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KDE: Breaking the Network Barrier

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the glass-ceiling dept.

KDE 475

comforteagle writes "In this month's KDE: From the Source, entitled Breaking the Network Barrier George Staikos takes us on a walk-through of KDE's desktop networking protocol handlers in the vein of sftp:// webdav:// and a few really nifty ones I wasn't aware of like info:/ perldoc:/ and tar:/. The entire KDE desktop environment is decked out like this, and as George puts it, 'Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X have a long way to go to catch up with the robust, transparent functionality that KDE has provided since version 2.0.'"

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First post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666864)

Wahahha. John Kerry, please win. I need a job.

Vow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666865)

That is so kool

What a relief. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666874)


a walk-through of KDE's desktop networking protocol handlers in the vein of sftp:// webdav:// and a few really nifty ones I wasn't aware of like info:/ perldoc:/ and tar:/

Good thing the Christmas Island people have made it safe for the goatse:/ handler.

Re:What a relief. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666959)

upon a midnight dreary, while i pron surfed, weak and weary, over many a strange and spurious site of ' hot xxx galore'. While i clicked my fav'rite bookmark, suddenly there came a warning, and my heart was filled with mourning, mourning for my dear amour, " 'Tis not possible!", i muttered, " give me back my free hardcore!"..... quoth the server, 404.

Re:What a relief. (4, Funny)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666961)

In related news, Microsoft rushed to announce the virus:// protocol implemented to make it easier to determine what links go to websites, and what links go to self-installing viruses.

Re:What a relief. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667124)

The bsod:// protocol has been working for some time now

Marketspeak (3, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666876)

"...robust, transparent functionality..."

I'm sorry, but to me that bit just reduced a potentially informative article to yet another trivial Slashvertisement.

Re:Marketspeak (4, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666908)

Says the person with the situational ethics sig.
Perhaps you should just read the article and not pay attention to the slashblurb? Whether it's Slashvertising or not, it's still interesting.

werd (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667259)

slashdot stories in 5 easy steps:
1. w00t we're so l33t coz we installed Linux
2. oh gno! bad goverment bullies taking our phreedomz!
3. oh gno! bad corporations making non-free stuff and making money from their work! boo! hiss!
4. w00t! new kde/gnome/kernel/thingamajingy that makes me feel really really cool
5. oh gno! more virus/spam/hackers (oops! i meant crackers yeah heheh oopsies oopsies)
666. clicks the bannerz bitches! buy shit from amazon and thinkgeek bitches! (PROFIT!!W!!!!!)

Kwel (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666881)

My favorite one of course is pr0n:/. But for some reason I get buffer a overflow error - anyone know why? Anyone get pr0n2:/ working yet?

What's the difference? (-1, Flamebait)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666901)

What's the difference between defining the application based on 1) Meta data (like OSX) or 2) File extension (Windows) or the way described as being part of KDE 2.0?

There is no difference! Just different ways of doing it! No, Windows and OSX do not have a long way to go, but KDE is obviously JUST catching up to the idea of determine what application to open up based on such data!

Re:What's the difference? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667027)

RTFA... This has nothing to do with which application to launch to deal with a specific file. You are thinking of file associations.

The KDE feature discussed here is a compatibility layer that allows users to treat a files located elsewhere as if it is on the local disk.

Instead of having to use sftp to download a file from a site, or wget to download a file from the webserver or even evolution to download a file from the mail server, you can just use one common interface for all files reguardless of their storage or access method.

This means a tighter and more consistent user experience.

SO there!

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Reducer2001 (197985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667186)

This means a tighter and more consistent user experience. But when Microsoft does it w/ Office, Explorer, Windows Media Player, and Internet Explorer, the FOSS people cry foul?

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667307)

For example?

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667079)

Huh? Did you even read the summary?

This is *not* about file extensions or otherwise (Unix has done this right since day one, which is why you don't need to put .bat on the end of your shell scripts) it's about transparently accessing different namespaces.

Windows and OSX are a long way from this. They just about understand http, and even then on at the application level.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667084)

No, Windows and OSX do not have a long way to go, but KDE is obviously JUST catching up to the idea of determine what application to open up based on such data!

I was under the impression that KDE used something similar to Gnome's VFS. Meaning it doesn't launch a webdav client when you open a webdav:// url, it uses a VFS module to do it.

This is very different than what you are talking about. This allows applications to open and save files to webdav, afs://, smb://, ftp:// just like any other file.

For instance, I could write a daap:// handler that allows any application to open iTunes music shares just as if they were regular local directories.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667087)

Unfortunately, the article is slashdotted, but I am not sure you know what the hell you are talking about. They are talking about network protocols integrated in all applications and you're talking about metadata? HUH?

