12 September 2010

KDE Articles

Having been caught up with real work this week I have only just really caught up with my RSS feeds. Within which this week I find a number of interesting articles on various elements of KDE.

The first two are Bruce Byfields 7 Things you can do in KDE but not in Windows 7 and KDE and the Expansion of the Desktop. Both articles offer some interesting and articulate advice regarding KDE's Virtual Desktops, Activities, KWin effects and more. It's nice to see Bruce standing up for a desktop that only a couple of years ago he was so critical of.

A Look At KDE Desktop Effects does just that and provides a nice step by step guide to using the "System Settings" to get the best from the effects offered by KWin.

Last, but not least is KDE SC 4.5 Desktop Activities Exposed which once again comes from an author who was critical of the KDE activity implementation but after play with it and reading further articles himself (see article for links) comes to the conclusion that they might not be so bad after all.

RIP Sidux ... aptosid Is born!

A long time ago before I switched to Arch for my main distro I spent sometime running Sidux.

Sidux was a Debian based distro based and built on the Sid repositories which contain the unstable Debian branch code. Sidux was great. I could install a whole basic KDE desktop in about 5 minutes and then spend the rest of an evening setting it up and installing on the applications I wanted. It provided a rolling basis so that a quick drop to the shell meant I could stay bleeding edge with no reinstalls.

I read only recently that the project appeared to be suffering some issues and after heading over to the project page tonight (after reading that Mint Debian will only ship GNOME!?!?) I find that the project is now dead. RIP Sidux.

Their wikipedia page has been updated with some very minor details regarding what to do now but confirming that as of yesterday the project is dead.

However, what both the Sidux website and the above wikipedia article state is that the developers have started a new project to continue in Sidux's footsteps. The new project is called aptosid. The new site is quite limited but it is day one of a free software project! I will be watching with interest what happens to the project and if they can recapture the following they once had by providing the slickest Debian Sid experience to be found.

7 September 2010

KDE SC 4.5 3D Issues Or Not

I have read numerous posts and articles since KDE SC 4.5 was released last month bemoaning the abilities of graphics drivers, or lack of, in coping with the rendering requirements of KWin. For some reason members of the web press and some users seem to have ignored the advice of the both the KWin developers and the distribution developers. I suspect there are some "issues" with some of the open source drivers however, it's not right or fair to blame the KWin or it's developers.

Martin Gräßlin has an opinion post on his blog that details the checks that KWin performs when it hits issues with 3D and openGL rendering. They seem quite sensible to me.

I run Arch on a Thinkpad with a crumby Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller. I use the standard open source driver and when I upgraded I followed the advice from the Arch developers (posted on the KDE SC 4.5 release announcement) and added the following to my ~/.bash_profile :


Once I had added that and re-enabled "Desktop Effects" in System Settings I have not suffered any problems. I'm not saying it's a magic "cure all" for all driver/card combinations but rather that perhaps following the advice of the developers is the best place to start when you have issues.

5 September 2010

KDE SC 4.5 Activities

I have just read this great article which details various options within KDE SC 4.5 Plasma Desktop such as Activities and Folder View.

Very much worth a read.

3 September 2010

Google Wave - Further Code To Be Outsourced

Google Wave was a great idea I felt. We adopted it at work for collaborative discussions and found it a better way to communicate than just IM and Email. Sadly, Google have decided not to continue developing the application.

However, as announced yesterday, Google are going to Open Source more of the Wave code and even bundle many of the elements into a complete solution.

I will be following this as Wave and Etherpad and co are really execllent tools with a lot of potential.

1 September 2010

KDE SC 4.5.1 Is Available

KDE have released the first in their maintenance release's for the 4.5 version of the KDE SC.

This page details the contents.

Time for an upgrade.

Jack Wallen's KDE SC 4.5 Review

This is a link to a great review of the KDE SC 4.5. I have followed Jacks reviews of the KDE release's for some time and can say that he honestly hated the initial 4.0 release's and said so.

So it's nice to see the hard work of the KDE developers being reported in such a positive way.