Hate KDE4? Ignorance Is Probably the Culprit

Let’s bust some myths today because a majority of KDE 4 haters out there have the same reasons for hating it.  I’m pretty sick of seeing posts and news articles about “why I don’t like KDE 4” and then seeing that the real reason the person is upset is because they don’t spend an extra few moments trying to figure things out…aka lazy and ignorant.

KDE 4 was NOT feature complete when it came out in the 4.0 version.  It IS feature complete (in my opinion) with the 4.2 and 4.3 versions.

Ignorant Reason #1 – I hate Dolphin and I Can’t Have Konqueror Anymore

filemanagerWrong, you can use Konqueror.  You don’t have to use Dolphin, but you’ll be missing out on a lot of useful stuff.  Tell you what, now that you know that you don’t have to use Dolphin, why not use KDE 4 and give Dolphin a try every so often…you can still use Konqueror in the meantime and now that you know you can, you don’t have to go around trumpeting that you can’t to everyone who will listen and saying what a piece of crap it is.  Forget that you’ll lose nepomuk and the semantic desktop by dismissing dolphin.  Don’t know what that is?  Let me google that for you…

I sure hope this solves many peoples beef with KDE 4 right out of the gate because this is one of the reasons I find all over the web.  I really think the problem is the lethargic attitude that prevails from die hard KDE 3 fans.  Honestly guys, give Dolphin a try…it’s really a pretty decent file manager and is light years ahead of any other DE file manager.

Ignorant Reason #2 – I Can’t Have Folders or Files on the Desktop Anymore

desktopsettingsWrong.  Right click on the desktop and choose “Desktop Settings”.  Select the drop down menu “Type” and select “Folder View”.  Your desktop now has folders, icons, and all other such things that you may want to clutter it with.

If you want to switch back to NOT using the folders and instead use widgets…right click on the desktop and choose “Folder View Settings” >> Select Type >> Desktop.

To top it off, if you select “Folder View”, the folders and icons act exactly like you would expect them to in KDE 3.  Not only can you select to show your desktop folders…but you can even show a folder like /home as your default desktop…show any folder you have access to, it’s up to you.  Yay right?  I give it a golf clap.  Let’s continue thinking out of the box and bust a few more myths.

Ignorant Reason #3 – I Can’t Move My Panel to the Top, Right, or Left.

panelmoveWrong.  Click the settings icon on the right hand side of your panel (it looks like a comma on the far right side of the panel).  The settings area pops open.  On that bar is something called “Screen Edge”.  Now, it seems pretty self explanatory that when you hover over the top of it, it gives you the 4 arrow icon that means you can drag and drop the panel wherever you want to…and being named “screen edge” seems to imply “which screen edge…left, right, bottom, or top…do I want this thing to appear on”.  Then again, I can see how screen edge can confuse people when you open the settings of a panel that resides on the screen edge.  Ok, maybe I can’t.  Well, at least you know you can move your panel around right?  Golf clap again?  Who plays golf anyway?

Ignorant Reason #4 – I Can’t Resize Folders and Files in Dolphin

Wrong again.  Are you sensing a pattern yet?  Open Dolphin, go to the directory where you want to increase the folder size.  Hold the control key down…now roll your mouse wheel and be amazed as the folder size increases.  Invest all your money in Yet Another Linux Blog stock and move to Nicaragua.  Golf clap on your way to expedia.com for purchasing tickets.

Ignorant Reason #5 – I Like to Use My Own Color Schemes…I Can’t Do That in KDE4.

System Settings

KDE4 absolutely allows you to create your own color schemes.  It really helps to look around inside the system settings tool.  Go to your Kmenu >> System >> System Settings.  Once there, look for Appearance.  You can also use the top search

Appearance Colors

bar to look for any term…so if you were to type “color” there, you’d see that Appearance & Display are returned.

Click on Appearance and you’re taken into a wonderful world of color and granular control of said color.  Change anything you’d like….go crazy.  I hear pink is the new green…or is it green that was the new pink?  Whatever.  The only limits are your imagination.  For those without imagination.

Ignorant Reason #6 – The Default Menu is Cludgy and Different and I Can’t Find Anything in KDE4

Now there is no right or wrong here…you could be right depending on who you talk to.  However, the nice part about KDE4 is that they include the previous menu for you.  Right click the Kmenu and choose “Switch to Classic Menu Style”.  Now your menu is the exact same as it would be in KDE 3.5.10.  Please remember that answers are out there…you just have to search for them.

Closing the Door on Myths

Hopefully, this closes the door on many misconceptions helps people who are ignorant to the leaps and bounds that KDE4 has made just in the past few months.  I’ve grown very tired of journalists and bloggers taking swipes at KDE4 and spreading misinformation about it.  If you have any questions about how to do something in KDE4, please leave a comment below and let’s work together in finding a solution.

