[KDE Dot News]
 faq
 flatforty
 contribute
 subscribe
 configure
 search
 rdf

 main


  The People Behind Quanta Plus
Interviews Posted by Navindra Umanee on Monday 21/Apr/2003, @17:04
from the make-it-so-kommander dept.
In this fascinating interview, Eric Laffoon and András Mantia give us a glimpse into the world of the Quanta Plus project. Read on for everything from tantalising references to Kommander, billed by Eric to be part of the foundations for the next generation desktop and user experience, to details of future plans for Quanta VPL (Visual Page Layout). We also launch a call for help from the users, either in the form of Quanta contributions or much-needed donations to help sponsor the work.

This interview was first conducted by the KDE.de team and recently updated for the dot.

1. Please tell us a bit about yourselves.

Eric L. Laffoon:

I'm a 46 year old confirmed tech addict. I began building electronics projects at 9 years old surprising my dad by implementing a feedback resister on the output stage of my Heathkit radio. (I got the idea from his Harmon/Kardon schematic) I first programmed Fortran in Navy schools in 1975 where I nearly aced the computer section. I have done a number of things and fell into web work in the late 90s while using OS/2. In 1999 I decided to make the switch to Linux as it seemed to have all the "mind share". The first thing on my agenda was to find a good web development package.

András Mantia:

I'm a little boy compared to Eric with my 26 years. :) I'm of Hungarian nationality, but I live (and was born) in Romania. I work with computers since the beginning of the '90s, and I really love it. My first PC was a ZX Spectrum clone, and I already wrote some programs on it (even a full game). I finished university in 2000 and that same year I went to Finland, where I worked for Ericsson (mobile systems). For the rest of the story see below.

2. How was Quanta born? How did you get involved in the project?

Eric:

It was early 2000 when I saw an announcement for Quanta on Freshmeat. I had been looking for something more advanced that the EPM editor I was using on OS/2. I looked at Coffee Cup shareware, Visual Slick edit and a bunch of free software. I had quickly come to prefer KDE to GNOME and was looking for a good KDE app. The only half decent one was Webmaker and it lacked a lot. Quanta was version 0.97 or so when I first saw it and it was basically a stripped KDevelop with a KHTML preview. It had no tag dialogs and few useful features but it was cute. I wrote Dima and Alex out of frustration that this program looked so good but didn't satisfy my needs as a web developer. To my surprise they asked me for input and I specified a number of things to make it better. In fact my focus was strictly on what would get the job done the fastest. They had some good ideas too like programmable actions but much of the interface and efficiency was my specification.

Early in the development they mentioned they would not have access to school computers soon and they lived in a youth hotel in Kiev. I helped them to get into a house with a phone line and later to get them a second computer. I don't think a lot of people realize that despite what we imagine with OSS had I not stepped up at the time Quanta might well have died an early death.

András:

All I know is that Quanta was started by Dmitry Poplavsky, Alexander Yakovlev and Eric. Alex and Dmitry left the GPL'd Quanta project before 2.0 final came out, and they are working now on the commercial version at theKompany.com. I was invited to join the project around November 2001 by Eric. He found me as he had downloaded the Kallery application -- my very first application written for KDE. ;-) At that time GPL'd Quanta was basically abandoned, and I became the only coder, and the first step was to fix the most annoying bugs and make a stable 2.0 release.

3. Who else is (or was) involved with Quanta?

Eric:

It's only fair to mention Dmitry and Alex, even though it was not the most fun when we parted ways, because they began the earliest versions. Clearly I think András is the number one person to mention and I agree with his other names listed. Marc Britton and Robert Nickel have been great as have a number of other people. Too many to name. While converting Quanta from KDE 1 to KDE 2, Rich Moore helped out a bit. I miss Rich. He is a wealth of knowledge.

András:

First there is Eric, who is devoted to this project and supports it from his own, sometimes limited, resources. Alex and Dmitry should be mentioned as they started the project, and currently some more or less active developers help us, such as Marc Britton (author of Kommander), Robert Nickel (who wrote a good amount of documentation for Quanta). Just take a look at the "Thanks To" list in the About box.

