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KDE Open Source

KDE Software Compilation 4.11 Released 99

jrepin writes "The KDE community has released version 4.11 of Software Compilation, which is dedicated to the memory of Atul 'toolz' Chitnis, a great Free and Open Source Software champion from India. This version of Plasma Workspaces will be supported for at least two years, and delivers further improvements to basic functionality with a smoother taskbar, smarter battery widget and improved sound mixer. The introduction of KScreen brings intelligent multi-monitor handling. KWin window manager incorporates first experimental support for Wayland. This release marks massive improvements in the Kontact PIM suite, giving much better performance and many new features, like scam detection and scheduling e-mail sending. Kate text editor improves the productivity of Python and Javascript developers with new plugins, Dolphin file manager became faster, and the educational applications bring various new features. The Nepomuk semantic storage and search engine received substantial performance improvements." The performance enhancements to nepomuk (KDE's semantic desktop engine) are particularly welcome. This release of the Plasma desktop also marks the end of Plasma version one; primary development focus will now switch to updating KDE for Qt 5. There should still be more updates to KDE 4, however. Also released recently by the KDE team was the first RC of Plasma Media Center 1.1.
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KDE Software Compilation 4.11 Released

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  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @01:29PM (#44566431)

    I've since switched to XFCE since Gnome went batshit crazy, but if I had to choose between the major DE's KDE ain't half bad. I used to use KDE 2.x way back in the day and switched away from it when KDE 3.0 came out (though I still install it and try it out every now and then), but recently developments have proven that while I don't like the direction KDE took, it certainly could be a lot worse.

    • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @01:40PM (#44566559)

      I've since switched to XFCE since Gnome went batshit crazy

      Why didn't you just use Unity?

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Because Unity is as batshit crazy as Gnome 3?

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Neither of them are crazy, in fact both are very usable DEs.

          While they're different from legacy UIs like WXP and OSX, they're far more usable than something like W8x and are improving much faster. Try using them for long enough to understand the workflows before slinging fud.

          These are both very efficient DEs when you use them the way they are designed.

      • by Metrol ( 147060 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @02:18PM (#44566939) Homepage

        As someone who also moved to XFCE via Xubuntu a while back I've certainly got a few reasons...

        I want to be the one who decides which mouse button does what, without having to alter source code and recompiling.
        I want to be the one who decides where minimize and close buttons go on the task bar.
        All things Email are tied into Evolution, which can't even manage to put deleted mail into an IMAP trash folder.
        Nautilus... ack!
        XFCE does most of the things that Gnome used to get right, while doing none of the crazy that Unity pushes.

        In all fairness, I was never a long term user of Unity. Configurability was a huge enough issue for me that I couldn't give it the time. I was a regular user of KDE into the 4.x days. After seeing one too many "Plasma Desktop Crashed" errors I went looking for an alternative.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      One of the nice things about linux desktops is that all the components are generally interchangeable - I've been using the XFCE desktop and panel, with the KWin window manager, and some other GTK apps. Basically combining all the individual programs I like from different DEs. With a little patience it's possible to make it all look good, too! Worth remembering if you're frustrated with any particular environment.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @01:30PM (#44566437) Homepage Journal

    Excellent! It's about time -- not only Dolphin but the file browser widgets used by KDE applications have always been dog slow and tend to have synchronization problems between the file/directory tree and the file list panes.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      I've been using KDE since it came about and like many experienced the teething problems when KDE 4 came out.

      But it was easy enough to continue using KDE3.5 until the worst was sorted and so I did.
      As a long term user I am really surprised by your observation of Dolphin and it's widgets having been slow, as a matter of fact I feel you are outright trolling or at least spouting flamebait...

      And what do you mean by synchronisation problems, that you might have to reload the tree in one application after you'v

      • by msobkow ( 48369 )

        The most problematic is K3B, but to be honest I don't know if it's a problem with the underlying widgets or not.

        I browse to a folder, burn off a pile of files, then delete the files that were successfully burned. The file tree on the left goes insanely out of sync with duplicate nodes, blank nodes, and sorting problems. As far as I know KDE uses messaging to synchronize file changes amongst it's widgets, so this should not happen.

        As to the speed issue. C'mon, man, it takes like FIVE SECONDS to open

        • by marsu_k ( 701360 )
          I don't know which distribution you are using - but at least on my laptop (which runs Arch and KDE SC 4.10), I just tried to open /usr/lib (Arch recently moved everything to /usr/bin and /usr/lib, everything in the "old" locations are symlinked there) - according to Dolphin, 3491 files and 169 folders totaling 1.8GB. It opened instantly. Granted, this is on an SSD, but I've never seen Dolphin take that long (apart from opening folders via SFTP, for obvious reasons). Also granted, many distros do a really ha
          • by msobkow ( 48369 )

            The problems had been showing up with Ubuntu 12.04.

            I've since upgraded to Ubuntu 13.04 and haven't retested to see if the problems were fixed or not, because they were only annoyances, not show stoppers.

            Overall this latest edition of KDE is much snappier than 12.04's had been.

