Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 01:48 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
KDE "KDE is delighted to announce its latest set of releases, providing major updates to KDE Plasma Workspaces, KDE Applications, and the KDE Platform. Version 4.9 provides many new features, along with improved stability and performance."
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Comment by orestes
by orestes on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 02:15 UTC
orestes
Member since:
2005-07-06

Really nice release, the performance improvements are very welcome. Well done KDE folks

Reply Score: 5

v ...
by Hiev on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 03:14 UTC
RE: ...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 03:30 UTC in reply to "..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think its more of a case of KDE 4 being rather polished. A point release at this point brings more refinement, but its not a complete rebuild.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: ...
by cdude on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 06:55 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Found lots of KDE4 clips on youtube. Not sure what major UI changes the dude expects that he looks for 4.9 clips a day after release. Just have a watch at the KDE4 clips and be fine. They are not (so) different from 4.9 especially since its all customisable and most seem to tweak the default settings anyways before recording making it hard to guess what KDE 4.x they where actually using (bugfixes and performance-improvements are not direct visible in videos anyways if you not direct compare cases).

Reply Score: 8

Oh, my...
by ndrw on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 04:08 UTC in reply to "..."
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

They could definitely make use of a better theme and a help of a graphics designer. In the video, KDE 4.9 looks "flashy", perhaps even "impressive", but I would never called it "pretty", "elegant" or "clear".

Last time I tried KDE 4.8 it took me about an hour to switch off most annoyances (overload of animations, transparencies, features I would never use anyway) and install more sensible Plasma and Qt themes (it is hard, if possible at all, to find good ones, especially for Plasma). The sad result was that the "core" I've got wasn't particularly good because all the development steam apparently went into parts I've just switched off.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Oh, my...
by cdude on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 06:59 UTC in reply to "Oh, my..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

and I am sure that if KDE takes YOUR custom settings and makes them the default another user would write exactly the same "review" you did complaining that the defaults are not what he prefers.

At least its all highly customizable and so everybody can tweak it to whatever they prefer. Personally I love to have the freedom to do so.

Edited 2012-08-02 07:01 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

and I am sure that if KDE takes YOUR custom settings and makes them the default another user would write exactly the same "review" you did complaining that the defaults are not what he prefers.

At least its all highly customizable and so everybody can tweak it to whatever they prefer. Personally I love to have the freedom to do so.


Yes, but KDE is making it needlessly complicated to change a "theme". You need to set every single detail manually. I find that unproductive.

I tried to express my thought about it on official KDE forum, but I get a feeling than only few people visit official forum. So talking there feels like "talking to the wind".

http://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=101291

Reply Score: 2

RE: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 07:55 UTC in reply to "Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

You are hardly the only person that has a problem with this. I am just reading Ars technica article about 4.9, and about one half of comments on first page are about "how ugly KDE is".

Some are really harsh:

Oh my god, can we get HALF A DESIGNER here?


It's amazing how, release after release after release, KDE continues to look like it was slapped together in about five minutes.


Good grief, that's ugly. Even by open source standards, that's ugly.


The defaults need to be sane and not look like complete ass. Customization is great and all, but users shouldn't need to spend time changing themes, rearranging window decorations, removing useless buttons, etc just to get to something that doesn't make one's eyes bleed.


And so on ...
It is strange that KDE puts so much effort in creating great technology, but for the most part ignores visual appeal. And distributions mostly just ship default build. Open Suse is the most obvious exception, but sadly Open Suse doesn't work well on my laptop.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Oh, my...
by ndrw on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 09:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh, my..."
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

To me, it looks as if KDE developers were paralyzed with fear of changing anything in default settings and look&feel. They just keep piling new stuff on top of old one, without taking a step back to look at the result. Which is really strange, considering that they could just get together for an afternoon and with a minimum effort make KDE twice as good as it is now.

There are three problems with pushing the design process to the users:
- It makes the desktop less attractive, despite all the work that went into it, many users won't even try it.
- Design should take place before the implementation, not after it.
- Most users can't design a desktop - they are perfectly able to judge it (which is what Gnome guys forget) but they do not necessarily know *how to make* a good desktop.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

- Most users can't design a desktop - they are perfectly able to judge it (which is what Gnome guys forget) but they do not necessarily know *how to make* a good desktop.



