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KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 Released

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the still-a-long-road-to-travel dept.

KDE 186

Crobain writes "The first alpha release for KDE 4.1 is out, and bugs aside, it looks promising. The KDE Plasma desktop shell now has preliminary support for Mac OS X dashboard widgets and SuperKaramba, and panels can be added and removed via contextual menu items. 'This alpha release marks the start of the 4.1 feature freeze, so virtually all of the remaining developer effort between now and the official 4.1 release in July will focus on bug-fixing, polish, and stability. Despite the current breakage, the actual feature set that has been stubbed out for this release is pretty darn good. If the developers can deliver on all of this functionality and make it stable and robust, version 4.1 will offer a much better overall user experience than 4.0, and Plasma will come close to achieving functional parity with the KDE 3.5.x panel system.' The KDE Techbase wiki has a full list of the features planned for the 4.1 release."

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186 comments

In other news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260666)

The 4.1 alpha of my asshole has been released too. It features much better polishing than the last time (Sorry Bruce).

Propz to GNAA

Also first post you douchebags.

Re:In other news (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260876)

Polished by your bum-chum's pubic hair

Plasma again... (2, Interesting)

javilon (99157) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260704)

I am a very long time KDE user, and I expected 4.0 to be a great desktop, but it turned out to be a alpha so I kept using the old 3.x series.

The scope of 4.0 was quite big, so understood the problems and I hoped for 4.1 to be a stable release.

Reading the dot news on kde.org I found that the have gone back and rewritten a lot of plasma again. This means that it will need a new period of stabilization again.

I just hope that this time they don't release before it is ready. It would be a huge blow to the project's reputation. 3.5 is excellent, so we can keep using it until they are really ready with the new version. No hurry.

Re:Plasma again... (2, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260728)

If you read also Aaron Seigo's blog, you'll see that this API change had been expected *way* before KDE 4.0 release. Libplasma is scheduled to go into kdelibs at some point (~ 4.2) so the API must be OK because then it'll be frozen. Besides, Plasma was reaborn from ashes (breakage wise) in just a week. This should tell something.

Re:Plasma again... (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261508)

Yeah, and the system tray has been broken for well over a week now (possibly even two weeks) as a result, with no signs it'll be fixed any time soon. Apparently, the version of Plasma in the alpha is a snapshot from when it was even more broken; the trunk version is now finally more-or-less working again (though there have been several interesting additional breakages in it over the last week or two).

Re:Plasma again... (2, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260768)

I am not sure even 4.1 will be a stable release. However, they have made massive improvements. Most of the KDE 4.1 ported applications look really nice (and, yeah, it's not all just eye-candy). Running KDE trunk (aka 4.1) today resulted (for me) in quite a few crashes (more than a week or so ago). Do these crashes worry me? Not really, because I send the core-dumps etc to the developers so they can reproduce them and write fixes.

I didn't know that 4.1 went alpha today, and (IMO) that seems a bit hasty... BUT it will get more people testing it and (hopefully) submitting patches... so, in that light, it's a good thing.

Re:Plasma again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260918)

I am not sure even 4.1 will be a stable release.
Perhaps the KDE 4 developers can clarify: is KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 and alpha like KDE 4.0 Release, or is it a Release like KDE 4.0 "alpha" was not?

In other words, is this KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 Alpha or KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 Release as an upgrade to KDE 4.0 Release Alpha?

Re:Plasma again... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260924)

In other words, is this KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 Alpha or KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 Release as an upgrade to KDE 4.0 Release Alpha?
That clears things up...

Re:Plasma again... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260852)

I've been using KDE 4 for months.

While it still has quirks around the place and isnt production ready, I cannot go back to 3.5.
It looks and feels so old fashioned in comparison. :)

The quirks generally dont impede productivity at all.
They are just there.

Re:Plasma again... (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261552)

It impeded everything for me. I dont want to slam the devs, it looks nice and I think it will be the way forward. BUT - Where is the show desktop - I have to work on windows machines so i want some things to be in similar places so I dont have to think about it. Saving files to the desktop didnt seem to be the same as windows or 3.5. Apps crashed on 4.0 and I just needed to do something so I went back to 3.5. I want it to be good but I fear that it will take time.

Re:Plasma again... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261684)

I believe that was a deliberate design decision.

They altered the way the desktop works so its no longer a file dump.
Instead its a place to put plasmoids and nothing more.
Their reasoning is on kde.org somewhere.

I quite like it. The desktop is pointless for me.

