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KDE GUI Open Source Software Upgrades Linux

KDE 4.8 Released 165

jrepin writes "The KDE community has released version 4.8 of their Free and open source software bundle. The new version provides many new features, improved stability, and increased performance. Highlights for Plasma Workspaces include window manager optimizations, the redesign of power management, and integration with Activities. The first Qt Quick-based Plasma widgets have entered the default installation of Plasma Desktop, with more to follow in future releases. KDE applications released today include Dolphin file manager with its new display engine, ..., and KDE Telepathy reaching its first beta milestone. New features for Marble virtual globe keep arriving, among these are: Elevation Profile, satellite tracking, and Krunner integration. The KDE Platform provides the foundation for KDE software. KDE software is more stable than ever before. In addition to stability improvements and bugfixes, Platform 4.8 provides better tools for building fluid and touch-friendly user interfaces, integrates with other systems' password saving mechanisms and lays the base for more powerful interaction with other people using the new KDE Telepathy framework."
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KDE 4.8 Released

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  • Last time i tried it it piled on the dependencies and I couldn't uninstall it without restoring from disk image but if its gotten better i wouldn't mind giving it a go. i have a ton of off lease XP machines piling up and can't stand the XP Fisher price UI and I give the KDE guys credit for having a nice UI, so how's it coming along? Great, good, lousy? How easy is it to install and uninstall? How easy is it to switch back and forth?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by ByOhTek ( 1181381 )

      Last I heard, KDE didn't replace the XP UI, just gave it a bunch of KDE apps.

      And if you don't like the Fisher Price UI of XP, do what I do, switch to the classic UI. It once again looks professional (if boring), rather than like a kids toy.

      • Fisher Price UI of XP

        I always called it the Toys-R-Us UI, but it comes down to the same thing. I am not alone! :)

        (I think I like Fisher Price UI better, actually).

        • Yeah if its one i'm actually gonna keep i get Aston [] and put on it, its what I run on my XP nettop and is quite nice. of course i'm not gonna blow $30 a pop on some off lease boxes i'm selling but hate dealing with that Fisher price UI (And nooooo, switching to the fugly as fuck Win98 UI isn't an improvement, thanks ever so) so it looks like I'll be hacking MSStyles.dll and putting on a nicer theme. And no you're not alone, many of use can't fricking stand the Fisher price UI, I like the Win 7 UI, Vista Black was okay (too bad the OS attached to it blew chunks) and KDE had a nice silvery look, but that blue is just fucking horrible to look at for any length of time. Whomever picked that shit out must have been color blind!

          Watch me get hate for saying this next part, but fuck if I care, i just wish the Linux community would get all on the same page, quit all this damned rivalry and 50 bazillion distro crap, and actually make an OS usable by the masses, is to too much to ask? I need a rock solid OS that is as easy to use as Win 7 or OSX and gives a minumum 7 years support without dealing with that apt-dist-upgrade clusterfuck as I've yet to see a machine actually upgrade without having drivers broken. I know you will never get a stable ABI as long as Torvalds has a pulse but can't you either make a REAL LTS or find a way not to shit all over the drivers during an upgrade? Hell there isn't even a 'find drivers" or "rollback drivers" button and Windows has had that for a decade!

          Look, this is your chance geeks, for the first time in history all the stars are aligning, the XP dieoff is filling shops like mine with insanely overpowered laptops and desktops, Ballmer is gonna shoot MSFT in the head trying to turn Windows into WinTab, most people only care about online stuff now, you've never had a better shot, all you have to do is accept the fact the world isn't a bunch of damned programmers and get rid of the fiddly bullshit and CLI wanking off, that's all. you wanna keep the wank fest in server fine, all well and good, but you ain't never gonna sell that Bash crap to the masses. you gotta "think different' to steal a line, think iOS and Win 7, call it dumbing down if you like, just give us something simple, easy to use, and supported 7 years. Make it so my grandma could run it with ZERO help from me,lots of big icons and pretty pictures and wizards. Hell my 71 year old clueless dad installed his own Win 7 and everything ran OOTB with ZERO input from me, that is what you need to shoot for, an OS that even the clueless can run.

          You've got most of the basic parts already, KDE is VERY pretty and consistent, you've got most of the guts and drivers written, you just need to put it in a friendly package and stop updates/upgrades from tearing the thing apart, that's all. you have until Apr 2014 but the sooner the better as all us shops are scrambling for Win 7 Start CALs simply because we can't find a Linux that fits the bill. give it to us and you'll have a support network that makes the Apple stores look like a bad joke. We WANT you to succeed, we really do. But with the mess you have now literally we'd go broke trying to support you. you could use the XP dieoff to take a HUGE bite out of MSFT's ass, you just gotta want it and be willing to change, are you?

