Qt/Mac KDE Call For Help

Now that the patches to make KDE build on Mac OS X are, for the most part, in KDE 3.2 CVS, it's time to move on to more drastic measures. I'm looking for help working on making KDE compile using native Qt/Mac rather than X11. We're still organizing, but if you'd like to help out, please join the discussion list and say "hi".


by cies (not verified)

Didn't some trolltecher started this allredy?
--link from dot's site:

Anyway it's good to have the KDE code free from X11...
--reminds me of:

I don't mind using X BTW -- just a fan of portability ;-)

by Benjamin Reed (not verified)

Yeah, Sam Magnuson did the original port, but it went through a ton of bitrot. He said we're better off basically starting over, so that's what I'm doing (using his old patches as a reference when I need to).

by Scott Wheeler (not verified)

Note that all of KDE can't be (legally) compiled on Qt/Mac since it's only GPL'ed. There are a number of places in KDE where the Artistic license is used (Klipper, KSirc, some Notaun plugins). At least it's something to keep an eye out for. There are parts of KDE (most likely including things I'm not mentioning) that aren't GPL compatible.

by ac (not verified)

I thought Matthias Ettrich was proposing to drop QPL completely for all the releases.

by Gerd (not verified)

afaik the artitic license give you the permission to relicense as GPL. As the GPl is a further restricted subset of the Artistic license that gives you every freedom you want. AFAIK you can also sell a product under the artistic license, incorporate it into your prorpietary work.

by Scott Wheeler (not verified)



The Artistic license is not GPL compatible; any license change (relicensing) requires the consent of all copyright holders.

by LMCBoy (not verified)

I don't get it, Qt/X11 is also GPL'd; are you saying it's illegal for me to compile KDE with that too?

by Sad Eagle (not verified)

Qt/X11 is not GPL. It's dual-licensed under GPL and QPL, the latter of which permits additional open-source licenses to be used.

by LMCBoy (not verified)

Well, as long as we're picking nits....

When I configure Qt, it asks me to agree with one (1) of the licenses, GPL or QPL. You're saying if I choose GPL, then there are parts of KDE that I can't compile. Can you please point me to the list of KDE components that I should avoid?

by Sad Eagle (not verified)

The prevelant interpretation is that you're allowed to use both terms, using whichever one is appropriate per-application.

by Don (not verified)

Hi Scott,

Actually Trolltech GPL'd Qt/Mac at WWDC2003,

You can get the Qt/Mac Free Edition (GPL) here,


by Don (not verified)

D'oh sorry should have read Scott's comment more carefully. Guess I'll keep out of this Artistic license and GPL license debate.


by Anton Velev (not verified)

KDE on Mac?? Why?
UNIX OSX already has the best desktop ever!
They also have the Safari KHTML/KJS (I beleive the best part of KDE project already ported, also btw freed from QT/GPL).

There is lack of apps for linux and most are buggy. But this is not the situation on UNIX Mac, there are good commercial apps that really work. I suggest that you guys focus on making linux better, Apple will take good care for the UNIX.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

because they can; because there are KDE apps that are quite good (despite what you so condescendingly propose); because people who use KDE on other UNIX(-like) OSes might like some of the apps they are used to; because you can never have enough apps on a platform... etc...

curiosity begs me to ask: before Apple picked up KHTML/KJS, did you think it was the best part of KDE? or is it because Apple "blessed" it with their participation (which is very welcome, i might add) that you feel this way? if/when Apple picks up another bit of KDE technology, will you then feel that this too is another best part of KDE?

you know, Apple relies heavily on Free / Open Source software these days. that means that the quality platform you appreciate so much depends on that same community of which Linux is a part of. something to think about, anyways...

by Anton Velev (not verified)

Well Apple is now the biggest UNIX vendor, and more than that OSX is the best desktop that runs on UNIX. I think their choice is right when picking the best part of kde.
As you are saying that they rely on Open Source, this is Right. But they are doing it in a very smart way. They build proprietary solutions on top of NON-GPL opensource technologies.
Also in the KHTML/KJS case they help the community to get free from QT/GPL as their way to say thanks.