Can you open the save dialog in MS Word and save your document on a remote ssh server via the fish protocol without doing anything special? Who's playing catchup again, huh?

Re:What's the difference? (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667154)

Um, What're you talking about? The thing described in the article has nothing to do with figuring out what application to use to open up a file. It has to do with network transparency in the user-interface. Eg: I can't open up MS Word and save a document directly to a SSH account, but I can do that in KWord. Neither OS X nor Windows have this very useful feature.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667209)

Windows has supported custom URL protocols for at least 5 years now, if not since the inception of Internet Explorer. It's a simple registry setting that an app may add during it's installation. Several applications already make use of this, such as mirc:// and ms-help://.

This isn't new or exciting, and Windows already has and uses this.

Cue the Linux is.. (0, Troll)

Tracer_Bullet82 (766262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666906)

playing catch up game to MS and OSX.

Oh wait..

GNOME compatibility? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666916)

After all, KDE isn't the only popular open GUI toolkit for Linux.

Re:GNOME compatibility? (1)

VocabularyNazi (816686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667262)

what is this GNOME of which you speak??

Errr.... security? (3, Insightful)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666926)

Not to be a nervous-nellie, but isn't adding more networking/protocols to the desktop just asking for more hacking problems?

Re:Errr.... security? (4, Insightful)

Chundra (189402) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667023)

Maybe I don't know exactly what you mean, but all these protocols are already supported by various other clients. How is integrating it into the desktop asking for more hacking problems?

Re:Errr.... security? (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667144)

Think in a web page with a javascript that launch any of the "dangerous" links there (i.e. scp if takes your certificates or even audiocd:), and maybe even interact with the new opened window thru javascript too.

Ok, could be added security to avoid some of this tricks, but now you are in a position of unsafe by default unless you take every possible protection measure.

Re:Errr.... security? (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667268)

Yeah, but opening an html file from a web server with a text editor doesn't mean that the javascript in the file will do anything other than be displayed in the text editor.

We're not talking about integrating scripting engines or even anything that would follow links to other sources. Just plain old accessing files in any location with any program as if they were locally stored.

These tools are already in the OS, unintegrated. (0, Offtopic)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667112)

In short:
No.

In long:
No.

Re:Errr.... security? (2, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667257)

Every time you add features you add potential exploits. All you can do is make it as secure as you are able to, and be pro-active with regard to looking for and fixing exploits.

uh huh. (1, Insightful)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666928)

For every one geeky thing that OS X can learn from KDE, there are fifty things that KDE can learn about design, usability, polish, and consistency from OS X.

Wow, you're fast! (4, Insightful)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666977)

That didn't take long. I was thinking that I would have to scroll down more then one page to see that garbage.

KDE is pretty damned easy to use and consistent too, it's just that not all applications are written in QT, just as not all Gnome apps are written in GTK. So, you get some apps that don't fall in line with the look and feel of the rest of the OS.

So is the way of the Linux desktop right now, and you can't single out KDE for that.

Re:Wow, you're fast! (3, Insightful)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667045)

OK, you can't single out KDE, but it's still a problem.

I don't see how this commentary is "garbage" There is a real problem with consistency and polish on the linux desktop, it's ugly and clunky compared to OS X or even windows.

" it's just that not all applications are written in QT, just as not all Gnome apps are written in GTK. So, you get some apps that don't fall in line with the look and feel of the rest of the OS. "

So you're agreeing with me, but not with where I am placing the blame? Fair enough, maybe blaming KDE isn't fair, but it's still a huge problem.

Re:Wow, you're fast! (2, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667133)

it's ugly and clunky compared to OS X or even windows.
Maybe compared to OS X, but certainly not in comparison to Windows. Both GNOME and KDE are more consistent than either OS X or Windows, and in terms of usability, GNOME is fairly close to OS X. There is a reason for this --- GNOME emulates the MacOS classic HIG. In terms of usability, GNOME is far superior to Windows.

Re:Wow, you're fast! (1)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667247)

"Both GNOME and KDE are more consistent than either OS X or Windows"

Maybe the OS itself, but not the way that applications run on it. OS X has done a really nice job of making sure that applications written in cocoa and carbon behave the same. (it's been worse in the past, and gotten much better.) Maybe it's a testament to the Mac application developers, but linux apps on GNOME and KDE are nothing if not inconsistent with each other and the OS.

Re:Wow, you're fast! (1)

the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667047)

Yeah, if everyone would just use Java and Swing, the UI would be the SAME EVERYWHERE!!!!

then we could add a javadoc:// handler and a jar:// handler and even a javac:// handler and......

Uh, what was the question again?

