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GUI Software KDE Open Source

KDE Plasma 5.5 Has Matured Past the Point of Plasma 4 (phoronix.com) 111

An anonymous reader writes: KDE's Plasma 5 desktop received a lot of early heat for being unstable, missing functionality compared to the older Plasma 4, and other changes that irritated Linux desktop users. Fortunately, with the recent release of Plasma 5.5, they have hit a stage where there's fairly wide agreement that Plasma 5 has now matured past the point of Plasma 4. Ken Vermette looked meticulously at the KDE stack for 2016, including how it's working on Wayland, the setup, widgets, various new features, and more.
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KDE Plasma 5.5 Has Matured Past the Point of Plasma 4

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  • Of course ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @01:22PM (#51263371) Homepage

    They've added 1.5 to the version, of course it has matured.

    I remember over the years companies taking v1.1 and renaming it v 8.1 or something equally stupid ... because clearly lying about the major version number means the product has matured.

    Version numbers are cheap, and in the hands of marketing they can say anything you want them to. ;-)

    • The KDE series largely tracks the Qt version, so

      KDE 3 - Qt3
      KDE 4 - Qt4
      KDE 5 - Qt5

    • "The HP200A was the first product made by Hewlett-Packard and was manufactured in David Packard's garage in Palo Alto, California......

      The product code was chosen to give the impression that HP was an established company. "

      • Ha, I did something similar when I started my business. First cheque I wrote was numbered "1024". Wanted a number > 1000, and 1024 is that nice, magic number.
        • Yes. Whenever I see a check number 24 (as it is typical to begin with 1000) I always think, "Now this is an established company!.
  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @01:23PM (#51263383)
    ... the last time I tried out KDE, I was frustrated that I was not able to configure it to remember any window's size and position upon closing that window, so that it would be the same size/position the next time I opened it. To me, that seemed like second nature for a desktop interface.

    .
    The best I was able to do was to get a window to be centered on the screen when I opened it.

    • Do ANY Linux desktop environments save window position? I don't think any of them do. It's up to the developer of the application to handle that, under Linux.

      And you know what? The "your window position isn't always saved" thing drives me NUTS on Linux. It's one of the little "fit and finish" things that Windows and OS X do so well, but never seems to get taken care of with Linux DEs.

      • Do ANY Linux desktop environments save window position? I don't think any of them do. It's up to the developer of the application to handle that, under Linux....

        Really? None of the Linux desktop environments do it? Wow.

        .
        Why should the app developer care about where on the screen the window is? It's a user's preference on how the desktop looks and is used, and, as such, it should be done via the desktop interface.

        ... It's one of the little "fit and finish" things that Windows and OS X do so well...

        Yup.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          KDE has allowed you to *set* window position for many years now. In addition, the WM allows you to configure absolute window position/size/opacity/etc. on a per-window basis. Every one of my main windows has a pre-configured size and position.

          • I am not talking about me digging through menus to *set* the size/position, but the desktop remembering the size/position by itself when I adjust it ion the desktop. I've been down the path of having to dig through menus set the size/position on a per-window basis, and it was not enjoyable.
            • I am not talking about me digging through menus to *set* the size/position, but the desktop remembering the size/position by itself when I adjust it ion the desktop.

              Would a window menu item to the effect of "save window as default" do what you want?

              This would let you:
              - easily update the window default parameters without hunting for and tuning its defaults in some other menu.
              - only do it when you WANT to - thus not annoying other users who don't want it to work this way (and also not causing

              • Would a window menu item to the effect of "save window as default" do what you want?

                Also: If the manager remembers the previous default and switches the menu item to something like "restore previous window defaults" or "undo save window as default" when the window is at the default location, accidentally hitting the menu item when something else was intended would also be easy.

                (Same comments about being fine with me if you use it and this posting becoming prior art.)

                • accidentally hitting the menu item when something else was intended would also be easy.

