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

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: oy vey
by toothie on Fri 14th Mar 2008 01:10 in reply to "RE: oy vey"
toothie Member since:

You are binding us to an element which is in many people's eyes currently not needed and unpleasant.

that is really the core to this whole toolbox thing. its completely incorrect and shortsighted.

the default 'desktop containment' is going to have it. just get over it. i don't have a small screen, but i honestly don't see how you can't ignore it.

whether i'd prefer to have it there or not is irrelavent. because i know its a matter of time before i have the choice of a different (or several) desktop containments that don't have it, or i like better for whatever reason.

so really... having an option to turn it off doesn't make a difference when you'll have the option to replace the whole damn thing. this is the framework the plasma devs are creating. if you really don't want it, its almost a 100% garentee you won't have to have it. so.... there really isn't a problem with it. in the future just don't use aaron's(or default)desktop containment.

so why is it there? i could care less. i know i don't have to have it if i don't want it, given time. so i'm content to sit back and see what becomes of it. even if it proves to be completely useless, doesn't matter, cause aaron desgined a framework that allows for me not to use his desktop containment.

devel in open source is completely open(at least kde), and plasma is in heavy development. so ppl are asking him to explain every design decision he makes. i'm sure the dude's days are full... completely full. i read his blog.. hes a single father(i believe) has responiblies all over kde, is the core designer of plasma, and has a life. i'd rather he spends his time coding then explaining his every action to every news site that allows user feedback.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: oy vey
by Kokopelli on Fri 14th Mar 2008 12:35 in reply to "RE[2]: oy vey"
Kokopelli Member since:

I respectfully disagree. It is precisely because it will be the default desktop containment that this is an issue. As IE has shown, users tend to stick with the defaults and are too lazy to look for and use alternatives.

The bug on the kde buglist now has 424 votes. (For the record I have not voted for this bug.) That would put it at #15 in the most hated buglist were it not marked "won't fix."

Honestly I am not mad about the subject or at Aaron. I read Aaron's blog and see which way the wind is blowing. It is not that hard for an even moderately competent programmer to remove for his or her desktop. So that is what I have done. (There is even a patch now on the wishlist for its removal, which should make it easier in the future.)

I have followed KDE4 for a while now, watched the google presentations, read the blogs/articles, and gone into so that I could actually understand the api for Plasma. Aaron is a fairly good public speaker and has a clear writing style. So I think I can say that I am aware of the vision of different containments to suit different users and environments. It is a good vision and I look forward to it. That does not mean that I can not comment on aspects of the environment that I have problems with. It is by voicing concerns and disagreements that change may be effected.

In all of the material though I have seen nothing to tell me what purpose the toolbox is meant to serve. The current functions of the toolbox could be handled in any manner of ways, to include a simple middle click dialog. The toolbox may not bother some but it is hard to argue that it does not bother others. Aaron does have better things to do I am sure, and this particular argument has clearly upset him. For that I am truly sorry. But a lot of time and effort has been expended on both sides of the argument. This is why I hoped for a more constructive dialog as to why it is so important. Clearly the amount of effort and comments he has weathered in the process of keeping the cashew shows it is important to him. He discusses the great things that plasma and KDE4 will allow and grow into over time. I see that and am genuinely excited about the possibilities. Unfortunately I fail to see how the great things plasma can and will do pertains to the always present cashew.

Edited 2008-03-14 12:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2