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KDE GUI Social Networks Software The Internet Linux

Social Desktop Starts To Arrive In KDE 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-are-little-people-in-my-computer dept.
FrankKarlitschek writes "At last year's KDE Conference Akademy, the vision of the Social Desktop was born and first presented to a larger audience. The concept behind the Social Desktop is to bring the power of online communities and group collaboration to desktop applications and the desktop shell itself. One of the strongest assets of the Free Software community is its worldwide group of contributors and users who believe in free software and who work hard to bring the software and solutions to the mainstream. A core idea of the Social Desktop is connecting to your peers in the community, making the sharing and exchanging of knowledge (PDF) easier to integrate into applications and the desktop itself. One of the ideas was to place a widget on the desktop where users can find other KDE users in the same city or region, making it possible to connect to these people; to contact them and collaborate. If a user is starting KDE for the first time, he has questions. At the moment, a lot of the support for KDE users is provided through forums and mailing lists. Users have to start up a browser and search for answers for their questions or problems. The community is relatively loosely connected; it is spread all over the web, and it is often hard to verify the usefulness and accuracy of the information found somewhere out on the web. Although it works relatively well for experienced users, beginners often get lost."
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Social Desktop Starts To Arrive In KDE

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  • The Widget (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:00AM (#27806683)

    It will not take five minutes before the experienced KDE users stop using the widget because they are being bugged by people.

    Love or hate forums they are a better way to collate helpful information than using a disparate bunch of people all over the place.

    • Re:The Widget (Score:5, Insightful)

      by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craig@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:23PM (#27807345)

      Forums, as most of them exist now, are actually an exceptionally lousy way of publishing collective wisdom. The problem is that they don't just collect actual wisdom, they collect lint, cruft, and other sundry garbage as well... and all too often even a smart person can't always discern one from the other.

      There is as much or more MISinformation accumulated in forums as there is useful information.

      Now, if you wanna invent the Next Big Thing in online collaborative problem-solving that will obsolete vBulletin and phpBB and all the rest, please get back to me! Until then, I'm pretty much sick and tired of spending hours trying to sift forums for that one nugget of informational gold hidden amongst all the pyrite, feldspar, mica, and hematite.

      • Re:The Widget (Score:5, Informative)

        by who knows my name (1247824) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @01:01PM (#27807657)

        I think it's called a wiki.

        • Re:The Widget (Score:5, Interesting)

          by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craig@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @01:14PM (#27807769)

          Yes, it is, isn't it? :-)

          Forums are useful for the collaboration that precedes the creation of a wiki page, but they certainly do a lousy job trying to supplant one. If the initial post in a thread is consistently updated to reflect the best and latest collective wisdom of the discussion, it can almost take the place of a wiki, but in my experience that is rarely done, and even when done is even less rarely done well.

          Wikis are indeed better storehouses of collective wisdom, but there aren't enough of them and they often don't rank as highly in search engines as the forum posts they should be superceding. That's perhaps what needs to be fixed: more, and more easily found.

        • Re:The Widget (Score:4, Interesting)

          by lennier (44736) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @04:44PM (#27809417) Homepage

          "I think it's called a wiki."

          Sort of. A wiki is great for topic-based material. Not so great for time-based (blogs and calendars) or thread-based (comments/forums).

          It seems like there should be a framework sitting midway between wiki, blog, forum and calendar: something which deals with chunks of text in a standard safe markup language (Textile/Markdown or the like), tagged with fields (date created, date modified, date due, creator) and then aggregated into views (blog post, blog comment, forum thread, forum comment, wiki page, wiki edit, wiki history).

          Why don't we have this yet?

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Now, if you wanna invent the Next Big Thing in online collaborative problem-solving that will obsolete vBulletin and phpBB and all the rest, please get back to me!

        I think StackOverflow (http://stackoverflow.com/ ) is DAMNED close, for programming problems at least. My only complaint is their pig-headed refusal to use anything but OpenID to log in to the site.

        • by macraig (621737)

          That's not a bad implementation. I think I've seen it once before, but since I haven't done coding in years my problems are all hardware or compatibility. I don't see a reason why it can't be adapted to suit any sort of troubleshooting.

          • by Blakey Rat (99501)

            There's still the possibility of particularly old topics sticking around with obsolete answers, but the good thing about that site is that older questions basically become wiki entries, so if you do find an obsolete answer, you can easily fix it to be relevant, or direct viewers to a more relevant entry.

