsCD was broken, it simply stopped randomly at the middle of a track, and started from Track 1. This bug (121405)was reported by other people using various distributions.
7 months after this bug had been reported I added a sarcastic (desperate) comment for the maintainer to tell us at least if this bug will ever (within KDE3) be fixed or we should switch to GNOME to listen to audio CDs. There was no answer unless you count it as an answer the fact that KsCD was moved from kdemultimedia3-CD to kdemultimedia-extra.
Well, guess who the maintainer of KsCD was at that time (2006)? Yes, Aaron J. Seigo.

The problem with this is only that Kaffeine and Amarok with the Xine engine cannot play back audio CDs without adding gaps between the tracks. So KDE, while having several programs to play back audio CDs does not have a single one which does it properly.
I am not using Kontact, but can understand the exasperation of KDE users who see that certain programs want to do everything without mastering the basics. (This exasperation started this thread off.)


By Imruska at Wed, 2008/04/02 - 5:00am

Screw my grammar.. im no native english speaker and if you understood what was written then it is good enough. Remenber that most of us here are not native speakers.
And.. KDE4 really sucks and we make a world a better place.


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

Just like re-reading a great book or watching a great film for the second time, I think reading your post a second time has only increased my appreciation of it's timeless brilliance.

'KDE4 really sucks and we make a world a better place' just magic!


By borker at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

Hehe.. glad to assist you. Happy to know that you have nothing better to do than enjoying my posts - it realyy helps me appreciate your comments.
KDE 4.0.x sucks ;-)


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

How about explaining to us why kde4.1 will suck, or how kde 4.0.x sucks for you?

Just imagine if we all communicated by shouting opinions at each other without providing context or explaining anything. Comments like this are a waste of space.Most of this thread has been you trolling and everyone else trying to get a decent argument out of you or just making fun of you.


By Fool at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Hehe.. glad to assist you. Happy to know that you have nothing better to do than enjoying my posts - it really helps me appreciate your comments.
KDE 4.0.x sucks ;-)


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

Just like re-reading a great book or watching a great film for the second time, I think reading your post a second time has only increased my appreciation of it's timeless brilliance.


By assist at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

A lot of work has been done on Korganizer interface, you're not very respectful for the developers. Have a look at the nice agenda view; they also introduced a new month view which looks promising usability-wise.

Anyway, you when you implement a new software, you have to promote it. People are free to use it or not. If it doesn't suit their purpose/expectation, they can wait for the next version. If there was no "promoting" there won't be bug reports, there won't be bugfixes and the "crap" would stay crap.

Such a post is very disrespectful for developers. You might be a 10-years KDE user but it is not because you are not satisfied for one release that you can be so brutal ...

Blah.


By Tom at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

There is not much to promote in KDE4 so its pretty shameless to advocate its use - the quality is really bad. It just feels like a clumsy version of Vista - and Vista is already clumsy. KDE4 is pretty much hyped the same way Koffice has been hyped, when only Kword is usable - its ridiculous and turns people away from KDE when reality hits them.
I'll wait for 4.1 before i try Korganiser. I know i had a hard time using it in 3.5.x before, and it was so unlogic to use that i gave up on it long ago.

Don worry about developers find posts disrespectful - its only a opinion from a end user and its clear that we really dont count. Its just sad that every time someone is critical then its judged as a troll post.


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

It wouldn't be judged as a troll post if the criticism would actually be, you know, constructive. Just saying that something sucks or is clumsy or unusable doesn't help anyone - and certainly not the developers.

Is the current version of KDE4 as feature-filled and solid as the KDE3.5.x series? Certainly not, but none that I know of claims that it is either. It's been made VERY, in my opinion, clear that 4.0.x is for early adopters, developers, and/or people not afraid of getting their hands dirty every now and then while others (that is: end users) should wait at least until 4.1.

