Calling KDE Scientists

Are you a (student, grad-student, post-doc, lecturer, professor, working in the big bad private sector) scientist?

Do you use KDE software?

Do you use KDE software for your science?

Gratuitous picture of Einstein

Gratuitous picture of Einstein


If you can answer ‘yes’ to two or more of the above then I would love to hear from you.

Update: Well, actually, I have plenty of answers now :-) Thanks very much. I don’t need any more responses, but if you’d like to let me know what you think then by all means go ahead (probably won’t make the article though).

There are (I sense) a few scientists in KDE land and some of us (Luca and myself at least) are beginning to ponder how we can achieve world domination for KDE through the sciences.

We have some pretty cool sciencey apps already:

  • Kile (LaTeX)
  • Cantor (young, but promising)
  • KBibTeX (I crave a Platform 4 port)
  • LabPlot (Platform 4 port in progress)
  • Kalzium
  • Kalgebra
  • KStars
  • Marble
  • Rocs
  • KmPlot
  • Step

We also have external projects such as SciDAVis that are working with KDE projects (LabPlot in that case).

So, if you can spare some time for me, here’s a mini open interview for you:
(Edit: made it an ordered list for easier answering and added questions 9 and 10 from Luca)

  1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
  2. What KDE software do you use in general?
  3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
  4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
  5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
  6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
  7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
  8. What else would you like to tell me?
  9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
  10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

I’d like to make you comments up in to some kind of Dot article – they may be edited and it is likely that not everything will be used. You can either drop a comment using the form here or mail me directly at myfirstname.mylastname at gmail.com (if that isn’t obvious then go to the about page and solve a captcha to reveal my email address). If you use the comment form then please use your genuine email address (it is never disclosed) if you’d be willing for me to come back with some follow-up questions.

Also, if you’re making it to Akademy, there are at least a couple of KDE-science things that you can attend: Luca’s BoF at 1500 on Tuesday (see the wiki page) and my lightning talk at 1030 on Sunday.

46 Responses to “Calling KDE Scientists”

  • And more that could be nice:

    – If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE as a target? If not, why?
    – Did KDE help you with your research?

    I’ll follow up with answers.

  • 1. Luca Beltrame, post-doc in the field of bioinformatics, working for the Duccio Cavalieri group (http://www.duccioknights.org) in the University of Firenze

    2. Generally speaking I use Konqueror, Kopete (various IMs), choqok for micro blogging, blogilo for blogging, Kmail, Konversation for IRC, KDevelop to learn C++ (along with a good book), and RSIBreak to keep my hands fine

    3. Specifically for science I use Kile to typeset papers, rkward for serious R programming. I used to use Kbibtex while I was still running the 3.x series.

    4. SciDavis and LabPlot were new to me (but I’m used to plot with R) – I know about Cantor but its R implementation is still under development. I’m aware of Rocs and the others, but they’re out of the scope of my work.

    5. A good IDE for interpreted languages. Kate does the job but it’s a bit limited (for an IDE – it’s an excellent editor), and KDevelop suffers from lack of manpower to implement that. I say so because in bioinformatics we rely heavily on interpreted languages. Also, from a development point of view, more visualization widgets (for heat maps)

    6. I am interested in a ML. I’d join straight away.

    7. I never considered KDE as a target mostly due to cross-platform concerns: I’m not sure the language bindings work on all platforms and mostly the KDE installer for Windows is a bit bulky.

    8. Yes, KDE helps me with my research. Especially the Plasma features for actvities and the semantic tagging of Nepomuk are a great help in organizing my (rather busy) workflow.

  • MelissaWM says:

    * Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    Hello, I’m Melissa, I’m a mathematician, currently a post-doc and will become a professor in August here in Brazil.

    * What KDE software do you use in general?

    I’ve been using KDE exclusively at work and at home now for about 10 years, so I use KDE for everything (mostly the desktop/internet applications)

    * What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    Well, not much. I use emacs for editing code and writing, sometimes I use Kile for LaTeX (I wrote my thesis as a Kile project!). I use mostly Matlab and Fortran for scientific code so nothing specifically KDE there.

    * Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    No, I didn’t know about most of them (probably because they don’t come with Kubuntu out of the box) and also because I’m not sure they are suitable in my specific area (applied math). I knew about KmPlot and it looks really cool, but usually I make my graphics in Inkscape or xfig.

    * If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    Well, these applications would be useful for me in teaching, but that’s probably it. The only thing that would be useful is a matlab clone, or even better a nice python interpreter that could replace matlab.

    * What is missing among KDE software for you?

    A Matlab clone. And probably a good KDE Python editor (if you know any, tell me please :)

    * Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Absolutely! I would be interested in helping too!

    * What else would you like to tell me?

    Thanks for doing this!

    • Paolo says:

      Melissa,
      for python I use Eric. It’s not KDE but it’s Qt.

      If you come across others, tell me as I am also eager to know of the best solution out there.

      • Benny Malengiier says:

        I use SPE, I find it the best to just dive into eg scipy code, no need for a project to have a class/method browser.

        And written in python, so you can change pieces yourself you don’t like.

  • Warbo says:

    Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    I’m Chris Warburton and I recently finished a Masters course in Physics with Computer Science in the UK.

    What KDE software do you use in general?
    I use KDE as my desktop, Kontact for PIM (Kmail and Akregator), Basket for brainstorming and Rekonq (where possible) for browsing. Other than that I mainly live in Konsole (ie. I don’t really use Dolphin, etc.)

    What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    I use Kmplot to visualise graphs and LyX (not KDE, but Qt) for LaTeX.

    Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Most, but not LabPlot or KBibTeX

    If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    I didn’t know of KBibTeX, which will probably come in handy thanks ;)

    What is missing among KDE software for you?
    Gnumeric is a very nice spreadsheet. Simple (but still a bit over the top IMHO), fast and intuitive (eg. the nesting of properties in graphs), plus SVG graph export. OOo tries to copy Microsoft Excel, which is a horrible application, thus incorporating some of that horribleness. Last time I tried KOffice it was still more in the showcase stage rather than ready for serious use.
    KmPlot is nice to get rough trends from graphs, but a more powerful graph tool would be nice (eg. a frontend for Gnuplot). Cantor probably fits this role, but isn’t a simple, focused tool.

    Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    I’m not one for mailing lists, and don’t really use many programs for scientific work (I generally write one-off scripts or custom applications).

    What else would you like to tell me?
    My favourite IDE is Geany, after getting rid of the side panels, message windows, etc. A fullscreen text editor window with syntax highlighting, code folding, auto-indent and a big “Execute” button is all that’s needed for scripting languages, and a KDE app like that would be great (something like Kwrite with an Execute button. Kate is too much, Kdevelop even more so). Extra credit for having a big button for “git commit -a && git push”.

    If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    I’ve only ever made one-off programs as part of research, which wouldn’t be generally useful.

    Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    KDE helps whenever I’m on my computer. It usually keeps out of the way, it looks nice (Skulpture theme FTW) and workflow isn’t interrupted since everything works consistently. Kontact+Kmail is very nice to use, although the account wizard could benefit from a drop-down list of common email providers/setups. I don’t have much use for desktop plasma widgets (other than pager, taskbar, etc.), I tend to stick to Konsole and Krunner and keep a blank desktop. I use Basket to store notes and brainstorming, which is very useful and intuitive (and I’m glad to see it using Qt4 finally :).

  • Henning Schnoor says:

    Hi there,

    I’m working in theoretical computer science, and use KDE (both for private and scientific applications). The main tool I use directly for science is Kile, and I’ll be checking out KBixTex when the KDE4 version is ready.

    I like all of KDE4, but Kile is really a time-saver for me, very nice application.

    Henning

  • Jens says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    I am Jens and I work as a post-doc in biomedical sciences

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    Kopete, Blogilio, Kmail, Chokoq, Akregator, KDE SC, Dolphin, Konsole… just about everything KDE :) (except browser, which is chrome)

    2. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    Rkward, Ugene (not really KDE, but Qt-based), Krita

    3. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    No. Rocs seems to be an interesting package which deserves investigation.

    4. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    Yes. Rocs and LabPlot will definitely be investigated.

    5. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    We still live in a MS-dominated world and in my field of research few are comfortable with LaTex and collaborative writing requires Word/Endnote compatible solutions. I currently run OOo/Bibus but would love a Kword/reference manager solution with easy import/export to proprietary formats.

    6. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Yes

    7. What else would you like to tell me?

    Currently no specific or advanced needs apart from being able to collaborate with people not using free software.

  • Magnus Lundborg says:

    Hello,

    I think it is a very good initiative trying to find out what pieces of software are used most in science.

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    I am a PhD student in organic chemistry (mainly programming and doing simulations) at Stockholm University, Sweden.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    Apart from the DE itself it is mainly Konsole.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    Kile and Avogadro (which should be added to the list above).

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    Not KmPlot and LabPlot.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    Not as far as I know right now.

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    A really good 2D molecular drawer. Right now this is missing for Linux in general and certainly for KDE. I have tried most of the ones that are available (gchempaint, bkchem, molsketch, xdrawchem), but all of them lack important features and/or are very unstable.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    I would probably first watch the traffic and see if it would be related to what I am doing. In general I am not very active on mailing lists. I think I would prefer a website.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?

    Most programs I am writing right now are either services or scripts. But I would be happy to contribute more to KDE SC. I wanted to get more involved with Avogadro development, but I failed to find enough time.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    I cannot be very specific about what helps me, but in general it lets me do what I want. But I am using lots of GNOME software as well.

    I hope this initiative leads to something good.

    Thanks

  • Thomas says:

    1. Going to be a Master in Electrical Engineering in Germany
    2. Kontact, Kile, Okular, Kopete, KmPlot, Amarok, Kaffeine…
    3. Kile, KmPlot, Okular
    4. Knew most of them
    5. KAlgebra seems promising
    6. Not much actually… I’d rather see some bugfixing in Kontact ;)
    7. Yeah, certainly
    10. KDE definitely helps me to keep things organized. Enables me to focus on my work when necessary and provides a nice playground otherwise ;)

  • Luis says:

    *Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    Hi guys. My name is Luis and I am a geophysicist at Leeds University, UK.

    *What KDE software do you use in general?
    I use KDE in all my computers. At all times I have konsole opened. Not that I really need it but I like the power a command line brings. Also always running: kmail and akregator. Klipper is one of those essential tools that I think could use some love.

    *What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    For science, I just cannot live without kile and kbibtex. With KDE4 I started using nepomuk for quick searches in pdf articles. It revealed to be a very usefull citation search tool. I also used to use nepomuk rating tool to rate students papers (submitted a wish about that in the nepomuk brainstorm site). Just started using cantor as a replacement for qtoctave.

    *Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Yes.

    *If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    I wasn’t really aware of LabPlot.

    *What is missing among KDE software for you?
    In my specific field, some kind of integration integration with tools like GMT (http://gmt.soest.hawaii.edu/) would be a major asset for marble. I also do some fortran coding so, better f90/f95 support in kate and similar tools would be a plus. The real killer feature that I am missing from KDE3 is kommander. I used to create simple graphical interfaces for my fortran programs with a thin layer of bash script to run the whole thing and present the results.

    *Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Sure.

    *What else would you like to tell me?
    There are a few killer apps that I have been dreaming about for quite some time but have no programming skills to go about. The most interesting for me would be a citation visualiser. Given a certain folder with pdfs and the right nepomuk metadata, it would be able to show the relation between the articles in chronological order. Integration of parts of cb2bib (http://www.molspaces.com/cb2bib/) into nepomuk and kile would also be a killer feature.

    *If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    Yes. Mostly through kommander for the graphical interface.

    *Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?
    Right now, plasma IS what keeps me organised. At all times I keep an activity for each project/paper I’m working on. I think that better PIM data integration into plasma needs to be done. At some point I heard about lionMail which would bring mail to the desktop. It seems to be dead now which is a shame.
    As I said before, better semantic context when dealing with pdf papers would be good.
    Better integration of kile with version controll systems could be interesting.

    I have a gazillion other ideas to improve the desktop for scientific purposes (at least for my own research) I just don’t have the skills to implement them. Just contact me for more ;)

  • Matteo says:

    Hi,

    1. my name is Matteo and I am a Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering in Austria.

    2. in general I mostly use Kontact, Kate, Dolphin, Amarok, Okular, KDevelop

    3. for my scientific work, I regularly use Kile, KBib, Qalculate (should be added to the list IMHO), my own Cirkuit (for scientific drawings with TikZ/Circuit macros), KDevelop and recently I’ve started using Cantor

    4. yes

    6. It would be nice to have some SPICE netlister to draw circuit schematics, something like gschem but better ;)

    7. Absolutely

    9. Yes, Qt/KDE has always been my first choice if I needed some kind of GUI

    10. Yes, I regularly use Kontact to manage my conference calendar for example. Plus, I use the Qalculate plasmoid for quick calculations and unit conversions.

  • Jörg says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    * Well, hi, my name is Jörg, I’m a researcher and I work in the field of Sociology.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    * Most prominently, Kontact for my communication, notes and schedules, Konqueror for server access, Dolphin, Kate, and KWord, so basically for everything at home and in the office

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    * Kile for writing papers

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    * yes

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    * decent bibliography software that supports Bibtex and grouping to tags, kbibtex just does not match jabref. Also, I would like to see Cantor support STATA

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    *yes

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    * uhm, nothing

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    * No, don’t develope

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    * Yes, although I would like to keep my stuff synced with my mobile phone

  • ArtSh says:

    I use KDE on gentoo since 2005.

    1. I`m Artemiy Shmelyov, writing PhD thesis in Zavoisky Physical Technical Institute (Kazan, Russian Federation) laboratory of ultrafast molecular processes.

    2. I use kontact (Kmail and Akregator), okular, konsole, kopete, amarok and digikam.

    3. I`m writing PhD thesis in kile. Because my work is experimental, I need only data analysis software at home. At work we use a wide range soft- and hardware from 486 and DOS.

    4. Yes.

    5. There are problems with thesis standards and kile. There are “disser” LaTeX class and templates, but kile must be “tuned” for use of this class and templates…

    6. I need good SVG and EPS support in Karbon and another application. Currently I made schemes of experimental setup in Inkscape, but this is not so convenient…

    7. I think Planet KDE and KDE dot news RSS feeds are enough.

    8. KDE are the BEST. KDE SC is the best DESKTOP Environment.

    10. Yes. I use Kontact and Okular every day.

  • I use Linux/Gentoo/KDE exclusively since 2006.

    > 1 Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    I’m Remco from the University of Twente and I study physics, mathematics and business administration and study a bit of computer science on the side.

    > 2 What KDE software do you use in general?
    Kontact, Kopete, Amarok, Kate, Konsole, Rekonq, Ktorrent

    > 3 What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    No KDE software other than those mentioned under general. But I have used a lot of Qt based science software: QtOctave, SocNetV, Tulip, Mathematica, Engauge.

    > 4 Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Yes, all except Rocs. I enjoy playing with Kalzium, KStars, Marble and Step (and Kig, which seems missing in the list).

    > 5 If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    Kalgebra, Rocs and Cantor would be promising, but as far as I know they are not yet as mature as some Qt-based alternatives (QtOctave, Mathematica and Tulip for example)

    > 6 What is missing among KDE software for you?
    I’d like to see a stable IDE and office package but KDevelop and KOffice are hard on their way to fill this gap.
    I would like to see a modern (i.e. not a thin shell around an old CLI system) general purpose computer algebra package. Something to compete with Maple and Mathematica. I have been toying with the idea of developing one integrated in koffice, re-using the graph and formula shapes.

    > 7 Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    This might be interesting, although I do not have much time to actively participate. An overview of existing KDE (and Qt) based science software would be useful.

    > 8 What else would you like to tell me?
    I do not see how scientific software benefits from depending on kdelibs compared with plain Qt, especially when considering cross platform usage.

    > 9 If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    I have considered developing a computer algebra component for Koffice, but I currently do not have the time for such an endeavour. The research tools I develop for my own use are mostly CLI or developed using Qt + Qwt, again, I do not see the benefit of KDE integration here.

    > 10 Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?
    Kontact is my primary tool for organization; I heavily rely on the Mail, Calendar and To-do list components.
    I develop almost exclusively in Kate + Konsole, but like to shift to KDevelop once it stops crashing on me.
    I do not use any plasma widgets other than KRunner and occasionally the default panel.

  • Hans says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    I am Hans Chen and I just finished my Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology at the Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    KDE Plasma Desktop and a lot of KDE applications, such as Dolphin, Konsole, Yakuake, KTorrent, Kopete, KMix, Klipper, Okular, Akregator etc.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    None at the moment.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    Yes but I haven’t used them all.

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    A good reference manager. I tried Mendeley[1] but didn’t quite like the GUI. Now I use Zotero[2] which worked pretty good for my thesis, but it’s a Firefox addon – I would prefer a stand-alone GUI.

    Reference Manager + Nepomuk + Plugins/addons for various browsers = killer application for me.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Sure, although I don’t think it would help me much.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?

    We were encouraged to use LaTeX to write our thesis, and some of the students in my class considered using LyX. Pretty funny since I associate LyX with KDE, but if I remember correctly it’s a Qt application.

    I used Kile for a while but switched to Vim-LaTeX because I like to work with Vim (Vi input mode in Kate is not enough for me).

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    Absolutely. I have an activity dedicated to my thesis, everything I needed was there. It consisted of Folder View widgets and Notes for short notes and TODO lists. I also had a Qalculate! widget for simple calculations.

    I did my simulations on a remote machine and sftp:// (and fish:// before I learned about the former) made it very easy to organize my files.


    [1] http://www.mendeley.com/
    [2] http://www.zotero.org/

    • Gaël says:

      1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
      I’m Gaël de Chalendar (aka kleag), working in Natural Language Processing for CEA LIST in France.

      2. What KDE software do you use in general?
      All the desktop, since KDE 1.0, but also kile, kdevelop, okteta, kcachegrind, etc, etc.

      3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
      kile, kdevelop, okteta, kcachegrind, etc, etc. And also kgraphviewer, that I developed and that is part of extragear. It is a graphviz graphs library (kpart), viewer and editor.

      4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
      Most of them, except cantor and lobplot, but I did not try kbibtex since a very long time.

      5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
      cantor maybe

      6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
      A good M$ office import/export for koffice. Unfortunately, I have to live with a M$ surrounding in my work and even OpenOffice is not good enough sometimes. Furthermore its GUI is horrible.

      7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
      Yes, why not. There was already one but it had not a lot of traffic.

      8. What else would you like to tell me?
      ???

      9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
      Well, I did for kgraphviewer. And as I developed it in my spare time, I was able to give it to the community.
      I also hope that I will be able soon or later to release official work as Free Software that could be very useful for KDE I think. More on that in less than one year, I hope.

      10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
      Sure, all the desktop is a wonderful work place, but also a great thing for playing or surfing.

  • Olle Håstad says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in?
    I’m Olle Håstad, a post-doc in evolutionary biology at Uppsala University, Sweden. I work on bird vision using genetics, behavioral experiments and modeling.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    Konq, Okular, Kontact, yakuake, Konsole, dolphin, Amarok.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    KDevelop and Kate. I run simulations in C++, Ruby, MATLAB and R, so I’ll probably also start using Cantor/RKWard soon.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Yes

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    a) A basic sequence alignment editor like BioEdit[1] (win, freeware). Since I work on small projects and collaborate with people on Macs I don’t need something like the Staden package [2]. Development on BioEdit have stopped so a Qt clone could grab those users. It is basically a graphical frontend to a bunch of CLI programs and libraries, much like Cantor. I’d be happy to help out on such a project, but work/family prevents me from running it, and incompetence from starting it. Any takers?

    b) A program to produce publication quality cladograms, or at least svg/eps-files that easily can be tweaked in Illustrator (or your favorite FLOSS-alternative). TreeView[3] or Mesquite[4] are not really up to this task (and not KDE).

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Yes

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    I think it is a good idea to raise the profile of the science apps in KDE SC. Ideally I would like to see KDE Edu split into Edu and Sci. This would make the focus more obvious to users and facilitate the marketing of KDE as a platform to researchers.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    Yes, but none of my GUI programs have ever reached early release quality. The added value at the moment of KDE over pure Qt for science apps is however not obvious. Choosing KDE you decrease portability and get lumped with KHangMan (which I’m sure is a great program, but to a slightly different audience). If we could offer a compelling, well integrated KDESci package to Mac/Gnome/Win users, I believe the perceived hurdle of downloading and installing KDElibs would disappear and make KDE more attractive to new sci-app developers. We need to reach critical mass for this audience.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?
    Absolutely! KDE (SC) is fantastic and I have used it since 1.1 and exclusively since 2005.

