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KDE ported to Nokia’s Linux-powered Web tablets

Sep 12, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 9 views

A community developer has ported Linux's KDE desktop environment to Nokia's Internet tablets. The port appears to run on both the N800 and — with the addition of an RS-MMC card upgrade — the older 770 tablet.

The port actually was released back in March for the N800. However, it got a new round of attention this week, when a blogger posted instructions on installing it on the older 770. “It purrs like a kitten, believe it or not,” the post enthused.

Konquerer and KDE on the 770
(Source: GeekPenguin. Click for details)

The 770 (device profile), which shipped in January of 2006, was the first of Nokia's Linux-based web tablets. It was replaced in less than a year by the N800 (device profile), leaving some early adopters feeling a bit abandoned, despite Hacker Edition ports — upgrades that include all but the licensed, third-party components of Nokia's Tablet OS.

Nokia's Tablet OS broke with a long tradition in PDAs and other mobile devices, by eschewing “embedded” software development frameworks such as Qt, MicroWindows, and MiniGUI. Instead, it uses Gnome, a desktop environment and application development framework. KDE is the main competitor to Gnome in the desktop Linux world.

Since Nokia's adoption of Gnome, lots of work has been done on the environment to optimize it for small footprint devices. For example, this past April, the Gnome Foundation sprouted a Mobile and Embedded Initiative.

When he released his original port of KDE 3.5.6 for Nokia's Tablet OS back in March, “PenguinBait” wrote, “I have not even used KDE since like when 2.0 was new, but I always liked it over gnome, personally.”

The community developer also encouraged participation in building a complete and stable KDE-based environment for the device. About 300 pages at InternetTabletTalk now mention KDE. However, a recent poll there found that more than two-thirds of those surveyed plan to wait until the port is more mature before trying it out.

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