As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to give KDE a chance on my home system. For the last 5 days I’ve been neck deep in KDE land, with some fairly minor trips to non-KDE applications when I can’t figure out how to get something done (more on the soon).
The first step was to download the brand spanking alpha ISO for Foresight Linux KDE Edition (x86 here and x86_64 here) and bring it home. I waited until everyone was asleep to backup my files and got ready for the long install… AND BOY WAS I DISAPPOINTED! The install, including formatting my 200GB hard drive took 4 MINUTES!
Once I rebooted the machine I was faced with a pretty vanilla KDE installation, with pretty much most of the applications out there already installed for me. Since the last time I played with KDE was several years ago, I took my time learning the applications and tweaking my desktop look and feel to my heart’s content. The first thing that captured my fancy was Amarok! WOW! I loaded my 22 GB of music in there and let it sort it all out, including getting covers for the albums, and moved on to Akregator. Having been a Liferea user for quite some time, I felt right at ease with it and was able to import my old feeds and start reading my news in no time.
Another application that has been tested and beaten to death is Konqueror, and so far I have had only a few issues. Mind you that Firefox is installed by default, but I wanted to have the whole KDE experience and only used it for one single task. Right away I tried to check my gmail and was warned that my browser wasn’t fully supported… WHAT? The work around was to “fake” the site to think I was running Firefox and the warning message was gone. If anyone from Google is reading this, using my (really bad) Brooklyn accent: “Hey! Wasamatter with you?” That is just ridiculous and I hope Konqueror gets its much deserved love from Google. Now, the only issue I had with Konqueror was when I tried to upload pictures into my Flickr account (by the way, my PRO account expires today). For some reason, the browser would bring me right back to the upload form as soon as I hit the save button… that is when I fired up Firefox to bail me out. Weird.
Back to the distro, up until now the KDE edition has pretty much been handled by a couple of guys (hey jtate and int!) and not much time has been invested into making it more organized and give it some proper love. I noticed that there were lots and lots of redundant applications around and in some cases some categories were left out. The only video player available was Noatun and it didn’t really work for me (something related to being compiled against a conflicting arts plugin). So the solution was to take advantage of a couple of free hours here and there, coupled with the awesome power of the conary packaging system to start shaping it into… errr… shape. I mean, I have never packaged anything in my life before using conary, and so far I have taken on the maintenance of a few packages. Obviously I have had help along the way, and Ken Vandine and AntÃƒÂ³nio “doniphon” Meireles have taught me a lot! Anyone interested in learning more about packaging or just curious about conary should stop by #foresight and #conary on Freenode.
My idea is to make a list of all the current, installed by default applications in each category and pick one to be installed by default. Under “Internet”, leave Konqueror, Firefox, Kopete, Konversation, Akregator and maybe KTorrent? Under “Multimedia”, Amarok (no brainer), Kaffeine… WAIT!!! Kaffeine is not available! Luckily, a mere 9 lines of python-like syntax yielded a brand new Kaffeine application, packaged and ready to be used by the masses! Let me say that again: NINE lines and it was packaged! I told you conary was powerfull!
So, what can you do to lend us a hand? Well, there are lots to do and there’s room for everyone! You can start by downloading the ISO and playing with it. If you’re interested in learning about conary so you can help out with packaging, read the FAQ, Quick Reference and joining us on #foresight. Is art design your bag? We still don’t have a nice green theme yet! How would you like to have your art in our distro??? Remember, Foresight is Green!
My KDE Odyssey has just begun! More to come…