The best description / critique of KDE's way (of organizing "Look and feel" options) I've ever read. !!

Edited 2012-08-02 10:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v RE[3]: Oh, my...
by lemur2 on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 10:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh, my..."
RE[4]: Oh, my...
by evert on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 10:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
evert Member since:
2005-07-06

It is actually up to the distributions to make it look good.


No, the defaults (vanilla) should be sane and NOT ugly.

I tried to love KDE, but the looks of KDE 3 were better (IMHO) than KDE 4.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Oh, my...
by cdude on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oh, my..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

I recall those candy-lock in KDE3 and before that this ugly box-lock and then there was plastik, better but still not ideal. I did not make KDE my desktop of choice cause of the default style but cause I was able to change it and everything else to what *I* think is best for *me*. I am in the middle of the desktop and not the other way around. The desktop needs to adjust to me and not me to the desktop.

Everytime I had a look at the KDE desktops of others it was all changed. From the wallpaper, to the colors to the styles and decorations up to the position of the panel. With KDE 3 and 4.

I found it near to impossible to find there a common pattern. If 50% of all your users change the panel from bottom to top and if you change the default to top and only 10% change it back to bottom then you have a point in selecting top as default. But how common is that? How common is it that such an analysis is done and such clear results are gained? Its more like 5% prefer that, 5% that, 5% don't know, 5% like both, 5% like neither of them and so on. Some even change there preference by day, night and mood. How do you end with something that everybody feels being great defaults? You cannot. What you do is to *decide* and there always will be someone who does not like that decisions. Do not try to label it as a solution if it isn't.

The problem with an approach like design first is that its WRONG on any level you can think of. First its figure out what your users like to have, make a concept how to reach that, verify you are not off and only then implement (design and code since design IS an implementation and not something abstract). The difficult part is not the design but the steps before. That is where lot fail already. Those that just ignore that steps are usually also those that believe only there taste is correct and all others are wrong. Typical ghost-driver claiming all others need to change.

Edited 2012-08-02 14:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Oh, my...
by ndrw on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Oh, my..."
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Configurability is not in conflict with having good defaults.

I am all for being able to change the wallpaper, the location of the panel, or to switch to *another* good theme. Still, the default look should at least be readable (no gray fonts on grayish&transparent background), usable (not all visual bells and whistles have to be on), and toned down (so you don't feel embarrassed when your co-worker looks at your newly installed desktop).

Also, perhaps more importantly, a large part of look&feel comes straight from the design and is not configurable, even in KDE. You can't correct inconsistent padding, overload of widgets, or poorly though dialog box layouts. I don't say KDE should follow Gnome in that, but *some* attention to details would be very welcome (yes, I occasionally use some KDE apps).

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Oh, my...
by Gone fishing on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

It is actually up to the distributions to make it look good.


Surely this is right, this is what the distributions should do; sort out the look and feel so the defaults for the user are well sorted, sane and give the distro an identity.

Mint has been good at this, I haven't used Mageia but that might work Mandrake always had a look and feel and I'm surprised if Opensuse is poor and buggy.

KDE, Gnome etc need to get the technology and basic functionality right for the distros to work with.

Edited 2012-08-02 11:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Oh, my...
by Beket_ on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
Beket_ Member since:
2009-07-10

"To me, it looks as if KDE developers were paralyzed with fear of changing anything in default settings and look&feel. They just keep piling new stuff on top of old one, without taking a step back to look at the result. Which is really strange, considering that they could just get together for an afternoon and with a minimum effort make KDE twice as good as it is now.

There are three problems with pushing the design process to the users:
- It makes the desktop less attractive, despite all the work that went into it, many users won't even try it.
- Design should take place before the implementation, not after it.
- Most users can't design a desktop - they are perfectly able to judge it (which is what Gnome guys forget) but they do not necessarily know *how to make* a good desktop.


The KDE developers know how to make a good desktop, and that is what they do.