4. How is the project organised? Do you know all developers or contributors personally?

Eric:

Largely I manage the project and leave András to focus on the internals. I have a loose management style because I believe that people need to work from their passions. András and I are very close in our vision and thinking and while I have input on technical issues I trust him implicitly. I first coded over 25 years ago and have coded in many languages but I've only done a little C++ and only since I started on Quanta. When I was left alone with Quanta I was determined to learn and code if I had to do it all myself. I can read C++ fairly well and I keep saying I will spend a few weeks playing some time. I know that I will, however I'm forced to accept that my project management and business activity must come first and they take a lot of time. Many times I wish I could switch places with András as it would probably be more fun. ;-)

I take input from users and from my own use of Quanta as a starting point for what I want to do. I read every day about Linux developments, new programs and what is happening in high tech. I converse with developers and then I work to put together a plan. I try to get other volunteer developers to commit to small pieces of code and have András be the answer man. Because I've owned businesses and run crews of independent contractors I think I have a bit of an edge in the mindset to manage this type of project. It is much different than having employees dependent on you. You have to be able to inspire and help people develop confidence in what they are doing. I like that a lot.

I have met everyone involved with Quanta through Quanta. I happen to think that is very cool. It's also quite humbling. You really have to have a degree of success before you can attract more people to help you succeed. Recently I've seen more interest and people coming in like Adam Treat and Nicolas Deschildre who are working on WYSIWYG, or as I like to call it, VPL (Visual Page Layout). ;-)

András:

I know none of them personally. Some coordination is done by Eric, who usually defines what should we implement, when should we make a release, he writes the articles, updates the Quanta site and so. He is the project manager. But if we are talking about coding, then I'm the one who makes the decisions. :-) The discussions usually are taking place on our development list. Since the beginning we have had only one IRC discussion, before the 3.0 release. This is also because I don't have a permanent internet connection. Before I had a very slow dial-up one, now it's far better, but still dial-up and not so cheap. I have to thank to Eric who supports me having this internet connection.

5. What are your future plans for Quanta?

Eric:

Quanta has several key areas I have plans in. For one, having András at the development helm means that I know he will be constantly looking to improve the internals and since he has full time exposure he will be very much on top of it. I have immense trust in him. I know that he is working on his passion and he always has the right answer so I have a very collaborative relationship with him.

András and I are focused on having the best markup and script tool anywhere. My vision for Quanta is to make it the next "killer app" on Linux. Even though the use of web development tools is currently limited among computer users I feel there are two key aspects people overlook when they say that Quanta is not well suited for this mantle. First of all there are a lot of web developers. These people are generally more technically inclined than the average user and in marketing terms are called "early adopters". This is because they each tend to have a number of friends who look up to them as being knowlegable on computers. Early adopters lead the masses in coming to any new technology or product. The other reason is that I believe that web page and document creation in various markups is going to become more common among users and this means leading here would make Quanta and KDE a more desirable work environment. I'm very excited and also humbled be a part of KDE. Whether you look at the desktop, the development environment or the people you can't help to be impressed.

The key to bringing Quanta to the level of my vision is very simply man power. Granted KDE is an extremely efficient development platform, but to reach the heights of application competence in something so diverse as general markup and scripted web interfaces you need to cover a lot of ground. The idea I've been working to advance is that we can do this, and this is very important for people to understand, much better by creating a two tiered development model. What we are working to do is to make it possible for users to extend Quanta. Examples of where we are working on this are templates, scripts (new in 3.2), DTDs (largely just XML), programmable actions, customizable toolbars and custom Kommander dialogs. We want to focus our developers on the internals that cannot be done by users like code optimizations, debugging, universal features, visual page layout and the like. I believe to date we have not adequately gotten the message out so I will state it clearly.

We are looking for a few dozen users to step out of "consumption mode" and into "community mode" and help us flesh out the features we're adding.

My goal is that by the release of 3.2 Quanta will be considered to be a viable candidate for best in class web development tool on any platform and not just among free software! I believe it's going to take some of our userbase stepping up to help us take on new DTDs, add templates (though we will add some soon) and more to make this a certainty.

I would be remiss not to mention Nicolas Deschildre and Adam Treat helping us to bring WYSIWYG, or as I prefer to call it Visual Page Layout (VPL), to Quanta. We have a positive expectation of delivering a fairly complete implementation for KDE 3.2.

András:

To make Quanta the best SGML/XML/Script tool. ;-) Seriously, my plans are to make Quanta even more usable, more customizable. The basics are there since the 3.0 version, but there is a lot of things that must be done before I say, that yes, this is what I wanted. One of the weakest points of Quanta is its slowness while editing certain kind of documents. 3.1 is a step forward, but now I'm working on an even faster and better parsing algorithm. Otherwise I don't want to talk about new features. We have a todo list on our web page, and you can check out the wishes on the KDE and Sourceforge bug site. I know, most users would like to see a WYSIWYG editor. This is not a priority for me, but we have recently had contributions in the area, as Eric mentioned.

