Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Dec 2007 22:44 UTC, submitted by Moochman
KDE The newest version of KDE Four Live, an openSUSE-based Live CD for testing KDE 4, was released three days ago, just nine days after the initial version that included Release Candidate 1 was released. KDE/openSUSE dev Stephan Binner announced the release on his blog, celebrating the strong public interest in the initial RC1-based Live CD - over 10000 downloads achieved in the first few days. Meanwhile, although mainstream reviews of RC1 are still scarce, Binner's blog announcement of the previous version contained this interesting tidbit: "It looks like whatever [version of KDE 4] will be released or presented at the event which was fixed by the sponsor to happen in January will be only used by very early adopters. Hopefully openSUSE 11.0 will be able to ship some KDE 4.1.x release or some very high KDE 4.0.x release (which saw some light features freeze lift)," he wrote. Readers are welcome to download the newest Live CD (Torrent) and test it for themselves. A Debian LiveCD is also available, but it still includes KDE4 Beta4 and not RC1.
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Missed opportunity
by rx182 on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 05:38 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

The people behind KDE failed to create a new generation DE. They had the opportunity to do it with KDE4 but they kept taking the wrong decisions.

It was clear from the start: to gather more users, they had to innovate. They had to create something different. They had to do what Apple did with OSX. Unfortunately, they failed to do it. They spent too much time working on the underlying technologies. Now, all we have is the same old KDE built on some new but incomplete libraries plus a new theme.

I don't know why it ended up like this. Alot of people contributed great ideas during the development of KDE4. Someone somewhere refused to listen to people.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Missed opportunity
by Hiev on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 05:43 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

I second that, the promises of a fine new desktop, the new revolution, etc etc.

I see a desktop that is not impressing at all.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Missed opportunity
by Moochman on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 07:21 in reply to "RE: Missed opportunity"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I guess what you are talking about is for instance those "tear-off" applets and things like that--the good news is that the new kicker-replacement is in very good shape for being extended in the future, so even if the initial 4.0 release isn't "revolutionary", there's plenty of room to grow.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Missed opportunity
by jelway on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:12 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
jelway Member since:
2006-05-14

Are you a gnome-troll?

There seems to be this absolutely ridiculous idea, which you are clearly advocating, that there's a revolution waiting to happen with DEs. What in the world is suppose to go into a "new generation DE"? Is it going to do you work for you? Move the mouse for you? Knows what you're thinking? Orders a pizza for you? Make you look cool?

Were you around for the first few versions of OS X? A lot of the UI was slow - and sometimes unbearable. It took a few iterations, but now everything is peachy keen.

It could be argued from a programming stand point that redeveloping the underlining technology is the first step to making something better.

It probably ended up like this because the KDE people knew what they had to do to get it to a usable state before going trying something new and different. And unlike GNOME, the KDE developers do not give off an air that all users are stupid and should think the way they do.

But hey, if you're for an entirely new desktop experience and are fond of strapping a fancy UI and all that jazz on top of a flimsy piece of technology - there's always Vista.

Edited 2007-12-03 06:12

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: Missed opportunity
by Anonumous on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:42 in reply to "RE: Missed opportunity"
Anonumous Member since:
2007-06-13

This post isn't about KDE vs GNOME or whatever, I couldn't care less. But I felt I had to answer this particular section of your post...

> And unlike GNOME, the KDE developers do not give off an
> air that all users are stupid and should think the way
> they do.

It's not about stupid users. It's about users who have better things to do than learn about computers. It's about users who aren't familiar with all the techincal jargon programmers throw in their face. Etc etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-computer_interaction
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interaction_Design

Programmers usually design interfaces for their own kind, even if they are to be used by other kinds of people. In short, programming should be done by programmers, the interface should be designed by interaction designers.

GNOME and KDE _BOTH_ have their warts and for both DE:s, most of the interface is designed by programmers.

Edited 2007-12-03 06:43

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Missed opportunity
by rx182 on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:44 in reply to "RE: Missed opportunity"
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08

Are you a gnome-troll?


I use XP. And KDE3 when I need to get work done on a unix env.

