cogito ergo vagus

May 16, 2009

You gotta love Free software

Filed under: open source — vagus @ 8:55 pm

Ever since Windows 7 and KDE 4.2 were available I started placing my taskbar vertically to the left of my widescreen LCD. On Windows 7 it works and looks great but on KDE 4.2 the running application icons are of a small size and the title text is hardly visible with only a couple of letters being shown as you can see in the following screenshot.

Less than perfect

Less than perfect

I couldn’t find a setting in KDE to change it and even posted a suggestion to the KDE Brainstorm forum section. But this was really annoying me. What if they reject the suggestion? What to do in the mean time anyway?

So I browsed the online KDE source repository and eventually found this file:


Downloaded the Kubuntu Linux source packages and edited two functions in the said file. In the function “iconRect()” commented out the line where the icon size was being set to one-third. In the function “drawTextLayout()” simply short-circuited it by returning immediately without doing any text drawing.

And well, voila! I now have it the way I like with large icons and no text similar to the Windows 7 taskbar:

Much better now

Much better now

Some icons still are of small size like for VLC and OpenOffice, but I’m hoping either the KDE developers implement my suggestion or I can continue to dig into the code!

This felt like the “tremendous sense of empowerment” one of the guests in the documentary film “Revolution OS” was talking about.

Open Source and Free software FTW!



  1. […] thread My first little KDE development excursion: You gotta love Free software | veracity You gotta love Free software cogito ergo vagus This is why you gotta love Free software. Some blog posts: The Road to KDE Devland – step 0 […]

    Pingback by The Road to KDE and Qt Development - TechEnclave — July 26, 2009 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  2. […] 4:11 pm I’ve previously blogged about my very brief encounters with open source development here and […]

    Pingback by The Road to KDE and Qt Development « cogito ergo vagus — July 26, 2009 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

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