Re:Wow, you're fast! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667237)

Leave. Leave now.

kde is pretty good, but... (2, Insightful)

deviantonline (542095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666931)

Ive always enjoyed kde. It has a lot of customization options and works quite well.

The one thing that I do not like about it, is how long it takes to boot. Windows (and probably mac, never really used it) have linux/kde beat for loading times. I really wish there was a distro that could integrate kde into the booting process rather then boot linux then kde - like back in the dos/win days...

Re:kde is pretty good, but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667066)

you reboot?

Re:kde is pretty good, but... (1)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667091)

Hmm. My P3/600, 128MB ram, from the point of having the SCSI drives spun up (which happens in the BIOS setup), boots to a console login prompt, then has KDE up and running in about 1.5 minutes if I login immediatly and startx. If I ran something to use a graphical login, it would probably be slightly less. Kernel 2.6.7, Debian kept-mostly-to-the-bleeding edge

Re:kde is pretty good, but... (1)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667109)

ack, someone interrupted me and i hit submit.. oops. Wanted to add, that same machine takes over 3 minutes to boot Windows '98 into a viewable state (and takes another thirty seconds after i can see everything before it starts responding), and 4 minutes with Win XP.

Re:kde is pretty good, but... (1)

mopslik (688435) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667300)

Combining your messages:

My P3/600, 128MB ram ... takes over 3 minutes to boot Windows '98 into a viewable state

If that's the case, you've either seriously messed up your computer with spyware and viruses, tried loading a thousand programs at boot, or you've got a nasty hardware problem, like a failing drive or defective memory. Seriously, there's no reason why Win98 should be taking that long to boot up.

I just finished cleaning up my sister's Win98 machine, which is a P2-233 with 64MB of memory, and it boots up to a fully-functional GUI in just under a minute-and-a-half.

Having said that, my dual-boot P4 machine boots Linux/KDE in just a wee bit longer than it boots XP, which is perfectly acceptable to me.

Re:kde is pretty good, but... (1)

deviantonline (542095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667145)

I have pretty much the same configuration (a bit more ram and an athlon 600). Kde is booted in about the same amount of time, however windows xp is booted in less than 30 seconds.

Re:kde is pretty good, but... (2, Interesting)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667310)

They've forced me to dump dual boot at work, but back when I was dual booting Win2K and FreeBSD/KDE, the latter was objectively faster even though the former seemed to be quicker to the casual user. But when I did an objective test from bootup to displaying a webpage in the default browser, FreeBSD/KDE had Win2K beat by about five seconds (45 to 50 seconds totals). Win2K seemed to boot quicker, but it really didn't. When it looked like it was up and running it was still loading in the background. You would click on IE and end up with five to ten seconds of an hourglass cursor.

I'm sure WinXP has improved in speed, and I'm sure you can find some lameass slow Linux distros, but the myth that Windows is faster simply is not true. ...and probably mac, never really used it...

Then why don't you go find out first before making claims! From my ACTUAL USE of the Mac, it seems to me that the Mac is marginally slower to start up, even though the UI seems to be snappier.

User friendliness is still the issue (3, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666937)

The entire KDE desktop environment is decked out like this, and as George puts it, 'Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X have a long way to go to catch up with the robust, transparent functionality that KDE has provided since version 2.0.'

And the entire Windows OS is decked out with enough user friendliness for most people to use, and, as I put it, 'KDE has a long way to go to catchup with the userfriendliness of Mac OSX and Windows.

Windows, as much as everyone hates it, is still more user friendly than KDE. If they'd spend more time on user friendliness and less on robust (aka confusing, complex) features, they'd find more people willing to try it out.

Re:User friendliness is still the issue (2, Insightful)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667103)

That's a very biased opinion from someone who obvioudly doesn't use KDE much. I find KDE miles more usable (as a desktop) than Windows. Using Windows is an exercise in frustration for me, and not being able to change it to some sane behaviour is even worse.

Re:User friendliness is still the issue (1)

lphuberdeau (774176) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667221)

Actually, I find KDE a whole lot more friendly than windows. It might be because I have been using it for a very long time, but when I go back to windows, I simply don't understand how/where the options and controls are located.

Compare a usable windows machine (with applications actually installed so you can do your job) with a stock KDE install (where you can still do your job). The menus have a much better organisation in KDE. Graphic-related programs are grouped together, and so are multimedia, development and office applications. Windows tend to sort applications by companies who produced them. How does that make sens for a first-time user?

Windows is easy to use because it arrives with a minimal amount of applications. I have to admit that KDE might look a little scary at first, but at least it's all in there.

Re:User friendliness is still the issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667228)

Windows, as much as everyone hates it, is still more user friendly than KDE.

