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What's Coming In KDE 4.4 423

Posted by timothy
from the starting-to-look-compelling dept.
buzzboy writes "If you're wondering what the folks over at KDE have been cooking up for the next major release, KDE 4.4, well, quite a bit as it turns out. In a lengthy interview, KDE core developer and spokesperson for the project Sebastian Kugler details the myriad changes that are coming with the 4.4 release — the fifth major release since KDE 4.0 debuted to much criticism nearly two years ago. The project has closed about 18,000 bugs over the past six months and the pace of development is snowballing. The 'heavy-lifting' in libraries and frameworks for 4.0 is now starting to pay off. Perhaps the biggest change is in the development of a semantic desktop. According to Kugler, 'If you tag an image in your image viewer, the tag becomes visible in your desktop search. That's how it should be, right?' There is also a picture gallery of KDE 4.4 (svn) screenshots so you can see what it will look like."
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What's Coming In KDE 4.4

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  • Labelling. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @10:43AM (#30128714) Journal
    It is a pity that KDE 4.0 wasn't really ready to be a 4.0 release, and the controversy wasn't wholly undeserved; but I've actually been pretty pleased at how KDE 4.X is shaping up.

    Had prior 4.X releases been 3.9X releases, with 4.0 coming soon, I suspect that the mood would have been largely positive.
    • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ericrost (1049312) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @10:45AM (#30128744) Homepage Journal

      Except that you can't really label major API and design changes as a point release. It SHOULD have been 4.0_ALPHA_01, 4.0_BETA_01, and 4.0_PROD coming soon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Fair enough, that would certainly make more sense.(though I'm pretty sure that I have seen, from time to time, the "start at previous major version number, add .9, then asymptotically approach target major version number until you are ready" numbering scheme used. It isn't horribly ambiguous as long as releases of the previous major version number never made it as high as .8(as in the case of KDE, where 3.5 is the highest release of 3.X).
      • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @12:33PM (#30130230) Homepage Journal

        Except that you can't really label major API and design changes as a point release. It SHOULD have been 4.0_ALPHA_01, 4.0_BETA_01, and 4.0_PROD coming soon.

        I think we need to get over this misstep. I totally agree that they played the version number badly, but they also released plenty of warnings about what 4.0 meant and that it was different than a traditional point-oh release. I read these warnings and knew not to take 4.0 seriously. Why didn't other people?

        Where KDE4 really fell flat for me was feature parity between the new core apps and their 3.5.x predecessors. My experience is that these crucial apps regressed or substantially changed in many ways. My work flow in photo image processing more or less died with the new Gwenview, which changed its feature set and behavior substantially, and I hear a lot of complaints from users of Amarok, which was a stellar music player in KDE 3.5. IMHO, the real "KDE is ready to use now" release (call it 4.0 or whatever) should have been the one where the core apps had at least 90% of their previous features, if not full feature parity.

        Me, I'm still on KDE 3.5 and wondering where to go next. I love the new libraries and the overall look of the new desktop ... but that's the problem: it's a new desktop. Whether I leap to KDE4, Gnome, or something else, it's the same amount of work to me, and that's where the KDE project screwed up.

        • Re:Labelling. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:23PM (#30130876) Homepage

          I think we need to get over this misstep. I totally agree that they played the version number badly, but they also released plenty of warnings about what 4.0 meant and that it was different than a traditional point-oh release. I read these warnings and knew not to take 4.0 seriously. Why didn't other people?

          For one, because the distros didn't seem to hear or pass on those warnings. The KDE-centric distros pretty much all went "and now we're upgrading you to 4.0" as if it was the most natural upgrade path in the world. And I dare you to find any place in the release announcement [kde.org] that gave you any hint that's it's not for everyone. You hear "Wait for x.1" about every x.0 release, so you expect the general warnings of "this is a major new release, expect bugs" but still have certain expectations. They would have to come with much, much more explicit warnings that said "This is NOT what you normally expect from a x.0 release, it's much, much more incomplete and buggy than that. Maybe they did but it was a whisper compared to the fanfare it was introduced with.

        • by tuxgeek (872962)

          I made the jump from 3.5.x to 4.2 a while back. 4.2 was the first usable release.
          It has had some problems and caused me to flop from Kubuntu Jaunty to Lenny/KDE 3.5 and back again.