          • I tried a few distributions before settling on Kubuntu 11.10. It just works and everything is easy. The menu has the same search feature that OSX and Win7 have. Type what you want to do, and crap just pops up on the list. Click it and go. All my devices just work. Pop in a flash drive? Automatically mounted and I can drag and drop files and take them with me. Click a picture? Viewer opens up. Not GIMP, which belongs in the "shit that sounds like it might earn me the 'sex offender' badge" bin. Just a regular

            • Try my "is it safe?" test and you'll see the problem. Download the version from 3 releases ago and then upgrade to current. you see I can't plan my sales around when the next LTS release is and frankly the LTS isn't really much of an LTS at all as you get barely 3 years and that is if you sell the machines on the day of release.

              Sadly what you'll find is the same thing i found, both with LTS to LTS and regular to regular, which is a broken mess. I've even had Linux guys tell me I should always install clean,

              • Yeah, what works for me probably won't work for a system builder. Economy of scale is working against you with Linux. I think it would be great to have an LTS version good for 5-7 years. Maybe have fewer releases, but supported longer.

                personally i blame Torvalds refusal to accept a driver ABI but then here come the fanbois having a fit, like every other OS is wrong and Linus fricking Torvalds is right, but since as long as he has a pulse Linux won't have one it don't matter anyway. But until the driver situ

                • A stable ABI would turn Linux into an unstable mess, because it'd encourage hardware makers to only release their own crappy closed-source drivers instead of opening the specs and allowing high-quality drivers to be written and maintained by the community. Crappy drivers are exactly what cause the most problems for Windows and gave it such a horrible reputation for instability and crashes. MS mostly fixed the problem by instituting the WHQL program, signed drivers, etc. The Linux community, by its very n

                • I don't understand where the idea comes from, that a stable ABI is needed on linux. It's already trivial from me to download new drivers (it's called a kernel update and it happens about once a month) and I get them all from a central repository -on Windows I have to burn my time hunting for them.

                  The last thing I need is to for things to change so I have to navigate various vendor websites looking for drivers.

              • If you want long term support on a stable version, and you're looking at the community distributions, then you're doing it wrong. You will never get a 7 year lifetime out of a community distro. That just ain't gonna happen.

                If you are in need of long term supported and stable Linux distros then you turn to the commercial versions. You need to look into something like the full version of RedHat or SLED/SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop/SUSE Linux Enterprise Server). With SLED/SLES (the one I know/use),

                • And then it costs MORE than Windows so is completely pointless, see the problem? I can't sell a $150 laptop with a $99 a year OS on it, that just won't cut it, and Windows home is $89 or if i want to cheat like many of my competitors i can buy family packs for $129 for 3 CALs. of course many of the smaller shops are getting frustrated by both MSFT and Linux and are just installing "wink wink" copies of Windows which i don't care for but hopefully now you see my problem. Linux says its ready for the masses b

                  • OK, then my next question is... why do you "need" to upgrade? If a Linux install is working fine... then leave it alone. There is no rule that states a particular Linux distro MUST be upgraded when the next latest and greatest comes out. I know lots of people that are using years old installs of Ubuntu and openSUSE... and they are fine.

                    Alternatives.. Arch and its rolling release?

                    Also... I've been using various Linux distros for a long long time.. since mid-90s, and upgrades were at one time a total disas

                    • Because Linux isn't a magical woobie that doesn't get infected from unpatched software? i can wallpaper this pages with links to everyone from on down getting infected and its ALWAYS unpatched software that bites you in the ass. for me to hand out disabled software would be no better than handing out a Windows machines with WU disabled, its leaving the machine open to infection and it WILL become a zombie, I've seen enough infected Linux servers to know NO OS is immune to unpatched software. with

                    • There is a significant different between no patching and keep up with the patches. Again, with openSUSE, there is a Community driven initiative called Evergreen which maintains the older releases through security patches so that older releases can still be kept in place without upgrades yet be patched with security fixes.

                      You point at the very valid security issues that do definitely crop up in Linux as they do in all current OSes... yet you also say that you may as well install Windows since it'll be a zom

                    • I'm sorry but you lost me can you be patched but not be up to date with the patches? i've always considered that to be a yes or no and not a maybe kinda question. And the problem i found with simply security patches is the frankly fucked up way that a lot of software treats the kernel. you'll need software G because version F has an exploit but G won't run on kernel X but instead demands Y which means you either have to compile from source (no small task and NOT for the home users) or you have

                  • Please, what driver is missing from Linux now that would suddenly be available if we (stupidly) gave you the stable ABI you won't stop demanding?