Short and middle term plans are bugfixing (as usual), off-page parsing, improved autocompletion, integrating some new, cool plugins, adding new DTDs and toolbars to the Quanta tree, so it can be used by another group of people, not just by those who write HTML/XHTML/WML pages.

6. Why did you choose the GPL for the Quanta project and what are your thoughts on Open Source in general?

Eric:

Originally I confess I was not too sure about the GPL. We were debating on license early on and Dmitry and Alex wanted GPL. It looked to me like with the code we were using from kwrite and other programs we pretty much were locked in. Most of the original Quanta was just reuse. When we were presented with the opportunity to produce a commercial application I was surprised that the idea was that the GPL'd version was to be left to wither and die. That caused some soul searching for me. Aside from the fact that I did not believe there was much money to be made in small retail software I began to feel very strongly about programs being available via the GPL. I have received a number emails from people around the world thanking me for making it possible for them to find work developing web sites and bettering their lives. I could not put a value on that but I would not part with it for any price.

To me software has been a lottery for many people. Bill Gates was in the right place at the right time to leverage a shoddy operating system into a fortune. I don't like lotteries. I don't really want to receive money unless it is for something I did to add value to someone's life. I don't believe the lesson of "getting lucky" and raking in money for years to come for an idea at the expense of all others is a good one, or realistic. Everyone has the power to bring about positive changes in their lives, but sometimes they need a little help. Open source software levels the playing field and allows someone who can barely afford a computer to learn the skills to compete with those who have all the breaks. To me tools should always be secondary to products in costs. I think software that is charged for should be contracted or have some explicit merit for its cost. Commodity software should be free or cheap.

I am a strong advocate of GPL'd software and I don't really understand why more businesses haven't recognized the tremendous advantage in leveraging this development model for superior and inexpensive tools. Businesses will always compete on factors other than tools as most tools will be available to all competitors. The GPL offers coop-etition advantages for all parties except software retailers and fits better with vertical market uses. The arguments against it offer stagnation, and the inevitable eventual inaccessibility of too much good work.

András:

I always liked the idea of free software, and never thought that I will publish my code which was written in my free time under a proprietary license. If you work for a company, then it's OK to do non-free software, but if you do it for your own fun, let's share freely with the world. And GPL is a nice free software license. Right now I don't work on Quanta in my free time, but I do it full time, and it is even more fun.

7. If publishing free software doesn't make one rich, how do you earn your living? Is Quanta sponsored in any way?

Eric:

At one time I intended to make my living directly from Quanta, though now I do indirectly. I own and operate Kitty Hooch Catnip and before you say anything I have been really busy so I hope to finish making my site impressive soon. ;-) We sell a super premium product, the only one guaranteed cats will love it, to pet stores, online and at open markets, holiday bazaars and pet shows. In 2001 it was a side business, In 2002 we made a difficult transition and in 2003 we expect to begin earning what it will take for a major expansion.

Since the beginning I have sponsored Quanta development out of my pocket. We have had some donations which we appreciate very much. I'd like to note that coming into 2003 we had some slow months and now we are looking at considerable expense to expand. Expansion is not optional. Demand is through the roof! We need to further expand in 2004 to a new location where we can finally produce on the level we need to realize our long term goals. This will enable me to look at the possibility of helping other related projects too. I want KDE to have everything I need application wise at a level that is second to none. At this time I would like to be giving András more as he deserves it. However until I cover our expansion expenses everything spent elsewhere is costing me many times that down the road.

It should be made clear. Quanta is sponsored, mostly by me, and by miscellaneous small donations. Making a small donation to the project is the best way to keep me in a good mood instead of thinking about what I could buy with all the money I'm spending. ;-)

András:

Right now I depend on Eric. He sponsored Quanta in the beginning, and starting from the middle of year 2002 he was able to sponsor me. There are no big figures here, all I can afford from this sponsorship is the (dial up) internet connection, paying my bills, buying some food for us (I have a wife...) and such. If there are unexpected expenses, then it is not enough, but I've decided to work full time for Quanta, even for less money than I could get from a company where I would develop proprietary software under Windows using MFC...

