Pick a Free OS

In conversation with Martin Konold

Well, 2 took a long time in coming because there was a lot that was new in the 2.0 release. But now that 2.0 has been released, we've moved on to squashing bugs. Since there aren't that many bugs, you will soon see us getting a lot faster. Our idea was to first work on the desktop, give people a good desktop environment and then look at the applications. Now that the new release is out and relatively bug free, you're going to see us get a lot more of the applications. So, expect to see faster releases from KDE.

Did the release of QT as GPL help get more developers into KDE?

Not really. What really helped us, was the release of KDE 2.0 after which, there has been a tremendous amount of interest in programming for KDE. Also, people telling us on the mailing lists that QT was bad because it was not GPL, has decreased. But we never listened to them anyway.

We're not big fans of desktop environments because they tend to be slow. We just prefer to use Windowmaker because it loads so fast. You start it and it's on screen. What have you to say?

Windowmaker is just a window manager, whereas KDE is a desktop environment. A desktop environment offers you a lot more than a Windowmanager would. A desktop environment will address a lot more issues -- drag-drop, a clipboard and supporting applications.

What's good about KDE?

KDE/embedded. Right now KDE has been developed to the level that we don't require X anymore. This was demonstrated at LinuxWorld. But, X has some nice features like remote displays that make it very useful.

The next release 2.1.1 will bring anti-aliased fonts. We've got very good support for Internationalization. We now have bi-directional text support. Say you are writing in Arabic, which is written from right to left, you can in between switch to another language, which is written from left to right.

Audio support has been improved. We've got this new sound daemon, which adds network transparency. With X you can just export displays. This sound daemon allows you to export the sound too. If you find that the sound from an application is breaking up, you can run it with real-time priority.

The GUI looks much better. You can now even use GTK themes instead of the KDE themes. Keyboard navigation has been improved and is quite effective too. There are a lot of keyboard shortcuts around.