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KDE 3.3: A Milestone For Linux On The Desktop 36

Posted by timothy
from the ever-nicer dept.
comforteagle writes "O'Reilly's OSDir has published the first of a new bi-weekly column called "KDE: From the Source" from which KDE developer and unofficial North American spokesperson George Staikos will be regularly writing on issues and happenings from the KDE camp. Naturally, his first piece focuses on KDE 3.3 and its implications for Linux on the desktop."
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KDE 3.3: A Milestone For Linux On The Desktop

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  • that doesn't require proprietary software!
    And it's in Debian experimental :)
    • i haven't seen this yet. how's the integration work? Mail.app in os x shows a little IM status icon next to email contacts if they are in your addressbook and your iChat buddy list. Not sure if kmail/kopete would do something similar.
      • by JohnFluxx (413620) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:22AM (#10077724)
        It does the same thing.

        It works by IM programs (like kopete) implement a dcop interface (sorta like how you implement java interfaces).
        This interface does stuff like emit a signal when presence status changes, lets you send a message or file to the contact, get an icon for the contact, and so on.

        Then you modify the IM's .desktop file to indiciate that the program implements this interface, (called kimiface - kde IM interface).

        Then kaddressbook and kmail etc just look for processes that have done this, query them for details, and hook into the changedPresence signal.

        At the last moment of the kde3.3 release, supported was for applications that aren't unique-instances. Like kopete can only run once per user, but now other applications, like konversation, will be able to show presence.

        Konversation support should be there in the next release, whenever that is. (it doesn't follow the kde release schedule.) It's mostly there in cvs, but I keep running into delays :)


    • KDE 3.3 has been in Debian unstable for over a week now. Unfortunately, it's been broken and uninstallable from the beginning [debian.org], without even acknowledgement from the maintainer.

      Just because I love Debian doesn't mean they don't also disgust me. :-)

      Are there any other KDE-related debs in experimental?

      • *cough* source distros like Gentoo don't have these issues *cough*
        • Yes they do, dependancies are dependancies and they require a human being to set the dependancy list correctly for each package.
          • Right. So why exactly does Gentoo's portagre tree consistently have more up to date software with less problems? I used Debian for an entire year before I got tired of missing packages, outdated packages, and broken packages. What good is a binary distro when none of the binaries work?
      • 'KDE 3.3' (in packaging terms) is ambiguous. There are several KDE source packages:
        kdebase [debian.org] (including konqueror etc.),
        kdelibs [debian.org] (kdelibs! etc.),
        kdenetwork [debian.org] (kopete, kppp etc.),
        kdepim [debian.org] (knode, kmail etc.).
        Probably even more (I'm not counting kdevelop and other applications.
        Each with several binary packages...

        This leads to bizarre discontinuities. There is also the problem that kde 3.2 has outstanding security bugs which don't look like being fixed in sarge [debian.org]. kdepim 3.3 was in experimental last week. I
  • Is this available as an RPM package for Fedora?
    • Re:Fedora users? (Score:5, Informative)

      by GreatDrok (684119) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:30AM (#10076808) Journal
      Have a look at ftp://apt.kde-redhat.org

      It works with yum and also covers a range of redhat/fedora versions. You'll find KDE 3.3 in testing. You will also likely have to remove a number of packages to get it all working though.

        1. You'll find KDE 3.3 in testing.

        Nope. Can't find it. I'd look more, but the site is now slasdoted.

        • Nope. Can't find it. I'd look more, but the site is now slasdoted.

          Yes, I was downloading the update at the same time as I posted the link and got to enjoy first hand the speed of a slashdotting. Wow! Two mins after I posted and the site was a smouldering ruin.

          Anyway, the KDE3.3 rpms are in testing but to be honest I wouldn't try and install them. I did a pretty good job of mangling my test system.

  • BUGGY! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mmport80 (588332) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:06AM (#10076724) Homepage
    Don't get me wrong, I love KDE. But 3.3 has been pretty much a buggy experience for me. I realize it's bound to be unstable, but as far as I can see KDE is focusing more on releasing new releases, rather than fixing boring old bugs!
  • Not too shabby... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dmayle (200765) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:46AM (#10076909) Homepage Journal

    I must admit, I'm pretty excited about KDE at this point. I've been a longtime Gnome user, and, after trying out Qingy [sourceforge.net] (a GUI replacement for getty that let's you run different sessions on different virtual teminals, like Gnome on VT1, KDE on VT2, text console on VT3, all chosen at login time.), I decided to give some of the other desktop environments a shot, since it was so easy. I've always had KDE installed, just because I wanted the flexibility (slightly longer compile times, but I just left it running overnight on my Gentoo system.), so it made it simple to try.

    I must say, I'm pretty impressed. The straight out of the box configuration sucks balls. (I had to add a bunch of keyboard shortcuts to Konsole before it was usable, but it was all centrally located and easy to do. In addition, I can't stand the default menu configuration.) The only thing I'm missing at this point is the lovely font unification that Gnome has. (At least under 2.6.0-2 and XOrg, I didn't have to do any configuration to get pretty, aliased, unified fonts.) At this point, I'm not sure if that's a deal breaker, so I'm giving it a shot.

    The real test will be when I want to make sure that Firefox is the default URL handler so I don't have to deal with that damn Konqueror opening if I don't want to (Because doing the same in Gnome was a bitch.)

