Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 13th Jan 2008 20:09 UTC
KDE KDE 4.0.0 has been released on January 11th, after a number of delays; the months preceding the release, the KDE developers tried very hard to downplay expectations. KDE 4.0.0 was just the first release in the KDE 4 series, and such, should not be seen as the best possible representation of the KDE 4.0.0 vision. So, when I installed KDE 4.0.0 on my Ubuntu Gutsy installation last Friday, I knew what to expect: KDE 4 Developer Release 1 (yes, I am a BeOS guy - how did you know?). Read on for a few quick first impressions.
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Honk! Honk!
by Weeman on Sun 13th Jan 2008 20:55 UTC
Weeman
Member since:
2006-03-20

The KDE team zero graphics designers on their team. And if they think there are some, those are posers. While on a quick glance, the theme looks OK, there's so much wrong with it in regards to margins, paddings, font sizes and what not.

Hell, just look at that task bar!

Reply Score: 18

RE: Honk! Honk!
by Joe User on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:17 UTC in reply to "Honk! Honk!"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

What Thom dislikes, I like. What he likes, I dislike.
I think the title bar is just horrible, especially the minimize, restore and close buttons. I like the scrollbar a little bit, at least the colors of the scrollbar. I think the bold fonts are important where they are, they make things stand out. I couldn't imagine normal fonts instead. However I don't like them being Bitstream Vera Sans, I would prefer Luxi Sans or Dejavu Sans. Regarding openSUSE's kickoff, I really love it, it's easy to use, it's organized and has many options, not sure why Thom dislikes it, really. I dislike widgets, they are really thick (input boxes, submit buttons, radio buttons, checkboxes, grippies, resizers, etc...). The widgets should be pixel-precise, for instance input boxes should have one-pixel borders instead of blurry borders. The black taskbar is huge, it should be a lot smaller. To sum up, everything is thick, big, not refined. The KDE team should use graphic designers instead of coders to create their GUI, there has been many suggestions and offers in the mailing lists, and no one has listened.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Honk! Honk!
by vasko_dinkov on Mon 14th Jan 2008 09:07 UTC in reply to "Honk! Honk!"
vasko_dinkov Member since:
2005-09-13

Actually, they have good icon designers but the theme is really a mess..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Honk! Honk!
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:43 UTC in reply to "Honk! Honk!"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

KDE has a very good and dedicated, but slightly overworked team of graphical designers. They've been doing a great job, even though there indeed is still a lot to be improved.

But saying it has been designed by coders is simply wrong. The applications are written by coders, and they probably didn't spend enough time yet on using every widget properly, aligning and stuff - but that's not the artists fault.

Reply Score: 6

Similar story for me...
by dswain on Sun 13th Jan 2008 20:58 UTC
dswain
Member since:
2005-07-03

As a GTK/Gnome/XFCE4 type of user, I generally don't go with KDE, but this new release enticed me to give it a swing. Firstly, installation was somewhere in between. If you don't have packages built for KDE, then you might be in trouble, as I couldn't find any working documentation as of last night. Luckily they have a developers guide to getting installed and set up. If you follow that, it has the same effect (and you can use the official source tarballs if you want, which is what I did). Once you get it set up and start doing the building, it's a rather smooth process.

From the system itself, I was really impressed. I thought how the composition works KDE4 is really good for a first release and looks good. The new file manager is pretty good, I like the new theme (though the tool bar is a bit awkward, the search functionality is wonderful). It's a very great base to be working off of.

I guess the next step (from what I hear, I should have just waited for 4.1) is the applications. As said in the article, Konquorer is surprisingly buggy which I'm not really used to when I use it. I also had trouble getting JuK to give me any sound, but I'm sure that was my own fault.

Application issues and documentation aside, I think that this release is huge for KDE. This is by far the direction KDE should go in and it's really going to pay off for them in the end. I recommend everyone give it a stab themselves and try things out. Here's to KDE for this release.

Reply Score: 9

Wow
by leos on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:17 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Thom is having a bad day I guess..

Where are these bold fonts? I don't see any in my install. Dolphin has the current directory in bold.. I can't see anything else. Kickoff doesn't have any bold fonts. And just because you don't like it doesn't mean its unusable. It has had some fairly extensive usability testing, which may not be the be all end all, but its worth a lot more than personal opinion. Also the menu is not a fixed size, and animation in transitions is not confusing, it helps you figure out what is happening (lots of studies have been done on this, look up visual momentum).

The funny thing is, the one thing you praise (Krunner), I think is far worse than it could have been. Anyone that has used Launchy (on windows) knows that as far as keyboard launchers go, Krunner is bottom of the barrell. Luckily krunner will be very very different in KDE 4.1.

Also, try the "Obsidian Coast" color scheme. I think it looks absolutely fantastic.

As for KWin. It is definitely better on a fast computer. I had to turn it off on my laptop and the EeePC, but on my desktop at work it flies (Geforce 7900 so nothing special). Works so much better than Compiz ever did. Compiz has fancier effects, but its buggy as hell, and the traditional window manager features are mostly missing.

I agree with you on Konqueror. I used it a lot in 3.5, but in 4.0 its just too buggy. I hope they replace it with a webkit based browser soon. Otherwise Firefox 3 is pretty decent as well.

Also Okular is fantastic. It still has some bugs but it's already way better than any other PDF/document viewer I've ever used. Same for Gwenview.

Overall I'm happy with KDE 4.0. Plasma is buggy, but I wouldn't trade it for 3.5 already.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Wow
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:44 UTC in reply to "Wow"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Typos fixed, thanks guys.

Where are these bold fonts? I don't see any in my install.


Erm...

http://www.osnews.com/img/19159/shot.jpg

And none of those can be altered in KDE 4.0.0 (or in 3.x for that matter). Obnoxious.

Edited 2008-01-13 21:45 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Wow
by leos on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Erm...

http://www.osnews.com/img/19159/shot.jpg

And none of those can be altered in KDE 4.0.0 (or in 3.x for that matter). Obnoxious.


Oh yeah, completely didn't notice. Probably because they're mostly in configuration dialogs that I really don't make a habit of looking at very often. I agree that the configure dialog page titles really don't need to be bolded. Nothing to get furious about, but different strokes I guess..

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by dylansmrjones on Tue 15th Jan 2008 05:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Bllaah...

The screenshot isn't bad. The text in bold is supposed to be in bold. The issue of font-size is a different thing though.

But of course, what would you know about typography.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wow
by Kokopelli on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:44 UTC in reply to "Wow"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Also the menu is not a fixed size, and animation in transitions is not confusing, it helps you figure out what is happening (lots of studies have been done on this, look up visual momentum).


The menu IS fixed size, though the size is configurable. For people who have gotten used to a menu that expands to fit the contents the use of a scrollbar is awkward. Perhaps studies have shown it to be better, but it makes it inconsistent with all previous experience for users and with application menus.

The menu style and transitions are a matter of taste, not science. Studies may have shown that this menu is better. I will not argue the veracity of the conclusions in either direction. The fact is that for many the new menu is far from an optimal user experience. Spatial browsing was also found to be more efficient yet met with much resistance when Gnome introduced it as you may recall.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wow
by leos on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

The menu style and transitions are a matter of taste, not science.


Well, partly. The style may be partly taste, but the value of fluid transitions has been quite extensively studied. A transition done right is always easier to understand than a sudden change (which can induce change blindness).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Wow
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, partly. The style may be partly taste, but the value of fluid transitions has been quite extensively studied. A transition done right is always easier to understand than a sudden change (which can induce change blindness).


It's not the transition I have issues with, it's the sliding concept in itself. I have a 22" 1680x1050 screen, why the need to cram all the menus into one tiny sliding box? It hides the menu path from view, and makes it unnecessarily complex to travel backwards.

Edited 2008-01-13 22:13 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[4]: Wow
by leos on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

It's not the transition I have issues with, it's the sliding concept in itself. I have a 22" 1680x1050 screen, why the need to cram all the menus into one tiny sliding box? It hides the menu path from view, and makes it unnecessarily complex to travel backwards.


Yeah I think it would be better if the whole menu actually expanded sideways when you entered categories.. Like the columns view in Dolphin or Finder.

Mostly I just use KRunner anyway, so the design of the menu is mostly irrelevant. In KDE 3.5 i just removed it entirely. It's always faster to type.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by DigitalAxis on Sun 13th Jan 2008 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Well, what bothered me about the new menu is how some things you can just roll over (the five tabs at the bottom) while some things you have to click on (the 'back' button, the scrollbar).

It doesn't feel very consistent to me.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Wow
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 13th Jan 2008 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, what bothered me about the new menu is how some things you can just roll over (the five tabs at the bottom) while some things you have to click on (the 'back' button, the scrollbar).


You can disable the activate-on-mouseover thing somewhere, but since my Ubuntu machine is powered down, I can't check exactly where it was. Probably right-click the Kickoff button.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Wow
by DigitalAxis on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Aha! Yes, that's it.

I'm just not used to configuring KDE any more. :-) I set it and leave it...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by yahya on Tue 15th Jan 2008 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

Spatial browsing was also found to be more efficient yet met with much resistance when Gnome introduced it as you may recall.


...and it never really became popular. Ubuntu at least has made the good old browser mode default and not without a reason. Actually, I forced myself for some time to use spatial mode as everyone hyped it as the next big thing being sooo much more usable. However I never really felt comfortable with windows that offer not even an address bar, so when I saw that Ubuntu defaulted to browsing mode it came as a relief.