          I found 4.2 to have many features superior to 3.5, but 3.5 somewhat more consistent & stable.
          Right now running Kubuntu Karmic w/ 4.3.2
          This is one sweet desktop IMO
          I prefer it to 3.5 hands down

        • by Rysc (136391) *

          People who were surprised when functionality went away with 4.0 apps clearly do not remember the horror of GNOME 2.0.

          GNOME 1.4 was featureful. Many say ugly, hard to fathom, riddled with UI problems and so forth... but it had a ton of stuff and lots of nice features hidden in this or that nook and cranny. When 2.0 came out I found that basic things were just gone, most apps had serious holes in them that their previous versions had had, etc.. It was a lot like KDE 4.0 but without the "wow, this is something

      • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by segedunum (883035) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @12:35PM (#30130276)
        Why? It happens all the time in the open source world. The developers decide when their objectives have been met. It's up to the distributors to decide if it is good enough to go in fron to users, and the majority of distributors have proved that they are merely version bumbers and packagers with no thought about the overall. It's a large part of the reason why the Linux desktop is totally stillborne.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Yeah, I felt like all the jokes about people who buy a MS OS prior to the first SP1 being the "paying beta testers" would have been appropriate for KDE4.0 and 4.1, at least if they charged.

      4.2 wasn't bad, and I actually *like* 4.3, I can easily set it up to do what I want/need easily.

      My only worry is that... with 4.4 out, are we going to be subjected to KDE5.0 soon?

      • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bralkein (685733) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:17AM (#30129134)

        IMO a lot of the blame for the KDE 4.0 pain lies with the distros. So KDE 4.0 wasn't ready for prime time, too bad. So why the hell were certain distros inflicting it upon their users if it wasn't ready? Couldn't they have tested it, noticed that it wasn't ready, and waited before deploying it? I really don't know what they were thinking. My distro of choice (Arch Linux) waited til KDE4 was done before rolling it out, and Arch mainly aims to be on the bleeding edge most of the time. In fact I installed 4.0 anyway, because I wanted to try it out, but I really appreciated Arch's common sense in handling the matter. Not so for too many of the other distros though.

        I don't think you need to be worrying about KDE 5.0 for a little while, but even if it does turn up sometime soon-ish, there's no reason why it needs to be as painful as 4.0. For example, the change from KDE 2 to KDE 3 was pretty smooth. Even if this hypothetical 5.0 release was a major change from the KDE 4 series, I would imagine that the KDE devs might learn from past mistakes (gasp!) and do things differently this time around.

        • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ByOhTek (1181381) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:57AM (#30129734) Journal

          Not really a "distro" problem for me as I'm a FreeBSD user. I chose to install 3.x and 4.x simultaneously.

          After putting a lot of effort into 4.0 for a week, I said "fuck it", and went back to 3. The same happened with 4.1.

          I missed 4.2, and ended up with 4.3 on an Ubuntu Live CD I was experimenting with. My first thought was "Wow, they did some nice tweaks to this to make it play nice with Ubuntu. I wonder what it's like on FreeBSD?"

          I went back and installed it on FreeBSD and it was just as nice as it was on Ubuntu.

          I went back and found some 4.2 releases, and they didn't seem so bad either. My old 4.1 release still wasn't pleasant though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jurily (900488)

        4.2 wasn't bad, and I actually *like* 4.3, I can easily set it up to do what I want/need easily.

        I *hate* it. At least the 3D stuff can be turned off now, but there's still a noticeable lag with keyboard input randomly. I mean, seriously. I have a 2x2,4 GHz processor and you tell me you can't display the key I pressed under 0,1 seconds?

        Oh, and please don't try to find and animate every possible program on the run dialog until I actually finished typing the relevant part.

        • The 3D stuff could always be turned off. I have no input lag (on QT apps, i have a few lag spikes in firefox, but i don't know who to blame for that) on 1x2Ghz that is usually running at 800mhz, i suspect it's something to do w/ your graphics card, but then again im only running a Radeon Xpress 200M with radeon drivers.

        • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:25PM (#30130896) Homepage Journal

          Compiz effects in kwin were ALWAYS optional, and were not turned on by default unless your hardware supported it. They could always be turned off with a single keystroke (Ctrl-F12? Can't remember) as well as within System Settings. That has been there since the very first beta releases I tested.

          I've never seen an input lag, even running on an 8 year old crappy laptop. I do turn off Strigi/Nepomuk to cut down on HDD access. I'm curious what distro you were running.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        4.2 wasn't bad, and I actually *like* 4.3, I can easily set it up to do what I want/need easily.