Re:Plasma again... (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262308)

I believe that was a deliberate design decision. They altered the way the desktop works so its no longer a file dump. Instead its a place to put plasmoids and nothing more. Their reasoning is on kde.org somewhere. I quite like it. The desktop is pointless for me.
Yeah I took the time to read up about it. From the FAQ:

Why on earth did you decide to change the way the desktop operates? The idea of a Desktop folder is fundamentally a broken concept. It assumes that everything you will access there resides on a single physical directory on your disk. It may be convenient, but at the same time it greatly limits what you can do. For example, you can't use custom layouts for different desktops, as everything would be read from the directory. Also, quite often a desktop structured like that becomes a dumping ground for files and folders, without any other function. That said, you can have icons on the desktop in Plasma.
The trouble is I am always dumping files on my desktop and then finding somewhere useful for it to go. If they could just emulate a plasma object which acts this way then that might work. Still no show desktop button though :)

Re:Plasma again... (2, Interesting)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261868)

If you have a few minutes, could you please take a look at my 3.5 desktop [imageshack.us] and check if it's possible to configure 4.x this way now? I'm using my desktop configuration for a few years now and I'm quite used to it, but last I checked it was impossible to get it on 4.0, especially the top panel.

Re:Plasma again... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261964)

Might be possible.
You can create a second panel, make it thin and then put plasmoids on it to get a similar effect.

Re:Plasma again... (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262068)

Not to be snarky but I never quite understood what you appear to be doing.

Why not get a Mac if that is what you want? I mean it LOOKs sorta like OS X but it won't ACT like OS X (and that is GOOD thing IMO.....). Since it won't act like OS X then why so much trouble to mimic the appearance?

Too much candy? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260966)

Perhaps the candy is nice if you have a huge dual screen system. I have not tried it on my dual screen desktop yet.

I have tried it on my small-screened laptop and found the candy annoying and pixel hogging. Yes, I know I can turn it off...

As my 16 year old son said of the jello-wobble screens: Cute, but what's the point!

Re:Too much candy? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261360)

As my 16 year old son said of the jello-wobble screens: Cute, but what's the point!
and to think people said the same of Vista! Look how wrong they tur... oh yeah.

Seriously, Microsoft's main marketing effort in flogging copies of Vista, and persuading the world that Vista was the thing to have was entirely down to the UI. The fact that Vista hasn't had the expected take-up is partly down to it being a unhelpful resource hog and that too many bloggers said so. If Vista's UAC, Aero etc worked as we expected and there was just 2 editions, I think MS's recent results would have shown an increase in profits, not a drop. Most of those sales would have practically been down to the fancy UI.

KDE could well be getting it right instead.

Re:Too much candy? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262270)

I have one of those "Vista Capable" laptops. What I just figured out the other day, is that if you switch to the "Windows Classic" theme, then the system actually runs quite smoothly. the dwm.exe process goes from about 90 MB to about 5 MB, and it runs just as quickly as XP did. For the most part anyway. I think that MS could have saved themselves a lot of bad press if they just would have told retailers to enable the classic theme by default on low end machines. Sure it wouldn't look pretty, but at least it would have been fast enough to be usable.

This is Greate News (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260712)

With Vista going so badly the time is right to stick to MS

Essentially A Win2k Clone? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260714)

It feels like this desktop is stuck in 2000.

Maybe at some point the strategy of lets clone Win2k/98 to make Windows users want to migrate to something familiar sounded good but it has been close to a decade now...

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (3, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260766)

Constantly trying to reinvent a perfectly round wheel results in
a) New problems that need to be worked out from scratch
b) Totally different use patterns which may or may not work in the real world
c) Reluctant users

Personally, I don't see a problem with following patterns that were created for Windows. There's no reason that the existing desktop format can't be extended and have features added to it if need be. This "lets go a totally different direction just coz we don't want to follow MS" is stupid. MS spent huge amounts of R&D finding out what regular users will be able to use, and freeriding on that seems like a good idea to me.

Also, open source software doesn't have a good track record when it comes to ground up usability designs. Compare GIMP, Pidgin and Blender with their commercial counterparts. Then look at how long Linux has taken to get to a point where it's considered barely usable by the every day user.

Oh, and anyone who throws in a "but my grandma has been using Linux since 1965 for $fooTinyUseCase" gets a kick in the backside.

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260874)

if you don't like it how about you STFU and go code/configure your own version?

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261500)


From what I can tell its dick heads like you that don't like what's on offer who should STFU and go do your own coding.

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261602)

Hey, that's a great idea.

Alternatively, I guess he could just go and use another desktop.

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

ilikepi314 (1217898) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260952)

From what I can tell with using KDE since 4.0.0, it appears KDE4 will be a nice balance once its fully implemented.

Icons and the taskbar and a "start menu" type thing will not go away, so if you prefer a more Windows-like interface, you still have it right there. There's also the work on a Mac-like bar, so people that don't want to change their habits from other OSes will still be able to use essentially the same interface as before.

However, the groundwork is being laid for departures from that; if you prefer, eventually you'll have a large library of Plasma apps to choose from, as well as many customization options. And that's just the desktop; I know KOffice was also experimenting with a new streamlined approach to documents, though I am unsure how much they're doing and how much they abandoned.