Not for advanced users it isn't. Windows is designed for the first-time users and the email & Internet crowd to be able to use it. The ``features'' that make it nice for newbies makes it a horrible crapfest for anyone with experience. With KDE, I don't see configuration options unless I actually move to configure something. Under Windows, there's a breaking-in period where the ``Check here if you never want to see this again'' options have to be set. It irks me to think that everytime I do that action again, there's a branch statement checking a Yes/No/Do_Not_Display flag. Furthermore, have you looked at some of the config options Microsoft gives you? IE's are my least favorite. Instead of naming the technology you want to cut on and off, it names the generic newbie term: ``Turn scripting on?'' Do I? Does it disable Active Scripts or Javascript or both? I was sure I turned Java off earlier, so what's this second mention of Java?

There is a such thing as too much handholding, and Windows does it to the detriment of the most computer savvy users out there.

Lastly, there's been some mention of consistant UIs. Almost every recent app for X has been fairly consistant. There are some discrepancies, but those are often attributable to the different widget sets being used. It's probably no longer fair to mention apps like xfig in talks about X UI consistancy; it's like mentioning the Windows 3.1 macro recorder as an example of a poorly designed Windows app, then using that as a reason why nobody should use Windows today.

Don't forget DCOP (5, Interesting)

nacs (658138) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666942)

This is one of the things that has impressed me most about KDE. The protocol handlers can make working with some of these protocols a piece of cake.

Also worth noting however, is the DCOP [ibm.com] system integrated into KDE. The protocol handlers and DCOP can and do make a powerful combination.

Robust? (-1, Troll)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666946)

The article mentions a thing called Konqueror. I have had occasion to look at the source code for Konqueror and the bits I had to work with were complete and utter crap (OK, so maybe not the absolute worst code I've ever seen, but still many millions of miles from being the best).

So, the "robust, transparent functionality" that the story talks about excludes this Konqueror thingy, does it, or what?

Re:Robust? (0, Troll)

peterpi (585134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667006)

Remember, this is KDE, so you should spell it Krap

Re:Robust? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667031)

I have had occasion to look at the source code for Konqueror

I guess that makes you special. Last time I checked it was open source.

the bits I had to work with were complete and utter crap

Good thing you posted an example, so no one thinks you're just trolling.

Tell me how in gnome (or windows explorer for that matter) that I can connect to an ssh server for seamless files transfers?

Re:Robust? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667116)

The innards may well be crap. If it works, who cares?

I've looked at a lot of code in my time and I'd rate 1% of it as actually 'good'.

It's particularly tragic when people 'update' perfectly good apps with a piece of unmanageable spagetti.. I tend to just keep my distance when that happens.

Just a thought.... (1)

dickeya (733264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666963)

catch up with the robust, transparent functionality

I think they need to work on the apparent functionality on the Konqueror application before taking a pat on the back.

so do they support shell:// (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666968)

that is a great protocal that adds so much functionality to my windows machines while i browse.

till MacOSX and KDE get that, you can hardly call them ahead

now if they had perl:// well, i think that speaks for itsself.

Oh wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666973)

Being able to type sfp:// into a browser totally makes KDE better than OS X. Stupid.

MacOS _should_ have these things. (4, Interesting)

pschmied (5648) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666983)

I'm a regular MacOS X user. And I love MacOS X, but there are some things that I miss about KDE. I try to follow KDE's progress even though it is not my desktop of choice these days.

The network transparency of KDE is brilliant. I'm not sure where the holdup for OSX is, but I would kill to be able to open a location with cmd-k, fish://user@myhost

I suspect that for Apple to add these bits would require some OS level work as well as some finder work. I hope they'd take that opportunity to update the finder to be a cocoa application. (As a side note, the Finder continues to bother me. My Mac savvy friends and I joke that the Finder, Mail.app, and Quicktime teams are Microsoft moles trying to take Apple down from the inside).

Anyone have any speculation as to why Apple hasn't already done some of the truly nifty network protocols? They've already got a finder view for FTP (which, unfortunately is dog-slow). Still, Apple has proven itself as a very agile software company. They've got a track record for adding features correctly and quickly, but the lack of an SSH handler is baffling to me.

-Peter

Re:MacOS _should_ have these things. (1)

HawaiianMayan (550426) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667177)

You can create a protocol handler for arbitrary URL protocols in Mac OS X. There's nothing stopping anybody, not just Apple, from implementing these features.

My guess as to why it hasn't happened yet is that Mac users/developers have better things to do. Really, these are pretty geeky features. I'd rather use an interface than formulate URLs.

