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Well, last week I totally fucked up. For those of you that know what this means: I copied device nodes onto both my majour filesystems, $ROOT and my storage drive (that held all my music, images, and roms). Well, for those of you NOT in the know, this fucks your filesystem proper. After doing so, there was no going back...
The funny part was, it all worked UNTIL I did filesystem checked and attempted to repair them. I first noticed a problem when I booted the ahorn liveCD and it refused to mount my partitions. So after the first tiem this happened, I just rebooted, and carried on with my life, boot occurred without error and the filesystem seemed intact. Well, when I finally decided that it was time to upgrade, I decided to fsck, as I needed to to access my data from the liveCD... big mistake. HUGE mistake. Everything was lost the second I ran that command.
So, I decided to look ahead, and move forward. The obvious solution was to do what I had planned to do later on that week (but keep my data, of course): move to x86_64 gentoo, or a 64 bit version of gentoo, as my lesser goal was to become an Arch Tester, or AT. Well, after going through all the hassle of installing a stage 1 gentoo system, I came to the point where i needed a desktop environment. While XFCE has been my favourite for quite some time, it proved to barren. GNOME, well, GNOME is bad. KDE, on the other hand... I felt it deserved some long overdue attention.
My Journey Back Into KDE
Thankfully, the KDE team has split the project into smaller subprojects, or at least they finally got around to doing it for end users. This has since increased modularity of the kdesktop. Instead of isntalling kdemultimedia, I can just install Juk. This makes aynjell happy, as it allows him to skip the muck, and avoid longer compile times.
Anyway, enough with the technical mumbo jumbo, and on with the fun! The first thing I noticed was that the UI was still as clean as it used to be. It has a very smooth look to it, especially when the user uses the plastik theme. If the user also takes teh font size down a few points lower than default, things really begine to clean up. For example, my desktop.
So, the UI adds up, but next off, the applications, can it beat GNOME's all star line up? The answer: Yes, but it's not a 100% victory. For example, I much prefer GAIM over Kopete, and GIMP over krita. But then you find excellent applications like the aforementioned Juk, and think, wow! Not only does it manage music collections intelligently, but it allows me to send projects over to K3B? What's even cooler, is it lets me store album art and it automatically displays it when I play the corresponding CD. The overall impact is a polish not yet achieved by most media players. There are of course, other media players I enjoy, but none of them compare to juk.
Next up, came the need for a browser, and thankfully, the ideal browser for a 64 bit environment is Konqueror. Why? Well, I'll tell you why. The problem with 64 bit land is slow corporate companies lagging us behind. In short, things like Macromedia's Flash, which many a good humoured soul enjoys, isn't compatible with 64 bit software. To the rescue is Konqueror's plugin system, which utilizes an entirely modular plugin system. If you replace the plugin system with a 32 plugin system, they can still communicate via KDE's communication system: DCOP, and pass the Flash service between each other, thus using a 32 bit plugin inside of a 64 bit browser (but not really). What does this mean? It means I can watch my favourite cartoons with having a not-so-integrated browser.
Next up, what may not be such a big issue in windows, is in linux: URL handling. Unfortunately, GTK+ URL handling is varied. Many applications still use the deprecated variable $BROWSER, while some use gconf's settings. Applications like GAIM have the user set one for it, which ensures proper interoperability, but not all work well. I know I've never been a fan of the way X-Chat handles URL's.
The way QT handles it is pretty seamless, so seamless I am not quite sure how it does it. Don't really need to know as long as it works, right? I click and email adress, and sonuvagun! It fires up Kmail! Same goes for other applications that I've found handling URL's.
Then, when I decided to burn some CD's to help me get through work, K3B was more up to the task than most other applications I've ever cared to use. Graveman couldn't do in hours, what K3B did in minutes. I burned 5 CD's in a matter of 15 minutes and all worked perfectly save one (my fault), in fact, so well that CDDB identified them as the proper CD.
In short, I've been caught breathless by KDE 3.4.1, and can't wait for KDE4, as it's main goal is to speed up and debug operating. That is really all I can see KDE needing for quite some time, as all the competition is horribly behind.
Anyway, thought I'd rant a bit about something I decided I liked.
I should be ashamed of myself.
Well, I decided I'd try KDE 3.5 Beta 1, and well, it was way more productive than GNOME 2.12 Beta 1. In short, things actually work! In fact, they surpass the functionality of 3.4, except in two areas:
I have yet to get the 32 bit flash working. This is, I'm guessing, a non issue, as some hacker will have it up in a week or so.
And, I can't get akode to compile. This presents a problem of the slightly more majour sort, as akode is a dependency of Juk, my favourite media player. Yes, this is a bad thing. I am able to use 2.4.2 in the meantime, bu would i be between hell and high water without juk. :(
I should be ashamed of myself.