But that's the difference - you can now (or will, once it's finished and officially released) fully mess with the desktop, instead of only being able to change a few colors or behaviors of pretty much the same static desktop, as it was before. Keep the standard Windows model, or completely throw away the panel and start menu and set up little applets to do what you need, or anything in between; You choose. And I think that's a powerful thing, to give people that option - certainly a defining characteristic of free software.

Maybe the Windows GUI will eventually prove itself to still be the best; but depending on what people come up with in the next few years as Plasma matures, we may be discussing how we can't even imagine using a computer without a Plasma-esque GUI. :)

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

CrispBH (822439) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261056)

Oh, and anyone who throws in a "but my grandma has been using Linux since 1965 for $fooTinyUseCase" gets a kick in the backside.
More importantly, can she ship me the schematics for her time machine? Cheers :)

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1, Informative)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261108)

Also, open source software doesn't have a good track record when it comes to ground up usability designs. Compare GIMP, Pidgin and Blender with their commercial counterparts. Then look at how long Linux has taken to get to a point where it's considered barely usable by the every day user.

Your comment is a bit silly, to say the least. After all, in order to try to prove that all F/LOSS is somehow inferior to all commercial software, you picked up the GIMP and Pidgin, which are two of the most god-awful UI examples there is. Nonetheless, you failed to cite what the commercial counterparts are. In fact, if you compare Pidgin, which is a god-awful mess, to MSN Messenger, the "commercial counterpart" isn't exactly great either. Not by a long shot.

If that wasn't enough, you try to use Blender as an example of how F/LOSS is somehow always inferior. Well, that is a stupid example due to Blender's origins as a closed-source, proprietary, commercial product which only ended up being liberated by pure luck. And yet, there are quite a few users swearing by Blender's UI. You see, just because it is different to all that crap you got used to it doesn't mean it's bad.

But the biggest issue you chose to ignore is that F/LOSS presents us with quite a lot of examples of superb usability when compared to proprietary, closed-source, commercial counterparts. For example, both GNOME and KDE are leaps and bounds above and beyond any desktop environment that Microsoft has been pushing for the last two decades, not only in UI design but also in technical prowess.

So care to rethink your silly argument?

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261560)

I agree. I like that KDE is there, and I like that other people like it, and I know that a lot of people hate Gnome.

Me? I simply don't get KDE.

To me, it looks messy, cluttered and slightly juvenile.

That is coming from someone who migrated to Tux around about the time XP was released (meaning I was a bonafide 2K user). The person that helped me switch told me that I should use KDE because "it is most like Windows".

That lasted about 6 months until I discovered Gnome. I much prefer the clean lines of Gnome.

I still have KDE on my Ubuntu box, and fire it up occasionally just for fun (ie new version). I also use it at Uni (Scientific Linux) and I have XFCE on my old P3 laptop. I'm not fanatical about any of them, I just prefer Gnome, XFCE and KDE in that order.

Having said that, it really is all about choice.

I guess that's what makes Linux great.

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261566)

I have compared Blender to its commercial counterparts, Blender is better.

GIMP needs improvements in a few areas (what does't though?), but it's nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be.

You're right about Pidgin, even though it's the only chat program I use, I sure do wish its developers would find someone with interface design knowledge.

As far as Windows vs Linux is concerned, I feel you're statement is fairly accurate. Trying to be different for the sake of being different while ignoring some simple GUI concepts is incredibly stupid.

In fact I'm going to pick on Slashdot, I know we're all computer literate and know what a <p> tag is, but do we REALLY need to use HTML inside our posts just to get some line breaks? If you're going to setup Javascript functionality for everything, then how about updating this ancient post box.

In the Options menu there is a "Comment Box Size" setting: Is this really the year 2008? How do you expect non-webdevelopers to know what the number 50 for the Column variable is suppose to specify exactly? How about just adding resizing functionality to this box that uses.. dun dun dunn... the mouse, you know, that thing invented all the way back in the 1960s.

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261908)

"...but do we REALLY need to use HTML inside our posts just to get some line breaks?"

I suggest you take a glance at the option just under "50 for the column variable"

Slashdot still defaults to "HTML Formatted" for new users I think... but if you switch to "Plain Text"... you can type "normally" (ie: enter = new line) while still being able to use bold and italics and also

Paragraphs

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261978)

You're right about Pidgin, even though it's the only chat program I use, I sure do wish its developers would find someone with interface design knowledge.

The other examples I can understand; I'm not a gimp user and I do get confused when I use it. Blender looks awful, but again I don't use it and I know that heavy users do swear by it.

But Pidgin? I use it daily. I see nothing wrong with it.

I have a list of users, I double click on them and I get to chat - whilst it could be flashier I'm having a hard time seeing how the UI is bad.

Any comments would be welcome - so long as they're not about resizing the text entry part ;)

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261582)

I dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu Linux, spending 95% of my time in the former (MS Visual Studio and my own novel writing software), and 5% in the latter. What I'd really, really like is a way to make the KDE or Gnome desktop font as similar to Windows XP as possible.