I would therefore like to mention again that we have a donation page which is even accessible from within Quanta itself (Help->Make a donation). It's easy to donate for those who use PayPal but we are certainly open to other means and types of donations. Every small amount helps ease my and Eric's job.

Of course, if there is a company that would like to sponsor Quanta development, do contact us. I would really like to focus on Quanta development in the future, but this would mean some secure income and what is considered a small amount for a company can make the difference for one man. The other reason why I accepted to work full time on Quanta is that I've made some savings in the past (from my former job in Finland at Ericsson) and can therefore survive one or two months without a job, but I think it's completely understandable that I would like to use those savings as little as possible.

8. What are your favourite tools under KDE?

Eric:

Quanta comes to mind. ;-) Beyond that Gideon is very cool. I really like Cervisia. It's great for CVS and I like to do web work from a CVS repository. KFileReplace is very nice for multi directory find and replace with wildcards. Kompare is very nice too. I suppose I better mention Kallery so András doesn't get mad. ;-) I'm also a big fan of KSpread and I'd like to see some improvements there. Actually Kommander is becoming my favorite tool along with Quanta. I'd really like a great database tool but knoda looks promising.

András:

I love KDevelop, and I'm really wish to see Gideon becoming more stable and usable. I'm already using it now, but it still has some annoying bugs, but they are less and less. I'm proud that I was the one who fixed some of them. :-) All what I can say is that KDevelop made me forget about Delphi, which I think was the best IDE under Windows. And of course the Qt/KDE libraries also helped me in this case. These are the best libraries in the area so far!

I like also some other tools, some of them appear in Eric's list. What do I use on daily basis? Gideon, Cervisia, KMail, Konqueror, Konsole, KwikDisk and Kate. K3b is also nice for burning CDs.

9. What are your dreams for the desktop of the future? How far are we from the ideal desktop?

Eric:

I don't know how much looks matter for me. To me KDE 3.1 Keramik is already beautiful. In the looks and use department Slicker is somewhat impressive.

However my desktop of the future would revolve around Kommander. I'll explain.

Most people think of software as shrink wrap or commodity software. however most software is actually in house or vertical market packages. So if you have an out of the box install you have lots of great tools but what you don't have is "your" application. You have word processors and spreadsheets and calendars and email... but until you work with them they are not configured to do what you want. If you have a system engineer sit down with you they could take the various programs and customize them as well as work on basic templates for files, etc... When the programs are integrated by common dialogs and scripts then it becomes a far more productive desktop. It becames your application, not just a bunch of general applications. This integration could be far more easily managed by the average person if they had a tool that allowed them to exchange all relevant information, settings and data between applications using dialogs and scripts to complete the integration. That is what will be possible with Kommander and fully DCOP enabled applications.

The desktop of the future allows for all applications to interact seamlessly, automates regular tasks and enables you to structure your work flow efficiently to avoid duplication of effort and utilizing the best tools at hand. I would say that this is becoming available now but if we take the right direction in the next 1-2 years we could see dramatic improvements. To my mind, once you "get it" there is nothing else close. The current desktop star is a monolithic "one size fits all " approach which is not the best but works because it handles some small degree of personalization and customization for users. Imagine if we took these concepts and tied them all together. Kommander should be a big part of the new seamless desktop.

András:

I usually don't dream about desktops (maybe sometimes about coding...) ;-) The current desktops fulfill my requirements, what I would like to see are more good applications. Sometimes the core of an application may be good, but the application itself is not very usable.

10. What kind of hardware do you have and what OS do you use?

Eric:

I just run Linux. I do have several old copies of Windows but I can't remember the last time I booted one. I have a local network with currently three systems and a firewall from an older system. I've been running Mandrake exclusively after trying all the mainstream distros but I'm switching my system over to Gentoo before January. My system is loaded with an Athlon XP 1700 overclocked to 1900+, 512 MB RAM, 90 GB disk space and a 19 inch monitor. I also have an Athlon 700 in my wife's office with a 17 inch monitor and mom's old K6-500 with a 15 inch monitor that will be moving into our production area or as an entertainment unit. I'm going to upgrade to an Athlon 2000 soon because I do a fair amount of compiling... and I can't get over András having a system that much faster than mine. ;-)

I will probably get a notebook in 2003 and my whole business is being run off my local net along with a remote server. I intend to work on enhancing that to be a model of efficiency.