Re:MacOS _should_ have these things. (1)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667286)

> You can create a protocol handler for arbitrary URL protocols

My guess is that he wants the file listing in-place within the Finder, so files can be accessed *in the Finder* transparently over ssh. Breaking out an external application by invoking a protocol handler would (at least under Win32) break the "transparent" experience, I think OS X will behave the same way.

Re:MacOS _should_ have these things. (1)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667210)

Don't know about the Mac, but Window's shell (explorer) makes it fairly easy to write extensions. There's already one for WebDAV, for example, and a coworker once wrote a windows shell extension for file browsing over ssh, using pscp [tartarus.org] (or plink, I don't remember) to take care of the underlying ssh work. Surely someone could do the same for the Mac?

Re:MacOS _should_ have these things. (4, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667313)

Apple is doing this stuff (e.g. you can mount WebDAV servers), but Apple is doing it right by integrating network resources into the real VFS layer so that all applications can access them. KDE's I/O slaves are not real filesystems and are not accessible by all applications.

Pretty slick (5, Insightful)

Boarder2 (185337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666986)

I thought this was pretty boring until I read this part:

Being able to do all of these things from a web browser is definitely a nice parlor trick, but in reality it's not a very easy way to use a computer. The real power of these protocol handlers is unleashed when they're used within various KDE applications. Any of these protocols can be used from the KDE file dialog, allowing files to be opened from or saved to any protocol!

I must say, as much as I don't really like KDE, that's really slick, and potentially very useful. Nice job guys.

(I'll even withold bashing and pro-gnome comments for the sake of sanity)

Re:Pretty slick (0)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667068)

Much like how PHP can open a URL as a file.

Of course, the serious problem with that, is that you can't use the browser from within the KDE file dialog, so you would have to open a seperate browser, find your URL, then copy and paste it into the file dialog box, if you don't know the URL from memory of what you're trying to read.

Something more useful for this type of thing might be the ability to use ftp://user@host/blah/blah/blah to WRITE files.

On the other hand, it's still a farking awkward way to use a GUI.

Re:Pretty slick (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667131)

Something more useful for this type of thing might be the ability to use ftp://user@host/blah/blah/blah to WRITE files.

I might not understand what you're trying to say, but that's the whole point of kioslaves. You simply type ftp://user@host/blah/blah into any KDE file save dialog and KDE does the rest for you.

Re:Pretty slick (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667266)

> Something more useful for this type of thing
> might be the ability to use
> ftp://user@host/blah/blah/blah to WRITE files.

That's the whole point: You can do that in any file box in KDE. For instance, if I wanted to save a copy of this page, I go up to Location -> Save As... then a box comes up and I can type in sftp://foo@host/home/foo/saved-pages/ and save it directly to the remote host.

Additionally, there's a little bookmark icon, so you can bookmark directories/sftp sites/etc. KDE is frighteningly slick when it comes to integration...

Re:Pretty slick (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667260)

Being able to do all of these things from a web browser is definitely a nice parlor trick, but in reality it's not a very easy way to use a computer. The real power of these protocol handlers is unleashed when they're used within various KDE applications. Any of these protocols can be used from the KDE file dialog, allowing files to be opened from or saved to any protocol!

I must say, as much as I don't really like KDE, that's really slick, and potentially very useful. Nice job guys.


BTW, if you have the 'run' CLI (Application Launcher) in your kicker bar, you can type all that stuff there, as well as konqueror shortcuts.

So, instead of clicking on a konqi browser, going to google's image site, typing in search params and hitting submit, you can type the following into your run bar:

ggi:donkey porn

hit enter and a konqi browser pops up with the search loading.

or, instead of opening a shell and typing 'man find', go into the run bar and type:

man:/find

and you get a konqi browser that loads and prettifies the nroff manpages, including linking to any other specified manpages.

Hell, a konqi kicker bar doesn't need app icons at all, just a K menu, Application Launcher, and all the other toys (like the RSS KNewsTicker, clock, X display res thingy, kalendar, kgpg, kwallet, etc)..

Re:Pretty slick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667318)

Tell me about it. This last week I have been working from abroad, connecting directly to the server through ssh but, for some reason, it has been VERY slow, FTp wasn't working, so today I installed KDE and used kate with fish://

Finally! I can go back to work :)

Windows has had since since at least 98SE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667019)

MS has had this ability to define protocol handlers and binding them to special applications since at least 98SE where I first used it for a custom print application. In fact I think the format and concept is a Internet RFC somewhere.

Doing it in Windows was as simple as deffing two registry keys.

Now KDE has made good by adding more handlers, but it's still applications that are being called. I can easily define a notepad:/c|/test.txt handler. Nothing special.

Re:Windows has had since since at least 98SE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667070)

Of course so can all of the internet script kiddies and other nefarious characters. But your point is well taken, ease of use and extensibility _should_ count for something.

