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Working around KDE bug 162485

KDE Distro If you want to add support for third party certificates in your KDE 4 desktop, you'll have to work around this languishing bug. KDE for some arrogant reason includes its own certificate authority bundle located in /usr/share/kde*/apps/kssl/ca-bundle.crt, but doesn't provide the tools needed to modify the collection as a normal user. Therefore, as root, move this file out of the way, and link to your distribution's certificate bundle (typically in /etc/ssl/certs). This will let you use your distribution's SSL tools for managing SSL, rather than waiting for KDE to implement these important features. Changes to the distro's CA bundle will require restarting the applications using SSL/TLS before they can see the new root certificate authorities, but that's better than having to click through nag screens for certificates that should be trusted. We still have the security problem of not being able to verify certificates in any app but Konqueror, but the above fix removes the need to do that if you have a Root CA.

KDE in Foresight

KDE Distro I get asked a couple of times a week what's going on with the Foresight KDE edition, what is the status of KDE 4.x, and when is the KDE edition going to be released. I thought I'd blog so that something exists in Internet-firma that can be referred to and even "Googled".

First the status of KDE 4.1: I have no plans to build KDE 4.1 into Foresight. While a giant leap forward from what KDE 4.0 was, KDE 4.1 is still disappointing. Part of what happens when you rewrite rather than make incremental improvements is that functionality gets left behind, and some core functionality that I feel is essential to making a decent desktop experience for the end user is missing or buggy. Also, two of KDE 4.x's killer apps are less usable in 4.1 than they are in KDE 3.5.9: Amarok 2.0 lacks basic wholesale tag editing, dynamic playlists, and is a very buggy Alpha; and Kmail 4.2, part of Kontact is significantly slower than it's 3.5.x counterpart. Kontact itself doesn't yet feel cohesive when it comes to user interface interactions. There are a few KDE 4 apps that I would prefer over kde 3 though: kopete, konversation, potatoguy and many others show marked improvement.

Even though we won't be shipping KDE 4.1 in Foresight's KDE edition, it will be available to install side by side with 3.5.x in kde.rpath.org@fl:2-kde4.1-devel so long as someone is willing to maintain it.

For the KDE edition, there remain a few cosmetic issues with the theme, but mostly what we're missing is new ISOs on the release label and testing. If you'd like to help, jump in #foresight-kde on Freenode. I'm hoping that I'll be able to free up some time in the next few weeks to get us over the final hump.