It is actually up to the distributions to make it look good.
"

Are the kde developers also in denial? If yes, then that would explain why kde4 is still so kitsch.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Oh, my...
by cdude on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oh, my..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Are the kde developers also in denial?


The look and to some degree feel are end-user customizable. Whatever you CAN and LIKE to make out of them is part of the desktop and the freedom that is delivered to you.

If yes, then that would explain why kde4 is still so kitsch.


Good example. So, what do you prefer? Change your taste to match to the default look and feel or change the look and feel to match to your default taste?

KDE did always focus on the second and I love it more then the alternate.

Edited 2012-08-02 14:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

The KDE developers know how to make a good desktop, and that is what they do.

It is actually up to the distributions to make it look good.


But mostly, they simply don't.
Perhaps KDE team should start paying attention to this problem. (provided that they see it as a problem in the first place)

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Oh, my...
by lemur2 on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh, my..."
RE[3]: Oh, my...
by saynte on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh, my..."
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

Ugh, any evidence to support this multi-account anti-KDE theory?

Or is just because Ars has a section called "One Microsoft Way" (which they don't have anymore, btw).

Peter Bright is the MS-guy there, but they also have Ryan Paul on the open-source side; they *do* have a section just for Apple though.

As someone who reads Ars fairly regularly, I haven't seen what you're describing.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

Ars Technica is a Microsoft shop. They even have a section called "One Microsoft Way".

The Ars Technica fanbois are simply trying to disparage KDE via their multiple accounts, posting disparaging nonsense then agreeing with themselves.

Pay them no heed. Don't feed the trolls.


I am not so worried about *who* is criticizing, I am more interested in *what* they have to say. And the fact that many people find default KDE "ugly" or "hurting eyes" tells you a lot.

The thing is, I agree with most of them. If I ignore childish insults, I can agree that default KDE look is "ugly". In fact I find it the least visually appealing DE out there. And this is coming from someone who works in 10 years old Solaris CDE on daily basis.

But what I find the most annoying part is that KDE makes it so hard to change the look and feel of KDE desktop. They have all these "regional themes" (one for each element of desktop) that you need to manually select and download from kde-look.org. Why isn't there a central way to change KDE from "ugly" to "stunningly beautiful" with a single mouse click? In this way talented artist could create and share "real themes" (the kind that changes everything on a screen)

Current way is so tiresome that even distributions don't bother, they just ship default one, at most they change wallpaper.

To be perfectly honest, some applications (like Dolphin and Kate) leave better initial impression on me when I install them on MS Windows.

I find it sad that KDE guys work so hard to create this great DE, and then they "shoot themselves in the foot" by ignoring visual aesthetics aspect of it. Since most distributions don't care about KDE more that compiling and shipping default version, maybe KDE team should pay some attention to the problem.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Oh, my...
by Alexander on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
Alexander Member since:
2011-03-19

Having a centralized theme for the whole desktop may be conveniet but it is less flexible. What if i like everything about the default look except the window decoration? I will have to change the entire theme - not only the window decoration but the panel theme and icon theme as well.

The current way is more flexible because it allows me to combine one desktop theme with window decorations and icons from another theme.

Also i don't understant what's so wrong with the look and feel of KDE. In my opinion the oxygen icon theme is a lot better than Windows 7's icon theme and is on par with OS X icon theme. As for the windows decorations i definately like KDE's oxygen theme more that Windows and again i find it on par with OS X's. Generaly i find that the OS X and KDE's themes are similar because of the wide spread use of grey gradients. I like the panel theme very much but my only problem with it is that due to the transparency the taskbar text is not very readable on some desktop backgrounds and i have to choose my desktop background more carefully. They need to work on that. As for the fonts - they always looked OK for me on Debian, OpenSuSe and Arch with no additional settings. And i've found that the fonts on Ubuntu are even better. I don't know what distro are they using in KDE to make the screenshots but indeed they don't look very good. However i don't think this is a problem for most users since the most popular distros seem to have fixed this issue.

BTW the fact that most of the complaints are about the default look and feel kind of brings me optimism. At least to me it means that they have ironed out most of the serious problems and they only need to polish their desktop environment.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

Having a centralized theme for the whole desktop may be conveniet but it is less flexible. What if i like everything about the default look except the window decoration? I will have to change the entire theme - not only the window decoration but the panel theme and icon theme as well.

