Rob Kaper and myself have collaborated on a summary of the happenings at last week's LinuxWorld Expo. We tell you what really took place at the most fabulous booth at the show <grin>. And don't forget to check out Rob's extended and hilarious picture gallery of the event!
KDE Report: LinuxWorld Conference and Expo 2001
KDE Project Shows Off KDE 2.2 and KOffice 1.1 at LWE 2001 (San Francisco, CA)
Rob Kaper and Andreas Pour
September 4, 2001
San Francisco, CA, USA
The KDE Project used the occasion of
the LinuxWorld Expo in San
Francisco to show off the most recent release of the K Desktop Environment, KDE 2.2. The
Expo was also the perfect place to announce and demonstrate the new KOffice 1.1,
the KDE office and productivity suite.
KDE was represented by Bay Area locals Jim Blomo, Jason Katz-Brown and
Charles Samuels as well as Bohemians Waldo Bastian, Kurt Granroth, Rob
Kaper, Andreas Pour and Chris Schläger. Also present at the KDE booth with
the best of intentions were Paul Campbell, Bill Huey and Eunice Kim.
One of the highlights of the event was the announcement that KDE had won the
LWE Excellence Award for Best Open Source Project. After receiving the
award, it was proudly displayed at the booth by the developers present, who
felt it was great to see appreciation for the combined efforts of the entire
Over the three days that the exhibition was open, many visitors were seen
at the KDE booth. Most of them were impressed by the demonstrations given.
Most popular were Konqueror,
Noatun-plugin Madness, the Internet
keyword architecture, renewed text editor Kate and especially the KIO
Demonstrating the kio_audiocd plugin with the flair of a magician
("see, this is a regular CD") to rip and encode audio tracks to
MP3 and Ogg Vorbis almost caused some
visitors to leave the exhibition so they could install KDE on their
computers immediately. Also met with great interest was the mention of the
kio_freenet and kio_sftp slaves for respectively the Freenet distributed file network
and secure file transfers using SSH.
Interest from the media was also intense. Andreas was forced to purchase
lozenges to protect himself after the large number of interviews the
KDE League's PR firm arranged for him (thanks Eunice!). Earlier in the
week Andreas took part in a live interview and another recorded interview for
TechTV, an international
technology cable channel.
One of the most frequently asked questions at the booth was the
difference between KDE and GNOME, the two most popular open source
desktops. Most users did not realize
that both projects share the same goals (improving UNIX usability) while
approaching them from a different technical point-of-view. Despite popular
belief, the KDE
developers and GNOME developers did not engage in WWIII but instead met
under friendly conditions. Andreas also met with Nat Friedman from
Ximian in an effort to improve
relations and to discuss ways that KDE and GNOME can work together to make
Open Source more attractive to computer users. The meeting went very
well and concrete actions to improve KDE/GNOME interoperability were
discussed. Some of these ideas were already planned in a KDE/GNOME hackfest
to be held at the XFree
Technical Conference this November under the umbrella of
Keith Packard of the
Some other frequently heard requests were for CD's with KDE installed
and whether MieTerra's big stuffed Konqi could be given away. For various
reasons the KDE team could not comply, but were able to point to a page
on the KDE website with third part CD-ROM resellers and KDE merchandise. It should also
be mentioned that most Linux distributions ship with KDE, many of which have
it as the preferred or default desktop environment. We would like to
specifically mention both SuSE and Mandrake and thank them for the hardware
they contributed for the KDE booth. Another thank you goes to the KDE League for providing food for the
developers in attendance.
A photo impression of the event and the KDE booth made by Rob Kaper is available here.