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KDE Responds To Misconceptions About KDE 4

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the feedback-is-good dept.

KDE 279

Jiilik Oiolosse writes "PJ at Groklaw speaks with a member of the KDE team about some of the common myths circulating about KDE 4. 'There has been a bit of a dustup about KDE 4.0. A lot of opinions have been expressed, but I thought you might like to hear from KDE. So I wrote to them and asked if they'd be willing to explain their choices and answer the main complaints. They graciously agreed.' Among the topics discussed are: 'Releasing KDE 4.0 was a mistake,' 'I cannot put files on my desktop,' and 'KDE should just have ported KDE 3.5 to Qt 4 and not add all that other experimental stuff right away.'"

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279 comments

Everybody RTFA? (-1, Troll)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | about 6 years ago | (#24162909)

Wow, 7 minutes after the article was posted, and STILL no postings! Could this be my first FP? COULD IT???

Re:Everybody RTFA? (0, Offtopic)

ya really (1257084) | about 6 years ago | (#24162925)

perhaps some people DO have a life after all on slashdot. It is afterall, between 0500 and 0200 for most of the Western Hemisphere.

Re:Everybody RTFA? (5, Funny)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | about 6 years ago | (#24162937)

The fact that you replied tells us what about you having a life...? ;-)

Re:Everybody RTFA? (4, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | about 6 years ago | (#24163101)

It is afterall, between 0500 and 0200 for most of the Western Hemisphere.

I'm in Europe, you insensitive clod!

Re:Everybody RTFA? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24162939)

Who reads the article? Thats so last decade.

Re:Everybody RTFA? (5, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | about 6 years ago | (#24162943)

Wow, 7 minutes after the article was posted, and STILL no postings! Could this be my first FP? COULD IT???

You're entering a realm which is, unusual, the vicinity of an area adjacent to a location.......

Re:Everybody RTFA? (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | about 6 years ago | (#24162961)

Twilight Zone tune chiming in...

Just in time for K Pride Week... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24162935)

LH responds to this Groklaw article:

http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/2008/07/wild-rationalizations.html [blogspot.com]

For the unaquainted, here is the birth of K Pride Week:

http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/2008/07/k-pride.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Just in time for K Pride Week... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163109)

The K in KDE stands for krap.

Re:Just in time for K Pride Week... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163241)

Yeah? Well the G in GNOME stands for Goatse!

Re:Just in time for K Pride Week... (3, Funny)

smoker2 (750216) | about 6 years ago | (#24163291)

No, the O in gnome stands for goatse !

Re:Just in time for K Pride Week... (5, Funny)

bloodninja (1291306) | about 6 years ago | (#24163407)

No, the O in gnome stands for goatse !

I will never be able to look at the word GNOME again.

I heard... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24162941)

that if you install a mirror plasmoid and say "goatse" three times, RMS will appear and strangle you with his beard.

Re:I heard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163747)

if you install a mirror plasmoid and say "goatse" three times, RMS will appear and strangle you with his beard.

Sorry, I tried this but it didn't work. Should you say "goatse" aloud, or should you type it somewhere? Must the RMS site [rms.org] be on your browser? Oops sorry, wrong RMS, OK, here [www.exet.nu] you go.

Re:I heard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163889)

that if you install a mirror plasmoid and say "goatse" three times, RMS will appear and strangle you with his beard.

Wow, informative!

Re:I heard... (1, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 6 years ago | (#24163963)

(Score:5, Informative)

Only on slashdot...

Happy to wait (5, Insightful)

Spacejock (727523) | about 6 years ago | (#24162949)

I've always preferred KDE over Gnome, but unlike many I didn't rush to install KDE 4.0 (what with it being an incomplete beta and all.) I didn't get XP until it had been out for years either, and by the time I'm considering Vista it'll be lying in a shallow grave from the sound of things.

Basically, I see KDE 4.x as something to play with alongside my regular desktop. I'll jump onboard properly when things calm down, but in the meantime I have work to do.

What Jesse Jackson REALLY meant... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163285)

when he threatened to castrate Obama:

Get back on the Democratic plantation, nigger! We're supposed to be victims, so don't get all uppity and Uncle Tom on us and tell us to be fathers to our children!

Re:What Jesse Jackson REALLY meant... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163697)

I'm not sure why you were modded troll. Offtopic, yes, but what you said is true. Jackson doesn't want to hear a popular black leader criticising absentee black fathers. He wants to hear about reparations and about how it's Government's fault that so many black kids grow up without dads.

Re:Happy to wait (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | about 6 years ago | (#24163303)

Yeah, I am in the same camp. I have been compiling SVN head since 4.0. I love what KDE is becoming. But stuff like what I am pasting below is where the UD (minus the F) is coming from. To say that the first release of Dolphin will be binary compatible with all future releases of KDE 4.X (which is what the quote is implying) just doesn't seem right. Doing svn update changes things constantly (including the base libs and the headers). KDE base libs stable and binary compatible until KDE 5? I can't see it.

From this point on, our libraries will remain binary compatible until 5.0. Not releasing 4.0 at that point means holding back hundreds of application developers from porting and releasing their applications. Not releasing would hurt these applications - they wouldn't receive the attention to detail they deserved. We're talking about core applications like Dolphin [...]

Re:Happy to wait (4, Informative)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 6 years ago | (#24163389)

To say that the first release of Dolphin will be binary compatible with all future releases of KDE 4.X (which is what the quote is implying) just doesn't seem right.

What's wrong with it? All it means is that nothing that's in the API in 4.0.0 will be removed or changed in an incompatible way for the lifetime of 4.x. Plenty of new features will be added, but they won't break any existing code. Programming languages like Perl, Python, and PHP (usually) do this all the time.

Re:Happy to wait (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 6 years ago | (#24163539)

Nothing is wrong with it... so long as Dolphin remains static (which it won't)

Vista (2, Funny)

toby (759) | about 6 years ago | (#24163317)

by the time I'm considering Vista it'll be lying in a shallow grave

Not too shallow, I hope - it already stinks.

KDE 4.0 as a beta (5, Interesting)

golodh (893453) | about 6 years ago | (#24163365)

Wise words! Just wait patiently for the KDE developers to sort things out and make sure you have an alternative.

However I firmly believe that KDE really messed up when it comes to mamaging user expectations.