            The OpenID thing just bugs the crap out of me, because I don't see any advantage to it and tons of disadvantages to it. If I signed up using OpenID, built up a huge reputation, history of answers and edits,

            • by macraig (621737)

              The best answer to the conundrum you described, I guess, is to register your own domain and then configure OpenID to use that. I've been meaning to do that with my domain. I haven't needed to use OpenID very much, so it hasn't been as pressing as it might be for you.

              • by Blakey Rat (99501)

                ... or they could provide the same username/password login system every other site on Earth provides (including the vast majority of sites that take OpenID), and then I don't have to waste those hours/days of effort. I don't *want* to be an OpenID provider, or use my domain for anything except serving web pages. I just want to log on to their damned site.

      • Re:The Widget (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fyoder (857358) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @01:59PM (#27808101) Homepage Journal

        Or this aggravation, when you're searching for a solution to a problem, find a forum where someone has asked exactly the question you're asking, and the only reply is "Google it. Google is your friend."

        Google might be my friend, but that asshat sure as hell isn't Google's friend, the poster's friend, nor anyone's. Answer the fricken question, or STFU and stop adding to the noise.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Maybe they should add moderation and mod points like slashdot to try to seperate the wheat from the chaff.
      • Love it, hate it, doesn't matter.

        KDE begat Konqueror. Konqueror begat Safari and Webkit. Webkit is now commonly used for cell phones and alternative browsers, including Google Chrome, all of which are gaining marketshare. In a very real sense, KDE has the unique distinction of birthing one of the most common and popular browser engines anywhere on the Internet.

        Whether or not you use KDE, you've almost assuredly used software created therefrom!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Caledfwlch (1434813)
      I think the widget is a interesting concept to make the desktop more dynamic, though I can see your reservation that the widget would present a deluge of unwanted traffic. Some people who like mentoring the masses would want this, others who want more targeted interactions probably wouldn't. Then it would be up to the community to come up with filters, voting, & preference mechanisms to make the widget, and presumably others that will follow, customizable to different strata/verticals of users.
    • Actually they are not. Forums are really horrible collaboration mediums. They don't preserve any kind of conversational flow (forums are flat, usually in a straight chronological order within a topic). Additionally topics that might be of interest frequently fall off the front page and die rather quickly while other popular threads go on for thousands of posts and have to be split into new topics. These two flaws make it really really hard for someone to jump into an existing conversation. Having to go

    • by cp.tar (871488)

      It will not take five minutes before the experienced KDE users stop using the widget because they are being bugged by people.

      Love or hate forums they are a better way to collate helpful information than using a disparate bunch of people all over the place.

      Not... necessarily.
      Imagine it as a kind of torrent, i.e. p2p education. As you explain something to someone, he may in turn explain it to someone else, and even reinforce his own knowledge.

      It could prove to be useful and educational, not just in relation to KDE.

  • Cool (Score:4, Informative)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:02AM (#27806693) Homepage Journal

    I like the idea. I find that I tend to look for desktop clients for a lot of connected stuff that I do. In fact I'm writing my own PyQT twitter client right now because I couldn't find a desktop client for linux that really works well and has the features I want. (The adobe air stuff is close but is flaky - crashes, etc.)

    I wouldn't mind at all seeing more of this being pulled tighter into my workspace.

    • Re:Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ouder (1080019) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:20AM (#27806827)
      For a long time KDE was regarded as the stable businesslike desktop and Gnome was for the experimenters. It is interesting to me that the roles have largely reversed. Gnome is now taking an incremental, evolutionary approach while KDE is the one taking risks and being more revolutionary.
      • by Gerzel (240421) *

        Give them a few years and the pendulum will swing back the other way.

        KDE users wanted more options and new interface gadgets and abilities.

        GNOME users wanted a stabler client on a saner development schedule.

      • It seems to a be a natural product of competition. If your competitor is doing better than you, you're going to look at the situation and change things up.

        The "market" of getting people to use your desktop environment is different than other products (for example, a user can switch between using one or another as often as desired with no downsides), but seeing how Gnome is currently more popular than KDE, its not surprising that they're brainstorming new features to get more users.

