KC KDE #43 is Up

KC KDE issue #43 is out
featuring everything from KDE 3.1's new look, the future of multimedia in KDE, a refitted Konqi, math app news, mouse news, and much more.
Get it here.

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by Roberto Alsina (not verified)

The "About KDE" thing.

It's called branding.
Like Red Hat is trying to do.
Except they are removing the KDE brand from KDE code for
some reason.

by Spark (not verified)

RedHat is trying to do branding? I don't see that. There is a red hat as a GNOME foot/ K menu replacement but besides of this, it's very neutral and I don't see the term RedHat anywhere in the GUI. But having an "about KDE" that does not explain at all what this "KDE" is in half of the apps is pretty weird and it makes not much sense to have this in a GNOME environment anyway but better read my short response further above. ;)
However, you will find no such "branding" in GNOME apps so is it really _that_ bad if KDE apps don't have it either in RedHat?

by Roberto Alsina (not verified)

> Red Hat is trying to do branding?

Sure. Red Hat puts Red Hat icons on the desntop, that take you to the Red Hat site, a Red Hat icon from where you start all apps, and generally puts that silly guy with the hat everywhere. Branding.

As for "you will find no such branding on GNOME apps", I don't care. GNOME does what GNOME wants to do. GNOME is not KDE.

The "About KDE" dialog also has a link to www.kde.org, so it leads, in one click, to all the available information about KDE.

Also, you miss something I thought was pretty obvious: KDE lives through branding!

KDE wants KDE to be noticed! KDE wnats people to know they are using KDE applications! Why? Because continuing flow of people wanting to help KDE is how KDE survives.

We want more applications to be KDE applications in the future. We want when someone likes an application, that he KNOWS it is a KDE application, and where he can get more like it.

by Spark (not verified)

Ok, I understand your intention to get more developers.
But the current KDE about dialog will nothing but confuse new users if they are running RedHat/GNOME (at best luring them to your site because they want to get rid of their confusion). This is not quite fair to GNOME, etc. Maybe this information could be placed in the aboutbox of the application and/or explained a little bit better ("this application is based upon libraries which are part of the KDE desktop environment, you can get more information at, etc, you are invited to yaddayadda"). Then I'm sure RedHat would put it back in.
Right now you have to ask yourself, would you prefer RedHat not to include KDE at all (absolutely not gathering any potential developers) or to include KDE as it is now, gathering potential developers only if they actually try out the KDE desktop, not just some applications.
Of course it would be different if it would be a legal issue but I'm to 89% sure that it isn't.

by Roberto Alsina (not verified)

"Then I'm sure RedHat would put it back in."

Why are you sure?

"Right now you have to ask yourself, would you prefer RedHat not to include KDE at all (absolutely not gathering any potential developers) or to include KDE as it is now, gathering potential developers only if they actually try out the KDE desktop, not just some applications."

To be honest, that sounds an awful lot like blackmail. I doubt Red Hat would put it in those terms, so I see no point in even discussing it.

by Tim Gollnik (not verified)

>But the current KDE about dialog will nothing but confuse new users if they
>are running RedHat/GNOME (at best luring them to your site because they want
>to get rid of their confusion). This is not quite fair to GNOME, etc.

I don't understand why it's not fair if a KDE-app. states that it is a KDE-app.

It's not fair to not mention it, and I can't understand you at all.

And where ist the confusion? ("Ah, okay, this is a GNOME-app, and this is a KDE-app. Wow, I'm confused.."??)

Your opinion sounds like a pretty silly excuse. "An den Haaren herbeigezogen.", as we say in Germany.

I really get cross the more I think about it.

You're talking about fairness? And then the only point you have is:"It's not illegal"??

Best regards. And think about this:

"Ah, you like the cake? Thank you! *smile* Eermh, I've made it.. who else? "

Das nennt man: "Mit fremden Federn schmücken."


