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KDE GUI Upgrades Linux

KDE 4.7 RC Is Here: GRUB2 Integration, KWin Mobile 175

Posted by timothy
from the less-unitary dept.
dkd903 writes "KDE 4.7 is almost here and brings along with it a number of features and performance improvements such as a better Dolphin with a faster file search, ability of KWin to run on Mobile devices, Grub2 integration in KDM and offline search support in the KDE virtual globe, Marble." Here's KDE's own announcement of the release candidate; the final release is planned for July 27. Reader jrepin quotes the KDE announcement: "With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team's focus is now on fixing last-minute showstopper bugs and finishing translation and documentation that comes along with the releases."
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KDE 4.7 RC Is Here: GRUB2 Integration, KWin Mobile

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  • Who knows? (Score:4, Funny)

    by overshoot (39700) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @12:00PM (#36576596)
    Maybe they even fixed some of the bugs. I can hope, anyway.
    • by sconeu (64226)

      You mean like the one where they write to the root directory, even if you're not root?

      See https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=249217 [kde.org].

    • by RoLi (141856)

      ...or implemented what they promised for 4.0?

      A very long time ago, when I was still young and naive, I was looking forward to KDE4 because
      a) it promised to be faster than KDE3
      b) it promised to implement single-sign-on for kwallet

      Then it was released and it came with hundreds of completely worthless features (like being able to rotate windows, translucency that only blurs everything needlessly, etc.) and of course lots of bugs but it was not faster and 4.0 also did not provide single-sign-on, the only featur

  • Forgive my ignorance, but can anybody explain why my window manager needs to interface with my bootloader?

    • Re:GRUB integration? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Beelzebud (1361137) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @12:02PM (#36576614)
      You can boot in to a different distro without actually restarting the machine, with KDM.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can boot in to a different distro without actually restarting the machine, with KDM.

        Close, you still need to restart but you can specify the distro you want to boot into from the restart dialog.

        • by fatp (1171151)
          This is an interesting feature. The problem is that since nothing else support GRUB integration, this actually drives user away. People using this will have their GRUB booting OS not running kdm by default (unless, of course, until they modify their grub.conf)
      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        or I could just boot into what I want the first time without the overhead, but that's just me

    • by ilguido (1704434)
      Because KDM is not a window manager.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      First of all, it's not a window manager, it's a desktop environment.

      Secondly, it's so you can do this [ompldr.org] and walk away instead of sitting around while your computer thinks about how to be alive.

      • by Narishma (822073)

        It's not a desktop environment either, it's a display manager, the thing that allows you to log in, choose your session, shutdown and reboot and other stuff.

  • ...and stay that way until 5.0?

    • by Verunks (1000826)
      if you add new functions the library stays binary compatible, so if you try to run a program compiled for 4.0 and you have 4.7 it will run without problems
    • in the same way that Mac OS X didn't freeze the API at 10.0's state, no.
  • Mobile devices (Score:5, Interesting)

    by some_guy_88 (1306769) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @12:43PM (#36576874) Homepage

    They keep talking about mobile devices. Is this just theoretical or are people actually running kde on real phones/tablets?

    • Seems there is people using it on real mobile devices (and netbooks), but I'd rather have a good desktop environment than yet another project parasitized by the mobile trends.
      I hate seeing so many signs of the desktop being abandoned in favor of mobile toys. (Let's face it, most of the mobile stuff out there is a toy you can only do so much with...unlike a real computer).

      • I'd rather have a good desktop environment than yet another project parasitized by the mobile trends

        Yeah I get that, but IMO a single framework that I can learn (Qt/kde) that allows me to build desktop and mobile apps is quite compelling. And qt is a good framework. It's some of the best competition out there for .NET so I want to see it succeed.

        Also, recently, kde4 has become a good desktop environment. It has come a long way and is completely usable in it's current form.. assuming of course that you ignore the utter bullshit which is nepomuk and striggi.. :)

        • It is my DE of choice indeed, although I use few of the included apps. While I love the system management and the window manager/plasma are tremendously good for me, the apps are extremely lackluster. Moving away to design tablet-y interfaces while those apps are still an eyesore is beyond me.

