Today I got through libs, pimlibs and base (+ another eight KDE SVN modules, but I didn’t try anything out from them) on SPARC. For the first time, I could run two KDE4s side-by-side on Solaris on radically different CPU archiutectures.

Mostly it works just the same. The big obvious difference is that PorterDuff painting is not supported on the XSun server, which means that most of the plasma effects are completely borked, just like on the SunRay thin client (about which I blogged back at FOSDEM). So the desktop cashew has an unsightly grey ring around it, like ring-around-the-tub. The taskbar is unreadable because the gradients get dithered to hell. The fileview thing (ooh! I do have icons on the desktop, just implemented differently) is similarly an unsightly grey box with “Unknown File Type” icons in it.

I didn’t play with KDE4 on SPARC for long; just enough to see that KSnapshot works, that the OpenGL information section of KInfoCenter reports something sensible (an XVR-2500, yup, that ought to be able to take anything we throw at it), that the CPU information is completely broken (it reports no CPUs at all, unlike my x86 based Solaris machine which reports one CPU of unknown vendor). Konqueror looks ok. That kind of stuff. It’s more a proof-of-concept at this point than anything else, but it shows that we’ve done enough of the porting cleanly enough that KDE4 with the KDE4-Solaris patch set applied will run on SPARC.

Given a running desktop, it’s now easy to identify issues that would need to be solved to make KDE4 a viable desktop-SPARC platform (yes, this is pretty darn niche). Painting. CPU info. Then there’s general KDE4 issues not confined to the SPARC platform. But on the whole we can now start to move from phase one of development (get it to compile at all) to phase two (get it to work nicely).

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