Marble is not just a rock, it’s software, too

Marble, the one we are referring to here, is a free, open-source world atlas and virtual globe software somewhat akin to Google Earth and friends. It is also a part of the KDE software suite, which makes it even more interesting. Now, it’s no stranger, either, and we have seen this little tool in action a few years back. I decided to re-explore [sic] Marble once again and see what it can offer, especially now that version 1.9 has been released. Sadly, the new build is only available for Windows at the moment. Ironic, is it not. The version present… Continue Reading

Plasma 5 – Ano’er opinion

Several days back, when I saw an article covering Plasma 5,¬†written by my colleague Luis, I immediately stopped reading. The reason was, I intended to write a piece of my own, and I did not want to taint my subjectivity with someone else’s. I promised myself I would read it, just a few moments before I conclude this review. Anyhow, I tested the new KDE release while still in an early stage several months back, and it showed great beauty and decent promise, despite being rather devoid of any real functionality. Since, dozens of releases have been baked, each one… Continue Reading

What’s next? Plasma Next!

KDE5 is one of the more important upcoming software packages in the Linux world. There are quite a few reasons why this is the case, and I’d like to emphasize a couple in this opening section. The first, the critical satisfaction factor uncertainty, which comes to bear following the KDE3.5 to KDE4 fiasco. This one has left many a user with a bitter taste, and worse yet, a sense of fear that the familiar and friendly, which they’ve come to love, may be gone in a single moment of binary code fury. The second one is, this is the first… Continue Reading

Review: Netrunner 13.12

After a very short delay the new version of Netrunner has arrived. All the new features and changes introduced on Kubuntu 13.10 are also part of Netrunner 13.12, so our review of the latest of version of Kubuntu is pertinent as well. But there’s much more than just Kubuntu in Netrunner. What’s new? The new Homerun Kicker (Main) Menu This is probably the first thing users coming from 13.06 will notice. Netrunner has abandoned the classical style kickoff menu for a new more modern one called Homerun Kicker. But fear not: Netrunner didn’t jump into the bandwagon of replacing self-explanatory… Continue Reading

They called it Trinity

As a kid, I loved Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies, especially the Trinity series. Still, even then, the speech always felt stilted and weird. It was only years later that I discovered that it was all in Italian and dubbed in English. Like learning Santa ain’t real. So what has this got to do with the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE)? Well, everything. The sense of disillusionment that happened when KDE 4.X came out, the attempt to revive a classic in an age that prefers a different kind of experience. Yup, it’s a remake of the old and trusted KDE… Continue Reading

Best KDE distro of 2013

Normally, at the end of the year, I tend to run my best annual distro roundups, choosing the finest among five operating systems or flavors thereof that showed the greatest promise in terms of stability, usability, elegance, support, and other curious items in the outgoing twelve-month period. But I have never dedicated much thought to selecting the best implementation of any one particular desktop environment, regardless of the system underneath. But when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Oftentimes, distributions rise and fall based on their desktop session, because that is what users see and interact… Continue Reading

What KDE can learn from Cinnamon

Well, this ought to be interesting. Battle royale, except we have no gentry, just the two seemingly and arguably dominant desktop environments for Linux. In my humble and narrow perception, there has been a dramatic shift in the Linux desktop usage in the past several years. Come the season of Gnome 3, a split happened in the community, breaking the decade old Gnome-KDE dominance. A whole generation of desktop environments was born, forked and knifed. Unity took its own path, Gnome 2 returned as MATE, and Gnome 3 was eclipsed by Cinnamon. Only KDE remained as it was, and now… Continue Reading

The future of mobile is cute

After testing the KDE Plasma Netbook workspace quite thoroughly over the last few weeks, I got myself thinking. Is there something inherently successful about KDE, or the enabling framework underneath the hood, called Qt? Not that I’m any big fan of mobile technologies, still, I can appreciate good, thorough design when it happens. So I decided to explore this venue, from the purely user space perspective. Examples, examples, examples This is much like Steve Ballmer’s Developers Developers Developers slogan, only different. Anyhow, without boring you with history lessons on how Qt came to be, purchased, sold and acquired by different… Continue Reading