          Also the latest updates (considering the amount of time between each) have been quite...lackluster, not fixing certain "little and rare but crippling" bugs and not improving upon things that started somewhere between

          • Re:Mobile devices (Score:5, Informative)

            by KugelKurt (908765) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @04:07PM (#36577998)

            Moving away to design tablet-y interfaces while those apps are still an eyesore is beyond me.

            Not the same people work on all apps and interfaces.
            The mobile work is mostly done by people paid by Nokia, open-slx, and basysKom.

            I don't care about Marble, and I don't think improvements to it should be "release notes".

            Pre-release notes are not as detailed as the final notes.
            KDE releases three software bundles every 6 months: Plasma Workspaces, Applications, and Frameworks.
            In the final release, each bundle gets its own release announcement. Marble in one of the most active KDE Applications and when the devs work hard, they deserve to be mentioned in the (pre-)release notes, be it Marble, Kate, or even some game.

            Kate also has significant improvements this update, but no one but Kate developers mention them at all.

            Nobody is hindering any Kate dev to extend the release notes draft on KDE's Etherpad instance. It's open to edit for anyone. I look at the draft for the final release announcements at this moment. Heck, even the comments sidebar say that another application than Marble should get spotlight in the upcoming announcement. So far nobody stepped forward with an improved application that was not featured in the KDE Apps 4.6 announcement (even Kate was featured last time http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.6/applications.php [kde.org] )
            Looking at http://kate-editor.org/ [kate-editor.org] I see no posts mentioning new features for 4.7. There is a quite extensive one for 4.6 but not for 4.7. There are some articles about current GSoC progress but those won't show up before 4.8.

            Who is writing the release notes?

            The ones who volunteer to do it, like with any other community project.
            Feel free to extend release notes drafts yourself.

            So yeah, less effort on Nepomuk/Strigi

            KDE is a community project mostly made up of volunteers. You cannot force a volunteer to work on something he doesn't want to. Though you can hire one of the firms that do business around KDE to improve the things you prefer.

            that everyone but the main devs seem to hate, at least I haven't read or heard anything positive not coming from a KDE dev

            I'm not a KDE developer and I like Nepomuk.
            GNOME/Tracker developers also like Nepomuk which is the reason they've adopted it long ago.

            more visible, non-refactoring work so people can stop saying KDE sucks every time.

            Haters will hate and are the vocal group. I happen to like KDE.

      • With Nokia abandoning ship to MS mobile, the foss ideal of Qt everywhere looks lost at sea.

        The dumbing down of desktops to capture a netbook/tablet market is optimistic in an age where ios/android dominate.
        In products that actually ship by the millions, the trend is the opposite to gnome's. Namely converting a small screen phone experience to a larger 10" display.
        In that light, perhaps deskop Linux's best hope could lie with HP's webos. They plan to upscale the touchpad's UI to every HP pc thoughout 2012. F

        • by KugelKurt (908765)

          Nokia is currently in the process of shaping the Qt project after WebKit in the way how the community and the rules are organized.
          That said, Nokia has increased Qt investments. There are even MeeGo-releated job offers posted on nokia.com. Nokia wouldn't do that if there weren't any secret plans (maybe a future tablet).

      • by smash (1351)

        Let's face it, most of the mobile stuff out there is a toy you can only do so much with...unlike a real computer

        Actually, i've fixed one of our radius servers from Kazakhstan via remote desktop on my iPhone before.

        Was it a pain in the arse to use? Sure, but it can be done, and if you don't happen to have a laptop on you, its a viable option.

        Modern smartphones are useful as far more than mere toys.

      • by Risen888 (306092)

        Plasma Desktop, Plasma Netbook, and Plasma Active (Plasma for mobile devices) are completely separate projects. The desktop is by no means being "abandoned in favor of mobile toys."