Call something KDE 4.0 and people will believe it's fully functional ready to roll. And find themselves sorely disappointed. Call it "KDE 4.0 Developer Release" and people will understand what it is and is not.

One thing that irks me in KDE's reply though is that they give the impression that they clearly communicated what KDE 4.0 was and was not. I disagree. I visited kde.org a few times to find precisely that information, and it simply wasn't there.

That's why I was so happy with SuSE's honest and up-front statement about KDE 4.0 (see http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=528652&cid=23135548 [slashdot.org] ) that told me everything KDE.org didn't. No amount of post-furor explanations will take that away.

Re:KDE 4.0 as a beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163689)

I've tried KDE4 and I think it is a solid base from which to create a very good desktop environment. yes, it's different. Yes, it has rough edges right now. But it's a good start, and I think somewhere around 4.5 it will beccome my primary desktop in Linux...

I'm unhappy... (4, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | about 6 years ago | (#24163835)

Just wait patiently for the KDE developers to sort things out and make sure you have an alternative.

But are they on the right path? From what I have seen in KDE4.0, it seems to me that everything they have done is a step backwards.

Basically, the problem is: if it's working fine, why change? For instance, I'm still using the KDE-classic icon set because I see no reason to get glossier icons, I recognize instantly the old icons and that's what matters.

The big point about KDE has always been its capability for personal configuration. I prefer to use just one desktop, so I don't have a desktop selector applet in my taskbar. I prefer not to put icons on my desktop, since the desktop is always covered by the windows I'm using, so I have my favorite apps icons in my taskbar and use konqueror in the file management mode to open documents. That's the way I prefer, other people think differently, but KDE3.5 lets everyone be happy with their choices.

I've never adapted to Gnome, because the philosophy is different there, it seems to be about making it easier to do things, at the expense of configurability. Well, for me the easiest way to do things is to do them the way I find easier, not the way someone else prefers.

I can hear people telling me, "OK, if you don't like things as they are, just go ahead and change them, the source code is there". Well, I have neither the time nor the inclination to start developing the KDE user interface. I'm not complaining, they were under no obligation to develop KDE for me anyhow, but let's say I'm lamenting the way things are going.

Re:Happy to wait (4, Funny)

bloodninja (1291306) | about 6 years ago | (#24163411)

...by the time I'm considering Vista it'll be lying in a shallow grave from the sound of things.

Then you could probably install it by now.

Re:Happy to wait (3, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | about 6 years ago | (#24163517)

I'm still waiting for the KDE User Network Tool...

Next time call it "KDE 4.0 Developer Release" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24162953)

That would have helped so tremedously! It would have made clear to trolls and dumb people that it is not for them and real FOSS lovers would have still tested it and filed bug reports and feature request.

In hindsight that would have been the best solution. Especially for a release that has so many new libs and a new UI and stuff.

Naming convention for the future:

*Insert big FOSS project X.0 ( X > 1 )* "Developer Release"

Otherwise all the dumb users will think it is Photoshop CS4 or something.

IMHO that is the path to happiness!

BTW KDE4.1 ROCKS!

Re:Next time call it "KDE 4.0 Developer Release" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163237)

Why, yes I know. Don't feed the trolls... I just can't resist here.

That would have helped so tremedously! It would have made clear to trolls and dumb people that it is not for them and real FOSS lovers would have still tested it and filed bug reports and feature request.

So I'm dumb or a troll for feeling let down when a stable release (which a 4.0.X release should be) of a major open source project tends to crash on me constantly? In the FLOSS community, release management has a lot to do with honesty.

If your 4.0 branch has scathing architectural deficiencies that make it unusable for production environments, call it 3.9, if you already had that, call it 3.10. Now KDE has their own gnome 2.0.0. Anyone who remembers that one awful experience?

Naming convention for the future:

*Insert big FOSS project X.0 ( X > 1 )* "Developer Release"

Otherwise all the dumb users will think it is Photoshop CS4 or something.

IMHO that is the path to happiness!

BTW KDE4.1 ROCKS!

If it's not 4.0 don't call it 4.0 -- it's that simple.

KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple users (5, Informative)

Freggy (825249) | about 6 years ago | (#24162971)

KDE 4 has great ideas, but kde 4.0 was not ready for use by the masses and was very buggy (I have a collegue using 4.0.5 and he's constantly having kwin crashes and other problematic behaviour especially with dual screens in either extend and clone mode).

While KDE 4.1 will be a lot better, again several important features have been moved to 4.2. For example with KDE 4.1, users will have a desktop where they can put desktop icons the a folderview widget or outside of that widget, on the plasma desktop itself. These two "desktop icon types" have very different behaviour, which will be extremely different to understand to non-geeks. This will be really fixed in 4.2 where it will be possible to set the folderview as the desktop itself. The number of plasma widgets shipped by default in KDE 4.2 is still rather limited (no good RSS reader, weather applet, system monitor etc). Phonon/xine/knotify4 as included in KDE 4.1 is not very friendly for your laptop's battery life. All of this will probably be fixed for KDE 4.2.

I heard the administrator mode in systemsettings is not working and that a migration to policykit to make this work, is planned for kde 4.2. GNOME is using policykit already since a year if I'm not mistaken.

So while KDE 4.1 is a great release for advanced users (I'm typing this from KDE 4.1 RC1 with nice desktop effects!), you don't want to migrate your average non-geek family member friend or collegue to it.

It's unfortunate that KDE developers still try to deny or at least greatly minimize the impact of these kind of problems. A little bit more understanding from both sides (developers and users) and a bit less technology hyping, would be a nice thing.

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (5, Informative)

R15I23D05D14Y (1127061) | about 6 years ago | (#24163009)

The developers are not denying anything (except comments like 'KDE is dying!'). They just didn't realize that calling the package that included the completed KDE4 libs "KDE 4.0" meant that distributions would start pushing it out to users, and publicizing it before it was objectively 'ready'.

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (5, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 years ago | (#24163257)

That is pretty much it too. KDE 4 is changing everything about KDE's underlying structure with the hope of unifying things in ways that were literally hacks before. The concepts are great to the point of moving away from the "desktop" unfortunately they as you said finished up the libraries and hadn't finished up the front end.

