The Road to KDE Devland (Moult Edition) #0

Well then. I’ve been motivated by Hans Chen who originally decided to walk the path to a KDE developer and to do my own. For the technophobes, KDE is an actively developed desktop interface (for want of a better description) which is pushing ahead what the desktop is capable. It is also a community for everybody – the programmers, the artists, the PR folks and most importantly, the users.

Somebody once said that open-source will truly succeed when anybody and everybody will have the capability to create the environment around them completely as they see fit. I’m not denying that this’ll result in a lot of crappy environments (or not to my liking) but it basically says contribution shouldn’t be limited to those who mutter binary in their sleep.

I’m going to see if I am able to make this contribution. Let’s start by giving you the case study:

I do know PHP and do web-development. I have coded a black jack CLI game in C++ (well it was a start). I do graphics design and am proficient in The GIMP. I once touched Python but probably have forgotten a lot. I am a student and have no intention of going into programming as a career and have been self-taught. I have no deadlines, no clear goals nor any roadmap for this project, and am always juggling a variety of other projects on the side.

That, sounding quite like the commitment level proffered by most individuals seems like a vague and – well, truly realistic to be honest. I shall post my progress here with no fixed schedule and see how things go along :)

I’m thinking of starting by reading “Accelerated C++” – mainly because whoever thought up that title got the 100% keyword efficiency award for word estate. 2 buzzwords in 2 words. Eeeexceeelent.

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

More Posts

Spread the love
Tagged: , , , ,


  1. I recently switched from KDE to Gnome, because well – I wasn’t happy with the way the 4.x series was going and the fact that so many great apps from 3.5.x are now orphaned because of this move.

    I felt what made KDE great was the excellent polish of years of developer commitment. KDE 3.5.x was a great end product and a good mix between usability and eye-candy. With KDE 4.x everything seems to have gone backwards and now all those great 3.5.x apps have to be ported over again to 4.x series.

    I wish at least an active branch of 3.5 was kept alive. Sadly too much “progress” and little stability seems to be the bane of open source at the moment.

    Gnome seems to be much lighter on my laptop and far more responsive. I’ll probably be posting something about it in a while.

  2. No matter how much more responsive Gnome is on my laptop I don’t personally think I could ever stand to use it as an environment. It just seems too “simple” and plain. I am currently running KDE snapshots and though plasma likes to crash once in a while, I have no problem using it as my production environment. Remotely of course nothing beats ratpoison as a minimalistic tiling WM with NX.

    I personally see KDE as the future of the Linux desktop – that’s what is going to compete with Microsoft and Apple – Gnome saw its days on servers and personal computers, but KDE is where all the fun is :)

    Of course, all opinion.

    Keep in mind I never tried KDE 3.x except for a short stint before I upgraded.

  3. I think for the good of the open source community we shouldn’t see either as a future of the desktop. Both are good in their own ways.

    After all these years of tweaking around and playing with KDE, I feel the need for something that simply works without fuss or trouble.

    KDE 3.5.x series was something close to the ideal balance between configurability, usability and eye-candy. KDE 4 has taken the balance way too much in favour of eye-candy.

    The biggest reason I moved away from KDE is because so many useful KDE applications in 3.5.x series have been orphaned or slowed down in development. And that is a bad thing when you’re forced to reinvent the wheel merely to upgrade to a new library…

    KDE 4 has introduced way too many changes and is going the Windows Vista way. And in my opinion, Dolphin plain sucks and is a buggy wannabe of Nautilus.

  4. I wanted to add that Gnome is kind of an acquired taste. It’s growing on me, actually. I hated Gnome as much as you did after being a KDE user for 7+ years, so you’re preaching to the converted. I’ve seen a lot of KDE myself and I’ve had all the fun I want from it… :)

    I am using Gnome now only because I want a full-fledged desktop and since I use so many Gnome/GTK applications decided that there was no point in running a separate WM. Some aspects of Gnome are frustrating (lack of configurability etc.) but it’s actually not so bad when you realize that too much configurability can be as much of a headache and timewaster as too little. Gnome feels sleeker and more elegant in many aspects though not in all…

    I sincerely hope that at some stage the two desktop environments will provide greater interoperability (see http://www.freedesktop.org/) so it won’t be a matter of KDE OR Gnome but KDE and Gnome… For example, in the manner of distributing the help system, in the way both DEs store their desktop related data etc.

  5. Yay, this is great!

    It’s nice to hear that I’ve motivated you, and even better that you’re going to start your own “The Road to KDE Devland” series! I hope this will motivate even more people to take up the challenge.

    Looking forward to seeing your posts, I’ll make sure to add a link in my next step. :)

  6. @hari: definitely GNOME and KDE is the way to go. Well – to me it’s whatever works! As long as there is choice I am happy.

    @Hans: Cheers and thanks! Though if this were a race I would surely lose :)

  7. Great to see beginners in KDE development writing about their learning experinece. It sure does inspire othere people to make the first step. BTW, if your KDE blog posts are not on Planet KDE yet I suggest you add your blog to inspire even more people. Keep up the good work and much luck with the beginnings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *