Home > KDE > KDE 3.4 Review KDE 3.4 Review David Adams 2005-03-17 KDE 76 Comments Tuxmachines has a KDE 3.4 review and declares it to have “more shine and polish than ever experienced with any desktop environment in existance today.” About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 76 Comments 2005-03-17 7:05 pm Anonymous http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=265&slide=2… 2005-03-17 7:06 pm Anonymous Damn! 2005-03-17 7:15 pm Anonymous maybe a bit of hubris… OSX is, after all, pretty nice. 2005-03-17 7:18 pm Anonymous Not to be too pedantic, but … existence. 2005-03-17 7:24 pm Anonymous Click the link and 5 minutes later get a page cannot be displayed error. 2005-03-17 7:28 pm Anonymous More polished than, say, OS X? That’s pretty darn polished. Love it or hate it, so is Windows. Makes me want to read the article, but it’s inaccessable. 2005-03-17 7:29 pm Anonymous Anyone knows if there is Slackware packages avaiable ? 2005-03-17 7:31 pm Anonymous NT 2005-03-17 7:33 pm Anonymous i will get a copy as soon as the mirrors get some relief, in a couple of weeks, and as far as slackware packages SiLiZiUMM they are usually in the contrib directory on the mirrors but it would be wise to wait a week or two for the rush of downloaders be done… 2005-03-17 7:35 pm Anonymous I’ve used the beta (and am now compiling the full version) and it is ace It feels so much smoother. Although MacOS looks smoother, I’ve used it and found it to be (from someone who’s used Windows, KDE and Gnome) quite quirky. Whenever I bring up the old “it doesn’t maximize” argument, my flatmate says “It makes the window an optimum size”. But when I want to watch something like HomestarRunner or Flash, I like having a window maximized. It’s less distracting. Having said that, I must agree. OSX is pretty slick 2005-03-17 7:43 pm Anonymous but is it any faster?? 2005-03-17 7:46 pm Anonymous > That being said. Great to see such amazing improvements in KDE. I’d agree. And KDE is terrific. But — wow — what a claim! If Linux desktops wish to claim “polish,” they should include codecs for all the popular media types and play encrypted DVDs right out of the box. Drag-and-drop or click-and-run package installation would be a plus, too. 2005-03-17 7:47 pm Anonymous Yep, expecially if compiled with -fvisibility=hidden. 2005-03-17 7:47 pm Anonymous i really don’t want to start a flamewar, but as a very newbie linux user, i feel kde is SO bloated … 2005-03-17 7:52 pm Anonymous What exactly is “bloat”? Could you define it? You may find these reading interesting.. http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2004/10/konsole-vs-xterm-or-proof-that-k… http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2005/03/everybody-get-together.html http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2005/03/kde-optimization-files-katepart…. 2005-03-17 7:53 pm Anonymous Please elaborate. I’m always interested to find out what other people consider “bloat”. It’s very easy to accuse something of bloat, without actually identifying what you think is bloated. 2005-03-17 7:54 pm Anonymous I’m a Gnome user myself, partly because KDE’s interface with all the clutter just doesn’t feel right for some reason. It’s good to see that it starts to look more and more polished. Good job KDE developers! 2005-03-17 7:54 pm Anonymous What’s so bloated about it? I’ve never understood this comment about KDE being “bloated”. 2005-03-17 7:55 pm Anonymous Yeah, writing ‘existance’ instead of ‘existince’ is like writing ‘fone’ instead of ‘phone’. I like the new art in this release of KDE and I hope the new Konqueror improvements from kde-look.org will be included some day as well, which would make Konqueror and the desktop totally rock. (and yeah, I know cvs can’t be patched because there’s a few Qt patches that need to be applied first) 2005-03-17 7:56 pm Anonymous Oh Please. Why is it that people treat OSX like it is some kind of holy grail for Unix Desktops. It has some really nice features (wake and sleep in about a second or two). BUT I am typing this fram panther and to me OSX is quirky and far from optimal. It is like Apple insists on keeping things the old way because they don’t want to admit other OSs did things better first. Case in point to the two button mouse and probably even more importantly the scroll bar. The Dock is an example of inconsistent behaviour and is far from productive. Expose cannot make up for its inconsistency in handling Windows. Gnomes panels are best, then Windows and KDE. The only thing better in the Dock is that you can drag things into it. 2005-03-17 8:03 pm Anonymous If Linux desktops wish to claim “polish,” they should include codecs for all the popular media types and play encrypted DVDs right out of the box. Drag-and-drop or click-and-run package installation would be a plus, too. Uh. You are are aware that little thing called LAW prevents that in most countries right? Think before you speak. Even Europe is supposedly going to adopt software patent law, and Canada is considering a DMCA like law. So it won’t be legal in those countries either. Huzzah! 2005-03-17 8:16 pm Anonymous “Oh Please. Why is it that people treat OSX like it is some kind of holy grail for Unix Desktops.” Have to agree. OS X is NOT the holy grail. It has its quirks just like everything else. Plus, it is dog slow and I have a dual 2GHZ G5 and 2BGs of ram. 2005-03-17 8:21 pm Anonymous If Linux desktops wish to claim “polish,” they should include codecs for all the popular media types and play encrypted DVDs right out of the box. Drag-and-drop or click-and-run package installation would be a plus, too. please name a commercial desktop that provides all this. 2005-03-17 8:22 pm Anonymous It’s easy too polish a small feature set . Windows feature set doesn’t compare to KDE’s. 2005-03-17 8:24 pm Anonymous “please name a commercial desktop that provides all this.” Lindows. 2005-03-17 8:28 pm Anonymous Go KDE! I’m compiling an ebuild now…can’t wait. It seems that the Tuxmachines site is down. Anyone know of a mirror? ALSO, I didn’t know this, but turns out there is going to be a KDE 3.5 release before 4.0. (It’s on their developers’ site). Oh well, just a longer wait. I can’t wait, it’s going to be awesome! -Eric 2005-03-17 8:32 pm Anonymous > Uh. You are are aware that little thing called LAW prevents that in most countries right? It’s not illegal if you license the codecs. Someone else wrote: > please name a commercial desktop that provides all this. [media codecs and drag-and-drop or click-and-run package installation] Both Windows and OS X provide all the expected media codecs and simple GUI package management. Windows Media must, of course, be installed on OS X. But it’s a simple download. 2005-03-17 8:33 pm Anonymous The review also links to screenshots: http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/kde3-4 2005-03-17 8:35 pm Anonymous I am using it on Ubuntu. And, it is very much more responsive than the Gnome environment. I’ve always preferred KDE to Gnome. But, having used Gnome only on Ubuntu, I have come to appreciate many things the Gnome team is doing nice. But, in terms of speed, there is no comparison. I feel like I got a new computer. In regards to KDE 3.4 vs. KDE 3.3 or less, it’s hard to say. KDE hasn’t felt slow to me since the KDE 1 and 2 days. Bottom line, I think it is very fast. 2005-03-17 8:36 pm Anonymous >> What’s so bloated about it? >> >> I’ve never understood this comment about KDE >> being “bloated”. Unfortunately it is. A nice example is the following screenshot: http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=265&slide=4… – Notice how there are 2 (two!) ways to tell KDE what the length of the panel should be. Bloat. – Look at the length of the ‘size’ combo box, while none of the items inside of the combo box are actually that long. Bloat (or rather: bad design). – Every possible option (together with its sub-options) has been put into its own static frame, making static frames totally useless. Even the monitor image is inside a static fame. Bloat. (or yet again: bad design). – Notice the amount of space wasted. Bloat. (and again: bad design). – These options for Arrangement, Hiding, Menus and Appearance doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t) divided into 4 tabbed pages. It could very easily fit in one or two pages, without even removing any option. Really, I could go on for hours. There’s _so many_ things that could be much improved in KDE… 2005-03-17 8:40 pm Anonymous > Really, I could go on for hours. There’s _so many_ things > that could be much improved in KDE… http://bugs.kde.org 2005-03-17 8:41 pm Anonymous > I didn’t know this, but turns out there is going to be a KDE 3.5 release before 4.0. […] Oh well, just a longer wait. No. The KDE 4.0 development will start immediately and won’t take longer because of 3.5. It’s just that in the first phase the core libraries have to be migrated to Qt 4. This is a time where 95% of the developers — the application developers — can’t do anything for 4.0. Those will therefore in the meantime enhance 3.4, while the core developers migrate the infrastructure. About the time when the libraries are good enough, 3.5 will be released (with application changes only) and the app developers will port their stuff to KDE 4.0. 2005-03-17 8:41 pm Anonymous Both Windows and OS X provide all the expected media codecs and simple GUI package management. Windows Media must, of course, be installed on OS X. But it’s a simple download. No they don’t. Try playing a divx movie on either of them out of the box. Doesn’t work. Windows is one of the least functional OS’s out of the box. I need to download software from about 10 different sites before I can use it for any real work. I don’t agree that OS X is the holy grail of UI. I use it, but I much prefer my KDE desktop. I just don’t like the KDE defaults, and can certainly agree that a default install of Gnome feels cleaner. For me it comes down to: Gnome and OS X are decent by default but can’t be made optimal (for me). KDE is cluttered by default, but can be made optimal by changing some settings (takes me about 10 min or so). 2005-03-17 8:42 pm Anonymous “Really, I could go on for hours. There’s _so many_ things that could be much improved in KDE…” Which, once again, translates too, “Features I don’t like or use are bloat.” 2005-03-17 8:42 pm Anonymous Both Windows and OS X provide all the expected media codecs and simple GUI package management. Windows Media must, of course, be installed on OS X. But it’s a simple download. No, they don’t. For example, you can’t encode to MP3 by default. DVD playback isn’t included, and there are other things not included as well. Windows doesn’t provide “Simple Gui Package management”. Windows programs aren’t packages, they’re programs, and they usually use installshield, which is the real software manager. As far as easy? I can’t count how many times I’ve uninstalled a program using the control panel only to discover droppings of it left all over, or for Windows to laugh in my face with an error and say it can’t uninstall it. 2005-03-17 8:44 pm Anonymous Wow, you don’t even know what you are talking about, yet you act like you really were an expert. On top of that, none of what you criticized has anything to do with bloat, except your first example, which is flat out wrong, which shows that you didn’t even bother to use KDE. It would also be appreciated if you could back any of your claims up with arguments, but I highly doubt you are capable of doing so, as you obviously don’t have the slightest clou about what you are talking about. Thanks for your precious input. 2005-03-17 8:45 pm Anonymous Oh Please. Why is it that people treat OSX like it is some kind of holy grail for Unix Desktops. Whoa — keep your pants on. I don’t think anyone here thinks it’s the Holy Grail, just that it’s really, really well-polished. Which it is. If you’re trying to make your desktop into a truly pleasant workspace, OS X is quite rightfully the benchmark. And it may feel slow sometimes, but it can multitask circles around my Windows box *and* my Linux box. KDE is really good, though. Most polished, it ain’t. Getting better all the time, it is. But Gnome 2.10 is still my favorite; it just makes so much sense. 2005-03-17 8:52 pm Anonymous – Notice how there are 2 (two!) ways to tell KDE what the length of the panel should be. Bloat. You mean, because there is a slider and a spinbox? Those two are linked, and this type of control is quite common actually. You can change the length by dragging the slider, or by entering a percentage. Quite useful. – Look at the length of the ‘size’ combo box, while none of the items inside of the combo box are actually that long. Bloat (or rather: bad design). Could be made smaller, but then it would look odd, since it wouldn’t fill the space. Does it really matter? Maybe sub-optimal aesthetics, but I wouldn’t call it bad design. Every possible option (together with its sub-options) has been put into its own static frame, making static frames totally useless. Even the monitor image is inside a static fame. Bloat. (or yet again: bad design). The frames are there to seperate the option groups to make them appear visually distinct. I don’t really get your complaint here. The whole point of static frames is to group an option and its sub options together. Notice the amount of space wasted. Bloat. (and again: bad design). Saying it is wasted space implies you have a better use for it. Do you? You will see, in another tab that space will be used. I think this is a better alternative than changing the window size between tabs. These options for Arrangement, Hiding, Menus and Appearance doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t) divided into 4 tabbed pages. It could very easily fit in one or two pages, without even removing any option. Really? I don’t think they would fit in one page. Maybe one massive, full screen page, but that would look horrible. Really, I could go on for hours. There’s _so many_ things that could be much improved in KDE.. I suspect there are, as with any DE. But so far you haven’t mentioned anything compelling. 2005-03-17 8:55 pm Anonymous The polish and consistency of OS X has since 10.0 been a compromise of Classic and Cocoa. Once Tiger is released and the Cocoa Finder replaces the Carbon Finder and more and more of Classic is stripped completely what you will see is a modern pure Cocoa designed OS that does have a consistent look n’ feel, increased productivity and hopefully they will roll in the features from MECCA (Openstep 4.0 pre-release 1) that we at NeXT rolled back when we switched from an Operating Systems company to a Web Development company. Seriously, if they do that OS X will definitely redefine the desktop and if you want to talk about increased productivity that in-house version was well on its way doing just that, back in 1996. One reason OS X keeps getting faster is that each release incorporates more native Cocoa only applications. A sign that Apple is going to do something smart is using two-button mice and switching the Finder to Cocoa. The fact they re-wrote Mail again which is Steve’s personal pet-peeve to a slick and useful advancement says they pay attention to what others do in the industry and then turn it up a notch. I highly recommend people see what Tiger will deliver this April. 