Quite possible the new menu replacement may suffer a similar fate, being ignored or replaced by distributors.

am I the only one, or is the original kickoff in OpenSuSE 10.3 really so much more usable than the derivate found in KDE 4? Actually, when testing OpenSUSE I was surprised to find that I actually liked SuSE's kickoff, basically because how it integrates the type ahead search.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wow
by joeprusa on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:58 UTC in reply to "Wow"
joeprusa Member since:
2006-05-25

I tend to agree with Thom's criticism of the Kickoff menu. This is the first thing I disable every time I install OpenSUSE. The last time I really did try and almost got accustomed to it. But I was still struggling to hit the right tab and to find the right program category. Scrolling sideways in a menu seems to be some very intricate way of torture. It was such a relief going back to something sane (Tastymenu) that I won't probably touch Kickoff again anytime soon. Let's just hope that the alternatives are ready before 4.1 ships.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Wow
by porcel on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Thanks to your post, I just discovered tastymenu and it is a thing of beauty. I can't understand for the life of me why that is not the default menu in every kde installation.

I am hoping that this is just due to a lack of visibility of the project. Does the project have a web site?

If any of its developers are around, I hope that they provide an implementation for KDE4. I really like where kde4 is going, but I also dislike Kickoff.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Wow
by joeprusa on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
joeprusa Member since:
2006-05-25

http://www.notmart.org/tastymenu/

..there you are, sir!

They do not have KDE4 version ATM, apparently the code needs some cleanup. They are going to use Kickoff's code as a base for it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wow
by rockmen1 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 03:04 UTC in reply to "Wow"
rockmen1 Member since:
2006-02-04

"but on my desktop at work it flies (Geforce 7900 so nothing special). Works so much better than Compiz ever did."

I have a Geforce 6600 GT.I compared Kwin to Compiz, Compiz(I installed compiz plugins only) is obviously faster, take tab swithing on Konqueror for example, it takes 0.5 sec to respond to the mouse click.

"I used it a lot in 3.5, but in 4.0 its just too buggy."

I agree, selection of all the text in a <textarea> from buttom up is annoying.

Edited 2008-01-14 03:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

More problems
by sbergman27 on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:25 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I agree with Thom's criticisms. But they do not cover the worst of it.

There *is* no panel menu.

The window manager does not seem to understand that the panel is taking up space on the screen and opens windows with the lower part of them under the panel. Worse than that, the system settings windows come up at a size that puts the "Cancel, Apply, OK" buttons under the panel and the windows are not resizable. Since the window will not move past the edge of the screen, and there is no way to resize or hide the panel, the only way to hit apply is to try to visualize where the buttons must be, guess how many times to hit tab, hit "Enter" and see if it worked. And I'm running at 1280x768 resolution.

There is no default background image, and the background color defaults to pure white. To set a background image, you must "double click" the apply button. Just clicking it does not work. The background image has to be set each time I log in. After logging out and back in, the background has gone back to pure white.

The desktop icons each have a weird translucent box-thingy around them and are of irregular size. You can tell it to align them horizontally or vertically, but either way they are a complete jumble on the screen.

Very little actually seems to be configurable.

The menus are as cluttered and nonsensical as ever. While viewing a web page, bringing down the "File" menu displays 16 options, including opening the web site in Konqueror (Duh!), Thunderbird, Firefox, Kwrite, Bluefish, and "Text Editor".

These are just some brief observations after using it for about 30 minutes.

This thing is pre-alpha quality, at best. And how long have they been working on it?

Edit: I just know that people are going to think I'm just making all this up and trolling. But honestly, I'm not. I would encourage people to actually try it out so they can see for themselves.

Edited 2008-01-13 21:38 UTC

Reply Score: 14

RE: More problems
by leos on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:59 UTC in reply to "More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

The window manager does not seem to understand that the panel is taking up space on the screen and opens windows with the lower part of them under the panel.


Hmm, I don't see this here (debian packages in experimental)

Worse than that, the system settings windows come up at a size that puts the "Cancel, Apply, OK" buttons under the panel and the windows are not resizable.


Another thing that I don't see here. The default system settings window is ~650 pixels high here.

Since the window will not move past the edge of the screen,


Alt+Drag anywhere on the window

There is no default background image, and the background color defaults to pure white.


Sounds like your packages are messed up.

To set a background image, you must "double click" the apply button. Just clicking it does not work.


Works here.

The background image has to be set each time I log in. After logging out and back in, the background has gone back to pure white.


It really sounds like your packages are seriously broken. There are a lot of things wrong with KDE 4.0, but the list you have shouldn't be among them.

The desktop icons each have a weird translucent box-thingy around them and are of irregular size. You can tell it to align them horizontally or vertically, but either way they are a complete jumble on the screen.


Yeah, desktop icons are seriously broken. I just turned them off and actually like the clean look. Probably won't bother turning them back on, even when they get fixed.

The menus are as cluttered and nonsensical as ever. While viewing a web page, bringing down the "File" menu displays 16 options, including opening the web site in Konqueror (Duh!), Thunderbird, Firefox, Kwrite, Bluefish, and "Text Editor".


The "text editor" is probably gedit from gnome. I actually like the Open With feature, but I agree it should probably be in a submenu. Konqueror is broken in lots of different and more serious ways in 4.0 though.

Edit: I just know that people are going to think I'm just making all this up and trolling. But honestly, I'm not. I would encourage people to actually try it out so they can see for themselves.


Well I've installed KDE 4.0 on 3 machines so far and haven't seen most of your issues, so I suspect your packages are a little messed up.

Reply Score: 14

RE: More problems
by Kokopelli on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:06 UTC in reply to "More problems"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree with you on most points. However for the system menu you can resize the window by doing an [alt] [right mouse button] drag. I have the same problem from time to time on my X60s and X30. It is far worse on the eeePC though. Heck you can't even get through installation of Kubuntu on the eee unless you know [alt] [right drag].

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: More problems
by sbergman27 on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:54 UTC in reply to "RE: More problems"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Thanks for the tip. But unfortunately the windows are still unresizable vertically. I can make them narrower but not shorter.

There was an update to the packages today... but no change in KDE4 behavior.

Reply Score: 2

RE: More problems
by WereCatf on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:25 UTC in reply to "More problems"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The window manager does not seem to understand that the panel is taking up space on the screen and opens windows with the lower part of them under the panel. Worse than that, the system settings windows come up at a size that puts the "Cancel, Apply, OK" buttons under the panel and the windows are not resizable. Since the window will not move past the edge of the screen, and there is no way to resize or hide the panel, the only way to hit apply is to try to visualize where the buttons must be, guess how many times to hit tab, hit "Enter" and see if it worked. And I'm running at 1280x768 resolution.

That really does sound like a big no-no to me :O It wouldn't have taken long for them to make the windows resizable and make them adjust the window size to the screen.. It really doesn't take that many lines of code, I have done it myself too.. I know this is the first release but since that is still quite a big issue and so easy to fix I can't understand why have no one fixed it before release?

All the other things I can quite understand as KDE4 is still under very heavy development.

Reply Score: 2

RE: More problems
by apoclypse on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:52 UTC in reply to "More problems"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

I agree with you on the quality of the release, it feels very first beta release at the moment. They desperately need some graphic and usability designers on the team. Word to KDE devs, bigger doesn't mean better! Yet everything is too big and it makes everything feel cluttered.

Why does every desktop icon have a a black box surrounding them, pretty much taking all the screen real estate even though I only have 5 icons on my desktop.

I agree with Thom about Kwin, its extremely buggy and has crashed on me several times, I get visual artifacts on the screen everytime I open or move a window. Compiz may be buggy to some, but I have never had major issues with it, even going as far back as the compizquinn version for Ubuntu, at least not issues with the type of artifacts and general slowness I'm seeing with Kwin.

The drag drop thing for Dolphin was something i pointed out quite a while back in one of these KDE4 posts. Its been an issue for a while, heck before you couldn't even drop links in that area, so the fact that they have that working is good I suppose, but they should have taken it a step further.

There are a whole bunch of bad usability and just plain stupid design choices throughout the DE, which doesn't bode well for the future, imo, if they haven't figured out what they want as of yet. Like Thom said the status bar on Konqueror and Dolphin are almost as big as the menubars. The file menus are still cluttered, though it looks cleaner than its ever been. Contrast is a huge issue with the default theme, imo.

The panel is damn near unusable, it doesn't do anything and definitely doesn't have feature parity with the kicker panel. That wouldn't be an issue if you could drag things to it or or move things around. Right now everything is static. Kick-off is the worst thing i have ever used. Its cluttered, its unbearably ugly and I find just plain useless. The regular old app launcher would have looked better in the end and is far more usable.