While I'm no developer by any stretch of the imagination, KDE 4 IS usable if you don't mind some glitches here and there not to mention using KDE 3.x apps to fill the gaps (for example, Kontact, Amarok, K3B, Digikam, Koffice - the programs I personally look forward the most to come out of alpha/beta). And yes, I use KDE 4.0.2. as my main desktop and for the most part it works just fine. Not as well as KDE 3.5.8, mind, but at this point in time I didn't expect it to.

And honestly, if you think Kontact is unlogical you can't have used many PIM suites. It's no more unlogical than say Evolution or Outlook. It may not suit your needs, but that's another issue entirely.


By Jonas at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Sure.
Not a complete list but some of the issues that I feel needs to be fixed.
No, I can't code well enough and I don't have time to learn but I do give some money to KDE e.v. every now and then in the hopes that the Kontact suite will benefit.

I think Kontact is the best there is, but there are issues to be solved. A few quite critical.

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=41514
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=95064
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=83414
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=115426
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=150790

And a few of mine...
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=151977
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=151975
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=151976
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=151978
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=151979


By Oscar at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

I love KDE and Kontact especially, but the following bug has meant that for people like me who have accessibility issues / visual impairment, Kontact is sadly painful to view.

http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=159106

Please, please can this be looked at too?


By Maarte at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

My main issue with "korganizer" is that the LDAP-backend for Kaddressbook is awfully slow, bordering to completely, utterly useless. I guess that if I was mad enough to use KMail, that would put this little annoyance way down in the priority list, but alas, I not that mad :)


By kolla at Mon, 2008/03/31 - 5:00am

I couldn't help saying that. (Before you start parrying, please bear in mind, that I've been using Linux/KDE for the last five years exclusively).

Aaron utters very nice words but in general he's lying here and there.

First of all, enterprises do not care about cross platform possibilities of KDE/Qt. They care much more about money savings and viability of their software solutions. Do you know why Windows is still tenfold more popular amongst developers than Linux and even Java? Because once you wrote your application you can run it for decades (!) without recompilation and burdensome duty of keeping track of your [open source] API breakage which happens daily in Open Source libraries. Do you know why people are very much unwilling to move from KDE 3.5.x to KDE 4.0.x? Because while KDE/Qt devs think how wonderful new KDE and Qt are there are plenty old really necessary applications which are almost abandoned by their own developers and it's next to impossible to use them in your newer shiny KDE. Open Source is wonderful but general users are *not* programmers. And general users have strong habits. My wonderful KDE 3.x applications are now left in dust because ... no one cares.

My second point is that ... we already have Java. We have .Net managed code. We already have XML driven user interface. While KDE4 is a fantastic DE, the world has already moved further to a point where recompilation is not necessary at all. And you just cannot supply your shiny KDE4 binary to Windows users.

The third point is that ... well, Qt is not a native UI renderer in Windows. It doesn't feel native in Mac OS. Have you ever seen Qt applications in Windows - they all look oddly. They have many problems with elements positioning and they feel and act differently then native Windows applications.

The fourth point is that Qt is not under LGPL or any other less restrictive than GPL license. That's why most ISVs use LGPL'ed GTK+ libraries under Linux. I still hope that Nokia will relax Qt's license and I hope KDE E.v. will follow.

The last and and not the least point of weakness is applications start up time. KDE team alone have more than 50 active developers and the same application compiled for both Linux and Windows, will start in Windows at least two times faster than in Windows. Users *do* want instant applications launch.

Other random thoughts on the topic of Linux/KDE.

One of KDE developers has recently said: "nobody in their right mind would choose Windows over GNU/Linux based on the desktop experience alone." I became almost furious over this sentiment.

Do you know why people still prefer to *pay* for buggy, virus prone, registry breakage prone Windows? Because Windows offer extremely *polished* desktop experience. Once set up properly Windows doesn't tend to crash here and here. Windows offers *keyboard only* driven GUI (you can virtually do anything without using a mouse) - the thing which is still *not* possible in *any* Linux DE.