    [1] http://www.mbio.ncsu.edu/BioEdit/bioedit.html
    [2] http://staden.sourceforge.net/
    [3] http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/treeview.html
    [4] http://mesquiteproject.org/mesquite/mesquite.html

  • MN says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in?
    I am a Phd-student, work as research associate at a radiological institution at a hostpital.
    Field: Applied comutational “base” research in Image Guided Interventions / Image Processing / Physics

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    (only software i use on a daily basis)
    Kile, LaTeX (nearly everything) for publications/documentation, automatic/computerized generation of documents
    rkward(editing),cantor,octave(computations),gnuplot(graphs),R(comutations),Bash(Scripts),kate(editing of source files),eclipse(IDE for cpp/Rscripts(statet)/java)
    gcc,valgrind,kcachegrind,gdb,valkyrie for comiling/debugging/profiling
    iceweasel,icedove,iceowl,ksvn,git,ktimetracker,openoffice
    (and much more….)

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    see above

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    yes

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    nothing (do not invent the wheel again! improve the ones that are there and useful)

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    yes

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    platform for development and research but not for users. We develop 100% platform independent in QT/cpp/vtk/itk/…
    but in the field of clinical research the targeted users (in histipatls) use windows platforms. But for development and comutations on a server it is perfect.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    KDE as window system and the tools it provides helped but i do not use special tools to organize my things. Widgets are rather useless in my opinion.

  • David says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    Hi. I’m David. I am an undergraduate physics student, currently working on my Bachelor thesis in theoretical many-body physics.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    I use KMail, Konqueror, Dolphin, Okular, Konsole extensively. Kaffeine as well.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    Actually, none really. I mainly use emacs for writing python code or latex. I use the numpy/scipy/matplotlib python libraries for all my scientific computing needs, I think they are excellent. I also use maxima.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Yes.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    Nothing really.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Definitely.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    I never developed a GUI for scientific software, so no. I would probably use plain Qt though if I did, for the reasons already mentioned in the other comments.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    Yes, definitely. I find the plasma desktop to be the most intuitive one out there, it does help to get organized. Also, the comics applet is great for viewing phdcomics or xkcd.

  • Thomas says:

    1. I am a physics student as well, also working on my bachelor thesis (experimental particle physics)

    2. I only use KDE, therefore: konsole, okular, amarok, kwrite, dolphin, kopete, sometimes kile, konqueror, konversation, …

    3. kwrite for coding ;) , maybe Qtiplot (which is qt and not kde, ι know). so, actually none

    4. almost

    5. nope

    6. hmm, nothing, I guess

    7. of course

    8. –

    9. I never wrote scientific software. If I had to, I would do it for kde for sure!

    10. hard to say. I have no idea how I would work under gnome, not to mention windows. so let`s say yes

  • Chris Desjardins says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? I am a Ph.D. student in an applied statistics program at the University of Minnesota.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    KDE SC (currently 4.4.4). I try to use only KDE/Qt applications if possible. I use kate, kile, konsole, okular, dolphin, amarok, kdevelop, digikam, etc. (The only non-KDE apps I am presently using are Firefox and Thunderbird b/c konqueror and kmail don’t cut it. I really want to use kontact but it doesn’t cut it yet).

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    kile, kate, rkward, konsole, okular, ocassionally qtoctave

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Most of them.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    Not really

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    While I think rkward and cantor work well with R, something like ESS or Tinn-R (http://www.sciviews.org/Tinn-R/) would be ideally. In fact, I am learning C++ and Qt this summer in hopes of creating something similar to Tinn-R for KDE.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Yes

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    Don’t know.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    I haven’t yet but my plan is to write an editor similar to Tinn-R for KDE.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    Yes KDE software helps especially okular, konsole, kate, and kile. Okular’s highlighting features, while still basic, are very good compared to other PDF viewers and make reading manuscripts much easier.

  • 1. Who are you and what field to you work in?
    Hi, I’m David, I’m a graduate student in physics at Penn State University (US).

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    KDE is my desktop environment so all the usual stuff… KMail, KOrganizer, Akregator, Konqueror and rekonq, Dolphin, Kopete, etc.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    Mostly Kile (and KBibTeX back on KDE 3.X), which I use for all my scientific writing… also KWrite and Kate for coding, Akregator for keeping up to date with papers on arXiv, the Qalculate plasma applet for quick calculations, and CirKuit, which is great for diagrams.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    All except LabPlot, Marble, Rocs, and Step

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    Step looks interesting, and possibly LabPlot

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    A good Mathematica equivalent. I use Mathematica often (especially for symbolic integration) but I’d much rather have a program that does the same thing but fits in with KDE (for 2 reasons: FOSS and also Mathematica has weird interface quirks). I know Cantor is heading in that direction but it’s not as capable as I need yet. Also, I echo what some other commenters have said about the lack of a good reference manager. KBibTeX is/was definitely much better than nothing but there’s room for something even better.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Sure, why not. If I were able to keep in touch with the KDE scientific community I might be more motivated to help develop some of these programs.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    I dunno… :-P I often feel like I’d like to be more involved in the development of KDE, and scientific apps would be a logical way for me to contribute, but I can never seem to get started. Maybe I need to make more time for it.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    Most of my software is pure command-line because it’s less resource-intensive and more compatible that way, but I did once start writing a data visualization program and yes, of course it was for KDE ;-)

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?
    Yep, I think I kind of included this in the answer to Q3.

  • jack summers says:

    hi,

    1. i work in math/physics as an assistant professor.
    2. the whole desktop
    3. i use kile and kbibtex on a daily basis for my scientific work.
    4. i don’t know Cantor, LabPlot, Rocs, KmPlot, Step
    5. no
    6. i like the idea of kpapers (http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php/Kpapers:+idea+looks+for+developers!?content=58990), hopefully kbibtex will grow into such an application at some point. it would be very helpful to have an application for even better article management, including bookmarks, fulltext search through many pdfs, citation search etc.

    7. that would be interesting

  • 1) Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    Hi, I’m Giulio. I have a Bachelor degree in physics and I’m about to begin my Master’s tesis. I study in Modena (IT)

    2) What KDE software do you use in general?

    Plasma Desktop, Dolphin, Kmail, Choqok, Kopete, Konversation, Amarok, rekonq, Akregator, digiKam, KTorrent, Kile, Okular, Yakuake.

    3) What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    Kile + Okular –> The most awesome solution ever for LaTeX editing.
    Mendeley –> Awesome for bibliographies and paper management/sharing. Currently proprietary, but still based on kdelibs.
    RKWard –> Data plotting and fitting with R.
    Cantor –> SAGE for symbolical/numerical computation.
    Kalzium –> from time to time is a quick and easy source of data about elements.