        My only worry is that... with 4.4 out, are we going to be subjected to KDE5.0 soon?

        I called it some time ago
        4.4 = all 1st party tools pretty much finished, 3rd party tools there but not polished
        4.5 = 3rd party tools good to go

        then somebody will release dbus/kross/plasma malware and they will realise that the whole DE has to be redone from a security perspective!
        5.0 = an entire re-write with some concept of security and threading (kross for example runs in the same thread as the parent app)
        5.1 ....

        6.0 = port to qt 5?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Andy Dodd (701)

        I actually liked 4.2 too. The only thing I kept "back" from KDE3 was Amarok (which is semi-independent of KDE releases, but somewhat connected.) Amarok 2.0 was awful - horrible error handling for streams, and inconsistent collection performance (although much of that is likely just crappy Gentoo packaging.)

        Gentoo continuing to have KDE 4.x masked as unstable even well into the KDE4.3 release cycle is why all of my new machines run Kubuntu, and I have even started doing reinstalls of machines with existing

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wonder if 4.4 is going to be finally stable, or will it be 4.5 or 4.9.

      4.3.3 is still broken in multiple ways.

      Plasma crashes sometimes and still has troubles properly resizing and drawing its widgets.

      Akonadi fails to start even on a pristine configuration, and its sophisticated "why can't I start" diagnosis fails to identify the problem. (I googled out that I had to comment out a line in its config file.)

      Phonon works worse in 4.3 than it did in 4.2 for me. Its xine backend suddenly can't open my soundcard,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrHanky (141717)

        Question: Are you using Kubuntu? I tried it a bit on a friend's Ubuntu install, and it was utter garbage. Debian's KDE is infinitely better. I can't remember having Kopete or Akregator crash on me, and I use those all the time. KWin might crash when using compositing with poor drivers, but X.org is currently in a state of flux -- it was stable until my latest update.

        • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by BlackCreek (1004083) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:30AM (#30129302)

          As a former user of Kubuntu and KDE, I agree with what you say: Kubuntu IMHO sucks.

          I believe that that is big problem for KDE. Ubuntu has become the standard "easy and ready to use" Linux desktop. It is not perfect, it has a large share of problems but it has become the standard. As most new users will try out KDE through Kubuntu, and have a bad experience.

          Add to that the KDE4 fiasco, and you get as a result KDE's popularity nowdays, a mere shadow of what it was years ago (when it was the preferred choice of more than 2/3 of the folks voting at LinuxJournal yearly poll).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Yeah I kept hearding that so i went for a meander around debian and fedora and TBH i'm yet to see what people are talking about, there are differences but KDE in kubuntu is not significantly different from that in debian (kde3 vs kde3) or fedora (kde4 vs kde4).

          I haven't run openSuse or mandriva yet so perhaps they are truly better but Debian's KDE is not significantly better and in fact lacked tweaks that had not made it upstream yet, so I'm starting to suspect it's just more generic ubuntu hate or as a res

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by molnarcs (675885)
        It's completely useless to list all those problems without identifying the distribution you use... If it happens to be Kubuntu, well, no surprise there. But on Archlinux, I haven't seen any of the problems you mention, and I haven't seen user reports on the forums either. Most recently some of us had problems with the latest xorg+nvidia+kde4.3.3 ugprade, but it was solved in a few days...

        That's the problem with posts like yours - all the evidence is anecdotal. Although I had the occasional (still, quite ra

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Anyone paying attention knew that 4.0 WAS NOT ready for general use yet like children on Christmas eve, they couldnt wait.

      But of course we are in the home of the 'cant be bothered to RTFA', so id have more chances explaining fellatio to Ellen Degeneres than to convince this lot to read something first.

      The funniest thing is when 4.0 came out, you could still use v3.5 which was updated twice that same year but some people were sooooo incensed that 4.0 was exactly what it was (incomplete) that they decided to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hansamurai (907719)

        Anyone paying attention knew that 4.0 WAS NOT ready for general use yet like children on Christmas eve, the developers couldn't wait to label it as a stable integer release.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sim82 (836928)
      The real problem was that most large distributions (fedora in my case) dropped KDE 3.5 support entirely as soon as 4.0 came out. This forced me to completly skip the FC9 release, and eventually to move on to a distribution without the continuous half-year release terror.
    • Re:Labelling. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Interoperable (1651953) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:26AM (#30129232)

      I think they need to get away from the 4.x series, it's a great desktop now, but a lot of people still have a bad taste in their mouth from only having tried 4.0. Similarly to how Vista SP3 is called "Windows 7," KDE should abandon 4.x and jump on the 7 bandwagon (Windows 7, Intel i7) and release 4.4 as KDE7; possibly KDE8 just for good measure.

