Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Aug 2009 00:12 UTC, submitted by rexstuff
KDE The KDE team has released KDE 4.3. This release comes packed with improvements and bug fixes - in fact, over the last six months, 10000 bugs were squashed, 2000 feature requests handled, and 63000 changes were checked in by 700 people. We've already talked about this new release in quite some detail last week, but let's take a look at the most important new features anyway.
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RE[2]: What about the WM theme?
by Wrawrat on Wed 5th Aug 2009 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE: What about the WM theme?"
Member since:

You see, it's a matter of taste. You're talking about the oxygen widget style + window decorations, both of which I found very polished. The windeco is configurable (see how I rearranged the buttons), and it blends in smoothly with the color of the window backgroun (see unfocused windows) The widgets are finally the right size (I saw someone claiming they are oversized - wtf? just take a look, how are those buttons/drop-down menus/toolbar buttons oversized?) and clear, crisp, and readable:

Of course, this is a matter of taste. That said, a glance at your screenshot makes me feel like I was staring at rock slabs. Everything is so... gray. A bit depressing. I know that other DE are using grays (OS X, GNOME), but they use color gradients, which is more appealing to the eyes.

That said, the screenshots accompanying the press release look good.

Anyway, my pet peeve against KDE has always been the lack of general polish. That's a bit hard to describe... When I use it, I just feel that everything was patched together instead of being designed. I believe that's how many people feel. I know that KDE doesn't benefit from the same financial/workforce support as GNOME, I am persuaded that KDE framework is definitely superior to the one found in GNOME, I love Qt... yet it doesn't matter much when you just want to use your system.

On another note, when can we expect KDE 4.3 binaries for Debian? I want to give it a try. Unfortunately, Kubuntu is quite buggy, while Fedora's policies are getting in my way (even RPM Fusion don't have all packages I'd like).

Edited 2009-08-05 19:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

molnarcs Member since:

I don't think general polish is an issue anymore, not at least since 4.2.x, especially of course 4.2.4. However, if you're into desktop widgets, there are too many crapware on kde-look directly hooked into gethotnewstuff that it can easily give that impression. You can ignore them, or just use some of the basic, well tested widgets, or alternatively, google widgets...

About the colors - well, I have a black dell vostro 1400 (with lots of blue leds) so I was thinking of something that integrates well with the hardware ;) Hence my background's black, the plasma theme is black (I mixed here a little), and the color theme's name is gentle grey (I'm sure you wouldn't have guessed ;) Another reason that you see gray is that I allowed fade inactive windows in desktop effects, so they grey out slightly if not focused. Basically I like my black & white desktop because it makes colors even more outsdanding (icons, notifications, important stuff).

As to your last question - see, that's the ONLY thing kubuntu has for it: the package management. I wrote a very long post a while ago about comparing KDE distroes, and the only ones available seem to be RPM based. Now with KpackageKit + presto plugin RPM on Fedora is not bad, not bad at all. They also have stable packages, but ZERO usable configuration tools, and the KDE menu is just horrible (like you can find settings in three different submenus with NO apparent logic).

That leaves you with OpenSuse or Mandriva. OpenSUSE has readily available KDE 4.3 packages, but if you're coming from a Debian background, you'll absolutely hate its package management. It's sloooooooooow. Disfunctional. Plus you need to add KDE:Factory repositories, which would be OK if it was a one-time-act, but actually you constantly have to keep an eye on it because the next update may lend you alpha kode from kde 4.4 branch.

Now Mandriva - I know it's RPM based, but even without presto urpmi (their RPM backand) was fast, snappy, seemed lightweight, and had all the features I needed. GUI is well designed, commandline is dead easy. Problem is, Mandriva usually lags behind with updates. The result is polish actually - it is the most polished KDE implementation I've seen, but for now, this means that the only way to try out KDE is to download their 2010 Alpha2. Usually they take great care to make Cooker (their development branch) reasonably stable, but I'd be careful with this release (they just integrated a new kernel shortly before the release). Plus they have a tendency to release usable 3rd party drivers (ATI & NVidia) right before the release.

If you try KDE4.3 and like it, on the long term I'd recommend Mandriva, seems to be the most KDE-dedicated distro, with very good package management considering it's RPM. For short term, OpenSuse might be good if you just want to play around, unlike Kubuntu, they do seem to do some testing before releasing an update. And sorry to say, but I don't know any DEB based distroes with decen KDE support. But recently, with PackageKit (that works on fedora very well) + presto plugin I don't think there is reason to favour DEBs over RPM. I don't see real difference between performance/features, except with OpenSuSE.

EDIT--> Forgot to mention Pardus, I've never tried it, and I'm planning to go back to Mandriva for good when their next release hits RC status, but the general opinion seems to be that it's flawless. Might worth a try.

Edited 2009-08-05 20:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Wrawrat Member since:

I guess I'll see about the general polish once I try this new release. Last time I used KDE (4.1), it was a complete disaster. KDE has been my DE of choice until GNOME started giving me a better user experience. Must be around 2005? It always had that amateur feeling to me. Mind you, it's not necessarily a bad thing: it's a reminder of being a product of the community (as corporate investment on their project is minimal compared to GNOME). I suppose that tastes can change with time.

As for my preference for Debian, it's nothing against the RPM system. I've used Fedora for a few years and yum did the job for me. Debian just got tons of packages and doesn't get too anal about patents, or potential legal issues when a package is free software. It's quite easy to get packages for software outside the main repositories, too. Unfortunately, I fear it might be even more difficult to get the software I'm looking for in smaller distros!

That said, it looks like KDE 4.3 packages are already in Debian unstable; with a little bit of luck, they could be promoted to squeeze/testing soon...

Reply Parent Score: 2