Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Mar 2008 17:52 UTC, submitted by irbis
KDE Ars takes a look at KDE 4.0.2. "When KDE 4.0 was officially released in January, there were a lot of gaping holes in basic functionality. During the past few months, the codebase has matured considerably, and the environment is steadily approaching the point where it will be sufficiently robust for widespread day-to-day use. Although there are still many features missing, version 4.0.2 - which was released last week - offers an improved user experience. We tested KDE 4.0.2 with the recently released Kubuntu 8.04 alpha 6." In addition, there is a new 'visual changelog' for KDE 4.1.
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Support for Mac OS X widgets
by irbis on Mon 10th Mar 2008 19:06 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

One interesting new Plasma feature mentioned in the article, although not yet implemented in KDE 4.0.2, is support for Mac OS X widgets.

KDE 4 still seems too buggy to be used (at least by me) as my main desktop environment. But as bugs get fixed, and things are improved all the time, I could very well imagine switching from Gnome and XFCE to KDE 4 in the future. (Especially as I don't always like some directions that Gnome has taken, like the removal of configuration options from many apps etc. although the desktop environment seems ever more resource hungry in spite of that.)

Reply Score: 3

Not quite there..
by leos on Mon 10th Mar 2008 19:15 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

KDE 4.0.2 isn't quite where I'd recommend it to anyone yet. I use it on 3 machines, but only because I like trying new things, and some of the new apps are fantastic (love dolphin modulo a few bugs, same with gwenview and dragonplayer, etc). It's still missing too many things to be compared to KDE 3.5.9 properly. Panel resizing is now possible, but the clock applet and the KDE icon for the menu don't resize properly to fit the smaller sizes, so it's kind of a mixed bag.

It has a lot of potential though. For me the main problems are the visual bugs and the drawing performance on some cards. Both my laptops (EeePC and some desktop replacement beast with an ATI card (3 years old by now) seem quite sluggish (painting) with KDE4.0.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not quite there..
by superstoned on Mon 10th Mar 2008 19:37 UTC in reply to "Not quite there.."
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

I must say the resizing issue was never in trunk, but the backporting of the panel resizing to KDE 4.0.2 broke some stuff. Don't expect such issues in 4.1 ;-)

Reply Score: 4

Running pretty well in Kubuntu
by mrcanady on Mon 10th Mar 2008 19:56 UTC
mrcanady
Member since:
2008-02-29

I've just updated to 4.0.2 on Kubuntu 7.10 and KDE 4 is definitely shaping up nicely! I still don't think that it's ready for the masses, but it looks like it might be there by 4.1. Things are a bit snappier on my little Eee, and there seem to be a few less glitches. Also, I love the resizing of the panel (you really need that with an Eee). Hopefully other developers will start trying this new KDE out, because it's a programmers dream. By the way, if you haven't voted for better KDE support on Kubuntu, the link is http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/478

Reply Score: 2

Desktop toolbox
by J.R. on Mon 10th Mar 2008 20:04 UTC
J.R.
Member since:
2007-07-25

So...let me be the first to write the obligatory: Will there be an option for hiding the desktop toolbox?

Yeah I know...its getting old...but I am still hoping...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Desktop toolbox
by smitty on Mon 10th Mar 2008 21:39 UTC in reply to "Desktop toolbox"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

No. Aaron has pretty much decreed that he is never going to accept any patch that lets you turn it off.

However, on the bright side, he has detailed how he thinks this should be handled. He says that in the future, you'll be able to switch between different desktop containments just like you can switch different wallpaper backgrounds today. So, create a new containment without the toolbox, and you're good to go. Apparently the current one is only about 2KLOC, so you could probably create a replacement fairly easily.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Desktop toolbox
by Erunno on Mon 10th Mar 2008 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop toolbox"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

Mr. Seigo is making a complete ass out of himself regarding the toolbox issue. Basically telling to write your own containment is really a kick in the nuts for all the users who neither his vision for the toobox nor the methology of how it tested "in the wild" (including some high-profile KDE developers) and leaves the impression of a sulking kid with a hurt ego.

His "research" ideas for making the toolbox less aggravating (less noticable colours, themeable) are also basically working around the symptoms and not solving the problem itself or even introducing new ones (i.e. making the user responsible for finding a matching pair of toolbox theme/background). Instead of shoving it down people's throat he should consider finishing the implementation first and then trying to communicate the advantages of the toolbox to the user. If the toolbox has any practical value a user will keep it on his own despite having the option to remove it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Desktop toolbox
by J.R. on Mon 10th Mar 2008 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Desktop toolbox"
J.R. Member since:
2007-07-25

Mr. Seigo is making a complete ass out of himself regarding the toolbox issue. Basically telling to write your own containment is really a kick in the nuts for all the users who neither his vision for the toobox nor the methology of how it tested "in the wild" (including some high-profile KDE developers) and leaves the impression of a sulking kid with a hurt ego.


Well, the reason why I ask is that although removing it may not fit Mr. Seigo's vision, keeping it does not fit my desktop. Since I own a 13 inch screen with 1280x800 resolution it just takes up too much god damn space. He can cram as many Plasma features as he wants into it and it still has to go.

However, I do read his blog daily and the closest he comes to an explanation is "wait I am not done yet" in addition to his regular rant about all the work he puts into this and how everyone should just shut it and be grateful. A lot of users are complaining about this issue so I can not understand why he refuses to even consider it. People are complaining because they love KDE and wants it to work for them. Should he listen to every request? No ofcourse not, but this particular issue is a big one. As a result he could at least try to not go crazy and insult everyone when the issue is mentioned. Its not personal against him, and its not even about Plasma as he makes it seem...its only one small issue...ONE issue with an otherwise excellent product.