      Disclaimer: I am aware that Vista SP3 is distinct from Windows 7.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HermMunster (972336)

      I use KDE 4.3.x on all my computers that run linux (approximately 13 of them). There are still some very annoying yet obvious bugs that one would expect them to have resolved some time ago (one example is a scrollbar on the right hand side of the desktop window (folder view) that shows up on virtually everyone of my computers when the desktop loads). There are many others too. It's almost as if they are treating folder view as a red-headed stepchild--whereas frankly I can't imagine them even considering

  • by Jacques Chester (151652) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @10:44AM (#30128724)
    They have the trifecta of crummy website behaviour: excessive pagination, click-through ads and lazily regurgitating other people's content.
  • by geschild (43455) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @10:46AM (#30128754) Homepage

    I saw a preview of the semantic desktop at the Open World Forum in Paris and I think it has the same down-fall as other initiatives: you need to tag most of it yourself.

    Other people may be better at this than I am, but I can't even be bothered to tag my e-mails, let alone each and every file. Granted, this system does some 'auto-tagging' but to call it a semantic desktop because of that is a bit rich. YMMV and I like to be persuaded to look again.

    • It would nice if we could exchange tags -- I should be able to email a picture to you, with semantic information, and you should be able to use that information. Of course, the issue here is that sometimes you will send data that should have been kept private...
    • Don't you need manual before you can go automatic, this provides the framework for automatic tagging. With something like kross making it simple to add plugins (Python, Ruby, JavaScript and Java on the way?), it shouldn't be too hard to get the add automatic semantics (ofc the tricky part is writing generic auto-tagging code that works)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Don't you need manual before you can go automatic

        I think that's right. Many efforts at semantic "stuff" (on the web, on the desktop, ...) don't gain traction because of "chicken and egg" problems. No one wants to tag because it's useless; but it won't be useful until many things are tagged, so that a search returns useful results, and relationships between objects can be automatically discovered.

        In this case, I agree that manual tagging is a necessary precursor to more automated tagging. Once the structures are in place, more and more pieces of softwar

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Barring the advent of AI, or at least uncannily clever automated systems, there really isn't much alternative to manual tagging(outside of a bunch of specific, though admittedly useful, special cases like facial recognition tagging for images, or origin tagging that makes it easy to distinguish between "files I received as email attachments" and "files I downloaded from the web" and the like).

      In my (admittedly lay) opinion, what makes "semantic desktop" 'desktop' is the fact that there is some considerat
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      I saw a preview of the semantic desktop at the Open World Forum in Paris and I think it has the same down-fall as other initiatives: you need to tag most of it yourself.

      Umm... so? Last I checked, you had to manually organize your various files, documents, etc, into folders, and given that tags are just a superset of the functionality provided by folders, I don't see why one wouldn't expect to have to do the same with tags.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dargaud (518470)
      I DO NOT want semantic tags. The reason is simple: they are LOST when you copy or do anything with the files. If you have important info about the file: put it in the filename. Or inside the file (exif tags for images, ID3 tags for mp3s, etc). Or in a txt file with the same name next to it. The rest is no better than putting varnish on a turd: it works only as long as you don't get too close.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Wonko the Sane (25252) *

        I DO NOT want semantic tags. The reason is simple: they are LOST when you copy or do anything with the files. If you have important info about the file: put it in the filename. Or inside the file (exif tags for images, ID3 tags for mp3s, etc). Or in a txt file with the same name next to it. The rest is no better than putting varnish on a turd: it works only as long as you don't get too close.

        Maybe we should devise a method to attach arbitrary metadata directly to a file in a way that requires little to no m

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014)

      Well, I dunno. Training some kind of Bayesian algorithm seems to work well enough for spam filtering.

      I think the real problem is knowing the significance of some piece of information to us will be *in the future*. As user interfaces become more "semantic", I doubt they will be as usable as a stable way of organizing data.