    • Are there features in choqok that you are missing? http://choqok.gnufolks.org/ [gnufolks.org]
      • Thanks- I've looked at quite a few but for whatever reason that one did not show up in my searches. I'll be giving it a spin this week.

    • by jank1887 (815982)
      I agree. I can't count the number of times I peek at my facebook homepage and see someone mention that they're looking for something, wondering how something works, or where to get more information about something. If I was at work, trying to do a tech review on a particular subject, and I could 'update my active status' to say 'anyone out there familiar with X?' and actually get a set of valid responses, it would make my job easier. if there was a way for me to see other people's queries, I'd probably tak
  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:03AM (#27806701)

    I know, I know. This is probably different, but when I read the description, I pictured MS Bob with bright, colorful rooms that someone far away thought would put me at ease when using a computer. Then when I start a task, the helpful animated dog pops up, but instead of the vanilla "looks like you're writing a letter," some random jerk from the low end of the internet gene pool pops up and says something in between "Nice letter, fag!" and
    http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/4/27/ [penny-arcade.com]

    I feel like there's too much desktop in my face most of the time. I want it to be a helpful tool, but most often being helpful means staying out of the way. But I am glad KDE is so configurable, so I can mold it into the desktop I want. That part is great.

    • by pongo000 (97357) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:06AM (#27806725)

      I feel like there's too much desktop in my face most of the time. I want it to be a helpful tool, but most often being helpful means staying out of the way. But I am glad KDE is so configurable, so I can mold it into the desktop I want. That part is great.

      Then why would you use KDE, instead of a minimalist desktop/WM like XFCE?

      Not a troll, not a flame. But I can't quite figure out those who run KDE, and then complain about how "thick" KDE is.

      • I'n terms of interface kde3 can get pretty minimal.
        *All kde apps (except amarok) let you hide the menubar for many apps (especially media players!) you rarely use the menubar
        *there is a shortcut to toggle window decoration (for when you just need more screen real estate
        *the window decorations can get pretty light (e.g BII)
        *kasbar can float and expand to show your running apps
        *the autohide feature on being a per toolbar and widgets being pretty useful can also save a lot of space

        I've played around with fluxb

      • by speedtux (1307149)

        Presumably, it's a compromise: there's some feature they need or want, and for that, they are putting it with problems.

        Other people complain about KDE after having tried it and then not using it as their main desktop (I fall into that category).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Gerzel (240421) *

        Like it or not KDE and Gnome both have a great deal of functionality that the minimalists simply don't or have with much prodding.

        I will sometimes switch to a minimalist setup but always come crawling back after a few days or weeks(sometimes months) usually for some small widget or behavior that just isn't available or easy to configure in the minimalist environment. Its a trade off, configuration/learning time vs functionality vs footprint.

      • by Hoplite3 (671379)

        It's vastly easier to mold KDE into a simple desktop than do do the same with others. I played with XFCE and *Box window managers, but they can't touch how easy KDE is to configure. Besides, I like a lot of KDE apps, and they work well together. The arguments for a light window manager don't always add up to me. I'm not an extemist when it comes to picking software. That's why I like "mixing metaphors" like putting files and program launcher icons on the desktop. It doesn't make sense (is it a file or somet

    • by westlake (615356)

      when I read the description, I pictured MS Bob with bright, colorful rooms that someone far away thought would put me at ease when using a computer.

      The next edition of The Sims will be woven into social networking.

      The geek is whistling past the graveyard when he summons up the ghost of MS Bob.

      If there is a true break from the desktop metaphor - if intelligent avatars do become important - you will see it first in the home and not at work.

  • by orkybash (1013349) <tim.bocek@gm a i l . c om> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:04AM (#27806713)
    Don't get me wrong, I love the KDE 4 desktop (though lets not start that debate...), but one thing that has been plaguing KDE is the introduction of new "revolutionary" desktop paradigms that no one actually uses.

    Nepomuk, for example, was supposed to launch us into the era of the semantic desktop, with everything tagged with all sorts of metadata andd actually searchable. The problem is, applications don't use it. Developers for Amarok and Digikam, two major KDE apps, have both stated that they have no interest in integrating with Nepomuk for the time being.

    It gives me hope that there are already ideas on how to use this (Plasmoids, or desktop widgets for those of you who don't speak KDE), but those strike me as the moral equivalent of being able to tag things in Dolphin (the file browser) but not being able to make use of those tags elsewhere.