    Anyway, sorry to rant, but I guess I just wanted to let all you Gnome diehards know that KDE can work. And it can be snappy, too... (Though I just started using it with 2.4.26 and low-latency scheduling, so Gnome might be snappier on this machine as well, a PIII 500 with 384MB RAM.)

    • Re:Not too shabby... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JohnFluxx (413620)
      I saw commits in kdm recently to allow you to make multiple sessions, and switch between them.
      • Re:Not too shabby... (Score:4, Informative)

        by koody (575863) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:44AM (#10077368)
        Well, at least in debian sarge it's merely a matter of uncommenting some lines in /etc/kde3/kdm/Xservers

        This will cause a "Start New Session" entry to appear in the "Screen Locked by user" dialog and also in the K-menu.

        • Hi koody, in response to one of your earlier posts (cant reply to it now).

          Have you modified the firmware on your hub ?

          E-mail me, perhaps we can work on it together, update a few things.
    • The only thing I'm missing at this point is the lovely font unification that Gnome has. (At least under 2.6.0-2 and XOrg, I didn't have to do any configuration to get pretty, aliased, unified fonts.

      I have never ever had to do anything special to get anti-aliased fonts, but I use Gentoo and thus my QT and KDE is always built from source. This is probably a packaging problem with you distro.

      The real test will be when I want to make sure that Firefox is the default URL handler so I don't have to deal with

    • I've been a longtime Gnome user

      Ugh. How could you stand it? Gnome was quite horrible until just recently. 3 little words: "File Open Dialog".

      trying out Qingy (a GUI replacement for getty that let's you run different sessions on different virtual teminals, like Gnome on VT1, KDE on VT2, text console on VT3, all chosen at login time.)

      You don't need additional software to test multiple desktop environments concurrently.

      For example, you can run Gnome from the normal login screen, then push Control-Alt
  • The most prominent improvements are, not surprisingly, in the most popular component: KMail. In KDE 3.3, KMail now supports HTML mail composing with a completely rewritten composer engine.

    And that's supposed to be an improvement? I always loved KMail because it was simple and just had text mail. I certainly hope the default is still plain text!
  • I don't mean to offend anyone, but I always find it odd when I see things on how important KDE is to 'open source' because I exclusively run Free operating systems (mostly Debian) and don't have a single KDE library or app installed on any computer.

    Sometimes I just forget it exists :) - This isn't meant as an insult to KDE, its really I guess an homage to Free Software (Imagine finding a windows user that does have IE, or Explorer installed!)
  • Slow still? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anna Merikin (529843) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:33AM (#10078663) Journal
    OK, that's all fine. But what I want to know is:

    Will KDE still clobber any keyboard repeat rate higher than 10.9 per second, like other KDEs I have used (1.x, 2.x, 3.1 on Caldera, TurboLinux, RedHat and Knoppix) do?

    Even if I put a faster rate in .bashrc, if I open a terminal (or even a non-KDE editor!) I have 10.9 cps. again.

    It makes the whole OS seem slow.

    It p*sses me off so much I have de-installed KDE on all but Knoppix (!) to get my fast keyboard response back -- and Knoppix' KDE survives only because one cannot uninstall KDE in Knoppix.

    • KControl -> Perephrials -> Keyboard -> Rate

      Mine is currently sert at 25 / s.

      Though it should be inheriting from your .bash settings. Have you filed this bug at bugs.kde.org?

      • Well, I might be talking about obsolete KDE.

        I have been using Knoppix off the CD-ROM for a while, while I looked in vain for a popular, non-KDE-needing distribution which can play multimedia files (not RH-9 or Fedora.) I just checked the version I'm running now (3.2) and its behavior is fine. The Knoppix release previous to this, however, was as I described.

        Knoppix does not include the keyboard rate slider as part of KDE in 3.2 (KDE 3.1.2.) -- or I can't find where they moved it to!

        IIRC, everything was f
        • I have been using Knoppix off the CD-ROM for a while, while I looked in vain for a popular, non-KDE-needing distribution which can play multimedia files (not RH-9 or Fedora.)

          Install Fedora Core 2. Go to: apt.freshrpms.net [freshrpms.net] and copy the yum.conf file over your /etc/yum.conf

          su & type 'yum install mplayer', 'yum install xine', 'yum install [myfavouritemultimediaapp]' and it'll resolve all deps and install the whole lot. No fuss, no muss.

          Yes, Red Hat have made the decision to keep some software to keep p
          • Thanks for the information. I know about Fedora, but I am on a dialup connection, so downloading the three CD-ROMS is out of the question. I have d/led but not yet installed Lorma, Fedora with Multimedia and kernel realtime patches on once CD-ROM, and I know about CCRM for RH-9 and Fedora Multimedia files should I need them.

            Frankly, I find apt painful on dialup (I tried a harddisk install of Knoppix, but for various reasons knoppix will not install the apps I need from apt repositories because of library i
  • I was running KDE 3.2.3 a week ago. Now I'm running KDE 3.3. I've found very little difference between the two. The differences I see are just subtle little GUI things that few would notice. I guess the differences are in the code that runs just the window manager. Compared to 3.2.3, I don't see it as a Milestone. Compared to 1.0 it's a milestone, however.

    I think xfce4 is also a great alternative. It's slim, fast, and simple. It's great if you want to make a simple machine for IM, music playing, wo

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