Are You Secure?

When I was little, I was afraid of heights (to a degree, I still am). Therefore, you hardly ever caught me climbing trees or swinging high…anytime anyone wanted to elevate past my head level in any shape and form I was grounded..literally. The feeling of security given when my feet touched the ground was comforting. I knew from experience that the ground would be there…it wasn’t going to swallow me up whole (didn’t know much about earthquakes at this time). There were no pitfalls that I was aware of.

Fast forward to today.

I still get a sense of security by the ground being under my feet…this time with my operating system. I know that Linux doesn’t have any pitfalls, no security breached backdoors…because I can SEE the code. It’s like I am Indiana Jones being given a map of every single boobie trap before he enters the temple to get the artifact.

Read more

Coming Full Circle on PCLinuxOS Magazine

I see articles like OSWeekly’s “The Future of Publishing with Linux Magazines” and I chuckle a bit.

Mainly because PCLinuxOS Magazine will have its 12 monthly issue published next month. That’s right, we’ve been here a year. Now, I can’t take credit for this fantastic Linux resource because I only sponsor it and help make executive decisions regarding hosting and other things like that…it’s in the hands of great editors and contributors and is continually growing. The staff is well over 10 people strong and gaining.

You’d think that OSWeekly would take this magazine into consideration when writing this article…but they instead opt mentioning and considering the fate of Full Circle Magazine in the Ubuntu community. Now don’t get me wrong, Full Circle is a great magazine and we’re glad they’re also producing a quality magazine for their community…It just perturbs me a bit that the hard working editors, contributors, and proofreaders and layout/website designers that put together PCLinuxOS Magazine don’t get any mention or credit when it comes to online magazines.

So, I’d like to take some time congratulating PCLinuxOS Magazine…with a circulation of over 15 thousand for the PDF alone and nearing 10 thousand unique hits on the HTML Magazine that they simultaneously publish each month for low bandwidth users. Congratulations PCLinuxOS Magazine! For making a magazine not only interesting to PCLinuxOS users but to Linux users as a whole!

How to Become a Cool Blogger and/or Hip Journalist

First…get yourself a blog and get it running. It doesn’t matter if it is from wordpress, google, or the media company you work for…just get a blog up and running.

To get maximum exposure in the past, you had to use keywords. Now is no different. The keyword we’ll focus the most on is one that can get you thousands of hits in a few minutes if submitted to the right news outlet. That keyword is Ubuntu. Add this keyword to EVERY post you make. Name your blog with Ubuntu in the title to make sure that it is vaulted up the rankings. Just remember, you must use the word Ubuntu in everything you post.

For your first post, announce that you’re going to stop using Windows XP and use Ubuntu instead. Do a lousy job of documenting your installation procedure and make sure you don’t talk about anything of worth to someone who might be making the same change…just talk about how cool it is to be running Ubuntu and go over all the pluses. Don’t focus on anything negative…afterall, you don’t want any of the fanbois to come in and flame you now do you? Best to avoid confrontation…you know that someone else will fix that nasty problem you ran across during install right? Why should you report it? You’re just a blogger trying to amass hits and/or a journalist trying to become hip right?

Ok, so now that you’ve announced to the world that you’re switching and you’ve blogged about installing and setting things up…you have to follow it up with a “this is the best thing since sliced bread” post. Make sure you talk about how Ubuntu has completely replaced everything you’ve ever done…talk ferverently about how it does your laundry, makes you breakfast, and changes the linen on your bed.

Make sure that you make claims about how Ubuntu is THE best Linux available despite not trying another distribution of Linux or having anything other than Windows XP to compare it to. Remember, always use the word Ubuntu!! When you go to install and compile a program that can install and compile on ANY DISTRIBUTION, make sure that you title it “Installing SoftwareX on Ubuntu” so that everyone will know that you are cool and hip by using Ubuntu…plus, it’s good to confuse people into thinking that SoftwareX can only be installed on Ubuntu and no other distributions out there.

Finally, always speak as though you are a complete subject matter expert on Ubuntu. Don’t worry! You won’t have to be. Countless people will flock to your aid in comments on your blog. You won’t have to defend yourself at all…even when people bring up actual problems or maybe discuss the shortcomings of Ubuntu there will be many people that will completely thwart these idiotic attempts to actually improve Ubuntu. And how dare people even think they can improve Ubuntu! They don’t work for Canonical and everyone knows that the best distros out there are from companies and people who get paid to develop for said company.

Follow this how-to and you’ll be raking in the readers! Plus you’ll be considered one of the coolest and hippest bloggers/journalists around! You don’t need talent…you don’t need knowledge…you don’t even need experience…you just need to remember the magic word Say it with me now…Ubuntu!