    4) Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    I was aware of all of them. Still should learn more about Step and Kalzium.

    6) What is missing among KDE software for you?

    There is nothing that is really “missing”. Still, i have to resort to non KDE software for image manipulation as some of them has unique capabilities for scientific usage (ImageJ), or i generally find that they suit my needs better (Inkscape).
    While Karbon still has a few miles to go in order to be right for me, but is likely to eventually make it, there is nothing quite like ImageJ currently in the world of free software. As images have a really important role in science today, a native KDE app in that niche wuold surely be a great idea.

    7) Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Of course! I would subscribe immediately!! What are we waiting for?

    10) Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?

    I track my to-dos with the “Remeber the Milk” widget. Will probably start making more intensive use of PIM as soon as I buy a smartphone.
    I make extensive use of the “folder view” plasmoids in order to have all the things relevant to my current project ready at hand.
    Yakuake’s tabs are really useful when you are running calculations on a remote server. You can launch stuff, forget about it, do something else, and check the stdout from time to time by pressing F12.
    Dolphin’s capabilities for browsing floders through ssh are also af great use.
    Kopete’s LaTeX compatibilities is also nice from time to time. Will probably start making more intensive use of PIM as soon as I buy a smartphone.

  • Orestes Mas says:

    1) Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    – My name is Orestes Mas, and I’m currently a professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. I teach mainly Circuit Theory, but I’ve also teached Control Theory in the past.

    2) What KDE software do you use in general?

    – Plasma desktop, Dolphin, KMail, Okular, Digikam, Amarok…

    3) What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    – Kile.

    4) Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    – More or less, yes.

    5) What is missing among KDE software for you?

    A good but simple to use application to plot data graphs, basically for student’s use. I currently give to students a customized KDE distro with some software preinstalled, and I use Grace as a plotting application, because they can obtain quick and quality results despite its outdated user interface (motif-based). I’ve tried LabPlot once, but the students felt it difficult to use and understand.

    My ideal plotting application would be one similar to PSpice’s Probe utility, with per-dataset cursors, able to understand data formats from various circuit analysis programs (perhaps via plugins?), with support for TeX labels…

    Also, for me it would be interesting a front-end to some circuit analysis software, like gnucap or ng-spice, but I realize this is too specific to be useful to a broad audience.

    6) Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Yes, definitely.

    9) Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    – I use KDE in my daily work, so yes.

  • 1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    My name is Thomas (ungethym) and I am a PhD student in the field of management and live in Switzerland.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    KDE Desktop, Kontact, Konqueror, Rekonk, Choqok, and many many more

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    KDE Desktop, Kontact, Konqueror, Rekonk, Okular

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    No.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    KBibTex

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    I. A good reference manager.
    a) I often save pdf-files or web-pages and like to comment them and store automatically the URL and access date.
    b) From time to time it’s possible to download BibTex (or other reference files) which I want to import easily.
    c) Share my reference database with other scientists and cooperate with them.
    II. Storing annotations in PDF with the possibility to share them / collaborate with others. (There are some feature requests for Okular.)
    III. Synchronize all data between different computers.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    There was a mailinglist but that one was deleted some weeks ago because nobody used it. I prefer the planet.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    I personally think the field of science is an excellent place to spread KDE. The culture of open source communities and science have major parts in common. And nowadays most universities are very happy if they can save money on software. If we could just deliver a solution which is much better than the software they have now.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    Sorry, I can’t code.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    Sure it helped. However many major applications are non-KDE (OpenOffice.org for writing, JabRef as reference manager (and also Firefox/zotero), unison for backup, diigo (web service) for bookmarks).

  • Raubtier says:

    Hello,

    I’m a PhD student in High Energy Physics.

    Programs:

    Kile/Okular (written my Diploma thesis using kile, now I want to try LyX for my first PhD thesis chapter and decide which one I want (Kile or LyX) later, I’m not sure yet)

    Kate – general editing and programming in anything but C++. Also I’m using Kate for BibTeX files. Haven’t tried KBibTeX yet, I had some java program for bibtex files during the diploma thesis but was not satisfied, so I switched to kate (and vim). Kate needs improvement in handling loooong lines. Try opening and scrolling in a 500k HTML file without line breaks!

    KDevelop!!! This is the best program ever (since 4.0)! It is possible to use it for our experiment software CMSSW (CMS experiment at CERN) which has millions of lines of C++ code and includes many templates. KDevelop just works fine (after adding include paths), provides me with syntax completion everywhere. Great, great, great! Writing C++ code for analysis is now fun and soo much faster than ever before! I’m trying to promote KDevelop4 where ever I can, I even made a small “how to” page! I would like to have improved Python and Perl support in KDevelop, but the C++ part is so good, I don’t have enough positive words for that.

    Konsole – I need to work on Scientific Linux 5 machines to do my analysis (that’s basically a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5) – but I have access via openafs to my home dir from any computer. So I write code in KDevelop but compile it via Konsole or Yakuake and ssh on a different machine.

    KMail. I use it for mail, what else :-) (however, using Thunderbird for Usenet)

    Other scientific programs: ROOT (see root.cern.ch, not the super user) and sometimes Mathematics software (Mathematica) – KDevelop and ROOT also work together perfectly. I don’t think KDE should try to provide a ROOT replacement. Would be a waste of time.

    Also, I really like KIO slaves being available everywhere.

    Room for improvement: gwenview. It should have some very basic editing functions. I was used to IrfanView which is way better in my opinion.

    Also printing needs improvement. Often, I just print to pdf and really print using acroread.

  • Raubtier says:

    Sorry, I probably forgot to answer some of the questions:

    What KDE software do you use in general?
    Dolphin, Kontact, Konsole, Okular, Klipper, KNetworkManager, KMix, K3b, Amarok, Ark

    What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    KDevelop, Kile

    Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    No, never heard about these before: Cantor, KBibTeX, LabPlot, Kalgebra, Rocs, KmPlot, Step
    I knew Kile, Kalzium, KStars, Marble

    If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    Maybe KBibTex.
    LabPlot and Rocs look nice, but I will stick to ROOT.

    What is missing among KDE software for you?
    First polish existing software before you start new one. As long as I have Konsole, I’m happy… Seriously, maybe a better way to find new applications? KDE-apps has many apps, how do I know which of them are somewhat supported, well tested and so on?

    Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    No

    What else would you like to tell me?
    See previous post. KDevelop is outstanding.

    If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?

    No, not really possible.

    Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    I really don’t care about plasma. Kontact is good but often messages are doubled. Might be because I’m using it from 2 different computers accessing 1 imap postbox. Desktop search needs to be improved, I don’t want to know details about nepomuksearch;/whatever

  • tbscope says:

    1 Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    I’m not really a scientist in the pure meaning of the word but I’m a MSc in electromechanical engineering. I currently work for a government (military) where I design and update the technical installations of buildings: mechanics, electricity (power), HVAC, special techniques (hospitals, laboratories, conference rooms, …)

    Some people don’t understand the science behind this. Especially some of my coworkers (also engineers). Most of them use tables and ready made software without knowing what it all means and does :-(

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    Kate to write software, although now I only use Qt Creator.
    And just the desktop environment, nothing specific.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    None

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Yes

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    Not in the list you posted.

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    A lot.
    For my job specifically:
    Good 3D design software like Autocad, Inventor, Catia, Solidworks, …
    Building Information Modelling software
    Special calculation software, although some Mathlab type of tool would be nice too. But to be more clear, software to calculate electrical networks for example to find short cicuit currents, voltage drops, power drops, selectivity, …
    For this last one, I’m creating my own software at the moment. It will allow me to draw schematics, calculate all the circuits, visualise problem areas and generate reports. It will greatly help reduce the time needed for manual calculations.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    If the list only receives a couple of messages every month, then no.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    Don’t focus too hard on scientists only, not only scientists use scientific software.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    Absolutely. I love Qt and KDE as they are very simple to develop for.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised
    Yes, when I write software.

    I do need to mention though that there’s absolutely no way that I can convince my employer to switch to KDE, even if all the needed software is there :-(
    This is a Windows world (I do need to work with people in administration, and they use Ms Office) and it will always be so. Nevertheless, for my personal needs, I have my laptop with KDE and my specific software :-) And it’s easy to convince others to at least try it out at home.

  • Claude says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    MSc in phyisical science applied to atmospheric pollution. I work for a big private multinational company not even remotely interested in FLOSS :/

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    Pretty much all KDE SC at home. Nothing at work.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    Well, I use R for some batch calculations, so I theoretically could use Cantor now, if I had a choice in my desktop.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    yes

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    An “easy” NetCDF tool. A more integrated GIS suite (QGIS is fine but…)

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    why not.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    I am currently not on the developer side, but those I know (who work for me) only consider the desktop the customers are asking for, ie Windows.

  • Stu says:

    Umm… wow :-)

    Thanks very much everyone (and also those who replied by email). I think I have enough answers now ;-)

    If you’d still like to leave a comment, feel free, and I’ll still read them but probably won’t put them in to an article.

  • 1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    I am Matt Williams and I am working towards my Ph.D. in particle physics working at the University of Warwick in collaboration with CERN on the LHCb detector.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    I use the KDE desktop for everything and so if there’s a KDE application that is available, I’m probably using it.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    I use Kate for most of my coding (due to lack of Python support in KDevelop) and KBibTex and Kile for writing reports.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    Yes.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    Nothing in particular at the moment.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Yes, though I feel there is a lot of overlap with KDE-Edu so that would need to be made clear. I seem to remember a thread on the kdeedu mailing list a few months ago about exactly this point.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?

    I’m currently planning on writing a Particle Physics teaching tool with the KDE libraries. Sort of like a ‘periodic table’ (Kalzium) for particles. It will give you all the properties and how they interact. If anyone’s interested in helping, let me know.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?

    For all the software I write, I account for KDE users but for almost all of it, the desktop environment someone is using is irrelevant to the software since it is command-line based.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?

    I use Kontact as much as I can and I will use it more once Akonadi lets me integrate better with all my web services.

    • Stu says:

      There is indeed a fair bit of overlap with KDE Edu and the idea is not to change Edu – not to remove apps from Edu and set up some KDE science module. Instead, maybe there is a need to present KDE science applications as a group to users, so there is one place to go to see if KDE has a science app for you (webpage) or to build a community, largely of users, to exchange knowledge, tips and ideas (mailinglist or similar).

      So it could be as little as page on kde.org with a list of Science apps by category, linking to their individual websites (which might be hosted under KDE Edu) or it could be a lot more if there is interest.

      I need to dig up that old thread on kdeedu it seems…

  • 1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    Hello, my name is Filipe Saraiva and I work in my my master’s thesis on intelligent systems for power systems distribution. Study at the University of São Paulo, Brazil (\o/ go hexa Brazil!!!\o/).

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    Many: choqok, kmail, quassel, kaffeine, amarok, dolphin, kate, kdevelop, …

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    Many also: kile, kmplot and rocs. I developed a feature to change the labels on the axes of kmplot.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    Yes, I am a member of the Brazilian community of KDE.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    A port of kbibtex or kbib for KDE4, a good software to plot (as Scidavis), software for design of digital circuits.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Yes.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?

    I’m currently planning on writing a software for relational algebra teaching on KDE. But it’s still just an idea.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?

    Yes, but mostly educational software – which would be closer to kdeedu project.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    It helps.

  • Ievgen says:

    1.Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    My name is Ievgen Vovk, I’m doing my PhD in field of High Energy Astrophysics in ISDC Data Centre for Astrophysics located in Geneva, Switzerland.

    2.What KDE software do you use in general?
    Kwrite, Amarok, Dolphin, Konsole, Kile, different plasmoids.

    3.What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    Kwrite for editing scripts and development of small programs, QTDesigner for GUI applications, Kile for writing papers.

    4.Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    I work with Kile, have seem Marble, have heard of KStars and Cantor.

    5.If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    Hm, I can probably use LabPlot, maybe can make a use of KBibTeX.

    6.What is missing among KDE software for you?
    I think, basically everything is there. Oh, yes, it would nice to have some tool for working with several VNC session with tunnels through ssh. I think I’ve some program for this ~2 years ago, but it didn’t impress my at that time.

    7.Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Yes, sure.

    8.What else would you like to tell me?
    I like KDE. :-)
    Not sure if it is related to the scientific software, but I often use several screens and KDE tool for managing them is quite buggy for me (at least with proprietary ATI driver). So at the moment I’m using XRandR.

    9.If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    Well, normally they are suited for very specific tasks, so I don’t target them for other KDE users. But when it is possible, I target them for KDE platform.

    10.Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    Yes. I like the idea of having widgets on a desktop, they are really handy.

  • 1. Who are you and what field do you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    Jörg Cassens, working in Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Lübeck.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    Besides what I will write in point 3: KDE Desktop, with Konsole, Dolphin, Akregator, Konqueror, Gwenview, Digikam, Juk, Choqok, etc. But my desktop is heavily populated with non-KDE programs as well, like VirtualBox (Qt), pidgin, gimp, easystroke. I mainly use Firefox for browsing because of it’s addons. And Thunderbird for mail, since KMail never cut it in terms of IMAP (Thunderbird is not perfect there either, but better). And the combination Thunderbird + Lightning + DavMail is the best way to access our Exchange Server, beating Korganizer + KMail (+ Akonadi) hands down. Even better than Evolution.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    Mostly Kile, Kate, Okular (I am more on the theory side, you know;). And Qt-stuff like speedcrunch and vym. GNOME/GTK programs like Inkscape, Dia, the Gimp.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    Yes.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    N/A

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    I need a knowledge management tool. The pillars are starting to shape up, but they are not used to their full potential yet. There are other solutions, like Papers for Macintosh, or Zotero for Firefox. But I like to do this kind of things on KDE, on and with Free Software, integrating existing tools. It has always been a strongpoint for KDE that different applications work together nicely, that components are reused. A social semantic scientific desktop would be just awesome, and KDE could deliver on that vision.

