Christoph Cullmann

A Short Intro

The Interview

In what ways do you make a contribution to KDE?

I am the maintainer of the Kate application and component and develop the KTextEditor interfaces which are used to integrate the different editor components like kate and yzis into KDE applications like KDevelop and Quanta Plus.

When did you first hear of KDE?

I started to use SuSE Linux 5.1 end of 1997 and in parallel the KDE 1.x betas out there ;) I got known to it just by the fact that it was part of this first distro I got into my hands.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

In the KDE 2.x timeframe I was not that happy with the bugs in the KWrite editor and its component. I first send some patches, but as the maintainer was gone, I started to maintain KWrite from KDE 2.2 and included Kate into KDE after approval.

Are you being paid to work on KDE?

No ;)

How much time do you usually spend on KDE?

It varies. In the first years, I spend quiet a lot of time, like 3 hours a day in some months, but today, not more than one hour a day, if at all, and some more at weekends. As I have to work and write my thesis, have not that much time left, too bad.

Which section of KDE is underrated and could get more publicity?

KHTML ;) Yes, sounds bit crazy, as everybody knows the WebCore stuff and all this, but if I talk with my friends about how great Konqueror is for daily usage, they just say: "Bah, KHTML sucks, Safari rulez". This makes me kind of sad.

What do you think is still badly missing in KDE?

A really working office suite with tight integration. No, I don't want to bitch at the KOffice developers, they do a good job given their manpower. But I really would like to have a good integration, at least as short-time goal. Guess the incubator project which works on this is a good thing, but haven't really tried a lot the latest 2.0 betas. Perhaps my wish is already fulfilled ;)

Do you have any plans for KDE 4?

I want to clean up the stuff I maintain, create better interfaces, which are more usable than the current stuff and wand to help with the overall porting.

What motivates/keeps you motivated to work on KDE?

I think of KDE as one of the leading desktop environments out there at the moment for the unix systems around and I am proud to at least have contributed a bit to this success.

What chances do you see in your country for KDE as a desktop platform?

I think KDE's chances are good in Germany, given that it is really popular here in the Linux community.

What is your favourite widget style?

Plastik, simple but still stylish.

Which text editor do you use? Why?

Kate, because it is the best one out there for KDE. Yeah, I know, I am biased ;)

Which distribution do you use? Why?

At the moment I use Kubuntu and Debian here on my machines, but I'm considering giving SuSE a try again on my laptop soon.

What is KDE's killer app? Why?

Kontact, keeps me up with the rest of the world.

What makes you develop for KDE instead of the competition?

KDE/Qt's API is clean and it uses C++, enough said ;)

What does your desktop look like?


What type is your laptop/desktop? What is it named?

My local machine "nexus" is a dual-xeon, my laptop "moebius" is a cheap version of the IBM ThinkPad's R series.

If you were shipwrecked and had to share an island with a KDE contributor who would it be?

Frank Karlitschek, as I guess even on a island he would be a great source of information from the whole community.

What is your most brilliant KDE hack?

The fast-like-a-flash porting of the Kate part and app to KDE 4 ;)

What is your most embarrassing KDE moment?

My whole KDE desktop locked-up while I was running a presentation at the university, embarrassing, as I got only comments like: oh, we should never use stuff you played with ;)

Did you go to Akademy? What did you see/What did you miss?

Yes, I got there, was a cool time. I liked the talks, but I missed that the BoF part wasn't that organised, the table was cool but some more formal organization would have lead to less missing of cool BoF's.

Personal Questions

First things first. Married, partner or up for adoption?

Married, no, girlfriend, yes.

How does your girlfriend cope with a KDE addict?

My girlfriend accepts that I disappear to a KDE meeting every year for a week or two and she can cope with me sitting in front of my PC for hours ;)

Do you have any pets?

I have three cats: Miezi, Piti und Tomi.

If someone visits your country, which spot is a must-see?

I guess Berlin is always worth a visit, the "Reichstag" is a cool place to view, same for the "Brandenburger Tor", I guess both are known.

Which book is on your bedside table?

Principles of Program Analysis, don't laught, need to study this for my thesis.

Who or what in your life would you say influenced you most?

I guess my parents.

Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds?

Linus ;) Let's say personal preference, no details.

How would you describe yourself?

A sometimes to harsh and direct person with nearly zero patience. But beside this, I am a nice guy :)

What do you get passionate about?

My work. Both in the KDE project and my other stuff I code. Until now, I most times got projects I can put my heart into.

You're stuck on a train for 6 hours and are bored out of your skull. What do you do to amuse yourself?

Listen music, yes, no coding. For exactly this problem I have bought some portable ogg-player.

What is your favourite t-shirt?

I like the KDE shirt with the small K.

What is your favourite place in the world?

Until now, I liked most places I went to, but at home it's nice, too.