    So until I see commitment from developers, I'm not excited.
    • by tick-tock-atona (1145909) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:22AM (#27806841)
      WTF?

      Because a lots of new codes have been done in digiKam for KDE4, we need to stabilize current implementations before to play with Nepomuk. Also, the new Database interface from Marcel which is already very stable need to be polished before to be interfaced with Nepomuk. So, it's something planed for 0.11.0 release.

      Gilles Caulier

    • Of course, because for the most part tags are worthless except for limited in scope items. The only possible use case I can think of is actually for photographs, which makes me a little confused why digikam doesn't want to integrate. But on the otherhand, who wants to tag documents or songs? Songs have metadata that should contain all the information you might possibly want to tag, same for documents, open them for a full text search when indexing. The idea of user input tags if a flawed one for all but the
    • Nepomuk, for example, was supposed to launch us into the era of the semantic desktop, with everything tagged with all sorts of metadata and actually searchable.

      Amarok

      Plasmoids, or desktop widgets for those of you who don't speak KDE
      Dolphin (the file browser)

      Nepomuk sounds like he should be hunting seals on the artic ice pack in the Brittanica films your grandad slept through in high school.

      When Geek-Speak meets Marketing-Speak all hope is lost.

      • Well, KDE always was a bit German to me. You know, the K in everything.
        As a matter of fact, I'm from Germany. And Nepomuk is a pretty old, but known name, around here.

        In the 80s and 90s, we had a nice TV show with a small town of puppets here.
        In that show, there is also a puppet called Nepomuk: http://www.hallo-spencer.de/home/images/stuff/wallpaper/nepomuk.jpg [hallo-spencer.de]
        He is portrayed as a somewhat weird old man, who is a bit cold at first, but in fact a very nice man on the inside, when you give him a chance.

        So thi

    • by gardyloo (512791)

      (though lets not start that debate...)

      You must be new here.

  • What??? (Score:3, Funny)

    by hwyhobo (1420503) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:07AM (#27806737)
    If it's as useful as the slide presentation in TFA is informative, then it will be as eloquent as twitter and as disciplined as USENET.
  • Decentralization (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:08AM (#27806745)

    Decentralization is not necessarily a good thing. It spreads possibly valuable information to isolated cells (private chats?) with no googleability.

    Also, do you really want to be interrupted even more than you used to, by some newbie that can't be bothered to google around?

    • Isn't this what IRC is for, only if you go to #kde with a question about anything that isn't to do with kde, its quite hard to figure out what you problem is when your new, you get next to no help (seriously its like kubuntu killed most of their dogs or something).

    • by Gerzel (240421) * <<brollyferret> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:38PM (#27807443) Journal

      Who pray tell is posting all these magical answers to questions that may or may not be asked by someone googling?

      Googling around only gets you so far with most interface/specific computer questions. Often there are bugs which take time to reach forums let alone well written help pages. More often then not your problem isn't going to be what people are linking to/talking about on many pages and so will NOT show up on Google page rank. Many problems also are rooted in individual configurations and individual mistakes made along the way thus appear vastly different to different users.

      Oh and the kicker is often to get the most out of google you have to know a bit about what you are searching for which for newbie help is almost never going to be the case.

      Perhaps one day when we put as much time and thought in writing the helpfiles and user information bits of programs then google will be the ultimate answer but for now it is in most cases thirty minutes of frustration that would be more helpful just hitting IRC or a forum to ask someone who might have a clue as to what they are doing or might have seen the problem before.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:12AM (#27806769)

    While I appreciate the efforts KDE programmers have put into making KDE really usable, I wish they (KDE developers), would focus their efforts at reducing the huge number of bugs in KDE 4.x and improve the user experience.

    I know KDE is a mostly voluntary effort but in the current situation of over 50,000 [kde.org] bugs, introducing even more features which translates to more bugs does not help at all.

    I tried the latest KDE on a 2.4 GHz, 512MB RAM system with an on board graphics card and I must say I was underwhelmed. The system (Kubuntu) was so slow.

    Heck...why is it so hard for programmers to make KDE beautiful by default?b Operative word here is "default". Why do the menus and widgets have to be huge...wasting space?