Tim Gollnik

by Kavau (not verified)

As much as I sympathize with KDE and the KDE programmers' desire to be seen and heard by the people that use their products, a very valid point has been brought up a few times already in these discussions:

People might use KDE apps in a Gnome environment (and vice versa). In that case an "about KDE" help menu entry would indeed be out of place. Sad fact is a general user of, say, KMail probably doesn't want to learn about the history of his favorite mail program and its integration into the KDE desktop suite. He simply wants to learn to use the program, and not worry about the difference between KDE and Gnome (he thinks he's using Linux, not KDE or Gnome, anyways).

Why not do the following: In the KMail help menu, an 'About KMail' entry is surely appropriate. The popup that is activated by this entry should give a brief description of what KMail is and who its creators are, and then contains a statement along the lines of "KMail is a part of the KDE desktop environment", the words "KDE desktop environment" being a hyperlink that takes the user to another text explaining what the KDE desktop environment is. This way no-one gets confused, KDE still gets noticed, and everybody can go home happy.

On another issue - there has been talk for the longest time about Gnome/KDE integration, and if I recall correctly, one of the planned goals was to have KDE applications adopt the Gnome style by default if run in a Gnome environment, and vice versa. Of course this would require compatible style engines, but I thought that had been in the works for the longest time. Can anybody in the know tell us what the status of this project is, and whether we will see KDE/Gnome style integration some time in the foreseeable future?

by Waldo Bastian (not verified)

You wonder why they hack the source for this while they also could have
added the following two lines to kdeglobals:

[KDE Action Restrictions]


by Christian Parpart (not verified)

really nice and definitely more elegant. But do you agree with it?
Lot's of developer put their work into these applications, and they have the right to be noticed in a about box in their applications too.
I am also developing and I fill out my about box as everyone else does too, and I really can't agree when (i.e.) redhat removes this, so that the average user will never know how to contact the original user nor know that I used the fabulous KDE libraries.

Christian Parpart.

by Waldo Bastian (not verified)

Anyone is free to make any changes they see fit. Lindows does that and RedHat appearantly follows in their footsteps. Being able to make changes is what sets open source software apart from proprietary software. Microsoft OEMs can only have wet-dreams about that.

Of course you don't make friends with the developers if you rename their applications (Lindows) or remove about boxes (RedHat). I don't think that's a very big problem for RedHat since they have zero credability within the KDE community any way.


by Jason (not verified)

I found some screenshots of KDE 3 running on the Redhat 8.0 beta:


Notice that all icons have been removed from the panel. Of course, there's no way to tell if this is the stock RH configuration or not, but I suspect it is (these were posted by PCLinuxOnline.com; the point was to show what the new RH looks like "out of the box"). Also, the "K" menu icon is replaced with a Redhat logo (OK, no big deal I guess...they replaced the gnome foot as well)

In shot 19, the Internet menu contains an "Email" item, in addition to "KMail"...anyone want to speculate whether "Email" launches KMail or Evolution? There's also a "Web browser" item (could be Konq, could be Mozilla).

At least shot 20 shows Konqueror running (and using the Keramik style), so they apparently didn't actually remove the program, just (possibly) removed it from the menu.

I suggested it in another thread; I think it's time we thought about making "real" KDE packages for redhat users.

by Jon (not verified)

Wow, those are spectacularly ugly screenshots. What's with the acres of unused panel space between the 'hat' and the virtual desktop applet?

by David Walser (not verified)

Well that blows whoever's argument that RedHat is doing this for consitency. Looking at those sshots, they've created a look that's horribly inconsistent.

by Spark (not verified)

I'm using one of the latest of their redhat-artwork RPM's (with Gentoo) and they definetly have a Qt style that looks like the Gtk style. AFAIK this is used in the Null beta but not in earlier betas. I also expect a lot of changes to the themes before they ship. Consistency is definetly their goal.

by David Walser (not verified)

> I suggested it in another thread; I think it's time we thought about making "real" KDE packages for redhat users.

Who is making these RH packages anyway? I know Bero used to make their packages, is he doing this? If not, what happened to him?

by CanaDyne (not verified)

He left RH yesterday. He is a link to his anouncment http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-devel&m=103293985032408&w=2

by fault (not verified)

Does Preston Brown still work in Redhat, or did he leave a long time ago?