      • by rdnetto (955205)

        Let's give credit where it's due - KDE is the only major desktop environment to handle the tablet metaphor correctly. Unlike Gnome, who replaced the desktop metaphor with a tablet one, they retained their desktop metaphor and added a tablet one as a configurable option. They remained a good desktop environment while still adding tablet functionality.
        I especially like that you can switch between the two without having to logout/reboot - this is especially desirable when you have something like the Asus Trans

    • Is this just theoretical or are people actually running kde on real phones/tablets?

      I tried the plasma-netbook interface for my wife's new laptop and it's a complete trainwreck. I fiddled for two hours (really hard to configure and buggy) before going back to plasma-desktop and setting up Daisy as a left dock with a minimal top-edge activity panel and pinned items in the system tray.

  • "Better" Dolphin? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UbuntuniX (1126607) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @12:55PM (#36576954) Homepage
    What was wrong with Konqueror? It may not be the best web browser, but it's the best file manager I've ever used. Dolphin, however, is a load of crap, in my opinion.
    • For me the ultimate file manager in KDE is Krusader. Give it a go if you like two-pane approaches.

    • by JThundley (631154)

      I was a huge fan of Konqueror and have since re-configured Dolphin to be similar to Konqueror. What is it really missing that Konqueror had?

  • This may devolve into a vi/emacs debate, but I'll ask anyways.

    I'm running Ubuntu, and and quite happy with Gnome (having quickly borfed Unity). What could KDE offer that might convince me to try it out?
    • The nice thing about Kubuntu is that it doesn't have Unity as the default window manager.

      I'm still on 10.10. When I upgrade, it's going to be to Xubuntu. If Conical continues to make poor decisions, I'll move to Mint (a distro based directly on Debian with ).
      • by KugelKurt (908765)

        The nice thing about Kubuntu is that it doesn't have Unity as the default window manager.

        Unity isn't a window manager. It's a workspace that uses the Compiz window manager (and can't use anything else).

    • by Noughmad (1044096)

      - It looks nice.
      - Plasma and plasmoids (webcomics, twitter, system monitors and much more on the desktop)
      - It's configurable.

      Some of the apps are better than Gnome equivalents (KTorrent, Amarok, KDevelop are the main ones I use), some are worse, but that doesn't really matter since you can freely mix both. However, while KDE/Qt programs look good on Gnome, Gnome/Gtk apps still don't look quite the same on KDE. The oxygen-gtk theme helps here, but you can still notice the difference.

      • by KugelKurt (908765)

        The oxygen-gtk theme helps here, but you can still notice the difference.

        Well, the KDE/Qt devs can only do so much. The KDE/Qt side built in GTK theming right into the toolkit while OTOH the GTK devs are not interested in doing such deep integration work. Oxygen-gtk was (again) written by KDE but as a mere theme it can't do as much as integration right in the toolkit.

    • Re:KDE vs Gnome (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Beelzebud (1361137) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @01:14PM (#36577060)
      Which version of Gnome are you using? Right now, KDE4 is much more stable, and customizable than Gnome3. However if you're looking at Gnome2, I'd say it still beats out KDE4 in the "just works" department.

      If I were choosing between the 3, it would look like this: Gnome 2 > KDE4 > Gnome 3

      That being said, I'm using neither. When Gnome 3 replaced Gnome 2 in the Arch Linux repository, I switched to XFCE4, and haven't looked back since.
    • Re:KDE vs Gnome (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jahava (946858) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @01:22PM (#36577110)

      This may devolve into a vi/emacs debate, but I'll ask anyways. I'm running Ubuntu, and and quite happy with Gnome (having quickly borfed Unity). What could KDE offer that might convince me to try it out?

      Well, we can argue better this and more refined that until we're blue in the face. Bottom line is that KDE offers a wholly-different perspective on what a Linux desktop user interface can do. Minimally, it's worth taking a look at, if only to broaden your horizons and solidify your preferences.