    I had to say this otherwise I know I will be castigated for saying what is true and is on my mind.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by destroyer661 (847607)

      Don't want to flame, but *ubuntu is usually a pretty bloated install. I built KDE 4.2 from scratch on Debian installed on a P4 with 768 ram and an old Intel onboard, it ran perfect. *shrug*

      IMO both KDE/Gnome meet their real potential if you take some time to customize them and work out what makes you, as an individual, happy. I don't think they're going to satisfy many people left just on default settings.

    • by freedumb2000 (966222) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:24AM (#27806859)
      Just looked at some screenshots of KDE4. It looked like Vista. Why do the always have to emulate a current Windows version for looks? Windows has _always_ been ugly. Vista especially being hard on the eyes with it's glossy black style.
      • I said the same thing for a while, until my new laptop came with Vista. It's actually pretty nice. The transparency isn't as jarring as it feels the first time you use it, and the glass effects are pretty muted.

      • by vdboor (827057)

        Just looked at some screenshots of KDE4. It looked like Vista.

        Interestingly enough the designers of Oxygen didn't look at Vista at all, and implemented their own vision of a nice desktop style :-p

        If black == vista, then yes, almost everything can look like vista..

    • Until i can make my toolbars the same size as kde3's tiny, I'm simply not interested in kde4. I used to love kde for the way i could get it out of my way, right now it feels like they're just trying to show off all these fancy new desktop changing ideas, instead of focusing on what users want!

      • Well, I don't know how the setting is called in English as I run German KDE, but somewhere in systemsettings in the applet where you can choose your icon set there is a second tab where you can set the size of the toolbar icons.

      • KDE 4.2.2

        Click the settings (yellow yin-yang) icon on the far right. Click the Hight button (center of settings bar). Drag up or down to grow or shrink icon size. You can make the icons virtually any size you want.

        Wasn't that easy?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by segedunum (883035)

      I know KDE is a mostly voluntary effort but in the current situation of over 50,000 bugs

      Take a memo: Since when has the number of opened bugs, certainly in an open bug tracking system, ever reflected the general quality of any software? How many of those bugs are actually relevant? How many of them are just arguments over functionality? Have they been triaged? Your argument is meaningless if what you've linked to hasn't been filtered. All it tells me is that people obviously care about what is going on i

      • by bogaboga (793279)

        ...Your argument is meaningless if what you've linked to hasn't been filtered...

        So you haven't even bothered to find out have you? Amazing. What I linked to were confirmed bugs. Now for what I know about bugs, "they should not be there in the first place". Are you proud of any bugs?

        And who said the number of bugs define the quality of the software? Come on...bugs however small or "insignificant", should not be there. Period. Get it?

        • by segedunum (883035)

          So you haven't even bothered to find out have you? Amazing. What I linked to were confirmed bugs.

          Says who? I don't think you know what goes on in Bugzilla in any project, how it works or whether most of what is in there there is actually representative. Regardless of what has or hasn't been marked as confirmed in Bugzilla that snapshot still needs triaging to see whether it is indicative of the current quality of the project. You just linked to it because thought it proved something. Sorry, but it doesn't.

        • by segedunum (883035)
          I should also add that the graph that you have used to 'back up' what you're saying only confirms that as a software project gets more complex and popular the number of bugs increases - over a period of years. Well stone me. I never would have thought that. It doesn't give any picture on the current state of the project at all.
    • by ultrabot (200914)

      I tried the latest KDE on a 2.4 GHz, 512MB RAM system with an on board graphics card and I must say I was underwhelmed.

      Buy some RAM, they are practically giving it away for free. KDE4 is not really meant for low end machines (yet).

      KDE4 is also very quick to expose bad video drivers. A while ago nvidia sucked, now it rocks (mostly) - whereas the Intel driver is in bad interim state.

      • Buy some RAM, they are practically giving it away for free. KDE4 is not really meant for low end machines (yet).

        Why? kde3+compiz ran fine on less than that.

        • by ultrabot (200914)

          Why? kde3+compiz ran fine on less than that.

          Who knows - maybe the devs thought it's more important to drive the technology forward instead of implementing yet another lightweight desktop environment.

          Most probably, though, it's just about different parts of the stack evolving separately from each other (Qt, KDE, X, drivers), and it's taking some time for everything to get optimized.

        • by centuren (106470)

          Why? kde3+compiz ran fine on less than that.

