Saturday, April 15, 2006

OpenSUSE 10.1 RC1

After a week of downloading, I finally got all the CDs of openSUSE 10.1 RC1 downloaded this afternoon, and proceeded to make a DVD out of them and install it on my laptop.

I was pleased to see ndiswrapper was available once more (it was missing in beta 8, the last one I tested) so I was able to get on the internet. NetworkManager is very nice, and as soon as I ran 'modprobe ndiswrapper' it noticed the new network and I was able to type in my WEP key and connect. (WEP because we have a couple of iBooks here which have MacOS X 10.2 which doesn't like WPA).

It also came with KPowersave, which gives a very nice view of the laptop's battery and CPU status when I click on it.

Kerry Beagle was the next thing I checked out, and once again I was able to get it working straight off without any messing around. I just searched for 'kerry' in the K-Menu, ran it and clicked on the link to start the daemon, and there it was. It looks like it'll be a very useful tool, but I haven't played around with it much yet.

I then got Xgl running, which, once again, was very easy. Unfortunately it's not very well supported by KDE yet, but I think I'll still be using it when 10.1 is released, because it's just soooo nice! The problems I came across were that at one point when I was changing some settings it decided to give the kicker a titlebar. So I killed and restart the kicker, and all the tray icons were given little unmovable windows on the desktop. I don't think you can use KDE window decorations with it yet, and in the Gnome decorations I had to use, the maximise button doesn't work. Not that I use that button very often. I was also unable to create more than one virtual desktop in KDE, but Xgl had its own set of four virtual desktops, none of which would show up in the pager, and I couldn't change their backgrounds. But it seems to be minor cosmetics. It's stable and makes my computer look nice. And when I'm using it all day every day, it's nice to have a good looking computer. (And the F11 plugin makes it easier to use too).

Unrelated to all that, I've been following the discussions on cmake on PlanetKDE. I don't really have much to say about cmake, but I did have some thoughts about how discussions happen in blogs instead of on mailing lists sometimes. Although I think it's often that discussions that have happened on mailing lists or on IRC then get summarised in blogs.

Because of the published nature of a blog, it can encourage one to think more before writing something, and also discourages 'me too' postings. I think this often can improve the quality of a discussion. It also means that people like me, who are subscribed to a few KDE mailing lists but don't have time to read them all, can get an idea of what's going on, and feedback if we suddenly have a revelation about something. I don't have any such revelations though. Sorry.