Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Mar 2008 17:52 UTC, submitted by irbis
KDE Ars takes a look at KDE 4.0.2. "When KDE 4.0 was officially released in January, there were a lot of gaping holes in basic functionality. During the past few months, the codebase has matured considerably, and the environment is steadily approaching the point where it will be sufficiently robust for widespread day-to-day use. Although there are still many features missing, version 4.0.2 - which was released last week - offers an improved user experience. We tested KDE 4.0.2 with the recently released Kubuntu 8.04 alpha 6." In addition, there is a new 'visual changelog' for KDE 4.1.
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RE: oy vey
by Kokopelli on Fri 14th Mar 2008 00:14 UTC in reply to "oy vey"
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As one of the more vocal of the protesters I felt I might as well respond... And let me start by saying I have a lot of respect for you and what has been done so far in KDE 4. The fact that I do not agree with every choice should not diminish this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

This still does not give the toolbox a purpose though.

I had to trim the quotes to fit, sorry.

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

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

Edited 2008-03-14 00:33 UTC

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