I've searched the web and found a few solutions, but I don't want a theme which adds a Windows start button to KDE, and I don't care about the system tray. It's the desktop font - resolution, type face and size - which I find really distracting. Firefox also seems to do its own thing, despite me juggling fonts & sizes in the options.

It's like reading novels in 11pt Times New Roman all day, and then picking one up set in MS Comic Sans or Courier New. The difference is like a smack to the eyeballs.

(For the record, I've been importing and configuring TTF and Bitmap fonts into Linux since, I think, the Redhat 4 days, including converting the MS Sans Serif system font to some other oddball format. I just haven't hit on the right setup.)

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260772)

Have you even used KDE 4.1? It is nothing like Windows 2K. I guess I really shouldn't respond to trolls.

Re:Essentially A Win2k Clone? (1)

Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261736)

The GUIs of Windows 98/2000 are essentially tweaks of what Windows 95 had. Now I happen to remember Windows 95 was explosively popular, which happened for a reason. It worked. Cloning what works isn't a bad thing at all, what the developers of GTK+ did [blogspot.com] is a bad thing. I'd take a clone of Windows 2000 over that god-awful mess any day of the week.

double the effort (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260750)

I'm not a kde user but I must say some of the things that I've seen about it would make me consider giving it another go. I quite like some of the ideas they've got, but I can't help but feel that its a bit of a shame that we have two desktop environmnets for Linux which effectively means twice the effort and a dividing of the developers. I know that there are idealigical differences between the two camps... Perhaps this is part of the downside of open source. We've had the same thing with pidgin - in the end perhaps we could all just get along?

Re:double the effort (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260804)

Actually, there's more than two.
XFCE definitely counts as a "desktop environment".
If you expand that to include window managers, you'd add at least fluxbox, blackbox, openbox, windowmaker, ratpoison, and icewm.

Re:double the effort (1)

Yogiz (1123127) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260806)

"Two desktop environments for Linux"? Are you referring to Gnome? There aren't just two desktop environments, there are a lot more and this is in no way a bad thing. The beauty of Linux is that you have choice. You can use whatever the hell you deem necessary. I for example am perfectly happy on my fluxbox. KDE, Gnome, Xfce, they all have their pros and cons but what are pros for one user are cons for another. Choice and competition are always good things and merging all the Linux DEs into one giant blob would most certainly not achieve anything.

Re:double the effort (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260854)

Unfortunately fluxbox is not a Desktop Environment; it's a Window Manager.

Re:double the effort (1)

Yogiz (1123127) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260942)

You are kind of right but not quite. Fluxbox is not just a window manager. It contains it's own tools to run other programs (fbrun), have menus and all the such. I would consider it still a desktop environment as I don't need much else to be able to use the desktop. It all depends on the definition.

Re:double the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23261022)

An ENVIRONMENT should provide frameworks that can give basic, common facilities that can be used and integrated in your desktop apps. Fluxbox provide nothing like that. Even Windows 3.11 had more libs to be used in your apps than Fluxbox.
It's no desktop environment when all the desktop applications you are running are reinventing nearly all the wheel and have nothing in common. You can't "target fluxbox". You can't make a "fluxbox app" as opposed to a KDE app or a Gnome app. There is no integration and communication possible.

Xfce is on the road to become the third actual desktop environment with the Xfce Foundation Classes and the other common libs they are making use of to build new Xfce apps.
http://xfc.xfce.org/index.html

Re:double the effort (1)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260810)

I can't help but feel that its a bit of a shame that we have two desktop environmnets for Linux which effectively means twice the effort and a dividing of the developers. I know that there are idealigical differences between the two camps... Perhaps this is part of the downside of open source. We've had the same thing with pidgin - in the end perhaps we could all just get along?

Please no. Let's foster competition. Especially in the case of Pigdin. This is how developers route around damage. This is Open Source working as intended.

Re:double the effort (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260872)

You have it all wrong.

Linux offers people a _choice_ between a dumbed down desktop and one built for power users. Other OSes only give you one option unless you jump through hoops, and it's rarely the second.

Re:double the effort (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260892)

Agree, the gnome guys need a gigantic fucking kick in the arsehole.

Gnome is one gigantic case of 'not invented here' syndrome. instead of one brilliant desktop we have one decent desktop (KDE) and one clunky, slow desktop (GNOME).

losers.

Re:double the effort (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261910)

What is the difference between a "Desktop Environment" and a "Desktop Shell"?

I used to use KDE. At one point I discovered that I could replace "startkde" with "kicker & kdewin" for drastically shorter startup times and I noticed no difference in functionality whatsoever.

I then went to e16 and then to e17. What are these "Desktop Shells" lacking that a "Desktop Environment" provides? True, e17 does not have a system tray, but there are plans to add one, and I currently use a standalone tray.

Note: I do have "gnome-settings-daemon &" in my .xinitrc.