He was the orignal author of korganizer, among other things.

by fault (not verified)

Never mind, I found my own answer:


by fault (not verified)

Never mind, I found my own answer:


by Q (not verified)

No that is great.
Whats so wrong with having another theme? Whats wrong with Gnome
and KDE looking similar? Why are the guys here bitching about Redhat
changing the look of kde? Nothing prevents them, and if it was not desired, KDE
shouldnt be themable.

by rb (not verified)

I rather agree. I also understand people being uneasy with the way redhat is doing this. And since their motivation for doing this is not clear at all, it's making it even more suspicious...

by Kanwar Plaha (not verified)

After reading through all the points and counter-points, I fail to understand why RedHat should not be allowed to do something like this. If any of you guys were to see the customization I do sometimes to my desktop. It looks like (worse) than the big bad OS ;) From the screenshots linked above, it seems like a pre-themed KDE to me and that fine. End users are happy with that. For instance, Lycoris has a mix of KDE/GNOME apps running on a customized KDE desktop. Check it out at http://www.lycoris.com
As for the KDE About menu option, if it violates the GPL, it should not be allowed.

by Roberto Alsina (not verified)

The theming, I don't care.
The default config looks awful? Their problem.
When they start touching the "about" boxes, though... that touches a nerve.

by Kanwar Plaha (not verified)

Right about the about box. Can the community, as a whole, do anything??

by sure (not verified)

Whoever has copyrights on any piece of the KDE code that redhat includes can sue Redhat. I suspect some Redhat employees themselves have contributions and own a piece of KDE.

Of course, Redhat would probably just add back the about boxes, and maybe even restore the old KDE look.

Bad press is bad for companies.

by Sad Eagle (not verified)

> The theming, I don't care

You should. The widget style plays a role in virtually all the drawing and layout operations. A bug in that, and your app may start behaving rather oddly. And by the way, a stabilization of a widget style can often take months, since there are thousands of odd combinations of things it needs to handle. You may want to look through kde-bug-dist archives for various older kstyle bugs for some examples.

by Roberto Alsina (not verified)

If the application is properly layouted, it should account for anything the style
throws at it. Except, of course, for bugs in the style.

But KDE has shipped with buggy styles in the past, and it has not been that much of a problem.

Sure, a buggy DEFAULT style will be annoying, and cause bad bug reports.
All that will cause is bad publicity for Red Hat, and (sadly) a bit more work
for maintainers.

As for the stabilization of the style... well, that is a problem for the style's author, isn't it? Red Hat is a company, it is not a terribly bright company, but it is not a STUPID company.

Of course I can be proven wrong, and I have a nagging feeling.

by Sad Eagle (not verified)

I imagine people who had Konqueror crash on them because their bookmarks didn't fit on a screen due to a style bug felt otherwise; and so would people
whose favorite programs or the programs they implement look like trash because the rendering options they use are slightly unusual (like, say, bottom tabs); and aren't handled right at all.

And when it comes to the author.. Well, I definitely trust the authors, and will hopefully send them some bug reports (actually, I already have a dozen, some major after a casual inspection of a few minutes); but I don't know whether they'll have time to fix it properly, and what's more, test it thoroughly, since from what I undestand their release will be out pretty sure.

The same, of course, applies to other patches they apply -- such as switching Qt3 to use Xft2 (which is a very invasive change, touching virtually all of the font handling code); and switching library loading flags from RTLD_LOCAL to RTLD_GLOBAL -- good luck finding causes for crashes caused by weird symbol clashes.