This shouldn't need to be politics...

EDIT: its strange how my rating drops dramatically every time there is a KDE4 news on this site ;)

Edited 2008-03-10 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Desktop toolbox
by smitty on Mon 10th Mar 2008 22:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Desktop toolbox"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I'll agree he's being something of an ass.

However, I've basically moved on, and hope you do as well.

I think it's fair to say that any KDE distribution that wants to keep users from moving elsewhere is going to fix this for us downstream, regardless of what the "pure" KDE decides to do. And he's already said that people with small screens like the EeePC/ClassmatePC/etc. will have special containments designed for smaller screens - whether he tries to include the toolbox on those as well isn't known yet, so I don't think we can complain too much.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Desktop toolbox
by superstoned on Tue 11th Mar 2008 06:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Desktop toolbox"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

I understand why he doesn't disable it for KDE 4.0.x (won't be used by 'average' users anyway) and we'll just have to see what he and the plasma dev's come up with for 4.1 - until then, I won't be complaining. Give em a chance.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Desktop toolbox
by Erunno on Mon 10th Mar 2008 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Desktop toolbox"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

who neither share his vision for the toobox nor the methology of how it tested "in the wild"


Why is it that I always realize that a word is missing 2 seconds after the last chance to edit has passed? Ah well, proofreading is becoming a lost art :-P

Anyway, don't mind me and carry on.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Desktop toolbox
by Kokopelli on Mon 10th Mar 2008 22:17 UTC in reply to "Desktop toolbox"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

As has already been stated Aaron has decreed the toolbox is not going away. Check his blog for more detailed information. This has been a bit of a bone of contention within KDE as well as with those of us on the "outside." I decided it was a futile argue the point so I took Aaron's advice and just created my own plasmoid that was devoid of the darn cashew. (Or more accurately stripped it out of the current desktop plasmoid.) There really is not a lot of code involved. It took me longer to figure out how to replace the root plasmoid than it did to strip out the toolbox in the first place. On that note I must compliment the KDE team for some really clean code and nice APIs. (I still hate the toolbox though.)

I am sure it will break soon given the active development in the area, but I will just "fix" it again next time I decide to try KDE 4 for a while.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Desktop toolbox
by toothie on Tue 11th Mar 2008 01:53 UTC in reply to "Desktop toolbox"
toothie Member since:
2008-03-11

all anyone can focus on is the tool box, or resizing panels. take a look at superkaramba for proof of concept, and all the user submitted karamba widgets on kde-look.org...

plasma, like superkaramba, provides the user community to create/customize user interface componets to almost unimaginable possibilities. and do it in several programing languages, giving access to a wide audience.

once the api and bindings stabalize, then containments and plasma widgets stop popping up you'll suddenly have options upon options. including a desktop containment without a toolbox. i'm content to have the toolbox if only it helps to advance or stabalize the api, or has a greater future purpose.

some people thing aaron and kde are creating a desktop and make people use it the way they think people should use it. actually they are giving the user community the ablity almost any desktop they want.

by the time 4.1 comes out, users will likely have 4 very different menus to choose from... and thats just the begining... the greatest innovation of plasma is the real innovation is likely to come from the user community. what are your favorite superkaramba widgets? and did all of them come from kde developers?

imo kde4 has huge potential. ignore all the other frameworks, or plasma customizable potential... lets just focus on making the panel smaller and the dippy toolbox...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Desktop toolbox
by J.R. on Tue 11th Mar 2008 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop toolbox"
J.R. Member since:
2007-07-25

all anyone can focus on is the tool box, or resizing panels. take a look at superkaramba for proof of concept, and all the user submitted karamba widgets on kde-look.org...


Do you really think that many of the people, me included, that complains about the desktop toolbox because its "in the way" is going to cram their desktop full of widgets?

To be honest I think the focus is kinda wrong when flashy features are the priority while the loyal KDE users that have been there from KDE1 gets the shaft. It all depends on which usergroup you want ofcourse, but don't forget that a DE with flashy features got more competition...from OSX and even Windows Vista. Can KDE4 really win those users over?

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Desktop toolbox
by Morty on Tue 11th Mar 2008 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Desktop toolbox"
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06


Do you really think that many of the people, me included, that complains about the desktop toolbox because its "in the way" is going to cram their desktop full of widgets?


And those complaints are even more baseless than the complaints of the toolbox distort/distract the wallpaper. Something that actually have merrit, altough minimal, as the toolbox is painted on top of the wallpaper changing some pixels.

For small screens the toolbox does not steal any of the precious screen realestate, simply because on such screens one will always strive to maximise the work area of the application. Either by using singel maximized application or by make the application cover as much of the free space as possible. In both cases the windows will/can be placed on top of the toolbox, and under the application it can not possible be "in the way".

The only time the toolbox will be visible are when you decide not to cover it with an application, have all windows minimized or have no application windows open. In the later two cases it`s impossible for it to be "in the way", as no work is done and nothing to be in the way of. And the first one, it`s by choice of the user and you can`t blame the developers for that.