2005-03-17 8:59 pm Anonymous I, for one, have used both KDE and GNOME extensively in my acedemic studies. For what it’s worth, I find KDE much more pleasant to use, and not to be bloated. KDE seems SOO MUCH FASTER than GNOME, and for those of you who think KDE is bloated–look at the footprint for a typical GTK applicaiton…simple things like the clock/weather app take up somewhere between 15 to 20 MB of memory. To me, that is bloat. (I have tremendous respect for the GNOME and GTK crowd, so please take this nothing more as a suggestion for improvement). Yes, KDE has LOTS of apps, and many of them are rarely used by typical users. I believe it’s up to the distribution to customize and tailor KDE to suit it’s target audience. As for the comments earlier about a preferences window being bloated, I think people are confusing “bloat” with “UI design”. For me, KDE is the most productive environement on Linux (and Windows). If you don’t like it, don’t use it, or give specific (polite) feedback to the developers. Usability is important, and KDE has made great progress and is on the right track. -Eric 2005-03-17 9:02 pm Anonymous Well, i have no idea whether there is a definition for the term “bloated”. However similarity to KDE could help us define it… 2005-03-17 9:06 pm Anonymous Well said. What bugs me about gnome is that is is disproportionately large for the features it provides. XFCE has few features and is fast. KDE has a million features and is slower than XFCE Gnome has many less features than KDE and yet is the same speed or slower. I just can’t live with that on my machine. I’ll trade features for speed or memory usage, but I won’t give up features for no benefit. 2005-03-17 9:12 pm Anonymous but Lindows == KDE 2005-03-17 9:16 pm Anonymous “but Lindows == KDE” Yep, I know, that was the point. 2005-03-17 9:18 pm Anonymous I’m using KDE 3.4 on Ubuntu Hoary and I must say it is very impressive. It is so much faster than Gnome 2.10 (loading apps, no redraw issues) than I couldn’t believe my eyes. I think that is faster than Windows XP. The following things could be improved: 1. Default icon set. The Plastik theme is nice but the icon set sucks. 2. Clean up the menus. 3. Improve HAL/digital camera handling. Do it like Gnome does. 4. When logging out, pop up a dialog like Gnome/Windows XP. “End Current Session” is technobable for average users. 5. Improve hardware handling. I don’t know if it is possible in KDE, but I would like to change my default audio output device to my internal soundcard. And I don’t care if it is ESD/Alsa/OSS, which KDE lists in the audio device thingie. 2005-03-17 9:30 pm Anonymous I use XFCE, and it’s much faster than KDE, but KDE itself is pretty damn fast considering how large it is. It’s much faster than GNOME. 2005-03-17 9:33 pm Anonymous Yes, KDE is large but the reason it is so fast is its lack of inter-dependancies. Once the core kde libs are in RAM, the other apps are only small (though numerous) 2005-03-17 9:42 pm Anonymous ” That claim is pathetic. Its featureful but not polished. And claiming declaring anything as the most polished DE in existence as long as there is OSX just dumps your credibility into the pacific ocean. ” See, I think OSX is quite polished for what it has, but not featureful. You can’t even drag icons like in windows, to get the move context menu using hte right click. I am just too used to WIndows’ featureset, for better or for worse. I don’t even like KDE for being unpolished… 2005-03-17 9:43 pm Anonymous Has anyone tried this on an older machine (say in the class of a Celeron 400 with 256mb RAM)? I used to use a distro with KDE as the default DE on my laptop, but it seemed to take forever to boot into KDE (three minutes or more), while booting into IceWM took less than a minute. I don’t know whether it’s relevant, possible, or just plain silly, but I personally think it would be nice if users could customize KDE (even after it’s installed) to either disable OR remove unused features/functions/applications. I know this can sometimes be done manually (at least with applications through apt-get, for example), but I think a lot of people like me don’t always know what, if anything, can be removed besides the “offending” application without hosing the system. If I’m off the mark with what I’m suggesting please let me know. But be gentle I am genuinely interested, and not knowing is not the same as being stupid. Thanks. Walt walt_huntsman [at] myrealbox [dot] com 2005-03-17 9:44 pm Anonymous For whoever had that problem, I always download the kazaa lite codec pack and everything works. Or there’s always vlc, of course available for linux too 2005-03-17 10:02 pm Anonymous i have only ever used SUSE 9.1, but i have liked it, i look forward to SUSE 9.3. i may even give Ubuntu Hoary a whirl just to experience Gnomes way of doing things. but i am really waiting for my uber distro with KDE4 and reiser4. 