Linked by Rahul Gaitonde on Thu 15th Jan 2004 06:40 UTC
KDE Around 3 weeks ago, I downloaded the 2nd beta of KDE 3.2 from their FTP site. I've been using this release every day since then. The purpose of my writing this piece is not to highlight KDE 3.2's new features and applications - read the Changelog at KDE's site for that - but to give you a complete picture of how it measures up to its previous versions in terms of everyday use. Does it make me more productive? Is the command line more efficient yet? Or, even better, does it make me use the command line more effectively? Read on...
Order by: Score:
Thanks
by Alex on Thu 15th Jan 2004 07:00 UTC

A through and detailed article!

Still don't like Konqueror
by John Blink on Thu 15th Jan 2004 07:19 UTC

To me it is just a file manager using a khtml part.

It is not a true browser. But we have discussed this before.

I am excited about what you said about speed though. If you are pleased what it can do for you I am sure I could be pleased with my k6-2 450Mhz and 384MB RAM.

This was one of the areas that impressed me!
by Alex on Thu 15th Jan 2004 07:35 UTC

"I kind of like the idea of a file manager which supports tabs as well as split views"

KDE 3.2 has great tab support, better even than Mozilla's. I can simply drag a tab into the taba rea from one window to the other. Drag a file to a tab and that tab will activate allowing me to place it where I like. Drop a file on the tab bar and have it open in a tab. Etc. Pretty much anything you can think of, you cand o.

Also, I think many of your bug reports are invalid, this coming from the MDK 9.2 cooker snapshot. I also liek the way you showed off kdialog, it was impressive, I wish more reviewers would show such things.

Finally, about the Universal Sidebar, you can add, and remove entries from it. But with one great limitation, waht you remove or add from it will affect your sidebar in any Konqueror profile. If it were per profile it would allow you to have as you wished, history shown only in web browser mode, and many other nice things, such as website feeds only in web browser mode. Etc.

If you are of the same opinion, please vote for this bug =)

http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=58580

A more sane explanation of the above:

_______________________________________________________
Profiles don't remember sidebar tabs. For example, if I add a new sidebar tab, such as a link to my pictures folder or a media player it will not remember it in the view profile, it will remember it globally for all profiles. Same thing happens if I want to remove a sidebar tab such as a the media player from one of my profiles, such as the web browsing profile. It removes it globally.

All sidebar options should be saved in the View Profile. This way I will only have the RSS feeds display in my web browsing file, as well as history, eliminating the clutter of my file management profile.
________________________________________________________

Also related to Konqueror profiles is this bug: http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62678 You see, Konqueror profiles don't seem to remember the text zoom.

I know I shouldn't be advertising the KDE wishes/bugs I have, but it is really very related to the reviewer's plea.

Epiphany
by Nautilus on Thu 15th Jan 2004 07:37 UTC

"In addition, you can choose to have new tabs open up immediately after the current tab, rather than at the end of all tabs, as is the default in Epiphany. This is very convenient when I'm reading multiple, multi-page articles on the Internet."

This is in-correct. It opens them right after the current tab. It's one of the features I like of Epiphany. Probably a version that is too old? Or something Redhat related?

Menu cleanup?
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 07:42 UTC

When I tried KDE 3.1, there seemed to be too many context menu entries for everything (and not contextually related). Right clicking on an image in Konquerer, for example, popped up a contextual screen that stretched over more than half of my monitor with around 30 items (including "Burn to CD"). Yes, I want to burn a single image from a website to a CD. Sigh.

RE: Still don't like Konqueror
by sindre on Thu 15th Jan 2004 07:44 UTC

I think that's about as silly as saying konqueror is not a real file manager, it's just a browser with a file-manager part.

Konqueror is so modular it shouldn't bother you if there are parts you don't need.

Perhaps The Most Powerful Desktop Yet
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 08:07 UTC

As a former KDE user, now a GNOME user, I must say I'm pretty impressed. KDE has always had the better technology, but GNOME has the flawless presentation.

The problem with KDE is not necessarily a lack of technology, but an abuse of technology. The fact that something can be done, doesn't necessarily mean it has to be done. KDE is like the immature genius bragging about his quantitative abilities, instead of focusing on putting those abilities to functional use.

KDE has a powerful technology. But lacks focus in harnessing it. Take a look at the Konqueror tool bar for example. The fact that I can put whatever mini tools on the tool bar doesn't necessarily mean it is right to do that, or that I should do that. But in KDE land, anything goes.

The ease and power of the KDE technology, is its blessing and its curse. That's why KDE has always felt like a play environment to me. In KDE I am endlessly tweaking and ceaselessly surprised. In GNOME, I just work. Good review overall, I liked it.

Comment
by Claus on Thu 15th Jan 2004 08:10 UTC

Refreshing with a review - and a good one - from a real everyday user.
I'm writing this from kde3.1.4 and it had no cervisa in the toolbar out of the box - as it should be. It's probably out in front on the beta but only until the KDE developers no longer need it. I use it everyday at work so don't remove it entirely.
I've tested 3.1.94 a little and Konqueror can indeed now render some svg. In time this will be a major competitor to flash.

Splash screen
by quart on Thu 15th Jan 2004 08:29 UTC

"Splash Screen does not work. Now I've read a review and seen screenshots of the splash screen working fine. That reviewer had compiled KDE from source. So I guess this is a Fedora RPM issue"
Try installing ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/unstable/3.1.94/RedHat/Fedora/noarch/fed..., and you'll have your splash screen back

v National flags
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 08:38 UTC
RE: Still don't like Konqueror
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 08:44 UTC

sindre said...
I think that's about as silly as saying konqueror is not a real file manager, it's just a browser with a file-manager part.

Konqueror is so modular it shouldn't bother you if there are parts you don't need.

Konqueror is so modular it shouldn't bother you if there are parts you don't need.


You are so correct! That is why I shouldn't see file manager configurations or any other not needed feature of the file manager when in web browsing mode.

I hope they clean up the profiles for the different modes of konqueror. I estimated it will be around KDE 6.1.4

I don't hate KDE or its apps. It just needs this 'clean-up' which I don't see happening by next release or KDE 4.