The systems settings thing isn't all that bad. I personally would love to see KDE adopt instant apply on their desktop. I find it more user friendly and I hate having to hit apply all the time and with the control panel that is more obvious since anytime you move to another section it will always prompt you to apply changes and that is freaking annoying. I think it would work wonders in certain areas, such as the wallpaper panel, being able to see your wallpaper changing instantly without hitting apply would be great. I also think the wallpaper panel needs to change, it feels old and constrained and they should take a page from gnome, Vista, and OSX which have larger, more spacious wallpaper panels with huge thumbnails and options. For the widgets I think they should just take a look at Vista. The widget window is a simple transparent window that lets the user drag and drop widgets on to the desktop. Right now the one they have feels to cluttered and redundant.

these are just my first thoughts after using KDE4 since the first beta. I had hoped that some of these issues would get resolved, but apparently not. Stability is still a major issue and for KDE I think that is a shame, because I've always found their releases to be rock solid and this is the first time I've been disappointed in that area. I think they are on to something though, and if they were to get better designers, which they definitely could get since they had tried to get artists to participate in the process for plasma (though they didn't seem to use any of the ideas proposed by very enthusiastic artists) and try to translate that into a proper workable HIG that stresses usability over the kitchen sink syndrome, then I we will see something really special.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: More problems
by leos on Sun 13th Jan 2008 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE: More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I agree with you on the quality of the release, it feels very first beta release at the moment. They desperately need some graphic and usability designers on the team.


They have some.. Apparently you don't like their designs, but others do.

Like Thom said the status bar on Konqueror and Dolphin are almost as big as the menubars.


That complaint made no sense. The status bar plus the filter bar is as big as the toolbars, but the status bar alone is fine.

The panel is damn near unusable, it doesn't do anything and definitely doesn't have feature parity with the kicker panel.


Correct. No one ever said it would.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: More problems
by sbergman27 on Sun 13th Jan 2008 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE: More problems"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

and try to translate that into a proper workable HIG that stresses usability over the kitchen sink syndrome, then I we will see something really special.


The poor quality and general QA problems, embarrassing as they may be, will eventually get resolved. But after all the talk about their finally bringing their UI quality up to snuff... it appears that little to no actual progress has been made in all this time, and that there is actually little interest within the project in doing so. It was all just talk.

It appears that after the dust settles, it will just be the same jumbled, haphazard, catch as catch can UI on top of fancier libraries.

Perhaps that is the most disappointing thing of all.

Edited 2008-01-13 23:48 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: More problems
by leos on Mon 14th Jan 2008 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

But after all the talk about their finally bringing their UI quality up to snuff...


Up to snuff with what? There is no UI out there that was clearly better than the old KDE 3 series (your personal biases aside). Not to say that there aren't some aspects of other UIs that have advantages over KDE, but overall it is comparable to anything else out there.

it appears that little to no actual progress has been made in all this time, and that there is actually little interest within the project in doing so.


Hmm.. Dolphin, Plasma, Okular, all the games and educational software, Gwenview, system settings... All those are nothing? Honestly I don't really know what you were expecting, but there are lots of changes in KDE 4.0, and a lot of those have made the UI simpler than in KDE 3.5.

Reply Score: 8

RE[4]: More problems
by sbergman27 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: More problems"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

There is no UI out there that was clearly better than the old KDE 3 series


"This is like alcoholism. If you cannot admit that you might have a problem, you'll never get anywhere." - Linus Torvalds on LKML

Edited 2008-01-14 00:11 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[5]: More problems
by RandomGuy on Mon 14th Jan 2008 00:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: More problems"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Hehe, that quote is just hilarious.
iirc Torvalds was referring to Colivas' scheduler?

I don't think anybody is actively _denying_ problems, we just don't see any :-D

By removing the options that are not used by most people, you basically reduce the number of content users to zero, as Torvalds has argued before.

As for choice of color and widget style, well, let's just say KDE puts a lot more responsibility in the hands of the various distributions ;-)

Yes, you _can_ go all Fisherprice but you don't _have_ to. Blame your distribution and not KDE. Or at least distribute the blame evenly :-)

What do you think are the problems of KDE that are not easily fixable at a distribution level? Besides too many options that is, since taking those away would greatly reduce KDE's usefulness, imo.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: More problems
by sbergman27 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: More problems"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What do you think are the problems of KDE that are not easily fixable at a distribution level? Besides too many options that is, since taking those away would greatly reduce KDE's usefulness, imo.


As you know, I am not particularly sensitive to things like widget spacing and icon perspective. They probably make a real difference in usability, but are not the sorts of things that I really consciously notice. However, looking over the menus, this thing needs a complete overhaul of the menu system. I've already mentioned the File menu in Konqueror. But the "Help" menu, "Window" menu and "Settings" menu are at least as bad. The settings menu has 10 items:

Show Menubar
Toolbars
Fullscreen Mode
Load View Profile
Save View Profile "Web Browsing"
Configure View Profiles
Configure Extensions
Configure Shortcuts
Configure Toolbars
Configure Konqueror

Why "Toolbars" and "Configure Toolbars" in the same menu?
Why are Save View Profile "Web Browsing" and "Configure View Profile" sitting there at the same level in the menu system? (And why are they not called something more understandable than "View Profiles"?
Configure Konqueror? What does that mean? I thought all the other options in the menu were about configuring Konqueror.

Having lots of features is not really so much a problem if the menu system is *very* well considered. (I'm not sure Gnome really had to dump *everything* that they did into gconf-editor,) But just splurting stuff out haphazardly into every which menu *does* make it hard to use. The thing is, it's one of those things that once you *do* get to where you know, by rote memorization, where things are, you completely forget just how nonsensical it all is.

In a way, it's a lot like the Unix/Linux shell. In the shell, stuff is named with no rhyme or reason, often humorously, and with no convention... or too many conventions, depending upon how you look at it. I mean, come on. less? cat? vi? awk? But we who learned all that many years ago *very rarely* stop to think just how badly designed (or badly not designed) that UI really is.

But, as I've said before, if the current users like it, it at least keeps them off other DE projects' mailing lists demanding that they add in the same clutter to their projects. ;-)

Edited 2008-01-14 01:53 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: More problems
by RandomGuy on Mon 14th Jan 2008 03:22 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: More problems"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Wow, I didn't even know all those options were there so you might be right about rote learning. On the other hand I don't remember having any difficulty switching from Windows XP to KDE.

I never got the impression that the menu designers had made any attempt to make the thing newbie friendly. Things in KDE seem to follow a certain pattern though:
The fancier your task gets, the more layers of menus are involved:

a) simple right click
b) menubar or in the "get fancy" submenu of the right click menu (usually at the end of the right click menu or one of its subsections)
c) submenu in the menubar (like "Configure Konqueror")
d) some dedicated system configuration program, most likely under system>configuration or similar

When I was new to KDE I simply kept out of the more complicated looking menus. Just like a new Gnome user wouldn't start out by messing with gconf.
KDE's advantage is that everything can be configured graphically. That's also its disadvantage since it makes menus messy and allows users to screw things up without knowing how they did it and how they can undo it.

I guess I'm just not the type of person who understands why GUIs should make sense or protect the user from too many choices.
Heck, live itself doesn't make any sense and offers choices galore.

Ah, it's getting late and I'm getting (pseudo) philosophical (again).
Good night, everybody!

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: More problems
by leos on Mon 14th Jan 2008 04:04 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Why "Toolbars" and "Configure Toolbars" in the same menu?


Well the Toolbars menu is a submenu, where you can choose which toolbars are displayed, much like just about every application I've ever used, although this menu is usually seen under "View". Configure toolbars is to add and remove buttons from toolbars.

Why are Save View Profile "Web Browsing" and "Configure View Profile" sitting there at the same level in the menu system?


I don't know. Why shouldn't they be?

(And why are they not called something more understandable than "View Profiles"?


What do you suggest?

Configure Konqueror? What does that mean? I thought all the other options in the menu were about configuring Konqueror.


I agree the Konqueror in that item is redundant. Other apps simply call this item "Preferences" or some such.

Having lots of features is not really so much a problem if the menu system is *very* well considered. (I'm not sure Gnome really had to dump *everything* that they did into gconf-editor,) But just splurting stuff out haphazardly into every which menu *does* make it hard to use. The thing is, it's one of those things that once you *do* get to where you know, by rote memorization, where things are, you completely forget just how nonsensical it all is.


I think the problem with konqueror is that it tried to do too much and the UI just can't handle it. Luckily with KDE 4 we now have Dolphin which is a better file manager and hopefully eventually there will be a nice Webkit browser to replace Konq as a web browser. Then Konqueror can be retired.

I mean, come on. less? cat? vi? awk? But we who learned all that many years ago *very rarely* stop to think just how badly designed (or badly not designed) that UI really is.


less as in different (and better) than the older "more", which made some sense (as in, see more of a file).

cat as in concatenate.

vi stands for "visual", which is a mode in the older line editor "ex".

Not sure about awk. The thing is, you can go on about how the names are bad, but they are short and easy to type and you would be hard pressed to come up with better ones. How would you name these commands intuitively? simpletextfileviewer, echofile, cryptictexteditor, textprocessingprogramminglanguage?

That really only works if there is only one type of an application, but lets face it, unix has many cryptictexteditors.

But, as I've said before, if the current users like it, it at least keeps them off other DE projects' mailing lists demanding that they add in the same clutter to their projects. ;-)


Yup.. I'd say Gnome needs at least a dozen features from KDE before I could use it happily... Luckily I don't have to whinge at the Gnome devs because there is already another option.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: More problems
by segedunum on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: More problems"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

"If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it." - Linus Torvalds.

I would imagine the happy medium is somewhere in between, it's a hard thing to achieve and it's a long road. However, what is clear is that if you don't have the features and functionality of other desktops out there in the world then you aren't going to win people over by claiming something is more simple and usable. I'm just about old enough to remember Windows, OS/2 and CDE vying for desktops everywhere, and the Unix desktop people felt it was good enough to tell the world it didn't matter what Windows or anyone else did - they were the standard.