There seems to be this absolutely ridiculous idea, which you are clearly advocating, that there's a revolution waiting to happen with DEs. What in the world is suppose to go into a "new generation DE"? Is it going to do you work for you? Move the mouse for you? Knows what you're thinking? Orders a pizza for you? Make you look cool?


I bet you think what you use today is OK. Obviously, you have no taste. What I meant by "a new generation DE" was "something beautiful and easier to use". Today's DEs are ugly.

Were you around for the first few versions of OS X? A lot of the UI was slow - and sometimes unbearable. It took a few iterations, but now everything is peachy keen.


At least it didn't look horrible. But of course it was buggy, and that's why I didn't use it.

It could be argued from a programming stand point that redeveloping the underlining technology is the first step to making something better.


Normally.

It probably ended up like this because the KDE people knew what they had to do to get it to a usable state before going trying something new and different. And unlike GNOME, the KDE developers do not give off an air that all users are stupid and should think the way they do.


Are we talking about Gnome?

But hey, if you're for an entirely new desktop experience and are fond of strapping a fancy UI and all that jazz on top of a flimsy piece of technology - there's always Vista.


Vista is OK. Tho there's of room for improvement.

Edited 2007-12-03 06:45

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE: Missed opportunity
by grat on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:27 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

They had the opportunity to do it with KDE4 but they kept taking the wrong decisions.

Yeah, I know what you mean. KDE4 has been out for years, and now that KDE5 is on the horiz... er... wait. Sorry, we're still in 2007, and it hasn't been released yet.

How exactly has it failed? Oh, that's right-- Because someone who hasn't used it, probably doesn't know the difference between Phonon and Solid, definitely didn't contribute meaningfully to it, and bases their entire opinion off of a non-release version of the shiny bits said it's a failure.

At the end of the day, a desktop UI needs to be functional, and in the modern era of computing, be attractive enough to not cause one to gouge out their eyes after 8 hours of using it. KDE4 isn't there yet, and they decided the candidate for release wasn't a good candidate. That's their prerogative.

I don't know what revolution you were expecting, but I'm guessing your expectations were completely unreasonable.

They had to do what Apple did with OSX.

What, switch everything they did to someone else's OS, annoy a bunch of software vendors, provide a moving target of API's (carbon? Cocoa?), and then release a product so buggy, bloated and slow that practically no one used it? Or did you not actually use Mac OS X 10.0? And here's a hint for you... If the OSX UI is so bloody revolutionary, why does it look like a reskinned version of MacOS 9?

It definitely looks more like MacOS 9 did than Vista looks like KDE4, but everyone insists that KDE4 is just a poor imitation of Vista.

Alot of people contributed great ideas during the development of KDE4. Someone somewhere refused to listen to people.

Or maybe the ideas were impractical, and didn't include, oh, I don't know... CODE to go with them?

Reply Parent Score: 15

RE[2]: Missed opportunity
by rx182 on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:28 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08

I just played with that new LiveCD and I can confirm it's better than a week ago. The new APIs for Plasma seem more stable.

However, to make KDE4 usable, the people behind KDE needs to:
1- Completely replace the Oxygen style. It's just too white. The green bars do not fit. It's really hard to see where a widget starts and where it ends. KDE4 really needs something more refined. Just look at how Apple did it. It's not that hard you know. PLEASE MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. PLEASE...

2- Remove OpenSuse's Kickoff. Usability-wise, it stinks. It's by far the worst application launcher I have ever used (and I'm not the only one). It makes it really hard to go back and forth when searching for an application. Ever Kicker was better. No replacement for Kickoff? Reintroduce Kicker please! At least it was usable...

3- Plasma needs more work. It's starting to look beautiful but it needs more work. There should be a way to aggregate Plasmoids together. Also, I hope the new "taskbar" Plasmoid will change dramatically.

4- Keep on removing the useless junk from previous KDE releases. Bouncing cursor? Remove!

5- KDE4 needs a brand new control center. Something more beautiful and easy to use. The current one makes it boring to tweak KDE.