The current way is more flexible because it allows me to combine one desktop theme with window decorations and icons from another theme.


Most people think that these two approaches are somehow mutually exclusive. But that is not true, when you apply a "global theme", you should be presented with a dialog that has check boxes for each "regional theme". So, if you find some "global theme" and you want just a wallpaper from it, or just "min, max, close buttons" then you select only those check boxes, and click "apply".
This would be simple, intuitive and easy. It would allow "power users" to tweak everything, and it would allow "regular users" to make KDE4 "beautiful" with just few mouse clicks. And since regular users outnumber power users by 10:1, this approach would make *many* people happy.



BTW the fact that most of the complaints are about the default look and feel kind of brings me optimism. At least to me it means that they have ironed out most of the serious problems and they only need to polish their desktop environment.

Agreed, but for an average non technical user, aesthetic appeal is more important that anything. In my opinion KDE is the only Linux DE that can be attractive to an average Win7 user. They just need to make those user think "I want this thing on my computer" when they lay their eyes on KDE.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Oh, my...
by jessesmith on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 13:55 UTC in reply to "Oh, my..."
jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

It took over an hour to check one box and download a new theme? That seems a bit unlikely.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

It took over an hour to check one box and download a new theme? That seems a bit unlikely.


There is no central "theme" in KDE4. One needs to click "a lot" to change the way KDE4 looks (especially a newbie). And options are not always easy to find or figure out. KDE4 look and feel options strike me as something they did in KDE4.0 just to release something functional and never touched it again.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Oh, my...
by cdude on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh, my..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

One needs to click "a lot" to change the way KDE4 look


If you change them a lot. Did you ever compare your end result with somebody's else end-result once done changing the KDE4 look a lot? Can you name something that was common at most of them once done and not default already?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Oh, my...
by Loreia on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 06:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

If you change them a lot. Did you ever compare your end result with somebody's else end-result once done changing the KDE4 look a lot? Can you name something that was common at most of them once done and not default already?


I am not so critical of default look. Well, since I want to change it, I guess I fall into "it is ugly" group.

I understand that what ever you do, you can't possibly please everyone. But when you have one guy stating defaults are "beautiful" and 10 other guys calling it "ugly" than you might consider changing something.

But that is not where the problem is. Let it be "ugly", "too gray" or whatever, just allow users to change it quickly and easily. And this is where KDE4 fails. It forces (!) users to set every little detail manually, instead of providing "themes" that could be created and shared easily, and applied with a single mouse click!!

Last time I tried to set the look, I've spent an hour and a half, and results were just horrible. Yes, horrible!! I had to pick a theme for each part of desktop, and in each category I had the same problem : I couldn't find the same theme. If Window color theme was "Joe11", than Taskbar theme did not have "Joe11" anywhere, and I would select "Frank55". When I was finally done my desktop looked like a joke. And the best part was that there was no "restore defaults" button. It was literally easier for me to do the reinstall (15 minutes) than to try to reset look to default. That is an indication of a seriously flawed design !!

And the worst part is: they have themes for each desktop element, now they just need to unite those themes into "global themes" that can be applied with a single mouse click. In this way they could reconcile "we want full control" and "we want simplicity and ease of use" approaches. But I guess that is simply not "KDE way".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh, my...
by gilboa on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 14:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh, my..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

/+1000.

Let alone the fact the 99% of all comments about KDE 4.x only comments about how ugly / unpolished / semi-designed it looks.
Beyond anything else, this speaks a great deal about to lousy state the IT industry is in.

No wonder MS is betting the farm on a Fisher Price interface for mentally challenged 5 y/o.

- Gilboa

Edited 2012-08-02 15:01 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Oh, my...
by lucas_maximus on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh, my..."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Like it or not first impressions are everything, and if something looks horrific (like that screenshot does) ... KDE's interface in the screen shot is far too busy.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Oh, my...
by Beket_ on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
Beket_ Member since:
2009-07-10

Like it or not first impressions are everything, and if something looks horrific (like that screenshot does) ... KDE's interface in the screen shot is far too busy.