Edited 2008-03-11 22:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Desktop toolbox
by Kokopelli on Wed 12th Mar 2008 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Desktop toolbox"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

How about this. I find the toolbox distracting and the animation uneeded. If you want to add widgets it is just as easy to right click on the desktop. Users of computers with one mouse buttons darn well know how to alt-click so that arugment is weak as well. Further if you do not intend to use widgets and/or have locked your desktop the only thing the toolbox currently serves is the questionable zoom.

Now perhaps in the future the toolbox will actually serve a purpose. Right now though, and for the immediate future, it does not. Aaron has continually and repeatedly stated he is refusing to even consider the removal of the toolbox though he has begun to entertain notions on how to make it less intrusive for people. In all honesty I am not sure this is actually listening to the complaints. The fact is that he is trying to reach comprimise, which is good. At the same time he is still completely and utterly failing to provide any clear vision or timeline for when the toolbox will actually serve a purpose strong enough to merit its mandatory status.

There has been a patch submitted (and rejected) giving an option to hide the toolbox with Aaron's excuse being that it will make the application harder to maintain in the long run (see the legacy kicker as an example.) Not to get personal on this but that is a load of crap. If a 2200 line piece of code is so fragile that there is fear on supportability due to an option to hide a visual element it is doomed. This is neither a large nor particularly complicated module. The only reason to not allow a way to hide the cashew is to force users to see and try features that are added to it in the future. I can not and will not agree with this reasoning. Instead KDE should give us the option to hide the toolbox and a reason not to.

Given time though I am certain there will be others who will create a containment that does not have the toolbox (or at least an option to hide it). The simple fact that Aaron refuses to accept is that no matter how useful it is, or how non-intrusive, there will be users who will not want the cashew on their desktop. I happen to be one of them. I am willing to reconsider if he ever actually gives the cashew a useful purpose but right now it is a blight on the desktop. It is like a sore tooth, if you leave it alone it does not hurt but its mere presence acts as an irritant that continually reminds you of its existence. In all honesty chances are I will never willingly have the cashew on my desktop at this stage. Aaron, with the help of my obstinate side, has assured me of that.

And to touch on a parallel subject, I remember Gnome 2.0 and how bad it was. Yes I would even classify it as worse in some ways than KDE 4.0. I hold the Linux desktop to a higher standard than I did when Gnome 2.0 was released. Even if I did not I thought the idea was to learn from the mistakes of others, not to repeat them.

EDIT: typo

Edited 2008-03-12 01:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

New Task Panel
by tyrione on Mon 10th Mar 2008 20:42 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

Is there some fetish with having separate views not being in a tab view options [Do we have to see Month, Day, Hour, Min,] in their own view on the main window so the window is enormous?

What about having a tabview of one Interface Window? Even a Pop-list to select between Month/Day/Hour/Min with a corresponding new embedded view would be preferrable.

Reply Score: 2

RE: New Task Panel
by superstoned on Wed 12th Mar 2008 21:11 UTC in reply to "New Task Panel"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Hey, make a mockup and send it to the author. I'm pretty sure he would be very happy with that. Usability isn't easy, so if you have some good input (feel free to scout for other task planner tools and be inspired) please send it!

Reply Score: 3

Summary
by sbergman27 on Mon 10th Mar 2008 21:03 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

When KDE 4.0 was released it was pretty unusable. But today, the panel can be placed on various edges of the screen, via a clunky dialog, but is completely broken if you choose anything other than the bottom. The size can also be changed through the clunky dialog, but that breaks it, too. You can drag plasmoids around better. And KDE is sort of getting to the point that it might be used for something by a determined user. Kinda like Gnome was back in the pre-1.0 days.

It's probably best to wait until July or so before doing more reviews. By then, these kinds of articles might not actually *embarrass* KDE fans.

And, oh yeah. The cashew is still there.

Edited 2008-03-10 21:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Summary
by leos on Mon 10th Mar 2008 21:44 UTC in reply to "Summary"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

When KDE 4.0 was released it was pretty unusable. But today, the panel can be placed on various edges of the screen, via a clunky dialog, but is completely broken if you choose anything other than the bottom. The size can also be changed through the clunky dialog, but that breaks it, too. You can drag plasmoids around better.


You seem to be confusing KDE with plasma. KDE applications are usable just fine. Plasma just has some catching up to do. Hopefully by 4.1 or so most of the must have features will have landed.

And KDE is sort of getting to the point that it might be used for something by a determined user. Kinda like Gnome was back in the pre-1.0 days.


I know you like trolling KDE threads but even you must realize how silly that comparison is. Gnome 2.0 was pretty useless compared to the preceding 1.x release but that doesn't mean the developers shouldn't have gone down that road.

And, oh yeah. The cashew is still there.


More discussion about that here: http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2008/03/fixing-versus-working-around-pro... and here: http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2008/03/toolbox-roundup.html

Not that I'm a huge fan of the toolbox, but I'm content to wait and see. Not like it's a big deal.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Summary
by sbergman27 on Mon 10th Mar 2008 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Summary"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Hopefully by 4.1 or so most of the must have features will have landed.

One can only hope.

I know you like trolling KDE threads

Well, I know that you like to accuse me of doing so.

Gnome 2.0 was pretty useless compared to the preceding 1.x release

You need to provide some concrete evidence of that. Gnome decided against including several kitchen sinks, in favor of providing only one kitchen sink. And that upset some people in the kitchen sink community, whom I suppose ended up in the KDE camp.

But Gnome 2.0 was *never* as embarassing as KDE 4.0.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Summary
by Erunno on Mon 10th Mar 2008 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Summary"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

You need to provide some concrete evidence of that.