                    I can appreciate your perspective in some areas but this focus you have on a stable ABI is really off. You said it yourself, "If a company is gonna be open to FOSS the ABI isn't gonna change their minds one way or another" , and you are correct. Having a stable ABI isn't going to make previously non-existent drivers appear, it'll just allow the current ones to go

    • by MrHanky ( 141717 )

      You won't get the KDE desktop UI on Windows XP. KDE for Windows is just the software collection, and since Qt uses Windows widgets on Windows, you'll get KDE applications that look like Windows applications, just not very well tested.

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      gees, its only been a fucking decade and you still bitching and whining about a 3 version ago UI from windows? turn it to classic, its 3 mouse clicks dink.

  • New in konsole (Score:5, Informative)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @01:45PM (#38819957)

    I'm guessing konsole will get a lot more use with this crowd, that, say, Marble. I'm not sure this feature list is worth the effort of upgrading, but here it is: []


            Before any window is opened, make sure pty device has right size before starting the terminal process.
            Allow an image to be set as the background in the terminal window.
            Close session reliably when the session process doesn't die with SIGHUP.
            Don't show the default profile in menu New Tab list when no others are listed.
            Add "Select All" action for selecting the whole history of this session.
            Add popup menu for drag-n-drop operations using KonqOperations::doDrop.
            Bidirectional text support is on by default.
            Left-To-Right direction will always be used in the terminal area even when the language is Right-To-Left.
            Add support for Unicode decomposed characters and in general better unicode displaying.

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )

      Allow an image to be set as the background in the terminal window.

      Seriously, who _wants_ this shit ? Black is not good enough for you now ?

      • Re:New in konsole (Score:5, Informative)

        by danomac ( 1032160 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:20PM (#38820383)

        Hey, I actually like that idea. I can have ssh sessions open for up to five different machines... I'd definitely find it useful to attach different backgrounds to each one so I immediately know which machine I'm currently using. It would prevent me from entering commands in the wrong session, which I've done multiple times before with somewhat disastrous results...

        • by dargaud ( 518470 )
          I already hate the fact that aliasing is forced on us in all major OSes nowadays and really miss the sharp chars of WinXP, so I don't want readability to suffer even more. But I understand what you mean. I prefer to use a nice PS1 in .bashrc such as (warning, I doubt it's gonna pass easily through the bowels of /.): PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]
        • by bjwest ( 14070 )

          Having the hostname in the prompt doesn't give you a hint as to which machine your currently using?

          • by fatp ( 1171151 )
            You see the prompt only when you are typing in the prompt.

            For example, consider when are running vi to copy contents between config files...
          • Believe it or not, after using multiple sessions on different hosts for an extended period of time the promps meld together and you don't see them anymore. It doesn't help that they all look more or less the same. The background is far more noticeable.

        • You might want to try a better approach, like setting your terminal's prompt variable to something useful. That way, you can see who is logged in where right on your command line. Arbitrarily setting a background image after connecting seems like it won't solve the issue of typing the wrong commands in. Whose to say you don't change server2 to a different image on a whim, and just type in the wrong command again mistaking it for server1? It'd be easier to glance to the left on me current line and see so
          • by sqldr ( 838964 )

            There are escape codes for changing the title of the terminal window (or tab, in konsole). Which kind of helps when the left hand side of the window is obscured.

            Even so.. you can't MISS the background. If you forget to glance left, you just rm -rf'd the wrong server. Even worse, if you're logged in to KFFHHJJKF0001 when you meant to type into KFFYHJJKF0001, then apart from killing whoever made your DNS naming scheme, you could really use those images. Then again, I just make them randomly change the fon

        • I used different text colors for different servers, maybe that can help you

      • by sqldr ( 838964 )

        actually, having the terminal open with a random subtly different background colour kind helps when you're a sysadmin with about 30 windows open and you can't remember which one you're typing in to. If you use several terminals at once, try it for a few hours. Mental association and all that. Ah yes, I was upgrading the kernel in the PINK window.

    • Hmmm... I like not showing the 'default' tab when there is only one session type. It always whigged me out that it wanted me to select the only option that I have configured.
    • by Jorl17 ( 1716772 )
      I still prefer gnome-terminal. But I need to find a really good, fast, configurable, screen-like term.
      Or just type screen.
      • by sqldr ( 838964 )

        btw. you can set your default shell to screen. It will throw you into the configured shell when you start it, and is tty-aware when it gets run out of a terminal..

        kinda helps in the.. "I just started a 3 hour job on this remote host.. I'll just... " ctrl-d, ctrl-d, ctrl-d... "OH CRAP, forgot to start screen :(" situation.