6- KDE applications in general need to adapt to KDE4. They need to be part of the "experience". Legacy applications do not feel at home.

...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Missed opportunity
by Shade on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:57 in reply to "RE[2]: Missed opportunity"
Shade Member since:
2005-07-07

"1- Completely replace the Oxygen style. It's just too white. The green bars do not fit. It's really hard to see where a widget starts and where it ends. KDE4 really needs something more refined. Just look at how Apple did it. It's not that hard you know. PLEASE MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. PLEASE..."

It still has widget and icon themeing...

"2- Remove OpenSuse's Kickoff. Usability-wise, it stinks. It's by far the worst application launcher I have ever used (and I'm not the only one). It makes it really hard to go back and forth when searching for an application. Ever Kicker was better. No replacement for Kickoff? Reintroduce Kicker please! At least it was usable..."

Find somebody to port it, or just wait. New menus are apparently easy to integrate. That was one of the ideas behind Plasma.

"3- Plasma needs more work. It's starting to look beautiful but it needs more work. There should be a way to aggregate Plasmoids together. Also, I hope the new "taskbar" Plasmoid will change dramatically."

Once again, wait... It has to get out the door at some point. Many eyes, and more / new hands, with broad testing are what's needed most. That's what makes a 'mature' technology.

"4- Keep on removing the useless junk from previous KDE releases. Bouncing cursor? Remove!"

If it's buggy and unmaintained, Sure. If it's nearly universally unused, Sure. Failing that, I much prefer the move towards sensible defaults with a clean interface, and a well organized config system. You know, one of the joys of free software it that you are free to explore the alternatives. GNOME is rather excellent.

"5- KDE4 needs a brand new control centre. Something more beautiful and easy to use. The current one makes it boring to tweak KDE."

It has one. Kcontrol is dead-- Systemsettings is where its at. Oh, and I hope to god configuration is boring, that's the last thing want to have adventures with. (Albeit, continuing to usability audit the modules is a good idea. I look forward to future refinements there.)

"6- KDE applications in general need to adapt to KDE4. They need to be part of the "experience". Legacy applications do not feel at home."

Well, they've been ported... Toolbars cleaned up, some new features, minimal ports away from depreciated frameworks. Other than some apps that won't ship, and some new additions that were slated for 4.0 but have slid to 4.1, there not really much that's surprising there. As far as better integrating with all of the new KDE 4.0 goodness goes, it'll likely happen in earnest on the march to KDE 4.1.

I mean really, KDE 3.5.x isn't going to vanish, and will probably even get another release. Or use GNOME. Everything you mentioned is either a non-issue or should be addressed by KDE 4.1. And the last I read, the KDE folks were thinking of having a short cycle for 4.1 anyway.

The only thing that's going to be hard for me is to wait for all of the killer 3rd party KDE apps to get ported over to KDE 4. I fully expect my KDE 4 migration to be an incremental thing that last until about the time KDE 4.1 gets out the door.

Edited 2007-12-03 07:12

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Missed opportunity
by superstoned on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 10:43 in reply to "RE[2]: Missed opportunity"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Replacing oxygen just because the contrast is too low? Can't we increase contrast, that's just a color thing... Personally I do agree, but they're improving it already, and you can choose another colorscheme as well.

And about the bouncing cursor, I hope they don't remove it. That thing has been a major reason KDE has been choosen over Gnome several times in big deployments already. Giving instantanious feedback when starting an application is very good in terms of usability.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Missed opportunity
by KugelKurt on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 22:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Missed opportunity"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

2- Remove OpenSuse's Kickoff. Usability-wise, it stinks. It's by far the worst application launcher I have ever used (and I'm not the only one).

I like Kickoff. It's the biggest reason why I even use openSUSE despite its extremely crappy YAST. I'm so happy that KDE 4 will get Kickoff, I can't wait to trash my openSUSE installation and replace it with something good (=Debia-based -- probably Debian, Sidux or Kubuntu).

Edited 2007-12-03 22:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Missed opportunity
by renox on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:31 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Bah, 'great ideas' are a dime a dozen (and many of those so-called great idea suck), actual work done is much harder to have.

