Burkhard Lück revives KDE documentation efforts

I just have to say it, I'm thoroughly impressed by Burkhard Lück's determination to improve the user-documentation of KDE applications (particularly the kdebase ones). This is much needed, a huge undertaking, and probably also not very rewarding work. This being said, I'm sure he would appreciate some help -- if you can speak English (you can, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this) and want to contribute to the KDE documentation, subscribe to the kde-doc-english mailing-list :)


Showing the git branch in the zsh prompt

One big risk with git is forgetting which branch you're working in. Several people solve that by putting the git branch in their shell prompt. But often they do that by calling `git branch` and parsing its output, which is quite slow, especially in big repositories (we strace'd it, and it really opens and reads a lot of files).

At GCDS, together with Aurélien Gateau et Sébastien Renard, we came up with
this light-weight implementation (


More productivity tips

I learned a number of useful productivity tips during this akademy, so as the self-appointed guy-who-shares-productivity-tips-with-the-rest-of-kde, I thought I would share them here :-)

Read more below for yokadi, ack-grep, autojump, and cgdb.


Kubuntu Jaunty (xorg 1.6) doesn't like ATI Radeon cards

Hearing that kubuntu jaunty was out, I upgraded two machines today.
My wife's machine, so she can finally use KDE 4.2, and my own desktop machine. On her machine, NVidia card, no problem at all.
On my machine, ATI Radeon X1300, after the upgrade, X would always just show some red dots on the top of the screen, and then the machine would hang (no keyboard, no ssh, nothing except reboot).
I tried every possible driver in xorg.conf, no difference. So this isn't a driver problem, but an Xorg problem.
Other people on #kubuntu (e.g. "chx") reported the same issue.


Setting things up to get core dumps

Drkonqi is nice and friendly, but some apps (e.g. kded or krunner) have a crash handler so that they restart instead of annoying the user with crash dialogs.

As developers, we want to see backtraces of crashes in all cases; and to be in gdb in order to be able to print variables etc. Solution: asking for core dumps. That part is easy:

export KDE_DEBUG=1
ulimit -c unlimited

You should put that somewhere that is read during KDE startup, for instance ~/.kde4/env/


10 times faster deleting a directory (different use case)

Yes, very much like my previous blog post some time ago, but for a slightly different use case. Last time it was about deleting 10000 files viewed in dolphin/konqueror, using "select all", while this time it's about selecting ONE directory and deleting it - the recursive listing involving multiple ioslaves took far too much time. This became the highest-voted bug assigned to me - bug 174144 - so it's fixed now.

2008 down temporarily

Another few hours until it comes back, apparently.

You can read more details about it at


32 times faster deleting your home directory

Yes, KDE-4.2 will be 32 times faster deleting a large number of files compared to KDE-4.1!

I was looking at the highest-voted bugs last Monday (yes, voting _is_ useful in bugzilla, some people weren't sure about that), and bug 43356 (260 votes) was about konqueror taking too much time deleting a large number of files (in kde-3.0, but still true in 4.1).


Freedesktop share-mime-info in KDE

I started a few weeks ago to port the mimetype support in KDE to the "share mime info" standard from ( There are a number of reasons for doing that:


Installed Kubuntu on AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core

Since my previous machine heated too much and crashed all the time, my employer (KDAB) got me a new HP Pavillion t3350 machine, with a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 (M) 3800+ 2.0 GHz CPU - very nice :)

The support for the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset (and the SATA harddisk, apparently) is a bit new in Linux - the last version of Mandriva didn't really have a recent-enough kernel for it (although it had some backported patches it seems)... I didn't get it to work. So I decided it was time to try another distro - for the first time in my life, being loyal to my former employer up to now :) - and this is how I installed KUbuntu 6.06 beta2.