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (5, Insightful)

sirius_bbr (562544) | about 6 years ago | (#24163321)

Well, to be fair, calling it KDE 4.0 suggests it's relatively bug-free (else it would have been 4.0-beta), and feature-complete (else it would have been 4.0-alpha).

From what I've read it was neither of those...

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (5, Informative)

Rhabarber (1020311) | about 6 years ago | (#24163401)

Hmm, is that really the case?
I'm on gentoo. Kde-4.0 is hard masked which means it's not officially in the tree. You can unmask it if you really want to play with it but in order to do so you have to edit some config files which makes sure you know what you're doing. Kde-4.1 will eventually go into unstable (there you also find gnome-2.22, firefox-3, openoffice-4 etc).

Did other distros directly push kde-4.0 to stable?

Firing up ditrowatch I get 8 distributions with kde-4 and around 400 with kde-3. Among the 8 are Ubuntu, openSUSE, Feodora and PC-BSD.

Hmm, looking into the Ubuntu package database, I see kde4 is an extra package (no automatic update?) in Universe which has (I quote) no guarantee of security fixes and support.

It seems to be in Feodora-9, though. Is there a stable/unstable or whatsoever?

And it is in the just released openSUSE-11. Same here. Is it really in the default install?

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#24163647)

I'm using Mandriva 2008.1, and it's an option on there. The default KDE is still 3.5, but it's really easy to install KDE4. You can install them both at the same time, and the settings and all libraries are separate, so you can play around with 4, without having to commit to using it.

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 6 years ago | (#24163455)

They just didn't realize that calling the package that included the completed KDE4 libs "KDE 4.0" meant that distributions would start pushing it out to users, and publicizing it before it was objectively 'ready'.

Why, exactly, is it surprising that, when the product is announced to be "out of beta and released", it will be pushed out to end users?

If it's not "objectively ready", then it's not even beta, it's alpha. If the libs are ready but not the desktop itself, then release "kdelibs-4.0", and keep the version of the desktop itself at alpha until that part is finished.

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#24163661)

Isn't that the whole point of the distro though? They should do some testing to ensure that packages they release with their distro are really up to snuff. Just because somebody decides to call something ready, doesn't mean it should be included in the distro. Different distros take different approaches with what they consider ready. Debian stable usually stays well behind the curve, while Fedora seems to be quite bleeding edge. I also think KDE should have made it really clear that it wasn't feature complete, and also not stable, but the distros shouldn't blindly pick it up and push it on users, regardless of what KDE says about it.

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (5, Informative)

Wheely (2500) | about 6 years ago | (#24163519)

This isnÂt true.

If you went to kde.org after KDE 4.0 was released, looked in the "download" section and selected the current stable release, you got KDE 4.0. The old 3.5.* was called legacy or something. If the developers didnÂt expect distributions to start pushing it out, they shouldnÂt have said it was the current stable release.

I notice its changed now.

Define a word for it. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 6 years ago | (#24163035)

"Egotards"

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (4, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | about 6 years ago | (#24163141)

It's unfortunate that KDE developers still try to deny or at least greatly minimize the impact of these kind of problems.

Problems with what? You're running around like a geek trying to run a piece of software that hasn't been out for even a few months and you're complaining it has shortcomings and some things missing? Stop press, news at 11.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth people are still using KDE 3.5.x, they will probably use successive versions of it as well, and when the general consensus is that KDE 4.x looks OK then you'll start to see a natural move to it. That's what naturally tends to happen with these things. You just......................stop worrying. If you're an early adopter then that's exactly what you are. I hear that people actually pay for licenses for that privilege, and they complain less than the furore we've had with KDE 4. Go figure.

Re:KDE4.1 great for geeks, not ready for simple us (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 years ago | (#24163695)

Personally I had a fairly major show stopper with KDE 3.5 and a commercial app that still has some pretty old code. What people forget is that KDE is a collection of a lot of parts so I could simply replace kwin (where the problem was) with a different window manager and users still had a working KDE desktop -icons, panel, everything people think of as KDE really.

The thing to do with the new version may be just to identify the bits that misbehave on you and use something else in their place.

Things aren't rosy elsewhere. Fedora 9 is a bit of a mess with both KDE 4 and a version of gdm (log in manager) that can not have it's configuration changed by the GUI tools that come with it. Init is broken for changing run levels and the default fonts are not enough for many applications so I really do not know why it was released in that state.

OS X vs. KDE and others (4, Interesting)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | about 6 years ago | (#24162999)

The OSS community have managed to build a better browser than IE, but how come they haven't been able to duplicate the Apple GUI experience? Is it just a case of OSS lagging behind commercial companies etc., and soon Linux will be on par with OS X. Or is there more to it than that, such as difference philosophies or lack of people with good a understanding of user psychology and graphic design principles?

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (5, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | about 6 years ago | (#24163013)

I have both mac os/x and linux here and I *far* prefer KDE (3) over os/x, I just can't seem to get used to the main menu switching all the time depending on what has focus. I prefer 'stateless' designs over state any time.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 6 years ago | (#24163315)

Yes, I prefer KDE 3 as well. But what are your thoughts on KDE 4? I ask this because KDE 3, by de facto, is going to disappear.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 6 years ago | (#24163473)

Actually KDE4 is done in the same spirit as KDE3, the foundations just needed to be rebuilt for the desktop part.

But basically, with 4.1, we are pretty much where 3.5 was, and 4.2 should be light-years beyond. And this says a lot about the quality of the new foundations.

So yeah, it's a bit different, but all the power we love from KDE is there, and the wrapping is nicer :)

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (5, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | about 6 years ago | (#24163493)

I've been using Debian's experimental KDE 4.1 alpha/beta packages for a few weeks now, and my impression is that it's still KDE, and still too buggy to recommend to other users. Debian is probably several weeks after SVN, though.

My main problem right now is that most of the hotkeys have disappeared (a bug, not a design decision, I assume), and that I can't move plasmoids in the panel (supposed to be fixed by now, but not in Debian's packages). I don't miss the desktop-as-folder paradigm, but I do miss good information on how to create one's own plasmoids. Also, Kmail/Kontact crashes a lot.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

mattcasters (67972) | about 6 years ago | (#24163627)

3.5.10 is going to be released in August. How does that equate to disappearing?

