Most of my coworkers use Qt4 but only on Windows. Some of them did not even know KDE existed, much less that since KDE 4.1 there are official packages and an official installer for Windows.
Last week, I wandered around the office, occasionally assaulting people to show them KDE on Windows, the API docs, this-and-that widget, answering their questions (mostly technical), etc (if you know how tackatpromotioned Marble at past aKademy-s, you know what I did 🙂 )
So, what was the reaction of people to KDE? Surprisingly, extremely good! I was expecting more resistance to the fact that to use K* classes, KParts, etc you have to convert your QApplication to a KApplication but they went like “the advantages of using KDE classes and KDE’s ActiveX [that’s how some of them call KParts] are so obvious I will do that as soon as I installing a development version of KDE on Windows is easy”. People specially liked the Kate, oKular and KPlato KParts (although I showed KPlato 1.6 and only on Linux). The pie-like ToolBox menu in Amarok also received some praising.
My conclusion: I really think we should raise more awareness of KDE among Windows developers and the “wander-around-and-assault-for-no-reason” approach works very well. Try it with your Win32 coworkers and friends and blog about KDE on Windows. Let’s get some momentum for KDE4 on Windows!
The problem I see with current KDE win32 efforts is that it is very difficult to roll out an application without the whole KDE infrastructure, like dbus, kded, all the oxygen icons, etc.
Compared to plain Qt4 it is very complex. When I last asked on the kde windows irc channel people were not even sure if it is possible at all.
Agreed, I also think this is a problem. For example, people want KMail for Windows. Does that mean they need to install whole kdelibs, kde-base before they can get started? It’s a high barier for entry.
I think so too. I think the kde on windows project should be focused around applications and not kde libs and whatever.
I picture a nice homepage with screenshots where we list the advantages of all applications. There would be a seperate installer for each application.
Or seperate it into KDE framwork (like dot.net framwork) and have small packages for all apps.
It should definitely be done the windows way:
Pre-built setup.exe’s for every app including all dependencies.
Otherwise I think KDE on windows will fail…
Fish: Separete setup.exe are is nessesary for the “Windows Way”, but it does not have to be one for every single application, and they don’t have to include *all* dependencies.
I think optimal would be one “KDE Framework” package (including kdewin32, qt-copy, kdesupport, kdelibs, kdepimlibs and kdebase-runtime) and one package per “application suite” (eg one for kdegames, one for kdepim, one for koffice, etc), where each suite installer would offer a “custom install” mode with checkboxes for individual applications. In the perfect world these suite installers should offer to automatically download and install the framework if not already installed. Thus only networkless installs would have to bother with manually installing the framework, while still not having to put the entire framework (several hundeds of megabytes) in every single installer.
Creating a new “suite installer”, possibly for a single application, should be relatively straight-forward (preferably a simple cmake include) so that third party developers (such as the Amarok team as well as custom developments etc) can roll their own.
That said, the exsisting installer, while not being “the windows way” does work decently, and can effectibely be used as a “KDE Framework” installer with some human intervention…
A single installer per app is a nice *option*, but I think the KDEWin installer is a feature. It’s a K Desktop Environment after all. The individual KDE apps are tiny, less than 1MB and many only 200KB, so on balance it’s nice to get a set of them appearing in your start menu.
The KDEWin installer can evolve to list what you get in each package and gently point out the packages are a feature, not bloat.
Note that *most* commercial Windows programs install huge libraries, they just hide it. Look in C:\Program Files\Common Files: 467 MB from those ^%$#@! at Symantec, 48MB from Apple, 11 MB from GTK (huh? 🙂 , etc. ).
Dr. Schnitzel, instead of talk, do! Go to http://userbase.kde.org/, add a Windows screenshot to each app page, and create a separate Windows home page highlighting some of the apps and with the advantages section of which you speak. Inform kde-windows at kde.org of your progress.