Dimitris Kamenopoulos

A Short Intro

  • Age: October 22nd 1979, Athens
  • Located in: Pallini, Eastern Attica, Greece
  • Occupation: Studying Computer and Electronics Engineering
  • Nickname on IRC: fraulitsa (the two times I've been on IRC)
  • Claim to Fame: Greek translations
  • Hardware: 700MHz Thunderbird with 128 MB RAM and 30 GB HDD

The Interview

Is there a certain application/set of applications in KDE you are responsible for?

No. I am a translator.

What else do you do for KDE?

I do (or try to do) Greek support in general. Small bugfixes here and there, Greece's rules for kppp, etc.

Is there any unreleased stuff in your pipe?

Currently I'm working on a simple Annotea plugin for Konqueror. Hope I'll have finished with it till Christmas, but I don't promise anything! (can you update us on that Dimitris?)

How much time do you usually spend on KDE?

"On" KDE, roughly an hour per day. "With" KDE five to ten hours per day, since it is my desktop of choice.

When did you hear of KDE first?

Strictly speaking, there was an article in a Greek computer magazine back in 1998 and this was also the very first time I ever heard of Linux. My SuSE 6.2 which I bought in late 1999 included KDE 1.1, and this was the first time I saw KDE in action.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

I liked it very much, I definetely wanted to do something to help the project. Translations were orphan at the time and I knew no C++, hence...

When did you start to use KDE on a daily basis?

Immediately after I first ran into it, approx. November 1999. What rendered KDE absolutely necessary for me was its transparent support of non-latin1 stuff, such as language and keyboard. No other free project has ever taken i18n-l10n so seriously.

Do you always use leading edge KDE? If so, how did it make you bleed?

Yes, I have to, because message strings in applications change all the time and sometimes the only way to understand a string is seing the application in action. It was after August 10th (don't remember the exact date) that CVS KDE made me bleed. I was away from home for a week, doing some vacation. When I returned home, I updated KDE and recompiled.

Unfortunately, I had missed the stable 2.2 release (though I didn't know it) and a zillion buggy KDE3 versions of apps replaced my KDE-almost-2.2. Needless to say it took me more than two months to recompile and use KDE/CVS.

How do you find out what a certain string really means and what it should be translated to?

If a string is ambiguous, I try to locate it in the source code and get a hint from the context. If that fails, I try to run the application and see where that string appears (obviously I only do those things to fine-tune translations).

What is your favorite tool?


What is your favorite KDE application?

KMail. Actually, it is my favorite application KDE or not.

What is missing badly in KDE?

Certainly an Annotea Client plugin for Konqueror... ;-). Seriously now, KDE can always become faster.

What do you think, when will "The Tea Cooker" actually be able to make tea?

Once its maintainer reads the coffee-howto, perhaps?

What was the worst thing KDE did to you?

Their switching to xkb. I must have spent more than 50 hours supporting angry greek users, because X had no built-in greek xkb layouts till 4.1.

Imagine yourself designing a style or theme for KDE. How would it look like?

It would look very ... handmade. Like the winamp "paperamp" skin.

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

It may sound strange, but I think it is konqueror. IE is good, but it does not support as many standards as konqueror. Not to mention it is a terrible platform for serious web development (scripting, Java, etc). I 'm currently doing web development for IE, and I spend 20% of my time dealing with IE inconsistencies. Netscape/Mozilla is good, but I do not like its everything-in-one-package approach, not to mention its zero support for non-latin1 printing.

However, most people still confuse Konqueror with kfm and do not realize Konqueror is a professional level, fully functional browser.

Are you being paid to work on KDE?


Where and when should the next KDE meeting be held? Will you attend?

I vote for Rhodes, Greece, Summer 2002. Don't know if such a meating would be very productive, but I wouldn't miss it...

Where will KDE be in 2 year's time? Will you still be involved? How?

Obviously it will still rock like it does now. And I wanna be a part of it. I will never drop translations, but I'll probably do more coding in the future.

Someone sends you an email about KDE in a language you do not understand at all. What do you do?

Here I have a strategic advantage. I'll write back to her in Greek.

What do you think is KDE 2.2 greatest feature except from being a great desktop?

Well, it is a few hundrends of very nice guys, don't you think?

In these hectic times, where does KDE stands for, for you personally?

KDE -the team- was, is, and (hopefully) will always be a neutral zone. So far, those who have attempted to use KDE fora to express theit political points of view or their hate, received a very negative response. And people off different origins, from enemy countries, with different religeons coexist, creating a magnificent and robust project instead of fighting each other. Perhaps the rest of the world would learn a few things from this fact, though I seriously doubt it.

What was your first computer?

My father's 8088.

Personal Questions

First things first. Are you married/do you have a partner? Or are you up for adoption?

I have a girlfriend, Georgia. We do not live together yet, but we 've been together for more than 3 years.

If you have a partner, how does your mate cope with a KDE addict?

I just ask her. Her response was "What is KDE?" (she ain't much of a computer lover). I guess I manage to hide my alter ego very successfully.

Do you have children?

Not yet (I hope...)

How many siblings do you have?

I got two sisters.

How was it like to grow up where you grew up?

Who said I grew up?

Rumour has it geeks thrive on pizza and coke. What's your fuel?

Souvlaki and coke.

You are visiting a foreign country and the menu in the restaurant you are having dinner in is just gibberish to you. What do you do?

I'll order the cheapest dish.

Do you cook yourself? If so, what?

Once I made a boiled egg. So, I answer yes. ;-)

Who does the dish washing at your home?

The dishwashing machine.

Do you remember what was on screen when you visited a cinema last time?

"Amelie" (perhaps the original french title differs a bit).

Apart from books about programming, do you own any other stuff than your passport?

I have many books (and I mean literature), a bass guitar, some photos and quite a few CDs. I also have a bike, a candle and a goldfish. Oh, and I don't have a passport :-)

Assuming you do read fiction, what's your favorite quote by your favorite author?

OK, now I have to retranslate from Greek, but those who 've read "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien will immediately understand what part of my favorite book I'm refering to.

The speaker is Gandalf:
"Oh, yes, Golum deserves to die. But many of those who have died deserved to be alive. You cannot bring them back to life, can you? So it is unwise to kill those who deserve death."

Would you use software to organize your books/CDs? Why?

No. I like to have a more personal relationship with my stuff, plus organizing them would take ages (software-aded or not).

What do you sing when nobody is listening and what when people are listening?

When alone, I sing EVERYTHING. When the enemy is near, I am forced to shut up, 'cause rumour has it I am not a good singer.

If you are a smoker, does it ever happen to you that your cigarette sets your ashtray on fire? How often?

Well, this does not regularly happen with plain tobacco. Theoratically, people like Mary, Juan and Anna might do the trick. But then again, just because one sees it, doesn't mean it's for real.