SyCoCa - Fixing broken KDE apps

Ian Wadham at
Thu Sep 20 18:00:34 PDT 2012

On 20/09/2012, at 11:53 PM, Jamie Paul Griffin wrote:
> [ Ian Wadham wrote on Thu 20.Sep'12 at 14:42:56 +1000 ]
>> It appears that kbuildsycoca4 is run every time KDE starts up.  A process called kded
>> (KDE daemon) runs it as part of several other duties, but I am not suggesting that
>> kded should be ported to Apple …  Maybe it would work to run kbuildsycoca4 via
>> System Preferences->Users & Groups->Login Items.  That is how I run kdeinit4.
>> I have started a thread on kde-devel at called "When does kbuildsycoca4 run?".
>> My guess is that there is more to solving the problems with KDE apps than running
>> kbuildsycoca4 and I am seeking further answers over at kde-devel.  For example,
>> Dr Konqui clashes with the Apple crash-processor somehow and only works some
>> of the time.  Sometimes it fails to run at all and sometimes I have to Force Quit it.
> So these issues you're experiencing are not headaches? and are not a pain in the arse?

You have got me wrong.  I was actually tut-tutting in a joking sort of way about the use of
language.  But forget that.  I am not in any way offended.  In fact, being from Australia, I
have often thought in more colourful terms about KDE.

> Even on other platforms it's a nightmare most of the time and really not worth the hassle IMO.
> Apple's Aqua desktop is nice as it is, why on earth would you want to bother putting KDE on
> it anyway?

I agree, which is why I am here and not still developing KDE Games on a Linux system.

The Apple Mac desktop (Lion) is about the tenth desktop I have ever used and it is one
of the best.  I like it because it lets you get on with your work without constantly nagging
and interrupting you and without dazzling you with the latest "cool" graphics, which can
become irritating when you are working for hours at a time.

No way would I want to implement a KDE desktop on top of it.  I am talking about how to
make KDE *apps* run better on an Apple desktop.

Some of them are very good, better IMO than Apple or App Store apps of the same type,
and I think it is worth some effort to make those apps run better on Apple.  I mentioned a
few in my first post on this thread.

> FreeBSD and NetBSD which I use as well, work perfectly well with simple Window
> Managers such as spectrwm, these bloated desktops are a headache there's no
> question about that. They take an age to compile and invariably quite a lot of their
> components don't work without an enormous amount of time consuming effort to
> put right, as you are experiencing now. So I feel mine and others' comments are
> perfectly valid. 

Actually the problems I am experiencing are a mere flea-bite compared to some
I have experienced as a developer in a KDE desktop environment … :-)  I can
keep working OK without a crash-analyser … :-)  And I found the other day that
the really big compile (Qt4-Mac) is now available as a package and that Michael
Dickens is doing valuable work to break up Qt4-Mac and reduce compile times
for the main parts.  Good on you, Michael!

On a more positive note, I think some of the solutions to broken KDE apps may
be quite simple and not time-consuming, except that it may sometimes take time
and guesswork to find the right key and the right lock in which to turn it.  But one
can get help on the KDE mailing lists.

I would be happy to go through the KDE games, an area I know fairly well, and
see what works on Apple and what doesn't, then find out how to fix the games that
are broken on Apple and fix them at source if necessary.  For example, I know
one game that can come up with unreadable black-on-black messages because
it uses a non-portable QPainter option and fixing the source is already on my list.

More importantly, such a survey would very likely turn up common problems
and solutions in a simple and manageable environment and these could then
be applied to other Qt-related and KDE-related ports.

So please, Macports developers, let's be positive about this.

I won't even start investigating further if the response is likely to be "headache"
and PITA.

Cheers, Ian W.

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