I don't know what your experience is, but mine, coming from sorting and classifying incoming bug reports is that packaging bugs are often the biggest problem users face, since they often tend to affect almost everyone, unlike source bugs which are often corner-case; partly because it's a lot more difficult for a packager to test everything than for the developer -- since after all, almost every piece of KDE code is watched and cared for by someone, while there are typically only a few packagers who handle all of KDE and probably hundreds of other things; and changing things drastically is not going to make producing packages as reliable as the original sourcebase any easier. And I really would not want the large contributions of many developers, and the smaller ones by myself to KDE to be undeservingly judged poorly because RedHat, for whatever reason, pushed a bit too hard with the changes, and ended up breaking something. It's certainly possible that everything will be right -- but that doesn't mean one shouldn't worry, does it?

by ne... (not verified)

I also agree. I also think everyone should note that this is a beta. Nothing
has been finalized as yet (or so I think). There are changes between Limbo
and (null). Some of the stuff I don't like, but then I have always rolled
my own KDE since 1.x. About the about boxes, I can't check that now as I'm
not on my (null) box.

by aigiskos (not verified)

I agree with Q here. Redhat should be able to do this, and there may be good reasons for it. I'm not sure I like the look that much either (though it is only a beta so far). Note that Redhat also changed the default look of GNOME2 so that it could look more like KDE and make the two desktops seem more similar (i.e. no fubar at the top and the return of the foot menu-- but in the guise of a red hat). The GNOME usability people, who have argued strenuously about the menus on the fubar and the default set-up, are not exactly happy with Redhat's changes, either.

From what Havoc Pennington has said in various emails about related topics (but not this one particularly), I think Redhat is trying to brand the whole desktop for itself. The Redhatters reason is that most people don't really understand what GNOME or KDE is. Those people, coming from a Windows or OSX world, think of the whole thing as the OS. So, telling them that they are running Redhat Linux with KDE on top will confuse them. Redhat appears to be trying to make the GUI more seamlessly associated with the rest of the system (i.e. it's all Redhat).

In addition, Redhat is probably trying to make the two primary choices of desktop environments, KDE and GNOME, look similar for support reasons. That way, if a support call comes in describing what's wrong, the situation on the screen will look similar whether the person is running GNOME or KDE (the support person could say, "Ok, go to the bottom left-hand corner and click on the button with the red hat; go up to web browser and click on it..." --works for either KDE or GNOME).

At any rate, I *don't* think that Redhat is trying to destroy KDE, though they certainly do prefer GNOME (hey, they've been instrumental in developing it from the beginning; so, I guess that's natural).


by David Walser (not verified)

> In addition, Redhat is probably trying to make the two primary choices of desktop environments, KDE and GNOME, look similar for support reasons. That way, if a support call comes in describing what's wrong, the situation on the screen will look similar whether the person is running GNOME or KDE (the support person could say, "Ok, go to the bottom left-hand corner and click on the button with the red hat; go up to web browser and click on it..." --works for either KDE or GNOME).

I don't buy it. They could accomplish that the way Mandrake did, w/out destroying KDE. And why just make KDE look the same, why not XFce and IceWM and WindowMaker too?

by dr_lha (not verified)

Because when you install RH it gives you the option of having Gnome or KDE - and not the others you mention. They may be available on the CD but first time and corperate users most likely won't install them.

by heiko (not verified)

David: If ypu think modifying KDE means distroying it would be better to make KDE clodes source. The reason to license a program under the GPL is to allow and support(!) modifying. The GPL means freedom for evryone not only for people who have the same opinion. What if somebody uses a modyfied KDE version to easily develop mass destruction wapons?
Either accapt the rules of the GPL or do not use it.
Btw: If you would look at the icons in Redhat Null they look much more similar to the default KDE nes than the default Gnome icons.

by Uno Engborg (not verified)

Yes, I agree. But the folderlike K-menu icon replacement is
really a bad thing from usability perspective. Users may think
that it is some kind of structure in the file system.
If they should replace it at all, an ordirana Red Hat logo would
have bin better.

by Spark (not verified)

For GNOME they use simply a red hat so I guess they will do the same for KDE (looks better and makes more sense indeed).

by James Richard Tyrer (not verified)

It appears to me that there isn't very much wrong with what Red Hat is doing. That is, if you actually understand what they are doing.

