Program Review: Katapult for Fun and Profit…

Posted: 10th August 2007 by manchicken in Free Software

So, what is katapult, and why would it be fun or profitable for me?!

Katapult is a KDE program that increases your productivity by giving you unlimited access to your programs, music, documents, a spellchecker, and a calculator, without ever reaching for the mouse! Now, some of you may like your mouse, and that’s cool, but nobody can deny that ALT+Space konq ENTER isn’t an easier way to fire off konqueror than reaching for the mouse and clicking the icon.

So, let’s go into the functionality that Katapult has. Katapult will let you run programs. Just hit ALT+Space and start typing the name of your favorite program. No, not the unix command, just the name of the program. So instead of typing “oocalc” you could type “o sp” (notice the space) and OpenOffice.org spreadsheet will fire off. Beautiful, no? This will also work with your konqueror bookmarks.

Then there’s your music. Katapult integrates with Amarok to give you access to your music at your finger tips. This functionality is a little flakey sometimes it seems, but it is there.

Then there’s the calculator. This is one of my favorite features. ALT+Space and then type in your math, and Katapult will do the math for you. This is very convenient for those of us who have to do tiny little bits of math regularly.

Now there’s the spellcheck… some of us aren’t gifted spellers, so this is a very useful feature. Just ALT+Space and then type “spell” followed by the word you want to spell. If you get it wrong, it’ll give you a comma-separated list of guesses.

So there’s Katapult, and I hope you find it as useful as I do. I know the folks who wrote it were really thinking of making lives easier when they wrote it, and man did they succeed. A round of applause for the Katapult hackers!

  1. nixternal says:

    Glad you like it! Martin (mez) did a kick arse job on it. Myself and a few others have kicked in to offer help where ever and when ever we can. Of course you are always welcome to help hack on it as well :)

  2. manchicken says:

    And I have hacked it a little. I cleaned up the SQL so that it will work with standards-compliant SQL.

    I really should help out with it some more, the problem with helping out on KDE projects is that everybody is focusing on KDE4, and I just don’t have the bandwidth to help out that much.

  3. Dread Knight says:

    OMG… that sounds so awsome.. but i’m not a Kde user… i use Gnome :\

    Hope there will be something similar for Gnome

  4. manchicken says:

    Oh, but you could be a KDE user ;)

    You’re just a `sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop` away :)

  5. Mez says:

    Thanks for the write up!

    Good to hear there are fans of katapult out there!

  6. Gabriel says:

    I love Katapult, but I think its getting behind these days. It doesnt have multiple selection of results, like if i have emacs22.1.tar.gz source code file, emacs22.1/ the directory, and the actual emacs22.1 launcher. Or if I want to open a file with a different application than the default one.

    The Gnome equivalent would be gnome-launch-box, this one is ugly (typical gnome) but it has these multiple result selection capabilities.

    On KDE-apps.org I’ve found a project working on this but I haven’t tried it out yet. The project is katapult-fast track (http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php/Katapult-Fast+Track?content=60941 )

    I hope katapult gets more features to improve it because its VERY useful and nice looking too.