Linux desktop (KDE) is far from the UNIX desktop (OSX), they have commercial apps like Photoshop, MSOFFICE, Corel, Macromedia Flash, etc, etc, which kde will never have. They have their own grown apps, with a commercial software quality, and also of course they collaborate with the community to build a proprietary technology on top of opensource ones, while returning the changes back to the community and keeping their upgrades home.
Kde could improve the situation on Linux desktops before mass porting to a supperior UNIX platform. There are two dimensions of improvement:
1) quality of the software - for example koffice has too much to improve (why not the next technilogy Apple could get to be exactly koffice)
2) polotical situation - I don't know any commercial software built for KDE, and there is reason for it - QT/GPL (the gnome team has advantage here - they use GTK/LGPL)

by Anonymous (not verified)

> 2) polotical situation - I don't know any commercial software built for KDE, and there is reason for it - QT/GPL (the gnome team has advantage here - they use GTK/LGPL)

There is no reason for not having a commercial software for KDE because of KDE. There may be a QT/GPL reason and to disprove you: Hancom Office, Kylix, Opera, ...

by Anton Velev (not verified)

>There may be a QT/GPL reason and to disprove you: Hancom Office, Kylix, Opera, ...

This apps are not for KDE, I am not a lawyer to investigate why companies stay away from KDE, but definitely they do and they do not build commercial closed source solutions for KDE, and definitely it's because of political/licensing situation.

Otherwise KDE offers the best environment for Linux, the direction kde follows is definitely the quality but also commercial market should be opened to meet the corporate and end stupid user needs.

by Tuxo (not verified)

Frankly speaking - I don't need all the commercial software you rave about. I have been using Linux for five years (yes, on the desktop) and am perfectly happy with it. Also the KDE environoment has a better usability for _me_ than what OSX has to offer. The latter gets in my way with its teletuby-interface geared towards the computer-illiterate.

by Anonymous (not verified)

A lawyer will not be able to present a reason for this, stop your FUD!

by jmk (not verified)

> This apps are not for KDE, I am not a lawyer to investigate why companies stay away from KDE, but definitely they do and they do not build commercial closed source solutions for KDE, and definitely it's because of political/licensing situation.

Honestly, folks. The guy has a point.

KDE as a desktop is far superior to anything else that exists for free platforms. In addition, it's also the most used desktop on free platforms. Therefore it's quite suprising how little commercially-breeded applications exist for it. IANAL either to tell what the precise reason for the companies to stay away from it are, but obviously something is wrong here.

This, as I see it, is the biggest obstacle in success of KDE. Without this well-hidden problem, be it real or imaginary (marketing problem), I dont think anyone would be talking about GNOME anymore (actually, if RH would default otherwise GNOME would disappear pretty fast).

by fault (not verified)

There is a great deal of Qt/GTK commercial software, but very little GNOME/KDE based.

I don't see a great deal of commercial software for GNOME either. There is the software put out by Ximian, but that company is made of GNOME founders/hackers. theKompany also used to write KDE-based software before seeing the market conditions of commercial software on Linux- there were too many free (as in beer) alternatives and too small of a market. So, eventually, they started making cross platform software (i.e, pure Qt based)

by Derek Kite (not verified)

You don't have to be a lawyer.

It's not the licensing. Most commercial software packages are built on components they have purchased from others.

It's a similar situation as proprietary modules in the linux kernel. They can work, and are only used when no reasonable alternative exists. If someone release a proprietary and closed application for Kde 3.*, would it run on 4? Would they still be around to support a new version? I've been bitten so many times by proprietary software that I wouldn't spend my money on it. Especially when there are good free and open alternatives.