For the great many people who wanted to see the functionality they had in Windows and OS X on their Linux desktops, such as running an application as another user, configuring their screensavers and their look and feel (and there are reason why they're in Windows and OS X), KDE 3 was basically their only option. Now, did that make KDE 3 more or less usable for everyone?

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: More problems
by leos on Mon 14th Jan 2008 03:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

"This is like alcoholism. If you cannot admit that you might have a problem, you'll never get anywhere." - Linus Torvalds on LKML


Yes yes very funny, but aside from snappy quotes about CPU schedulers in the kernel, where's the evidence?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: More problems
by WereCatf on Mon 14th Jan 2008 00:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: More problems"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

but there are lots of changes in KDE 4.0, and a lot of those have made the UI simpler than in KDE 3.5.

That is something I find quite funny ;) For years the KDE camp has been complaining about how GNOME sucks because they have removed quite a lot of unnecessary clutter and features and now that KDE4 is aiming for similar thing it is seen as a positive thing ;) Irony ^^

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: More problems
by sbergman27 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: More problems"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

For years the KDE camp has been complaining about how GNOME sucks because they have removed quite a lot of unnecessary clutter and features and now that KDE4 is aiming for similar thing it is seen as a positive thing ;) Irony ^^


The really ironic thing is that the biggest problems that I, a long-time Gnome user, am having with KDE4 are related to its irritating lack of configurability.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: More problems
by leos on Mon 14th Jan 2008 03:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

The really ironic thing is that the biggest problems that I, a long-time Gnome user, am having with KDE4 are related to its irritating lack of configurability.


Yes, KDE 4.0 is lacking options. but the critical difference to Gnome is, that these options are missing because they just didn't get done due to lack of time. These options will appear as soon as the devs can get them in. The options missing in Gnome are missing because the devs refuse to put them in for fear of confusing the users or cluttering the UI (which of course doesn't help me when I need that option). Big difference.

Reply Score: 10

RE[7]: More problems
by dylansmrjones on Tue 15th Jan 2008 05:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: More problems"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That's wrong and a big lie. Nobody is refusing to put in functionality. It is a matter of putting in the functionality the right way. And that takes time.

Mark my words. KDE4 is basically Gnome on QT4.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: More problems
by segedunum on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: More problems"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

For years the KDE camp has been complaining about how GNOME sucks because they have removed quite a lot of unnecessary clutter and features and now that KDE4 is aiming for similar thing

Either that, or an awful lot of features haven't been written and ported yet for a new desktop. There's quite a long way to go with KDE 4, but they have a lot to build on.

I still find it funny that people say that ditching features other desktops have is removing 'unnecessary clutter and features'. Making something 'simpler' does not mean removing functionality. That's the easy way out, and it does not make your desktop more usable.

Reply Score: 9

RE[6]: More problems
by WereCatf on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: More problems"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Either that, or an awful lot of features haven't been written and ported yet for a new desktop.
I still find it funny that people say that ditching features other desktops have is removing 'unnecessary clutter and features'. Making something 'simpler' does not mean removing functionality.

Well, they ARE aiming to simplify and remove clutter from KDE4, I wasn't saying anything about this release specifically. I know it is missing a lot of what will be added in future releases. But it just is so ironic that they are now doing the same GNOME camp did. Maybe not to same extent (I don't know for sure) but nevertheless. And well, the KDE camp has been saying all along that GNOME has just been removing functionality whereas others, including me, think they have just been trying to simplify it and remove the unnecessary clutter (including unnecessary features. Such things do exist).

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: More problems
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: More problems"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

We are not doing the same as the Gnome camp did. They are happy to remove features if it improves usability. We are not. We try to find a way to improve usability while retaining the capabilities and configurability of an application. A good example is the Breadcrump bar. We didn't introduce it like G did without any way of getting back to the old breadcrump bar. No, the KDE breadcrump bar ONLY improves functionality. You can just click, like in KDE 3, at the end of the text, and start typing. It'll turn into the old and trusted text input box. Gnome solved it imho horribly, by adding a button in front. We simply did only change the looks, and ADD functionality, but we preserved ALL functionality. Well, OK, almost all, you can't click in the middle of the text input field if it's in breadcrump mode, you'll first have to click in the empty space on the right. But that's the only thing it lost...

Really, if there is functionality lost, it's unintentional, and we want it back. If you know a way to do something more usable YET as powerful as it was, we'll do it that way. If you know a way to increase usability by removing stuff - we'll deny it.

(of course, different apps have different maintainers, and ppl differ in opinion, but generally, this is our vision with regard to usability)

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: More problems
by leos on Mon 14th Jan 2008 03:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

For years the KDE camp has been complaining about how GNOME sucks because they have removed quite a lot of unnecessary clutter and features and now that KDE4 is aiming for similar thing it is seen as a positive thing ;) Irony ^^


No, the complaint is that Gnome simplified their interface by sacrificing features. That's the easy way to simplify. Remove options and the UI becomes simpler and prettier. Right up until the point where the user wants to change something or perform and action and can't, because the feature has been removed.

Visual complexity should be minimized whenever possible, but I would much rather have a cluttered UI that can do what I want it to do, rather than a clean UI that can't. As Linus says, you can't even begin to talk about usability until you have the features that people use to do work. If you don't have the features, your UI is completely unusable, no matter how pretty it is. Of course even better is a clean UI that can do everything, but that is very very difficult to accomplish.

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: More problems
by WereCatf on Mon 14th Jan 2008 04:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: More problems"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

No, the complaint is that Gnome simplified their interface by sacrificing features. That's the easy way to simplify. Remove options and the UI becomes simpler and prettier. Right up until the point where the user wants to change something or perform and action and can't, because the feature has been removed.

This is so silly to argue about cos the KDE devs are doing exactly the same now! I am not complaining about that, note that. But, you do realize that one can simplify UI only quite little before having to remove some features? They removed features which they deemed unnecessary. KDE devs will also remove features they don't see as necessary. And well, if GNOME was that bad as you seem to claim then why are there so many GNOME users...? F.ex. I happen to be very much an experienced power-user yet the _only_ complain I can find in GNOME is gnome-screensaver. KDE 3.x has nothing to offer me, I rather find its clutter distracting and awkward. Yet, if they manage to tidy up their UI in KDE4 I just might happen to convert.

As Linus says, you can't even begin to talk about usability until you have the features that people use to do work

Quite a few people do use GNOME to do work and aren't even planning to switch..

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: More problems
by leos on Mon 14th Jan 2008 04:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: More problems"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

This is so silly to argue about cos the KDE devs are doing exactly the same now!


Well no, they're not. Features are missing in KDE 4.0, but they're missing because the devs didn't have time to implement everything, not because they didn't want to (some exceptions apply as with anything).

But, you do realize that one can simplify UI only quite little before having to remove some features?


Not necessarily. A lot can be done to reorganize an interface to make it more usable without losing features. Just look at Office 2007.

They removed features which they deemed unnecessary. KDE devs will also remove features they don't see as necessary.


Of course, some features will be removed that are deemed very obscure or hard to implement. But overall, there is no plan to remove the many features from KWin or other parts of KDE.

And well, if GNOME was that bad as you seem to claim then why are there so many GNOME users...?


Because it works great for many people. I never said it didn't. But by not having some features/options, you are losing a certain percentage of users.

Quite a few people do use GNOME to do work and aren't even planning to switch..


And way more are using Windows than any Unix desktop. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: More problems
by Shade on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: More problems"
Shade Member since:
2005-07-07

but there are lots of changes in KDE 4.0, and a lot of those have made the UI simpler than in KDE 3.5.

That is something I find quite funny ;) For years the KDE camp has been complaining about how GNOME sucks because they have removed quite a lot of unnecessary clutter and features and now that KDE4 is aiming for similar thing it is seen as a positive thing ;) Irony ^^


Not so much, no. KDE has been working at refining interfaces, and simplifying config screens since KDE 3. Removing unmaintained 'somebody might want to' features since KDE 4 entered development (and they had the chance to break compatibility) was just another step in this direction. The focus on KDE is sensible defaults and discoverable interfaces, the focus in GNOME is 'as simple as it can be' for some non-existant average Joe. I see and like the way KDE is going, and I still can't use GNOME without creeping rage. But everybody is different...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: More problems
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE: More problems"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

It's weird for me to see so many complaints about KWin, as it works fine here, while compiz is barely usable and crashes all the time... I do know KDE pushes the envelope here quite a bit, and that's in many cases the reason things don't work properly. Unless the underlying stuff (X, drivers, Qt) get fixed, things won't improve. By bringing KDE 4.0.0 out, these issues are exposed and can be fixed. A good thing, imho.

Reply Score: 4

Typos
by RandomGuy on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:27 UTC
RandomGuy
Member since:
2006-07-30

You might want to replace 'Kubuntum' with 'Kubuntu' in the second line and 'experienced' with 'expected' in the conclusion.

Reply Score: 3

v More typos
by WJMoore on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:32 UTC
Intentional farce?
by jtrapp on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:49 UTC in reply to "More typos"
jtrapp Member since:
2005-07-06

I stopped reading after encountering the following errors in the first few paragraphs

Continued reading didn't get any better...this was poor even by web standards. I am sure that Thom had something to say, I just couldn't focus through the lack of editing. This would be a fine first draft....

Which brings me to my point. It is pretty comical as it is basically a rant criticizing the lack of attention to detail in KDE...