          And it still does. I have little sympathy for anyone who complains how KDE3 "was" better than the current release of KDE4; it's not like KDE3 has deactivated and no longer installs or runs. If it's better for you, use it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Not a flame but Kubuntu is terribly slow, in my experience. I tried it and moved to openSuse 11.1; I got a much better experience, even on cheap hw (1.7Ghz, 1Gb, intel graphics).
      I've heard it speculated that KDE is not a terribly high priority for Canonical, whereas the reverse is true with Suse. Don't know whether its true, but my experience definitely jibs with it.
    • That 5000 doesn't really mean what you think it does.

      If there is a bug with kpacman, it goes on that list. If there is a problem with kbackgammon, it goes there. Problem with ktorrent, kopete, kcalc, koffice... you guessed it - they all go on the KDE bugzilla.

      Most people base their desktop assumptions on Windows and how few tools and extras it comes with. KDE is much more massive while yet retaining modularity.

      By the way, is your system going slow, change kwin to openbox in systemsettings. That is KDE 4

      • I left off a zero :)

        50000.

        But then, the report you are linking to is not reflective of KDE 4 (which was more or less built from scratch.)

        That report has bugs from KDE 1.x and so on.

        Hopefully, when KDE 3.5.x is officially no longer supported, they will just mark all bugs below version 4.0 as 'fixed in upstream.' ('Won't fix' would be more accurate, but semantics are important. I can just imagine the Slashdot article KDE closes 40000 bugs after refusing to fix them.)

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Windows 2000 Pro is well-known to have had over 64,000 bugs on release, and it's widely considered one of the best Windows versions ever made. I don't see how the bug count is relevant.

  • Existing Features (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:13AM (#27806775) Homepage Journal

    How about get 4.x as stable as 3.5x before we start moving forward?

    • Re:Existing Features (Score:5, Informative)

      by lbbros (900904) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:30AM (#27806897) Homepage
      You do know it took seven years for the 3.x codebase to stabilize, right?
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Yup, but they made it a *priority* to get there. I don't get the same feeling of commitment with 4.x, especially with stories like this.

        • by lbbros (900904) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:13PM (#27807239) Homepage
          You see news about this, but not about the millions of bug fixes that go in for a particular component. Pushing out stories about new ideas does not mean there is no polishing going behind the scenes. There is quite a lot, and if you see lack of "polish" remember also that manpower, especially for some KDE areas, is quite limited.
    • by segedunum (883035)

      How about get 4.x as stable as 3.5x before we start moving forward?

      Hmmmm. Maybe because software doesn't stand still and those that do become irrelevant curiosities promoted by irrelevant people?

      Since KDE 4 is a different desktop to KDE 3 with different libraries, tools, applications and functionality I don't know how you can compare both with a statement such as 'as stable as' because it just assumes the two can be compared. KDE 3 took a number of point releases itself before it became 'stable' in the

      • I almost wish I hadn't commented on this story just so I could mod you up.

        This post is exactly what people seem to miss in comparing the two. I almost wish that KDE could have been called something else so it could skip the comparisons - even though 4.x is the perfect evolution of KDE 3

  • by segedunum (883035) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:30AM (#27806893)
    Like it or lump it, I see KDE as the only open source desktop trying, or even able to, to keep open source desktops relevant and on the radar with people with respect to what the proprietary competition is doing and will be able to do in the future - graphics, resolution independence, development tools and libraries, searching with semantic meaning....... With the foundation of all of that in KDE 4 they have the ability to create actual tools, applications and widgets that can make the social desktop a reasonable reality rather than just creating the appearance of it with hastily put together front-ends to Facebook because that foundation isn't there. I'll mention no names there.

    Without this stuff going on then the open source desktop is just where CDE ended up - a woefully inadequate alternative that saw itself as 'good enough' when the rest of the world said 'No' and moved on to Mac OS and Windows. Until people wise up to that all we'll have in the open source desktop world is a bunch of sad people arguing about what the 'default' desktop is in a Linux distribution that well over 90% of the world have never heard of and have no reason whatsoever to use. If Psystar wins its case that will probably get several times more difficult and Apple will make a crapload of cash bizarrely, but I digress.
    • by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:27PM (#27807395)

      Without this stuff going on then the open source desktop is just where CDE ended up - a woefully inadequate alternative that saw itself as 'good enough' when the rest of the world said 'No' and moved on to Mac OS and Windows.

