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KDE GUI Graphics Software Upgrades Technology BSD Linux

KDE 4.6 Beta 1 – a First Look 224

Posted by timothy
from the looking-sharp dept.
dmbkiwi writes "The first beta release of KDE SC 4.6 was released yesterday. OpenSUSE had packages up almost immediately, so being curious as to what's new, I've downloaded and upgraded to the new release. These are my impressions thus far."
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KDE 4.6 Beta 1 – a First Look

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  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @09:36AM (#34357462) Homepage

    I've played around a bit with KDE 4.x (don't remember exact version) in Ubuntu 10.04, but I wasn't very impressed. It look very slick, gives a feeling of advanced tech under the hood, but:

    After fiddling with settings for hours, I concluded it's too much work to get settings to suit my taste. Do a setting here, and something else doesn't work quite how you want it. Try a setting there, and it doesn't do what you expect, or you see no effect at all. Only to find later there was some override that caused previous setting to be ignored.

    I don't have time for this crap, a desktop environment is just one of many things you have to configure when customizing an OS, it shouldn't take a day to wander through its configuration. This wouldn't be a problem if defaults are chosen well enough that you're done with changing very few things from the default, but that's not the case. From what I understand, SuSE offers one of the best out-of-the-box KDE experiences, but hey I'm not changing distro's just to have nice defaults on the desktop environment.

    To me, it comes across as a typical case of too much unnecessary complexity - users don't care, they just want something that they can get familiar with in a short time. And where they can easily find the most important settings. Beyond that, additional complexity just wasts memory, CPU cycles & developer time. Which is really a shame given all the effort that goes into a project like KDE. Disclaimer: that's just my current impression, maybe these things are much improved in later releases like the one reviewed here...

    • by ThePhilips (752041) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @10:14AM (#34357592) Homepage Journal

      [..] users don't care, they just want something that they can get familiar with in a short time.

      Users do not - but professionals do.

      All the little things chip time very fast - the time I'd rather did something useful, instead of bunch of mousewavings, modern desktops tend to impose on me. That's where the hundreds/thousands little options come into play: they allow user to remove the road bumps from the daily workflow.

      That's why highly customizable desktops like KDE/Flux/WM/IceWM/etc would remain popular: many who graduate from being an end-user find GNOME, after getting "familiar" with it, quite limiting.

      Though sure if you spend 90% of time in Evolution and FireFox, then you pretty much do not care what desktop you run and the whole argument about the desktop environments becomes moot.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Abcd1234 (188840)

        Users do not - but professionals do.

        Yeah... you know... I'm gonna have to call BS, here.

        What *exactly* does KDE offer that a "professional" will find shaves *that* much time off their day-to-day lives?

        Hell, the "professionals" I come across often want the exact *opposite* of KDE... things like xmonad, awesome, and so forth, are an attempt to get the DE the hell out of the way so we can just get on with our jobs, already.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Zarhan (415465)

          What *exactly* does KDE offer that a "professional" will find shaves *that* much time off their day-to-day lives?

          Well, I count myself as professional, and one of the nicest features for me is that I can easily configure attributes for specific windows. I remember back in the 90's having to manually edit .fvwm2rc. Now, I can just put rules right-click title bar and pick "special window" or "special application" settings. My firefox always starts up on Desktop 2. My VirtualBox always on Desktop

    • by devent (1627873)

      After fiddling with settings for hours, I concluded it's too much work to get settings to suit my taste. Do a setting here, and something else doesn't work quite how you want it. Try a setting there, and it doesn't do what you expect, or you see no effect at all. Only to find later there was some override that caused previous setting to be ignored.

      Can you give a few examples? Everything in KDE can be setup in the Settings. It's pretty stread forward and easy to do. But you really don't need to "fiddling" with it for hours. The KDE desktop is easy to use out of the box.

    • I use Linux every day for everything. I demo it to customers. Most are awe inspired by it, by what it does, how it looks, and that it is free. I have used Linux in my business for the past 4 years as servers, diagnostic machines, workstations for myself and for customers. One thing I have noticed is that if I set someone down in front of Linux without telling them about it, even those who know little to nothing about computers, they'll begin using it as if it were Windows. So please don't get me wrong.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Do you prefer KDE v3? I don't like v4 as well and prefer v3.5.10. People say the later v4.x releases are better and good as v3.x which I haven't seen. I am going to stay with the latest v3.x as long as I can until I can't use it anymore. :(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is nice to hear that openSUSE got now packages as Arch Linux had packages ready in [kde-unstable] repository since the files were tagged.
    I believe Mandriva has in few days (if not already).

    • When is Arch not the one to have fresh packages in the repository first? Isn't that one of the major reasons of using it in the first place?