RE: Still don't like Konqueror
by John Blink on Thu 15th Jan 2004 08:45 UTC

I am Anonymous above.

A little warning would be nice Eugenia.

RE: National flags
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 08:51 UTC

That's the most ridiculous complaint I've heard all day, but it's 2:50am here so the day is still young.

applications bloat
by ra1n on Thu 15th Jan 2004 09:13 UTC

Great review, with the first beta I've returned to kde from gnome 2.4 and I found great improvements, but also the same problems:
There are too many incomplete apps that do the same thing, for example the media players, you're right kaboodle and noatun simply sucks, they should switch to a full featured player like amarok or juk(the first is better, but the second has a better iTunes-like interface), and a good mplayer/xine frontend like gnome's totem (Kmplayer is good but I don't like its interface expecially the thin buttons, good for embedding it but not for a standalone player!). The same is for text editors, there are three text editors plus the embedded object that could be(at least in my beta) the advanced text component, qt text component(crashes) or (g/k)vim part (this is good!!!:-P)

Good Work!
by vecchio on Thu 15th Jan 2004 09:20 UTC

Great review. Only one thing though. To say that KDE 3.2 beta is faster than XFCE4 isn't even funny. Or are you running KDE-apps in XFCE?

The usual annotations and corrections...
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 09:31 UTC

> Under the "Peripheral" Section, there is a slight UI glitch that needs attention.

Which has been fixed in CVS already. Remember that this is a Beta and that many bugs will be fixed before 3.2 release and even after in the 3.2.x series.

> You can now right-click on a folder and "Open in New Window" or "Open in New Tab". In previous versions, this was limited to the "Web Browsing" profile, that is, for hyperlinks.

This is incorrect, KDE 3.1 supported tabs in file management mode with directories/files already.

> Tabs are now loaded by default in the background. In KDE 3.1, there was no such default

Perhaps no such default, but the option was there.

> I can't bookmark individual text/PDF/etc files in KDE's Bookmarks, only folders.

Wrong again. Open any file in Konqueror's internal viewer and call "Add Bookmark". Oder enter any URL in the bookmark editor.

> Kwrite and Kedit, though, seem to be treading on each other's feet. How is any one of them different from the other?

KEdit supports bidirectional editing, that's the only reason why is it still included. Next KDE's Kate/KWrite will support bidi, then KEdit will be dropped.

> Splash Screen does not work. [..] So I guess this is a Fedora RPM issue.

As a previous comment said, it's a local installation problem.

Good review.
by Tudy on Thu 15th Jan 2004 09:33 UTC

I hope KDE 3.2 WILL make a difference from what we have already seen in the Linux DE world. I am a Gnome 2.4 user (switched from KDE 3.1.4), but I just want to say that it is good to have both around. If KDE 3.2 will rock my Linux experience, I will switch to it. If Gnome 2.5 (or whatever is the next version) will prove to be more unified and consistent and perform better, I will switch again. Anyway - it's good to have CHOICE - I'm trying to be as flexible as possible.

BTW - he is right about the multimedia apps used as defaults. Xmms with all necessary plugins and MPlayer should be enough. For all content, DVD, MP3, OGG, Real, WMA/WMV, Quicktime, etc.

I don't know who is taking care of the mplugin project - but if they could improve it in such a way that we could have it show "play-stop-rw-fw" controls in webcontent, that would definitelly take away all advantage windows-browsers have in terms of content capability.

:::PROUD TO LIVE IN THE BIRTHLAND OF LINUX:::

FASTER THAN XFCE4?
by Artem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 09:37 UTC

Jeez, I can't believe until I try it! Too bad it will take long before it appears in my distro's repository...

KDE
by sap on Thu 15th Jan 2004 09:54 UTC

Its pretty clear that its now the fastest, most comprehensive, and most fully-featured Desktop Environment out there - further - its not really overstating it to suggest its an awesome piece of work - only hope KDE doesn't integrate too many weaker apps that duplicate some of the functionality of more accomplished OSS.

Thanks to everyone at KDE ..... the work's appreciated.

Kwrite vs KEdit
by Troels on Thu 15th Jan 2004 09:54 UTC

The only reason KEdit is still around is because kate, and hence kwrite too, doesn't suppport bidi input, which makes them not work with many languages.

When/If this is fixed KEdit should go away.

Kaffeine is a great KDE media player
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 10:30 UTC

Please look at http://kaffeine.sf.net/ , it is a Xine-frontend for KDE which feels completely right this time! It docks, has proper playlists, and more! I love it!

tip: prelinking
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 10:35 UTC

The reviewer is satisfied with KDEs speed, but please take prelinking into consideration too. It greatly increases the startup speed of all KDE programs.

Very good review
by pieter on Thu 15th Jan 2004 11:06 UTC

Seems like kde will rock.

kde all the way
by tetsuo on Thu 15th Jan 2004 11:10 UTC

we know we are the best ;)

down with noatun!!!!
by ybouan on Thu 15th Jan 2004 11:34 UTC

KDE 3.2 has Juk which combined with kmplayer removes the need fo noatun and kaboodle.

In case you want an xmms like try amarok..

Down with noatun and bad playlist management!!!!

Konqueror? Bleuch
by Andrew D on Thu 15th Jan 2004 12:14 UTC

It is the single thing that makes me not like KDE over any other. I can't stand it. I've not used it since 3.0 but it's just such a decrepit representation of a file browser and I do not understand why they had to follow suite after Windows with the combining the web browsing functionality into the file browser. Hell, it doesn't even do it as 'well' as Windows/Internet Explorer does and I hate IE. ;)

To be honest, file/system browsers in general are really poor imo in Linux. I prefer the look and of Gnome, and a lot of the design ideas of it but Nautilus is a disaster too, although a more cleanly presented disaster than Konqueror.

C'mon guys, someone produce a nice simple browser that does the job well without making you feel like you need a degree to use it, or need to learn to work around it's design ideas.

RE: down with noatun!!!!
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 12:26 UTC

"KDE 3.2 has Juk which combined with kmplayer removes the need fo noatun and kaboodle."

