Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back to KDE/OSS development, new interesting dev environment

After a long break interest in OSS contributions came back. Basically Caulier Gilles has pinged me couple of times asking if I was gonna work on upgrading Flickr/Picasa exporter kipi-plugins I wrote earlier to support the new KDE4.

KDE4 is obviously something I was waiting for long back when KDE evangelism used to be a major timepass :) but that changed over time as most ppl I worked with used Linux lately. KDE 4 does however seem to be a step ahead of the older version and the difference is visible not only in the interface but also in the development libraries. As expected things have been cleaned up and better interfaces have been developed so much that running KDE on Mac and Windows has been made simple.

For long I have not used my home Linux workstation and the default choice for working turned out to be my laptop which is a Mac Book and however enthusiastic I would be about developing my plugins I would probably never want to even experiment running C++ compiler on a macbook forget about QT and all other deps. So I had to look for other options. Thanks to the world of Virtual OSes, I am now running Linux virtually on my macbook and its almost as good an experience as developing on Linux natively.

The added advantage was that I could easily install two different Linux version one for KDE3 and another for KDE4 instead of hacking my way to get both of them to work simultaneously on a box. (I have earlier had the nightmare of compiling QT and KDE libs from scratch, downloading multiple libraries and dependencies as the list never ended and I finally gave up :()

Virtual Linux worked liked a breeze except for some minor tweaks/retries which I needed to get networking to work. My conclusion of the whole exercise is this:

1) Try using bridged networking whenever possible. This gets you the network settings from your Host OS, using DHCP in my case.
2) For Kubuntu 8, where I ran in to problem of the default network adapter being identified as ipv6 and failing consistently in assigning an ipv6 address (because of lack of ipv6 routers around), I had to go the /etc/modprobe.d/aliases file and disable the line containing ipv6 module entry. Followed by a service network restart and then it works like breeze.
3) I also noticed another issue where my eth0 adapter was not recognized at all, the fix in this case was to add it in the /etc/networking/interfaces file and then restarting networking.

Right now my dev enviroment seems to be fixed and the real struggle lies ahead the real porting work :)

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