How NX can accelerate KDE development and help the Quality Teams

KDE Contributor and Developer Conference

2004 KDE Community World Summit

Speaker: Kurt Pfeifle, Danka Deutschland Holding GmbH

Language: English

Talk is scheduled for: Saturday, 21st of August 2004, 14:00 - 15:00

Check the Schedule for an overview of all talks during this conference.

KDE's development model creates rapid advance. It involves not just C++ and Qt-Coders. A very substantion part for the success of KDE are its large and vibrant communities of translators, artists, documentation writers, beta testers and the newly created quality teams. Very often these valuable contributors don't have the time to keep current with KDE HEAD by compiling it once a week. Or they don't have the sheer CPU power available that would finish builds in a decent timespan. Or they don't have the skills to fix one of the many and regularly occurring "configure" or "make" problems. So they resort to what most users do: they run the latest stable version of KDE packages their favorite distro has released. That means: very often non-technical contributors to the KDE Project are "behind" the actual technical level KDE has reached. This time gap poses problems of its own:

  • KDE coders, who run the bleeding edge HEAD compiles do have difficulties to verify bug reports. It is time-consuming to start a "latest stable" KDE release (if at all possible). This slows bug fixing processes down considerably.
  • Translations and translation checks are lagging behind KDE releases. Translators often can't verify the strings they translated in the context of a running, correctily compiled application in close time proximity of the development.

Making use of a new technology in KDE development can greatly accelerate the process of development, bug report verification and bug-fixing, translations, artwork creation. It involves the creation of one or more KDE NX application servers. NX, developed by NoMachine, accelerates remote X11 access to a KDE computer to a remarkable degree. With NX it is possible to use its programs even over a low bandwidth link such as a modem or ISDN line.

A central KDE NX server or cluster could offer to each KDE contributor to access current HEAD as well as the last 2 or 3 stable releases with little or no effort, provided there is an internet access that allows SSH outgoing connections. KDE people wouldn't even have to run KDE locally: their NX clients could run on Windows, Mac OS X or Solaris, or even from a Knoppix. Given a certain hardware equipment, an NX KDE server is feasible to even run 200 concurrent full desktop sessions, with KDE developers and testers connected from all over the world to do their jobs.

This talk and presentations will demo, how a future KDE NX Compile- and Testbed could look like and be put to good use for KDE development. There will be a live demo system available, currently hosted in the data center of a German ISP. It will run KDE HEAD and KDE 3.2.2. Concurrent sessions will be demo'd. Suggestions will be made how every KDE contributor could make good use of this additional asset. At the same time, such an application server could be an excellent additional asset for any KDE Promo Team member working on shows and tradefairs and doing demos of our great Desktop Environment.

Kurt is looking for more hardware and bandwidth sponsors who would make this new exciting tool for KDE development from an option to reality. Hopefully, representatives from one or two companies who have been negotiated with will be present during the talk too.

Kurt Pfeifle

About Kurt Pfeifle
Kurt Pfeifle has made non-coding activities and contributions to KDE for a few years now. He was involved in the KDEPrint development as beta tester, documentation writer and feature requester. Other Open Source contributions were his documentation regarding CUPS and Samba printing, giving talks at Linux events or helping users on various mailing lists. His latest pet projects are NX and FreeNX, which he thinks can change the landscape of network computing in the next few years.

Kurt works as a System Specialist and Software Consultant for Danka Deutschland Holding GmbH

Suggestions and inquiries direct please to KDE aKademy Team.