    • I'm guessing konsole will get a lot more use with this crowd

      I use konsole as an engine, but Yakuake [] runs my life.

    • by Tadu ( 141809 )

      Noteworthy: some non-essential, nice to have things

      I just wished they'd fixed copy (and paste) from konsole - most of the time when I copy some output from the konsole to paste elsewhere (e.g. my editor of choice or my chat program), I have gobs of spaces after each line. That's the most frustrating bug ever...

    • by sqldr ( 838964 )

      OK.. here's my main gripe with KDE since version 1.0. konsole STILL has no option to select semi-condensed fonts. I'm not an anti-antialias nazi. I use AA fonts everywhere else, but that 6x13 semicondensed xterm font is still the best thing for writing in a terminal. With every release I would've thought that this still-open 10 year old bug would've been fixed by now.

  • I loved KDE3. I have been less than impressed with KDE4. Even though it looks nice, there was always a one or two second pause after I clicked anything on the desktop before the program would open. This got really irritating. Is it fixed? If so, I'd be much more likely to use KDE4.
    • by mx+b ( 2078162 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:10PM (#38820271)
      Probably. I am running KDE 4.7 (actually just updated to 4.8 today, so haven't much experience with the updates yet), and it goes swimmingly on my old dell laptop (about 7 years old, maxxed out the RAM at 1 GB). No real hang ups or delays. Runs just fine. I think a lot of the hangups were the older versions of Nepomuk/Akonadi and friends, but the last few releases have really dramatically improved performance and integration, to the point where you don't even notice they exist (as far as resource usage; I'm growing to appreciate the semantic tags on files more and more as time goes on).
  • kmail ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dargaud ( 518470 )
    I hope they fixed the absolute disaster that is kmail2. Which was a forced upgrade in the last kubuntu. Never seen such a complete disaster in software, and I've tried to upgrade several systems taking all appropriate measures.
    • I don't care if they have. I've already switched to Thunderbird. The migration to the Akonadi backend in kmail2 was a complete disaster. The upgrade migration tool for your existing mailbox didn't work at all. I didn't care about losing it, so I started fresh. I still couldn't get the damn thing to stop spitting up errors when trying to apply my filters, even after recreating my entire folder structure from scratch and updating all my filters. Half the time it spat out errors when checking the mail to
      • by dargaud ( 518470 )
        Same here, but there's no way to export the email store from kmail and I could find no email software that could import a kmail email store, so I'm stuck. I migrated to thunderbird on my work PC as well, foregoing my entire store. But on my personal system, I'll be damn if I let go of my emails that date from 1986 and went through decades of Pine, Outlook Express and kmail. Fuck kmail2.
        • IIRC they are "just" mbox files. Set up thunderbird, let it create a simple mbox file for like 1 throw-away message, exit thunderbird, copy over your mbox files.

        • by dlenmn ( 145080 )

          Google around. There are some scripts out there that do the job (and some that don't, so back up your email first). I successfully migrated from Kmail to Thunderbird with them.

          • by dargaud ( 518470 )
            Fantastic work of the import script, now I have 10000 folders in thunderbird with helpful names like 1277709858.8193.bHGk2:2,S. And BTW, they are all empty. I'm sure there's some kind of snappy comment to be made, but I'm not sure which.
  • and KDE Telepathy reaching its first beta milestone.

    Is it an adequate replacement for Pidgin & Kopete yet? And do I have the ability to have it minimize to the systray? Kopete was by far my favorite client but once the improvements and bugfixes stopped I had to jump ship to the (IMHO) inferior Pidgin. The lack of facebook chat did it for me. And since it's taken like 4 years to get to beta with this, I question whether re-inventing the wheel was a good idea.

  • And the Regressions? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheNinjaroach ( 878876 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:42PM (#38820657)
    I love KDE and have used it exclusively since the 3.2 days, but damn am I getting tired of the regressions. Things that used to work beautifully are suddenly bugged beyond use. I expect that to happen with early revisions of major releases, but the trend that started in 4.1 continues through a clean install of 4.7.2 that shipped with my distro.