Is it intentional farce?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Intentional farce?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 13th Jan 2008 21:52 UTC in reply to "Intentional farce?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Ah yes, a few typos slip through, and suddenly, the article is invalid. Great way to divert attention from the real issues at hand.

May I remind you that English is not my first language.

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: Intentional farce?
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Intentional farce?"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

+1

What a stupid comment...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Intentional farce?
by jonas on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Intentional farce?"
jonas Member since:
2005-07-08

It's not just a few typos, in and of themselves.

You trash KDE 4.0 here for being careless in design and/or execution, but you didn't even spend the extra 15-20 minutes to proofread this properly. When the pot is called out as black, you retreat with diversionary tactics, and adopt a "high road" posture.

Article? It reads like a blog post. I love the stuff on things like Menuet, Haiku, or the Nintendo OS; but there is just no end to UI nitpicking. Maybe it's time for introspection:

http://jmoiron.net/media/legacy/images/ss/the%20future%20of...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Intentional farce?
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Intentional farce?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29



Err...

"The 'Classic' theme is for the people who prefer the look and feel of OSN3. Since it's so different from the version 4 themes, there are still many areas of this skin that are incomplete."


And:

"Remember that NONE OF THESE THEMES ARE FINAL! They are all under development."


The KDE project claims 4.0.0 is a stable release, while clearly, it is not - many experiences to the contrary prove this. We specifically mention that the site themes we have here are NOT final, and under heavy development. The only complete theme is the standard theme, and that one works just fine, because WE were not afraid to postpone and postpone the release of v4 until all the bugs we could find in the beta phase were fixed. We do not promote alpha quality software as being stable.

That is the difference.

Edited 2008-01-14 13:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: More typos
by BluenoseJake on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:32 UTC in reply to "More typos"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Man, what a crock. If you can't get over a few typos, and just read the damn article, don't bother posting. Thom isn't a native english speaker, and sometimes mistakes happen. I've seen typos in books, magazines, the web, you name it, nobody is perfect, except maybe you.

Reply Score: 11

lol
by Luminair on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:00 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

"and most of all: it has the world's worst application menu ever (based on OpenSUSE's Kickoff)."


I sat back and enjoyed that for a moment. ;) Actually I'm still enjoying it!

You mean to say that the result of hundreds of hours of robotic usability testing and data analysis and interpretation and product design by usability professionals ISN'T GOOD?!?! EGADS!

Next you'll be telling me that paintings and music can't be created with formulas and statistics!!!!

Edited 2008-01-13 22:00 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: lol
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:03 UTC in reply to "lol"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You mean to say that the result of hundreds of hours of robotic usability testing and data analysis and interpretation and product design by usability professionals ISN'T GOOD?!?! EGADS!


Yes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: lol
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE: lol"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Weird thing about kickoff is that many indeed like it, and find it much more usable (as the studies indicate). I personally agree with you, I don't like it - but then again, I don't care, I always use alt-f2 anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: lol
by sbergman27 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: lol"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

One thing that I have noticed is that some people seem to think of software as being like Darwinian evolution, evolving from simple to better and complex. Of course, that is a distortion of the concept of evolution, which favors organisms which are well adapted to their environment. There are actually many orders of magnitude more simple organisms than complex ones. That's true whether you measure by number *or* by overall mass.

With regards to software, I often hear people complain that it has stagnated. That we've been using the WIMP model for years, and that it is time for our desktops to evolve.

I would argue that WIMP is still supreme because it is better adapted to its environment than its challengers.

And, getting to the actual topic, I would argue that the traditional cascading menus are simple, functional, and do a damned good job fulfilling their function. Do we really need a whiz-bang replacement?

Reply Score: 2

RE: lol
by segedunum on Mon 14th Jan 2008 00:55 UTC in reply to "lol"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You mean to say that the result of hundreds of hours of robotic usability testing and data analysis and interpretation and product design by usability professionals ISN'T GOOD?!?! EGADS!

Yes. I've used both the SLAB menu and the spin-off Kickoff menu, and they are both utterly bloody awful.

Reply Score: 3

RE: lol
by KugelKurt on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:06 UTC in reply to "lol"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

I like KickOff as well. It's one of the reasons I use openSUSE despite its slow package manager.

Maybe Thom should join the KDE usability team instead of just bitching.

Reply Score: 3

RE: lol
by dylansmrjones on Tue 15th Jan 2008 05:14 UTC in reply to "lol"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Next you'll be telling me that paintings and music can't be created with formulas and statistics!!!!


They can't - not if the result is to be art.

Reply Score: 2

Really
by JMcCarthy on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:00 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

The fact is, KDE 4.0 is exactly what the developers said it would be, a solid development base. Judging it by a standard it was never intended to adhere to is bunk.

That aside, I rather like Oxygen. I do understand some of the complaints against it, but overall it seems like a non-issue. It can be fixed in future releases, or discarded as a default together entirely -- it's happened before -- early versions of KDE3 used a horrible theme/style called Keramik.

Speaking of which, how many times has Apple changed themes? (though that seems like a path best untravelled)

Edited 2008-01-13 22:03 UTC

Reply Score: 16

Just give it some time
by moleskine on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:20 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

For the majority of users, KDE 4.x.x is going to mean the full monty, not only the DE but a suite of programs that work well and which have been debugged and generally sorted out, from kopete to k3b, etc., etc. I'd guess we are at least nine months off that, maybe more. Until then, we're just looking at a barebones development release and of course it's going to have rough edges. Sounds like it needs work and polish but then I'm sure the devs would be the first to agree. They've been at pains to spell out what "KDE 4.0.0" means, as distinct from what the pundits and instant test-drivers would like it to mean. No plans to try it out here; until it's nearer being ready, by which time I'd imagine it will be KDE 4.1.x, I don't see the point.

Reply Score: 4

Not a fan of cloning
by Haicube on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:27 UTC
Haicube
Member since:
2005-08-06

Okey, I'm probably not what can be considered even a normal KDE user. Surely I've used it every now and then when forced to *nix, but otherwise I'm just not a *nix guy.

With the disclaimer of only having seen the screenshots I do have quite a few problems. The biggest one is the "OSX agony and pain syndrome". Why is it that everyone keep looking at OSX as a model for what they wanna do. I think of the screenshots I've seen, about 30-50% is something which is either stolen or improvised from OSX. Open Source Nix will never be anything without anyone standing up saying they got their own ideas.

Disclaimer 2. I'm, like Thom, a BeOS fan. You know why? Well, walking your own way brings identity, and competing with OSX on OSX terms simply won't do it. So KDE guys, start thinking for yourselves and I might actually consider it innovative, 'til then, I can actually afford buying the real stuff (even though it won't happen). It's not the cash of buying OSX which is the problem, it's getting what is innovative which is, and the OSS nix camp surely has shown that visionaries are lacking from the movement.

P.s I do however hope and fancy any technical wonders that you might have done on the backend that I don't understand, bare with me the lack of knowledge I have about that D.s

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not a fan of cloning
by JMcCarthy on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:35 UTC in reply to "Not a fan of cloning"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

You do realize the 30-50% you see being "stolen" from Apple was infact originally "stolen" by Apple? ;-)

It's the way technology works.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Not a fan of cloning
by Haicube on Mon 14th Jan 2008 06:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan of cloning"
Haicube Member since:
2005-08-06

Yes I do understand this, but my point is that I really don't find the OSX way the ultimate way, and therefor I am very surprised when the KDE tries to reinvent OSX but only manages to do so worse than Apple.

Either Excel someones performance if you intend to copycat or choose your own route, here and its the lesson.

Reply Score: 2

Menu in panel
by smitty on Sun 13th Jan 2008 22:46 UTC
smitty
Member since:
2005-10-13

You can remove the new one, and activate the old one as a plasma widget, but I have, for the life of me, no idea on how to add it to the panel. In other words, I now have a sexy-looking floating K button that I cannot add to the panel.


You can add it to the panel by dragging directly from the add widget dialog onto the panel - dragging from the desktop to the panel isn't supported yet but will be in the future. (4.1?)

If that didn't work, then you're looking at a Kubuntu bug, because it worked for me in OpenSuse.

Reply Score: 9

Speed
by smitty on Sun 13th Jan 2008 23:00 UTC
smitty
Member since:
2005-10-13

Thom, can you go over what you found so slow? I actually was impressed with how fast everything seemed to run on my system, everything just seemed more responsive than KDE3. It seemed to be the one bright spot I found. But I don't have AIGLX turned on yet, if you were just talking about KWin.

Edited 2008-01-13 23:12 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Speed
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:36 UTC in reply to "Speed"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

He probably referred to drawing speed - which is slow for many users due to some driver issues. Luckily, now those issues have been exposed, they can be fixed. Of course, startup speed has been dramatically improved, I don't think anyone would deny that fact...

Reply Score: 5

My thoughts on Kickoff
by smitty on Sun 13th Jan 2008 23:11 UTC
smitty
Member since:
2005-10-13

Kickoff is quite decent, as long as you never use the Applications tab. If you stick everything you use on the Favorites tab, or on the desktop or panel as shortcuts, then it works quite well. However, if you do try to use the Applications tab it quickly becomes the most annoying menu ever created. I think that's why some people love it, and others hate it, they're simply using the menu in different ways.

Reply Score: 3

Haven't tried it yet, but...
by arooaroo on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:00 UTC
arooaroo
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom's feelings seem to echo mine regarding the new OSNews interface - not convinced it's a step forward. Have you seen all the bold, for starters?!