2005-03-17 10:03 pm Anonymous Back in the days of KDE 2, I used to use Gnome instead. Gnome was so much less ugly. I liked KDE better in many ways, but it was just so darn UGLY back then. When KDE 3 came out, that cosmetic difference was pretty much erased. Add in the fact that KDE 3 was much faster than the KDE 2 series, and the fact that it ran faster than Gnome on the same hardware, and I did the obvious thing – I switched to KDE. I’m not a developer, but it seems as though KDE with its C++ code and Qt toolkit is just plain better put together, easier to develop for, and faster than Gnome. It also seems to evolve faster, as witnessed by the huge number of KDE apps out there. To my mind what’s still missing is more GUI config tools, for instance, for configuring ethernet. If the KDE team continues to do what they have done so well for a few more years, we may get to the point where the average desktop PC user will pretty much only need the Linux kernel, a fistful of libraries, and the KDE environment to get every common task done. Other non-KDE software will only be necessary for unusual tasks or to suit personal preference. It seems complimentary to the way the kernel developers work – by and large they are not interested in user space, and by and large the KDE project seems to be attempting to provide most everything needed in user space. -Gnobuddy 2005-03-17 10:34 pm Anonymous >> Which, once again, translates too, “Features I don’t like >> or use are bloat.” No, you didn’t read my post very well. ———————————————– Re: ralph: >> Wow, you don’t even know what you are talking about, yet >> you act like you really were an expert. >> >> On top of that, none of what you criticized has anything >> to do with bloat, except your first example, which is >> flat out wrong, which shows that you didn’t even bother >> to use KDE. >> >> It would also be appreciated if you could back any of >> your claims up with arguments, but I highly doubt you >> are capable of doing so, as you obviously don’t have the >> slightest clou about what you are talking about. >> >> Thanks for your precious input. So, mr. Ralph… are you an expert then? What makes you think that you know everything about a user on the web, which you can only see by his nick name? Perhaps I’m an expert. Perhaps I’m not. You will never know because your only ability is to flame people when they say things you don’t like. Someone asked what’s bloated in KDE. I replied with a message, telling about what, IN MY OPINION, is bloated in KDE. If you can’t live with the fact that people don’t like your precious Desktop Environment (which isn’t true either, because I do like parts of it), please go jump off a cliff, because you’re not worthy to be in this place, where people have different opinions. Thanks for your reply. 2005-03-17 10:44 pm Anonymous When did I claim to know everything about you? The only thing I know about you is what you wrote and sorry, but what you wrote was total bull. That you wrote it acting like you had authority on the subject, which you clearly lack, didn’t make it any better. I can live very well with the fact that people don’t like something I like and I can live very well with people criticizing certain aspects of something I like, however I’d like their critique to be well thought out and well argued. And I’m sorry, it’s still to cold for cliff diving here in northern Germany. 2005-03-17 10:56 pm Anonymous Wow KDE 3.4 looks great! I have used both GNOME and KDE and I have always preferred KDE. Very fast when compared to GNOME. I can’t wait for a new hard drive for my laptop and then install Gentoo and compile the bad boy from scratch and do the same thing with KDE. This is really great work from the KDE devs. Kudos. Aso for OS X it is a nice piece of GUI and I enjoyed using it other than that bad boy is dog slow. I mean is it just me or are the top of the line liquid cooled dual 2.5 ghz with 8 gb of RAM machines overpriced and practically a waste of money? Only thing worth buying from Apple are the monitors. When I get myself a phatty VoodooPC SLI system I am gonna get me 2 of those 30 inch monitors. 2005-03-17 11:05 pm Anonymous Actually, most install packages are handled by MS Installer now, which works sooo much better. 2005-03-17 11:10 pm Anonymous You obviously don’t know a single thing about design, wanting to cram as much as possible into as little space as possible. Space is important in design, both to make it easier to focus on seperate sections and to connect things that “belong” together. There’s also lots of other important principles (like aligning lines ). Buy a book if you’re interested. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve got two years of education relating to it (though I’m really more of a programmer than an artist kind of person). 2005-03-17 11:18 pm Anonymous Yet another great release from the KDE team. For Ubuntu Hoary users: sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop and your good to go. 2005-03-17 11:25 pm Anonymous Hiya… I’m sorry, but ralph really is right when it comes to the UI design stuff. I’ve done courses and read many books on HCI and UI design. The screen that you mentioned actually does a very good job of unifying concepts and delineating them in an intelligent manner. The use of tabs is good and pretty well thought-out and the control density is good. Multiple ways of controlling length of a panel are ideal for those who like visual control, and those who prefer precision. Neither takes up much code, and won’t really affect the space taken by the dialog, since that is fixed. By no visual or resource definition is this bloat, but it serves to satisfy multiple types of user. Use of frames clearly collects associated controls, while separating different concepts and limiting the user’s contextual scope for control use. The length of the ‘size’ combo fits the space, making the contents visibly more present, assisting in the implication of ‘either’ between that and the controls below. It also provides a larger target for mouse location, reducing misses. The use of text input alongside slider controls is standard across most software, and provides feedback and reassurance to the user, which is useful and essential in cases where the object of the change might not immediately update or be visible. If it is not too much trouble, may I ask which books you have read, what qualifications you have, and what user testing you have done to prove these assertions of bloat? I ask this because there are a lot of highly skilled people working on this topic within KDE development, and if you are experienced and have a decent quantity of research that you can show to refine KDE usability, I’m sure they would sincerely like to work with you to make KDE even better for he 3.5 release. 2005-03-17 11:48 pm Anonymous Each new KDE release shows many improvements. I really love this DE and I’m very glad to see it coming along so nicely. Just a few reflexions : Many people speak about “bloat” when mentioning KDE’s plethora of applications. I do agree with it, the multimedia and graphics programs should be skimmed a bit now. Yet for Gentoo users, the “do_not_compile” option allows you to selectively install KDE program. You can quite easily obtain a much lighter KDE. I do like this option a lot. And for this new release; Gentoo devs made separate ebuilds for all programs, so that you can precisely choose what you want to install. I don’t want to make any distro-trolling, but this is a huge work that could benefit to many people. I do hope that some other distro will find the time (and courage) to make similar progress. Now KDE’s defaults could be improved a lot, that’s a widely spread idea, I feel the same way. But I get the distinct feeling that the devs are working on it. Within a few days we saw the releases of Gnome 2.10 and KDE 3.4 (not to mention XFCE 4.2.1). Even if I dig KDE more than Gnome (which runs slow on my box), these are two major kickass DEs. Linux desktop users should really feel happy. 2005-03-17 11:53 pm Anonymous I couldn’t agree more with most of what you said. Just one small correction though. While Gentoo getting split ebuilds is a great thing, this is nothing new. In fact gentoo is merely catching up with what nearly all other distros have been providing all along. 2005-03-17 11:56 pm Anonymous “No, they don’t. For example, you can’t encode to MP3 by default. DVD playback isn’t included, and there are other things not included as well.” You may be referring to Windows but MacOSX has a native DVD player which is quite good as a basic player and iTunes will encode to MP3 and is part of a default install. 2005-03-18 12:02 am Anonymous The DO_NOT_COMPILE variable is not specific to Gentoo. And like ralph said, Gentoo is actually catching up with other distros when it comes to splitted packages. Even the antique Debian “woody” has them… I believe Gnome is better for wifi laptops since it comes with better tools but I must say that I didn’t tried KDE 3.4 yet while I did tried Gnome 2.10… 2005-03-18 12:02 am Anonymous Didn’t know that, sorry. Thanks for the info! Do you have some examples of distros with this feature? I only use Gentoo and Arch regularly. I don’t think Arch’s KDE package work that way (but it would be great!). 2005-03-18 12:06 am Anonymous As Wrawrat already mentioned, debian works this way, and of course all of the derivatives, like mepis, kubuntu (which is great btw., I’m using it right now), Suse does it that way, Mandrake does, I’m pretty sure Fedora does too. Really, I think most of the distros offer KDE in split packages. 