The essence is that kde people don't even acknowledge that there's something horrific in what they release. From their POV kde's default look&feel is OK.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Oh, my...
by gilboa on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh, my..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Like it or not first impressions are everything, and if something looks horrific (like that screenshot does) ... KDE's interface in the screen shot is far too busy.


Keep in mind that:
1. "Horrific" is *very* subjective. I personally don't find the default KDE interface ugly, or pretty. (Though I do customize it heavily to my own liking *)
2. "Busy" is just as subjective. (If this SS looks busy, you do not want to have a look at my Desktop VD's or my Android screens).

As for first impressions go, I can only prey that our generation will not have to face the challenges our forefathers faced. Neither Churchill, nor FDR, Truman or, for that matter, Lincoln would have survived the "first impression" test.

In Hebrew there's a saying that (very) roughly translated says "If the fire caught the tall ceder trees, what would the moss say".
If knowledgeable (?) computer geeks can't get over a 5 second long first impression (especially given KDE's extreme customization options) and look deeper, why are we shocked that companies no longer invest on developing real technologies, spending instead billions on useless "design" patents and yet-another-stupid-social-web-apps?

- Gilboa
* I am looking forward for QML based kwin themes. IMHO, kwin's default oxygen theme is, err, OK, I guess.

Edited 2012-08-02 17:05 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Oh, my...
by lucas_maximus on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oh, my..."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

What the f--k does war and oppression have to do with a DE?

1) Anyone with any sense of taste would absolute hate that default look. It is hideous. Even worse than the colours is the fact that all the widths etc are just a little bit wrong.

2) It is really busy UI, in the screenshot there is

* weird glow effect around the windows.
* bloom behind desktop icons.
* gradients on f--king everything and they are all different than one another.
* grey on white (lets forget about constrast shall we).
* grey desktop background.
* 15 million greys and a little bit of blue ... yay I official want to kill myself.




I hate Windows 7 on first boot as well.

Edited 2012-08-02 18:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Oh, my...
by gilboa on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 18:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Oh, my..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

What the f--k does war and oppression have to do with a DE?


1. Lower the tone, drink a cup of coffee and re-read my comment.
2. Something tells me we don't share the attitude, or the taste. Feel free to disagree.

EDIT ... One thing though: Oppression? (Never mind; Something tells me I don't want to know the answer.)

Carry on. Nothing to see here.

- Gilboa

Edited 2012-08-02 18:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by Loreia on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 06:57 UTC in reply to "..."
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

I think of it (the lack of videos) as a good thing. Visually there is nothing new in 4.9, any videos out there that were recorded during previous release cycle will look identical to 4.9. It means that KDE is not focused on adding new features but on polishing existing ones and making internal optimizations.

Reply Score: 5

What is the best KDE distro nowadays?
by dsmogor on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 06:25 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

I'm now trying out Open Suse, but hugely disappointed how unpolished it is.
Where are the KDE strengths best exposed?

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'm now trying out Open Suse, but hugely disappointed how unpolished it is.
Where are the KDE strengths best exposed?


A company called Blue Systems has begun to sponsor KDE distribution based on Ubuntu (and hence Debian) repositories, which provide a very comprehensive range of packages. The latest set of these "sibling" distros are based on Kubuntu 12.04 LTS.
http://www.kubuntu.org/news/12.04-release

Blue System's own distribution is called Netrunner.
http://www.netrunner-os.com/dryland-second-edition-released/

Blue Systems also sponsor Linux Mint KDE.
http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2081

These three distributions all work pretty well, they are based on the same codebase and they use essentially the same repositories, with minor variations. They do each provide different features, themes and look and feel.

Netrunner, for example, doesn't use the kickoff menu by default:
http://www.netrunner-os.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Games.jpg
Netrunner also has fairly seamless visual integration of GTK applications:
http://www.netrunner-os.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Gimp.jpg

Mint has different artwork:
http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_maya_kde_whatsnew.php#artwork

"KDE is a vibrant, innovative, advanced, modern looking and full-featured desktop environment."

