KDE 4 on Mac OS X

Troy Unrau did it again: he wrote another article for his “Road to KDE 4” series. That guy is worth gold for KDE’s marketing group! This time the article is titled The Road to KDE 4: Full Mac OS X Support and deals with the state of the Mac OS X support of KDE.

The article features also a nice introduction which shows what is actually meant with KDE on Mac OS X, and where the differences are to the already existing FINK project which made it possible to run KDE apps on Mac. In short the main difference is that you do not need to start up a full X11 anymore, but can just start the KDE applications. Also, the apps now are now graphical wise integrated into Mac OS X and do not look like aliens from another planet (the article shows nice screenshots to compare both), and stuff like copy&paste, drag/drop and so on will be fully supported.

There is one important remark done in the article I would like to pick up as well here: these efforts are no fork or creating a porting branch. The code used in this port is the same code used for the X11 version! There are no extra efforts necessary for porting usual apps or other stuff – it will just work.
This is possible is due to the fact that layers like solid and phonon are there: all apps just talk to these layers, nothing else. So all you have to do is to port these layers. And since they are created to be portable, it will be comparable easy. For example, Phonon on Windows will access the directx backend except for the GStreamer or other backends. And since Amarok just talks to Phonon it will not notice the difference.

Sure, there are some programs which access directly the hardware layer or drivers – I guess this is true for some functions of kstars where you can control your telescope. These functions inside the program maybe need some porting. But the usual stuff will not – it will just work.


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