I'll admit that I've been lazy and only skimmed through the first couple of pages that Google gave me for "GNOME 2.0" and found some interesting tidbits:

http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reviews/4264/1/

In general, GNOME 2.0 looks better and feels much faster and more responsive than GNOME 1.4. As a release candidate, it still has a way to go - many mandatory applications (such as the Control Center/Desktop Preferences application) are still actively being ported to GNOME 2.0. Many of the other usability enhancements that have been proposed for GNOME 2.0 are not yet present or completely implemented.


Emphasis mine. Note that even if these "mandatory" missing applications were finished in the short amount of time between RC1 and the final release (both saw the light of day in the same month) the GNOME people have been either applying the same broken method of ignoring feature freeze like KDE did for 4.0 (mostly with Plasma) or they deliberately shipped an incomplete desktop environment.

That said, GNOME 2.0 RC1 is indeed a preliminary release candidate. Many of the GNOME applets and applications that you may expect to find in GNOME are not yet present or are not yet completely functional in GNOME 2.0 RC1. GNOME 2.0 RC1 is fine for reasonably sophisticated users who are willing to work around problems, can put up with the occasional error message without panicking, and want to live on the bleeding edge.


Does this sound familiar? ;-)

Here are some quotes from OSNews staff itself:

http://www.osnews.com/story/1280/A_Users_First_Look_at_GNOME_2.0/pa...

The project was supposed to see this release almost a year ago, but GTK+ 2.0 was not ready in time, dragging Gnome's development down as well.


there are not many Gnome applications yet ported to the new framework, neither the Gnome itself includes many applications or preference panels as it used to. For example, the memu panel, merely includes 3 options. Same goes for the other setting panels


The Gnome menu panel now resembles a bit of MacOS. It sits on the top of the desktop, and no matter what I tried, I can't change its position


Déjà vu?

As far as stability goes, I experienced on the final version individual crashes of some preference panels and applications that come with Gnome 2, but I have not experienced any true crash of its memu panels or Gnome itself that could take X down.


The big question on any new release is 'Whats New?' or 'What does it do more?'. In the case of Gnome 2, it does less, not more. GTK+ developers will of course be happy with the new API, and users will possibly enjoy the AA fonts, but other than that, users will not gain much more from this desktop environment. Hiding behind the 'this is a mostly a release for developers' excuse is not good enough for me.


As a user, I expected more, and I want more. The new version removes the flexibility found on Gnome 1.x and it does not introduce anything really new or spectacularly interesting in its UI design. Gnome 2 fails to impress. It is not intuitive. It feels limited and not done yet. While it is not solidly stable yet on all of its respects, it is stable enough. But the 'not done yet' refers to the feature-set of the environment, not to its actual stability. It needs more work, it needs more enrichment at most places, and it needs even more refinement on the GUI and its scattered setting panels or on the small icons feeling 'glued' to the text on the menus. Because of this re-write of the Gnome environment, I keep feeling that this is version 1.0, and not 2.0.


EDIT:
I've been modded down? Don't shoot the messanger ;-)

Edited 2008-03-10 23:45 UTC

Reply Score: 11

v RE[4]: Summary
by sbergman27 on Mon 10th Mar 2008 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Summary"
RE[5]: Summary
by Erunno on Tue 11th Mar 2008 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Summary"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

You posted your own specially selected excerpts about a Gnome 2.0 pre-release and compared it to what is now the 2nd update to the final release release of KDE4, taking up a lot of screen real estate to say nothing of significance. The post probably deserved to be modded down.


The first link dealt with a release candidate of GNOME 2.0 while the second one was giving first impressions of the final release. I also provided links for any interesting parties to read the articles on their own. And the comparison was more between GNOME 2.0 and KDE 4.0 as some issues like the fixed panel have been corrected in 4.0.2.

You're grasping at straws here pretending not to see the parallels between the two releases.

Edited 2008-03-11 00:19 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: Summary
by leos on Tue 11th Mar 2008 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Summary"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

You posted your own specially selected excerpts about a Gnome 2.0 pre-release and compared it to what is now the 2nd update to the final release release of KDE4, taking up a lot of screen real estate to say nothing of significance. The post probably deserved to be modded down.


You are being ridiculously thick about this. I suppose you haven't been around long enough to remember the 2.0 release (if you were then you must have a very poor memory).
That was around the time Nautilus was heralded as a revolution and turned out to be incredibly slow, bloated, and unstable. When most features from 1.4 disappeared into thin air, and new frameworks like bonobo were introduced which really never caught on.
And yet nautilus eventually turned into a good file manager, and features were re-added with time, and useless frameworks were deprecated.

So your memory of Gnome 2.0 being particularly good is nothing but revisionist history. But it was still a good step to take in the end. Same with KDE 4.0.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Summary
by karl on Tue 11th Mar 2008 07:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Summary"
karl Member since:
2005-07-06

Your comment here is spot on. GNOME 2.0 was at once thrilling, looking much nicer with AA fonts and sporting a lean, sleek look, and thoroughly disappointing because only a fraction of *minimal* functionality was present. It took the better part of a year after GNOME 2.0 was released for it to gradually become really usable.

The worst part of this was 2 things 1) the total lack of configurability -prior to the gconf editor one had to use *really* obscure gconf-d commands to change the paltry undiscoverable options, and 2) many of the most useful apps for the GNOME environment only got updated to GTK2 much, much later-leaving us with a nice looking GNOME2 desktop populated with god awful ugly GTK1.2 applications.