QT is different. Kylix is bound to the version they use. Pretty hard to do that with kde libs.


by Kevin Krammer (not verified)

> Well Apple is now the biggest UNIX vendor

Messured by what? My guess would have been either Sun or IBM.

> the gnome team has advantage here - they use GTK/LGPL

Actually this advantage seems to be irrelevant. You can find several companies doing closed source software with Qt but you have to search quite hard to find any company using GTK for closed source development besides Ximian.

by Strider (not verified)

Kevin is correct. There are almost no commercial developers using KDE/Gnome to do application developement for linux. They all use QT/GTK. But there is litterally dozens more QT based commercial applications then there are GTK based commercial applications.

In fact the only KDE/Gnome commercial applications that I know about are from the Kompany wich has two KDE applications.

The point is that GTK's LGPL status does not seem to be a significant advantage for its acceptance as a development enviroment. Because you can gat a pure commercial liecense for QT it is a huge advantage for commercial software developers.


by fault (not verified)

> In fact the only KDE/Gnome commercial applications that I know about are from the Kompany wich has two KDE applications.

Don't forget Ximian's connector-- it's the only GNOME commercial app I can think of.

by Strider (not verified)

Thats right. Connector is a gnome commercial application.

by J (not verified)

And all it's doing is scraping the screen of Exchange's webmail. Can't we do the same using the same architecture that YahooPops from sourceforge.net does? It wouldn't be too difficult, as long as you have access to the Webmail portion of exchange.

It'd be great if a kio could be created that just screen scrapes webmail: hotmail, yahoo, exchange, blah blah.

Anyone up for the challenge?

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

> Linux desktop (KDE) is far from the UNIX desktop (OSX), they have commercial apps like Photoshop, MSOFFICE, Corel, Macromedia Flash, etc, etc, which kde will never have.

Never is a long time. Besides, I guessing you never ran OS/2 or you'd understand better the sheer numbers it takes for commercial software houses to support a platform. (The license BS is a red herring.) There is a lot more that could be said about your list here but I'll just say that I've had a lot of inquiries about running Quanta on OS/X. It seems there is nothing for it that a number of developers think is as good. Also please note we typically run less than 5-10 open bugs at any given time so your remarks about quality are also off base.

If you want to evangelize OS/X so much what are you doing on a KDE site? If you want to critisize what someone is doing remember that they're doing what they choose, you didn't pay them and... you're critisizing them. Don't want it? Don't use it! Others do want it.

by Anthony Iverson (not verified)

Can't we all just get along? I hate to see a good discussion turn into a rampage. Is it so wrong to like KDE and Mac OS X without comparing them. In fact it's not right to compare them, Macs have almost always been wedged between commercial software and the consumer, and Linux is more for the people by the people. Many times without pay. I'm sure when KDE gets used a little more often Corel, Adobe, Apple, and maybe even MS wouldn't mind sending their applications that way. As long as there is money in it.

by Hakan (not verified)

I tried to use Gnome but it isn't usable as KDE. KDE desktop is really good for usability. I was a windooze user for a too long time but 1 year linux and I don't think that windooze is more useable than linux thanks to the great KDE desktop. It's easier to use than the windooze shit.

I never used OS X because I don't have the money ;-). Is it right that OS X is based on BSD? I think it is very smart of Apple to support the Open Source community. So they get more customers ;-). If you need professionell software for work, you've got the money to buy it (I guess, or are using P2P) but if you are student you are happy that open source exists.

I agree that commercial products like Photoshop, 3DStudioMax, etc. are better than every OpenSourve product out there. Because you have to pay a lot of money for a Mac you will have the money to buy other software for it, there is no reason to port KDE, I think. Focus on 86 systems please. When KDE is getting really good (I think it is, and really stable, good work!) maybe some commercial products will be developed.