Listen, I'm running KDE 4.0 on Kubuntu (alongside 3.5) and I don't think there's anything seriously wrong with it. That was surprising to me given all the "unusable FUD" I've been reading about the last 6 months.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

Wheely (2500) | about 6 years ago | (#24163545)

Agree too. Currently typing this on OS/X. KDE 3.5 is much better than OS/X. I can only believe the people who hold the Apple GUI up as a role model have only ever seen the zooming icons on the stupid dock and never used it for more than an hour.

Personally use OS/X now because KDE 4 is even worse (it adopts all the worst features of OS/X without the stability) and KDE 3 is end of life.

Non of the other Linux interfaces make it worth dumping the rather nice Apple hardware though.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

jacquesm (154384) | about 6 years ago | (#24163559)

I've been seriously considering sticking linux on the mac just for that reason (the nice hardware) :)

Another (not so nice) reason is that it will freak out the occasional mac fan that visits...

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

Enleth (947766) | about 6 years ago | (#24163603)

And yet I'm using KDE3 with the OS X-style menus enabled and the window buttons moved to the left side of the title bar. No, I don't like OS X as a whole at all (especially the widget style) - but I like those two ideas, so I've copied them to my desktop. Believe it or not, on a 12" screen and a tracpoint, the "infinite-height" menus are extremely handy. You see, it's all a matter of preference.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163895)

So you may not like OSX in every aspect it has, but there are certain parts that are undoubtedly well polished, that no other system has gotten quite right, or quite as polished. That is the real issue at hand, not whether you prefer one's conventions over the other. If we could get KDE (or any OSS desktop) up to that standard of polish, then many people would love to switch over. But as it is, much of OSS interfaces are hacked together or clunky.
As a chunk of anecdotal argument, I /still/ cannot find a way to show the system specs on my dad's Debian system. What we really need are people who can get things like that sorted out so the experience is easier to deal with and get things done, instead of spending hours looking through documentation.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (3, Interesting)

poopdeville (841677) | about 6 years ago | (#24163075)

Graphic design principle are important (as are typographic principles, and so on), but...

Apple has kept the same keyboard shortcuts for EVER. Apple-C defined the 'copy' operation with the Lisa, in the early 80s. Apple-X is cut, Apple-P is paste. The symbols on the keyboard aren't the same anymore, but the keys are.

Don't think I'm accusing MS (or anyone else) of anything -- they have been consistent too. But KDE broke their consistent streak with KDE 4. That can be a good thing, when a project has a user interface that truly is better for a certain purpose. I don't have a strong opinion about KDE 4, specifically because I couldn't be bothered to figure it out. I tried it, and the basics are fine, but it still lacks some of the features I use in my workflow.

Instead, I'm learning Haskell so I can get xmonad to work how I want it to -- mostly I want vim/OS X-like keyboard shortcuts everywhere. (I do realize OS X uses "emacs style" shortcuts, but ultimately, as long as they don't conflict and can use WINDOWS or APPLE over CTRL, I am happy, just because of ergonomics)

On one hand, this makes me a mega-nerd. I do realize that. On the other, KDE 3 let me nerd out without having to learn much about it. KDE 4 is different enough that I would have to, and I would rather learn something simple instead. xmonad is implemented in under 1500 lines of Haskell. I can completely understand that much code, and bend it to my will without much more effort than installing and reading it.

The punch line to my post is that KDE 4 is a fine open source release, in the sense that fresh development is going on because it came out. It could have been called KDE4-DEV or something, but almost every open source release is a development version. That's kind of the point. On the other hand, it's still not ready for me, so I am actively passing on it.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (0)

AuMatar (183847) | about 6 years ago | (#24163161)

Because the Apple GUI is horrible. Of the major UIs out there (Mac, windows, KDE, Gnome) its 3rd best at best. Its way way way too fucking high on eye candy, and the idea of a single menu bar at the top is still the dumbest idea in the history of GUIs. I'd rather revert to the windows 3.1 GUI than use Apples. And no, its not because I learned PCs first, I learned how to use computers on a mac.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (2, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 years ago | (#24163367)

See I think the Windows 3.11 with the Norton Desktop was one of the best UIs of all time. Most things were allways accessable at the top of the sceen. Your desktop was for running but iconifed applications so you could actually find a minimizes app by site if you happen to have more then a few running, no of this ever shrinking task bar crap. ( I actally had to write my own app for manageing minimized windows on XP becase the start bar is that usless if you have lots of stuff going ) NDW's drive icons were handy even if the concept was borrowed from MacOS. Group windows with different view were GREAT! Sometimes you had a lot of little related apps that you closed and open often in a work flow, use the icon box view for that window and it would be small enough you could keep it open but out of the way. Lots of stuff in a group, use the list view (similar to tare off pannel menues in Gnome / XFCE today ). Other stuff use the traditional windows icon view. It was way ahead of its time. Oh and you also had a powerful macro language batchruner/scriptmaker that was well integrated with the desktop, the possiblities were limitless and it was way easier in most cases then anything you can do with cscript/wscript today.

Its a shame it wont run well on modern Windows or I'd still be using it. On Linux I have settled on XFCE. Its gtk+ which I like as most of the applications I use are gtk based. KDE is nice but its not worth having to deal with a seccond took kit for. Gnome is to slow and its file manager sucks.

Duplicating Windows (3, Insightful)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#24163169)

how come they haven't been able to duplicate the Apple GUI experience?

Because they're trying to duplicate the Windows GUI experience, complete with periodically pissing off half the user base by changing the entire interface for oddball reasons.

They say "the desktop hasn't had a radical redesign in X years!" So what? The command line hasn't had a radical redesign since the Bourne shell, unless you're using Plan 9, and that was about 30 years ago. You don't *need* a radical redesign of things that work well. You don't *need* to break applications and force people to upgrade to a new API, either. Yes I'm looking at YOU, Trolltech... what's the point of using an OO programming language if you don't take advantage of the fact that you can have multiple methods with the same name, so you don't HAVE to remove the old calls when you change the calling sequence?

That's like when Microsoft declared "all new code will be in .NET" and had people hanging on to Visual Studio 6 for years because that was the only way to stay backwards compatible.

