KDE for Windows

I hadn’t even heard of this before, but for all you Linux-lovers out there, work is being done to get KDE running on Microsoft Windows. If I get a bit of time to work on this, I’m going to try it on one of my systems and see how it goes. I suspect it will make it easier for me to get the family ported to Linux based systems at home.

So how did I learn about this? Why would I care? Well, MrCopilot has a good, moderate length write-up on his experience with installing and using KDE for Windows. This is a port that has been in-process for quite a while, because, let’s face it, porting a full development library set like KDE and supporting libs is a big undertaking. But after showing a few screens of the install, he gets right to the meat of the experience. What works?

Quite a lot actually. See below for Screenshots of included apps that work. Almost all the apps shipped “work”. Two are all but useless due to bugs. The rest seem to function perfectly as long as you don’t need to refer to Help. Fortunately most apps have an online help while this bug gets ironed out.

And he shows a lot of what does work, what standard KDE tools and apps are included, and so on. But first, he has to answer the opposing question – what doesn’t work?

Sound, at least on my setup there was no sound, any application that tried to make a peep instead produced this error message. Most Apps let you disable sound.

. . .

Konqueror – KDE’s Swiss Army Knife, Web Browser, File Manager, FTP Client, Embedded File Viewer, Etc … Unfortunately on my Windows box it is reduced to a Web Browser (without Flash support) and a Menu Explorer (without being able to launch anything.)

And a few other things that would probably be minor to most folks.  I always like the concept of changing my Windows interface, but the fact that it doesn’t follow me to other machines really hinders my enjoyment of that idea.  This is why I don’t use Stardock’s GUI re-skinner or desktop customizer tools, as much as I like the company, the concept, and the cost.   Of course, that means there’s a good chance I would try this and not stick with it.  But again, the concept is appealing, and the more universal desktop experience this could enable at home when I move between Windows and Linux is very appealing to me.

And I’m hopeful that developments like this will push content creators (read “developers”) to put out more portable, cross-platform software.  Once the support libraries are more globally available, it should make it easier for more globally portable software, right?  I mean, I know it’s not a case of “Well, the libraries are there, so *POOF* our software now works on 12 different operating systems.”  But as middleware and support libraries become more portable, I would think that applications would naturally follow to become multi-platform entities.  So I will be watching KDE for Windows as it is worked on to see if this does anything to improve computing for the masses.  I’m hopeful, but I realize what an uphill battle that change will be.