Gentoo Down Under: Call for Presentations – Portage and Pkgcore

I am currently in the process of organising the half-day Gentoo mini-conf at the next, Australia’s annual technical conference about Free Software. Fun, informal and seriously technical, draws together Free and Open Source Software developers from across the world. The upcoming conference will be held from January 28th to February 2nd, 2008 at The University of Melbourne.

One of the sessions being planned will be a series of three tutorials, each devoted to one of Gentoo’s package managers. We already have a speaker for Paludis, but still need presenters for Portage and Pkgcore. Each tutorial only needs to last 10-20 minutes, and can target new or experienced users.

Any interested speakers should contact me on mark_alec|AT| as soon as possible.

KDE4 Applications

As promised, here are some of my thoughts about the first release candidate of KDE4.

I am not going to comment on the artwork or plasma at this point in time, because I know that it has been significantly improved in SVN, so when RC2 comes out in a few days, it should be in a better state for review.


Dolphin is a very nice file manager. The breadcrumb navigation resembles GTK+’s file dialog, but is much more powerful. Being able to click the little arrow to navigate to other directories is great. It does take a little while to get used to the fact that you can’t ctrl + t to open a new tab, but Konqueror is still available, seemingly as powerful as ever.

Konsole’s configuration has gotten an overhaul. Customising the appearance is now much more streamlined.


These are all great. The SVG graphics are a real improvement upon the older pixmap ones in KDE3. Gameplay is the same as before, just in a slicker interface.


Kuickshow has been replaces by Gwenview, which has a nicer interface. Unfortunately it wasn’t stable, crashing multiple times. For PDF viewing, KPDF has been superceded by Okular, which has a nicer interface and actually seems to render documents faster.

That is about all there is for now. I haven’t had the opportunity to try any of the EDU, PIM, multimedia or office applications. Neither have I attempted to try any of the new fancy technologies like Phonon, Solid or Strigi. If Plasma is in a good state by the next release, I can see that KDE4 will be a solid release. It will not be as feature complete as KDE3, since many important applications still need to be ported and polished, but it should provide a base for my desktop environment for quite some time.