Harri Porten

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Oslo, Norway
  • Occupation: Software Engineer
  • Claim to Fame: JavaScript support in Konqueror
  • Fav. KDE applications: Konqueror (for testing)
  • Hardware: Norwegian keyboard, Finnish monitor

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

Currently I'm condemned to get the JavaScript support up to par with those "other" browsers. Besides that I still maintain the Internet dialer kppp as good as I can without having a phone line available right now...

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

I downloaded the first packages after reading that famous c't magazine article by Kalle Dalheimer. The first application I tried out was kppp. As it wasn't capable of dialing into my university's server back than I send my first patches to the author, Bernd Wuebben. This turned out to be too impractical in the long run so I got a CVS account and started to help out in other parts of the project wherever needed.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

Too many many late hours on too many days a week.

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


What was your first computer?

An Apple II+ clone assembled by my uncle. I had never seen a computer before so I typed in my name and interpreted the "Syntax Error" output as the translation to computer language. Stupid, I know. Since the first games were only given to me the following Christmas I had a chance to improve on my programming skills, though.

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

A debugger. A bit exaggerated, of course, but I'd like to stress that KDE as a community effort relies on "users" somewhat being "developers" at the same time.

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

A "simple mode". No configure options, no bells and whistles whatsoever.

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

I'd like to see a tool like SpamCop integrated in a way that a simple drag&drop or key press in my e-mail client would suffice to report spam.

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

The number of open bug reports is down to a few hundred, every piece of code has a dedicated maintainer. I just sit in front of the screen, enjoy the perfection and constantly let the panel slide left and right out of the screen.

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

No. But I'm pretty close to it being employed by Trolltech.

Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

Duisburg, Germany in March 1972.

Which University/School did you go to?

I studied at the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg in Germany.

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

I have a very nice girlfriend.

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

She probably feels sorry for me. ;-)

Do you have children?


What are the biggest turning points/events in your life?

Nothing really spectacular so far.

What is the nicest thing anyone ever did for you?

Prepared a big bowl of Tiramisu I had the pleasure to eat all by myself.

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

My bass guitar.

What are the elements for a perfect vacation?

Enough food and a comfortable place to sleep. Additionally I like to spread my stuff around. Be it either in a car, canoe or tent.

What are the things you want to have done before you die?

First of all I have to finish this interview ! Can't think much further right now. [* I know it's tough ;-)]

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

Just being together is priority number one.

What was the last movie you have seen?

Can't remember.

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

House of God by Samuel Shem. Might not be so fictional after all.

What song brings back a favorite memory? And why?

One song would be "Flying through the Air" by Oliver Onions. It's the sound-track of one of the Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies I used to watch with friends after school. We had great fun dubbing that movie afterwards with our own voices.

If you could be invisible for 2 hours where would you go and what would you do?

I'd visit a plant "producing" mineral water and take a plunge in one of their basins full of sparkling water. Provided they have such a thing. Don't know where I have this phantasy from.

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 invite my favorite pair of comedians from German television Harald Schmidt and Herbert Feuerstein. I wouldn't expect them to act funny in private life but they should still be interesting guys to talk to. The 3rd person would be Les Claypool, my favorite bass player, he would have to sit down with me and give me a crash course on how to play like him.

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?

I've met quite a few at fairs and developer meetings. Mostly European ones, though.

Name your favorite quote/saying.

Woodstock II, August 13, 1994. Thunderstorm. Primus on stage...
During the song "My Name is Mud" people started hurling the stuff at the stage, causing Les to stop the playing and proclaim, "People who throw things on stage have small penises."