Stefan Taferner

This week I interview Stefan Taferner. Unfortunately Stefan wasn't able to send a picture. Instead there's a pic of Konqi wishing you all a festive season. --Tink

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Salzburg, Austria
  • Occupation: Computer Engineer
  • Claim to Fame: KMail
  • Fav. KDE applications: Konqueror
  • Hardware: K6-2 450, 192MB ram, 34G disk

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

Currently I am somewhat retired as I have much work with building my house. Before I was mainly working on the mail client and threw in some ideas for various concepts.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

It all started three years ago when I wanted to write yet another file manager and found out that there is already such a project going on (KDE).

However, the team for the file manager was already manned, but help with the mail client was needed. So I joined them and contributed a nice listbox with columns (KTabListBox), which got adopted for KDE-wide use later.

Doing my civil services at that time I had much longing for doing "real" work, so I did much programming in the noon after work. Well, and as things went on I got more and more involved into KDE, also in the process of planning and making decisions (e.g. the first key bindings standard).

1 1/2 years ago we bought a house which needed major rebuilding. Well, and that's what I am still working on, and unfortunately my time for KDE got less and less, as the building sucks up much time. Hopefully this changes eventually :-)

Fortunately a group of skilled people has taken over development of KMail and they are doing a great job. This has taken much burden from my shoulders and I decided to finish the house before coming back to the project.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

One year ago it was two hours a day hacking. Now time is limited, approx. 4 hours a week or so.

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


Is there a process you follow when you code?

I usually develop bottom up: first I write the basic classes, then I combine them to more complex things.

What was your first computer?

Commodore VC20 with a nice dataset (cassette drive)

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

For developers I recommend the excellent debugger kdbg, for ordinary users it is kbiff for mail notification.

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

Being a programmer by profession I am not very sure how much time I will have in future to work on KDE. I see myself as a senior citizen of the KDE project. Eventually time will come where I have more time to contribute again, we will see.

The KDE project itself can expect an interesting future.

The major danger for the project IMO is that the whole desktop becomes too heavy. But I am confident that this can be handled. Compared with early versions (1.9x), KDE 2.0 does a great job in handling things.

I do not think that the "desktop war" will be solved sometime in the next years. However, I believe that Microsoft will appear on the Linux scene. How and if this will have an impact on KDE will be seen.

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


Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

9. July 1969 in Salzburg, Austria.

Which University/School did you go to?

Highschool for electrical engineering in Salzburg, afterwards I studied computer science in Linz.

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

I am married.

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

My wife never complained :-)

No, honestly, I am very happy that she has so much understanding for this. She uses Linux+KDE herself at home and is very happy with it.

Do you have children?

Not yet.

Do you have pets?


What is your favorite food?

Spaghetti and chinese food.

What is your favorite vacation sport?

Hiking and playing board games.

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

Currently we have nearly no spare time (keyword: house building), so the rest of the time we try to keep in touch with our friends or hang around watching television.

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

Currently I am reading the spider cycle (don't ask me about the proper English title).

What songs do you sing in the shower?

I am silent there, I don't sing ;-)

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

Albert Einstein for a decent chat about his theories, Mother Theresa because I think one can learn a lot from her, Jim Davis and his cat (to meet the cat, actually ;-)

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

A real person.