(There are some bugs out there, thats right, but the software is free and open source, make it better yourself!)

by Tim Jansen (not verified)

>>Is it right that OS X is based on BSD?<<

It is using a Mach-based kernel, but they took libraries, utilities etc from the BSDs.

by Lee (not verified)

That's one opinion. Personally, I feel just the opposite, and prefer to run linux INSTEAD of Mac OS X.

by Anton Velev (not verified)

-On mac you can run office, photoshop, flash, corel, etc which are build for mac.
-Mac is UNIX (not linux), you have console, apache, perl, php, java and anything else one UNIX has
-Mac has unique best user interface. Apple are pioneers in UI guidelines. Everybody imitates them - XP, KDE.
-Apple builds quality apps that are unique for their OS and one cannot dream to run on another platform

In a mac platform you will not miss any UNIX tool, and you will not miss any commercail app. Also you will have the comfort of running on the best machine and UI. I can't guess for anything that linux user will have and mac user will not (well may be only klipper ;)

by Lee (not verified)

Because I prefer an openoffice, a gnu gimp, W3C SVG, sodipodi, etc. I care about future guarantees of freedom, and the freedom of others who might not be able to access proprietary software through poverty, or some other obstacle.

I don't like the Mac OS X user interface. Sure, it's cute, but it's not terribly usable. In fact, it's slow and awkward for my kind of multitasking workflow.

I'm not convinced about the quality. A lot of OS X is based on Free Software anyway. It's taken major revisions like Jaguar to make Mac OS X even capable of some things, and we've had to pay for them. Debian gets updates on a daily basis, and I'm sure they do it because they care, rather than because of the money. Furthermore, updates are backwards compatible on Linux. On Mac OS X, as soon as some new revision comes out, everything else is declared obsolete, in order to push new sales, and all the new stuff won't work on it. Then there is stuff like OS X's command line tools not even working with their filesystem, which just sucks.

Nope, I'm sticking with Linux.

by Anton Velev (not verified)

OpenOffice.org is OK, but GIMP is unserious compared to Photoshop, and there is no competiton to Macromedia Studio MX (and mostly Flash MX).
As for the OSX UNIX UI if you think a little and do some calculations you will find that their UI saves a lot of screen space, meaning it's more productive. Also Mac is not only for mouseclick users, if you know the shortcuts you can be fast.

About not working command line tools, I am sorry to hear that, it is really terrible did you report bug?

Btw, it's OK to port konqueror to Mac. Since apple already did the first half of the job porting KHTML/KJS you only have to port the filemanager. I will love to use konqueror on the mac.
Please post a message to this board when it's ready and I will download it to use it. But if you don't do it within a year I will write one for myself.

by Lee (not verified)

Well, on the comparison of various apps, that's all a matter of opinion. Some people think Macromedia can't even write a webpage properly, for example.

It DEFINITELY does not save space. That's ridiculous. Perhaps compared to whatever default config you had last time, but in terms of how much you can put on the screen when you really try, and still use it, KDE, GNOME, and probably windows beat OS X easily.

On the command line tools: yes, it's REALLY terrible. And no, I haven't reported the bugs, because a) I read about the problem long after I switched away from OS X, and b) It's a gaping hole of unimplemented features for an entire filesystem. They KNOW it's not implemented, just as they knew that OS 9 wasn't fault tolerant.

Don't get me wrong. I think OS X is nice. I'm sure lots of people will love it -- especially newbies who want something nice and easy. I just don't find it viable for my own needs.

BTW, I'm not a KDE developer, so I'll refuse to keep you updated on porting, if you don't mind ;D

by GaelicWizard (not verified)

I won't get into the macromedia good/bad thing.

How does it "DEFINITELY does not save space"? the *ONLY* thing on a mac screen that has to be there is the menu bar, and thats quite small. name *ONE* real reason that it "DEFINITELY does not save space" and I will bow down to you.

What exactly on the command line are you whining about? the only thing I can think of that doesn't work completely is ln for hardlinks. Should they not include ln? What exactly isn't implimented?