      Personally, I find KDE to be a much more polished, integrated, and comprehensive suite than GNOME. It's snappy, sexy, and highly-configurable. In terms of appearance, KDE definitely has more of a stylistic Mac OSX-like approach and graphic set, though that's also highly-configurable. In fact, KDE's UI is so versatile that I could use KDE to recreate a default GNOME desktop without much effort. The applications tend to favor configurability over simplicity (which seems to be the opposite of much of GNOME's design choices). I can fine-tune most KDE applications to my personal, picky standards. Due to KDE4's kwin window manager rewrite, compositing (3D) effects are built into KDE's core, and are much more seamless than GNOME2's (although GNOME3 has followed suit).

      Now, KDE has quite an advanced suite of applications that they bring to the table. However, keep in mind that almost every KDE application will run just fine under GNOME, and vice-versa. You can try almost any KDE application within GNOME should you find one you like (for example, I definitely prefer KDE's Konsole terminal over GNOME's gnome-terminal. The opposite is also true - any GNOME application will work just fine under KDE. You don't have to choose one over the other, though each is designed around and better-integrated with its native environment. Another winner is KDE's Amarok, which has long-held my personal favor as the best available audio player anywhere.

      That said, I highly recommend giving it a shot. If you're using Ubuntu, you can try it with no risk by just installing the kubuntu-desktop and kde-full packages and choosing KDE as your window manager at login. It's worth a few days' trial to find out what you truly like.

      • by rueger (210566) *
        Installing right now... like I need more ways to waste my time... :)

        I'm finding that the less I use Windows, the less I use Windows, if you know what I mean...
      • Personally, I find KDE to be a much more polished, integrated, and comprehensive suite than GNOME.

        I agree--and it's why every time I've tried KDE I've abandoned it and gone back to XFCE or Gnome after a few days.

        "Ugh, kmail sucks, I'm gonna use Thunderbird... KOffice still blows, gotta set it to open files with (Open/Libre)Office instead. Konqueror? Fuck no, Firefox or Chromium or Opera, anything but that piece of crap. Amarok is so damn slow and bloated, need to find another player, not many QT options,

        • by Teun (17872)
          Weird, I feel very much the same when I test Gnome, bad to no integration, hard to impossible to configure.

          Yes people have different needs and views of the world...

          --
          Teun

        • by KugelKurt (908765)

          Personally, I use LibreOffice with KDE integration and Firefox with KDE integration.
          LibreOffice-KDE doesn't even use GTK because its own VCL toolkit only optionally interfaces with GTK.
          That said, I'm pretty impressed with current Alphas of Calligra (KOffice's successor). Ever since Nokia invests in it for MeeGo (contributing a smartphone GUI as well as vastly improving file compatibility among other improvements) I have had only one RTF file not reading properly in mine (granted: limited) testing of Calligr

        • by metamatic (202216)

          I agree--and it's why every time I've tried KDE I've abandoned it and gone back to XFCE or Gnome after a few days.

          [...] If not, all that work to make a tightly integrated DE and apps is just a bunch of useless bloat and features that only half-work if you don't do things exactly the way the devs want you to.

          Last time I checked, KDE 4 had lower resource usage than GNOME, so the "bloat" isn't a reason to go back to GNOME.

        • by Jahava (946858)

          Personally, I find KDE to be a much more polished, integrated, and comprehensive suite than GNOME.

          I agree--and it's why every time I've tried KDE I've abandoned it and gone back to XFCE or Gnome after a few days.

          "Ugh, kmail sucks, I'm gonna use Thunderbird... KOffice still blows, gotta set it to open files with (Open/Libre)Office instead. Konqueror? Fuck no, Firefox or Chromium or Opera, anything but that piece of crap. Amarok is so damn slow and bloated, need to find another player, not many QT options, guess I'll use a GTK solution..."

          And so on, until I'm barely using any QT apps and almost no apps at all that integrate well with KDE, and all the while KDE seems to be mocking me for not using its integrated apps, most of which I hate.

          If you like its default apps, fine. If not, all that work to make a tightly integrated DE and apps is just a bunch of useless bloat and features that only half-work if you don't do things exactly the way the devs want you to. I don't even like any of its competitors that much, and I really want to like KDE because it looks nice and has a few nice features that the others don't, but it's hard to justify using it if you don't run a single k* app.