2005-03-18 12:17 am Anonymous If Linux desktops wish to claim “polish,” they should include codecs for all the popular media types and play encrypted DVDs right out of the box. That has nothing to do with KDE (the Desktop Environment), but rather with how each specific Linux distro is packaged. 2005-03-18 12:30 am Anonymous For your information, Gentoo did not adopted splitted packages (which are still hard masked in /usr/profile/package.mask) earlier because it would have taken years to compile the packages without preconfigured makefiles and precompiled headers (coming with GCC 4, I believe). I got this explaination from an old Gentoo Newsletter so you might want to check out their archive… Also, you might like to read this, especially the part on the limits of DO_NOT_COMPILE: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/kde-split-ebuilds.xml 2005-03-18 1:13 am Anonymous Depends on what you install …… – for example, only installing kdebase gives you a lean – fast – useable – kde – ie on Arch, # pacman -Sy kdebase Gives you a fast, enjoyable kde environment. Might be an idea to only install kdebase and you’ll see how, fast, lean & un-bloated KDE is 2005-03-18 1:42 am Anonymous i like apple products, but save yourself some money and buy a superior LCD from dell for much less. 2005-03-18 3:36 am Anonymous > No, they don’t. For example, you can’t encode to MP3 by default. DVD playback isn’t included, and there are other things not included as well. I think someone may have already pointed out that you can, indeed, encode MP3s on stock OS X. Can’t remember if it’s the default. OS X does, indeed, play DVDs out of the box. Builds them, too, with iMovie. Another writer cited DivX. This is still a specialty format. Never used it, but I think it’s supported in iMovie. Yet someone else correctly pointed out that codecs are a distro thing, not related directly to KDE. Point well taken, but my comments were regarding Linux desktops, in general. It’s time the distros licensed codecs. 2005-03-18 3:54 am Anonymous “I think someone may have already pointed out that you can, indeed, encode MP3s on stock OS X. Can’t remember if it’s the default. OS X does, indeed, play DVDs out of the box. Builds them, too, with iMovie.” Not to be overly pedantic, but according to Apple, the iApps are not part of the OS. This is how they get away with now charging for a suite of apps that used to come with the OS, and how they justify having an iApp release schedule that does not jibe with the OS release schedule. I simply do not care if the apps are “worth it” — the fact of the matter is apple cannot have it both ways. Either the apps are part of the OS, or the OS does not come feature complete. Period. FWIW, my main workstation in a Mac, so this isn’t from the POV on an Apple hater, either. Also, as far as polish goes, until my icons a) stop randomly changing to various other icons, or even *no fricking icon at all*, and b) stop magically moving around on the desktop without being asked to, the Mac desktop is NOT in any way shape or form polished. New finder pwnz the old finder, but the desktop is a fscking mess. 2005-03-18 7:08 am Anonymous I don’t have icons that change to various other icons, and my icons don’t change magically os osx. Those problems are yours!! KDE 3.4 is a nice destop environment for Linux, but anyone who says that is more polished than osx, has never really used osx. Osx is really intuitive, much more than KDE. KDE which mimics a lot the windows environment, is a mess of features that the user does not reaaly know how to use or how to find. Look at the preference pane, and compare to the osx one. KDE preference pane is a mess, with this presentation based on a list on the right panel which is very confusing. I don’t understand how the desktop of KDE is not a mess, and moreover it does not propose many features that os propose: Expose (it changes the way to use the system, and believe me, when you work with a lot of applications, it changes your life), powerful drag and drop between any elements, powerful automatic folder opening, and so one. Osx interface is more polished, much more polished, whatever the crazy lovers od KDE think. Just compare things!!!! 2005-03-18 7:26 am Anonymous Just check it before to write such thing. iLife come withe the os, every isntallation of OsX will install you the iLife too. Every time you buy an osx box, the last version of iLife is provided with the os. If you still dont understand, every time you buy an osx box, you also receive iLife. Now i am still using iLife ’04, but as i plan to get Tiger, in the same time i will get iLife’05. Apple also sells separately iLife for people who wants the new version but don’t plan to get a new os version for example. So what are you talking about? 