KDE 4 Alpha time

30Jul07

I’ve been hearing lately about KDE4’s new features. Though I agree with the folks who are saying there are a lot of purely visual changes, I have to confess that I do get excited when there’s a new version of software I have come to like. I never was a really big fan of graphical desktops: with the notable exception of WindowMaker which is truly beautiful to work with. Since I moved from Redhat Fedora Core to the Debian Testing distro I chose KDE, partly because I need a multi-user setup for my family that can be made to look and feel close to MS Windows with the Redmond themes.

I saw an announcement for the Alpha2 tarball packages and I downloaded them, about 300Mb in total – unfortunately what I really wanted was the SVN snapshots, so I had to start again. Finally got everything untarred and updated about 0500 this morning. I’m not a programmer by trade so it’s all a little awkward and I have to look up a lot of development stuff: luckily there’s a great article on the KDE techbase wiki, which saved me a lot of time. The scripts on the same site work well with the build docs, I set up a seperate kde-devel user for simplicity. I’ve got qt4 compiled and kdelibs: not had any errors apart from my own spelling mistakes and diskspace warnings. You need lots of room to build as it needs seperate build and source directories: plus a directory for the install. It’s already used 5.3Gb disc: hope I’ve got enough with 16Gb!

Right, I’m going to finish it off now. Fingers crossed there won’t be any strange compile errors which I can’t fix myself. The major updates are committed on a Monday so I probably picked the right day for picking up a snapshot: no need to update until I’ve got a finished build. I want to help out with the development where I can, particularly documentation and scripting side. Signing off…

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