Maybe so, but the Linux Mint project is first and foremost a GNOME project (even though GNOME is starting to fracture nowadays), and it doesn't do KDE all that well. For myself, I run Kubuntu 12.04 LTS, but Netrunner is very interesting IMO, and I may switch to it.

http://www.netrunner-os.com/about/
Netrunner is a GNU/Linux Distribution sponsored by Blue-Systems.com

Netrunner is built on Kubuntu with default integration of Gnome and Wine. Our focus is on new users as well as “power-users”, making KDE an ideal choice.

It allows Netrunner to feel comfortable for a new user, while still offering powerful customization options (with inclusion of additional add-ons) to any user wanting to explore the possibilities of FLOSS.

We go by the principles

- Power-up, not dumb-down
- Include add-ons, codecs, customizations
- Avoid lock-ins, favor free(libre) alternatives if possible


Sounds a pretty good deal for individual users.

Edited 2012-08-02 07:13 UTC

Reply Score: 6

foobaz Member since:
2009-12-05

I recommend Fedora and Mageia as excellent KDE distros. They are both stable and have well-stocked package respositories.

Reply Score: 1

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

PCBSD also runs KDE.

Just for interest what wrong with Opensuse I always quite liked it although I haven't played with it for a few releases.

Reply Score: 3

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Me neither, I used to be on Ubuntu.

1. default desktop is a mess, half prepared
2. crashes (first one on bootup).
3. yast doesn't work in some scenarios
4. default font settings make them look unbearable (that I can understand) what is esp. visible on default font (that I cannot).

Generally feels very poorly integrated and amateurish. Looks, the Novel shambles troubles hit them hard.



Besides I had trouble grasping systemd but that's not their fault.
I've read somewhere I's the latest release is esp. disappointing.

Some upsides: boots up quite quickly and has lots of easily comprehensible support information over the web. The package tools based on RPM also worked quite well (to my astonishment). One click web installation is pretty cool .

Edited 2012-08-02 12:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Shame last Opensuse I used was quite good, YAST needs thinking about by Opensuse, for the Desktop there is too much server related stuff the Web YAST looks like nonsense - at least last time I saw it. The desktop, however, was well sorted and some tools were great ldap authentication on the clients was about 2 clicks

Reply Score: 2

Risthel Member since:
2010-12-22

Fedora's KDE build is very responsive.

Reply Score: 1

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Thanks a lot guys!

Reply Score: 2

I try to avoid KDE 3 these days
by Gullible Jones on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 13:36 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

Because every time I use the obsolete version, I notice how beautiful, configurable, usable, and ridiculously fast it is compared to version 4.

KDE 4 is acceptable if you have a powerful enough computer. It works pretty well on a Core 2 Duo machine with a fast SATA drive and 4 GB of RAM. But

- It doesn't offer a whole lot more functionality than KDE 3, in fact it offers less in some ways

- Login times are mad slow on netbooks

- Redraw delays and issues with Qt4 make it completely unusable on really low-end machines

BTW I'll admit I like the idea of Plasma in principle; unifying the panel and desktop applets into one application seems smart. But IMO it's less than satisfactory in practice, primarily because it's big and slow and cumbersome. I think Razor-Qt does a better job with that idea (see: 2 second start time for Razor-Qt vs. 30 second start time for KDE/Plasma),

Reply Score: 2

Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

Login times are mad slow on netbooks


I find login times to generally be Ok on an EeePC 701, although mine is pretty much just a minimalist base install (KDE folder is around 760mb) with Kmix, KolourPaint, KSnapshot, Kaffeine and Kwrite as the only software compiled from additional modules.

I'm still using KDE4.6 - It seems like more and more of the MacroOptionals have become "MacroNotSoOptionals" in later versions of KDE4, making it harder to maintain a smaller installation.

Reply Score: 2

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

I keep hearing people say that login times are "okay" or even "fast" on much less powerful netbooks than mine (an Eee 1005HAB).

Mind if I ask what constitutes a decent login time from your POV, and how you configured KDE to get it that way? For reference I typically get login times of 30 seconds cold and 20 seconds hot. (Timed with an actual wall clock, ha ha.)