András:

I mostly work on an Athlon XP2000+ with 256MB RAM, 40GB HDD and a Hansol 17" monitor. I built it from parts, as I don't trust pre-made systems. And of course, I use Linux (SuSE 8.0, but quite modified, as I compiled lot of things from source). I have an older Compaq laptop, which has SuSE 8.0 and Win98 on it, but I almost never boot Windows. KDE is self compiled on both of them. For developing I use KDE HEAD, as my current internet connection makes it possible to update from time to time.

11. What do you do in your spare time, apart from working on Quanta? ;-)

Eric:

Is there such a thing as spare time? I've been checking and I only seem to get 24 hours a day which is hardly enough. It seems like forever since I took a day off. Work for me is diagonally across the hall from my bedroom. I have put in as much as 20-30 hours a week on Quanta while working seven days a week the rest of the time from when I get up until I go to bed. So if you want to push my buttons write and say you'd like to help but you don't have time... just be sure you can show me 100 hour weeks. ;-)

I do have some things l like to do. I find movies relaxing and I have been a musician since I was 14. I have set aside my instruments for the last several years but I plan to set up a new recording studio in 2003 and begin playing again. I have been working on the lyrics for an album to honor my dear mother who I lost unexpectedly while driving her back to Oregon on August 31st, 2001. I also enjoy going to the gym and bodybuilding. Actually for a guy my age (46) it is my primary defense against getting old and how I keep my energy up. My goal is to drop to 10% or less body fat this summer and finally show off great abs at 46. After 20 years you realize the odds are decreasing if you don't get with it. ;-)

Aside from that I have developed a passion for hand rolled cigars over the years. They force me to relax for an hour and ponder. I've come to appreciate that a lot, as well as the fact that they have been made the same for over 150 years, touched by 100 craftsmen each and aged for years. You can't even say that about wine. I know András says he wouldn't smoke and he likes chocolate. I like chocolate too but it gathers around my waist... and I can't smoke it. ;-)

I hope in 2003 to get my pilot's license and by 2004 to begin assembling kit aircraft. I am a history buff and would love to have replica warbirds with laser tag systems because dogfighting with your friends has to be a blast!

András:

I like to travel in the nature, and I like to climb mountains. The mountains are one of the reasons why I moved back to Romania. And another thing is listening to music. It's great that I can do that even while working. ;-) The first thing I bought in Finland from my first salary was a Technics receiver and two 100W speakers. Unfortunately the CD prices are high, and I'm lucky if I can buy one in two months. The selection in Romania is also very limited.

12. Any final thoughts and comments?

Eric:

I'd like to make a special mention of Kommander, a DCOP-enabled dialog builder and executor.

Marc Britton and I were working with Kaptain 0.7 and decided to build Kommander instead. In simple terms it uses "text associations" with widgets. So you can create strings by manipulating widgets and output them. You can create custom strings to input into an editor like Quanta for PHP functions or classes or you can launch programs. You can even use internal shell scripting for logic as well as DCOP communications and running scripts or programs with the dialog. Kommander dialogs are essentially Qt Designer UI files using standard widgets that have been modified to work with Kommander. The dialog designer is actually a stripped and modified Qt Designer run as a KDE application. It is even possible to create the XML for the dialog on the fly with scripting languages.

Kommander is what I call "application glue" because it can stitch KDE applications together into one seamless desktop application. In my mind that is the next killer app... being able to make any app interact via user created dialogs. This little program gives any KDE application its own user dialog engine, especially useful if it has a solid DCOP implementation. Look for docs and demos on the Quanta site.

Thanks to everyone who has been so kind in their praise of Quanta. I would never imagine I would have the priviledge to manage a project like this. It is a total accident that I arrived here but now I would not give it up for anything. Most of all I wish I could share with everyone just how wonderful it feels to be part of something like this. What we're doing matters to people. Knowing that I am making a positive impact in so many lives exceeds any financial rewards. I wish everyone reading this could experience this. In fact you can. I encourage everyone to realize that being a community requires much more than just consuming. Someone has to produce, and that is where the real reward is.

It is so obvious and cliche to say "send in your donations" but in fact for many of us it is so easy it doesn't really cost us anything. Right now each and every donation I've received has been meaningful and helpful. Thanks to all who have contributed. Help us make Quanta a good tool for Zope, Java and XML. Help us with templates. Find some small but worthwhile thing you can give back... because what I've learned in this experience is that the old saying really is true... it is better to give than to receive. What you do that we don't can become your own little subproject in Quanta... Your own little world.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this interview and my ramblings. ;-) Most of all thank you for helping to make Quanta perhaps the most popular Open source web development tool and certainly on Linux and KDE.