The initial move to cairo did in fact slow things down tremendously-yet I do not regret this move at all for it has really, really paid off. Yet even now this shift to cairo is not fully complete today-I do not say this in reference to all the things which could be done with cairo, but in reference to a baseline of functionality which cairo provides-ie printing, being present in all GNOME applications. I look forward to 2.22 to see if this baseline functionality is fully implemented.

I myself am not a great KDE fan. I certainly appreciate and value much of the tech in KDE but have only sporadically used KDE desktop in the last 6 years. Prior to GNOME 2.0 I was either using KDE of enlightenment, although I found GNOME 1.4 with Nautilus promising it was pure mayhem and crashy back then.

I have continued to use a variety of KDE applications-things like K3B which is just the best burning application out there-bar none. I also use Kaffeine and on occasion I use Konqueror-because during most of GNOME 2.X development Nautilus has been doing the 2 steps forward, one step back dance, and GNOME-VFS, which is now being replaced by GIO, was simply unreliable, crash prone, horribly inefficient and otherwise terrible.

I look forward to KDE 4.1. And I do not understand, and have little sympathy for, the continuous harping on how incomplete/not-ready KDE 4.0x is. From what I have seen of KDE 4.0x things are shaping up nicely- the screenshots show off some first class graphics works and QT-4.x is really diving into some very powerful and experimental stuff -actually revolutionary stuff-stuff unlike anything Linux has seen before. Because I don't use KDE regularly I have no problem waiting another year until KDE really polishes off the tremendous advancements they have made. At that point I look forward to trying it out.

One of the revolutionary things QT-4.x is doing is changing how widgets are drawn to the screen. Both KDE(via QT) and GNOME(via Cairo) are pushing Xorg development and responding to changes in Xorg. When people complain about Cairo people forget that the majority of problems with Cairo were primarily due to a lack of Render support in most graphics drivers.

Paradoxically it was KDE guys who introduced the EXA architecture which finally made it easier to add the missing Render acceleration to most FOSS graphics drivers. QT will still be using Render for fonts, but is foregoing Render for the rendering of widgets and is tying QT directly to the drawing primitives provided through EXA(at least to the extent I have been able to parse Asiegos blogs).

Things I am really looking forward to is the initkit work of FDO-ie. using DBus, a shared tech of KDE and GNOME, to replace the aging init system for system administration. If this work takes off, in the not to distant future we will have simple GUI control of the services which constitute our Linux environments.

Also I am keen as to how Pulseaudio( and eventually libsydney) are going to play out with Phonon. Unfortunately Pulseaudio is too tied to Consolekit, which is totally undocumented and exclusively developed by Redhat/Fedora-making it really, really hard to just try out by downloading and doing configure/make/make install. Additionally it is so bleeding edge that you need the latest kernel, and latest libtool requiring bleeding edge GNU toolchain.

Why is this important? so that we can finally start to solve the persistent nightmare which is audio in Linux. Of course I also wish that the OSS/ALSA folks could work together and provide a low-level answer to those things which Pulseaudio, being high-level, cannot do. Dmix is an affront to any human sensibilities and Pulseaudio can shield us from direct encounters of the really, really ugly kind. KDE opted out of directly tackling these issues, leaving GNOME to do the grunt work of solving media issues with Pulseaudio and Gstreamer. I hope that Phonon plays well in this environment.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Summary
by leos on Tue 11th Mar 2008 15:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Summary"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Why is this important? so that we can finally start to solve the persistent nightmare which is audio in Linux. Of course I also wish that the OSS/ALSA folks could work together and provide a low-level answer to those things which Pulseaudio, being high-level, cannot do.


No kidding. It is ridiculous that I still encounter the problem that one app has locked the soundcard and nothing else can play anything. Either the card doesn't support hardware mixing, or the driver doesn't support it, but I really don't give a crap. If there is no hardware mixing, then it should be mixed in software automatically. I've f'ed around with dmix once or twice, but I really can't be bothered to write a big alsa configuration script just to fix the fundamentally broken sound. I don't have time for crap like that anymore.

Dmix is an affront to any human sensibilities and Pulseaudio can shield us from direct encounters of the really, really ugly kind. KDE opted out of directly tackling these issues, leaving GNOME to do the grunt work of solving media issues with Pulseaudio and Gstreamer. I hope that Phonon plays well in this environment.


Yep. If I am not mistaken, this should work fairly smoothly. Phonon already has a gstreamer backend, and I think gstreamer can use pulseaudio. (It's all quite confusing to me).
Keep in mind that KDE can't rely on gstreamer or pulseaudio directly, because it needs to work on Windows and Mac equally well. No point bringing over a heavy framework like gstreamer when those platforms have their own perfectly capable native equivalents.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Summary
by segedunum on Tue 11th Mar 2008 00:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Summary"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Gnome decided against including several kitchen sinks, in favor of providing only one kitchen sink.


What they did was they cut the kitchen sinks, and then left you with a single tap running cold water and no way to empty the water from the sink. You had to think ahead before you added more water, and you had to boil the water yourself because building this feature into the sink might mean that someone could scald themselves.

You can't cull features that Windows and OS X have and then tell everyone you're being usable. That isn't going to wash with the wider desktop using computer world.

But Gnome 2.0 was *never* as embarassing as KDE 4.0.