(and, no, I don't think Apple's going to get everyone to dump Carbon either)

Yes, you occasionally have to break stuff, but unless you're doing it because of security problems you do it after a transition period, and I don't think (for one random example) "directory.exists(name, TRUE)" counts as a security hole.

Or is there more to it than that, such as difference philosophies or lack of people with good a understanding of user psychology and graphic design principles?

All of the above. Not that Apple's user interface is perfect (god knows it isn't), but it's proof that you don't have to blindly clone everything Microsoft does to produce a great user experience.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (5, Insightful)

alderX (931621) | about 6 years ago | (#24163183)

I'am not so sure if the Apple GUI experience can be described as superior. I have a Mac Mini with dual boot into OS X and Linux with KDE 3.5 on top. Overall I think OS X looks cooler and more professional designed, but from a usage and efficiency point of view into the KDE environment better fits my needs.

For instance:
o The Alt+Tab vs. Alt+Tilde thing - I understand the technical difference between switching applications and multiple "documents". Still I often have the case where I have 2 Terminals and 1 Firefox open and need to constantly switch between them. Here I don't want to think about if it's another application or document I want to switch between. I just want to do it and I can with KDE, Gnome, Windows, OS/2 but not OS X. Ok there is an extra tool (forgot the name), but that one didn't work flawless eather.
o Virtual Desktops - Well that something a lot of Nerds seemed to miss, something which the OSS community had in their products for years. Not having it can result in considerable clutter on the screen which is exactly how my OS X screen looks like. Great to see that Apple finally came around and introduced it in it's latest version.
o Zoom vs. Maximize - One IMHO really strange thing in OS X is the Maximize button which actually is a Zoom button. The window size gets proportionally increased until it reaches the horizontal or vertical limits - whatever comes first. It's not possible to really maximize a window to cover the entire screen. Exception to that being that applications can alter this behavior and e.g. Aparature is doing so - showing the same behavior as this botton does in KDE, Gnome, Windows, OS/2,...
o Resizing a Window - To resize a window you have to drag the lower right corner and only the lower right corner. Why can't I use the left side border of the window if I choose to? Also something that's possible nearly everywhere else.
o Focus follows mouse - ...
o Rename a file - You can do tons of things (like copy, move to trash,...) within the context menu of a file. But still you can't rename it. Instead you have to click on it once and then again on the name below the icon. I find this quite inconsequent and also not very intuitive - actually I had to google it.
o Consistent UI appearance - It's true that Qt, GTK etc. based applications look different. But so do OS X applications where you have the white style, this brushed metal style and another one which escapes me right now.

So don't get me wrong, I didn't want to rant about OS X. It's my favorite UI from a design and "looking at" point of view. But if it's about daily work with it, then points like the mentioned above are really in my way. With KDE it's vice versa for me. It doesn't look that good, but I lets me do the job and it's more consistent with what you would expect coming from other UI's.

Consistent UI appearance (2, Informative)

slashflood (697891) | about 6 years ago | (#24163247)

Consistent UI appearance - It's true that Qt, GTK etc. based applications look different. But so do OS X applications where you have the white style, this brushed metal style and another one which escapes me right now.

That's [bla.st] true [arstechnica.com] .

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 6 years ago | (#24163461)

"Still I often have the case where I have 2 Terminals and 1 Firefox open and need to constantly switch between them"

What I want is something like this:

http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=121349 [kde.org]

Summary: you do alt+1, alt+2, alt+3 and so on till alt 9 for the 9 different apps/windows in a "stack" of windows. You press alt+0 to "renumber the stack" by most recently used windows - 1=most recent, 2=next etc.

I don't really care what keystrokes are used as long as it's not too difficult. I don't want to do stupid stuff like "alt tab tab tab tab", or alt tab, move hand to mouse and select the task.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (2, Interesting)

alderX (931621) | about 6 years ago | (#24163665)

Interesting concept. The first part reminds me a bit about switching screens within the GNU screen tool.

I use it quite often, but found the key combination "Ctrl + A then 0-9" a bit unergonomic. Also I kind of forget if it's screen 4 or 5, so I have to cycle through them with Ctrl + A 4, Ctrl + A 5,...". So I think it is faster to do the same thing multiple time ("Alt tab tab tab") than doing different keyboard combinations. It IMHO is just faster to repeat the same thing over and over again than thinking about the right window number for issuing the right key combination. Especially for a small number of windows I think the "brute force" way works better. Having more windows it might become a different story, but there I try to keep a virtual desktop per task.

Doing "Alt tab tab tab" KDE has some nice supporting feature I value. When cycling through the Windeos it highlighting the border of the window you would be switching to (so before releasing the Alt key). So you get a nice visual feedback; this really helps for me as I already look at the window I want to switch to. In Windows I miss that feature.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 6 years ago | (#24163769)

Well if you can hold down the alt key and just press 4 and 5, you'd very quickly find out which window it is.

I'd say it'll be much faster than the "tab tab" stuff - hold down alt, and just roll across 1234 to find the screen you want (assuming a fast enough computer). If you're in a particular "context" 1 could be code, 2 = spec, 3 = logs, 4= google, 5= man page. And I assume that many people would be able to remember all of that after a few minutes.

Alt tab is fine if you are switching between just two windows, but to use it to cycle through windows is clunky because the direction reverses each time.

Anyway I think my suggestion would be a lot more useful than the sort of thing that people seem to take as UI improvement nowadays - e.g. "wobbly windows", turning windows to the side and showing them all for you to select (slow - what I suggest would be much faster, you don't need to leave the keyboard for the mouse).

Too bad the alt key is pretty much taken by a lot of stuff. Perhaps we could use the windows key (since it's not used very much in KDE/Gnome) - kind of makes sense - winkey+1 etc.

wrong premise (0)

speedtux (1307149) | about 6 years ago | (#24163197)

The OSS community have managed to build a better browser than IE, but how come they haven't been able to duplicate the Apple GUI experience?

A lot of the Apple GUI experience is driven by three things: (1) what Apple users are used to, (2) creating a distinctive Apple "community", (3) looking nice in the store and being easy to market.

such as difference philosophies or lack of people with good a understanding of user psychology and graphic design principles?

Apple machines have nice graphic design, but KDE and Gnome also do (if different).

As for "psychology", try to find some actual evidence that the Apple UI is objectively superior.