Reply Score: 18

RE: Haven't tried it yet, but...
by KugelKurt on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:11 UTC in reply to "Haven't tried it yet, but..."
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

IMHO it's worse when some comments just vanish. I think the new OSNews interface should have been called "Beta" or "Developer Preview 1"...

Reply Score: 7

The K Menu
by jasutton on Mon 14th Jan 2008 01:17 UTC
jasutton
Member since:
2006-03-28

Thom couldn't figure out how to add the old K menu back to the panel. The way to do it is to pull up the plasmoids box and drag the K Menu plasmoid directly from there onto the panel. If you drag it to the desktop first (or double click it to add it to the desktop), and then try to drag it to the panel, it won't work. Three cheers for usability. ;)

I recently wrote a blog post on KDE 4.0 which came to many of the same conclusions, the biggest point being that you shouldn't bring a project out of alpha stage until it's feature complete. Otherwise users will no doubt expect more features than are present (like, say, configuration dialogs that configure). ;)

Reply Score: 4

Compositing and screen artifacts
by andrewg on Mon 14th Jan 2008 05:21 UTC
andrewg
Member since:
2005-07-06

If you have compositing turned on and you are having screen artifacts then it may be because of bugs in x.org and x.org drivers. Nvidia has released a new driver that fixes many issues if you are using their driver.

Aaron Seigo's blog points out that a decision was made not to work around bugs but rather to expose them so they get fixed faster. He said that could make things ugly for a while. He has more than one post on the issue but here is the latest.

http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2008/01/cashews-for-xorg.html

Reply Score: 7

Comment by elsewhere
by elsewhere on Mon 14th Jan 2008 05:48 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

You started off the review by claiming to offer a non-developer POV, and then ended it with this:

I am not sure what to make of KDE 4.0.0. Even though I have been warned numerous times by the KDE developers not to see KDE 4.0.0 as a usable, stable, end-user friendly release, I still consider it to be a letdown. I expected a faster, less buggy, and more complete experience than what KDE 4.0.0 currently has to offer. They should have called this release KDE 4 Developer Release 1 (or something to that effect). Calling it KDE 4.0.0 is misleading, despite it being understandable.


So the devs warned you that it wouldn't be pretty, but you tried it anyways, and are disappointed.

The sad thing with KDE 4.0.0 is that people are only reviewing the interface; I've yet to see a review discussing things such as Solid or Phonon. These are the "behind-the-scene" players that are really making KDE4 different. But since they don't directly contribute to wobbly windows, they are overlooked.

KDE4 has created the basis for a rich and capable cross-platform application environment. No other free software project has realistically attempted this kind of scope, let alone achieve it.

I guess I can understand that some will be disappointed with the initial release because of a checklist of different superficial items that they consider to be inadequate, but holy crap. What has happened to the OSS community? There used to be a time when people appreciated the potential of what developers produced, instead of expecting a custom made Vista-killer handed to them on a silver platter with zero effort involved on their part.

If the people with issues about the interface would provide intelligent feedback to the devs instead of bitching about it on the web (and in fairness, I'm not singling Thom out here, particularly since he at least documented his complaints, I'm just making a generic observation) then at least things would be productive.

But instead, most people will simply complain, until the applications have caught up with the framework, and KDE >= 4.1 starts to really shine.

So yes, it may not be pretty in everyone's eyes. But how about seeing people lift the hood and look at what lies under to see where the potential really is, and realize what an impressive thing the devs have worked so hard to create?

Or is community simply about getting stuff for free, right here, right now?

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by elsewhere
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Jan 2008 06:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by elsewhere"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You started off the review by claiming to offer a non-developer POV, and then ended it with this:

SNIP

So the devs warned you that it wouldn't be pretty, but you tried it anyways, and are disappointed.

The sad thing with KDE 4.0.0 is that people are only reviewing the interface; I've yet to see a review discussing things such as Solid or Phonon. These are the "behind-the-scene" players that are really making KDE4 different. But since they don't directly contribute to wobbly windows, they are overlooked.

KDE4 has created the basis for a rich and capable cross-platform application environment. No other free software project has realistically attempted this kind of scope, let alone achieve it.


Maybe you should quote the 2nd part of the conclusion too?

"Still, even after all the bugs and performance issues, KDE 4.0.0 shows clear signs of the vision the KDE developers have been talking about for so long. Plasma, Oxygen, KWin compositing; all of these are in KDE 4.0.0, and despite being in their infancy and needing a lot of work, the potential is just oozing out of every pixel. Combine this with the various new and updated frameworks underneath it all, and it seems like the KDE project is building a very flexible and modern desktop environment, that will do a lot to bring the open source community to a higher level."

Emphasis added.

Reply Score: 3

Same conclusion
by robertojdohnert on Mon 14th Jan 2008 06:19 UTC
robertojdohnert
Member since:
2005-07-12

I came to some of the same conclusions Thom did. I was highly disappointed by this release, so much so I wont be attending the release event. IMO this release is nothing to celebrate. In one word, highly disappointed.

http://rjdohnert.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/kde-4-good-bad-ugly-mostl...

Reply Score: 1

KDE 4.0.0 vs KDE 4.0 DR1
by asupcb on Mon 14th Jan 2008 06:32 UTC
asupcb
Member since:
2005-11-10

I actually agree with Thom this time about the naming scheme for KDE 4.0. I think they should have released KDE 4.0 Developer Release 1 (DR1) first and said that this is to show that the API's are frozen. It is just a matter of semantics but I think they could have avoided a lot of negative press by calling it DR1 instead of 4.0.0. Releasing a few DRs would have given them time to stabilize Plasma and KWin more, yet given developers a functioning desktop which admittedly they do have, but without confusing the general user. I understand Aaron's reasons for doing this release the way he did but I just think that this leaves kind of a stain on the release management of KDE by general users. I also realize that in two years no one will even think much about the quality of this release and its quality will be mostly forgotten the same way that no one ever thinks about GNOME 2.0 or Mac OS 10.0.

Like I and many others have said, this release is more akin to Mac OS 10.0 than a typical x.0 release for OSS programs, although admittedly the scope is much more monumental than the typical OSS release. I'm glad that 4.0.0 is out but I am really looking forward to KDE 4.1 which is going to be the first in a long line of KDE 4.x releases that will be usable to me personally.

I do appreciate all the hard work that KDE developers do, I'm just still left wondering if it wouldn't have been better to have waited a few more months for a general release is all. I'm actually trying to be helpful and not critical for the sake of being critical.

Reply Score: 1

RE: KDE 4.0.0 vs KDE 4.0 DR1
by KugelKurt on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:17 UTC in reply to "KDE 4.0.0 vs KDE 4.0 DR1"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

Why DR? All KDE 4.0 applications I used work just fine. Konqueror 4 works nice, Okular works fine as well, and Dolphin also.
The desktop itself is imperfect, but I use the new KDE 4 applications with joy under KDE 3.5.8.

Reply Score: 5

RE: KDE 4.0.0 vs KDE 4.0 DR1
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:39 UTC in reply to "KDE 4.0.0 vs KDE 4.0 DR1"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Simply releasing KDE at a later point wouldn't have solved these issues, really.

I know KDE pushes the envelope here quite a bit, and that's in many cases the reason things don't work properly. Unless the underlying stuff (X, drivers, Qt) get fixed, things won't improve. By bringing KDE 4.0.0 out, these issues are exposed and can be fixed. A good thing, imho. And indeed, the same situation was faced by Compiz in its early days - the architecture offered by X simply wasn't ready for it. X apparently isn't entirely ready for Qt 4.3 either, which uses hardware acceleration extensively - which leads to drawing errors, performance issues etc. Part of that is due to drivers, part of it due to the architecture of X. Again, now it has been exposed, it can be improved. There are also issues in Qt, and 4.4 is supposed to fix many of them.

Last, many issues are due to problems with the packages - which is easy to understand. A new buildsystem, a switch to SVN, a whole new architecture with new dependencies and a reorganized KDElibs and KDEbase. It'll take a little time for the distro's to get it up and running properly, and by that time hopefully we'll see improvements in X, drivers, Qt and KDE itself as well. I think releasing KDE 4.0.0 now was and is a good move - without, we simply would've seen many of these issues later on... It takes guts to really move forward.

Reply Score: 5

v Explain this one...
by ronaldst on Mon 14th Jan 2008 07:24 UTC
v KDE Dead?
by Sabz on Mon 14th Jan 2008 08:45 UTC
re
by netpython on Mon 14th Jan 2008 08:47 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

As my prime-minister used to say: the sweet follows the sour.

Yes, I know ( I'm Dutch too) he raised his cabinet salaries with 10%. A bit sour against the original proposed 30%.

Not a very tactical move if you ask me. Especially when a lot of workers are fired and the national police force has to strike for a few percent extra income behind the comma.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by OSGuy
by OSGuy on Mon 14th Jan 2008 08:59 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

KDE 4.0 has been trimmed so much that it has become useless and pathetic and this has been since the early betas. I knew nothing would change.

1. For crying out loud, why has the "Sort Icons By" been removed for from the desktop pop up menu?

2. Why has "Create New" been removed??

3. Regarding the above, is there an option for this to be re-added?

4. Why has the "Run" command been removed from the desktop menu??

5. Why has the Panel pop up menu "Customize Panel" been removed? I wanted to shrink its gigantic size but I simply could not find an option.

