Archive for the ‘ Software ’ Category

KDE 4.2 — The Answer

(I’d already been using the release candidate, but…)

KDE 4.2 is now official!

Firefox still trumps Konqueror

KDE! I love integration, and KDE 4 is awesome at it. I switched from Thunderbird to KMail/aKregator a while ago and love it. Firefox was left as my only non-KDE app (okay, and OO.o, but I use Kile much more often). Hmm. Since it was taking up so much RAM anyway (250 MB and up?!), I decided to try Konqueror (4.1.3).

I actually ended up switching back to Firefox after only four days, but here are a few things that I like (there’s one.. and a half)/don’t like (the rest) about the current version of Konqueror:

Address bar

There’s both a positive and a negative about Konqueror’s address bar. While the web shortcuts functionality is extremely useful, its lack of page content match support and general intuitiveness are big downsides.

Web shortcuts is the one feature that I really like. For example, I can make a shortcut “es2en” so that typing “es2en:despertador” in the address bar will be replaced with “”. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like much, but I find it (maybe) more useful than Firefox’s (or Opera’s) page content match.

Unfortunately, Konqueror doesn’t have Firefox’s (and Opera’s) page content match. While it may be part of the reason why Konqueror is so light on RAM (averaged about 110 MB with 12 tabs open, not too heavy on graphics) it’s a big drawback for me.

Typing “kde-look” in Firefox will take me to Konqueror outputs an error message instead. It can be configured to search a search engine, but that just gets in the way (besides, I can type “gg:kde-look” to google it).

No plugins

Konqueror doesn’t, AFAIK, have any plugins like those I can download for Firefox. ‘Nuff said.

Confusing session management

Session management is manual. Closing Konqueror doesn’t save the current session like Firefox does. A crash saves the session which can be restored, but Firefox does that as well. Saving a session saves all open windows, which can get annoying (Opera lets me save just the current window). On restart, I have to manually load a saved session.

Slow, occasionally broken page rendering

Some sites like Slashdot don’t render properly in Konqueror. If the page has lots of scripts, it can get slow as heck, too. Having multiple sites like that open freezes my MacBook.

But hey, I never said Konqueror sucked. Again, the big downside about Firefox is it being a RAM hog, even when using the browser.cache.memory.capacity option (wait, is that Windows only?). Konqueror loads a lot faster, and its dual function as a file manager lets me easily upload/download files from the web (including my dav folder). I haven’t really tried the split view function, but I guess it could be convenient.

Meanwhile, I’ll just have to endure this until I get my hands on some 2 GB sticks…

Currently: I’mpatiently waiting for KDE 4.2.



Anki is a flashcard program written in PyQT. I found it about two weeks (?) ago mentioned on PlanetKDE, and it’s helped a lot with my Japanese. Apparently, Anki (which, by the way, means “memorization” in Japanese) is a “spaced repetition system,” and it schedules my cards intelligently. For example, if it shows me a flashcard for 「赤い」, meaning “red,” it would, after a few minutes, show me the reverse card “red.” (to which I would recall 「赤い」.) Of course, harder cards show up more often, and they’re marked for review the next day. Anki even graphs my progress (I haven’t yet figured out how to read the graphs, though). Other features include [flashcard] deck synchronization with the Anki server for backup and easy sharing with friends.

Oh yeah, and this is available on Linux, Mac, and Windows. :)