Peter Penz Calls it Quits on Dolphin 2.1 and KDE After Contributing for Many Years

It’s often a point of discussion how/why developers contribute to GNU/Linux or FLOSS applications. We get a peek at how one thinks in his blog post. He’s quitting after years of creating and supporting the Dolphin file manager. Unlike some who contribute to FLOSS as part of paid work he did his voluntarily about one evening per week. That’s a lot but it’s what he wanted to do and now he chooses to change how he lives.

An interesting point in his post is that he has recently found his own use of KDE less productive. He does not get into specifics, but I would guess the constant changes of GUI was just make-work for his project (He shows before and after pictures of his application, not much different, but requiring tons of work on his part…) and the increasing abstraction of some desktop environments are just less productive for people with lots of processes running (every search-and-click is time wasted…).

“So would it help if other developers would join the Dolphin project and take care for doing the QtQuick2 port? Sadly for me this still would not be enough to keep on maintaining Dolphin, as there is another reason to quit contributing: I’m using KDE since version 1.2 and I never cared what market share KDE or Linux on the desktop has. However to me it was important that the desktop-environment I’m using and spending time for can compete with the desktops-environments from Microsoft and Apple. As user I always had the impression that I can do my regular tasks like reading e-mails, browsing, managing my photo- and music-collection, rarely writing a document, maintaining my contacts, adding calendar-entries… in a more efficient and comfortable way than on the other desktop-environments.

But at least for my regular tasks as user this has changed during the last couple of years. It is tricky to give examples without pointing fingers to parts of KDE where I think we are not competitive anymore, so I won’t do this.”

As a user, I have seen the same things. I run a lot of processes and I like to keep track of them visually to change contexts. More abstraction just makes more work for me in my daily dance routine…

It’s not pretty, but if I can see it I can find, it, click on it and get things done.


I have just a few things running as part of my desktop environment. It’s light and effective and does not get in my way:
ps aux|grep xfc|wc
17 266 2513

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux with xdm and xfce4 for a responsive desktop environment that works for the user and not against the user.

see his blog – ppenz: Dolphin 2.1.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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3 Responses to Peter Penz Calls it Quits on Dolphin 2.1 and KDE After Contributing for Many Years

  1. oiaohm says:

    Mats Hagglund “Gparted its “kdesudo gparted” this is a lie. You can use gksudo if its installed.

    Really items like gparted need updating to support policykit dbus system. Most of the cases of this sudo command difference is a sign of a bug in the application you are wishing to run that is old school authorisation. Authorisation is unified with everything that is policykit dbus.

    Ram usage of KDE has been dropping each version. It back to about 1G from a peak of about 2.5. So its come back a long way. But it still has a long way to come back.

    Yes at 2G of ram it will work quite well. I have 8 G in my system and running firefox and other evil things with KDE It normally don’t go past 2.

    Yes its a major issue still with kde. Newer compliers that can optimise C++ better and work to cut libraries and duplicate code out of kde are having effects.

  2. ch says:

    I notice quite some wasted screen space 😉

    I happen to agree with this man:
    http://elliotth.blogspot.de/2009/05/confessions-of-windows-hater.html

  3. Mats Hagglund says:

    KDE is too heavy for computers with only 1GB RAM. I’m testing now Kubuntu 12.04 and found it working much slower than Linux Mint MATE. Not even mentioned LXDE. Yesterday it was annoying to use SoundKonverter in Kubuntu compared using Soundconverter in Mint. There are lots of other bugs in KDE-distros. Many apps like Gparted don’t run with same terminal commands of Gnome (for Gparted its “kdesudo gparted”). I’ll buy 1GB RAM and see it’s KDE worth of trying even with 2GB memory.

    Personally i like KDE Plasma Netbook-style, that style should be nice one for lighter desktops too.

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