6. I don't know if it's the fact that the Kubuntu ISO did not have the NVidia graphics drivers installed or something else. The whole GUI is JUST sluggish. The redrawing of tool bars, dialog etc it's painful slow.

Pathetic release. Sorry KDE developers, you might be smart and intelligent but KDE 4 is a disaster! You can do better. I am sure you can. The only good thing about it is the new theme and the way toolbar movement behaves and this is not because of what you did but because of QT4!

7. I could NOT find an option to customize the panel.

8. Your new Start menu is a joke and next to useless. You should get the Vixta one.

9. Some of your dialogs, pop ups are gigantic.

10. Are you serious? KDE 4.0 is not KDE 4??? *WHY* for crying out loud create such a confusion? If it's not ready, you just call it an RC but not KDE4.0. I am sorry but KDE 4.0 *is* KDE 4 like it or not.

P.S. I wonder if I go -10 for saying all this....

Edited 2008-01-14 09:11 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by OSGuy
by lemur2 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 10:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by OSGuy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You shouldn't get modded down, you offer no-one any insults, and you are perfectly entitled to your view.

You are even right in many ways. KDE 4.0 isn't good. Don't use it yet for anything other than trying out the underlying libraries, and seeing what needs to be worked on.

You get the idea ... same idea as all open source projects: Release early, release often. Development in the "bazaar" model rather than the traditional "cathedral" model. You won't get any useful end user feedback until you first release a 1.0 version.

You are way off the mark in another way. KDE 4 has barely begun, and KDE 4.0 is just the first (and very preliminary) version.

KDE 4.0 is indeed not all of KDE 4, it is just the very first "testing the waters" release of the KDE 4 series.

If you are not used to the way that open source projects are developed, and you are more used to a Windows-style of "autocratic ... here it is, like it or lump it" software releases, then this will seem strange to you.

The fact that it might seem strange (or even bizarre, pun intended) to you does not, however, mean it is no good. Literally thousands of excellent open source software projects are developed in this way.

http://catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar/ind...

Release early, get user feedback, develop further, release often. It is called "collaboration". "Community-developed". The good bits get kept, the bad bits dropped or just fixed. Almost "software evolution", if you will.

Edited 2008-01-14 10:29 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by OSGuy
by OSGuy on Mon 14th Jan 2008 10:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by OSGuy"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

I have Mandriva 2008 installed and I am very happy with it. Although I understand this is a first release for KDE4.0, I still got disappointed by excluding basic usability features. With KDE 3.x I am used to all of the above mentioned features and I am just scared they might be removed. I wonder, is KDE4.0 a complete re-write for not implementing these? Have they been left out on purpose for debugging purposes or is it that they are testing user reaction.

Edited 2008-01-14 10:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by OSGuy
by lemur2 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 11:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by OSGuy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I have Mandriva 2008 installed and I am very happy with it. Although I understand this is a first release for KDE4.0, I still got disappointed by excluding basic usability features. With KDE 3.x I am used to all of the above mentioned features and I am just scared they might be removed. I wonder, is KDE4.0 a complete re-write for not implementing these? Have they been left out on purpose for debugging purposes or is it that they are testing user reaction.


As I understand it, KDE 4.0 is a complete re-write, from the ground up.

Everything is up for testing.

Your input to the process is most welcome. The more people who get involved, submit bug reports and/or suggestions for improvement, the better the process actually works.

Open source projects starve for lack of end-user feedback and involvement.

Edited 2008-01-14 11:05 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by OSGuy
by NxStY on Mon 14th Jan 2008 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by OSGuy"
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

As I understand it, KDE 4.0 is a complete re-write, from the ground up.


A lot of stuff has changed but it's certanly not a rewrite. Rewriting KDE would take ages.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by OSGuy
by lemur2 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by OSGuy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"As I understand it, KDE 4.0 is a complete re-write, from the ground up.


A lot of stuff has changed but it's certanly not a rewrite. Rewriting KDE would take ages.
"

Well, it did take ages. I can't think what bits of KDE weren't changed heavily, so it may as well be a re-write:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kde_4

The "last bit" of KDE 4 is the most visible part that is the least developed ... it is called Plasma.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_%28KDE%29
"Plasma is a fundamental rewrite of several KDE technologies, most notably the widget engine, into a more unified and flexible application for KDE 4. Plasma's applets are collectively called plasmoids, but range from informative widgets to mini-applications like calculators and dictionaries. An important feature of Plasma is that there is no longer a distinction between panels like the taskbar and widgets; they will be both created the same way."

See? It does say the magic words "fundamental rewrite".

The bulk of KDE 4 is not released yet in KDE 4.0.0.

Edited 2008-01-14 12:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by OSGuy
by anda_skoa on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by OSGuy"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

See? It does say the magic words "fundamental rewrite".


This is referring to Plasma, which is totally new and replaces the software pieces previously responsible for desktop and panels, thus being the part where some features of those old pieces have not been implemented yet.

There are other new portions of code in the libraries but they are mainly additions, not replacements of previously existing code.

While it is true that most KDE code has been changed during the transition, the changes are almost always refactoring and cleanup, i.e. getting the code into a better form (e.g. more obivous for new comers, better maintainability), not some form of rewrite and definitely not a "complete" one

Reply Score: 6

RE[7]: Comment by OSGuy
by lemur2 on Mon 14th Jan 2008 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by OSGuy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"See? It does say the magic words "fundamental rewrite".
This is referring to Plasma, which is totally new and replaces the software pieces previously responsible for desktop and panels, thus being the part where some features of those old pieces have not been implemented yet. There are other new portions of code in the libraries but they are mainly additions, not replacements of previously existing code. While it is true that most KDE code has been changed during the transition, the changes are almost always refactoring and cleanup, i.e. getting the code into a better form (e.g. more obivous for new comers, better maintainability), not some form of rewrite and definitely not a "complete" one "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kde_4

- Underlying Qt is Qt4, a new version, not backwards compatible.
- new icons, theme and sounds provided by the Oxygen Project (all new)
- Plasma is a rewrite of several core KDE applications (rewrite)
- KWin, the KDE Window Manager from KDE 3, now provides its own compositing effects, similar to Compiz. (major upgrade)
- Dolphin replaces Konqueror as the default file manager (new)
- Okular replaces several document viewers in KDE 3 like KPDF, KGhostView and KDVI.(new)
- Strigi is the default search tool for KDE 4 (new)
- Many applications in the Extragear module have received numerous improvements (upgrade)
- Popular applications like Amarok, K3b, digiKam, Gwenview and KOffice (though not part of the extragear module) are being ported (just a port, not new, although gwenview and KOffice are quite different ... call those two as upgrades)
- Phonon is the name of the new multimedia API in KDE 4. (all new)
- Solid is the hardware API in KDE 4. (all new)
- Kross is the new scripting framework for KDE 4. (all new)
- Decibel is a Telepathy based communication framework (new)
- Akonadi is a new PIM framework for KDE 4 (new)

... as I said, most of KDE 4 is a re-write. Not all of it, but a good deal of it is. I'd guess well over half of KDE is new (ie rewritten) for KDE 4.

A significant part of all this doesn't yet appear in KDE 4.0.0.

KDE 4.0.0 is not KDE 4.

Edited 2008-01-14 23:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by OSGuy
by NxStY on Tue 15th Jan 2008 12:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by OSGuy"
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

Yes, plasma is written from the ground up to replace parts of KDE. But plasma != KDE.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by OSGuy
by KugelKurt on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by OSGuy"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

A lot of stuff has changed but it's certanly not a rewrite.
Phonon, Plasma, etc. have been written from scratch.

Rewriting KDE would take ages.
How long do you think KDE 4.0 was in development? A month? IIRC development started about two years ago.

Edited 2008-01-14 12:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by OSGuy
by NxStY on Tue 15th Jan 2008 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by OSGuy"
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

Yes, plasma, phonon etc. was written for KDE 4.0. But that doesn't mean KDE was rewritten.

Two years isn't that long compared to how long it would take to rewrite KDE.

Using the same argument you could say Vista was a rewrite of windows just because the GUI and networking stack etc. was rewritten which of course is wrong.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by OSGuy
by dagw on Mon 14th Jan 2008 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by OSGuy"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Release early, get user feedback, develop further, release often. It is called "collaboration". "Community-developed". The good bits get kept, the bad bits dropped or just fixed. Almost "software evolution", if you will.


I think you'll find that no one is complaining about the development method, not even the person you're replying to. On the whole this seems like the wrong forum for lecturing on the basics of Open Source, since even if everybody here doesn't agree with it they certainly know about it. The problem is partially in the naming and partially in the response from the dev team.

The KDE team obviously shot themselves in the foot with calling it 4.0. I'm sure they had a reason for not calling it Beta or Developer release, but whatever the reason it was a bad one. Especially since every complaint is met with a response of "well what did you expect, it's a Beta software". No matter which way I look at it, the KDE team screwed up this release, and it would probably be in their best interest to admit it and just flat out say, we jumped the gun.

