How Do You Learn About KDE?

A discussion has popped up on the KOffice-Devel list as to whether to discontinue the user-oriented KOffice mailing list. Some developers are wondering whether it’s worth it to keep this admittedly low-traffic list going. The main argument being that if people aren’t using the list now, the few questions that do get asked may not be getting the attention they deserve.

I have an opinion on the subject, but I’m not sure that’s all that important. As a technical communicator, what I’m interested in is how others learn about and solve problems with their software, particularly in the open source arena. KOffice doesn’t have the mind share and user base that other open source productivity suites (OK, I mean OpenOffice.org) have, but are there channels today’s Linux geek and her grandma use to get support for their software. There are lots of choices, and it would be interesting and helpful to me, the KOffice and KDE teams to learn those preferences.

I’m going to try to set up a poll here, but please use the Comments section as well. The official question is “How do you learn about or get help with KOffice and other KDE applications?” Here are the options I’ve thought of:

Share your journey in the comments. Choose as many options in the poll below as you like. Explain what you like and don’t like about getting help. Even if you don’t use KDE specifically, feel free to chime in.

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6 thoughts on “How Do You Learn About KDE?

  1. First I use the web search and then I go ask in the forums. I’m not used to mailing lists. But I did notice a knowledge base widget where you can search for topics. I think this database should somehow be directly integrated into the KDE desktop and KDE apps. So that you can first ask a question, it searches the possible answers and then if nothing suitable is found it should allow you to continue adding the question into the database. All from one nice integrated wizard. Maybe it could even be integrated right into the KHelpCenter. That would be the most easy and efficient way for me.

  2. This’ll sound dumb, but I learn some of how to use KDE apps by just messing around with them. Don’t get me wrong most of what I get comes from in this order
    1. My distros forum
    2. KDE help
    3.KDE Forum
    4.Web search
    5. The apps wiki(if it has one)
    6.As I said just messing with it
    Mailing lists I mainly use to inform the devs of problems with the app if the above doesn’t work. IRC’s I’ve never had any luck there.

    • Not dumb at all. Messing around is a great way to learn. The other methods are for things that messing just doesn’t sort out for you :-)

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  4. We decided to buy a Dell Mini 9 two years ago and I wanted to give Linux a try.
    My sister in law got the Acer One which had the dummified Linux with 4 coloured square and she loved it so we figured why not?

    After a 2 weeks my wife asked me to put XP back on, she said Ubuntu looked like a cheesy Win95 version and that it was depressing. I downloaded the newer Ubuntu instead of the Dellbuntu and wasnt more impressed. The fonts looked weird, I hated the menu to get anywhere, changing themese didnt make it better…. i convinced her to just use her FF3, Thunderbird and OO plus Skype like she did in Windows and wed see if we can find another flavour of linux that was more pleasant.
    I talked about the netbook with a parent at our kids judo classes and the man told me his eldest son knows quite a bit about Linux, maybe he could help.
    This 14 yr old expert gave me a free software/Linux desktop primer (I was already using free software like VLC on Windows so I knew GPL and free/freedom) and showed me the three main desktops. I knew there were many kinds of Linux but It never occured me that there was a choice in desktops.
    PCLinuxOS2007 was my first KDE and it just worked. I must have installed that distro on half a dozen of my computers and never had a problem. I even gave my folks an old Celeron computer and let them have Linux on it. Fast forward two years and both my retired parents are running KDE4.4.

    Since then I have learned more about KDE and finally made the switch to 4.2 because I thought it was ready for home use (you know what I did until that happened? I kept using 3.5 which was still excellent and no one forced me to leave it).
    My folks and friends loved my KDE4.2 so much they begged me to install it on their 3.5.

    Im by no means a Linux pro but Im confident enough that I now trouble shoot our 5 home Linux computers (4 KDE and one XCFE/E17 and one dual-boot with XP for 2-3 video games I play), my parents 2 computers, and the 7 computers from my inlaws, sisterinlaw and aunts.

    It really helps that I had a good teacher and when he wasnt there, IRC has been a blessing for support.

    Digikam, Gwenviwe and VLC take care of my video-photos and Audacity/Amarok my audio and KDEnlive is almost perfect for my video editing needs. If only the whole JACK, ALSA, etc gets fine tuned so that you can plug in an USB keyboard and just play, then it will be perfect.

    I still use Vista 7 at work sometimes and XP at home when I load up the Chess and racing simulations and at no point do I even consider ever returning to Windows or Apple.
    I am not a full time Linux user or should I say KDE user because without KDE, I would have given up.

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