See you on the net...

András:

Yes, help is wanted. First we need financial help, as I wrote above. But of course developers are also welcome -- be sure that we will find a job for you!

And the thank you's: first of all I would like to thank Eric, as he "discovered" me, and showed me that it's possible to fulfill my dream of making my living doing something I enjoy. I trust him and I think he is a great man for sponsoring GPL software development. More should follow his example -- I would certainly do the same if I could.

There are others to thank, most importantly my wife and my parents. They have accepted that I've choosen this not so secure way to earn my living, as it's more important to feel good and enjoy life than to grow rich and depressed. Of course, this doesn't mean that I don't want to earn more money. :-)

To the users: Please try out the latest version of Quanta from KDE CVS, contribute and report bugs. If you haven't noticed yet, we now have a user mailing list

Thanks for inviting me to this interview.

Special thanks to Andreas C. Diekmann and Klaus Staerk for sending us the English version of this interview.

<  |  >

 

  Related Links
 ·   Articles on Interviews
 ·   Also by Navindra Umanee
 ·   Contact author

Thread Threshold:

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whomever posted them.
( Reply )

Over 40 comments listed. Printing out index only.
VPL
by Jono Bacon on Monday 21/Apr/2003, @18:44
Hi all,

I used to maintain the WYSIWYG editor project Kafka, and I just thought I would give a pat on the back to the hackers who are adding this support ot Quanta. I was contacted in the early days about this support to Quanta and decided to approach it in a seperate application as I didnt want to clog Quanta with it.

After some hindsight, WYSIWYG support in Quanta is a good thing. Although many professional coders dont use this, it will open up the application to those people who are less hardcore and just want to put some static pages on the web.

WYSIWYG support in Quanta is going to be a hard task, and I had a hell of a time with it in Kafka. It is certainly not impossible, and some advice from the KWord team may be helpfull in coding the conversion of events to code. I wish the team all the best and maybe one day I will join and get involved again. My time for KDE has been limited somewhat as I have moved onto other projects and commitments.

Good luck chaps and I look forward to running your code. :D

Jono Bacon

PS - One hint. Dont use the acronym VPL. Here in England a lot of people refer to this as a Visible Panty Line; i.e, when you can see a young ladies knickers through her skirt. I would suggest a different acronym or the kind of hilary that was associated with kant might happen again.
[ Reply To This | View ]
Catnip and Quanta
by V. B. on Monday 21/Apr/2003, @19:29
I love Quanta and Cats.

I don't understand too much about HTML, CSS and programing but I did a great site about enviromental education with Quanta. Eric and Adrás, thanks for this great free software.

I had, sometime at the past, 12 black cats, Bombaim. That time I was living at rural area.

But about the catnip, this is a plant that makes the cats get high, go on nuts, hallucinated. Whoooouuu mannnn meowww !! =8-D
[ Reply To This | View ]
fish://
by Ian on Monday 21/Apr/2003, @21:15
A large reason I use quanta is because the KDE open dialog has support for SCP with the fish:// protocol. It means you can work with the files of any computer with SCP as if they were on your machine. I've always thought that KDE's Open/Save dialog box was one of KDE strongest points, it is definitedly one of those little things that can make a big difference. I really wish GTK would come up with a better one, as there some GTK programs that I still use.

The other nifty thing about quanta is the code completion for PHP. I wish I had that when I was doing Ada development (its what we learn in our introductory Computer Science courses.) Features like that, where you don't have to figure out some dialog box or use a wizard but our integrated into the editor itself are often the most valuable.
[ Reply To This | View ]
Thanks Quanta Team
by Alex on Monday 21/Apr/2003, @23:12
Thanks for all your fantastic work, it really is by far my favorite web development tool for Linux. Dreamweaver MX is still ahead IMO, but the quata team has nowhere near the same resources as Macromedia. In addition, the imrovements made with each Quanta version sem much bigger to me than the ones I see in each new Dreamweaver version.

BTW András I too am from Romania =)! I moved to the US in 3rd grad, but I back to Romania every 2 years. I'm not too good at writting in romanian, but let me try.

Ce may faci? Si, in ce oras traesti? Eu traesc in Iasi, aproape de Bucharest.