Re:double the effort (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262168)

It's a fuzzy line but "Desktop Environments" basically try to abstract EVERYTHING. This means sound, network, filesystem access, and so-forth. When they do this well enough, you'd have to open a terminal to tell you are on a BSD as opposed to Linux. Furthermore, the abstractions can be somewhat portable. KDE apps, though not the parts you'd normally call a "Desktop Shell" like the Desktop and menues, are coming to OS X and Windows. So we'll be able to run things like KOffice, Amarok, and K3B on those environments without replacing their file and desktop managers.

So it looks the main distinction is that DE's provide an API that be used by applications irregardless of whether they are running the "Desktop Shell" or not.

Re:double the effort (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262272)

But the applications like KOffice work just fine under any other wm, or even no wm. kdelibs and kdecore handles that stuff. The desktop shell portion is separate, no?

KDE vs OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260752)

KDE
http://arstechnica.com/news.media/kde41a1themes.png [arstechnica.com]

OS X:
http://laptoping.com/wp-content/mac_os_x_leopard_screenshot.jpg [laptoping.com]

Flame away about being 'shallow' and talk of 'eye candy' but how the hell can anyone expect average computer users to want to migrate to Linux when the desktop looks like a hobbyist Windows knockoff.

Re:KDE vs OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260770)

how the hell can anyone expect average computer users to want to migrate to Linux when the desktop looks

Perhaps they don't want to have to pay a coupla hundred dollars for a point release on their OS every few years & have a nice free office suite (neooffice sucks balls)

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

woot account (886113) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260812)

>neooffice sucks balls

Good thing the Aqua port of the selfsame free office suite is now in beta, and NeoOffice will soon be history.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261064)

>neooffice sucks balls Good thing the Aqua port of the selfsame free office suite is now in beta, and NeoOffice will soon be history.

This is welcome news.

I don't like OO.o too much, though I guess it is the best open office (heh) suite. NeoOffice, however, takes all the bad sides of OO.o and adds total lack of integration on Macs, including the keyboard shortcuts for Home, End, PgUp and PgDn.

What I want is a simple, modular office suite with good desktop integration.
But I'll be quite satisfied with better integration alone.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260802)

It's not really as bad as the ars screenshot would have you believe. For instance, look at this one [wikimedia.org] instead. And remember how easy it is to apply themes to any linux desktop - there are some really slick themes out there.

But your point is still valid. The one thing I've never been able to get to grips with about the linux desktops are the fonts. Unfortunately between MS, Apple, Adobe all the font rendering IP is locked up pretty tight so it doesn't look like we're gonna get better fonts on the Linux desktop anytime soon. At least not out of the box that is.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260840)

Yeah, every time I do my yearly let's give Linux another chance the first thing that jumps out at me are the awful font rendering.

However, in that screenshot it really isn't the font rendering that is the problem it is the almost headache inducing UI element spacing problems. The one off apps I throw together in Inteface Builder look like polished commercial apps compared to that screen. I can only assume Linux developer tools don't have anything like the snap to guides that give every OS X app that elegant look and feel.

The difference in UI layout reminds me of the dramatic difference there was when I first took a document I carefully typed up in Pagemake years ago to a friend who was a professional pagelayout person and the amazing professional quality difference she made with 30 secs worth of font and spacing changes.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262134)

I don't know what you consider good font rendering. I sure hope it is not what apple produces, because that is horrid, wrong, blurry, and plain sucky. Oh, and _incredibly_ slow.

And then there is the Windows Way(TM): when in doubt, don't antialias... I suppose it is like for everything, after having seen something wrong for many years, you end up thinking it is actually correct. For example, so many people think the absence of ligatures is correct -- or worse, that underlining text is acceptable, because they used MS Word(TM) for so long.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

k1980pc (942645) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260916)

How do we identify the active window on that desktop. Is it the light gray one? Which is like, all of them? Also the blue highlighter is available on both dolphin and K-menu. Bad UI.
OS X leopard made it bad by making the contrast on two extremes between active and inactive windows, but this is much worse.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262166)

There is a kwin plugin that slightly darkens the unfocussed windows.

Alternatively, the colour palette can be altered between focussed and unfocussed windows. It is de-activated by default, because changing the colours of a whole application at once causes flickering.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261102)

Do you really have three photos of the same hot air balloon, with 3 different names?

Please tell me that KDE 4.x does preview icons like 3.x and every other current desktop.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262184)

Not in the file dialog, no. It has a preview pane, but no inline previews.

That sucks, and I really wish this feature will be back soon.

Re:KDE vs OS X (1)

bs7rphb (924322) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261186)

The one thing I've never been able to get to grips with about the linux desktops are the fonts.

Try defoma [debian.org] .

Re:KDE vs OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260814)

Dude, seriously, I agree. I hate themes that imitate windows or OSX. But please tell me you can tell the difference between an emulator window and what is running inside that window.

Re:KDE vs OS X (-1, Flamebait)

Gilesx (525831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260820)

It's pretty much well established that if people want to use a good looking Linux desktop, they'll use Gnome....