In fact, all that is know about GUIs is public and out there, and all major GUI developers incorporate it into their systems, so there simply aren't any big differences between GUIs.

I think your premise is wrong: KDE, Gnome, Vista, and OS X do not differ much in the quality of their user interface design. They differ somewhat in the quality of their interaction design (e.g., Vista's annoying pseudo-security pop-ups), but even there, Apple also has issues.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

arctanx (1187415) | about 6 years ago | (#24163219)

how come they haven't been able to duplicate the Apple GUI experience? Is it just a case of OSS lagging behind commercial companies etc.

I don't think that duplication is necessary. I quite like being able to cut and paste files. More seriously, Apple does spend a lot of time thinking about user interface; much more than any open source project.

Or is there more to it than that, such as difference philosophies or lack of people with good a understanding of user psychology and graphic design principles?

I think that's closer. Those working on KDE have diverse skill sets, but by and large the open source software community comprises geeks, many of whom are coders. Linux up until recent years is a fantastic example of what happens when coders have to design an interface (why do I want "gooey"?). Now they're trying to ``sell'' it to the average user who's not interested in command line switches -- they want an intuitive graphical environment.

What we're seeing is the rise of the role of open source graphic and UI designer. KDE 4 looks sweet and I think we're getting closer to the inherent understandability of the OS X interface, but this is a relatively new thing for Linux. Apple's been doing GUI since the 80s, so give FOSS a chance to catch up.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (0)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 6 years ago | (#24163227)

The OSS community have managed to build a better browser than IE, but how come they haven't been able to duplicate the Apple GUI experience?

There are OS X look-alikes and such in the FOSS world. It just seems people aren't interested in using them.

Or is there more to it than that, such as difference philosophies or lack of people with good a understanding of user psychology and graphic design principles?

A lot of Windows users I interact with on a daily basis have a extreme distaste for interacting with OS X (mostly because it's GUI seems so foreign). I have also heard plenty of complaints about the behavior of Apple applications under Windows (UI wise). So I think it might be Apple that lacks a good understanding of user psychology and graphic design principles. Hence why you don't see the majority of their GUIsh techniques used elsewhere.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | about 6 years ago | (#24163383)

haven't been able to duplicate the Apple GUI experience

Waiting for clones. That is precisely why OSS has *always* been behind.

lack of people with good a understanding of user psychology and graphic design principles

Yes. They are in high demand. Apple hired all of them.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (3, Insightful)

dodecalogue (1281666) | about 6 years ago | (#24163723)

I very strongly agree with this sentiment. So much effort in OSS has been to try and pull in a userbase by mimicking what the user is already used to, and in many cases dissappointing down the road by the simple fact that the product is not microsoft/apple.

With no (or anyhow little) risk of lost revenue, one would think that all kinds of fantastical innovations would be spilling out of the open source movement in areas of desktop, input and output, etc. It's all gotten so incestuous that any small change seems like an earthquake. People maybe forget that at one point, the mouse was an innovation. [geekologie.com] And others like it CAN come along and be useful and accepted, it just takes a little imagination.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (2, Insightful)

gaggle (206502) | about 6 years ago | (#24163385)

On reason is that great design means fewer options, and OSS inherently favors control and flexibility because all the apps are written to and by superusers. So there are these goals that oppose each other, and cutting through it all is difficult when your programmers owe you nothing. It takes a clear vision to achieve the elegance Apple pulls off.

Well that, and Apple's gigantic wad of money they spend on human interface research :)

Rockstars (0)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 6 years ago | (#24163581)

The rockstars of the mac development world are the people who craft applications with amazing user experiences.

The rockstars of the OSS development world are Linux kernel hackers.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 years ago | (#24163629)

but how come they haven't been able to duplicate the Apple GUI experience?

Because the Enlightenment guys got a nasty letter from Apple about that theme.

Re:OS X vs. KDE and others (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163851)

There are a couple of factors.

The first thing holding back the OSS community is the steaming mound that is X. It's been improving, but it's basically being dragged kicking and screaming into 1997 by GNOME and KDE.

The second problem is the distributed nature of OSS development. Apple can deliver a pretty unified experience across their apps they have people with veto power who ensure that they do. "You can't add that feature, it's not consistent with any of our other apps." That won't work in the OSS community because developers aren't forced to listen to criticism. Or, a little more fairly, they get so much criticism that separating the wheat from the chaff is impossible.

Misconceptions? (3, Insightful)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 6 years ago | (#24163045)

Simply put, I had to revert to KDE3 in order to be able to work with my laptop.
If KDE4 is not finished, why announcing it as a deliverable product?
What everyone expects from a new major release is no less features and stability than the older ones.
Whenever this is not the case, a flop is waiting at the corner (as a lot of people learned from Vista).

Re:Misconceptions? (3, Insightful)

Basje (26968) | about 6 years ago | (#24163151)

I agree. The work was not finished, and calling it 4.0 creates expectations. In the article, the kde devs say they communicated it was not to be taken as finished. But their most potent statement, the version number, says something different.

It continues to make that statement. Big distributions as kubuntu and opensuse offer kde4.0 as a default choice. Not because they don't understand 4.0 isn't ready, but because the demand is there. People will pass if the latest version is not available. If the goal is to make a successful desktop, communication like a major version number should be aimed at the end users, not at the developers.

Re:Misconceptions? (1)

slashflood (697891) | about 6 years ago | (#24163293)

Big distributions as kubuntu and opensuse offer kde4.0 as a default choice. Not because they don't understand 4.0 isn't ready, but because the demand is there.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd say that this is clearly the fault of the distributions.

Re:Misconceptions? (5, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 6 years ago | (#24163175)

If KDE4 is not finished, why announcing it as a deliverable product?

What distribution ships with KDE4 as the desktop by default? I'm not aware of any.

What everyone expects from a new major release is no less features and stability than the older ones.

I didn't expect a feature complete KDE4.0, but that is because I actually read the announcements by the KDE team.

Whenever this is not the case, a flop is waiting at the corner (as a lot of people learned from Vista).

How does Vista have less features than XP and where does it lack functionality where XP has?

Re:Misconceptions? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163353)

If KDE4 is not finished, why announcing it as a deliverable product?

What distribution ships with KDE4 as the desktop by default? I'm not aware of any.