Gnome 2.x was pretty much unusable for several releases until things like gconf stabilised to an acceptable level, and then from 2.6 or 2.8 onwards everybody's performance dropped through the floor as GTK moved to Cairo and the whole process started again.

As much as you want to pretend otherwise, Gnome 2 didn't get the .0 release right and complete at all - and not for several point releases. KDE at least had the guts to admit that up front, because of course, once .1 stabilises and .2, .3, .4 and onwards add the features that people would really like to see, no one will care about KDE 4.0.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[4]: Summary
by sbergman27 on Tue 11th Mar 2008 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Summary"
RE[5]: Summary
by JMcCarthy on Tue 11th Mar 2008 01:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Summary"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

You missed the point entirely.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Summary
by segedunum on Tue 11th Mar 2008 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Summary"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Whoa, Pardner! KDE released a Point Oh that wasn't even remotely ready.


KDE admitted that .0 releases don't work and people should just admit what they really are. They were correct.

Vista, in a similar situation, actually looks good by comparison.


Vista merely reinforces the point ;-).

Reply Score: 2

it makes me sad.....
by hyperdaz on Mon 10th Mar 2008 23:43 UTC
hyperdaz
Member since:
2007-06-05

two years or more of development on a fresh user environment.... someone forgot to focus on the "USER" and the environment they might have been using by now....

using MAC widgets great wow.. thanks.. erm is that not kind of missing the point....

I have to admit I was excited and looking forward to "KDE 4" at one point in time.......... will take a hell of a lot to move me from KDE 3.5.x or 3.6.x etc etc... now... just on what I have seen of it..... if there is anything approaching usability this year then I will be shocked....

the point of an open desktop environment is that I the user can do what i want with MY desktop and not have some developers dictate what they want me to do with it...............

Reply Score: 0

It'll work out
by B. Janssen on Tue 11th Mar 2008 10:18 UTC
B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

So, Aaron Seigo is the Havoc Pennington of KDE, he even uses the same line of argument, fine. Mr. Pennington received a lot of anguish over his refusal to change this or that (somebody recall the "frame animation" issue?) in Metacity, but in the end, it worked out.

Granted, it took a long time, the first really usable Gnome 2, in my opinion, was 2.8 but who cares now? So I give the KDE fellows the benefit of the doubt and wait and see.

Edit: the guy is named Aaron.

Edited 2008-03-11 10:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

oy vey
by aseigo on Thu 13th Mar 2008 07:58 UTC
aseigo
Member since:
2005-07-06

first, it's just "aaron". not "mr. seigo" .. ugh, i really hate formalities that distance people from each other.

so .. yeah, toolboxes. i know this is a really difficult thing to wrap one's head around: but it's rather easy to replace, as others have noted here. i understand that all the cool kids are hyperventilating over the little things, but step back for a moment and consider just how critical it really is. but that's not really the point, is it?

no, what this is is a power struggle: those clamoring for it's removal like it's the new satan itself are concerned that this represents the end of User Rules Endlessly in KDE. the mistake here, besides the often shocking behaviour, is that it's really rather the opposite:

we're making something that doesn't tie you down to anything.

remember how kicker always enforced you to have at least one panel, and it was a regular panel that you couldn't do anything with but keep it a regular panel? plasma doesn't have that restriction. (btw, i tried a few times to rationally get rid of that panel in kicker. i succeeded in getting rid of it while experimenting, but the resulting code base was so ungodly..)

remember how kdesktop offered exactly one way of working? you know.. icons. wallpapers. a run dialog that was literal beyond belief yep. same thing: we're already better than that. (neat thing to try: type 'fox' into krunner and hit enter ... or if you are running trunk/: type 'logout')

remember how the kde3 workspace was designed so clearly with desktop machines in mind that they never did make the transition cleanly to small devices or too more "exotic" things like media center devices (instead we have things like myth, etc, which have had to (and to their credit done a rather decent job of it!) reinvent everything)

remember how in kde3 you had the choice of c++, c++ or python in superkaramba? (and the latter was brought into "kde proper" via kdeutils only because in recognition of their achievements and what it would mean for plasma, that i suggested they add sk to kde 3.4 in expectation of plasma's arrival ... so honestly, even then, without plasma it would've been c++ or c++)

remember how in kde3 superkaramba was an add-on with all its own overhead and no real interop with the actual desktop? plasma can load sk themes, both legacy kde3 ones as well as ones that use plasma api's, natively.

now, i'm not saying all this in a "see, you should be grateful" manner. what i'm attempting to demonstrate is that the intentions and the actions line up: the goal is to create something more accessible, more complete and more flexible than what we had .. in every, single, way. we've already achieved this in some areas, and are on our way to achieving them in others.

given the short time put into it thus far (yes, ages by internet time, but not by real, actual, software development time), the pace is ok.

now, in the process of reaching these goals, which we are only partly on the way to doing so, eggs have been broken. and breaking eggs sucks. fortunately, unlike real eggs which once broken can't be put back together, we are day by day making our way back to goodness.

all while producing software that also runs on rather measly powered phones. (i blogged about this the other day actually)

we're also pushing a lot of boundaries in things like x.org and qt itself.

yes, i could have picked the easy route. i could have avoided all the negative feedback. i could have said, "plasma is too big of an idea to be achievable within the attention span and patience of people." or "it's unreasonable to risk kde's reputation with such a new development." both of those things are probably true. we'll see in the long run if the risk and challenge have been worth it.