                  UNDOING accidentally hitting the menu item when something else was intended would also be easy. B-b

      • It's one of the little "fit and finish" things that Windows and OS X do so well

        I'm not sure I'd say OS X does it well, from my experience at least. It seems to work fine most of the time but some of the core utilities, especially Finder, 'forget' their window size on seemingly ransom occasions and it annoys the hell out of me.

        On the other hand, most (if not all) of the GUI applications I tend to use in KDE remember their size and position without a hitch. Things like Dolphin and Konsole, that I am very particular about in their arrangement, open up in the same layout every time. Grant

      • wmaker does. Saves your whole session if you like.
      • by caseih ( 160668 )

        In Windows it's always been up to the application developer too, if I recall correctly. Many apps save this information in the registry. I don't think Windows itself does this for the apps.

      • by 1369IC ( 935113 )
        Pretty sure fluxbox (admittedly a WM, not a DE) does. From the wiki: "It is possible to force an application to always have the same dimensions, position, and other settings when it is first launched. These settings are saved in the ‘apps’ file. Most simple settings can be saved using the “Remember” submenu of the window menu, which can usually be opened with a right-click on the titlebar."
      • "Do ANY Linux desktop environments save window position? "

        I use KDE5, so I'm only going to speak about it. KDE5 is far, far more configurable (and powerful) than the Windows scheme. I can, for example, configure all windows with Thunderbird" in the title such that they fold into a paper airplane and fly to the taskbar when I minimize them. I am not going to go into an exhaustive list. I merely picked that one as a radical example of something of which Windows has never even imagined itself capable.

    • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @01:49PM (#51263567)

      ... the last time I tried out KDE, I was frustrated that I was not able to configure it to remember any window's size and position upon closing that window, so that it would be the same size/position the next time I opened it.

      Really? All versions of kde I have used have been able to do this, with varying degrees of convenience. In KDE 5, right click on the title bar and go to "more actions".

      • ... with varying degrees of convenience....

        Perhaps that's the rub. I went digging into the window control panel and came up empty. That and other expeditions proved fruitless for me. When I checked online, I saw some comments about the feature not being present because it interfered with switching hardware while the system was running (?!?!).

        .
        In any case, as I said, I'll try it again. I've saved your instructions. thanks.

        • You can also left click on the window program icon on the top left. There are a really wide variety of window pinning options. You click through two menus and end up in a system wide tabbed dialog with zillions of options for controlling various kinds of window behavior for all kinds of applications. This is a bit more awkward than the old 3.5 interface, which was really convenient, but it does the job and has a lot of depth. You certainly can't complain about missing features.

          • You click through two menus and end up in a system wide tabbed dialog with zillions of options for controlling various kinds of window behavior for all kinds of applications. ...

            Are any of those zillions, "remember the last size and position of the window when reopening it"? When I last went through them, that particular one was not present. But as I mentioned twice so far, I'll check out the new version.

            You certainly can't complain about missing features.

            I can if the feature I want is not there. Quality, not quantity. :)

            • Are any of those zillions, "remember the last size and position of the window when reopening it"?

              Yes, why are you asking? It's right there, your options are: "do not affect"; "apply initially"; "remember"; "force"; "apply now"; "force temporarily". Overkill if anything.

        • by dcooper_db9 ( 1044858 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @04:33PM (#51265007)
          IIRC this feature existed when 4 came out and it's been there since.
          1. Position and size your window as you want it in the future.
          2. Right click on the title bar
          3. More Actions:Special Window Settings
          4. Size and Position tab
          5. Check Position
          6. Change the dropdown to "Remember" (or force if you don't want it to be movable). Note that KDE recognizes the current size and position of the window. You can override these numbers if you like
          7. Do the same with Size
          8. Explore. There are a ton of refinements in these settings.
          9. If you want to adjust the window settings later they're found under Settings:Workspace:Window Management:Window Rules
  • Yeah... (Score:4, Informative)

    by szo ( 7842 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @01:41PM (#51263509)

    No [kde.org]

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

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @01:46PM (#51263547) Homepage

      Wow, that is a monumentally stupid bug. I mean, really YYYY-MM-DD is the only thing which results in any sensible lexical ordering of dates, and remove the most ambiguity.