          My KDE experience usually involves a good number of GTK applications, too. For example, my core browser is Google Chrome or Firefox (both GTK), I use Thunderbird for e-mail, and I definitely use exclusively LibreOffice. KDE is not an all-or-none decision ... you can (and should) pick applications based on how they work, not whether or not they were developed by the same working group.

          Now, that said, much of KDE is under active development, and this is the real deal. It's worth retrying KDE applications ever

      • by rueger (210566) *
        First impressions - Amarok is what I wished Banshee was. Fits my tastes very well - in other words, not iTunes...

        KDE is slower than Gnome - noticeably so.

        The Notification widget is kinda cool.

        Undecided about Dolphin. Honestly I still like Windows Explorer (and always hated OS X Finder).

        All in all, it feels like KDE just has more.. "stuff"... and I'm not sure it's "stuff" that I need.
      • by Artifakt (700173)

        For a while, Gnome's Nautilus was the default file manager for my KDE desktop install, while I waited for Dolphin to get a true delete command on the drop down menu. That's been fixed since at least Kubuntu 10.4, but I don't remember if it was done before 9.10 or not. Still KDE ran it like it was native.
        Why KDE in more general terms? There's slightly more Gnomestuff that works properly in KDE than KDEstuff that works in Gnome (even though most apps, probably 95% or so, wo

      • I'm writing this not so much as a /. response as a personal one to you that maybe someone my find helpful.

        I don't know about the Gnome vs KDE thing. I know it happened, but I didn't decide between the two over small things it was basically a philosophical design issue that had nothing to do with QT license vs GDK's GPL, or even simplifying vs doing everything.

        It was that back in 97 KDE had this idea floating around that a person should be able to access anything through anything. That everything co

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      If you need convincing to even try something out, you're too close minded anyway.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by rueger (210566) *
        No, just have limited time for trying out new stuff when what I have is working quite well.
        • by KugelKurt (908765)

          No, just have limited time for trying out new stuff when what I have is working quite well.

          If you have enough time to waste for Slashdot, you have enough time to try a live CD (either native or in VirtualBox).

      • by _Sprocket_ (42527)
        I find it to be less of a reason to try something out and more looking for insight from others. I can look at a toolbox and bang around with a few tools on my own. But I might overlook the finer points of a particular tool. If someone has a better understanding of those tools and can point out some great uses, then that will certainly give me something to look out for when poking around on my own. I may not find things to my liking. But hopefully I won't be missing something that I would have found rea
        • by KugelKurt (908765)

          I find it to be less of a reason to try something out and more looking for insight from others. I can look at a toolbox and bang around with a few tools on my own. But I might overlook the finer points of a particular tool.

          If he wanted to have that, he wouldn't have asked to be convinced to even try it. He'd try it any maybe ask here what the users' favourite features are.

    • by lee1 (219161)
      I'm running dwm on Ubuntu and no desktop environment. What do either KDE or Gnome offer that might entice me to switch?
    • by NNKK (218503)

      Neither KDE nor Gnome are worth using anymore. Their ongoing decline is part of what made me a Mac user in 2005, and it just keeps getting worse. One has no clue what "stability" means, and the other is actively and proudly user-hostile.

      • by Wheely (2500)

        This!

        Did exactly the same. Was a KDE user since before 1.0. I think it was KDE Beta 2 where I started. KDE 4.0 changed things for me. Why put up with all the worst aspects of a OSX like UI without the easy hardware configuration. May as well run OSX. SO now all my machines are Macs. I dont think OSX is as good as KDE 3.5 on Linux but its UI is only about as crappy as KDE4.X but I get to plug bits of hardware in without thinking too much about it. A real shame.

        • by smash (1351)
          Same. The OSX gui sucks in a lot of places if you ask me. But its the hardware and integration with stuff like automator that wins for me.
      • by smash (1351)

        Yes. Same here. Except I became a mac user in 2009 (after being a DOS/Windows user since 1989, and a Linux/BSD user since 1995).