it would also be awesome if people took a moment to use the rest of kde4 as well. some of those things have similar limitations for similar reasons (the file views in konqi/dolphin aren't as complete in kde3, but they were going through complete rewrites, and before dolphin came along i might add, and so are going through similar re-architecting growing pains), but the vast, vast majority of kde4 is already more powerful, more flexible and straight out more cool than kde3.

i still can't get over how damn wonderful it is to be able to plug in my usb headset and have my audio routed to it automagically. yeah, it's a "small" thing ... but it took away one of my personal pain points with f/oss on my desktop/laptop/etc.

konsole, gwenview, kstars, kwin, dolphin, okular (i really need to blog about that one soonish), krdc and so much more .. i really wish that the 4.0.2 announcement would've been more about them. as fun as it is to stoke the plasma ;) they deserve limelight time too =/

anyways ... there's a lot of mischaracterization going on here as to my personal goals, aims and viewpoints. that's been happening for a while and it got to the point where it really was pissing me off. i've rounded a corner where .... i simply don't care and am back doing the things i do because i enjoy doing them. i hope those of you who insist on throwing bags of dog crap on my doorstep (metaphorically) find the same corner soon enough, hopefully by realizing that your little power struggle here is over something that is not only a hill of beans (or.. cashews? ;) to begin with but which is very much one sided in the sense that the flexibility you are fighting so hard to retain is being delivered more so than ever in a way that doesn't screw over others in the process.

anyways, peace and love. enjoy life. may we each consider our parts in the wheels of the machinery.

Reply Score: 2

RE: oy vey
by Kokopelli on Fri 14th Mar 2008 00:14 UTC in reply to "oy vey"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

As one of the more vocal of the protesters I felt I might as well respond... And let me start by saying I have a lot of respect for you and what has been done so far in KDE 4. The fact that I do not agree with every choice should not diminish this.

so .. yeah, toolboxes. i know this is a really difficult thing to wrap one's head around: but it's rather easy to replace, as others have noted here. i understand that all the cool kids are hyperventilating over the little things, but step back for a moment and consider just how critical it really is. but that's not really the point, is it?


How critical is the toolbox? What function does it currently serve that can not be done in other alternative manners? For that matter what critical purpose does it serve at all presently? I actually felt the need to go into the code to remove the toolbox for my desktop. I am neither cool nor a kid but the presence was distracting enough that I felt the need to figure out a way to remove it. This may not be rational or reasonable but it is the truth. It seemed the only way I could get past the annoyance to give the rest of KDE4 a even chance.


no, what this is is a power struggle:
we're making something that doesn't tie you down to anything.


I agree and at the same time resoundingly reject these statements. It is a power struggle but I am not trying to take power from you. I think you are doing an outstanding job. However the toolbox has been an annoyance and distraction to the point where its presence (whether good or bad) has become a polarizing function. You are binding us to an element which is in many people's eyes currently not needed and unpleasant.


remember how kicker always enforced you to have at least one panel, and it was a regular panel that you couldn't do anything with but keep it a regular panel? plasma doesn't have that restriction.


Yes, and what does this have to do with the simple request for a way to hide a visual element that serves no purpose currently to some users?

remember how kdesktop offered exactly one way of working? you know.. icons. wallpapers. a run dialog that was literal beyond belief yep. same thing: we're already better than that.


Yes I remember, right now in 3 we can remove all Icons, set what mouse buttons do on the desktop, configure the wallpaper appearance, etc...
The new run dialog is not bad either, though in my eyes gnome-do does a better job.

remember how the kde3 workspace was designed so clearly with desktop machines in mind that they never did make the transition cleanly to small devices or too more "exotic" things like media center devices (instead we have things like myth, etc, which have had to (and to their credit done a rather decent job of it!) reinvent everything)


I remember that KDE3 allows me to configure my desktop environment for my comfort.

remember how in kde3 you had the choice of c++, c++ or python in superkaramba? (and the latter was brought into "kde proper" via kdeutils only because in recognition of their achievements and what it would mean for plasma, that i suggested they add sk to kde 3.4 in expectation of plasma's arrival ... so honestly, even then, without plasma it would've been c++ or c++)


remember how in kde3 superkaramba was an add-on with all its own overhead and no real interop with the actual desktop? plasma can load sk themes, both legacy kde3 ones as well as ones that use plasma api's, natively.


Honestly I dislike superkaramba, preferring a completely empty desktop to incude no icons or visible panels. I am less inclined to dislike plasma though. My one hope there is that eventually there will be a way to make all plasmoids "borderless" like the battery meter.

now, i'm not saying all this in a "see, you should be grateful" manner. what i'm attempting to demonstrate is that the intentions and the actions line up: the goal is to create something more accessible, more complete and more flexible than what we had .. in every, single, way. we've already achieved this in some areas, and are on our way to achieving them in others.

given the short time put into it thus far (yes, ages by internet time, but not by real, actual, software development time), the pace is ok.

<snip>

yes, i could have picked the easy route. i could have avoided all the negative feedback. i could have said, "plasma is too big of an idea to be achievable within the attention span and patience of people." or "it's unreasonable to risk kde's reputation with such a new development." both of those things are probably true. we'll see in the long run if the risk and challenge have been worth it.