Re:KDE vs OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260914)

dude wtf are you smoking cause i want some.

gnome is shit.

Love KDE4 idea, but devil in the details (4, Interesting)

AlvinTheNerd (1174143) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260754)

I am using KDE 4.0, yeah its rough, yeah some basic functionality isn't there. And I think it is a poor setup not to be able to do things like drag and drop and make things smaller than default. Everything can be made larger, but never smaller.

However, despite all the failures, which I believe will come around, KDE is really moving to the next step and once the polish is applied it will outshine the rest. A desktop were apps of every shape and color can be integrated. Where the best ideas don't have to be accepted by the head developers, customization, and opening the doors to open source even further. It is a place were truly original ways to organize data and display information will come. It is were we will begin to move beyond just making a windows 3.1 gui more fancy and with more features. I think these are worthy goals. I put up with the annoyances now because I want to be part of it. I think it will be big.

But seriously, developers, start getting functionality working. You have to get people to use it. The widgets will come but you need functionality to get people to use it. No drag and drop for icons on the desktop, can't move around widgets in the bottom bar, right clicking doesn't give you widget specific options. And when they do, it is very limited, like the digitial clock being set to 12 hour time. I know these aren't sexy to work on, but nothing else matters if this isn't done.

Lastly, what I think will make the biggest appeal is making kde install easy on vista. People hate the vista interface, but have to have it for the new stuff underneath like directx 10. If you can make kde4 stable and install smooth on vista, you will have a firefox style pickup of it.

Re:Love KDE4 idea, but devil in the details (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261850)

"And I think it is a poor setup not to be able to do things like drag and drop and make things smaller than default. Everything can be made larger, but never smaller."

That's why I switched back to 3.5. Big effing stupid everything will be fine when I'm old(er) and blind, but I can see ATM and teh largeness is annoying. That's also why I don't use Gnome.

As a user, I want a VERY easy to configure desktop I don't have to spend time fvcking with. and don't care if it looks old-fashioned to some people.

KDE 3.5 is excellent, so I could care less how long 4.whatever takes to sort out.

WUBI is great for testing KDE 4.0 (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260760)

Yesterday I installed KDE 4.0 on my corporate laptop!!! Next to Windows, without touching the partitions! All thanks to a small program called wubi and which makes it possible to install Kubuntu and the others _inside_ Windows partitions. So far I have less than four hours of experience with KDE 4.0, but have only found minor details to complain about - like some menus don't get their contrasting font color if you switch to a dark colored widget style. As Debian user I cannot say that Ubuntu is _easier_ to use than Debian. I don't understand why people pursue that mantra. Yes, it is easy to use, but so is Debian. But, without wubi in Sid I won't touch my partitions. KDE 4.0 both look and work nice (so-far) and from what I hear 4.1 is even better. Sounds great!

Don't forget ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260780)

... to pay your $699 cock-smoking fee you licensing tea-baggers [twofo.co.uk] .

Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (5, Informative)

Edulix (726376) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260794)

That's not true my friend, I think you misunderstood the 4.1 Release Schedule [kde.org] . We're in soft feature freeze, but planned features can still be added to the code until May 19th ;-)

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261040)

You are apparently involved with KDE, so maybe you can help me understand: what is plasma? I have read a lot of "vision", I have seen a few toys applets, but I cannot seem to get a feel for what is really is and what it will mean.

I don't think having puzzle toys and the weather channel on my desktop is a great revolution, so I must be missing something. But what?

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (3, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261066)

Shameless plug on the Plasma FAQ (which I, among others, work on):

http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Plasma/FAQ [kde.org]

The first three questions should answer at least part of your doubts.

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261262)

And, forgive my stupidity....

What's the difference (in concept) between KDE's Plasma and Enlightenment's edje widgets/modules?

Cause as I perceive it, all that plasma is about.. putting any UI element anywhere on your desktop where you like - be it pager, start menu, taskbar, Mac-ish dock, applets monitoring your temperature, time etc...

Am I correct?

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262172)

Beyond the usual replies to complaints about the duplication of effort, I'd suggest that worrying about duplication of effort by Enlightenment is particularly unnecessary.

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262368)

The biggest point is probably containment switching and customizing. Containments are the "containers" for applets, or plasmoids, and the idea is that you create them according to your needs (activity-based) and then switch among them on the fly. It's different from X11 virtual desktop switching because (in theory) each containment could be totally different. You'd switch between them by zooming in and out (Zooming User Interface - ZUI). Implementation of this is already under way in current SVN.

Disclaimer: I'm not a KDE developer, just a user who likes to follow bleeding-edge development.

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261282)

"incorporating semantic application elements,"

Oh great , more bloatware, just what we need when KDE isn't exactly quick to start with.

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (3, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261420)

Plasma aims to change that, incorporating semantic application elements, and bringing cooperating technologies to the user's fingertips in a way that is visually appealing while easing work flow.