      We can take a lesson from physical filing systems. There are really only three methods of file organization that make sense: alphabetical, chronological and by physical size (this sucke

  • Already slashdotted (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @10:52AM (#30128838)

    I couldn't find a version on google cache. So here's the full text:

    The final release of KDE 4.4 is due in early 2010, and not since the arrival of KDE 4.0 two years ago has an open source desktop environment been so highly anticipated by the free desktop community. Unlike the anti-climax that was the first KDE 4 release, however, KDE 4.4's developers say this new version will actually deliver on many of the original promises of this next-generation desktop environment -- and then some.

    If maturity is the measure of a desktop environment then KDE 4.4 will have a lot to live up to, as it represents the fourth major release of the KDE 4 series.
    Many small things that make the user's life easier have been done. . . Those changes might not be significant on their own, but they add up to a system that feels really well rounded
    -- Sebastian Kugler, KDE spokesperson

    With the feature freeze for KDE 4.4 looming in November 2009 -- after which no new features will be added and only bugs will be fixed -- we decided to take a look at what KDE has in store to lift the free desktop to a new paradigm.

    Features, updates and bug fixes

    Like any major version increase, KDE 4.4 will include numerous feature enhancements, updates and bug fixes.

    According to KDE's developers, 4.4 will have an immediate advantage over previous versions by leveraging the latest Qt 4.6 toolkit, which brings a new layout mechanism in QGraphicsView and improved performance, among many other additions. In fact, KDE 4.4.0 was delayed by two weeks until February 2010 to make it possible to release on top of Qt 4.6.

    General enhancements include improved desktop search, better privilege escalation, remote controllable Plasma widgets and more polish to the existing code base.

    KDE developer and spokesperson for the project, Sebastian Kugler, says it's difficult to determine exact numbers of features, but for 4.4 it would be a very high number.

    "4.4 is a significant release that brings many new features. We have new applications, for example Blogilo, a local applications for writing blogs, allowing for offline editing of articles," Kugler says. "There's is a new network manager (living in the notification area right now, a plasmoid for it is planned for later). Also applications that are not directly shipped with KDE are maturing now. Amarok, Digikam, Konversation and all those applications that are well known from their KDE 3 version are now available in a KDE 4 version."

    The desktop look-and-feel has also received a makeover. The new Air theme for the Plasma desktop shell is more polished and has added subtle animations to improve the user experience.

    "Many small things that make the user's life easier have been done, sometimes something as small as giving feedback from the buttons in the quick launch area of the panel," Kugler says. "Those changes might not be significant on their own, but they add up to a system that feels really well rounded and well done."

    A more visible development in Plasma is the new netbook interface, which will also debut as part of KDE 4.4. Plasma-Netbook will sport a mobile computer form-factor for desktop Plasma widgets.

    Kugler says there are plenty of interesting changes behind the interface, too. KDE 4.4 will ship an authorization framework based on PolicyKit, so applications and the desktop can elevate privileges safely, and administrators can specify exactly what a specific user is allowed to do.

    KDE's developers have also made the desktop more social and "connected". There is a Plasma applet that shows answers to questions from the KDE knowledge base, with the aim of making it easier for new users to find help.

    KDE 4.4 will also make it possible to drag content from Web sites onto the desktop. For example, a picture can be dragged it from the Web browser onto the desktop and a Plasma applet showing this picture is added to the desktop where the file was dropped. The wallpaper can also be set this way or from any remote URL.

    I

  • Kugler? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @10:55AM (#30128886)

    Jesus Christ, even the developers' names...

  • Don't pick the ones that look like somebody threw up all over the screen!

    • As much as i love KDE i have to say generic Grey goo everywhere looks retarded, fortunately, they ship a host of sane themes. I mean grey window decorations around a grey window, with all the widgets in pretty much the same grey, why not just render a grey screen and be done with it! I'm no designer but transparent black or light blue would look considerably better.

      • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:08AM (#30129018) Homepage Journal

        The non-interactive elements need to blend in, so yes they have to look "boring" and grey is a neutral color. The widgets, on the other hand, should pop up a bit (not Fisher-Price, plastic toys Windows XP-style pop though), so they should have some color to it.

        I can't see the screenshots, the website is already slashdotted.