What have you coded for KDE4?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Missed opportunity
by rx182 on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 06:50 in reply to "RE: Missed opportunity"
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08

Bah, 'great ideas' are a dime a dozen (and many of those so-called great idea suck), actual work done is much harder to have.

What have you coded for KDE4?


I did not participate in KDE4 development. Windows is my platform of choice for developing applications.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Missed opportunity
by melkor on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 07:45 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Oh please! OS X wasn't perfect on initial release either, and if you look at all the things that Apple has done since 10.0 to 'improve' it. Can't KDE do something similar? Or, just because it doesn't release a 10.4 style desktop environment out of the box (and bypass years of subtle development and improvement), it's crap? Get a life. If you can do better, get off your ass and go code a desktop environment that IS better.

I smell a Gnomite here. I think Gnome fans are much like the Gnomes in J K Rowlings Harry Potter series - a bit silly and always like having their heads stuck in the dirt!

Dave

PS The 2nd paragraph is humour - get over it!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Missed opportunity
by cyrilleberger on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 09:53 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

I think you don't understand the difference between KDE4 and KDE4.0 which is going to be released, in a few weeks, while KDE4 is the platform which is going to be developed and improved during the following years.

As you mentioned OSX. Lets look like at OSX 10.0, what was in there ? Honestly not much more than a revamp OS9 with the added Docker. And look at how much 10.5 has improved using the technologies that Apple have started to add in OSX 10.0 and improved all over the years.

So, no, developers haven't refused to list to people, they have been busy making it possible to implement those great ideas.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Missed opportunity
by segedunum on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 10:39 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

It was clear from the start: to gather more users, they had to innovate. They had to create something different. They had to do what Apple did with OSX.

You know? I never cease to be amazed with some peoples' narrow minded thinking about OS X. People are told that OS X is the bastion and benchmark of what a desktop should be, so they believe it. The reality is rather different.

They spent too much time working on the underlying technologies.

If you're going to build something new, does it not logically follow that you will need a new set of tools? All the really innovative stuff will be built on here, and is yet to come.

You're an ejit.

Now, all we have is the same old KDE built on some new but incomplete libraries plus a new theme.

How can it be the same old KDE if it consists of completely new libraries that you can do lots of things with you couldn't before, which KDE then uses?

You're an ejit.

I don't know why it ended up like this.

Ended up like what? KDE 4 currently is what it is. A desktop that has had to reorganise itself and its development platform so that new things can be achieved easily that were difficult before.

The development platform is dropping into place for 4.0 and 4.1, not much exciting is happening on the interface and functionality front, and this will accelerate through .2, .3 and so on. I'm going to be mighty interested in what people will complain about as this progresses.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Missed opportunity
by Joe User on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 11:30 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

I have to agree with you. There HAS BEEN feature requests and suggestions on the mailing list and bug report tool, some of them that come to mind...
- More contrast in the default window decoration
- Darker color for the default window decoration
- Remove the stripe from the clock (old clock style looks strange in a modern desktop)
- Make toolbars and toolbar handlers less thick, smaller
- Use more contrast in icons (Oxygen icon theme)
- Reduce size of taskbar (it's way too big)
- Overall space management is bad, everything is too big and occupies more space than needed
I've always said KDE 3.x is not polished and everything looks thick and blurry. KDE 4 is about to repeat the same mistakes. I've followed the development, and no one has followed the constructive criticism suggested by the community.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Missed opportunity
by GeneralZod on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 12:44 in reply to "RE: Missed opportunity"
GeneralZod Member since:
2007-08-03

Since someone has seen fit to mod you up:

"- More contrast in the default window decoration"

Again, the default colour scheme has not yet been finalised. The oxygen devs are aware of the issue and, as far as I'm aware, intend to solve it. Several alternative colour schemes have been uploaded to SVN, by both Oxygen and non-Oxygen guys, over the last few days alone.

"- More contrast in the default window decoration"

As above ;)

"- Remove the stripe from the clock (old clock style looks strange in a modern desktop)"

This is done already.