No, JuK is no match for Noatun with the Hayes playlist. Maybe if Juk gets two or three magnitutes of order faster, but until then it's Hayes.

re: down with noatun!!!!
by Zedar on Thu 15th Jan 2004 12:26 UTC

I don't quite understand everyone's problem with noatun... I use it to listen to my mp3s all the time without a problem, indeed i wouldn't want to use anything else. I agree that the default playlists suck, but if you install the Hayes plugin it can't be beat. Easy to use and completely integrated with kde.
And of course kaboodle is what I use for viewing videos, because most of the time I don't want those loaded into my playlist, so a one off player is handy in that case.

v The names doesn't help
by Oscar on Thu 15th Jan 2004 12:29 UTC
RE: The names doesn't help
by Dave on Thu 15th Jan 2004 13:02 UTC

> Juk, Noatun, Kaboodle, Amarok...
>
> What the hell! These are all terrible, amateurish, and
> *retarded* sounding names!

I agree here - there are too many silly names in linux period. Yast, xine, kate, konqueror, even Mozilla etc... I'm not saying that these programs are bad (the programs I've mentioned are fantastic!) however, to a Windoze user who is used to "Windows Media Player", "Internet Explorer" etc, it would all be a little confusing.

"KDE Media player", "KDE Explorer", "KDE Text Editor" etc. might make things a little more accessible. That's assuming that a 'doze user can accept "KDE" or "Gnome" as names for desktops...

I know that people could say the same about "Excel", "Powerpoint" etc. and I can't argue for those either.

Kaboodle
by Phuzzi on Thu 15th Jan 2004 13:19 UTC

I use Kaboodle all the time, it's a good no nonsence media player. The only things i'd like for it are some simple on screen controls when in full screen mode and a faster start up time.

Is what the reviewer says true, how many people use Kaboodle?

GoBe?
by Buck on Thu 15th Jan 2004 13:21 UTC

Now it's a good trend - BeOS gets noticed even in kontext of KDE and Linux.

JuK
by Phuzzi on Thu 15th Jan 2004 13:23 UTC

Would've been nice to see a mention of JuK as well.

RE: The names doesn't help
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 13:40 UTC

""KDE Media player", "KDE Explorer", "KDE Text Editor" etc. might make things a little more accessible"

Not possible. The number of companies who used "Explorer" or "Mediaplayer" in their software's names and which got sued by Microsoft is rather long.

And descriptions are possible in KDE's menus since a long time and good distros should have them enabled by default. An example for the current possibilites: Mozilla (Web Browser), Web Browser (Mozilla), Mozilla.

--nodeps --force ?
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 14:23 UTC

"rpm -Uvh ./*.rpm --nodeps --force"

What are you thinking ? This can break your rpm database, and
is the wrong way of doing an upgrade.
The correct is rpm -Uvh *.rpm

Martin Andersen

RE: The names doesn't help
by Dave on Thu 15th Jan 2004 14:25 UTC

> ""KDE Media player", "KDE Explorer", "KDE Text Editor"
> etc. might make things a little more accessible"
>
> Not possible. The number of companies who used "Explorer" > or "Mediaplayer" in their software's names and which got > sued by Microsoft is rather long.
>
> And descriptions are possible in KDE's menus since a long
> time and good distros should have them enabled by
> default. An example for the current possibilites: Mozilla > (Web Browser), Web Browser (Mozilla), Mozilla.

Yes, I did think about the copyright issues when I posted my comments. However, these were just examples of more descriptive names. "KDE Multimedia Centre" might work... "KTunes" maybe (Apple might not like this...). Anything must be better than Juk, kaboodle, noatun, xine etc... There is a KMPlayer (that I didn't know about) although I'm not sure how good it is.

It's not to say that there aren't reasonable names though - Mplayer, KWrite are just a couple of decent names.

gsgf
by freak on Thu 15th Jan 2004 14:33 UTC

"KDE has a powerful technology. But lacks focus in harnessing it. Take a look at the Konqueror tool bar for example. The fact that I can put whatever mini tools on the tool bar doesn't necessarily mean it is right to do that, or that I should do that. But in KDE land, anything goes."

Pleeeease!

You know, when you DO HAVE the underlying technological options, and you don't like some, getting rid of tem is *easy*: you just rewrite the GUI (that's easy in KDE).
If a company wants better context menus, better UI, they can always re-arrange things (and many do it, like Xandros).

On the other hand, when you DON'T have the technologies as in Gnome, then it is easy to be lean and easy on the UI: you simply don't have anything to show but basic stuff.

Hell, even their File Dialog took 6 bloody years to be fixed, and it still is not ready.











Command line for cursors and fonts?
by ranger on Thu 15th Jan 2004 14:53 UTC

You've been using the command-line for choosing cursor themes? Mandrake users have been able to install the cursor_themes package and run choose_cursor from the menus since Mandrake 9.1. Incidentally, it uses kdialog (which has been around much longer than since 3.1, it was there in 3.0 I am quite sure ...), which also means that it's difficult to do previews, so I am glad KDE-3.2 has support for cursor themes.

Also, the services tab has been there for ever ...

I wonder if you've ever tried gvim, and in KDE-3.2 kvim should also be available. I just wonder about someone who takes kate over vi because of searching capabilities ... have you used regex-based searches in vi?

Otherwise, quite a nice review, but a number of issues you mention weren't present in the beta packages I had on Mandrake cooker last month (insufficient bandwidth at present to keep up).

Great
by matt on Thu 15th Jan 2004 14:55 UTC

I've had 3.2 installed on SuSE for a few weeks now, and you pointed out a lot of features I did not know about. Great job on the article! And great job to the KDE team for the improvements.

My one request is to have panel transparency set on a per-panel basis, not just a global setting. Maybe in time . . .

wrong system specs?
by O on Thu 15th Jan 2004 14:57 UTC

"The target machine - my only computer - is a Pentium II 266 MHz"

He says he runs XP on it WTF?? I tried XP on my old P2 400MHz before I sold it and it ran miserably (very bad response time, had to wait for the start menu to pop up etc.). Mandrake 9.0+KDE3 ran slow even on my 800MHz linux comp, is KDE 3.2 a LOT faster or does mr Rahul Gaitonde posess the most extraordinary patience?
Perhaps we should chip in for an upgrade for him? ;)

Great review!
by Al Hartman on Thu 15th Jan 2004 15:01 UTC

Very informative. Thanks!