        • I would say that window decorations:
          1) have to look nice, I know this is slashdot but if the default GUI looks ugly, normals will drop your DE without trying it out). A lot of people moved to around the time that emerald was released this wasn't a coincidence.
          2) Are interactive elements, you drag/resize/maximise/shade a window using them. They also give import feedback as they indicate which window is active (this window should stand out)

          example [wikipedia.org], you can barely tell which window is focused. IMO KDE3 [wikipedia.org] had the

  • Full text (Score:2, Redundant)

    by JohnFluxx (413620)

    It was slashdotted, so:

    The final release of KDE 4.4 is due in early 2010, and not since the arrival of KDE 4.0 two years ago has an open source desktop environment been so highly anticipated by the free desktop community. Unlike the anti-climax that was the first KDE 4 release, however, KDE 4.4's developers say this new version will actually deliver on many of the original promises of this next-generation desktop environment -- and then some.
    If maturity is the measure of a desktop environment then KDE 4.4 w

  • Oh yeah, and I really believe that they'll fix all annoyances I have had with KDE 4. I'm a happy KDE 3.5 user. They screwed KDE 4 BY DESIGN, so I suppose the bugs they'll fix now again are just some bugs of fancy unneeded things, and not UI problems with important base components, such as the file manager, the terrible not useful search function of Kate (with its different search term per file instead of sharing them), the extremely hard way to drag a box with the mouse around files in the file manager, etc
    • Re:Sure (Score:4, Informative)

      by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:19AM (#30129150) Journal

      Oh yes, here's another one: the inability to make two rows of taskbar at the bottom.

      Actually, I think this is possible now. Although, I agree that the rest of KDE4 makes me not want to use it either so I can't confirm at the moment. I do go back to it every now and again to check it out and see what's new. Unfortunately, it doesn't work well with remote desktop programs like vnc or freenx so I can't confirm that multi-row taskbar at the moment.

      Wait, here [ubuntuforums.org] we go:

      When you configure your panel ( Right Click on the Panel bar-->Arrangement->Size-->"Custom" ) so that the size is less than 34 pixels, it will display as a single row.

      When it is more than 34 pixels but less than 52 pixels, it will display as a double row. When it is greater than 52 pixels, it will display as a triple row.

      (You can also choose "Tiny" or "Small" and it will be a single row, whereas "Normal" will display as a double row, and "Large" will display as a triple row.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      ``I'm a happy KDE 3.5 user. They screwed KDE 4 BY DESIGN, so I suppose the bugs they'll fix now again are just some bugs of fancy unneeded things, and not UI problems with important base components ... ''

      With so many people expressing that sentiment, I'm curious: has KDE 3 seen any significant development since the release of KDE 4? You'd think there would be a lot of people even among the developers who thought they way KDE 4 was handles was a disaster, and continue to improve on KDE 3 instead (perhaps in

  • by JohnFluxx (413620) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:05AM (#30129006)

    I work on the "System Activity" thing (pops up if you press ctrl-esc. Like Task Manager). It's hard to get feedback about it.

    So if you're a KDE user and use this, let me know what you think, how you find it, suggest any improvements/features etc. UI designers, code documenters etc also welcome to give feedback :-)

    I often see people posting about how KDE/Gnome never listen to UI designers, Usability people, etc. But I've personally never had any feedback or bug reports about that sort of thing, ever. So do feel free to file such bugs - us developers are listening.

    • I stopped using it a long time ago, because it tended to accumulate errors over time. I have been using top for a long time now.
    • I use it occasionally and I like it. I particularly like the graphic improvements in the task list, such as the integrated bar graphs. I used to find that it took too long to appear to really be useful but - for some reason - it's really quite responsive on this system now, so that's better. I used to find it confusing that it resembled the system monitor app so closely and yet I couldn't add sheets to it, etc. It now looks like it's own app, so I think that's an improvement. I suppose it might be nice

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Balinares (316703)

      Oh, brilliant. Thank you for the opportunity.

      First, the positive: the System Activity app is excellent, one of the pieces of KDE that doesn't piss me off of late. I was particularly impressed when I noticed that System Activity takes note when I strace a process and adjusts its display accordingly. It's the small details.