Perhaps is is important to first understand why this is happening. The reasons are found in Economics. RedHat, SuSE, Caldera, and Mandrake are in competition with each other. They could compete on price, but companies would rather not do that -- they would rather charge more for their product.

To do this they must differentiate their product. They started doing this with the installer, but this has now leveled off -- they all have a good installer and there isn't much difference.

So, what RedHat is doing is the same thing that Lindows is doing. They are not going to just distribute Linux. They are going to make their own OS that is based on Linux.

Now IMO, we would all like a distribution that was about the same as if we had built it all from source with, possibly, some addons for configuration. But, the question is, is this what Joe average user wants or what he will buy. And what about the users that have to get technical support to find out how to change their menu?

So, unfortunately, this 100% pure GNU/Linux/XFree86 with a desktop is not what companies are going to be selling. They are going to be selling something like RedHat's new OS with more and more different "features" that make compatibility impossible.

This is WHY UNIX fragmented, the market forces cause this. Linux standards are not going to stop this unless Linus is willing to say that they can't use the trademark unless it meets the standards.

There is clearly a market niche for a company that made a 100% pure distro, but ...

Or, should the Free Software Foundation sell a Linux distro?

Or, should there be a KDE/Linux distro? Would The Kompany be interested?


by Spark (not verified)

*sigh* I thought you would write a very good reply until the second part. The fact that companies like RedHat are actually going to create real operating systems (not just distributing a lot of random software packaged together) is a _good_ thing, not a bad thing. This is the _only_ chance for GNU/Linux to actually compete with decent and complete desktop operating systems like BeOS or MacOS. A "vanilla" system is not, what most people want.
Does this fragment Linux? How? RedHat ist still using the same libraries, the same file system, the same package manager. Applications will work for RedHat equally well as for Lycoris or Mandrake as long as they support the LSB. It's just the GUI and the polishing that is adjusted by the distributor, _not_ the architecture.
The flexibility of Linux was once thoughed to be a huge advantage. Now I just hope that zealots always crying FOUL when someone actually takes advantage of this won't destroy it.
If you want a distribution that just provides you with the vanilla software, you already have _plenty_ of choice: Slackware, Gentoo, Debian, ... Nobody is forcing you or anyone to buy a specialized distro. But many people will enjoy it (I'm actually looking forward to the next RedHat and think about buying it if it becomes as good as I hope). I hope you don't think that it's bad if people enjoy something. Especially if it's completely Free Software like RedHat always is as opposed to a sadly growing number of competitors.

by James Richard Tyrer (not verified)

I don't think that I disagree with you as much as you might think.

I said that a "vanila" system was only a niche market.

A disrto for KDE users is a slightly different question.

But I think that you misunderstand about fragmentation.

Applications will probably work on the new RedHat ONLY if a version is made for RedHat. It doesn't matter if all of the things which you listed are the same. The system's files are located in different directories and this is enough to make even an application's RPM incompatable.

As I said, standards could be promulgated to prevent this problem, but only if there were enforcement.

Mandrake, Caldera, SuSE, and RedHat RPMs for applications are already incompatable. Someone needs to find a cure for this -- and soon.

Either a standardized directory system or a way for RPM to know where to install stuff based on a configuration file.

I can think of other improvements to RPM as well, but is it really open or does RedHat control RPM?


by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

RPM is opem, and it's part of what you have just described: The Linux Standards Base, or LSB. Right now, it primarily covers directories, their uses and designates RPM as a package standard (since even deb based distros can install them, using alien). Yes, RPM has problems, but the biggest problem is simply a lack of a standard dependancy naming convention, which will hopefully be addressed soon (the other 'problem', dependacy auto-completion, has distro specific fixes, and as long as the dependency naming is different for each distro, that's the bext solution, imo).

1.2 defines a standard ABI, with detailed information for x86 and PPC archetectures. I thought that was still in the future, but it was released July 28th. SuSE, Mandrake and Red Hat all take LSB seriously, and are, or say they will be with their next release, LSB compliant. Check out their website.



by James Richard Tyrer (not verified)

Yes, RPM is open source, but is it truly open.