Uhm, Fedora 9, OpenSUSE 11.0 ?

Re:Misconceptions? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 6 years ago | (#24163393)

Uhm, Fedora 9, OpenSUSE 11.0 ?

I am pretty those distributions prompt you for what desktop environment you want to use, not use KDE4 by default.

Re:Misconceptions? (2, Informative)

Helix666 (1148203) | about 6 years ago | (#24163391)

openSUSE 11 has KDE4 as it's default.
I've had no problems with it, apart from those that can be blamed on the lack of memory in this box.

Re:Misconceptions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163513)

Opensuse 11 gives you the choice between gnome, kde 3.5 and kde 4. The only say that 3.5 is "rocksolid", but not that 4 isn't production-ready yet.

I think it would be better to release more RCs. From a 4.0 I expect a end-user-ready version, but that's an marketing issue.

Re:Misconceptions? (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | about 6 years ago | (#24163535)

What distribution ships with KDE4 as the desktop by default? I'm not aware of any.

OpenSUSE does [opensuse.org] .

Re:Misconceptions? (1)

conares (1045290) | about 6 years ago | (#24163691)

and its not the default desktop! did you even read the link in your post??? The installer lets you chooose which to desktop to use KDE3.5, KDE4 and Gnome. The installer even tells you KDE4 is not mature enough for day-to-day use! I'd post a link to screenshots from the installer but I wont cause you wont read it anyway. Screenshots (every step of the install) can be found on opensuse's site, if anyones intressted

Re:Misconceptions? (2)

LarsG (31008) | about 6 years ago | (#24163663)

I didn't expect a feature complete KDE4.0, but that is because I actually read the announcements by the KDE team.

Aye, there's the rub.

Everybody sees the version number, but only those that read the KDE announcement understood that "4.0" really meant "not at all finished yet".

In the rest of the world "x.0" means ready for end-users, but somehow the KDE team still fails to understand that and gets all "Dude, we said it in the release announcement. Ain't our fault that people think x.0 means finished product even if that's how the rest of the world does it. Really, it is the world that is at fault for not reading the announcement. We decided to call it 4.0 so that more people would install it and reporting bugs and developing for it and stuff, and then people like installed it and for some reason got angry at us because it wasn't really finished but we told them that in the announcement so we really don't understand why people got so angry about it".

This seems familiar... (3, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | about 6 years ago | (#24163091)

The first impression I get, after a quick skim of the article, is that it sounds like they are having the same kind of problems with KDE 4 acceptance that Microsoft is having with Vista. Their users like the previous version a lot, don't see the value of the changes, and so on.

Re:This seems familiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163225)

[...] they are having the same kind of problems with [...] acceptance that Microsoft is having with Vista. Their users like the previous version a lot, don't see the value of the changes, and so on.

Value of changes in Vista? Seriously, are you kidding? How can there be value in the feces of a demented borg mind?

Jokes aside, you're right: no user (user, not experimenter) in his or her right mind would install KDE 4 on his or her only productive system.

As a Debian Sid user (on all of my productive systems) I observe like a paranoiac in fear of a terrorist attack whether KDE 4 tries to slip in through the back door during some dist-upgrade. This said, considering the average user borg minds, I do wonder why the KDE team didn't attach even more warnings to their 4.0 release ...

Re:This seems familiar... (1)

spiderbitendeath (577712) | about 6 years ago | (#24163733)

Personally, in my opinion, KDE 4 looks too much like Vista. Which is a huge turn off to me. Feels too crippled to get anything useful done, for me. I hope they do make it useful.

The Shocking Truth Revealed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163095)

for quite a few developers not developing features often means not developing at all

Looks nice but.. (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 6 years ago | (#24163123)

I've tried various distro's with live CD's which use KDE4, don't want to mess a working system. It looks nice, I like the idea of the applications being put on the desktop like you can with Karamba, but with less CPU usage.

One main gripe for me is the file manager, it looks average, but is less useful. Not being able to open multiple tabs of different directories, ergo making drag / drop copying harder is a pain. It's like the developers wanted to regress to the shitty Windows way of it's file manager works. I don't want multiple windows open for an application, which is what I have to do with Windows explorer, and now Dolphin (the KDE4 file manager).

Re:Looks nice but.. (2, Informative)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 6 years ago | (#24163157)

I don't want multiple windows open for an application, which is what I have to do with Windows explorer, and now Dolphin (the KDE4 file manager).

Why don't you just switch to Konqueror? KDE4 gives you that flexibility.

Re:Looks nice but.. (1)

GeniusDex (803759) | about 6 years ago | (#24163373)

If i'm right Dolphin will have tab support in KDE 4.1.

Re:Looks nice but.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163589)

Actually dolphin *has* tabs. I'm using a svn build (it says the version is 4.00.83).

The size of the new start menu (1)

mischi_amnesiac (837989) | about 6 years ago | (#24163215)

It changes after every logout and I still don't know how to fix it. I've searched through the ~/.kde4 directory, but I couldn't find any config file relating to the issue. Anybody knows how to fix this?

Eh... (2, Insightful)

Zygfryd (856098) | about 6 years ago | (#24163233)

People really need to cut the KDE developers some slack. The devs specifically said that the first releases will be lacking, it's a major rewrite after all. Keeping that in mind, they're doing a wonderful job. Would you rather the release schedule looked like e17's?
Also, lots of the people flaming KDE4 sound like the KDE team owed them something... that's really so embarrassing for the open source community.

Kubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163287)

I seem to remember some griping about kde 4 not being the default for Hearty Heroin (or whatever the hell it's called).
Do you understand why that decision was made, kids?

KDE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163313)

More like GAYDE. Linucks is for fagz.

Version number intentions and perceptions (5, Insightful)

MaulerOfEmotards (1284566) | about 6 years ago | (#24163379)

I have tested KDE4 on my Mandriva install as well as on a few LiveCDs and am very positive about it. It is aesthetically pleasing, offers wonderful functionality, enormous flexibility and extensibility, and gorgeous eye candy not on the expense of usability or ergonomics.