Reply Score: 3

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

I run KDE on a Pentium M 1.4GHz with 1.25 GB RAM. Runs just fine. I've been running it since KDE 4.4, now runs KDE 4.8 and will run 4.9 once it gets into Gentoo Stable.

Reply Score: 4

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Again: what constitutes "just fine"? What start time? What custom settings?

Reply Score: 2

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Again: what constitutes "just fine"? What start time? What custom settings?


Start time - boot to login is roughly 10 seconds at most; login is may be another 10 or 20.

No custom settings. I even have Strigi and Nepomuk enabled.

Reply Score: 2

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

... Ten second boot? You're using an SSD aren't you.

Reply Score: 2

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

... Ten second boot? You're using an SSD aren't you.


Nope. 7200 RPM IDE drive.

[EDIT] It's got good seek times and a decent buffer as well. Circa 2005 - one of the first available to business/consumers to have 100GB capacity.

Edited 2012-08-03 17:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Sorry, I missed the bit about running Gentoo...

Hate to say it but IMO Gentoo doesn't count. Custom kernels, optimized toolchains, and manually tweaked dependencies are the domain of enthusiasts, not end users; your KDE may be fast, but someone using Kubuntu on a Pentium M machine with a little over a gig of RAM will find it pretty slow.

Reply Score: 2

Different strokes for different folks.
by DeadFishMan on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 13:54 UTC
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder? I think that KDE is currently the prettiest DE on the planet precisely because by default it uses very neutral colors (mostly shades of gray which, coincidentally or not, is pretty much the same palette used on OSX ) and the default Air and Oxygen themes are very beautiful and easy on the eyes. I for one love the transparency effects in the plasma applets and even in places where it could appear somewhat garish and overdone, the blur effect ensures that readability is not compromised.

On the other hand when I tried to setup a profile using an earlier version of Ubuntu with Unity for my wife to see if it would please her and make her life less miserable (since she has a heck of a hard time around computers, smartphones, etc.) her first remark was how ugly Unity was and why I would get to use KDE while she would have to settle with that, and I quote, "brown-ish monstrosity"? I had to revert that shortly after although she did appreciate the simplicity to some extent.

Having said that, I definitely agree that it would benefit KDE as a whole to streamline the theming options a little bit and that they should stop moving options in the system settings on every minor point release because it gets tiring after a while. It became so bad that even a long time KDE fan such as myself had a heck of a hard time trying to set certain DE shortcuts and in at least one case gave up altogether because it was impossible to find the damn option and googling for a solution showed lots of people struggling with that and no actual solution in sight except maybe something that used to work until version 4.6 or so...

Edited 2012-08-02 14:11 UTC

Reply Score: 5

13 second hang
by Jason Bourne on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 16:21 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

I want to know if the 13 second hang is still happening in a tiny while after you load up the desktop. If that is still happening, then I won't even try it. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: 13 second hang
by gilboa on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 17:10 UTC in reply to "13 second hang"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Did you report it?
(I seldom login / logout so I can't confirm it)

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 13 second hang
by Jason Bourne on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE: 13 second hang"
Jason Bourne Member since:
2007-06-02

And why don't you login? :-|
Surely there will be someone to confirm this here. I believe it's related to some component because when it 'unlocks' I get the login sound right after the halt.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 13 second hang
by gilboa on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 13 second hang"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

OK, OK.
I actually closed 2^32 open gvim windows just to confirm your issue. Hope you appreciate the effort ;)
I see the delay. Not sure if it was 10 seconds or 15.

If it bothers you and prevents you from using KDE, why don't you report it?

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 13 second hang
by righard on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 13 second hang"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

:help buffers
;)

Edited 2012-08-03 00:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: 13 second hang
by gilboa on Sat 4th Aug 2012 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 13 second hang"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

... Each with dozens of open buffers ;)

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 13 second hang
by Jason Bourne on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 01:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 13 second hang"
Jason Bourne Member since:
2007-06-02

Thanks Gilboa. Actually in Precise Pangolin with 4.9, I am not seeing the delay, but wait, there is a tiny tiny delay now just before the login sound. Last time I saw the delay it was present in Arch Linux + KDE 4.8.x and Fedora 17 + KDE 4.8.x.

