Chris Schlaeger

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Nuernberg, Germany
  • Occupation: I studied Electrical Engineering
  • Claim to Fame: ktop and ksysguard
  • Fav. KDE applications: Konqueror and Konsole, Konsole is not nearly as wonderful as Konqueror, but I need a terminal emulator
  • Hardware: 2x350MHz PII at home and 2x500MHz Xeon at work

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

I'm the maintainer of ksysguard (formerly known as ktop). I did some work on the core libraries, mostly kdeui, but now have very little time for this. Recently I have spend most of my time putting together the KDE League.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

I have used KDE since the first beta version of 1.0. I was working for a Electronic Design Automation company and started to hack KDE in my spare time. We didn't have any reasonable desktop for our UNIX/Linux systems. I looked at the API's and started to write my own apps. Since KDE/Qt is so much easier to program for than all the other stuff out there I really enjoyed it.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

In average about 2 - 3 hours a day. It's hard to tell since my normal job at SuSE involves KDE as well.

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

That has not been written yet. In the meantime I'm using emacs for big stuff, joe for smaller things and vi when I'm logged-in as root.

Is there a process you follow when you code?

I program a lot without a computer, designing the code in my head. Repetitive motions like walking or cycling are pretty good for this. Just before I fall asleep is also a very creative time. When I'm pleased with the design and have some time in front of a computer I quickly type in the stuff and test it.

What was your first computer?

A programmable pocket calculator, I guess. I started real programming on an Apple II at school. My first own computer was an Atari ST1024. I still have it and turn it on from time to time.

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

Konqueror. It's definitely the killer application that KDE has. But there are many other very useful tools that come with KDE. Like ksysguard. ;)

Where do you see yourself and KDE 5 years from now?

That's almost impossible to predict. I guess I will be using KDE 6.0 by then. Seriously, the next year or so will be crucial for Linux on the Desktop. Either application vendors will start to port their stuff to Linux (and KDE) or Linux will remain a server OS forever. Mobile devices are another story. I really hope the industry has learned from their current dependence on Microsoft and will not make the same mistake again.

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

Yes, I'm working for SuSE. My contract says something like 30% of my time can be spend on KDE. Since I'm mostly doing management stuff, this is almost impossible to achieve.

Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

March 1970 in Viersen, Germany. A nice city a few miles away from the Dutch border.

Which University/School did you go to?

Aachen University of Technology.

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

I have a girlfriend for almost 4 years now.

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

She still shaking her nice head about it. But I try to keep the weekends free of KDE stuff and hopefully still have enough time for her.

Do you have children?

No, I don't think so. ;)

Do you have pets?


What is your favorite food?

I've lived for quite some time in the US and liked European food a lot. Since I'm back for some time now I'm keen on good Mexican food.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

South western US! Fascinating landscapes but way too expensive right now.

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

We enjoy our quite moments. Our dayjobs are pretty hectic and it usually takes a few hours on Fridays to cool down and relax again.

What was the last movie you have seen?

Toy Story II on DVD.

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

I haven't touched fiction books for ages. The only paper I read nowadays are manuals and contracts.

What songs do you sing in the shower?

I like my neighbors, so I don't sing in the shower.

It's the Holiday season, you're having a few friends over for a fondue in your cabin in the snowy moutains. You can invite 3 famous people, who will you invite and why?

Meg Ryan, Billy Joel and Caesar. Guess they make up a good party.

Is your best friend (no family) a real person or an on-line one?

It's a very real person, but we usually email every day.

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

I've met 70 or 80 by now. Mostly on hacker meetings like KDEII or the Trysil hack. But also on shows and other occasions.

Name your favorite quote/saying.

"Lead, follow or get out of the way." It describes very good how KDE developments works. Not in a macroscopic way. We don't have a leader that everybody follows, but in a microscopic sense. For every important part of KDE there is somebody who cares for it. Many others help him or stay out of their way and work on other things. So there is usually little noise created by people who only talk but never do things.