That being said I'm in no way criticising the underlying technology. I've looked at the new framework and libraries, and they look pretty damn amazing.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by OSGuy
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by OSGuy"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

No, we didn't screw up. We had good reasons, I've written about those in this thread a few times, but I'll repeat it for you (with copy-paste, and it's a short version, look in the thread if you want more info):

Besides, KDE 4.0, released now or in 6 months, would have had serious issues anyway. That whould've been due to the many issues in underlying systems like Qt, X.org, drivers and such. Those need to be fixed. Thanks to KDE 4.0, developers now have a reason to fix those, so KDE 4.1 will be a much smoother ride. We simply HAD to push forward, or we never would've gotten anywhere.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by OSGuy
by dagw on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by OSGuy"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

That whould've been due to the many issues in underlying systems like Qt, X.org, drivers and such. Those need to be fixed. Thanks to KDE 4.0, developers now have a reason to fix those, so KDE 4.1 will be a much smoother ride. We simply HAD to push forward, or we never would've gotten anywhere.


I agree that getting something out there is important. If nothing else it gets people (like me) interested and excited about writing apps for KDE4. I still think this should have been called a developer release and KDE 4.1 should have been called KDE4.0. Whereas this current release is good enough for people to start learing how to writing KDE4 apps and use KDE4 technology, it simply isn't ready for general use.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by OSGuy
by melkor on Tue 15th Jan 2008 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by OSGuy"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Let's look at it from a software developer's perspective.

1. KDE developers have clearly stated on many occasions, that KDE 4.0 was simply going to be a release to lay out the underlying technologies. Nothing more and nothing less. Plasma would be basic, new artwork would be basic, ported applications would be few, bugs would be aplenty.

2. Many distributions were not going to touch KDE 4 until there was a final non RC/beta/alpha release. What many people are forgetting, is that KDE 4 was intended to be a major redesign of core functionality and underlying technology for the KDE desktop environment. Sure, there was also motives to simplify the environment, improvement the look and feel and so on, but they were not core objectives imho.

Now that KDE 4 is out - distributions will take it up, which means more users, which means more testing. Anyone who users open source software and expects it to be perfect, is kidding themselves - it has bugs just like any other form of software production. The difference is the community helps report and fix the bugs. Many eyes make light work, and this is exactly what will happen.

Remember kde 2.0? Many people didn't like the look, many people hated the bugs, but look what it turned into down the track - refinement in the name of KDE 3, with many major improvements.

Give KDE some time to refine things - 4.1 and I expect 4.2 will see things start to steady, and will see the vast host of KDE based applications ported, and running smoothly (or at least no worse than they did on the kde 3.x platform).

Congratulations to the KDE team for your hard work and fine efforts - I'm on dialup, so currently downloading the Suse live CD but it takes forever :-( I can't wait to check it out!

Dave

PS - KDE 4 isn't perfect, I'm not saying it is. I'm simply saying it's a foundation release, nothing more and nothing less.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by OSGuy
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 13:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by OSGuy"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

None of these things got removed, they just didn't get added yet. Plasma is entirely new code, and not very complete yet. But because many other parts of KDE have been ready for a while, we decided to do a release. Keeping KDE-Edu, KDE-games and KDE-graphics waiting for plasma for another six months would hurt those projects, and we didn't want to do that.

Besides, KDE 4.0, released now or in 6 months, would have had serious issues anyway. That whould've been due to the many issues in underlying systems like Qt, X.org, drivers and such. Those need to be fixed. Thanks to KDE 4.0, developers now have a reason to fix those, so KDE 4.1 will be a much smoother ride. We simply HAD to push forward, or we never would've gotten anywhere.

Reply Score: 8

KWin performance tip
by getaceres on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:04 UTC
getaceres
Member since:
2005-07-06

To all of you having problems with KWin composite performance and NVidia cards, please, try this:

http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KWin/4.0-release-notes#Performance

I've tried KWin compositor and I didn't find it much slower than compiz. Maybe some effects like minimize are not so smooth but I've found it perfectly usable in a Geforce 7600 Go card.

Reply Score: 2

The main problem with KDE 4.0
by NxStY on Mon 14th Jan 2008 12:59 UTC
NxStY
Member since:
2005-11-12

I think the main problem with KDE 4.0 is that people had way too much expectations on it. Early after it was announced you could read about how it would take a completly new approach to desktops. Improvements in QT was supposed to also make it a lot faster. It also had a very optimistic release schedule.

And now when it's finally released it turned out to be slow, buggy and lack features.

I'm not that dissapointed with this release. I was sure it would be like this and that I probably wouldn't use it until 4.1. But I'm dissapointed with that the KDE developers have labeled this a stable release. For example, if you go to kde.org and click to download the latest stable version you get KDE 4.0 when you should of course get 3.5. KDE 4.0 is not stable and it's not even close to being acceptable bug free. Ironicly the KDE 4.0 info page also says:

This is a list of grave bugs and common pitfalls surfacing after the release was packaged:

* None known currently


All 4.0.X versions should be labeled as development releases and that they aren't might hurt KDE's reputation a bit.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The main problem with KDE 4.0
by superstoned on Mon 14th Jan 2008 17:31 UTC in reply to "The main problem with KDE 4.0"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

It's neither slow, buggy or very much lacking in features. Some of these words do apply to certain parts of KDE 4.0.0, sure - esp plasma lacks many features, the KWin composite stuff is unstable (that's why it's off by default - it's not like any other linux compositing manager is as stable as the non-compositing ones). Slow - yes, if you have bad drivers, redrawing is slower than KDE 3.5 indeed but app startup speed is twice as good as it was even with bad drivers.

Let's not get carried away and just start monkeying each other - 95% of KDE 4.0.0 is perfectly fine for a .0 release. It's really only plasma which is behind, and then mostly in features, not stability. And even then - some newer plasmoids (to be expected even in the .0.x releases) can fix most of that. So should we've hold back the whole free desktop because some features from the old (and frankly superior to almost everything else) kicker weren't there yet?

Reply Score: 3

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Have you actually used kwin? There is serious artifacts, even without the compositor enabled. Its EXTREMELY buggy.

Edited 2008-01-14 18:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

No artifacts here. Really, that must be a driver issue. Not much the KWin developers can do about that, except for exposing it so it can get fixed. Complain to X.org or your proprietary vendor and let them fix it...

Reply Score: 2

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Have you actually used kwin? There is serious artifacts, even without the compositor enabled. Its EXTREMELY buggy.


No problems here. What graphics driver and distro are you on?

Reply Score: 2

oops i hurt his feelings
by pixel8r on Tue 15th Jan 2008 01:55 UTC
pixel8r
Member since:
2007-08-11

looks like Thom has removed the comment I made yesterday.
Just because I labelled the review as a "whinge session by someone who not only doesn't use KDE, but doesn't even like linux".

So because I disagreed and mentioned you should probably not review products you actually dont use on a daily basis, you deleted my post.
real mature Thom.

I actually use KDE every day and am pretty happy with the direction KDE4 is heading in. I love the kickoff menu - its just much better organised. Most other menus tend to just go only 1 level deep, so you go to "multimedia" for example, and you get 100 icons all just chucked in the one menu, whereas at least kickoff has things pretty organised to about 4 or 5 levels deep. Makes finding the right apps very easy when you have more than one app installed in each category.

Plus your favourite apps are just 2 clicks away and they come up first when you click the menu.

I find now that any GUI without the kickoff menu is just frustrating trying to find stuff. I prefer to have loads of apps installed and this is what makes kickoff shine.

Reply Score: 0

bilu
Member since:
2007-09-19

KDE 4 is built over a cross-platform widget (Qt 4), multimedia (Phonon) and hardware (Solid) frameworks. A lot of work is involved, and Amarok, Konqueror and Okular (former KPDF) were already ported over Windows and OSX.

Amarok was ported in 2 days to OSX and could have been ported faster, according to developers. Phonon allows a media player to use GStreamer or Xine on Linux/BSD, Quicktime on OSX and DirectShow on Windows without changing code. Same goes for Solid, which will allow use of removable devices, Bluetooth, WiFi, ACPI on all supported OSes. And have a look at the impressive Decibel framework.

There's much to be said about KDE4 besides Plasma and SVG rendering, but reviewers aren't looking in the right place.

The Road to KDE 4: Phonon Makes Multimedia Easier
http://dot.kde.org/1170773239/

The Road to KDE 4: Solid Brings Hardware
Configuration and Control to KDE
http://dot.kde.org/1177385913/

The Pillars of KDE 4: Decibel
http://dot.kde.org/1170892771/

The Pillars of KDE 4: Decibel Definitions and Benefits
http://dot.kde.org/1171659655/


KDE4 has the potential to become the open source desktop unifier. It already has the performance and will improve, now they can focus on configurability.
The ability to spread open source apps over closed source OSes will show the quality of open source to much more people, you may see Amarok becoming popular among Windows and OSX users.

Reply Score: 2

KDE 4?
by HappyGod on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:26 UTC
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

I have just recently moved from Ubuntu to SUSE 10.3 (KDE) and noticed that the distro is up to their typically high standards.

The KDE 3.5 implementation is great, even though the new SUSE/KDE menu takes a bit of getting used to.

However choosing to install KDE4 gave me an empty taskbar, the utility box in the top left corner of the screen, and nothing else. I had no KDE button, no system tray, nothing. Clearly some work needs to be done there!

I think that KDE 4 possibly should have been a release candidate rather than a release.

Reply Score: 1

RE: KDE 4?
by getaceres on Wed 16th Jan 2008 11:07 UTC in reply to "KDE 4?"
getaceres Member since:
2005-07-06

That's because you are installing the beta that comes bundled with OpenSuse. To install the final KDE 4.0.0 desktop you have to follow this:

http://news.opensuse.org/2008/01/11/kde-40-released-with-opensuse-p...

Reply Score: 1