Anyway... thanks, both of you =)
[ Reply To This | View ]
Multi layered tabs!!
by Benjamin Meyer on Monday 21/Apr/2003, @23:49
Taking a look at the screenshots I see multi layered tabs, oh no! Someone should tell them about kjanuswidget!

-Benjamin Meyer
[ Reply To This | View ]
Quanta is cool.
by Michael on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @00:09
I use it all the time now for PHP editing. It's the small things that are realy helpful. Like automatic variable completion. You use a long variable name (like $number_of_records) once and the next time you type $nu... you just have to press enter to get the whole variable name. Pretty cool. Syntax colouring has also been fixed what I'm still missing is the ability to select a different colour for <? and ?> which is important for mixed HTML/PHP documents. Furthermore the file selector is still a mess and "automatically" undocks all of a sudden due to a bug.
Something like in HomeSite (press F9 to open, click one or more files to open, press F9 to close again) would be nice. Currently I mapped Ctrl+Q to "Open" and made the Open dialogue window full screen. The maximized state is fortunately saved. Now I press Ctrl+Q which
is easier to do with the left hand only than Ctrl+O and can select a file. The bad points about
this workaround are: You cannot open various files at once (except clumsily using
Ctrl to select multiple files and this works only in the same folder) and Quanta forgets about the last folder next time and chooses the folder the current file is in. Sometimes not even that.
This is the only real bad point I can say about Quanta. Otherwise everyone who hasn't tried it yet for PHP should definitively give it a spin.
[ Reply To This | View ]
(k)vim part
by m. on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @00:43
Are you planning support (k)vim part in quanta?
[ Reply To This | View ]
Thanks to the Dot!
by Eric Laffoon on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @02:02
I just wanted to thank Navindra and the editors for the good press. Of course thanks goes to Andreas and Klaus for the original interview. It's both humbling and gratifying to get the attention we do here at the Dot. I realize a lot of that comes from having a large user base too. I can't say how much I appreciate that as well. We have great users. On the weekends I do the Portland Saturday Market with Kitty Hooch. I strike up conversations with other vendors there in the morning and come to find out they do their web sites with Quanta. It's really a very cool experience. Everyone I talk with is very positive. If they're not running KDE their friend is.

Quanta has been a tremendously positive experience and I just want to express my appreciation for all who continue to make it so gratifying and larger than the sum of it's parts. Enjoy!
[ Reply To This | View ]
WYSIWYG
by Bert on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @04:59
Nice option. I think Dreamweaver is a very nice tool with some bad IDE. Quanta may fill the gap. I hope you will better support CSS than Mozilla-Composer. And there will be some code cleanup utilitys plugged into, for Word html ecc.
[ Reply To This | View ]
quanta is a killer application!
by Androgynous Howard on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @06:25
Whenever I want to convince somebody to try out KDE, I just have to let them look over my shoulder while I do some work with quanta and konqueror. Sooner or later they will ask me where they can get those cool applications for windows. I tell them that they can't, because these are unix applications. Then I burn them a knoppix cd to try it out at home and they are hooked. Works every time.

Thanks a lot to eric and andrás for your good work.

A.H.
[ Reply To This | View ]
Take care of your own life!
by AC on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @08:35
While I appreciate, maybe even adore your spirit to work full-time on free software for little pay: if you can not earn enough money by working on free software, you shouldnt do it. Free software is nice, I believe in it as well and spend the largest part of my spare time working on it. But I will not give up my financial security for it, and I don't think that anyone should.
If you don't take care of yourself because you deserve it, then do it for the other developers. By working for too little money you practically devalue your work, and by releasing it as free software also the work of all other developers. In the end free software can only work when somebody pays for it, just like for proprietary software. There may be no margins that are comparable to Microsoft's with free software, but programmers should not worry about buying a CD either...
[ Reply To This | View ]
Only reason I have KDElibs installed is Quanta.
by Quag7 on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @17:35
Just a few words of encouragement - Quanta is the only KDE application I use presently, and it is probably the most productive application I have installed on my hard drive. I have churned out more valid HTML pages with Quanta than any other editors in years of online projects.

I'm not a developer though, so I'm going to pony up a cash donation just to encourage continued development of this very-usable-in-its-present-state application. The potential for this to be *the* Linux-based HTML editor is high.