Re:Windows has had since since at least 98SE (1)

Zardus (464755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667299)

But can you do stuff like opening notepad:/c|/test.txt in, say, Word, after defining that handler? And can you save to notepad:/c|/test.txt? That's what this seems to allow in KDE.

That functionality could very well be in Windows. I have no idea.

Remember this next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667043)

a mac OSX zealot sais that 'open source has no innovation and just steals stuff from OSX/Windows'. There is tremendous innovation in open source. So much that users don't have time to explore.

But OSX has Aqua theme. Right.

Re:Remember this next time (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667158)

But OSX has Aqua theme.

So does KDE. In fact, it's better, since you can easily change the jelly color, and the tint of the metal (if you prefer metal).

In Baghira, I have 14k-gold tint metal and red jelly, so I have a nice 70's pimp LED watch motif.

Also, the konqueror shortcut thing is teh sh33t. I've added a few to my own install...

imdb:
gentoo:
emerge:
ebay:
wp:
wikipedia:

gotta love it...

OS X has a long way to go to catch up? (2, Interesting)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667046)

Last time I checked, you could have any application take control of any protocol handler in OS X, even ones you've made up yourself, by simply adding a child to an array in an XML file located in the app's package. This actually caused the problem where a virus could auto-download a file to the user's hard drive and run the program via a url accessing that protocol to launch the app without the user's knowledge. Apple fixed this by making a dialog coming up the first time a file or URL accesses and app but I still think it was a dumb idea to link the internet and local applications in such an insecure way.

How about a box with the url, the app being called, "Allow" and "Deny" buttons and a checkbox to make the setting stick? Even then it's a bad idea. All it takes is one dumb app to compromise your system at user level. Launching these apps with guest permissions? Does KDE do these things? Why brag about such a dumb feature?

useless protocols? (4, Informative)

JBdH (613927) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667050)

I don't get why it is useful to be able to type devices:// or whatever. For some of these protocols the ramifications are totally unclear: if i'd type pop3://myserver/mymailbox would that actually download my messages and effectively erase them from the server? The useful protocols are covered in Win(XP) very well, including the most useful (not mentioned in the article) : webdav over https.

Re:useless protocols? (3, Informative)

Hooded One (684008) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667321)

Staikos sort of hinted at this in the article when he mentioned that pop3:/ isn't terribly useful in a web browser and is more designed for internal use. You can use pop3:/ for easy inclusion of POP support in an app you're writing. Sure, you could use a POP library directly, but the point of abstraction layers like this is to make things easier and more consistent.

The key advantage of KDE's IOSlaves over protocol handlers in Windows is that in KDE they are transparent and available to every application. This is not the case in Windows or OSX. Gnome-VFS does have this advantage as well, but is nowhere near as extensive.

Those who don't use KDE ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667051)

... are doomed to reinvent it!

Crackhead of the year (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667052)

"Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X have a long way to go to catch up with the robust, transparent functionality that KDE has provided since version 2.0."

Now I understand why KDE is a sinking ship. Its developers have been too stupid to look farther than their own backyards.

You on DOPE, sonny?

Re:Crackhead of the year (2, Interesting)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667249)

Reading comprehension ain't your strong-suit, is it? With regards to network-transparency, Windows and Mac *does* have a long way to go. Window's FTP functionality barely works. Meanwhile, I regularly use KDE's network transparency to work with my university account over SSH. I can just save directly to a virtual SSH drive, instead of saving on disk, then transferring, or e-mailing it to myself or whatever.

Old Unix philosophy (4, Interesting)

glassware (195317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667093)

This is vaguely reminiscient of the old Unix maxim, "Everything is either a file or a process," except that now KDE calls everything an URL.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the old way of doing this be something like /dev/extensions/audiocd/track1, /dev/extensions/sftp/, /dev/extensions/webdav, and so on? This type of a trick would have allowed these extensions to be used in any app that recognizes the file system, not only KDE type apps.

What was the reason for not implementing these as devices?

Re:Old Unix philosophy (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667152)

The reason would be that devices are specific to the OS, whereas KDE is designed to run on multiple UNIX-like platforms.

In fact there is a module for the FUSE system that allows you to use the KDE plugins in the way you suggest.

Too much K's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667095)

Why must KDE be riddled with 'K's everywhere?
The project seem less serious with the silly naming scheme.
This is what made me stop switching back and forth between GNOME and KDE and finally settled on GNOME.
GNOME just feels overall more serious and polished.