      Now, on to the feature request: more detailed memory displays. Based on the mouseover text for the memory column I am not sure if the calculation is made based on the contents /proc/<pid

  • by Interoperable (1651953) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:09AM (#30129026)
    they'll run out of version numbers in the 4.x series before the series reaches its full potential. I'm really looking forward to using 4.4 but, since it will be the first release that really starts developing the ideas that KDE wanted to implement in the 4 series, the .4 increment seems a bit high. Still, 4.3 already does what Windows 7 and OSX only hint at moving towards so 4.4 will be interesting.
  • Last piece (Score:5, Interesting)

    by molnarcs (675885) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .scranlom.> on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:13AM (#30129080) Homepage Journal
    KDE 4.3.3 is brilliant, stable, feature rich ... there is one last piece missing: printing options. I've been happy with KDE 4.2.x except for this last piece. I often have to pring select pages from long pdf documents, and for now, I can only do it one-by-one, can't define arbitrary pages or multiple page ranges. That's going to be fixed in KDE 4.4.

    Also, the semantic desktop concept is shaping up nicely. I was weary of enabling nepomuksearch with strigi, because in the early 4.x releases they were extremely buggy. Then I went ahead with 4.3.3 (on Arch), and now strigi seem to work fine. It uses minimal resources, indexing is automatically switched off when you switch to powersaving mode (useful on a laptop), otherwise CPU usage is barely noticable. It still uses a shitload of memory, but with KDE 4.x you have plenty to spare. I have 2 Gb in my laptop, and without nepomuk/strigi memory usage after startup is 15%. That includes all the daemons necessary for a modern desktop (including cups), 2 desktops with different wallpapers and widgets, wicd. After running it for days without reboot, memory usage stabilized around 30% including ktorrent running in the background. After I started using nepomuk, that number icreased by around 20% - still pretty lean considering what it does. Which reminds me, nepomuk (on my setting at least) works in dolphin (just start typing in the searchbar), not in the normal Find files option accessible from KMenu.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840)

      After I started using nepomuk, that number icreased by around 20% - still pretty lean considering what it does.

      What on earth can it be doing such that 400MB of RAM is justified? AFAICT, it's nothing more than a glorified metadata database. Sounds like the precise opposite of "lean" to me...

      • What on earth can it be doing such that 400MB of RAM is justified?

        Tip of the day: don't think in terms of megabytes, megahertz, etc. Think in terms of money.

        $75 worth of RAM should be enough for anyone. $90 of disk space is enough for MythTV, though $270 of disk space works a lot better. AMD's $60 CPU is better than Intel's $60 CPU, but Intel's $300 CPU is better than AMD's $300 CPU. And so on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pavon (30274)

      I often have to pring select pages from long pdf documents, and for now, I can only do it one-by-one, can't define arbitrary pages or multiple page ranges. That's going to be fixed in KDE 4.4.

      That is strange. I am running KDE 4.3 on Debian Squeeze, and that option is there. I use it printing documents from Okular all the time. The printing does have many other issues though. It doesn't have even/odd page option so I can do manual duplexing, and setting page margins has me completely befuddled. When I print a document from Kwrite it doesn't have any margin settings of it's own - and the margin settings for the printer (which I am told are really there to define the unprintable areas for the print

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by molnarcs (675885)
        For me it's either all pages, or I can define ONE range (say from 19-22), but I can't do pages 5, 7, 19 or 3-6, 34-39 - that's what I mean. These options were not available on Mandrake, SuSE, Fedora either (KDE 4.2.x).
  • When you could just add the list of images to Kview from the Command prompt.
    (i.e. kview *.jpg)
    Poof, they would be loaded into the Slideshow for Kview.
  • by iamnotaclown (169747) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:25AM (#30129210)

    Dear KDE devs,

    Please rethink the vertical text [tinypic.com] that has infected KDE4 like so much ringworm. It's hard to read, hard to use, and completely unnecessary. Also, please stop aping Windows Vista and 7. Or at least stop copying their bad ideas.

    Thanks.

    • by AtomicDevice (926814) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:30PM (#30132002)
      As far as I am concerned kate is the best text editor in unix today. It's syntax highlighting is far and away the best (the only thing that compares is scite, which is designed to demo the same editor class kate is based off), it does everything. I can open up stuff on an ftp server and edit it as if it were local, I can edit any text file with any extension and get correct highlighting, I can do all my building and testing in the terminal.

      And, the loveley vertical text makes options easy to see and not space consuming. The only thing I wish is that gnome would get their act together and make something as complete as kate so I could have everything looking gtk.
  • by QCompson (675963) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:32AM (#30129338)
    Will this basic file-manager feature be available in 4.4? And no, I don't want to install mplayerthumbs; it's horribly slow and CPU intensive. It should be integrated into the file manager like nautilus and explorer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:36AM (#30129418)

    Since KDE 4.2, they claim that "now" it is ready for general consumption, but at each new version they still claim to have fixed thousands of bugs.