    I want to browse bibliographic database (DBLP, citeseer, bibsonomy, whatever). When I download a PDF, the applications should automatically extract metadata if applicable, else use bibliographic data from the source web page (bibTeX), else let me easily fill it in. Rename the PDF in a smart way and stow it away where I can easily find it. Present me with the bibTeX data so I can include it in my bibliography. Index the full text, and let me use tags or ontologies. Let me link documents to other related files, bookmarks on del.icio.us, etc. I want to read PDFs in Okular, and I want to annotate them, scribble on them, mark things in a way that can be shared. I sometimes use pdfxchange-viewer with wine because I can annotate it for my students, and they see the annotations in whatever PDF reader they are using. I don’t need yet another bibTeX manager as a stand-alone solution, but I would like a solution which builds on things like Nepomuk, Okular, Kate, Kile, Konqueror (rekonq), kbib, and integrates them. Them and everything else inside KDE or even outside. Basket for notes, vym for mindmaps, inkscape for drawings, and a KDE desktop which helps me to cope with all that data. Wouldn’t that make our lives so much easier?

    Oh, and Dropbox integration for Dolphin;).

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Maybe. I guess the needs are too diverse, but I would love to be proven wrong.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?

    Free hugs to everyone in KDE. Heck, free hugs to everyone in the Free Software communities.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?

    My own stuff is almost exclusively command line, so no. In student supervision, we gradually introduce Qt. Many students are only familiar with Java, so it is difficult enough to convince them to use Qt (those who did were are usually happy with the choice, though). But there is one thesis in the pipeline which will most likely be based on KDE. Exciting.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?

    I don’t use Plasma widgets. I have 9 Virtual Desktops, and most applications run on full screen. For the most part, I don’t see the point in widgets on desktops. Besides that, I have been using KDE for something like 10 years as my main desktop environment. It does not come into the way of doing research, unlike other Desktops or operating systems. Isn’t that a big compliment?

  • Dotan Cohen says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    I support open source software. I am currently associated with an industrial fluids filtration company as a day job.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    Plasma, Dolphin, Kontact, the general stuff. I am a big fan of Okular.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    None. Not even Koffice for an office suite. I have used Kstars in the past for personal use, but lately I have been using Stellarium.

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    Most of them.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    LabPlot and KmPlot, by their names, may be appropriate. Rocs and Step I have no idea what they do. Maybe having a more descriptive name would get my attention.

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    A reliable PIM. Korganizer has too many dataloss issues. I’ve filed them at BKO, they are not being fixed.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Yes! I support several labs and users that have moved from Windows to Kubuntu (and one Suse) and many questions are too specialized for the existing KDE lists.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?

    Fix the bugs first. See Korganizer.

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?

    n/a

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    I would need to ask my users, but I do not believe that any are using Plasma widgets for research!

  • Jonas says:

    Well, better late than never!

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)

    My name’s Jonas Thorell and I am currently working on finishing my master thesis in corpus-based linguistics at Uppsala University, Sweden.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?

    Well, I use KDE SC exclusively so that would include the plasma desktop, Kontact, okular, dolphin, k3b, amarok, bangarang, ktorrent, kate, kmymoney, kmess, rekonq, chokoq, digikam, and gwenview to just name the most frequently used programs.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?

    Kontact (Kmail, Calender, and Kjots especially. Kjots as a sort of make-do citation manager as in “These are the things in this or that article I need to evaluate if it’s
    useful”). In KDE3 I used Basket for that, as well as a brain-storming tool. Last time I checked the KDE4 version it was too buggy to use but I will have to try it again
    (can it be embedded within Kontact yet?). Kate for raw text handling (later imported into a wordprocessor document), and konsole for running perl-scripts. When I’ve needed
    Latex, only to get some equations to actually look like equations, I used either Kile on a KDE3 workstation or Lyx (Qt4 only and not really a KDE app) – the same reason as Basket really, the KDE4 version of Kile was too crash-prone when I tried it what seems like ages ago. Kompare for the occasional need to view differences in raw data, okular for general pdf/ps-files viewing, and finally krita to touch up diagrams.

    Earlier I’ve also used the “Social Networks Visualizer” available on kde-apps.org (although,
    if memory serves, it’s really a Qt-app).

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?

    Yes, but they’re not really applicable to what I do. Maybe Cantor if/when I need to work using R. Of course, the R-backend needs to be in a useful state first which I
    currently do not know if it is.

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?

    N/A

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?

    Mostly a good integrated program for lexical analysis. Actually, I’d settle for _any_ good program for that capable of running in a Linux environment. That’s the only reason
    I keep a WindowsXP installation in virtualbox around in fact. A good citation manager wouldn’t be amiss either. The mendeley app someone else mentioned seems okay, so need to try that one out. Still, I’d love one that could integrate with KDE more fully. I like the idea expressed by Jörg Cassens!

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?

    Sure, but personally I think the best idea would be to set up a sub-forum on forums.kde.org. I prefer forums to mailing-lists being my primary reason for that.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?

    More of a Thanks! to everyone involved in making it possible to do (almost) everything I need using
    free software, and in a very efficient manner!

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?

    I’m not much of a coder, so no. The things I’ve written are too specific to be used by anyone but me (and, unfortunately, they take things for granted that are only true on my system). Besides, they’re mostly commandline scripts anyway.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    Apart from what I’ve already said, KDE as a whole has made quite a bit of difference. I’ll just write down
    four examples.

    1. Plasma. I use one activity per project. Right now it’s only one, but it has been more than that in the past. That’s usually only a folderview widget (sometimes as a containment) pointing to a specific folder/filtered to show only certain files. But I’ve also used the sticky-notes widget or the shortlog one for a “Getting things done” reminder and it’s great not having to see those when I’m not in research-mode. I’ve also used the blackboard widget once or twice to make a quick scetch or two to remind me how things are connected. Sort of as a visual aid to memory.
    2. Nepomuk. I’ve used the tags to differentiate between projects. That is, one tag for each project. I’ve had quite a few files that were necessary, or potentially necessary at least, for several projects. Tagging files lets me see everything related to one project in one folderview without me having to keep softlinks all over the place (or worse, copies of files all over the place). I also used the rating system to keep track of what files are most valuable (that is, which papers written by others are most useful as references).
    3. Kwin. The tabbed window feature is a must-have now that I’ve gotten used to it. I don’t know how I managed without it! Having say Writer, kate, konsole, rekonq, and two or three pdfs opened in different tabs rather than different windows makes everything so much easier, and far less cluttered.
    4. Not entirely KDE-specific, but I love that all apps I use can export directly to pdf. After all, not everybody has the good sense to have software installed that can read odt/ods files.