      Quite the opposite. CDE, in fact, was trying to do too much: it had many things that came to other platforms much later, including styles, theming, remote access, config databases, scalability, and GUI scripting. And the people who owned CDE thought that because it was ahead of the competition, they could charge a premium for it. Meanwhile, in the PC market, companies were pushing out low-cost machines with crappy and cumbersome low-level GUI libraries by the millions.

      KDE is repeating the CDE mistake: instead of focusing on what people need right now and doing a really good job at it, KDE is trying to realize some long term pie-in-the-sky technical visions of its developers that no user asked for.

      • by cp.tar (871488)

        KDE is repeating the CDE mistake: instead of focusing on what people need right now and doing a really good job at it, KDE is trying to realize some long term pie-in-the-sky technical visions of its developers that no user asked for.

        Since CDE's greatest mistake was charging premium for it, I'd say KDE is not doing anything wrong.
        I used to be a Gnome fan myself, but nowadays KDE appeals to me much more.

      • by Rich (9681)

        > including styles, theming, remote access, config databases, scalability, and GUI scripting.

        Styles - not unless you count colour schemes which were available on platforms like win3.1 already.
        Theming - not at all
        Remote Access - only the basics that X11 provided for it.
        Config Databases - nothing beyond Xt resources which were a pretty much failed implementation from the start.
        Scalability - don't make me laugh.
        GUI Scripting - did you ever try tooltalk?

        CDE was a poor implementation of existing ideas and bro

      • by segedunum (883035) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @02:53PM (#27808549)

        Quite the opposite. CDE, in fact, was trying to do too much: it had many things that came to other platforms much later, including styles, theming, remote access, config databases, scalability, and GUI scripting.

        No, they focused on the wrong things and some of the right stuff they focused on was half-baked to the point of being unusable so it never turned into anything an end user might feel the benefit of.

        KDE is repeating the CDE mistake: instead of focusing on what people need right now and doing a really good job at it, KDE is trying to realize some long term pie-in-the-sky technical visions of its developers that no user asked for.

        Which is exactly what the CDE guys did about fifteen years ago when they declared CDE as a 'standard', looked at Windows and Mac OS and said "We don't need anything developer friendly. We don't need any of this new fangled 3D programming API stuff. Who wants to play something called Half Life anyway?" Microsoft also said "Who needs the internet?" and quickly realised they were wrong. I'm sure no user asked for any of those things until they came along. The world moved on and left CDE in its own sad little world.

        We all now that no one uses any of that stuff and Microsoft was right about the internet, right? Your statement is so stupid on so many levels it isn't even funny. Why bother with any new functionality at all? We all know that each new version of software can be sold on the basis that it has 'less' functionality so it 'doesn't get in your way' right? I'm afraid no one is moving off Windows and Mac OS with that strap-line. The sad part is that you probably believe it even when the contrary has been pointed out and that is why I see KDE being the only thing that is helping the open source desktop on. Either people don't see it or they just don't want to see it.

        Chagning the subject line of the thread won't make it true either.

      • by xoundmind (932373)
        Which is perhaps why I find even the latest KDE pretty much unusable.
        I want 3.x back!
    • by stevied (169) *

      This is why I like OSS. The cool kids with more time and energy than I have can invent and play with this stuff in KDE, and have a fighting chance of achieving something. In the meantime, I can stick with the relatively clean and business-like GNOME on my main machine, and run XFCE on older stuff. I'm sure there are some people out there who still aren't happy, but this sort of freedom must be getting us closer to the ideal ..

      • by segedunum (883035)

        This is why I like OSS. The cool kids with more time and energy than I have can invent and play with this stuff in KDE, and have a fighting chance of achieving something. In the meantime, I can stick with the relatively clean and business-like GNOME on my main machine...

        Can you hazard a guess as to how many businesses are using Gnome because it looks business-like? A lot of people really do drink that anti-freeze it seems. I believe I covered that with this:

        "Until people wise up to that all we'll have in t

  • anti-social apps (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ifeelswine (1546221) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:35AM (#27806927) Journal
    am i the only one that pines for anti-social applications? and in this case a desktop? i don't want a picture of me smiling gaily or puking my guts out on facebook. i don't want my professional qualifications smeared across the interweb. i don't want to 'tweet' my latest bowel movement to the universe. 1. write app to crawl the interweb and cleanse the world of references to your name 2. ??? 3. profit!
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      You could just... not use the feature.