This blog post has been brought to you by the letter U and our word of the year Ubuntu. Remember, Ubuntu is not a four letter word…it has 6 letters in it. Claims of this bloultg about Ubuntu doing laundry may not work for you as results may vary.  If you start to believe that this post is from someone who is ignorant and that it is a serious blog post, hit yourself on the head numerous times with a tack hammer and point into the sky shouting “airpane!! airpane!!”.  Someone will get you the help you need :)

Guilty by Association

I remember a time in high school when we had a substitute teacher. This teacher was previously retired but still subbed in from time to time. His look on things was of the old school circa 1960…so he ran quite a tight ship and didn’t appreciate any adverse feedback or smart remarks from the students. I never had a problem with him until the day that I chuckled at a fellow classmate who was in a tug of war match with another student over a text book (evidently, one of them stole the other student’s textbook…whatever) and the teacher decided to get in the fray…so here we have 2 students and a teacher pulling on a textbook in three different directions. I laughed aloud…it was silly to see an older teacher and two ‘punks’ as he’d call them pulling on that book.

I was immediately reprimanded and given detention. When I asked what I did, the response was “apparently nothing but you’re going to stay after anyway”. When I pressed harder for an explanation, I was told that since I thought ‘my two buddies’ were funny, I was staying after. I had been caught in a perplexing situation many people, groups and companies find themselves in…I was guilty by association.

I was reading an article at Linux Today earlier and saw this line from the article, which was penned in defense of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (and rightly so…I have no idea why people would call SJVN a shill…he’s the farthest thing from it). I’m not so much concerned with people attacking SJVN so much as I am with the editor’s (it’s an editor’s note) second item that he’s bugged by:

“The other reaction that bugged me was this guilt-by-association that’s been glommed onto openSUSE. Why does this product and its developers suddenly have to take the fall for the actions of Novell?”

So…people shouldn’t do this. We all know that it isn’t fair…but the main fact is they are doing this and have always done this, just like that teacher of mine in high school. I wanted to understand why people aren’t making the connection that openSuse shouldn’t be held accountable for Novell’s actions…but then it hit me…The technology and code being sunk into openSuse as a test ground will one day make it into the Novell Desktop…which, as part of the now famous deal, will make money for Microsoft.

When you look at it in this logical manner, I don’t blame the people the article is condemning for targeting openSuse and I don’t see how anyone can blame them. How many Linux users out there do you know that want to bankroll Microsoft?

Read more

Activism and Promotion

Something that is really counterproductive in many Open Source communities are people who are so rabidly fanatical about one line of thinking that they try to pressure everyone into their line of thinking. One long standing example of this is the whole FLOSS vs. FOSS concept. Some outspoken individuals try to lash out at all people who don’t take their view on Free and Libre Open Source Software…that is, software that is Open Source, Free, and Libre (aka without proprietary parts included). It’s really sad because this shouldn’t be an issue in Open Source and Linux communities but it often is.

There are two labels that can be applied to these stances…promotion or activism. A majority of the people who love and support Open Source software are promoters. They’re the ones that always put in a plug for their distro during tech conversations or tell their co-workers excitedly why they don’t have viruses. The others are activists who lobby congress (like lobby4linux.com), sue for GPL violations, and take an active role in the proliferation of Open Source. Both of these stances and labels are needed in Open Source and to proliferate Open Source. But just like the old saying, “too much of a good thing can kill you” so can too much activism or promotion inside Open Source.

It’s my experience that there are more of the promotionists than the activists. Of course, activists are needed with Open Source as well. They’re the informed individuals that debate the GPLv2 and v3 until they’re blue in the face…they’re the ones that force GPL compliance on those not observing that license. They ARE needed. It’s the extreme fringes of both promotionists and activists that we don’t need. When someone goes over the top and over-promotes something…their promotion becomes counterproductive because of over saturation. The same is true for activism…no one wants to hear about how wrong they are for using X or not installing X.

So which group would be worse? It’s really up in the air. Over saturation means that (when people hear about Linux after a promotionist has filled their ears to the brim with how great it is) a person will more than likely ignore something with Linux or not consider it when it would be worthwhile to them. On the contrary, activists may distract new advocates and new users by focusing them not on promotion of using Open Source but rather, debating on Libre vs. Non-Libre or whatever their argument might be (as Libre vs. Non-Libre is not the only area that has activists vs. promotionists). Remember, we’re speaking of the rabidly fanatical end aka fringes of the spectrum…not generalizing here. People can be rabid on the promotion side of things too…it’s important to note that when you’re on the extreme side of either, you’re counterproductive to the proliferation of open source software.

Read more