      This tells me shiny is taking precedence over useful.

      That's insane.

      • by nnull ( 1148259 )
        Over a year to fix that "stupid bug".
      • Not exactly that. What they did was junk the entire KDE locale, presumably in order to have less code to maintain (hard to figure out why else they would). It is actually less shiny -- no preview of what the change will do, etc.

        It isn't as if KDE's user space consisted largely of people who liked to customize the shit out of it. Oh, wait...

      • From the bug report YOU linked to: "Please note this is a missing feature and must be implemented ideally on Qt's side" Way to divert the blame to the wrong project though!
        • by szo ( 7842 )

          The feature existed in 4.x, the developers decided to toss it, knowing full well - I hope at least - that qt has nothing comparable. So what you (and they) say is technically true, only bullshit. For me, it is preferable to have a feature implemented (not ideally in KDE) to not implemented (ideally in QT).

    • Holy cow that is awful. Although I've been using KDE for the last fifteen years or so my current workstation is KDE only because of long refresh cycles. Since I can't have KDE 3 I think I'll switch to MATE. Not great, but better than that.

      For those who can't be bothered to follow the link: one of the "improvements" in KDE 5 is removing Locale and using Qt's limited locale functionality. Which eliminated nearly all locale configurability. The lack of configurability won't be fixed by the KDE team because it

      • by szo ( 7842 )

        Also, you seem to lose the ability to change on the fly: the change applies only when you re-login, which is mind-blowing in 2016, for me, the whole point of KLocale was that it worked around the UNIX's environment variable problem.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      There's no option to set the time using the strftime format? Like %A %x? (Not a KDE user so not sure if such is enabled. It seems like it'd be something, somewhere, that you can set.) There's gotta be a config file somewhere... :/

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Firstly, Kudos to the plasma team for getting this far. I'm sure the KDE users are happy.

    My only comment related to this (not just Plasma/KDE but more generally, many software rewriting endeavours lately), is that I wonder how far along we could've been if we started with the original base and incrementally improved and/or evolved things instead of always going for the 'quantum leap'; throwing things out and starting from scratch. Google is of late the worst offender in this regard (but certainly not the on

  • KDE 3.5 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by klapek ( 4200769 )
    Has is matured past the point of KDE 3.5?
  • by anandrajan ( 86137 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @02:04PM (#51263713) Homepage
    Still can't (won't?) do this. [kde.org] And as for Activities, "We don't need no stinking Activities."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So, you complain that you need the features implemented in activities, but proceed to bitch that you don't need no stinking activities.

      Perhaps you do need activitites after all.

      meta+tab. learn to use it and stop bitching about the solutions to your problem.

      • AFAICT it's not possible to assign a wallpaper per virtual desktop using activities. What activities give you is a wallpaper per activity. I like virtual desktops.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Can it do a single wallpaper spanning a multimonitor display? Can it NOT attempt to auto-arrange monitors upon connection? Either of those, alone, would have me agitating to reinstall one of our workstations.

      The fact that Gnome (afaik) cannot me made to do either of these is annoying. The fact that it *used to be able* to do a spanning wallpaper, and that feature was *deliberately removed*, is just utterly galling.

      Nothing says "polish" like having an 8K display in a conference room... that can't set a meani

    • I never had problem w/ different wallpapers for different virtual desktops for KDE. Some, like GNOME and Lumina don't support it, but KDE & LXDE is fine as far as THIS feature goes.
      • KDE 4 supported different wallpapers on virtual desktops but so far I've been unable to achieve this in Plasma 5. You can have a different wallpaper for each Activity but that's not the same as having this for a virtual desktop.
  • Judging from the users input [phoronix.com] and my own experience Plasma 5.5.3 still works and feels like an early beta other than a final product which has seen several minor releases.

    I don't know what happened to the KDE project but surely something was lost during the transition from KDE 3.5.x to KDE 4.x/5.x.