"- Make toolbars and toolbar handlers less thick, smaller "

This I don't know about. What do people here think? If the advice is followed, how many will complain that that new toolbar grippies are too small to grip? How do we balance out the suggestions and arrive at the optimal solution?

"- Use more contrast in icons (Oxygen icon theme)"

This is new to me - the icons look great, as far as I'm concerned. Does anyone else think they need more contrast? Anyway, even if this is on the cards, since there are hundreds (thousands?) of icons, this will be a long-term task, at best. It's unfair to say "This task has not been accomplished yet - therefore, KDE guys don't listen to criticism".

"- Reduce size of taskbar (it's way too big)"

I'll save aseigo the trouble: "The Plasma panel layout is not finalised yet!". Which is not to say that the taskbar will 100% guaranteed be smaller than it is now, but it does mean (yet again) that saying that the d"evs haven't fixed it yet ergo they never will" is premature.

"- Overall space management is bad, everything is too big and occupies more space than needed"

See here for some "old" oxygen, from just a few weeks back:

http://dot.kde.org/1194408884/1194449913/

especially

http://enderandrew.com/kde4/wasted space.png

Now compare and contrast with current, default oxygen:

http://etotheipiplusone.com/oxygen-current.png

" KDE 4 is about to repeat the same mistakes. I've followed the development, and no one has followed the constructive criticism suggested by the community."

Ok, so

a) KDE4.0 is the very, very beginning of the KDE4 cycle, yet - bafflingly - people keep on insisting that what we see in KDE4.0 is what we'll be stuck with for the next 5 years. So you really can't make statements about how "KDE 4 is about to repeat the same mistakes" based on *pre-release* versions of KDE4.

b) You've cherry-picked a handful of things that purportedly show an ongoing trend of KDE guys not listening to constructive criticism. It's bad enough that you've ignored the mountain of wish-list items and bugs that get fixed all the time (Konqueror users want Undo Close Tab functionality; it is added. Dolphin users want tree-view pane functionality; it is added. Heck, I'm not even going to go on - I'd be here all day!) but the fact that out of the 7 items you've cherry-picked to prove your points, *at least* 2 are flat-out, factually wrong is even worse! And this ignores the fact that others in your list might be being worked on right now, or on the TODO list.

c) You assume that all constructive criticisms should be followed. I bet, right at this second, that someone has seen e.g. the changes that have made the Oxygen style waste less space and are thinking "Ugh - what are the Oxygen team playing at? They've made it needlessly cramped!" and can give equally constructive and cogent counter-reasons why it should be restored to how it was before. If aseigo makes the taskbar/ panel smaller, someone else will point out that the smaller area violates Fitt's Law. So basically, in making the case that "A piece of constructive criticism has been ignored ergo devs don't and will never again from this point on listen to criticism", you've put the KDE guys in a no-win situation. Which, I'm sure most people will agree, is completely unfair.

Reply Parent Score: 14

RE: Missed opportunity
by sultanqasim on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 22:07 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
sultanqasim Member since:
2006-10-28

Usually by new generation, people mean irritating, confusing, reinvented wheels. KDE 3's foundation was great while KDE 4 refines and adds to it. That is a good change. Unlike upgrading to the "revolutionary" MS Office 2007 that sent my dad into a fit of anger ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Missed opportunity
by Laurence on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 22:22 in reply to "Missed opportunity"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"They had to create something different. They had to do what Apple did with OSX. Unfortunately, they failed to do it. They spent too much time working on the underlying technologies. Now, all we have is the same old KDE built on some new but incomplete libraries plus a new theme. "


You do realise that the underlying technologies /are/ the most important thing when reinventing the wheel?

It's no good just slapping a new theme on the same technology or bolting on bloated addons - you essentially just end up with the same product but in a new box.

Once the underlying technologies are sorted (which they're slowly getting there) then they can show off the advancements they've made either their true glory. After all, I really couldn't see them going to all this trouble and through this much PR if their final product was exactly the same as v3.5.x

All we can do at the moment is wait patiently for the final product rather than making rash comments about an incomplete product

Reply Parent Score: 7