KDE is not bad. However I see some things wrong with it: KDM is not that attractive, lack of more appealing themes, Oxygen UI button too small for 22" panels, the Kickoff Menu is one of the worst menus ever made, the Classic is also difficult to deal with (kudos for Mageia's own tweaking for that Menu though).

I think KDE should learn some things from GNOME 2 and from Unity. From GNOME 2, to have more simplicity instead of overkill options. From Unity/Canonical the importance of getting out of the box impecable typeface, theme and icons. Every time I do a KDE installation, the fonts suck really bad. It shouldn't be doing its own thing and trying to mimic windows in every way (I know it doesn't but come on...).

I still think MATE or Unity are the best in terms of usability.

Reply Score: 3

Opensuse
by marc.collin on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:19 UTC
marc.collin
Member since:
2012-08-03

i tried a lot of distribution and opensuse is the only one who polish their kde desktop.

i use it on some old machine (5 years old) with 2gig, work correctly.

nepomuk can slow down the machine when it index all the system.

opensuse have a great theme and font, any way, generic theme, color, font.... can be changed easily...

maybe some people can find default ui ugly but does any distribution use default kde value?

Reply Score: 2

Improvements
by Jason Bourne on Sat 4th Aug 2012 18:21 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

I checked on KDE for a few days and I can see subtleties and improvements, let me list a few:

- Log out/Shutdown menu: It is larger, and it is much better. I still don't know why it comes with a full moon but it's getting better, I no longer need to look for the button that was so small in order to tell it to shutdown. Perhaps if KDE guys just draw some square sign buttons like XMBC, then it would be perfect (and getting rid of the moon, of course).

- This is Ubuntu related, but the lightdm kde greeter is much better than KDM. Can anyone think of KDM improvements or even replace it to use lightdm?

- The selected itens now are not plain grey coloured, but you can see a salience that is done with a black line. I wonder why this was not implemented until now. But great work. The Oxygen theme was improved overall.

Things that need work, in my vision.

1) Well, the 'window task list' is a bit aged. We no longer need a 350 pixel block for a open window. Perhaps if someone copy the Windows 7 superbar minimization... They certainly copied some stuff from KDE, so now copy from them.

2) The KickOff Menu needs a complete revamp, perhaps something like Cinnamon is doing which is much better.

3) The 'SNAP' feature in KDE is much overkill. I usually snap windows just side-by-side. But in KDE you actually have to know where to snap them, otherwise you will snap it half-tall window. I think 4 places on a window is too complicated. You usually want to snap just a window sided by another to do comparisons and have 2 readings, etc. Plus it's easier to just snap it in any place of the side, instead of having to choose up or down sides as well.

4) The fonts in KDE vary drastically according to distributions. It would be good if KDE had its own font established. Typeface is also important so I think some settings should be on since the installation as anti-aliasing and default 'slight' and 'lcd'.

5) Perhaps the Oxygen Cursor theme needs to be a bit sharpy, it's too rounded in my opinion.

6) This is something to be told - about the window titlebar buttons: They are usually too small. I mean, really small. I urge you to take a look at how Windows 7 Aero ergonomy was designed. It's easier to click on a "[X]" in Aero than it is on KDE. GNOME 3 did something better on the design of buttons - they are larger, and much comfortable to click on. You just need to 'grasp' those little things that the user cares about.

Now, don't get me wrong. KDE 4.9 is probably the best release from the KDE 4 series. For release 5, all I ask is that you don't go the release route all open source projects seem to take which is break everything apart. You just turned 4.9 and it's quite good and close to perfection. Just remember to let go of some Windows XP things and adopt some Windows 7 things.

And as things go, I can see only 2 predominant desktops from now on in Linux. One of them probably Unity, which will be loved by Mac users and KDE which will be loved by Windows users. I don't really see a place for GNOME Shell other than obscurity. I'm still not sure what is going to be of MATE and Cinnamon. XFCE and the rest of those wm's will be what they always have been: an alternative to the alternative of the alternative. It's going to be KDE and Unity. I think they're quite on par with each other and with Windows 7/MacOS.

Edited 2012-08-04 18:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3