It's especially refreshing to read a review from a user with older hardware who is saying that a newer version of a major component of most Linux Systems is getting faster.

I find is hard to connect to people who review with Dual P4 systems with googlebytes of RAM.

I have a PII 300mhz machine that I think I'd like to setup to run Fedora and the new KDE beta just to play.

So, I think I will.

Thanks!

BTW, did you say what version of the Kernel you are running?

Re: Great review!
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 15:14 UTC

> BTW, did you say what version of the Kernel you are running?

This http://img.osnews.com/img/5670/kcontrolresize.jpg image from the 2nd page should tell you ;)

Re: Re: Great review!
by Al Hartman on Thu 15th Jan 2004 15:21 UTC

> This http://img.osnews.com/img/5670/kcontrolresize.jpg image from the 2nd page should tell you ;)

DOH!!!

Thanks! I wonder if that system would run even better with the latest 2.6.x Kernel?

It would be great to hear how that worked.

re: wrong system specs?
by Al Hartman on Thu 15th Jan 2004 15:25 UTC

> He says he runs XP on it WTF?? I tried XP on my old P2 400MHz before I sold it and it ran miserably (very bad response time, had to wait for the start menu to pop up etc.). Mandrake 9.0+KDE3 ran slow even on my 800MHz linux comp, is KDE 3.2 a LOT faster or does mr Rahul Gaitonde posess the most extraordinary patience? <

How much RAM did you have in that 400mhz machine?

He has 384mb, in XP that helps a LOT. I'm sure it does in Fedora too.

Also, how good are the hardware drivers for the hardware you are using. Intel 810 is pretty ubiquitous, and I'd bet Intel had a hand in making the drivers for that hardware as good as possible.

If you have other, less well supported hardware your mileage may be (and obviously was) different.

RE:re: wrong system specs?
by O on Thu 15th Jan 2004 15:47 UTC

Good point, I had 128MB SDRAM, and ran win98 just fine, I doubt many people would like to run XP on less than say 500MHz, it should bog down the system running just a couple of apps simultainously..
My point was that while XP is snappy mdk9/KDE3.0 runs rather slow on my 800MHz with 512 ram, thus if KDE3.2 runs ok on his setup the performance increase in KDE3.2 has to be very impressive? I also want to point out that "acceptable performance" varies from person to person, for me doing stuff like browsing files has to be snappy as in XP, not SLOW like in KDE3.0.

Easy RPM Upgrade
by Ed Holden on Thu 15th Jan 2004 15:57 UTC

This is a great and detauled review. And best of all, it has pictures, which a desktop review should always have. Hell, I even think the distro reviews should have screenshots, if only to break up the text.

Just a note, you can also do Freshening and Upgrading of RPMS directly from the FTP site. This didn't work on older versions of RPM, but the version that comes with Fedora Core 1 can do it. And you can use wildcards in the FTP URL. So you can do this:

rpm -Uvh --nodeps --force ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/unstable/3.1.94/RedHat/Fedora/i386/*.rpm...

RE: National Flags
by nonamenobody on Thu 15th Jan 2004 16:35 UTC

>> Why did they have to pur national flags in the control center ? Almost everyone is trying to avoid stupid conflicts about nationalities in international projects and Kde seems to bring it up once again !
>> What's more, a US flag is in, despite every defaults already on US config. Couldn't they choose more neutral or symbolic coutries, like Ethiopia (to show support with their poor economy), Chinese, Japon, Russia, or Arabic Countries(to show the complexity of settings) ?

The icon you complain about depends on the iconset you use, it is not (AFAIK) part of KDE. It is very different from the 'Regional & Accessibility' icon shown on my system (SUSE 9.0 running KDE 3.2 beta2). My system shows two ficticious (AFAIK) flags.

RE: Andrew D
by Phillip on Thu 15th Jan 2004 16:42 UTC

"C'mon guys, someone produce a nice simple browser that does the job well without making you feel like you need a degree to use it, or need to learn to work around it's design ideas."

I thought that was Safari.

Fine !!
by Jan de boer on Thu 15th Jan 2004 16:46 UTC

This is the first GOOD review i saw in ages here. Most reviews are somewhat biased and more trollish then serious. I really enjoyed reading this review with nice screenshot; the pros and cons are both in here.

Mouse gestures
by Balthazar on Thu 15th Jan 2004 16:52 UTC

I think the new integrated mouse gesture functionality should be mentioned. Very convenient to launch apps with a few strokes.

Performance vs XFCE
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 17:14 UTC

The author is probably not referring to startup speed, but rather, responsiveness. XFCE is not really a complete DE, because you end up using mostly GTK2 apps. GTK2 is not terribly fact (except for in startup speed) hence you end up with the impression that KDE is faster. On my machine, anyway this seems to be the case.

ACLs
by panzi on Thu 15th Jan 2004 17:33 UTC

The only thing I miss about konqueror is a NT/2k similar feature to edit ACLs (when ACL support is compiled into the kernel).
Are there any planes to add this feature?

Good review
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 17:33 UTC

I'm running beta2 right now, and there are a couple of things I would have done differently:

1) Kwin III is a regression. Its context menus are more complex (it relegates such important features as "keep on top" to a submenu!). More importantly, its not as fast as kwin II. With metacity, KDE 3.2 because *extremely* good at resize performance. Even Konqueror becomes competitive with IE! Expose lag and resize lag is something that I rarely saw with KDE 3.1.x, but now its relatively common (though, not as bad as GNOME). Unfortunately, metacity doesn't seem to be completely EHWM-compliant, which means you can't use it with some of KDE's more advanced feature (menu-at-top). Its focus-stealing prevention is also kinda broken, especially when interacting with the password manager.

