ANNOUNCE: Razor-qt 0.4.0

We are glad to announce the release of Razor-qt 0.4.0, after a months of development since the last release:
http://razor-qt.org

Last weeks of development were dedicated to overall stability – the Razor team will focus on new features in the new release phase.

Also we’d like to receive any valuable feedback. And many more – contributors are welcomed too.

About Razor-qt

Razor-qt is an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and intuitive interface. Unlike desktop environments, Razor-qt also works fine with weak machines.

razor screenshot

razor screenshot

New in Razor-qt 0.4

New components

  • azor-runner program, a tool for launching applications.
  • razor-config* tools.
  • qtxdg a standalone library for XDG standards in Qt available for 3rd party applications.
  • razor own menu (XDG standard).

Overall changes

many bugfixes and small improvements.

  • huge memory leaks fixed
  • improved support for main menu.
  • improved translation support.
  • added Polish translation.
  • new black a-mego theme.

Panel

  • configuration dialogs
  • new “Removable media” plugin. Is a plugin for mounting and unmounting removable storages using udisks.
  • new “screensaver/lock screen” plugin.
  • new “show/restore desktop” plugin.
  • drag’n’drop support for quicklaunch plugin.

Session

  • default applications and environment variables settings.

50 thoughts on “ANNOUNCE: Razor-qt 0.4.0

  1. tom

    This looks really amazing. Qt really needs something like LXDE. Lean mean machine for professionals.

    I really hope there will be a distro dedicated to Qt apps (Arora etc)

    With KDE Frameworks 5 coming this could be a great addition, because you could pick and choose just the really important KDE stuff.

    If you stay with this it will get traction at some point. I am sure, there are a lot of people who just want simple, fast, lean and mean.

  2. Petr Post author

    @Dennis: there are some relations believe or not. Some parts are inspired by KDE (in positive but in negative meanings). And there are real code/resource sharing – icon themes, muse cursor themes, some users use kwin etc.

    And mainly we are trying to cooperate with upstream as much as possible – so our patches can be used by KDE later: XDG, Qt, cmake…

    @tom:yes, I can see there is really a “market gap” for this environment. Unfortunately many apps is still missing. See https://github.com/Razor-qt/razor-qt/wiki/3rd-party-applications or http://www.qtdesktop.org/

  3. Arno Wald

    Razor’s home page reads “But it’s no problem to take any modern WM from fwwm2 to kdm”. I certainly should mean “kwm” instead “kdm”?

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  5. Strash

    KDE is very flexible and modular, why haven’t you tried to improve/optimise Plasma and develop some new “light” plasmoid instead of creating something new based on Qt from scratch ?

    I think that your project is great, but dividing the effort doesn’t seems to be a good solution. I would have loved to see a team dedicated to optimisation and lightness in KDE. I truly believe that a very light desktop is feasible using KDE technology (see Plasma Active project).

    Those optimisation will then have benefited all the KDE community !

  6. STiAT

    First of all congratulations to the Razor-qt team. I certainly think it’s a good effort having something “lighter” qt-based than the full blown KDE Desktop.

    I certainly agree with Strash as well. Plasma is great technology, having something based upon plasma which is more considered as a “classic” slim desktop rather than the full kde experience would be a great contribution.

  7. Petr Post author

    well, for me there is no problem with KDE. It’s really killer environment for linux/unix world.

    But I started to contribute to razor because my daily work is quite reduced now – to use plaintext editor, terminal, database tools, and various java based proprietary apps. Almost all of these (free) tools are Qt based. I’m quite simple guy.

    And more – I need to prepare virtual image with linux system showing our company product (its tools are Qt based as well) on a regular basis. The image is then downloaded by clients. And believe me Razor can provide quite similar user experience as KDE does in this case. And mainly – the image is drastically reduced in its size.

    I have also reports from one Russian company where they started to use Razor for remotely connected users – they say the performance is really better in this case.

