{June 6, 2007}   mmm, code

wednesday kinda disappeared in a blur of programming. pete and jon decided they’re going to write a program to record their go games with a webcam – tuesday night I wandered into their discussion. I decided it’d be a good excuse to try out pyqt, so I spent wednesday morning getting pyqt4 installed and working. it was pretty easy, once I got past the huge changes between qt3 and 4 (99% of examples online are for pyqt3 or older) and figured out how to write in python. I tossed together a quick gui, then decided to do it with designer instead of manually.
well, first I wanted to try out kdevelop, but it turns out the version in edgy is from right before they started qt4 support :P so I installed qt4-designer and started learning to use that. I’ve played with designer a little before, trying to fix a kopete bug, but I really don’t know much about it :) I got caught by the silly mistake of dragging a layout onto my widget instead of using the toolbar layout buttons.
I also got caught by the fact that edgy’s uic module (the tool for converting .ui files into python code) lags behind, and is actualy for qt 4.1, which apparently lacks QGraphicsView.

still, by the end of the day I had all my buttons, I was drawing dots on an image, and it mostly did what I wanted :) pretty good for just one day.
I think I might like to use pyqt4 again if I ever get around to implementing my chinese-practice-games ideas.

after discovering all these limitations caused by edgy, I decided it was about time I did a dist-upgrade. the strange lack of upgrade issues listed online unnerves me, but pete got the same idea yesterday and actually *did* the upgrade, and his comp hasn’t exploded or anything ;) yesterday I only got as far as setting up my backup scripts and burning a cd. now I’m debating whether or not to do a full backup of the whole partition before the dist-upgrade…
I really miss gentoo, though. I’m not sure if kubuntu’s still the right distro for me… trying out others takes time, though. and I doubt I can have the flexibility of gentoo without the maintenance effort, in any distro.


Have you tried Opensuse? (
I have tested almost every linux distro and Opensuse is the one I use now…

superstoned says:

you’re afraid a dist-upgrade will trash your system? It’s possible, sure, but it is very unlikely that it will be beyond repair. As long as you keep a livecd around, upgrading is pretty safe. I’ve kept my old laptop up-to-date from pre-dapper to feisty, no re-install. Using development editions sometimes, only upgrading irregular, like once every 2 months. I wouldn’t say ‘NO problems’, but they where few and far between. No unfixable stuff, too.

I’d say just go for it. As long as your $HOME is on a separate partition, there isn’t much risk involved.


I have being using gentoo for 3 years – and I will certainly change my distribution as soon as my master thesis is completed (in about 2 months).

I have several reasons for that move. I will write them down here, as it looks like you would possibly make a switch to gentoo.

Firstly Gentoo is strangely not at all that up-to-date that I would expect it from a source distribution. 5 months after the release, still isn’t even in unstable! One of my main reason to use Gentoo was the possibility to upgrade some days after the release of a new version of the package.

One could think that less upgrades means a more stable gentoo. This was however not the case for me lately. Many packages were broken. The distribution seems to not be polished that much anymore as at the beginning.

Portage still does not implement a way to desinstall software. This feature is more important for gentoo user than creating a live-cd to install gentoo with a graphical user interface. After these users do not choose gentoo because of its easiness to install!

I will certainly switch to Kubuntu or Fedora. However I’m still not completely decided. Installing a distribution takes a lot of time. I created on my gentoo an big build environment for my work… I would prefer if gentoo would fix these problems.
Let me know what linux you decided to use and how well it performs for you! This will perhaps help me deciding.


5 months after the release, gnome 2.16 still isn’t even in unstable!

Shyru says:

You could try Sabayon Linux. It’s a very cool distribution, they update regularly and have a lot of packages precompiled, but its gentoo-based! After using Gentoo for more than 2 years on many computers i settled to using kubuntu on some machines, due to the maintenance issue. But for my own machine i could not give up the flexibility of gentoo, but i wanted faster updates and less maintenance. – Thankfully i found Sabayon Linux.
They have KDE as default desktop and even have some patches in there (for example they use the SuSE KDE-Menu) and they are focused on eyecandy. That means beryl or compiz work out of the box with kde. The thing comes on a standard DVD and has lots of packages precompiled. But when its installed, you have a standard gentoo and may do with it all you can do with gentoo. – I find it a very suitable distribution. :-)

More info here:

Fred says:


I stopped using gentoo because it really was a pain (compile time and so on).
I don’t like debian, ubuntu, red hat, etc. because of their packaging system and choices (10 packages for one app).
I use Archlinux, the package philosophy is quite close to gentoo, and like debian or ubuntu, there are repositories of binaries online.
Most of the common packages are available, and you can easily create a new package if you miss a feature.
No graphical installer and command-line package package manager (i’ve heard of a graphical one though).
Binaries of KDE4 are also available!

Oh, and thanks for contributing to KDE, i love it! :)

Chani says:

SYNERGiST: with the way novell’s been acting lately, I’d rather stay as far away from suse as possible :)

Daniel: what do you mean, deinstall software? isn’t there emerge -C or something? I’m sure I’ve removed programs before. it just didn’t seem to *automatically* remove stuff, iirc.

shyru: almost sounds too good to be true.
I don’t have a dvd burner. I see there’s a minimal cd version – does it include kde? is there a livecd available?

fred: I remember someone telling me about archlinux before, I think… guess I should look into it a bit more.

Troy Unrau says:

I found that the upgrade from edgy to fiesty went super smooth. I wouldn’t worry too much about any possible breakages, it’s not like they changed default filesystems or anything. *Cough OS X 10.5 cough*


Leo S says:

My problem with Kubuntu (and also Fedora and OpenSuse etc) is that if the defaults work for you you’re ok, but once you start changing stuff it tends to break. All these distributions tend to include graphical tools that should make your life easier, but they’re not well tested, and thus break more often then not.

I would recommend pure Debian. Download one of the testing snapshots, then add the unstable sources and use that. It’s not really unstable (I’ve had one problem that left me without X in 5 years) and you get updated software very quickly.

Debian doesn’t tend to mess around with software as much as ubuntu either. THey just package upstream, and sometimes backport fixes for bugs or security issues.

While Kubuntu has some niceties, like automatic install of the nvidia drivers, they include lots of features that were developed by them, and don’t seem particularly well thought out, or tested. (System settings, that memory hogging power manager, adept updater, etc).

Also with Debian you can incrementally upgrade certain software without being forced to get new versions of everything. You choose your upgrade cycle, and the changes are much less disruptive.

Bart says:

I would be extremely interested in the project to record go games with a webcam. If its going to be opensource, could you ask the authors to make something public asap? And announce it here too!

Maybe try Fedora? It’s usually highly up to date even in the released versions. For example, Qt 4.3.0 is already in updates-testing for Fedora 7, it will probably hit updates within a week (currently, we have 4.2.3). Unfortunately, KDevelop has been a bit lagging (still at 3.3.6), but a KDE 3.5.7 update is being prepared for updates-testing right now, which should include KDevelop 3.4.1. And if you can’t wait, there’s a backport available at (built for Fedora 6, but it’s likely to work on 7 too, just don’t forget it’s an unsupported third-party package).

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