Carsten Pfeiffer

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Berlin, Germany
  • Occupation: I'm studying Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin
  • Nickname on IRC: Gis
  • Claim to Fame: KuickShow (still KDE1 only, but a new release is coming up, promised), large parts of klipper, a good chunk of the KDE file dialog, some things in Konqueror (the history and completion for example) and I was one of the kISDN authors. Oh, and the System Notifications control module.
  • Fav. KDE applications: I really enjoy Konqueror, mostly for web browsing. KNode for reading News. I love ksirc for its simplicity (the GUI, not the code :}). And I like noatun, the new Media player for its extendibility with plugins. For university, KLyX has helped me a lot.
  • Hardware: Some self-assembled box with all kinds of things in it - every single slot is used and Windows had a hard time with resource management. I had to disable a serial port to get the ISDN card working :} No problem with Linux of course. The CPU is an AMD K6-2 500 and I've got 128 megs.

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

Hmm, I don't think I have a fixed role. Besides maintaining the above stuff, I try to improve or fix bugs in other programs, when I see them or help out, where help is needed.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

I have to blame Kalle for this, because of his KDE articles in the c't-magazine some years ago. They happened at the time when I started studying cs and got used to Linux. I had no idea of C++, Qt, kdelibs or even OOP, but somehow I managed to add a tiny feature to kfm. And Torben even accepted my patch. I'm sure he didn't look at the code :

How much time do you spend on KDE?

About 10-15 hours a week, I think.

What is your favorite tool? (for developers; what is your favorite editor?)

It's not that I really like XEmacs or its cryptic keybindings, but with a nice .emacs (thousand thanks to Arnt!), the functionality is just great.
Moreover I love konsole for its multiple sessions.

Is there a process you follow when you code/ translate/write documentation?

It usually starts with an analysis of _what_ to do, i.e. thinking of all the requirements. Then I put this into a rough structure of classes, sometimes writing that down on paper. Next, I try to get the interfaces between those classes right, write some header files and finally implement them.

What was your first computer?

It wasn't mine, but my father's, but it was an Atari 260 ST, with a nice 360kb floppy drive :) That's where I did my first programming steps (GfA Basic).

If you could add one personal feature to KDE what would that be?

I find the music sector (audio editing, midi, sequencing) lacking. My keyboard and synthesizers have a nice pile of dust on top of their covers :-/

What application/game would you like to see ported to KDE?

The sequencer Cubase. Eventually Brahms, a Cubase-like program for KDE might become a nice substitute, tho.

Where do you see yourself and KDE 2 years from now?

I see myself not studying anymore :) Hopefully still having time for KDE-development, ideally having a KDE/Qt-related job.
I see KDE getting a lot of "third-party" applications for all kinds of tasks, so that nobody can complain "but in Windows, I can ..." anymore. KDE or components of it running on small devices is partly reality already, so this will increase. Maybe the "desktop" gets customizable to allow new users, who are not used to computers, to work rather task-oriented than application- or file-oriented.

Are you being paid to work for KDE and if yes by who?

No, I'm not (yet). ([*Tink]I hope employers are keeping a list who will be available when. It would be a shame to let all this talent go to waste ;-))

Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

21st January, 1974 in Berlin.

What's your status, are you single and up for adoption?

I'm happily engaged with my girlfriend Andrea.

If married/girlfriend/partner(m/f), how does he/she cope living with a KDE addict?

I'm told that students have more free time than people with a job, so I use that time for KDE ;)

Do you have children?


If your house is on fire what would be the first thing you would grab to take with you?

Eeek :} Andrea of course :) Next probably some photos, because those are among the few things you can't ever buy or get back once they are destroyed.

What are the elements for a perfect vacation?

Good weather! Can mean sun or snow, depending on the vacation :) And the right people to travel with.

What do you (and your s.o) like to do in your spare time?

We enjoy going to the cinema, going for a walk, shopping, just relaxing in the garden, traveling, ...
I personally like to do all kinds of sports, be it snowboarding, skiing, surfing, basketball, wakeboarding, ... Great to clear your head after long hacking sessions.

What was the last movie you have seen?

That was "Ski to the max", some Willy Bogner movie in the IMAX cinema.

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

Better ask: when did you last find the time to read a book :-/ The last book(s) that would come to mind is Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

What song brings back a favorite memory? And why?

I guess, I'll never forget that old Richard Sanderson song "Reality" that was played on the first school-parties where guys and girls danced tightly. Not really a favorite memory, but a funny thing to remember :)

You having some friends over for a party and you're allowed to invite 3 famous people who would you invite and why?

I'd really like to have a chat with Douglas Adams, his weird ideas are fascinating. I guess having Stefan Raab (some weird German comedian) on a party would be entertaining :) Hmm, don't know about the third one, maybe someone to care about the food or the music ;)

Did you meet your best friend (no family) virtually or in person?

In person.

Did you ever met a fellow KDE'r in person, when and where?

Yes, a lot of them on KDE meetings.

Name your favorite quote/saying.

What about something that fits to the current situation (upcoming 2.1 release):
"feature freeze means, that everyone has a bad feeling when he changes something, almost nothing more :)" --Stephan Kulow