2) You forgot to mention the password manager, spell-checking, and hotkey support. KDE's got a new wallet-style password manager that lets you use one password to handle all of your accounts. The spell-checking lets you spell-check text-input forms (say, in KHTML). And the hotkey support lets you do hotkeys and mouse gestures on a system-wide basis.

3) Crystal SVG 1.0 is a big improvement over previous releases, even the earlier CrystalSVG 1.0-beta2. The icon set is pretty much complete, and look very sharp. There are still one or two icons that are not great (64x64 versions of the spell-check icon, for example) but that should be fixed sooner rather than later ;) On a slightly related note, KOffice fixed its previously atrocious Bold/Italic/Underline icons ;)

4) The UI is simplified, though not as much as I'd like. Konqueror is better, but still closer to IE than Safari. KMail's toolbar is close to perfect, but its context menus are very bloated. I think JuK's UI is more or less perfect (although I can't remember if that is because I customized the toolbar ;) )

Review
by Tudy on Thu 15th Jan 2004 17:41 UTC

I think KDE is the biggest piece of memory module hogging pile of crap on earth. If you have over 512meg/ram and a XP 2600+ processor then you might be ok. Otherwise it sucks...

I hate the country of Finland where Linux is from. I have built a sign in my front yard.

@Tudy
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 17:49 UTC

RAM is cheap. Also, don't forget that while KDE might have higher initial overhead, its memory usage doesn't grow astronomically with use. When MS Office gets loaded into Windows, it drags in its own UI toolkit, etc. When KOffice gets loaded into KDE, it makes use of many of the libraries that are already loaded, so the memory usage doesn't grow as quickly.

@Tudy
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 17:49 UTC

RAM is cheap. Also, don't forget that while KDE might have higher initial overhead, its memory usage doesn't grow astronomically with use. When MS Office gets loaded into Windows, it drags in its own UI toolkit, etc. When KOffice gets loaded into KDE, it makes use of many of the libraries that are already loaded, so the memory usage doesn't grow as quickly.

kate vs. gvim
by Gabe Yoder on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:03 UTC

Overall, I though it was a pretty good review and I am looking forward to the stable release. Just a minor comment regarding his switch from gvim to kate. He mentioned that he wasn't able to use the scroll wheel in vim or gvim. He must have something misconfigured somewhere because I use a scrollwheel with gvim all of the time and have never had any problems.

RE:kate vs. gvim
by Yan on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:12 UTC

I have the same problem, although my scrollwheel works in about everything except gvim. I thought it just wasn't supported in gvim.

RE:kate vs. gvim
by bsdrocks on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:20 UTC

No problem here, I use it everyday (more than 8 hours per day). It's gvim w/ GTK2, the scrollwheel just works perfect on FreeBSD 5.x.

RAM, CPU
by P on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:21 UTC

lol, I have 384MB of RAM and a 850MHz Duron.. KDE 2.3 is snappy (and I'm saying that as an ex-BeOS user. sure, not as snappy as BeOS, but snappier than KDE 2.x was)

RE:Mouse gestures
by Claus on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:33 UTC

I was trying to get that to work but no luck. How did you setup that up to get it to work?

Who uses KDE?
by Yan on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:45 UTC

I was wondering who uses KDE? Sure everybody probably started with KDE, for most newbie, KDE IS linux. But once you get used to linux, isn't natural to move to something lighter, like fluxbox or xfce, something that doesn't get between you and your work? Are there any powerusers that uses KDE?

Good review
by Peter-Paul Hahnl on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:49 UTC

I'm not a regular Linux user (yet - still stuck with my Knoppix CD), but I'm interested. And this review is one of the best articles on the KDE/GNOME-topic I've recently read in OSNEWS.

me
by P on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:49 UTC

When I started out on Linux there was no KDE. I've used the first alpha and beta versions. I moved on to Enlightenment, WindowMaker, Gnome, back to WindowMaker, KDE, WindowMaker, BeOS ;) , WindowMaker, Gnome, Enlightenment and finally back to KDE.

KDE is not just for newbies or powerusers.. KDE is a desktop environment and it's really comfortable for me. I don't care much anymore for simple thins like xfce and windowmaker, I just want to use my computer and click on little icons and have programs popup so I can do my work, and KDE fits the bill. It doesn't get in the way for me, and the programs are useful and stable and consistent. Everything works together and I'm happy (especially since I don't spend all my time on the computer anymore!)

RE: The names doesn't help
by Tyrone Miles on Thu 15th Jan 2004 18:52 UTC

This is the reason why companies like Lindows have rebadged the applications that they use so that Novice users don't get confused. A lot of people don't like Lindows doing that but I don't ahve a problem with it as long as they give them credit in the help files and put in the proper copyright information. (Which should include the real name of the app etc)

@Yan
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 19:05 UTC

I probably qualify as a power user, and I use KDE ;) At any given time I'll have a dozen Konsole windows open working in vim ;)

I don't think it at all natural for more advanced users to gravitate towards fluxbox or XFCE. I mean, its fine if they prefer that, but its not the "natural progression." I use KDE mainly because its utterly customizable, and because of the powerful framework that offers things like KIO, etc, to all apps.

Oh, and Linus uses KDE ;)

re: Who uses KDE?
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 19:07 UTC

I still use it. I also use fluxbox, xfce, gnome.

I like typing smb://server-ip/share in konq and boom, i'm there.

i like having the centralized control panel in kde.

i like wireframe window mode (gnome/metacity doesn't have it)

i like the themes.

sure fluxbox is great, but all my desktops have 1 gig of ram, and are 1800 athlon xp or faster...so i don't notice any problem with loading up kde.

Names???
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 19:08 UTC

I don't get this whole name thing. Windows apps have pretty silly names too. How does the name "Excel" make you think of a spreadsheet??? How does Trillian make you think of a IM client? Names are completely arbitrary in all environments. If you are worried that users won't know (a big strech, they seem to do just fine in Windows!) which apps do what, just turn on "Name (Description)" support in the KMenu.

