Gentoo and KDE4

Everyone wanting to upgrade to KDE4 with Gentoo should be adviced not to trust the official guide completely. It’s a good start but incomplete and misleading. You should have a look at it nevertheless:

You should know the following facts before getting yourself into trouble:

  • You need KDE 3.5.10 (unstable) prior to KDE 4 if you plan to use both along each other. Some applications of KDE 3.5.10 will break nevertheless, at least if you install without kdeprefix (see below). You will be blocked otherwise.
  • You don’t need an unstable portage 2.2 for EABI 2. Well, you kind of need it nevertheless. portage 2.1.6.* IS portage 2.2 but with all new features (except EABI 2) disabled. If you have enough time, know Python and want to help the portage developers please do it, you know where you find them. If you run a more experimental system (you are unmasking KDE 4, right?), you could unmask 2.2 nevertheless and help Gentoo by testing and submitting bug reports.
  • You need to unmask lots and lots of packages. You can use this file and NOT the file you get there (both are linked in the KDE4 guide but the last one is for kde-testing overlay only). Unfortunately you will need to unmask even more. You can use unmasker, a nice tiny tool that does all that nasty unmasking stuff for you while you can do better things. Following the comments you will end up with a directory /etc/portage.keywords/ and some files in it. Emerge will use all of them. Have a look at the generated file(s) and modify/comment/delete any lines you don’t like. There will be some (e.g. SVN versions).
  • Before starting that huge 250 ebuild session (twice that size if you need KDE 3.5.10), make sure you have kdeprefix in your USE flags! The guide says it would not be necessary to use it but trust me: it is if you want to save yourself some headaches.
  • Having compiled all ebuilds and noticing random crashes and disfunctionality? Start dbus and hald first – you need them in KDE4 or you get weird problems. (that’s not in the guide either :( )
  • Using unstable xorg 1.5 and have no keyboard anymore? Or are you just wondering why you should use 1.5? See this short thread.
  • You use NVidia drivers and see flickering red or black checkerboards covering your videos? Well, guess you are using Amarok. It took almost a year to find that out. Just exit Amarok or open and close the playlist and control window a few times, the flickering will disappear. BTW that also happened with Compiz Fusion and KDE 3.5.
  • Having stability problems? Make sure you use nvidia-drivers 180.27 or 180.29 for the time being, do NOT use 180.37 for now.
  • Your icons disappeared? Check for the Inherits=hicolor setting to be correct (find the icon set configs and possible options for Inherits using locate index.theme), also check for deprecated icons (folder icons etc.) and switch them. Maybe it also helps to upgrade to QT 4.5 and of course 1.5 if you didn’t do that already; this could also fix some weird stuff going nuts in your system tray. Still missing icons? Bad luck I guess. The Oxygen icon set still seems incomplete and Inherits doesn’t seem to work in all cases, so you may try switching to some other icons instead. (Although this is 4.2, isn’t it? But what did other distributions do to fix it if it’s really incomplete/broken?)

These won’t be the only problems you come across, and I wrote some of them from memory because I upgraded about a month ago. Maybe it’s not sufficient what I wrote but it should save you at least 5 hours of work (or even more) figuring everything out yourself.

Good luck!

Wechsel zur Xbox 360

Seit letzter Woche steht eine Xbox 360 Elite neben meinem Rechner. Ich hatte schon seit mitte letzten Jahres vor, mir eine Konsole anzuschaffen, habe aber bisher zwischen PS3 und 360 geschwankt. Die Entscheidung für die deutlich ältere Xbox fiel nach einiger Überzeugungsarbeit durch einen Kumpel recht schnell, obwohl ich monatelang eher auf Seiten der PS3 stand. Meine Gründe, die Umsetzung und Besonderheiten werde ich im Weiteren erläutern. Da dieser Artikel länger ist, geht es in einer Langfassung weiter. Continue reading “Wechsel zur Xbox 360”

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a community-driven website where you can ask any programming related questions and answer other people’s questions. Based on a good reputation system you start being restricted to only post questions and answers. By getting “up” votes on your posts you will gain reputation points and more permissions like voting other people’s posts and commenting them. With a rather large amount of reputation points you will even get moderator permissions for the platform.

Registration is quite easy. If you have any account supporting OpenID (such as Yahoo/Flickr) you will be able to login right away. Avatars are being loaded from Gravatar. Before asking questions you should try searching for earlier posts on that topic; one idea behind Stack Overflow is to build a large FAQ of programming questions. I’ve recently got Stack Overflow threads in Google search results as well (and in most cases they immediately solved my problem).

The speed of questions and answers is rather high paced. Many people are monitoring the list of newest questions and respond in about 3-30 minutes. It’s not uncommon to be overtaken while still writing on an answer – in these cases you will get a notification on top of the site which you can click to see the latest answers while still retaining your unsent answer. Voting is quick, too. But in almost any case quality matters and since there will be some extra points for accepted answers you are never wrong to submit your own one if it adds some new aspects, even to highly frequented threads.

It’s best to try it yourself but be warned: That site is addictive! :)

And the winner is…

Mit Peacekeeper gibt es nun einen weiteren Browsertest, diesmal von Futuremark (bekannt durch 3DMark und PCMark). Gebenchmarkt werden wieder JavaScript und das Zusammenspiel mit der Rendering-Engine, der Benchmark ist sofort lauffähig. Unter Linux komme ich auf meinem Hauptrechner zu folgenden Ergebnissen:

Nachtrag: 1853 Punkte für Opera 10 Beta

679 Punkte Konqueror 4.2.00
581 Punkte Opera 9.64 (Binary)
438 Punkte Iceweasel 3.0.6 (selbstkompilierter Firefox)

Im Vergleich zu den Referenzergebnissen meiner CPU sind das aber noch lächerliche Werte. Die “Next Generation”-Engines der Browser (deren Entwicklerversionen oder Betas ich noch nicht installiert habe) sollen locker auf der 3-4fache kommen.