    Another example: stuff like this is very easy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbE4Ply5Cbs

  8. tom

    @Petr: Thanks for answering. Nice to see you care. As I already said the Arora browser would be great addition IMO.
    @Strash&STiAT
    Sure it would be nice if KDE could do everything and be everything to everyone. But the cold hard truth is that low resource usage is not a primary goal of KDE. Just watch the 2010 Akademy talk about it. It is a volunteer project and people want to work on fun new technology and have fast dev machines. Optimizing for speed and low resource usage is not fun work if you don’t get paid. I don’t think there are KDE devs that use a EeePC with 1GB of RAM for real work. I love KDE and I tried to get it working on my EeePC. I got a lot of help and things improved a bit each version, but at the end of the day KDE cannot compete with LXDE on RAM usage and I want give most of my RAM to my browser tabs and not KDE.
    Qt gets optimized all day by paid professionals and that is really great. Sure KDE uses that too, but focusing on simple, low resource usage has a place in the FOSS ecosystem. There is no popular low resource Qt desktop and I think Qt is by far the best FOSS framework and should have one.

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  10. anon

    “But the cold hard truth is that low resource usage is not a primary goal of KDE.”

    Indeed so. Look at Akonadi which requires a full-blown SQL database running all the time, and now (since it nowadays requires(?) Nepomuk) Virtuouso, which doesn’t seem to be able to use less than 50MB RES! (Ironic considering that the wasteful duplication of contacts in-memory in KDE3 times was one of the motivators for the development of Akonadi in the first place!)

    I remember also that one of the developers posted that KDE4 used about 250MB at boot, and that this (according to he and other developers) was “fine”. A freshly-booted KDE3 could *easily* fit into 70MB, and there is no way that the feature-additions in KDE4 justify this huge increase in RAM consumption: It’s just waste and inefficiency, full-stop, and no one seems to particularly care about this (or even see it as a problem).

    Having said that, Plasma Active seems to fitting onto underpowered devices quite nicely, so I guess there’s some hope :)

    So thankyou, Razor-Qt devs – your efforts are appreciated (and needed!)

  11. AGui

    Really nice initiative ! I also think there is room for another Qt environment, with different goals than the Plasma Workspaces. It is not true that one environment can fit everyone’s needs.
    I just saw that there is an appliance on SuseStudio to develop for Razor-qt DE. It would be great if you could make another one for testers to have a quick look at it.

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  14. John Gutierrez

    Now just use LightDM and fork kwin – call it qwin – and you would have all that I could hope for. On a light desktop I use Opera which includes both an email client and an address book sufficient for my needs.

  15. Tom Peterson

    I have little idea as to whether it would be feasible, but might there be a chance of putting a Qt front-end on top of any existing Xfce applications? It seems like this project is similar to Xfce, except you’re using Qt instead of GTK.

    Even if this isn’t something worthwhile, I think this is a neat project. Keep it up!

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  19. Petr Post author

    guys, I’m really glad to see such nice and positive reactions. Please, follow us into https://github.com/Razor-qt/razor-qt or mailing list and we can discuss your needs and requests.

    For example the virtualimage/live distro is in preparation (we have one with 0.3.99 git snapshot so it just needs to be rebuild in susestudio)…

  20. David Sugar

    Oddly enough we (in GNU Telephony) started something recently called coastal-qt, which is meant to become a collection some generic and useful Qt desktop applications and utilities, though we have had an initial release of only one of them out of it so far. I also do like the idea of a Qt desktop and the idea of direct plugins for extending it.

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  23. Kevin Krammer

    qtxdg sounds interesting.

    Since I wrote code for handling directories of the XDG base dir spec myself a couple of years ago, I had a look at that class in qtxdg. I think that we have a couple of improvements in our implementation that you might want to consider incorporating into yours.
    KDE git server, akonadi.git repository, libs subdirectory.

    Btw, your XdgMimeType implementation seems not to be using the XDG MIME specification. Might be confusing given the name and scope of the library.

  24. Slavko Glamocanin

    This is great!!

    I also have very minimalistic (and mean) desktop needs, so KDE seems bloaty and some parts are just wrong.

    I was planing to get started on my own… desktop space i guess, based on QT, but this project seems like a great one to join, and you seem quite… understanding:)

    Will follow closely and contribute if i can.

    Great Work!
    Slavko

  25. Mark

    Hi,

    I’ve send phoronix a heads up about this project and he made a news post for it: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTAyOTg

    I wonder though… Can you re-use the KDE plasmoid concept so that KDE plasmoids work on Razer-Qt as well?

    As for the name, why Razer-Qt? specially the “Qt” part in it. A name like Razer-DE (DE as in Desktop Environment) would be more logical.

    Do you have any plans of making your own window manager with this so that it becomes a complete package for a desktop environment? If you do, please do make it with QML for the visuals and C++ for the logic! If you do that you get hardware acceleration for free along with a dozen effects. And if you manage to even get that done, Martin from KWIN would probably be very interested to barrow that code and use it in KWIN ^_-

    Nice work so far!

    Regards,
    Mark

  26. Sandeep

    This is awesome ! Please do look at the Antico project that tried to do this.

    I think the biggest jump that you can make is to have keyboard mappings the way xmonad or awesomewm does. That leads to the biggest jump in productivity and a community that will stand behind the WM.

  27. falde

    I would not mind using a full blown database like Akonadi does,

    The problem however, is that it is a per-user solution. Consuming 250 Mb system-wide in a terminal server would not be much memory. Even consuming gigabytes or requiring a dedicated MySQL machine would be fine.

    Requiring 250 MB/user however do become a serious problem. Not only does it scale badly when it comes to memory consumption, it scales badly in performance.

    There is no way that a per-user database solution could utilize caching and the many advanced performance thingy’s that modern databases can use.

    Feel free to use some database backend for advanced futures, but as a SERVER/”Cloud” solution. Create a service that utilize a powerful database engine like PostgreSQL and even better – use a Jboss layer between the DB and the user.

    Doing this you get a multi-user system that is efficient and scale well.

  28. Martin

    Can I use Razor as a replacement for just the Plasma desktop shell, while still running the rest of KDE? I do admit that I’m a little unsure exactly what “running KDE” means these days, but at least it would mean having the OnlyShowIn=KDE .desktop entries enabled. Perhaps someone could fill me in on this?

    Anyway, how would I do that? Thanks!

  29. Kevin Krammer

    @falde: running a per-user database is one possible configuration.
    It is the one chosen as default since it does not require any manual setup.

    An operating system vendor or system administrator can change that to a system wide database or dedicated server if they choose to.

    Or switch to an in-process database module such as Sqlite.

  30. stavros

    I am testing razor over crunchbang linux.
    I have one request to make.
    Is it possible to make the open applications appear as icons (and not as icons with text) and stack the same application in the same icon (like ubuntu unity or windows 7 taskbar).

    I hope my discription is clear.

    http://imagebin.ubuntu-gr.org/1324309004.png

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  32. Dave

    The Fedora repos do not seem to contain any packages.
    The repo files point back to OpenSUSE and they seem to be empty as well.
    Please advise.

    Thanks

  33. Dave

    I don’t want to imply anything is “wrong” with the link, but the repo appears to be empty.
    Perhaps it is because I’m accustomed to browsing RHEL/Fedora repos while this is an openSUSE site?

    [ http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home://TI_Eugene://QtDesktop/Fedora_13/i386/ ]

    “Index of /repositories/home://TI_Eugene://QtDesktop/Fedora_13/i386

    Icon Name Last modified Size [DIR] Parent Directory –

    Apache/2.2.12 (Linux/SUSE) Server at download.opensuse.org Port 80

    MirrorBrain powered by Apache”

    Also the “0″ says there are no packages:

    $ yum repolist | grep home_TI_Eugene_QtDesktop

    home_TI_Eugene_QtDesktop Qt-based applications (Fedora_13) 0

    Thanks

  34. Dave

    Oh, that is unfortunate.

    I was hoping it might be a viable DE in RHEL6/CentOS6/PUIAS6/Scientific Linux 6
    All based mostly on Fedora 11-13

    Thanks

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  37. Ariya2

    RazorQt is quite fast, and I like it.

    All downloaded applications and all other files in home, comes to the desktop. How can I avoid that? I’d like to have the desktop free.

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  42. 好人

    I installed in my Arch, and I didn’t like it.

    It still have a lot of improvement need to be done. It’s laggy compare to using Openbox session itself.

    Openbox session is way much more lighter than this. I just can’t give it a go for now.

  43. Max - The IT Pro

    WOW, Razor-qt looks sweeeeeet!! I wonder how this compares with other light desktop environments. Once GhostBSD 2.5 or 3.0 goes to Current status, I’d be nice to see if they could also provide Razor-qt as another option to GNOME 2.x.

    Great work peeps!! Linux/BSD/Unix is really progressing these days. My hats off to all the developers who constantly work their asses off to deliver these wonderful & FREE goods. :-)

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