Howdy, it seems some of the Apple and Microsoft marketing guys are contributing to KDE!. BTW, you forgot to add the word synegry. It always sounds more buzzworthy :).

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (1)

LaurensVH (1079801) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261878)

BTW, you forgot to add the word synegry. It always sounds more buzzworthy :).

I'd use synergy. synergy is misspelled latin for "without niggers".

Re:Feature freeze, no new features only bugfixing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23261486)

"Plasma aims to change that, incorporating semantic application elements, and bringing cooperating technologies to the user's fingertips in a way that is visually appealing while easing work flow."

"Plasma takes a different approach, engaging the user by creating a dynamic and highly customizable environment."

"[Y]ou can use tools provided by Plasma to take your experience further, letting your desktop take shape based on what you want and need."

Damn, are you sure this is an open-source project? Lookit all that marketing-speech.

KDE for FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260848)

But when will we get KDE4 for FreeBSD? I know netcraft confirms its dieing but there's no reason not to port it anyway.

PolishLinux (p)review of KDE 4.1 (3, Interesting)

michuk (996480) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260864)

Here is a related (p)review of latest revision of KDe 4.1 (not the exact alpha just released): http://polishlinux.org/kde/kde-4-rev-802150-work-in-progress/ [polishlinux.org] "Plasma has gone under major API changes and is still a bit wonky, Dolphin gets tabs (hell yeah!), Phonon gets a Gstreamer backend, KWin gets wobbly windows (hell yeah!), and KInfoCenter and K3b get KDE4 ports. KDE 4.1 will be sure to blow your mind." A bit more comprehensive and screenshot-rich than the ArsTechnica article.

Re:PolishLinux (p)review of KDE 4.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23261926)

Arstechnica has some serious idiots "writing" (more like spitting back what others already have written) for them!

Mainly a Jeremy Reimer (who has no degree or certifications even in computer sciences, nor years to decades of professional hands-on experience in the field of computers either).

For example, Jeremy Reimer was caught email harassing, libelling, & threatening others (as well as the entire arstechnica crowd there (Reimer and his friends) being caught "posting as others under alternate logon guises" to 'support one another' & getting caught red-handed in it @ Windows IT Pro magazine forums, how embarassing) here:

http://windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=41095&cpage=216#feedbackAnchor [windowsitpro.com]

And, for the arstechnica people's stupidities there, Jeremy Reimer had large portions of his personal website removed from his website forcibly by his hosting provider for his idiocy (along with his fellow arstechnican Jay Little having his website removed in its entirety from his hosting provider CrystalTech.com).

Thus, I have no doubt your review is much better than theirs, just judging by the fact they have "fake it till you make it" types like Jeremy Reimer "writing" (slobbering on the page, plagiaristically) for them.

It makes me wonder why slashdot posts their dribble here at all, when there are talented and knowledgeable people who come here (such as John Carmack for instance) who can spot their lack of skills, know how, and credibility in an instant.

My opinion on 4.0.3 (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260894)

They've made it look nice but that's about as far as it goes. Most of the things I care about don't work this time around, and among other things I was a bit annoyed to find out that its opengl desktop stuff runs slower than compiz while doing less.
They're trying too hard to copy vista when they should really be concentrating on making a good desktop.

Re:My opinion on 4.0.3 (1)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 5 years ago | (#23260968)

I've been using KDE for a while now but a quick try-out of 4.0 made me install XFCE and Gnome again. I am now happy in GTK-land with GDM loading xfwm4 and nautilus.

Sorry but my DE should not take that much power, Vista is a mistake, why follow them down that road?

Re:My opinion on 4.0.3 (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262054)

KDE 4.0 is allegedly meant to use less memory and processing power than KDE 3.5, so I'm not sure what you mean by following Vista.

The 4.0 desktop effects did seem sluggish though, but hopefully they'll have sorted that out by 4.1.

Per-pixel Alpha Transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23260930)

Soooo does anyone know if KDE can do per-pixel alpha transparency?

Using it in production environment (2, Interesting)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261050)

I am using KDE 4 (latest builds) at home on my laptop and desktop. Yeah, production environment.

Q. But it's an unstable alpha right?

A. Right, a lot of the KDE4 applications crash. Never fear, for any buggy KDE4 app I simply run the equivalent KDE3 version instead.

Q. But this uses a lot of memory to have kde3,qt3,kde4 and qt4 loaded at same time right?

A. Right, but it still manages to use under 500MB and run smoothly with compositing enabled thanks to the new code and efficient toolkits (qt3 and qt4).

Q. So sure, they keep rewriting stuff and a lot of the applications are unstable. However, this doesn't mean you can't start using it now. It's a really nice desktop environment. Enjoy it now :).

A. This must be hard to setup though right? Having KDE3 one run instead if KDE4 one is buggy.

Right again but most distros shipping a KDE4 version (Opensuse, Ubuntu) do all that hard work for you. They still use the KDE3 version for anything remotely unstable. So you shouldn't get any crashes using it. If you do though, it's not hard to install the earlier version.