RE: Good review
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 19:23 UTC

> 1) Kwin III is a regression. Its context menus are more
> complex (it relegates such important features as "keep on
> top" to a submenu!). More importantly, its not as fast as
> kwin II. With metacity, KDE 3.2 because *extremely* good at
> resize performance.

kwin III has a small bug that cause it to loose motion events, so resize & move feels slower. however kwin maintainer refuse to correct this because he does not see any problem with the current code.

u can try changing the 3rd argument of XGrabPointer in geometry.cpp(line 1517) to True the see the difference...

how about a *current* setup
by rockwell on Thu 15th Jan 2004 19:38 UTC

Good grief, a review based on a six-year-old PC?

Sheesh! How would the new KDE work on a new system?

RE: Good review
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 19:51 UTC

> kwin maintainer refuse to correct this because he does not see any problem with the current code

And you did point out the place where the error is or provide a patch? No? That's must be a bastard then not finding your error. ;-)

old machine
by sap on Thu 15th Jan 2004 19:58 UTC

Yep - on a 1.7ghz Celeron it fly's - however - nice to see it running so well on an old machine - maybe would have been more positive still with a newer more representative box......

RE: --nodeps --force ?
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 20:00 UTC

It would appear that the builder of these RPM forgot to define the epoch value in the kdeaddons package, but remember to make the Requires: %{epoch}:%{version}-%{release}. So, if you try to install with out --nodeps --force RPM stops with:
error: Failed dependencies:
dkeaddons = %{epoch}:3.1.94-0.2 is needed by kdeaddons-atlantikdesigner-3.1.94-0.2

The bonus of playing with unstable packages ;)

Mike

RE: Good review
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 20:01 UTC

> And you did point out the place where the error is or
> provide a patch? No? That's must be a bastard then not
> finding your error. ;-)

i did both, he refused...
on his system, he cannot see any difference between kwin & metacity

off topic
by sap on Thu 15th Jan 2004 20:06 UTC

A bit off topic - sad to think how many people this year will be getting a rather blinkered/limited view of Desktop Linux via Sun's Gnome 2.2 based Java desktop - would be nice to see KDE getting a look in somewhere in the Corporate world - quite bizarre really, considering .....

RE: Who uses KDE?
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 20:15 UTC

Dunno if i am a poweruser (i do mainly c++ and web-development) but with the 3.2 beta i startet using kde besides windowmaker on one of my boxes and i truly like it.

re: how about a *current* setup
by rain on Thu 15th Jan 2004 20:33 UTC

well, a lot of people (including me) still have older machines for desktop use. I seriously don't get why I would need anything faster than my celeron 400 to browse, chat, liten to music, watch movies, write poetry, do web development etc.
I have a faster machine but that's one dedicated to music production, and for that specific task it needs a fast CPU. But for regular desktop use there's no need for a "modern" machine. So I think it's good so see reviews where older hardware is used cause a lot of people still use it.

re: RAM is cheap
by PainKilleR on Thu 15th Jan 2004 20:41 UTC

RAM is cheap. Also, don't forget that while KDE might have higher initial overhead, its memory usage doesn't grow astronomically with use. When MS Office gets loaded into Windows, it drags in its own UI toolkit, etc. When KOffice gets loaded into KDE, it makes use of many of the libraries that are already loaded, so the memory usage doesn't grow as quickly.

I fail to see what Office has to do with anything. I'm running Win2k right now with Outlook open (w/ Word enabled as the editor for email), VS.Net running, and WMP playing through a decent playlist, and Firebird is taking up more RAM than anything else (with only this site open). Besides, you said it yourself, RAM is cheap, and the post you replied to was little more than a troll.

I'm a power user
by Dawnrider on Thu 15th Jan 2004 20:44 UTC

Hi all...

I'm officially a power user, I guess. I do all the usual web tasks, plus web development and I code servers and interfaces to servers for a living. I generally use Mandrake and the most current (relatively stable) KDE I can get my hands on.

The reason I love Konqy, put simply, is the integrated terminal emulator. You can't beat the combination of file view + sidebar tree navigation + tabs and a command line all in the same window. It's the ultimate hardcore file manager!

2 questions
by TNorth on Thu 15th Jan 2004 21:46 UTC

I like the sidebar...
An eye-candy questions : is it possible to have it transparent ?
Is it possible to load Kopete into this sidebar ? this could be great !

I am very astonished that it runs so good on a 266Mhz... i actually run Kde 3.1.2 on a k6-2 450Mhz with 128 Mb ram and konqueror and mozilla are so loooong to apear... and don't speak of OOo (no troll please)
More ram would do a good difference?

re: 2 questions
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Jan 2004 21:58 UTC

"I am very astonished that it runs so good on a 266Mhz... i actually run Kde 3.1.2 on a k6-2 450Mhz with 128 Mb ram and konqueror and mozilla are so loooong to apear... and don't speak of OOo (no troll please)
More ram would do a good difference?"

RAM actually affects performance. It really does. Take Windows 2000 pro for example. a 535 Celeron with 64 mb ran it really good. However load more than 1 app and kiss performance good bye, its that simple. I would recommend at least 256 mb ram on any modern os now a days even for linux(unless its only commandline) of course. and if you have a 450 mhz cpu I doubt youd want to have all the GUI features enabled for it to run well. Though I have an Imac 400 mhz g3 and it loads KDE 3.1.4 apps fast.

@PainKiller
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 22:08 UTC

My point was that KDE's memory usage is not as bad as it seems at first. KDE has tons of libraries in there by default, and lots of apps use them. Because KDE loads all these libraries at startup (through kdeinit) KDE has a higher *initial* memory usage. However, as you start up more applications, the total memory usage doesn't go up as fast as it does in Windows.

Office was simply an example of a Windows application that tends to "roll its own" (for example, its toolkit).

@PainKiller
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 15th Jan 2004 22:10 UTC

My point was that KDE's memory usage is not as bad as it seems at first. KDE has tons of libraries in there by default, and lots of apps use them. Because KDE loads all these libraries at startup (through kdeinit) KDE has a higher *initial* memory usage. However, as you start up more applications, the total memory usage doesn't go up as fast as it does in Windows.

