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

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

One can only hope.

I know you like trolling KDE threads

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

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

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

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

Reply Parent Score: 0

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

You need to provide some concrete evidence of that.

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

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

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

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

Does this sound familiar? ;-)

Here are some quotes from OSNews staff itself:

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

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

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

Déjà vu?

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

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

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

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

Edited 2008-03-10 23:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 11

v RE[4]: Summary
by sbergman27 on Mon 10th Mar 2008 23:58 in reply to "RE[3]: Summary"
RE[4]: Summary
by karl on Tue 11th Mar 2008 07:32 in reply to "RE[3]: Summary"
karl Member since:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reply Parent Score: 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reply Parent Score: 4

v RE[4]: Summary
by sbergman27 on Tue 11th Mar 2008 00:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Summary"