          • by msobkow ( 48369 )

            The KDE release with Ubuntu 13.04 fixes the problem (which had been opening /usr/share/java that used to take 5 seconds.)

          • by msobkow ( 48369 )

            K3B still exhibits the synchronization problem under Ubuntu 13.04.

            As I said, it's an annoyance, not a show stopper. But it's been a rather long-lived annoyance.

        • I have trouble understanding how Dolphin is taking 5 seconds to open anything on your machine. As a counter-anecdote, to open any of the largest folders in my filesystem in Dolphin on my laptop takes perhaps a full second. Dolphin taking 5 seconds on anything is, in my humble experience, absolutely unheard-of. Even accessing large network shares takes only 3-4 seconds.
          • I have trouble understanding how Dolphin is taking 5 seconds to open anything on your machine.

            I don't see his comment that unbelievable. Maybe there really are some machines on which a performance issue shows up in Dolphin.

        • by Teun ( 17872 )
          I just opened one directory with 13,550 files and another with nearly 16,000, it is literally done in a split second. (KDE 4.10.5, Dolphin 2.2)
          Your folders must be absolutely gigantic.

          I haven't tried the K3B scenario you describe but as a keen reader of the forums I've never seen such or similar complaints.

        • The most problematic is K3B, but to be honest I don't know if it's a problem with the underlying widgets or not.

          I browse to a folder, burn off a pile of files, then delete the files that were successfully burned. The file tree on the left goes insanely out of sync with duplicate nodes, blank nodes, and sorting problems. As far as I know KDE uses messaging to synchronize file changes amongst it's widgets, so this should not happen.

          As to the speed issue. C'mon, man, it takes like FIVE SECONDS to open moderately large folders. No other OS or desktop I've used on this hardware takes more than 1-2 seconds to do the same thing.

          /. isn't a support forum and there isn't enough info to diagnose your problem anyway, but there is definitely something wrong with your setup if that is what you are experiencing. Probably the best thing to do would be to hit the forum of your distro and ask what is going on. I can open folders with 2,000-3,000 folders and files in it in less than a second and unlike others, I don't have an SSD. Opening and scanning remote shares does take a lot longer, though.

          Dolphin's response is about the same as any o

      • by rastos1 ( 601318 )
        In my experience the smb:// kioslave crashes often and fish:// (i.e. ssh) kioslave is quite slow to read directory content.
        • by marsu_k ( 701360 )
          Somewhat off-topic, but I figured there'd be some KDE users reading this - I've always wondered what's the difference between using fish:// and sftp://. I always use the latter, and in my experience it is somewhat reasonably fast, once it's able to negotiate a connection. Initially, when opening a remote location or doing something after a long period of inactivity, it can take some seconds.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            If I recall correctly you need some special software on the server to run sftp://, fish:// sends a little script through ssh which then acts as your interface to the other machine.

            • by marsu_k ( 701360 )
              Thanks, that makes sense. (FWIW, sftp support is included with OpenSSH, which I guess is the most popular implementation, but there are probably some admins that disable the functionality)
  • A Note about Plasma (Score:5, Informative)

    by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @01:35PM (#44566489) Journal

    The Plasma Desktop, which provides the basic desktop experience for KDE (start menu, taskbar, widgets, etc.) is now going into long-term maintenance while the developers focus on Qt 5 & Qt Quick 2 for the new KDE frameworks. (P.S. --> This upgrade path will be massively less intrusive than what happened with the KDE 3 -> 4 upgrade so thankfully we should avoid the massive drama that happened during that transition)

    Programs that are associated with the larger KDE project will still get upgrades and you'll see a gradual transition from Qt 4 to Qt 5 over time. It doesn't have to happen overnight and Qt 4 and Qt 5 applications can coexist just fine.

    Basically: KDE is still being developed, but the plasma component of KDE 4 is now in maintenance mode while new developments shifts to Qt 5. The good news is that it is very mature software at this point, and there will still be bug fixes as needed.

  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @02:04PM (#44566805)
    For anyone who's interested, the other day I noticed that Trinity Desktop [] , the KDE 3.5 spinoff, is also still alive. Just got a new release this summer. :)
    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      Wait, they finally updated? I'm going to install that on my work machine (Fedora 18) on Friday (out-of-office tomorrow). KDE 3.x is still my favorite DE.

  • I don't want integrated search and indexing. I know where I put my shit, because I put it there and can manage organization on my own. I don't need memory and CPU cycles wasted on crawling through my data.

    This applies to whatever Gnome has for it, MS' desktop search etc just as strongly.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      That's one very good reason to use KDE, because (?) KDE is not a Microsoft, Canonical or Gimp product so the user is free to configure to his liking, like in your scenario you can simply disable the indexing.
      • by Teun ( 17872 )
        Oops, Gnome, not Gimp :)
      • Disabled does not keep it from wasting CPU cycles though. I'm using Gentoo and just installed KDE 4.10 and built it w/o nepomuk or the semantic-desktop crap. Hell the only reason I even installed KDE was for kate and ark. Nice tabbed text editor and a usable archive manager as Gentoo no longer includes the 7zip GUI tool.

