Just when I’ve become more and more frustrated with KimDaBa, or KPhotoAlbum as it’s now called, Google comes to rescue and releases Picasa for Linux (For some reason or other they don’t let any ISP outside the US access that page, but the fine people filling up the comments on Digg have found direct download links. Just scroll down a bit on this page.)
Picasa was bought by Google a while ago, and then released for free, but they didn’t bother releasing it for anything else than Windows. Well, they have now. The Picasa version for Linux comes bundled with WINE, so it’s not a Linux native. It does integrate with Gnome and KDE, but it doesn’t adopt any of the font settings, which is due to above mentioned use of WINE instead of native libraries. Unfortunately, that makes for some pretty awful fonts and window UI, especially compared to the rest of the app, which is designed to be extra-smooth.
Note the dark-grey background and the jagged font, then compare it to this overall design of Picasa:
Apart from this, Picasa works fine. It installed without any problems on my Kubuntu Breezy Badger system, using the Ubuntu package. It is a bit slow right now, but I’m quite sure that’s due to my antiquated computer.
All in all, I’m delighted the fine people at Google are reaching out at their Linux clientele as well.
By the way, a few hot-headed people are getting all bent out of shape because Google is actually releasing a product for Linux and has not open-sourced it. I think it’s a really good idea to bitch about efforts like the Google Picasa one, if you’re trying to keep Linux behind Windows for all times. The 225 patches the Picasa team has submitted to the current WINE code alone show how much of a win-win situation this is for everyone.