    • It is worse than that. It has taken huge backwards strides in stability, in the past 4-6 months to the point where it is unusable. Kwin crashes randomly. The entire desktop freezes up when you try to move windows around. Menu items in the filemanager randomly stop working. Unfortunately gnome is not too much better either at the moment, so I am back to using a regular window manager. Hopefully they get their act together fast.

  • Let's not forget some of the killer apps that are part of the ecology, two that come to mind are konsole and krita, both best in class by a mile. Who can complain about a painting program that many artists are starting to prefer over Photoshop, but free? I'm also impressed with Kdenlive. I never edited a video before and in about 10 minutes I produced my first cross fades. There's a whole lot more, including, let's not forget, almost the entire browser world, except for Mozilla and IE.

  • You call this polished and mature? Never mind all the features that got tossed out and have to be rewritten. I use KDE all day every day and I love it, but this release is worse than Windows 10. My screen goes out of sync every time I leave the computer idle and plasma crashes several times an hour. By the way, wiping out all the activities and menu settings with the new platform was brilliant. That just made my day.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I guess now they only need to ditch (as in permanently remove and prohibit the main coder to commit to any KDE repository again) Akonadi and fix the useless mess that Kmail has become (can't delete messages from imap Courier server, instant crash when trying to compose message with non-english dictionary, etc...) and Kontact in general, and I might consider updating from 3.5.

    I mean, I try to actually do work with my computer.

    • I disabled Akonadi and Nepomunk (where did they get these names?) when I ran KDE. Recently, I uninstalled KDE and can't seem to get it back (this is in PC-BSD). Well, not really complaining - Lumina is fine.
  • systemd (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2016 @04:40PM (#51265071)

    Once Poettering releases kerneld, he can start working on winmanagerd and denvironmentd for all the new systemd/kerneld distros.

    • Will kerneld be a microkernel? Maybe he could take something like Minix and add it on to systemd. Then do something like an x11d or waylandd followed by KDEd, GNOMEd, LXDEd, XFCEd and so on
  • by Sadsfae ( 242195 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @04:57PM (#51265215) Homepage

    I've switched back and forth to just about every *NIX Desktop Environment since I started using Linux in 1999, loved KDE 3.x, loathed KDE 4.x until it became stable and used KDE 5.x on and off. The good thing about KDE is that the windowing and 3D effects subsystem is modular.

    I'm pretty much settled on using XFCE but I'm using KWIN KDE compositing/3D effects with XFCE [hobo.house] for a nice compromise between a 'classic' desktop that's rock solid but with the nice themes, windowing effects and features that KWIN (KDE's compositor) brings to the table.

  • Have they fixed the stupid bullshit dumbass bug where konsole will not transmit control-space or control-shift-@ to console mode emacs? It's been there for FUCKING YEARS now. As far as I know, konsole can't transmit these keystrokes to ANY program. I have tried over a dozen other console apps, and NONE of the others have any trouble at all with these keystrokes, in the same session.

    If it makes any difference, I'm using Arch x86_64. I have tried everything. No hint where those keystrokes are getting sucked u

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hi, I'm a regular KDE4 user.

    Sometime ago I installed Sparkylinux (not the last) on an external HD and booted one notebook of mine with it.

    Though I initially intended to use Xfce, I decided to give Plasma 5 a try, out of curiosity.

    It is (IMHO) already more usable than Xfce (mainly because applications like Dolphin vis-à-vis Thunar).

    Since I'm used to KDE4, I noticed:

    - some configs changed places like "performance"/compositing leaving Desktop Effects and being transferred to Monitor configuration.
    - some t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who thought the lackluster performance of KDE5 were needed? KDE4 was fine, no easy way to opt out. Why can't I do a simple roll-back out of the fucking one year mess of KDE5 with massive missing features.
    KDE4 was finally OK, suspend session and everything. Now these idiots thinks they need to "improve" it without asking?
    Half-baKed dumbshit "improvements", cute fucking pastel care-bear colors, who gives a fuck?
    Better leadership at KDE is needed, get the fucking nerds out of the executive room.

Tomorrow's computers some time next month. -- DEC

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