Firefox and KDE, time to act!

- Firefox, KDE, No category

If you know me then you’ll know that I’m much involved with open source projects issue tracking.Usually I pick older tickets and add a typical comment along the lines of β€œAny news about this?” or I further elaborate the answer in most cases.

If you are using Firefox with KDE then you may have noticed that their integration is awful.

Up to version 29 the most noticeable issue was the theme that in KDE was seriously ugly,however with the newest interface this issue is gone.

What this better integration should consist of?

  • Native KDE File Picker
  • File associations
  • Protocol management
  • Integration with system notifications
  • Proxy integration
  • Ability to add web feeds directly in Akregator
  • Mail and newsgroup integration
  • Printer management
  • Integration with the Dolphin File Manager

All in all, quite a lot of stuff!

I’m writing this blog post because someone wrote a good report to revamp the discussion in the various tickets about this matter.

OpenSuse developers have written a patch to accomplish this integration (dubbed kmozillahelper) but it was never accepted by Mozilla.This patch is seen as an hack or something too troublesome to handle,I had a look at the code but being not familiar with C++ and Firefox’s source code I can’t say for sure.

The oldest ticket about this integration is more than 12 years old.

Yes, you’ve heard it right,12 years.

At the time I myself was 12 years old and used to read comics.Which I still do but to a lesser extent.

Competitors such as Chrom* have integrated KDE yet Mozilla never really got involved because apparently it’s not high on their priority list (based on what I’ve read on various forums).

Nowadays it is indeed a priority because of the several desktop environments based on KDE or taking advantage of KDE technologies such as LXQT.

This person who revamped the conversation did open a discussion thread on the mailing list in which we are all invited to have our say and make clear that we do want this integration.

As far as Firefox-QT goes,it can wait (I wrote a tutorial in italian about compiling it two years ago) because it has been static for years due to the lack of developers.Considering that the focus is currently towards GTK3 it’s about time that this browser supports this other DE,more so because this could open a path for other desktop environments to integrate with Firefox in the future in a simpler way than using patches.

The discussion took off yesterday and I’m keeping track of it while also having my say (as usual πŸ˜€ ).

Here’s a brief summary (without personal identification of the participants):

Mozilla does not see direct KDE support as a priority and offers support (via the mentors) to KDE developers to finalize the patch. Even more,it advises to separate the various integration aspects and apply them individually.
Of course,should there be a massive request from the user base,a development directly made by Mozilla could be a possibility.

This discussion attracts several Mozilla developers and they praised the KDE project for their newest version Frameworks 5.

The first new volunteers to develop this integration are showing up,I’ll keep you up to date about this.

Please do contribute to this English-speaking mailing list,being accurate and explaining your reasons (the list is moderated)!
If you’re using Gnome be warned, we KDE users are going to conquer the world!

Thanks Geko for the english translation!

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All the stuff released in this website, where the author is Daniele Scasciafratte, is under the GPL 2.0 license except when the resources have their licenses.

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