I'm not trying to flame (not doing to well, am I...), I'm just trying to see exactly what you are talking about? Generalized ramblings against (or for, for that matter) don't help either side. The accusor seems stupid, and the accussee doesn't listen. pls clearify.

by Datschge (not verified)

> Since apple already did the first half of the job porting KHTML/KJS you only have to port the filemanager.

I think you should spend your precious time for something else instead keeping posting here. The above quote makes it apparent that don't have the slighest idea about what you are talking about.

by kosh (not verified)

Actually I do professional web development and I have NEVER used flash and will not be using it. You lose far too many customers with it, use more bandwidth, lower your rankings in search engines because the data does not index anymore and overall it is an unusable mess. Long term I will probably be using svg once support for it matures which is getting better in kde and mozilla. At least svg will index, can be controlled with css and transfers well

Also I seriously doubt that macosx could be as productive as my linux 3 monitor setup with kde and 10 virtual desktops. My system is very customized to the way I work and it is highly productve.Also last I heard macosx does not have an equiv for io slaves and there is no way I could consider using a system without that anymore since it saves such a huge ammount of time. Being able to sftp, webdavs, http, https, smb, nfs, imap etc from any kde app is a huge gain.

by GaelicWizard (not verified)

you are correct, there are no io slaves on MacOSX. all the functions you speak of are directly integrated into the filesystem browser in the open/save dialogs.

by kosh (not verified)

So how would you use sftp, imap etc from any macosx app? When I last looked at it for webdav you had to mount it as a kind of virtual drive and io slaves are very very different from that. So how would you for example have your wordprocessor open up an html page? In kword I can just type in http://slashdot.org. Being able to do that from any app without doing some special mounting stuff saves a lot of time. How about if you got a file about what you are working on coding so you use your editor to do an imaps connection to the server and pull the file directly into your editor?

by John (not verified)

Obviously there are a number of features still missing from MacOSX, for example there is no sftp, only standard ftp. and imap is only accessable from within mail.app (or other email sw). mounts are handled automagically when you put in a URL (beit http or aft or smb or whatever) and they unmount when nolonger used, afaik. In the same way that you can't access a disk w/o mounting it, i'm not sure how you would really get anything over a network w/o mounting it in some fashion. this also makes sure that an app that has no idea whats going on, maybe not even a native app, can still access the information. I'm not saying that MacOSX can do it all, just that its not totally lacking. :-)


by Anonymous (not verified)

> I can't guess for anything that linux user will have and mac user will not

A free (in both senses) operating system and desktop.

by Anton Velev (not verified)

you don't have the freedom to close your source when using kde (qt/gpl)
you have that freedom with gnome (gkt/lgpl)
you have that freedom with windows and mac

by Anonymous (not verified)

And that improves the position of MacOS X in the two mentioned points how?
Since you have obviously no knowledge what "free (in both senses)" means: "Free" as in free speech and in free beer.

by Anton Velev (not verified)

third sense of "free":
- free commercial market

by Anonymous (not verified)

Summary: MacOS X desktop is two third not free.

by Jan (not verified)

You aren't serious I suppose. Or are you just trolling?
You don't have the freedom to hijack an airplane in Europe.
Is the Union not free because of this? Surely not!
You never have the freedom to restrict the freedom of others
in any sane country. The GPL was created to prevent hijacking
free software by commercial projects. And this it does.
It's the _advantage_ of KDE. You don't like - don't use it.

by Anton Velev (not verified)

Everybody has the freedom to not open what he creates.
I will need a better filemanager for mac (better than finder i mean), and konqeuror filemanager is good enough.

If kde does not port it within a year I will create one myself and will eventually give you to use it too, but i have the right to keep the source for me.

by Anonymous (not verified)

> Everybody has the freedom to not open what he creates.

You have that freedom in KDE as well. All you have to do is pay for Qt developers license.
If you're gonna charge for your software, you might as well pay, right?

The reason why companies develop for Qt and not for KDE is that they like their software to be cross-platform. KDE is still not available for Windows, but that might change as well!