KDE developers still argue that smooth scrolling is not necessary, while Windows users have had it since ... 1997. And some people dare to say that smooth scrolling is very CPU expensive. Down right lies.

What people really care is the smoothness of their desktop experience. The absence of crashes and annoying bugs. And there are bugs and wishes kept abandoned for years whereas hundreds of users vote for them.

It's all so sad.

I'm very glad KDE has progressed that much in recent years, but I feel like nothing has changed since 1998 when I'd first encountered Debian Linux.

All hail KDE!


By Artem S. Tashkinov at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

If that cost you 2 cents I'd ask for my money back if I were you. Perhaps the clue store is having a sale and you could pick one up with the money you saved.


By borker at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

LOL - I give that a 10 out of 10.


By ZOMG BBQ at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

to expand a little... when calling someone a liar it might be nice to back it up with something a little more solid than your vague opinions


By borker at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

>> First of all, enterprises do not care about cross platform possibilities of KDE/Qt.

And you know this how?

>> Do you know why Windows is still tenfold more popular amongst developers than Linux and even Java?

A true PFTA statistic

>> The third point is that ... well, Qt is not a native UI renderer in Windows.

Qt integrates very well into Windows. I've never received a complaint from a customer that it is not native. Lots of windows apps use Qt and nobody even notices.

>> They have many problems with elements positioning and they feel and act differently then native Windows applications.

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

>> will start in Windows at least two times faster than in Windows

Now you're not even making sense.

>> KDE developers still argue that smooth scrolling is not necessary

Thank god. I hate smooth scrolling


By Leo S at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

>>> KDE developers still argue that smooth scrolling is not necessary

> Thank god. I hate smooth scrolling

I like it but not when it feels laggy. It takes longer to smooth scroll because the animation takes (a little) time so delays are unavoidable. Thus, smooth scrolling is laggy. Maybe with a speed setting or a very high default speed we could talk about it. In fact, smooth scrolling when using search in KPDF/Okular is awesome =)


By Andreas at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Ditto that. Smooth scrolling drives me nuts. At least Kopete offers a way to disable it.


By jason at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

> Ditto that. Smooth scrolling drives me nuts. At least Kopete offers a way to disable it.

Somehow 1 billion Windows users don't run mad over it. How come?


By Artem S. Tashkinov at Sun, 2008/03/30 - 5:00am

"Somehow 1 billion Windows users don't run mad over it. How come?"

Because they're stuck with it if they have it, that's why.

It has a tendency to feck screen readers as well as mouse scrolling. It's not a spectacular feature. Really.


By segedunum at Sun, 2008/03/30 - 5:00am

Lying is not the right word.. he's just promoting KDE 4.0.x and he just shouldn't because the quality is not there.
You can do what i intend to do if you stick with Linux/*BSD/Whatever and things do not improve substantially for 4.1 - use Gnome as desktop and KDE apps as needed. I'll try to get used to Gnome even tough its going to be pretty annoying and use my prefered KDE apps - Kmail, Kate, Quanta, Konqueror etc.


By Jos And at Fri, 2008/03/28 - 5:00am

You can use KDE 3.5.* until 4.x matures. Kate and Quanta (AFAIK) are not yet ported to KDE 4 do you have to use the KDE 3 version so it makes more sense to use KDE 3 as DE.


By Grósz Dániel at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

FYI, Kate is working, Quanta for KDE 4 is a work in progress IIRC. I'm happily using KDE 4.0.2 on Kubuntu here on my laptop, with apps like K3B, Kontact, KNetworkManager, digiKam still as KDE 3 applications.


By Paul Eggleton at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Sorry, somehow I associated with Kile. Kate in KDE 4 is great, indeed.