2005-03-18 12:01 pm Anonymous The new KDE looks much better than the previos version, an it is a lot faster. But on the usability front it have a long way to go before it beats MacOS-X, Gnome or even windows. Some examples: Why doesn’t the way to add buttons to application toolbars and kicker panels look the same. To a user this is a very similar operation. It could be something like the drag & drop stuff they have in Mozilla Firefox, and not complicated up, down, left right arrows. What, does the copy menu item do on in the trash can context menu. And why is the default position of the trash on the Desktop. The desktop is covered most of the time. Now that there is a trash kicker applet, that should be the default. Look at the icon sidebar in konqueror, the one for bookmars, services, history,… Most users doesn’t know what these icons mean. The describing text is written sideways above the icon, and tells you what icon that is currently selected. The other icons on that iconbar have no text. So basically you know what sidebar function you have selected but not what you can change to. To make it even worse the icons moves away as you click on them to give room for the text, this means that you can’t use muscle memory to get at them,as they constanly change places. The icon is also more graphically heavy than the text. This means that the eye of the user will end up on the icon, the user then reads the text from bottom to the top. As we are used to read text from right to left, and top to bottom, the situation would have improved a lot if the text dropped down from the icon instead. Even better, would be to have a sidebar similar in function to that in Mozilla Firefox, where you can see all your options at all times. Look at the icons in the default theme, they need to be more graphically distinct. E.g. compare the up arrow and the home icon in konqueror. Both look quite similar. Some users may interpret is as some kind of fast up button perhaps taking them to / when pressed. This home button is also somewhat problematic in that it takes you to the same place regardless if use konqueror as a file browser or a web browser. Most people would make a difference between their home page and their home directory. In the default configuration the button takes you to the home directory. Now you may wonder why should there be two different icons representing the home directory, the double arrow like house in the konqueror toolbar and the nice little house with red roof everywhere else. Look at the menu that appears when you drag a file and drops it on a folder. Why does that menu have a cancel button. No other menus seam to need it. And why is the icon for cancel bright red, attracting the eye of the user to an option that he in most cases will not select. Look at how drop targets are identified. In Gnome and many other DEs the visual feedback when holding a dragged file over a drop target is much more evident. Making the drop target darker like in Gnome would be significantly better than the current rubberband marker. Look at the icons for documents in the default theme. The “dogs ear” at the bottom of the icon will make the base of the document icon shorter, this will make it less connected to the acompanying document name, than if the dogs ear was placed on the top of the icon. Moving the dogs ear to the top would also lessen the overall screen size of a file, and would make a file view look less cluttered. 2005-03-18 2:23 pm Anonymous “Those problems are yours!!” Horseshit. Go spend some time at any decent macintosh forum, and you will see these issues discussed over and over again. I’ve been using OS X since 10.1 and these problems have always existed, and have only been slightly addressed with Panther. Now at least, you can right click (or control click for you purists) and create a new folder, knowing it will appear below the mouse cursor. Before this, all bets were off. As far as the iApps go – yes, they are bundled with the OS, but they are not part of the OS. This means that a macophile cannot claim that their OS comes feature complete with DVD burning/mp3 Authoring. If this is beyond your grasp, I’m sorry, but it remains the truth. Also – try installing OS X on a machine w/ no combo/superdrive, upgrading the opti-disk to support DVD reading/writing, and the go back and install apple’s DVD viewer. Let me know when you are done — hope you like mplayer and VLC. And FWIW, I never said that KDE was more polished or better than OS X, just that OS X has a whole host of problems of it’s own that need to be addressed. 2005-03-19 8:45 pm Anonymous I am much impressed my the new kde, it’s kick @ss to say the least. I use kde on freebsd as well as fedora. Opensource development might be slow, the effort put out buy these developers is comendable. All the desktop environments have there nifty bugs, OS X is not perfect at all. Btw I use OS X on my G5 with 1.5 gb ram, it’s not very slow but could be faster. Waiting on Fedora Core 4 ppc version final to be released so I can use it.