    If that 18000 number is to believed, doesn't that imply that 4.3 was a horribly buggy release?

    • by 0racle (667029) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @12:08PM (#30129906)
      A number of these bugs are ones that were entered as KDE4 regressions, so closing them happens as KDE4 regains features that KDE3 had, also I believe that closing wishlist items is included in their bug count. KDE is a large project used by many people with different requirements and usage patterns, it's not that surprising that there are a large number of bugs found and reported.

      As for 4.x is good for general consumption, each time they said that, at least in release notes, there was a phrase along the lines of 'unless you need X feature.' For 4.3 it was ready for general use, unless you used multiple monitors as that support, while there, had not fully been exposed.

      I found 4.2 too be too much of a pain to use, mainly coxing it to run on 2 monitors, but 4.3 hasn't given me any problems ... unless you need to print.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Windows 2000 was famously released with 65,000 bugs (or items, at least) still in its bug tracker: http://slashdot.org/articles/00/02/11/1840225.shtml [slashdot.org]

      And yet it's almost universally considered one of the best Windows releases ever.

      I'm not saying anything about how buggy KDE 4.3 is, but simply counting the number of bugs doesn't really indicate much.

  • At one point there was a very promising idea [archive.org] for a universal metadata storage system that would free metadata from a particular program and make it available to every part of the OS.

    Too bad the main programmer had some personal problems and couldn't finish the job...

  • KDE for Windows (Score:4, Informative)

    by KDEnut (1673932) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @11:53AM (#30129662)
    I also love the windows port they're doing: http://windows.kde.org/ [kde.org] Works great for those who're stuck on windows boxes at work.
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @12:16PM (#30130010) Homepage

    Unless there is an upgrade path for the current users of KDE-3.x, I'm not interested. I wish, somebody were to simply fork the project an picked up the 3.x branch, porting to Qt-4.x (easy) and merging fixes (tedious), but maintaining compatibility with the existing installs.

    Having set up family and friends with (then-latest) KDE-3.x, and all of us using customized desktops, menus, and shortcuts, we don't want to start all that from scratch. No way, no how...

    If, as some KDE-apologists claim, version 4 is a "whole new desktop environment", then KDE-3.x is abandoned and I may as well consider Gnome or something yet different for the future. If KDE-project wants old users to trust them, they need to make their new code backward-compatible. In fact, if they are really good, they'd try to keep compatibility going both ways — so that you could go back to KDE-3 (such as when sharing home-directory with a system, that does not have KDE-4 installed) and things will work as much as possible. For example, the format of KNotes has not changed at all and the data can be shared between old and new versions of the application...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cbhacking (979169)

      QT3 and QT4 have substantial API differences - the amount of effort to port a KDE3 app to QT4 would be far above what you are implying. While I agree with the intentions of your post, and strongly support backward compatibility, you might as well be asking for GNOME to be ported to KDE4. It could happen, and there are people already considering going about it, but it's a massive undertaking that won't bear fruit any time soon and will only ever see the light of day in enough people care (which right now, th

  • by AtomicDevice (926814) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:39PM (#30132178)
    although I've recently been tending towards gnome, I really love a lot about KDE. I just wish they would forget about certain features for now and focus on stability and quality every-day features.

    Specifically the "semantic desktop" I've used kde for years and never used it. Why the hell would I waste time tagging all my files? I have a sensible directory hierarchy which works just fine. I never find myself spending hours searching for stuff on my computer, because I know where all the things I need are, because I use them all the time. If I didn't know where something was that would imply I never use it, in which case, why am I spending time to tag things I never use? Just in case I might need it?

    What I do need is for firefox to pick up on my application preferences (what opens up a zip, etc), for drag and drop to be snappy and accurate and always work, for ark to not suck so hard, for my folderviews on my desktop to always be up to date, look good, not pile up icons in weird ways, etc, etc.

    I like that kde is very forward thinking in their features, but sometimes I'd like them to live a little more in the present. If you had an awesome super-intelligent automatic tagger that would let me search with vague queries and get exactly what I want, that'd be great, but spending your time on a dressed up database that tracks all kinds of stuff I have to put in by hand is a waste of everybody's time.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

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