        KDE lost the plot after 3.5 (I actually preferred the 2.x series if I'm honest).

        Gnome are trying to look like OS X, but thats all. They're missing what makes OS X actually work. What makes OS X pleasant to use is nothing to do with Aqua.

        I still check out the Unix desktop on a regular basis, but there's still a long way for it to go.

    • by devent (1627873)

      If you are happy with Gnome, stay with Gnome.
      For myself, I like Kate, Kile, Dolphin, Kaffeine, Amarok, KOrganizer, Klipper, Kmail, Yakuage, Konsole, KTorrent. I like the plasma desktop and I like the 3D effects. I like the full customization of KDE, but I'm only using maybe 5% of that, the rest are still the default settings, but it's a good feeling that if I need it I can change it. And I like the various plasma widgets, like battery, knetworkmanager, printer applet, device notifier. But I'm a really cons

    • by salesgeek (263995)

      Here is why I continue to use KDE:

      * Customization is encouraged and is not hid from the end user. Don't like a key binding? change it. Don't like the default start menu? Change it. Want a new action when you right click? Write a quick bash script (or whatever your scripting language of choice is) and a desktop resource file and you can select files, right click and do what you want. You can even change how your desktop works... want files on it? OK. Want news, twitter and weather? OK. Want nothing? Fine. Wa

  • KDE 4.2 ... 4.3 ... 4.4 ... 4.5 ...4.6 ... and we're already approaching 4.7. Does this mean a major update, KDE 5, is coming sooner than might be expected? If so, I hope it's just a logical update instead of a massive overhaul like KDE4 was... it was absolutely horrible at first, but now it's just getting good. I'd hate to see the KDE3 -> KDE4 cycle all over again. Hopefully they slow down and just start incrementing the next number to the right, or they go up to and past 4.10 (though in the project
    • by Atriqus (826899)

      KDE 4.2 ... 4.3 ... 4.4 ... 4.5 ...4.6 ... and we're already approaching 4.7. Does this mean a major update, KDE 5, is coming sooner than might be expected?

      I don't think one implies the other. KDE reaching 4.7 has more to do with the fact that they consistently release about every 6 months, and 4.0 was released about three and a half years ago. I wouldn't read any more into the numbers than that.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 26, 2011 @04:14PM (#36578042)

      Yes, although KDE 4.8 is still planned, there is talk about a KDE 5 now. However, it's not going to be a big rewrite like last time (mostly thanks to Qt 5 not being a big rewrite, like last time), but will instead just be a cleanup of current APIs and removing some old cruft from from the early days of KDE 4.0. Most of the currently used and working code will be left alone, with perhaps a bugfix here and there.

      All in all, it sounds like it'll be a much smoother transition than KDE3 to KDE4 was.

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      There is no KDE5 and there will never be: http://vizzzion.org/blog/2011/06/there-is-no-kde5/ [vizzzion.org]
      With Qt 5 approaching in 2012 and provided the world doesn't end that year, we'll see KDE Frameworks 5.0 relatively soon. According to current rough estimates posted on mailing lists likely the winter (January) release 2013 will make the advent of KDE Frameworks 5.0. So far I didn't read of any plans to shift away from KDE's usual 6 months release cycle and Summer 2012 should be too early.

      That said, I'm not aware of

  • the akonadi/nepomuk dependency? If not, wgaff? I won't touch desktop linux again until this semantic desktop bullshit runs its course and the kde devs/designers pull their heads out their asses. I've grudgingly switched my office (5 workstations) back to MS after 8 or so years on Debian/Ubuntu. Heaven forbid Microsoft ever figures out how to create a real shell, I'll never even have to think about it again. I mean seriously, fixed width, STILL have to hit that shitty little menu to copy and paste? Pow
    • Heaven forbid Microsoft ever figures out how to create a real shell, I'll never even have to think about it again. I mean seriously, fixed width, STILL have to hit that shitty little menu to copy and paste?

      Why wait? [sourceforge.net]

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