Good luck to them (1)

Wheely (2500) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261156)

Been a Linux/KDE user for longer than I care to remember and I really, really donÂt like KDE 4.

I wish them luck with the project as I think there is some really impressive technology underneath that interface.

However as a tool to use to get things done it has all the worst aspects of OSX (and there are many) together with the dumbed down minimalism of Gnome.

Since KDE 4 I find I mostly only use Linux at work now because if I am going to have to use the bastard child of OSX and Gnome on my home machine I may as well use the god awful OSX because at least that supports all my gadgets out of the box.

My favourite apps are all Linux; digikam, amarok, k3b but non-kde 4 versions of these are a dead end now.

Where does someone who enjoyed the complexity and reconfigurability of KDE 3.5 go these days except a different platform.

Re:Good luck to them (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261260)

After running Kubuntu 8.04 Remix for 2 days I recognised a lot of what you just said and reverted back to the KDE 3.5 desktop which is stable, highly configurable (and pleasantly familiar).
I sure hope the developers will not go the Gnome way of locking everything up!
But right now KDE4 is a system in it's infancy and we have to give the guys some time to develop this impressive new model.

Re:Good luck to them (1)

Wheely (2500) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262330)

I agree it is in its infancy but when I was running the original KDE Beta releases (prior to KDE 1.0) it was in its infancy too. However, it was, in my opinion, a vast improvement on what was around at the time in terms of features and usability. It was the infant child of KDE 3.5 but it is still recognizable as such, at least in terms of philosophy and direction.

KDE 4 on the other hand, may be an infant child, but to me it looks like it has the genetic code to grow into a beast that tells you how to work rather than the other way around. It hasnt even got any prettier in its short life.

If it would have been possible to shove the new technology underneath an interface that kept the same sense of user control then we wold have had something.

Bugs aside , Vista looks promising! (0)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261296)

"KDE 4.1 is out, and bugs aside, it looks promising. T"

Come out , what kind of stupid comment is that?! People slam MS for shipping buggy code but when its OSS , weelll thats ok right? Hello? Double standards anyuone? No its not ok. If its still full of bugs it should have remained as an rc , not an official release!

Re:Bugs aside , Vista looks promising! (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261630)

Also with Opensource, nobody is forcing you to upgrade. If you don't like what they're doing you can refuse to upgrade and not suffer any detriment or you can just fork it and start your own branch.

Ugh... waste of screen space? (1)

multi io (640409) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261516)

I mean, look at this [arstechnica.com] . Are they purposefully trying to waste as much screen real estate as possible? It looks like they deliberately put 50 pixels of even more no-quite-brushed-metal-looking empty space around each little button there.

KDE4 in Kubuntu Hardy (2, Interesting)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261668)

I recently upgraded to Kubuntu Hardy. After much agonizing, I eventually decided reluctantly to stick with KDE3.5 - for me it's just not ready yet in Kubuntu. But since Intrepid Ibex will include KDE4.1, I'll be very glad to switch to that. KDE4 is brilliant - just not yet.

The design still looks very confused. (1)

delire (809063) | more than 5 years ago | (#23261762)

Thankfully they have got rid of those absurd glass borders. On immediate appearance however I think it still looks pretty discontinuous and lost as an overall design.

Why such vast tracts of grey? In some of the screenshots on the PolishLinux site [polishlinux.org] window elements are surrounded by entire football fields of grey nothingness.

Why the faded titles in the panel? What are they intended to signify?

Why are the minimise and maximise icons raised, tiny and 'stuck on' rather graphically integrated into the window title? Window barnacles? In some screenshots they look annoyingly small to be a mouse target, especially compared to the window title.

Why is the panel so g i g a n t i c? To show off the icon authors scalable icons in all their glory or is there a practical reason to swallow so much valuable realestate? I would certainly never want to see this on my laptop..

Such things make KDE4.1 look lacking in vision, despite so many improvements graphically and otherwise in other areas. Perhaps it's time to cave in and simply pay an accomplised designer to pull it all together. Alternatively, why not hand it over for critique to a master's degree design class?

Copied what? (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262058)

I find it funny some people say KDE should stop copying Vista, others OSX, Gnome or Win2K. If you want to say they copied something at least agree on what it is.

Re:Copied what? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262228)

If they say KDE copied OS X because it supports OS X Widgets, you can tell them about this page:

http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/opera-widgets-specification-1-0/#acknowledgments [opera.com]

"The specification for the widget object builds on Apple's [Dashboard] reference."

IMHO if everyone agrees on one specification, doesn't re-invent their own standard, Widgets _will be_ huge. They aren't huge because of anarchy yet.

I can tell what people did copy. Xerox. Of course, in MS case, it was like copy of copy so it sucked.

Re:Copied what? (1)

Wheely (2500) | more than 5 years ago | (#23262396)

When everybody is heading in the same direction i.e dumb, simple, controlled and ugly it doesnÂt matter which of them you pick.
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