Even more G's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667178)

gnome-applets
gnome-python
gnome-build
gnome-se ssion
gnome-commander
gnome-speech
gnome-common
gnome-spell
gnome-control-center
gnome-system- tools
gnome-cups-manager
gnome-terminal
gnome-d esktop
gnome-themes-extras
gnome-doc-utils
gnom e-themes
gnome-games
gnome-user-docs
gnome-icon -theme
gnome-utils
gnome-keyring
gnome-vfs
gno me-mag
gnome-webkit
gnome-media
gnomemeeting
g nome-mime-data
gnopernicus
gnome-panel

Microsoft Doesn't Need to Catch Up (3, Insightful)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667130)

...yet.

Microsoft won't see any need to add new features as long as it's users don't find out, and it's market share remains 90%-ish.

Once it DOES feel threatened though, it'll pour resources and add all the features to it's OS that it thinks will maintain it's dominance. (think Mac/Windows, Netscape/IE, Java/C#).

But it'll probably ultimately fail this time. I'm a Windows fan, but I'm realistic: Linux will win in the long run.

KDE sucks Gnome's big fat hairy dick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667134)

booyah! they both suck asss werd to the mutha.
bunch of retarded freaks who start jizzing in their pants when their screen has pretty candy colors on it.
dumbfucks learn to use the console. you're retarded dumbfukcs! that's right! you all sucks big fat hair balls! and you're stupid too+! stupid fuckers funmingin up Linux with your stupid bullshit!
youre gonna all have a gay gay fuckyourselfuptheass party now and sya how nice happy KDE is fuckeing up 6your shit! haha! fuck you fuck you fuck you.

Re:KDE sucks Gnome's big fat hairy dick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667217)

The terminology idiot suits you well. You complain about 6 years olds retarded freats jizzing in their pants and yourself you behave even worse.

A little frightening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667135)

This all seems reminiscent of the design flaw of integrating a web-browser into an OS. Granted it's only certain protocols which are built-in to a desktop interface (as I gather, site seems to be crawling). Can anyone more knowledgeable comment on this?

Re:A little frightening. (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667222)

It's really not anything like integrating a web-browser into the OS. One of the jobs of an OS is to provide applications with access to files. KIO is just a generalization of this idea, allowing apps to access files stored in many sorts of locations, instead of just on the local disk. It's not fundementally different than something like NFS, or even the VFS, which allows apps to treat files on a hard-drive the same way as files on a cd-rom.

wrong layer (3, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667161)


can one "cat perldoc://someuri/perldoc1" ?

if not then it is at the wrong layer to be "transparent"

plan's approach of a unified file system approach is far more transparent

a daemon runs and serves the appropriate files in the namespace as regular filenames

cat /dev/usb1/1/data

grep bunny /n/ftp/pub/*/readme

etc.

Re:wrong layer (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667243)

cat perldoc://someuri/perldoc1
I see the problem, you should have used the "kat" command...

mmmm... load times (1)

schleyfox (826198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667166)

If only it would load faster and not randomly lag on me while I am using it, it would be great. No thanks, fluxbox and gnome work just fine for me. On the upside it makes the move from windows comfortable, load times and all!

bleh:// (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667180)

you know, it's great to see all these so-called nifty featuers available in a GUI that can't even accomplish the task of globalizing a standard copy-and-paste function.

Krap indeed.

Difference from OSX ... (4, Interesting)

jlrobins_uncc (136569) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667194)

Is the age-old question of 'does it belong in the kernel'. OSX's webdav and FTP client support accessable from the finder, the analogues to KDE's FTP and webdav protocol plugins, are in reality implemented in the kernel as a filesystem implementation, making them useable from *every*single* application running on the box, not just the ones linked into a particular application framework (KDE). The OSX implementations are truly remote filesystems, upon which I can 'cd', and 'vi' myself into oblivion.

But the downside is that these 'fancy' network filesystems are comparatively sparse relative to KDEs. And we're still waiting for, oh, say, webdav over SSL support (making it actually worthwhile for an intranet filesystem solution).

IF OSX could have retainted the 'filesystem drivers as userspace processes' mantra of the microkernel design philosophy, then we could have the best of both worlds. Especially if we could retain, say, HPFS, FFS, etc. as kernel resident drivers for efficency .

ok for kde and not MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667197)

Subject says it all.

MY FINAL TESTAMENT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667201)

I'm a singer-songwriter who uses KDE. What do you think of these lyrics? 1.verse:
United states of mind in troubled times
I couldn't find a better life, couldn't find my way inside
Laughter and sirens song, in here I belong
I couldn't tell right from wrong; where is this all coming from
I built a wall inside, out of a lie
An now I'm comfortably blind, to what goes on outside
chorus:

Here, in a world of my own
Everything's confused, harmlessly untrue
Here I can almost live and forget you
It is all unreal, in this world of ideals
Even the illusions seem so clear
2.verse

So hard to understand an unstable man
But I'm doing all the best I can, to leave this no-where land
Sorrows are easy to hide, in states of mind
Then all of a sudden I'm fine, and everything's allright
chorus:

Here, in a world of my own
Everything's confused, harmlessly untrue
Here I can almost live and forget you
It is all unreal in this world of ideals
Even the illusions seem so clear
bridge:

But I still like it, maybe
Now and then
Life, not so crazy,
With any kind of sense
But only in here I get to see you again
And sometimes I feel you
And sometimes I meet the real you
chorus:

Love, everything's confused harmlessly untrue
Here I can almost live and forget you
It is all unreal in this world of ideals
Even the illusions seem so clear

does gnome do this? (1)

zaqattack911 (532040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667205)

I remember when I recently tried webdav://mywebsite I was pleasantly surprised in KDE.

I just recently installed "ubuntu" (gnome 2.6).. which I must say is a really nice looking slim UI/theme. All around good distro.

But does gnome have integrated webdav support? I would think they'd be on the ball to mimic any lil kde features that pop-up.

--Zaq

Re:does gnome do this? (1)

zaqattack911 (532040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667294)

spoke too soon.

apparently in the filebrowser "Nautilus" there is a connect to server option which supports webdav.

Re:does gnome do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667295)

But does gnome have integrated webdav support?

Yes, gnome-vfs is pretty much as good as KDE now, but alot of non-gnome-gtk apps don't use it.

for fun, in OSX (1)

banky (9941) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667234)

open up a blank tab in safari and type:
x-man-page://some_command
where some_command is the command you want to see. I get a man page in a terminal. In fact for any given URL registered on my box, I get the Right Thing(tm) happening.

I use the Default App pref pane (http://www.rubicode.com/Software/) and thus have pretty fine control over what happens when various URLs are clicked/activated. Well, I can't make new ones, something about the craptacular IE vestiges that control URLs by default, maybe, I'm not sure; but it seems trivial to get around this.

Wha? (2, Informative)

God of Lemmings (455435) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667239)

The entire KDE desktop environment is decked out like this, and as George puts it, 'Microsoft Windows and
Mac OS X have a long way to go to catch up with the robust, transparent functionality that KDE has provided since version 2.0.


Like what kind of catching up? Like this?
KDE on Mac OS X [kde.org]

Don't be a hater (5, Interesting)

FudgePackinJesus (444734) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667267)

Geez... thirteen comments in and nothing positive to say about what the guy had to say. The fact of the matter is that on built in network transparency, KDE has no equal.

You don't really appreciate it until you use it and then forced to work without it. I present a real world example: a colleague wants some help with the IE CSS scrollbar colors. I open up KWrite, the "simple" text editor, select "Open" from the "File" and plug in the FTP url, with embedded password and all, into the open file dialog. A half a second later I was browsing their directory structure point-and-click in the open file dialog. I find the ".css" file and open it in the editor. I then make my simple changes and hit CTRL-S. The file was saved and uploaded back onto the web server in one simple keystroke combo. And that was it. Mind you all of this was done in KDE's most trivial of text editors and this feature is part of the desktop architecture meaning all KDE apps can employ this feature.

Try doing something like that with the default install of Windows/MacOSX/Be/whathaveyou. And that was the simplest of examples of the network transparency within KDE.

And that's just the network transparency aspect of it. The KIO architecture allows for some really amazing features on the local side as well. If you don't already know about the audiocd:/ slave then look it up or even use it. It will blow your mind.

Don't just take my word for it. Try it before you bash it. Please.

Bloat Critics (4, Interesting)

SyntheticTruth (17753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667285)

Some people would call such functionality within the desktop 'bloat'. I think before anybody says that, they first need to get themselves into the modern age. As the article mentioned, I find the fish:// handler to be one of the most oft-used handlers. Sure, I could scp remote files to the local machine, but it saves a lot of time to simply use fish:// in the file dialogs and such.

And it works *great* in Amarok, my audio player of choice. I no longer have to keep porting around my mp3 collection: I simply fish to my server and play them from there -- from anywhere. The only downfall, is that I need to force it to go to the next track after it gets to the end of a track, instead of automatically doing so, but it's a minor compared to the above ease-of-use.

But regular people don't think this way (2, Insightful)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667301)

Us computer geeks like this because we think of things as networks and protocols. However, the rest of the computer users don't. tar:/ is no more intuitive than double clicking on the .tar file and opening it.

Saying Windows and MacOS has to catch up implies that these are feature people want, or would want if given the option. I think treating compressed files like folders like they already do is more intuitive and makes more sense. I think they got a little carried away with this.
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