Do not take this wrong Aaron, but the argument against the toolbox currently has little do do with an argument against plasma. I am a simpleton in some ways I suppose but the amount of code it would take to allow a user an option to hide/show the toolbox from the context menu of the desktop container is negligible. There are a significant number of people who dislike its presence and find it an irritant. Whether this dislike is rational or justified is irrelevant. The inability to hide the cashew has become such a focal point as to distract from far more important concepts. I ask you again, ignoring the points of improvement in plasma over kdesktop: What purpose does the toolbox serve that could not be handled in other ways? What makes the cashew so critical that the option to hide it has been clearly shot down with no option for discussion on the subject?

it would also be awesome if people took a moment to use the rest of kde4 as well. some of those things have similar limitations for similar reasons (the file views in konqi/dolphin aren't as complete in kde3, but they were going through complete rewrites, and before dolphin came along i might add, and so are going through similar re-architecting growing pains), but the vast, vast majority of kde4 is already more powerful, more flexible and straight out more cool than kde3.
<snip>

konsole, gwenview, kstars, kwin, dolphin, okular (i really need to blog about that one soonish), krdc and so much more .. i really wish that the 4.0.2 announcement would've been more about them. as fun as it is to stoke the plasma ;) they deserve limelight time too =/


Actually plasma is the only thing I really feel the need to criticize given the point in development of KDE4. I have nothing but good things to say about Dolphin, Gwenview, Okular, Dragonplayer, and Konsole. Already these apps have taken the place of their KDE3 counterparts in both KDE3 and 4. Konqueror and Amarok are also coming along nicely. Indeed Amarok gives a glimpse at some of the options and empowerment to be gained by plasma. I feel that the menu options are lacking as well but the ability to remove them entirely is just fine by me.

This still does not give the toolbox a purpose though.

I had to trim the quotes to fit, sorry.

For all of your statements above, to which there is little I disagree, none provide a conrete reason that any option to hide the cashew has been rejected without consideration. Can you please provide some clear and concrete example of what purpose it currently serves that makes its presence so critical? Without any question in my eyes it serves no purpose currently, so I assume there is a reason that I have missed or has not been communicated in a way that a user not steeped in KDE4 development would understand.

Peace unto you and your kin. I truly and without guile can say that I have a lot of respect for you, your vision, and your ability. Further I am grateful for all you have done and continue to do. You have mor patience and understanding than I.

Edited 2008-03-14 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: oy vey
by toothie on Fri 14th Mar 2008 01:10 UTC in reply to "RE: oy vey"
toothie Member since:
2008-03-11

You are binding us to an element which is in many people's eyes currently not needed and unpleasant.


that is really the core to this whole toolbox thing. its completely incorrect and shortsighted.

the default 'desktop containment' is going to have it. just get over it. i don't have a small screen, but i honestly don't see how you can't ignore it.

whether i'd prefer to have it there or not is irrelavent. because i know its a matter of time before i have the choice of a different (or several) desktop containments that don't have it, or i like better for whatever reason.

so really... having an option to turn it off doesn't make a difference when you'll have the option to replace the whole damn thing. this is the framework the plasma devs are creating. if you really don't want it, its almost a 100% garentee you won't have to have it. so.... there really isn't a problem with it. in the future just don't use aaron's(or default)desktop containment.

so why is it there? i could care less. i know i don't have to have it if i don't want it, given time. so i'm content to sit back and see what becomes of it. even if it proves to be completely useless, doesn't matter, cause aaron desgined a framework that allows for me not to use his desktop containment.

devel in open source is completely open(at least kde), and plasma is in heavy development. so ppl are asking him to explain every design decision he makes. i'm sure the dude's days are full... completely full. i read his blog.. hes a single father(i believe) has responiblies all over kde, is the core designer of plasma, and has a life. i'd rather he spends his time coding then explaining his every action to every news site that allows user feedback.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: oy vey
by Kokopelli on Fri 14th Mar 2008 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: oy vey"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

I respectfully disagree. It is precisely because it will be the default desktop containment that this is an issue. As IE has shown, users tend to stick with the defaults and are too lazy to look for and use alternatives.

The bug on the kde buglist now has 424 votes. (For the record I have not voted for this bug.) That would put it at #15 in the most hated buglist were it not marked "won't fix."

Honestly I am not mad about the subject or at Aaron. I read Aaron's blog and see which way the wind is blowing. It is not that hard for an even moderately competent programmer to remove for his or her desktop. So that is what I have done. (There is even a patch now on the wishlist for its removal, which should make it easier in the future.)

I have followed KDE4 for a while now, watched the google presentations, read the blogs/articles, and gone into api.kde.org so that I could actually understand the api for Plasma. Aaron is a fairly good public speaker and has a clear writing style. So I think I can say that I am aware of the vision of different containments to suit different users and environments. It is a good vision and I look forward to it. That does not mean that I can not comment on aspects of the environment that I have problems with. It is by voicing concerns and disagreements that change may be effected.

In all of the material though I have seen nothing to tell me what purpose the toolbox is meant to serve. The current functions of the toolbox could be handled in any manner of ways, to include a simple middle click dialog. The toolbox may not bother some but it is hard to argue that it does not bother others. Aaron does have better things to do I am sure, and this particular argument has clearly upset him. For that I am truly sorry. But a lot of time and effort has been expended on both sides of the argument. This is why I hoped for a more constructive dialog as to why it is so important. Clearly the amount of effort and comments he has weathered in the process of keeping the cashew shows it is important to him. He discusses the great things that plasma and KDE4 will allow and grow into over time. I see that and am genuinely excited about the possibilities. Unfortunately I fail to see how the great things plasma can and will do pertains to the always present cashew.

Edited 2008-03-14 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2