By Grósz Dániel at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

Kate KDE4 is not doing it for me, so i just removed it and most other KDE 4 apps. In fact only my wife uses KDE 4 apps - and it is only the games; patience and minesweeper of some kind.
What i find pretty amazing with KDE is that there is no compliancelist for apps and Desktop enviroment and therefore no way to verify apps and DE. So in fact releases are made without verification and improvements are mostly bug-squatting. That, I suppose, is the reason for - NOT the bugs - the missing functionality.


By Jos And at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

> Lying is not the right word..

My fault, sorry.

However KDE will not ever become a good development platform without the things I've mentioned. Even relicensing of Qt/KDE libraries under LGPL will greatly increase the adoption of KDE amongst developers. Even most prominent distros (Ubuntu and Fedora/RHEL) have chosen GTK over Qt due to this reason. And Qt is such a great toolkit (actually much more than that)!


By Artem S. Tashkinov at Sun, 2008/03/30 - 5:00am

"However KDE will not ever become a good development platform without the things I've mentioned."

KDE is the only Linux desktop with a half-decent development platform, and that comes from using Qt. Gnome doesn't have any kind of development platform that developers can pick up and use in a straightforward fashion, unless they use Mono. Beyond that, you're pulling in GTK, libXML, Cairo and all sorts of other libraries that behave and program completely differently. No ISV looking from the Windows and Mac worlds will touch that with a ten foot barge pole.

"Even relicensing of Qt/KDE libraries under LGPL will greatly increase the adoption of KDE amongst developers."

Qt already has a very vibrant software community, and quite frankly, I see very few actual ISVs out there using GTK (at all) because it is simply LGPLed. ISVs want quality development tools they can pick up, not zero cost stuff that doesn't work well and isn't usable.

The dual licensing means that investment goes into Qt, and KDE then gets better with each successive version of Qt. LGPLing something means that you accept people will have less incentive to contribute code back to the software, and that's the price you pay for 'developing for nothing'.

I suggest you do some googling, because this has been discussed umpteen times before.

"Even most prominent distros (Ubuntu and Fedora/RHEL) have chosen GTK over Qt due to this reason."

Ah, not that old chestnut. It's done Ubuntu and Red Hat a fat lot of good supposedly standardising on GTK. The quality and depth of the graphical tools produced is woeful, and as long as that continues GTK will continue to hold Ubuntu and Red Hat back.


By segedunum at Sun, 2008/03/30 - 5:00am

What do you think this is?
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/KDE


By Kevin Kofler at Sun, 2008/03/30 - 5:00am

"Because once you wrote your application you can run it for decades"

If the software is maintained, recompilations do not make a problem and for open source software under Linux it is usually done by distributors. Unmaintained open source software usually is not worth much and one cannot rely on it. Closed source Qt software are usually available with statically linked Qt - in this case future API changes (which occur only at major version changes) also do not matter.

"My second point is that ... we already have Java. We have .Net managed code"

I am not sure if it would be better to interpret some bytecode for the convenience of providing one binary for all platforms. (More precisely, I am sure: I wouldn't waste my CPU with using non-native applications much.)

"the world has already moved further"

Say the world has moved (or is moving). I am not sure if further.

"recompilation is not necessary at all"

On Linux that is done by distributors. For Windows binaries, AFAIK it will be done by the KDE on Windows team. Up to this point it works smoothly (as KDE developers do not have to care about compiling, just writing the code and binaries appear in distros). If you develop proprietary software, it is more difficult to make it work on all Linux distros (although solvable with static linking) but it is not more difficult to compile (statically) a Qt program on Windows than to compile a native Windows program.

"your shiny KDE4 binary to Windows users"

Again, you can, just an other binary.

"will start in Windows at least two times faster than in Windows"

What do you want to say?

"Windows offers *keyboard only* driven GUI (you can virtually do anything without using a mouse) - the thing which is still *not* possible in *any* Linux DE."

What can be done with keyboard on Windows that cannot be under KDE?


By Grósz Dániel at Sat, 2008/03/29 - 5:00am

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