  • g says:

    2. Konqueror, konsole, kmail, okular, kile, kwrite, kompare, gwenview, arora, ktikz.
    3. Konqueror, okular, kile, kwrite, ktikz.
    4. All except labplot.
    6. See Jörg Cassens comment above.
    9. When developing ktikz, I chose to add KDE support because I wanted to be able to configure the toolbars and shortcuts, I wanted KIO support and a KPart (currently these features are only available when compiling ktikz from svn).
    10. The ease of use and the integration of the different KDE apps and small but important features (such as middle-clicking the empty area of scrollbars, configuring toolbars and shortcuts, use the mouse scroll button on a tab bar to change tabs, …) allow me to work faster and more efficiently, so obviously KDE software helps me with everything I do, including research.

  • Paolo says:

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in?

    Paolo Crosetto, post-doc in experimental economics (dynamic decision making, choice under uncertainty, innovation experimental economics) in LUISS, Roma, Italy.

    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    All of it. Being with openSUSE and KDE since 2002.

    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    I use Kile for latex editing. Used to use KBibTex, now I use JabRef (heavy, but feature complete – and has nice ‘push to kile’ button). Rkward from time to time, but I just do not get it quite right, so I stick with coding in R console. I heavily use python, with Eric (Qt, not KDE). Tried Cantor, still waiting for more development of it. Kalgebra comes in handy for very easy task (is that function really a wierd paraboloid?)

    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Yes, apart from some really specific ones (Step, Rocs) which I would not know how to use

    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    Nope, unfortunately – but int he comments above I stole a couple of ideas

    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    Once Cantor is more mature, i will not miss a thing. Hopefully.

    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    I could opt-in such a mailing list – to get some insights here and there.

    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    Thanks for doing this!

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    No. When I do things for me, then it’s ok; but as soon as I start cooperating with others, well, it’s an MS (and not much computer literate) word out there. When I run experiments they ought to work on MS machines. And apart from that, my algorithms are nothing to write home about.

    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    I rarely use Kontact – it seems to be getting in the way rather than helping me. But perhaps it is because I am very bad at keeping contacts and I lose them all over my pc. Plasma is OK for helping me taking notes. Basket is my favourite for all kind of brainstorming. If all people had it, it would be even better – you could share your brainstorming with others.

  • Nicolas Morange says:

    Who are you and what field to you work in?
    Nicolas Morange, PhD student in particle physics.

    What KDE software do you use in general?
    Kontact (Kmail, akregator, kaddressbook, kalendar), Konqueror, Okular, Dolphin, Konsole, Digikam, Rekonq, Kile, Kopete, amarok, kstars…

    What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    The calculator runner :)

    Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    Nope, half of them maybe.

    If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    I definitely will look into KBibTeX

    What is missing among KDE software for you?
    Better printer config/management.
    Certificate login in konqueror.
    Better compatibility with acrobat reader in PDF forms.
    An almost complete vim-mode to use in Kile

    Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    A good category in userbase would be sufficient.

    If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    No. I work in a huge collaboration, and all I develop uses either ROOT (data analysis framework) or my experiment’s framework.

    Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?
    Sure Kontact is really great. Konsole is really helpful too (ability to split horizontally or vertically).
    Konqueror is unique for its childplay’s use of custom web shortcuts (like gg:)
    But the most useful KDE app for me is maybe okular. I always have a dozen of opened pdf files, and it just rocks: lightweight enough, and really powerful, with a great presentation mode.

  • Gerhard Riener says:

    * Kile (LaTeX)
    * Cantor (young, but promising)
    * KBibTeX (I crave a Platform 4 port)
    * LabPlot (Platform 4 port in progress)
    * Kalzium
    * Kalgebra
    * KStars
    * Marble
    * Rocs
    * KmPlot
    * Step

    1. Who are you and what field to you work in?
    PosDoc researcher in experimental economics at Uni Jena and the Max Planck Institute for Economics in Jena / Germany
    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    kontact, koffice (more and more), amarok, kopete, kdropbox, kvnc (unfortunaltey still, as knetworkmanager can’t do the job)
    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    lyx, kile, rkward, kate (love the session and pipe to terminal functions), basket
    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    except of steps yes…
    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    no
    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    experimental economics software.sth like PsychoPy where interactions between subjects are possible, stata (the only proprietary program I’m using) support in cantor and definitely a kde4 port for kbibtex…(and some more features that it can compete with jabref, sth liek crossrefs to make networks of papers and see how everything works together…:-)). Some basket and kbibtex integration via drag and drop…
    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    definitely
    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    Great that you took initiative to make a call like this!

    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    don’t develop…(sorry…)
    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things orrganised?

    yes…helped very much .. the google calender support from akonadi should be improved in order to coordinate better with coauthors…

    Thanks again!!

  • cs says:

    There’s also Kst, a data plotting tool:
    http://kst.kde.org/

  • wind-rider says:

    Who are you and what field to you work in? (Add where and for whom if you’re happy to do so)
    Mechanical Engineering student in Enschede, the Netherlands

    What KDE software do you use in general?
    Amarok, KOffice

    What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    Step a bit, Cantor a bit, KmPlot a bit, maybe Rocs.

    Were you aware of all the applications I listed above? If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    No, I didn’t know about KBibTeX and LabPlot.

    What is missing among KDE software for you?
    A good 3D CAD program that can be used to design parts.

    Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Maybe

    What else would you like to tell me?
    I found Octave almost able to replace Matlab (although Simulink is still not replaced, then). The upcoming Octave backend for Cantor is nice!

    If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    N/A

    Did KDE software help you with your research in general? For example, do Kontact or Plasma widgets help keep things organised?
    N/A

  • 1. Who are you and what field to you work in?
    Claudio Tessone, Post-doc @ ETH Zürich. I work on Complex Systems (Complex networks, noise- induced phenomena)
    2. What KDE software do you use in general?
    KDE, KDevelop, amarok, Digikam, k3b, okular
    3. What KDE software do you use specifically for science?
    Kile, KDevelop, kdesvn,
    4. Were you aware of all the applications I listed above?
    No
    5. If not, are there any you weren’t aware of that could be relevant to you?
    Cantor (really interesting, indeed), not before
    6. What is missing among KDE software for you?
    A simple, modular, plotting program that has a modular structure, such that only some parts are leaded. A KDE/Qt interface would be fine. And some python bindings would be superb.

    For KBibtex, Y would like it to have a plugin mechanism, such that we can add plugins (for example to upload citations to citeUlike)
    7. Would you be interested in a dedicated mailing list/website area for KDE software for scientists?
    Yes. A news feed to add to a CSS reader would make it, too
    8. What else would you like to tell me?
    Keep me informed!
    9. If you developed scientific software/algorithms, did you ever consider KDE users/platform as a target? If not, why?
    Yes, (or more or less) I tend to use Qwt/pyQwt whenever I need some graphical output.
    10. Did KDE software help you with your research in general?
    Certainly, the plasma widgets are really useful I would like to have a Basket like plasmoid approach (I didn’t see much development in the last time).