      I don't get why people like you always have to complain instead of just saying "huh," and going on to *ignore* the thing you don't like. If you don't like it, don't use it. Period. The end.

  • it's already here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:10PM (#27807199)

    The "social desktop" is already here. It consists of web sites, site specific browsers, instant messenger apps, feed readers, desktop notification, and widgets. Some people also still use local mail, calendar, and address book apps.

    What is KDE trying to contribute to that? Even more heavy-weight local apps and new protocols? How are they going to keep up with the rapidly evolving set of protocols and features available through web apps? And why bother?

    I think KDE suffers from a serious case of paradigm envy: they keep wanting to revolutionize the desktop instead of just focusing on what works and coming up with specific, useful, incremental improvements.

    • Re:it's already here (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tick-tock-atona (1145909) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:19PM (#27807303)
      One of the major ideas behind the Social Desktop is desktop network transparency [wordpress.com].
      • by speedtux (1307149)

        Yeah, actually read that page and think about it: to share a workspace, KDE is developing APIs, distributed data storage, services, and new desktop apps/widgets.

        Meanwhile, people who actually need to do this open a Google Doc or Spreadsheet in their browser and are done with it. If they need to go off-line, they use Google Gears. (I'm just giving Google as an example, there are many other similar multi-user web apps.)

        • Well there is a difference: google is centralized, a social KDE network would be more of a P2P.
          But I'd still go through the browser. I hope they go as much as possible with existing protocols.

          • by speedtux (1307149)

            And P2P is better... how? How is that data backed up and replicated? What's gonna happen when some users whose data I rely on upgrade to KDE5 and stuff starts failing?

            Running these services centralized has a lot of advantages.

        • Google's done it, so everyone else should give up?

          A proprietary solution is being developed so free software should give up?

          I'm having trouble seeing your point.
          • by speedtux (1307149)

            Which part of "I'm just giving Google as an example, there are many other similar multi-user web apps." did you not understand?

            The point is: go ahead and implement open source equivalents, but don't waste your time on developing heavy-weight C++ desktop apps.

            • Dude, Google Gears is developed in C++! (but it could have been developed in anything - it doesn't matter) It also runs as a browser extension. Is that more 'light-weight' than a plasma widget or desktop app?

              So are you saying that all my networking needs should be met through browser plugins, instead of desktop apps? I can see that working.
  • I know a lot of people have been criticizing IRC as means of getting the help you need in regards to a lot of BOFH's and just random jerks, but ever since I joined freenode I've found that there's a good portion of people very willing to help regardless of your skill level. it only starts to tick off the ops and regulars when someone has a hard time forming their question.. I've got a lot of patience with newbies, but sometimes it just gets out of hand.. if you read the manual, readme's, help documentation,
  • for those who will likely flame me out here, I am a huge KDE3.x fan. Back in my ricer days, it was custom compiled everything with a tricked out KDE desktop all the way up to and including some of the beryl/compiz stuff.

    unfortunately, KDE4 came along. Sure its got that makings of a real next-gen desktop with eyecandy and function as far as the mouse can click, but today it sucks.

    KDE4 is a gift to Gnome!

    I have a number of machines I use regularly and have settled into a nearly stock ubuntu/gnome system for

  • I might care more about these new experimental features if they could at least get the basics down pat.

    Right now, KDE 4 is an unusable mess compared to its legacy. I've no need for a social OS if it obstructs my ability to work, like the rest of this checklist-designed WM.

  • At last year's KDE Conference Akademy, the vision of the Social Desktop was born and first presented to a larger audience.

    Did the author of this sentence stop and consider that someone, somewhere, might have had the same idea before last year's Akademy?

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @05:19PM (#27809795) Homepage

    I've been working toward a Java version of a Social Semantic Desktop. The code is here:
        http://sourceforge.net/projects/pointrel/ [sourceforge.net]
    "The Pointrel Social Semantic Desktop is an RDF-like triple store implemented on the Java/JVM platform, as well as related social semantic desktop applications inspired in part by NEPOMUK and Halo Semantic MediaWiki."

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