    In any case, thanks for the best desktop environment I've ever used. KIOSlaves (if they are still called that) are awesome, and we should all be thankful for KHTML, which laid the foundation for Webkit-based browsers everywhere.
  • I used KDE v4.4.3 in stable Debian and didn't like it. I loved v3.x and v2.x, but v4 was bleh for me. I know about Trinity fork, but I am waiting for it to be mature, popular/official, and have a lot of support.

    • It'll happen at the same time the magical pink unicorn farm gets discovered on Mars...

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Basically, never. :)

        • Yup... But you have to be fair: there are two years between 4.4 and 4.8. And the progress has been very fast. It is to me a bit of a mystery why Debian stable does not upgrade the GUIs faster. The base components, the server bits, sure. But there is no valid reason to no update KDE and GNOME to their latest releases.

                On the contrary: bugs in interfaces are in many cases not logic bugs, but unexpected behaviour, or inconsistency. And keeping the old version won't help.

          • by antdude ( 79039 )

            It's not the bugs. It's the usability, design, etc. in v4.3. Did KDE v4.8 get much better in those areas?

            • I use it every day, because I think it works great and looks good. Objectively, it is faster, snappier and more stable. It also got features at each release.

              Subjectively, I think the looks were always good, but that they improved with time. But that is, of course, subjective. There are not many styles I can say I have kept for a long time before I felt the need to change -- oxygen is the exception: it is clean, clear and, to me, beautiful.

              But Your question is too vague to be answered meaningfully. What bugg

              • by antdude ( 79039 )

                I did not like the design, usability, etc. I preferred v3.5.10's. For now, I am using old Gnome v2.3.

                • Which is completely meaningless. you cannot "not like the design". It can be too distracting, the icons not recognisable enough, the contrast can be too high or too low. You can dislike gradients, find the colours depressing or garish. but you cannot "not like the design".

                  "Usability" does not exist. There is only a collection of actions required to perform given tasks, which you could not easily find, or which you found too time consuming, or which gave you RSI.

                  I will guess that you are one of those guys wh

  • All these new features are great (when they work), but they need to keep new feature additions to new versions. Minor version updates are supposed to be to fix bugs and improve performance, not add new features complete with new bugs. There are a ton of old bugs, quite a few of which are major issues, that they need to work on before adding in more to the mix.

    The KDE developers are as bad as the Ubuntu dev team. They add in a new feature, then move on to the next new feature completely ignoring the crie

    • by kmahan ( 80459 )

      The ability to pass geometry information to KDE apps via the command line has been broken for 3.5 years (well, a bug was filed that long ago). So the developers aren't too interested in fixing basic functionality! []

    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      It sounds like you want a much less feature rich and more debugged product. There really aren't feature rich high quality Linux desktop environments. Linux desktops are mainly just trying to keep up with mainstream products in terms of features.

  • Dump akonadi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackpaw ( 240313 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @05:22PM (#38822499)

    Its a fucking disaster. I used to blame kmail2 but came to realise its a decent frontend, its the back end that drags it down.

    4.8 RC2 Gmail imap account, working fine for weeks. Nothing changed, then I get that perpetual rotating wait icon, followed by the
    "Unable to fetch job" error when trying to access sub folders. Reboots don't make any difference.

    I know the deal - the only reliable way to fix it is to delete the virtuoso/nepomuk databases and all kmail configs and recreate the account from scratch, but you know what? I just can't be bothered any more. Tired out and fed up. I've been a good boy, I given up hoping for a search that works, I don't attempt to integrate with google calendar or contacts any more, I don't expect address expansion to work reliably. Theres bug entries ate related to this months old with no dev attention, not even to confirm or reject then.

    Its just easier to use my webmail or Thunderbird. At least it always works, even if its not as integrated with the kde desktop.

    So one less reason to use KDE at all.

    • I keep thinking that Razor might be the best thing to happen to KDE in a LONG time. I keep thinking a Razor-based distro might be good for what ails me.
      • I'm going to have to check it out, I like qt, both for its looks and its API. KDE has a huge infra structure with it I'd be reluctant to give up but they've bet the farm on nepomuk/akonadi, which are complete clusterfucks, as said in Jurassic Park - "Dennis, our lives are in your hands and you've got butterfingers?"

    • Re:Dump akonadi (Score:4, Interesting)

      by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @06:32PM (#38823199)
      And let's not forget about mysql + virtuoso + maildir akonadi resource + kmail2 taking over 1GB of resident memory whenever they feel like it. When KDE 4.7 came out, I switched to Thunderbird. Later when buying a new laptop I noticed that almost all applications I run are multiplatform anyway. So now I run Windows 7 as my main OS. It needs some getting used to after using Linux/KDE for last 10 years.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!