More Fun with Kubuntu

This is a continuation of my original Kubuntu usability post. I’ve dived much deeper into Kubuntu juice now. Here are some fun things I have working:

  • DVD Video playback, with full 5.1 audio, in Kaffeine
  • Media playback on the Internet, such as Apple’s Trailers and NPR Radio. However, media only plays embedded in Konqueror. Firefox opens Kaffeine (and then crashes – don’t worry, I filed a bug). I think to solve this we need a working generic xine plugin for Firefox. That way Ubuntu users don’t have to wait for a totem-mozilla plugin, and Kubuntu users can stop worrying about Firefox crashes.
  • Full 3D acceleration, using an ATI 9700 Pro. Some people in the forums have said that I won’t be able to use compositing with 3D acceleration enabled, especially on an ATI. But we shall see.
  • digiKam – a great photo organizer for my wife. It accesses all her photos on a FAT32 partition shared with Windows.
  • DOSBox – I can now play all my favorite abandonware, such as King’s Quest, Space Quest, Duke Nukem, and Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure.
  • ZSnes – I can play all my old ROM images. Hurray! Although now I really need to find good NES/Genesis/TurboGrafx emulators.
  • BibleTime – Bible study software
  • Asaph – A Java-based worship database
  • Scribus – Desktop publishing software

However, here are some areas that need a lot of work:

  • Kynaptic needs a serious overhaul so that it more closely matches Synaptic. I want to be able to see what repository a package is from, and I also want to be able to see the packages sorted by how they are laid out on the KMenu. There also needs to be an update notifier that can sit in the system tray.
  • The package makers need to remove all the unnecessary GNOME requirements from the Firefox package.
  • Can we get Gecko into Konqueror? If so, maybe we can forget this Firefox business.
  • gtk-engines-gtk-qt needs to be on the default installation, possibly with the Clearlooks Crystal theme applied, so that when an unsuspecting user installs a GNOME app, he doesn’t know the difference.
  • There are a few KDE Improvements (kio-locate, kio-ipod, etc.) that have made it high on the list at kde-apps.org and should be considered for default inclusion.
  • OpenOffice.org looks awful. Please, please, please recompile it using the KDE OpenOffice project’s build. That one uses KDE widgets, themes, and dialogs. We’re a KDE distro, right?
  • amaroK needs to add iPod shuffle support.
  • Is Krita in universe? If not, it makes a decent KDE Gimp replacement.
  • That’s all for now, folks. Tootles!

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Philip Cain

Ninja Master of the Series of Tubes, musician, audio engineer and geek. More about Philip...