    • I totally agree. Worse, you have to install nepomuk when you install KDE. Why? Shouldn't that be optional? If not, why isn't there a stub that does nothing?

      So my normal prodedure when installing a new machine after it's up and running is to go to /usr/bin and "sudo chmod 000 nepo* akonadi*" and then reboot.
  • by Dimwit ( 36756 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:18PM (#44568003)

    I've tried for years to like KDE, and I just can't. It's too *busy*. It's the first desktop I've ever sat down at that I couldn't just use right away - I clicked on a button, and up popped "Activities". Creating a new activity left me with a blank screen and nothing to do. Everything is animated and glowing, with huge distracting icons and drop-shadows.

    GNOME is all right. GNOME 3 might be weird, but at least it's trying to do something other than emulate Windows or Mac OS X. It's just too buggy for my tastes.

    XFCE is all right too, but I was turned off by how haphazard and...unprofessional Xubuntu was. I didn't like having to explain to my eight year old nephew's mother why he was asking what "Gigolo" did, for example.

    Unity, despite its many faults, comes with Ubuntu. Despite *its* many faults, Ubuntu is the only open source OS I've used that actually seems like an integrated product. With Unity on Ubuntu, you don't get things like "Gigolo" which is just stupid or "lxrandr" which is inscruitable. You don't get a million different ways to customize things down to where you can make your desktop look like an angry fruit salad. That may or may not be a good thing.

    Also, say what you will about Mir but Ubuntu is at least trying to make an integrated system. The other desktops are really poorly integrated with the rest of the system, resulting in my having to explain to my father "No, you're using Debian" "I thought I was using Linux" "You are, it's the Debian distribution" "Why is this called GNOME Terminal then?" "That's the desktop environment" "This says I'm using X windows" "That's the underlying display architecture..." Users of Windows don't know what GDI is unless they're looking for it. Same with Quartz and Mac OS X.

    I hate to say it, but the non-baseline-Ubuntu distributions are not really doing a great job of making a desktop operating system. Like was said the recent thread on Fedora Core's newly-proposed model: they're just a bunch of products from different people thrown together into one mass. I appreciate the amount of effort the distributors go to, but Ubuntu has gone just a little bit farther and made something that feels like a modern, unified operating system. Some people don't like that, but a lot do.

    • GNOME is all right. GNOME 3 might be weird, but at least it's trying to do something other than emulate Windows or Mac OS X. It's just too buggy for my tastes.

      GNOME3 with the program "Maximus" (maximizes each window and hides the title bar) is brilliant for a simplistic one-window-at-time desktop. The Ubuntu GNOME Remix works great for this purpose. Also Mutter seems to be slightly faster than Compiz.

    • I'm having no trouble with KDE, but I am keeping an eye on RazorQT/LXDE-QT [], which will likely be my preferred "alternative" DE for constrained-resource systems.
    • KDE does have the reputation of being busy. But, it also has the ability to be reconfigured to however you want it to be. Think of the KDE desktop as a canvas with a suggested interface. You can alter it to look an act like Gnome 2 or 3, or XFCE or Unity, or Mac OS X or Windows or some combination of them or just about anything you want. You can also turn off things you don't want. Don't like activities, don't use them (remove the widget). Likewise for all sorts of features. It really is a very flexible an

    • First: you should try a KDE-specific distro like SimplyMepis [] or OpenSUSE [], as they focus on integrating & polishing -- Debian deliberately leaves environments in their default state for users to customize/integrate. Debian is also famously *not* for newbies; if you want your father to give Linux a try, put him in front of a distro that specializes in the environment, is user-friendly and has a newbie-welcoming community. (SimplyMepis again is what I strongly recommend for KDE 4 -- you'd have to ask aro

  • I've become increasingly disappointed in KDE's failure to fix bugs and annoyances, and emphasizing new flashy things instead.

    Every single day I am affected by the failure of Dolphin to automatically update its file list when changes occur (in some situations -- it's a flaky bug). I've seen many different reports of this bug as far back as 2008. The bug keeps getting closed and then reopened over and over and over. (Google "dolphin doesn't automatically update".) As of Mint 15 KDE (released in July), it

    • This is another example why in my opinion Linux desktops should cool down reinventing themselves and focus more on quality assurance. Actually Unity and KDE 4.11 are right now quite stable platforms -- keep it so and fix the bugs. :)
    • I recently did my yearly tryout of KDE (Kubuntu) but was struggling with the same issues as last times. These are old problems:

      - multimonitor setting do not stick. You have to compose a shellscript with xrandr commands yourself and autostart it.
      - panels on multimonitor do not stick. I could get it to work but is was complicated and forgot how I did it.
      - font rendering in Firefox is ugly as hell. This too is an old problem, might be Firefox' fault but only KDE has this problem.

      Now on XFCE
      • by armanox ( 826486 )

        1 & 2 I have not experienced (running KDE 4.10 on Fedora 18 right now at work with dual monitors, and change the arrangement every now and then)
        3 - Firefox is built against GTK, not QT. Check your GTK settings.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton