not oK

2023-03-18, post № 271

software, opinion, #software-blacklist, #kde, #konsole

Is it of note which bits are present, orchestrate this hunk of plastics? For on its own a paper weight of lighter statute, these are the breathed-in life it needs to tick. Thenceforth its way, its prowess, morals set in stone: their origins all along still people. People whose ideologies can clash.

Not two months ago, a coy note with regards to project hate has been published [1], yet some betrayal oh so deep truly does uncork my inner hatr:
A garden gnome ne’er, for years I did entrust Konsole to relay my actions in the digital realm. Dazed by glamour emanated through a single letter K, artlessly I never questioned if I indeed did not look at a smoke screen conceiling beliefs awry and craftsmanship missing.

It all innocently started when on my journeys as un internaute, I crossed paths with a KDE developer [2] and their plans to bloat Konsole out of proportion:
While the fanatic focus on the usager incompétent (cf. 265) itself did not phase me⸺as such is the sorry state of modern times’ reading of computing⸺the nigh conniving practice of not educating one’s pupils, not relieving them of their ignorance and thus crafting a test group exhibiting behaviour which underlines one’s argument, had me shook a little; for watching this explanation why Konsole eases use itself already empoweres enough not to be reliant on it.
Anyways⸺enough about the empty set⸺, what irked me truly were the speaker’s plans to stuff Konsole full of features, without a care in the world for project scope, implementability or security implications: an on-hover image preview for ls’ (however flavoured) output is neither what a fake glass teletype should be concerned with, nor is it⸺as they themself remark⸺possible to implement semantically correctly. Not every filesystem supports imperceptible stat(2) calls. More frighteningly still, it removes the only cautious way of viewing files in quarantine: when hd q.jpg one cannot dare for a mouse slip may incur an interpreted open, how is one to ever power on one’s own machine again? [3]
But, alas, in e-mail correspondance no interest was echoed, only resting on laurels, repeating how Konsole was the best there is.
Annoyed, I dug a wee bit deeper to find how far this madness had been allowed to spread to find in src/Screen.cpp a genuinely horrifying sight: “// This should never happen [...] Do not let this code go to a release.” [4] was botched in September of last year; and stayed there until now.

I had enough. My heart broken, I fled.

A few days later, with a working patchset [5] under my belt, I expunged all K from my digital life and began using st [6]. I have not looked back.


  1. Drew DeVault: Setting a new focus for my blog, 2023-01-22. Online: https://drewdevault.com/2023/01/22/2023-01-22-A-new-focus.html [accessed 2023-03-17]
  2. Tomaz Canabrava: A Brief History of Terminals, and what the future holds for Konsole, Akademy 2022. Online: https://youtu.be/QHKzHQuMXE4 [accessed 2023-02-07]
  3. lcamtuf: Clearing up some misconceptions around the “ImageTragick” bug, 2016-05-11. Online: https://lcamtuf.blogspot.com/2016/05/clearing-up-some-misconceptions-around.html [accessed 2023-03-02]
  4. https://invent.kde.org/utilities/konsole/-/blob/master/src/Screen.cpp#L1800-L1815 [git HEAD at 0351bf3b721cccf0d5fc887869de3441a7bc535a]
  5. 2023-03-08_jonathan-frech_st-build.sh
  6. Hiltjo Posthuma et al.: st, 2008—2022. Online: https://st.suckless.org/ [accessed 2023-03-02]
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