I want to personally think Eric and András for their work and sacrifice on this. I cannot state enough how terribly crucial it is that we have a free impressive web development environment. I'd definitely put money on Quanta right now. I've encouraged so many people to try it out.

Thanks guys, seriously.
[ Reply To This | View ]
Go Quanta!
by George Mitchell on Tuesday 22/Apr/2003, @21:13
I have been using Quanta for a few years now. I used it to design and maintain my own web site (http://www.chinilu.com) which is intentionally simple (I personally detest web sites which make lavish use of flash and java and such just to project an image, but to each his own). I find Quanta to be a very useful and practical tool, a piece of software that I can always rely on to do the job.

Although I don't do web design professionally, a few months back, I was approached by a customer who wondered if I could fix a rather complex professionally designed website. Several other vendors had attempted to modify it using various WYSIWYG Visual web editors and the result was a mess. There was one particularly annoying defect that my customer had been told was unfixable. I had never tackled a project like that, but I decided to accept the challenge. With Quanta and some HTML documentation I was able to clean up the HTML and solve every problem and my customer was delighted. In addition I have created web sites for several other customers.

So I am really happy to see that Quanta continues to move forward. I especially look forward to a visual editor component. I think that a great visual web editor combined with a full featured text level editor like the current Quanta would be a real killer app! I also think that it is great that Quanta will be moving into the XML realm as well as XML is the future of the web and electronic commerce.

Hats off to Eric and Andras for a job well done!
[ Reply To This | View ]
Wrong answer...
by Andras Mantia on Wednesday 23/Apr/2003, @07:16
I want to publicly say sorry that I said above that Eric is sponsoring me since the middle of last month. This is completely untrue, as he does since the middle of last year.

Sorry, Eric. ;-)

Andras
[ Reply To This | View ]
Wrong answer...
by Andras Mantia on Wednesday 23/Apr/2003, @07:17
I want to publicly say sorry that I said above that Eric is sponsoring me since the middle of last month. This is completely untrue, as he does since the middle of last year.

Sorry, Eric. ;-)

Andras
[ Reply To This | View ]
Cervisia Support
by Soloport on Wednesday 23/Apr/2003, @07:57
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I'm so dependent on CVS, for the usual reasons. Having Cervicia support in Quanta is one of the main reasons I've abandoned all other editors for Quanta -- and this only in the last month.

Excellent idea. Terrific job!
[ Reply To This | View ]
Quanta Gold
by Apollo Creed on Wednesday 23/Apr/2003, @09:10
Does anyone use and pay for Quanta Gold? It seems to me that theKompany, while a nice effort, is actually proving to the world why open source is better that closed source. ;) (I could definitely be wrong, though.)
[ Reply To This | View ]
a reason to have wysiwyg
by sylvain mottet on Wednesday 23/Apr/2003, @09:39
hello all of you,
I just wanted to give you a good reason to have at least a minimal wysiwyg in Quanta. In languages other than english, there are special symbols, accentuated characters and the like, that make a html source just as hard to read than to write. Plain text in french, for example, as it's my native language, is full of &eacute; &egrave; &agrave; and since it's still possible to write, that's much more convenient to be able to enter and modify text in your native language and let the software replace special characters with their correct code. And I think it would be specially useful for people for whom programming is not the first competence and have to maintain a web site.
Thanks a lot for your great piece of software.
[ Reply To This | View ]
Rexx?
by EUtopian on Wednesday 23/Apr/2003, @15:46
Very interesting and fascinating interview.

I personally do not have a use for a web editor and don't have any Quanta experience, but I briefly launched it once and the interface seemed professional and well-structured. It is comforting that the people in charge are quite the visionaries and I believe that this application may go far.

As for the ideas about applications interacting, it sounds a lot to me like ARexx on the Amiga and Rexx on OS/2. They were very nice but somewhat under-appreciated. They did frequently make good glue to tie applications together and automate tasks, though.
[ Reply To This | View ]

 
The Fine Print: The previous comments are owned by whomever posted them.
( Reply )

  "Spare time? What's that?" -- Dirk Mueller
KDE®, "K Desktop Environment", "KDE Dot News", "got the dot?" and the KDE Logo® are trademarks or registered trademarks of KDE e.V. in the European Union, the United States and other countries. All other trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster. The rest: Copyright © 2000-2008 KDE e.V. for The KDE Project. For further information or comments on this site, please contact the Webmaster.
[ home | post article | flat forty | subscribe | search | rdf ]