Office was simply an example of a Windows application that tends to "roll its own" (for example, its toolkit).

v Email Accounts
by Tyrone Miles on Thu 15th Jan 2004 22:26 UTC
gdm
by karl on Thu 15th Jan 2004 23:22 UTC

Hi:

I have fedora installed, but didn't have kde installed just gnome. I installed all the packages mentioned in this article.

I have GDM as the login manager. It shows KDE on the menu, but when I try to login it complains that it couldn't launch kdeinit, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Could someone tell me how to properly add my new KDE install to GDM?

thnx

It's awesome
by felar on Fri 16th Jan 2004 00:04 UTC

Just tried it my self and could say i'm surprised. It's fast and pretty, runs smoothly... I'll be definetly looking forward for the final release.
If you just want to try out KDE 3.2 Beta 2, go and get Slax (http://www.slax.org/) Live CD (based on Slackware) distribution. It's only ~190MB and runs straight from cd-rom.

konqueror and pop ups
by Anonymous on Fri 16th Jan 2004 01:24 UTC

Does Konqueror have a popup stopper or not? I was not able to find one...

Thanks + suggestion
by ---- on Fri 16th Jan 2004 01:45 UTC

Thanks for a good review. Looking forward to trying KDE 3.2.

Never mind noatun, there's now KPlayer, kplayer.sf.net.

Imagine a XFCE clone using QT
by John Blink on Fri 16th Jan 2004 02:15 UTC

It primary use would be to run QT/KDE apps ;)

@ Rayiner Hashem
by ealm on Fri 16th Jan 2004 02:45 UTC

Office was simply an example of a Windows application that tends to "roll its own" (for example, its toolkit).

And how many apps doesn't do this in Linux?
When you say MS Office does in Windows I immediately come to think of OpenOffice...

@ealm
by Rayiner Hashem on Fri 16th Jan 2004 03:37 UTC

I wasn't talking about Linux in general, but KDE specifically. KDE apps, by and large, do not roll their own, because most things (even things like SMTP handling!) are provided by the KDE framework.

In general, though, there is more code sharing in Linux, as evidenced by the number of dependencies in most apps. This is especially true if you stick to apps from one desktop (GNOME or KDE) which will become increasingly possible when OpenOffice gets its native widget framework in 2.0.

@Anonymous
by Rayiner Hashem on Fri 16th Jan 2004 04:06 UTC

In reference to the kwin problem, I think I fixed most of it. Metacity appears to cap the redraw of the window to 20fps, to give the window manager time to catch up. FYI, Windows appears to do the same thing, though slightly more than 20 fps. I added support for that rate-limiting to kwin, and now, its about as nice as metacity on my machine. Over the weekend, I'm going to see if I can get the XSync-based synchronization into kwin and Qt.

ram, kde, and speed
by david sibai on Fri 16th Jan 2004 04:18 UTC

Hello,
I suppose I qualify as a power user. I've used (I started using linux around 1995/96) fvwm, window maker (a long time), enlightenment, and finally kde, and I love it (probably as much as the command line). It just does what I need, and above all, it is integrated. It feels rather consistent to me (I know it is not for some other people).
now, as to the new kde:
I now have a 1800+ system, running debian/kernel2.6.1. Until a month ago, I had around 140 Mb of RAM (bad ram module, had to use mem= in lilo.conf). not much. I had been running kde 3.1.x till then, which ran fine, but became extremely slow when more than one application was loaded, and never never ever felt snappy.
I built beta1 from source, and I could feel the difference. I mean, really feel the difference. My first reaction was much like the reviewer's: "boy this is fast". The system felt snappy, fast, so snappy that I felt I was on a microsoft system.
I then upgraded my system to 512 Mb of RAM. I compared again 3.1.x and 3.2. While the difference was noticeable with 3.1.x (but not amazing), for 3.2b1 the change was barely noticeable (apart of course from when I had tons of applications loaded at the same time). It felt as snappy & fast as with 140Mb of RAM.
Conclusion: RAM may be important, but not as important with 3.2 than with 3.1.x. I look from time to time to the other WM/DE (gnome included), but I won't be going back from kde.

@ Phillip (IP: 63.102.91.---)
by Andrew D on Fri 16th Jan 2004 07:49 UTC

"I thought that was Safari."

I was talking about file browser. ;)

As I said, I don't like the jamming of the two entirely different ideas of web and file browser into one. Konqueror to me seems to be a very bad implementation of a stupendously silly HCI idea.

Re: konqueror and pop ups
by Anonymous on Fri 16th Jan 2004 07:55 UTC

> Does Konqueror have a popup stopper or not? I was not able to find one.

Sure, in 3.1 or even 3.0 too: "Configure Konqueror.../Java & JavaScript/JavaScript/Global JavaScript Policies"

Poweruser
by dkite on Fri 16th Jan 2004 08:28 UTC

I couldn't live without the highlight - MMB paste that KDE does. Very handy. Any time I use another machine, windows, or other, I automatically try to do it since it is so natural.

Quanta is coming along very well for web page development, Kate is a very nice programming editor. Konsole lets you have many consoles open without filling up the screen, yet allows tearing off. KDevelop is very nice. The network transparency, ie. if you want to save a file to your website, ftp://ftp.your.site/yourdir/filename.whatever will ask for password and save it. Very nice and addictive. There are a number of protocols that are similarly accessed. KMail works very well, even with a large and complicated folder structure. And Konqueror works very well all around. Most applications open their functionality via DCOP, allowing scripting, with a tool, KDCOP that shows the exported calls that all open applications allow. There is powerful javascript bindings allowing quick one-off utilities, accessing most of the KDE library functionality. And you have spell checking of editlines in Konqueror, helping uneducated powerusers to spell their rants correctly.

So yes, powerusers use KDE. I would suggest powerusers are missing something if they are not.

Derek

RE: Who uses KDE?
by Janne on Fri 16th Jan 2004 08:40 UTC

"Are there any powerusers that uses KDE?"

Well, Linus Torvalds uses KDE, does he qualify as a "poweruser"?