What I was wondering about was if they would be at all interested in adding a couple of features.

1. If I don't have something that it asks for as a dependency, I could simply tell it NO (just once) and it wouldn't ask again unless I removed it from a human readable configuration file.

2. When it asks for a dependency, could it please ask LD.SO about it and if it says it has it, then on the command line version a small notice would print out and say it was found.

The directory problem is significant. It certainly shows how stuff can be totally open and yet incompatible. Does RedHat really improve Mozilla by installing it in: "/usr/lib/mozilla/" rather than the default: "/usr/local/mozilla/"?

My radical suggestion is that the default install directory should be (as part of the standard) the one that the person that wrote the code specified as the default install directory. I know that there would be some slight problem here and there. Like, where should you install: "Mesa"? But, in general, the stuff should install the same place on RedHat as it would if you built if from source. And, yes there might need to be a few changes but from then on we would have a standard.

A standard dependency naming convention would be a great help. Again, I have the same (or similar) radical idea. Most dependencies are libraries so if we got that fixed then it would be over 90% of the problem. And we already have a standard for libraries, it is what LD.SO uses, the actual name of the library.

Using the actual library names would sure make a completion search easier too, wouldn't it.

I don't think that LSB compliant means that the directory usage will have to be the same. And, in that regard, it appears that RedHat may be using the FHS standard to make their distro even more non-standard, but (as you say) we will have to wait and see.

As I see it, what is needed is for an application vender to have one RPM that will install on ANY standards compliant system (you would still have to install the needed libraries and in a very few cases some additional packages).

I don't think that RedHat wants that, and (therefore) I don't expect to see it soon. But, I will have to wait and see what United Linux is doing.


by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

:: What I was wondering about was if they would be at all interested in adding a couple of features.

Who is "they"? if you want the features, write them.


by KDE User (not verified)

So what´s the difference anyway? RedHat never went for KDE on their
distros, why would they change now? People will just see that
Mandrake, SuSE etc is much nicer. Too bad for Red Hat.
Did anybody expect that RedHat suddenly would make a KDE-desktop

by rufus (not verified)


Anyone checked out Lycoris or Lindows screenshots lately?? It's KDE packaged as WinXP!!!

Uhh, KDE is starting to look a lot like Mac OS X to me!!

Get a grip people!

by me (not verified)

LOL, i think they made gnome look too much like KDE in the null screenshots - i guess everyone's different

by Peter Backlund (not verified)

I don't know about the 'About...' box, don't remember if it was there or not. It definitely should NOT be removed.


The deal is that RH has created themes for QT, Gtk 1 and Gtk 2, which look the same, to provide a consistent look between KDE and Gnome apps. Damn fine looking ones, too, if you ask me. Wonderland, I think they call them. When you start up KDE for the first time, the Settings wizard runs as usual, and there's an option to choose 'Red Hat default' style, in addition to the old KDE default, Redmond etc. That's all there is to it.


That's not all. If KDE apps looked the same in GNOME and vice-versa, that would be okay. Cripping the KDE DESKTOP is not okay.

Where was any crippling done? The end user is free to run whatever programs they want. All KDE programs are included in the beta.

Yes, ok, I understand having gnome and kde look alike. But what happens when the user
picks a new theme using the kde control or gnome control panel? Do all the apps then continue
to look the same? I doubt it. This effort is too easily broken for me to believe that
it has any merit.

by ac (not verified)

RedHat has replaced Konqueror and KMail by Mozilla and Evolution in the default KDE desktop. Who will *want* to use KDE after this? RedHat has turned KDE into a cheap and broken rip-off of GNOME. This is a kick in the face for the KDE developers.

Complain LOUD AND CLEAR to RedHat. Email them, file bug reports and let them know your displeasure.

by Moritz Moeller-... (not verified)

Don't use Redhat. Simple, easy, immediately noticed by Redhat. Complaining is useless.

If anyone comes to the lists and complains about a KDE program on Redhat tell him: None of our business, you use Redhat, Redhat hates KDE, get a real KDE, not the crippled broken version.