  • I stayed away from the 4.x serious in particular. not least because of all the Akondai stuff. I think a DE should be as minimal as possible...provide a shell, file browser, and maybe some basic applications. KDE seems to want to manage everything, and there is so much stuff running in the background that I have no idea what is needed and what is not. I also think it is somewhat childish to start every application with a K...but hey.

    I should note that I am arguing from ignorance here about my knowledge of th

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Cwix (1671282)

      I also think it is somewhat childish to start every application with a K...but hey.

      Yea and Microsoft should stop naming things like Windows DVD Maker, Windows Live Mail, and Windows Media Center.

      Wait.. whats your point again?

      • by metrix007 (200091)

        Sure, Because as far as names go Kontakt oozes professionalism and reliability just like Windows Live Mail. Wait, what?

        • That's disingenuous. Most KDE apps are selected from the menu and have descriptive names. The executable may be obscure yet when you look at the executables from Microsoft's product they too use obscure naming.

          Virtually everything under Gnome and KDE is presented with descriptive names, because they too are just links to the executable (just like Windows).

      • Funny thing is that if MS did stop calling things MS* and Windows*, there would be cries of duplicity and deception.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by salesgeek (263995)

      Here's what's going on:

      1. Akonadi - makes sense now that most people have big address books, have to sync calendar & contact data with multiple cloud based services and have multiple email addresses. The idea is much like an SQL server: let MySQL do the storage and retrieval work, and let the client application focus on logic. It's a great idea, but it's taken some time to get the implementation right. One of the real reasons that there are only a few viable desktop PIM applications is that you have an

      • by udippel (562132)

        The desktop is rock solid now.

        https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=201620 [kde.org]
        is the bug for your taste. Filed on July 27, 2009 and until now without activities from the side of KDE, but close to 20 duplicates, because everyone is running into it all the time.

    • by marsu_k (701360) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @10:26AM (#34357642)

      I also think it is somewhat childish to start every application with a K...but hey.

      FWIW this trend has been going away with the 4.x series. The default file manager is Dolphin, image viewer Gwenview and so on. And FFS, they're just names, it's not like many gnome programs don't start with a G, and iM iSure iOther iExamples iExist.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mickwd (196449)

      "I also think it is somewhat childish to start every application with a K...but hey."

      And then Apple copied them with the letter i, and I've never heard anyone describe that as childish.

      • by Burz (138833)

        And then Apple copied them with the letter i, and I've never heard anyone describe that as childish.

        Um, dude, that's cuz names like "iChat" and "iWork" make some sense.

        Think about it. Prepending a 'K' or 'Gn' onto most names does little to help a user identify with them.

      • by IrquiM (471313)
        Let me do that for you know then: Copying KDE thinking and trying to be inventive by starting everything with an i and then a capital letter is childish!
  • Wow, after such a long delay since 4.5 I expected...something else. 4.5 was a specially troubling release for me, and I see no indication of the introduced misbehaviors being fixed...I'll go cry in a corner.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jello B. (950817)
      long delay? they release every six months
      • But the bugs and annoyances in effect exist since 4.5 beta. It's really annoying.
        Stuff like gtk icons vanishing at *random* from the systray, odd focus issues (many apps never focus text input by default, making a quick "open program and search" take more steps than it should) and annoyances with the notification system, and plasma can randomly eat a lot of RAM for no apparent reason, even without using any plasmoid.
        Kwin's effects aiming for usability (such as zoom and present windows) still haven't had a s

  • Is this the year they finally port Quanta to KDE4?

  • by roubles (716740)
    because KDE 4.X was _not_ designed to work over VNC: http://forum.kde.org/brainstorm.php#idea90400 [kde.org]
    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:27PM (#34359220) Homepage

      Just OOC, have you tried using freenx, instead? If the goal is to run a full DE over a low-bandwidth connection, NX is a *far FAR* superior solution.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by oddfox (685475)

        I honestly think if more people knew about NX they would never use VNC unless it was absolutely the only solution available, period. VNC just blows chunks way too bad, and NX makes things so easy when bandwidth is important. Anyone who has not tried NX and uses VNC should seriously give it a try because the difference is night and day.

  • Google has done faceted browsing in their image search, macys.com has added faceted browsing in this browse, and this seems to be the 'next in thing'. I do think that faceted browsing would be nice in a file manager.

    I'm so looking forward to when speech to text actually comes to the desktops. It would be nice to be able to talk to my computer like I talk to my phone (my android actually does pretty good speech recognition).

  • KDE should be approaching around version 4.3 now, not 4.6. Why? It still has alpha-level software in full releases. Example: yesterday I filed a bug on Nepomuk because it fails to follow moved files (files moved in Dolphin, no less), and it loses the assigned tags and ratings. It's completely undependable, and therefore completely useless. I might as well put the tags and ratings in the filename. Nepomuk is missing basic functionality--it should be considered alpha-level software--yet it's presented t

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