Konqueror Fonts
by Paul Vandenberg on Fri 16th Jan 2004 13:07 UTC

I tried the RPMs for Fedora that were linked here. All the fonts were OK, except those rendered for web sites when I used the Konqueror Web Browser. Most pages had huge fonts. Decreasing fonts sizes helped for some sites, but not all. Is this because it's a beta? I keep saying that I won't use betas in the future, because I worry that problems I find, might in fact be features. But, I keep getting lured to try betas because the screenshots always look so cool!

Regards.

Kuickshow
by Jonathan Rawle on Fri 16th Jan 2004 13:17 UTC

I disagree with the comments about kuickshow, it's one of my favourite KDE apps! I always use it for viewing pictures as it's so fast, and it's convenient to press 9 to rotate, G to adjust the gamma, etc. I don't like a picture viewer embedded in Konqueror as it's so much slower, and none of these quick keyboard controls are availible. Am I the only person who prefers files to open in a separate window, rather than being embedded in the browser?

Also, why shouldn't bookmarks be included in the sidebar? Web browsing should be an integral part of the desktop environment (MS have been doing this since Windows 2000). Does the author also dislike the "Bookmarks" menu in the kmenu? I rarely start Konqueror as a web browser in any other way than choosing a bookmark from this menu.

Regarding KDE3.2 Beta Speed
by Nicholas Donovan on Fri 16th Jan 2004 16:32 UTC

No offense to any of those peope that run the latest and greatest. Believe me, when I'm compiling an app or doing database work I love a nice AMD Machine with tons of memory.

While I have many machines and many of which are over 1 or 2 GH Processing Speed, my main development machine is a Dell266 with 256MB of RAM

I use this as I know if an applications runs quickly on this machine, it will fly on yours. My company creates software which optimizes other software so as you can imagine we have all kinds of debugging and run/scope tools.

KDE 3.2 beta will run slower as there is a lot of debugging info still in many of the files. Strip them and you'll find an increase in speed (albeit your debugging ability will be somewhat diminished)

For those running on faster machines with 512MB of RAM and lack the ability to make KDE 3.2 run fast, I don't know what to tell you.

I run Slackware 9.1 with a 2.4.24 kernel. Pretty standard stuff and KDE 3.2 beta runs fine on my 266MHz machine. That's with Ioni optimization not even running.


Cheers,


Nick


Regarding Splash Screens....
by Nicholas Donovan on Fri 16th Jan 2004 16:36 UTC

One thing I noticed on those was that if you wanted to use another one besides the group photo one, you had to hit the button on the bottom left of the page in the Control Center.

I can't remember if it said "details" or "advanced" or something like that. That will allow you to get them workin.

It worked on mine anyway.


Cheers,


Nick

@Andrew D
by Archie Steel says Linux Rules! on Fri 16th Jan 2004 17:17 UTC

As I said, I don't like the jamming of the two entirely different ideas of web and file browser into one.

I guess it's a matter of taste. Personally, I love it, especially with the variety of protocols that can be used with Konqueror (http, file, ftp, smb, fish, etc.). The embedded Kparts truly make Konq a killer "swiss-army knif" app, especially with tabs: I can have a web page on a tab, a ftp site on a second (which lets me drag'n'drop files or use the "Move/Copy To" context menu item), a local file folder on the third, a movie player on the fourth, an image viewer on the fifth, etc.

I also like the Terminal applet that can be summoned at the bottom of the window, which can be very useful when doing Web site maintenance, downloaded RPM installation, etc.

Re: Splash screen
by garbage on Fri 16th Jan 2004 23:44 UTC

"Splash Screen does not work. Now I've read a review and seen screenshots of the splash screen working fine. That reviewer had compiled KDE from source. So I guess this is a Fedora RPM issue"

splash screen does not work on suse 9 build of kde 3.2 either FYI

Regarding KDE3.2 Beta Speed
by garbage on Sat 17th Jan 2004 00:37 UTC

"..KDE 3.2 beta will run slower as there is a lot of debugging info still in many of the files. Strip them and you'll find an increase in speed (albeit your debugging ability will be somewhat diminished) "

Yes I agree, the reviewer incorrectly gives an impression that the beta is faster than 3.14.

On a clean install of SusE 9 using P4 3Hz/512Mb RDRAM the prebuilt 3.2 rpms are no faster or slightly slower on the ole' eyeball-ometer.

RE: Perhaps The Most Powerful Desktop Yet
by OO.org-OS/X on Sat 17th Jan 2004 01:47 UTC

"The ease and power of the KDE technology, is its blessing and its curse. That's why KDE has always felt like a play environment to me. In KDE I am endlessly tweaking and ceaselessly surprised. In GNOME, I just work. Good review overall, I liked it."

This is a very astute comment ... though I would call KDE more a "feature test bed" than "play environment". If someone stepped up to the plate and did a comprehensive set of UI/HI tests and

* tool bars (why does a small brick wall appear on my tool bar ? - oh cervisia is installed!?). Then endless customization is sort of silly but could work I guess - only most icons are nearly meaningless.
* the K-Menu by default is just so large (worse than a 6 level deep Windows 98 "Start" menu in my view) and seems so difficult to edit compare to Gnome's panel menu.

Of course Gnome could learn from KDE. KDE's UI for associating applications with MIME/file-types is light years ahead of Gnome (and the underlying infrastructure actually works unlike Gnome where selecting an application to edit or view a file type has a broken UI and actually only works about 75% of the time). This seems to be recognized by various Gnome users.

http://www.gnome.org/~jrb/files/mime/

http://www.gnomedesktop.org/article.php?sid=1486&mode=thread&order=...
I agree with your review of the review! Good work to the author and to Eugenia :-)

XMMS
by owczi on Sat 17th Jan 2004 08:50 UTC

You mention lack of a system tray applet for xmms. While there is one. Quite a nice one. I guess KDE could merge it. As they did with KGamma - it was a separate kcmodule, but got into KDE for good.

John Blink wrote: To me it is just a file manager using a khtml part.

It is not a true browser. But we have discussed this before.


I'm curious to know, since you've discussed this before (though I'm not a constant OSNews reader) what you mean by this. What would it require to be a true browser? If I wished to use KDE 3.2beta2, I'd have bookmarks/bookmark management, password management, and gestures at my disposal. What's left?