Many people uphold OSX or Vista as the pinnacles of desktop beauty, and in the case of Mac, usability and user experience, yet the beauty possible on modern Linuxen desktops is not only equal to that of the Big Two, but in fact far surpassing them. Yes, I am talking a lot about "beauty" and "aesthetics", terms that programmers and techheads usually spurn or dismiss as irrelevant or superfluous. However, because it is not in the front of many geeks' minds does not mean it is irrelevant (especially considered I being a programmer myself) - beauty is important! In KDE, in particular KDE4, and especially coupled with technologies such as Compiz-Fusion and/or Metisse, the Linux desktop is far ahead any competition in presentation aesthetics, a fact seldom recognised.

That said, I am not using it on my production system and will not until release 4.2.

The problem as I see it, and the mistake made by the KDE dev team, lies in using a version numbering system that makes great sense for them but has little relation to how it will be interpreted and understood outside the development circles. For the devs, according to TFA, the "4.0" in KDE 4.0 means

is just the beginning. KDE 4.0 has the beginnings of a publicly usable desktop and applications. KDE 4.0 also marks the stability of the libraries and their programming interfaces so application developers can actively start using them in their application. The new features and frameworks need some time to be implemented in a user-visible way. In that light, KDE 4.0 marks the beginning of the availability of KDE4-technology-based applications.

For most of the world, the release of a new major version means both something new and exiting, which KDE4.0 certainly delivers, but also a finished and usable system that will be refined, embellished and updated. The KDE devs, on the other hand, means it as a platform on which a functioning system can and will be built. Their mistake lies in not realising that public perception of "4.0" would differ from their intention.

That said, this is a very common mistake in all human communication. Seldom indeed does intention transmit perfectly into perception.

Unprofessionalism at its finest. (4, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | about 6 years ago | (#24163423)

If anyone was wondering why KDE 4 was so user unfriendly, then this article pretty much says it all. None of the answers are user friendly. They are all argumentative and poor excuses at best.

KDE 4.0 is the starting line, not the finishing line.

Isn't that the precise definition of BETA software? They released KDE 4.0 Beta as the finished product, and are now ARGUING that it is not finished, but a "new beginning." Well, thanks for telling us beforehand, which btw would have been as simple as adding "beta" to the name. If 4 is so backward compatible and "user friendly" then why have so many users failed to "make use" of KDE 4? If they listen to their users, then why do they feel they haven't been heard? If you disagree with them then fine, but you cannot argue with them and expect to win anyone over and claim that that is listening.

Re:Unprofessionalism at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163509)

None of the answers are user friendly.

Is that the new code for "this guy disagreed with me"?

Quentin Tarantino Dead at 45 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163483)

Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Connie Zastoupil , a health care executive and nurse, and Tony Tarantino, an actor and amateur musician born in Queens, New York. Tarantino's father is part Italian American and his mother had part Cherokee Native American ancestry. Dropping out of Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California at the age of 15, he went on to learn acting at the James Best Theatre Company. This proved to be influential in his movie-making career. At the age of 22, he landed a job at the Manhattan Beach Video Archives, a now defunct video rental store in Manhattan Beach, California where he and fellow movie buffs like Roger Avary spent all day discussing and recommending films to customers such as actor Danny Strong.

Film career
Tarantino has had a number of collaborations with director Robert Rodriguez

Tarantino's screenplay True Romance was optioned and eventually released in 1993. After Tarantino met Lawrence Bender at a Hollywood party, Bender encouraged Tarantino to write a screenplay. In January 1992 Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs hit the Sundance Film festival. The film garnered critical acclaim and the director became a legend in the UK and the cult film circuit. Reservoir Dogs was a dialogue-driven heist movie that set the tone for his later films. Tarantino wrote the script in three and a half weeks and Bender forwarded it to director Monte Hellman. Hellman helped Tarantino to secure funding from Richard Gladstein at Live Entertainment (which later became Artisan). Harvey Keitel read the script and also contributed to funding, took a co-producer role, and a part in the movie.

The second script that Tarantino sold was Natural Born Killers. Director Oliver Stone made a number of changes that Tarantino disagreed with. As a result, Tarantino disowned the script. Following the success of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was approached by Hollywood and offered numerous projects, including Speed and Men in Black. He instead retreated to Amsterdam to work on his script for Pulp Fiction, which won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1994 Cannes film festival. Pulp Fiction earned Tarantino and Roger Avary Oscars for Best Original Screenplay, and was also nominated for Best Picture.

After Pulp Fiction he directed episode four of Four Rooms, "The Man from Hollywood", a tribute to the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode that starred Steve McQueen. Four Rooms was a collaborative effort with filmmakers Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, and Robert Rodriguez. The film was very poorly received by critics and audiences. He also starred in and wrote the script for Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn, which saw mixed reviews from the critics yet led to two sequels, for which Tarantino and Rodriguez would only serve as executive producers.

Tarantino's third feature film was Jackie Brown (1997), an adaptation of Rum Punch, a novel by Elmore Leonard. A homage to blaxploitation films, it starred Pam Grier, who starred in many of that genre's films of the 1970s. He had then planned to make the war film Inglorious Bastards, but postponed it to write and direct Kill Bill (released as two films, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), a highly stylized "revenge flick" in the cinematic traditions of Wuxia (Chinese martial arts), Jidaigeki (Japanese period cinema), Spaghetti Westerns and Italian horror or giallo. It was based on a character (The Bride) and a plot that he and Kill Bill's lead actress, Uma Thurman, had developed during the making of Pulp Fiction. In 2004, Tarantino returned to Cannes where he served as President of the Jury. Kill Bill was not in competition, but it did screen on the final night in its original 3-hour-plus version.

Tarantino announced in 2005 that his next project would be Grindhouse, which he co-directed with Rodriguez. Released in theaters on April 6, 2007, Tarantino's contribution to the Grindhouse project was titled Death Proof. It began as a take on 1970s slasher films, but evolved dramatically as the project unfolded. Ticket sales performed significantly below box office analysts' expectations despite mostly positive critic reviews.

Among his current producing credits are the horror flick Hostel (which included numerous references to his own Pulp Fiction), the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Killshot (for which Tarantino had once written a script) and Hell Ride (written & directed by Kill Bill star Larry Bishop). Tarantino is credited as "Special Guest Director" for his work directing the car sequence between Clive Owen and Benicio del Toro of Robert Rodriguez's 2005 neo-noir film Sin City. In 2005 Quentin Tarantino won the Icon of the Decade award at the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards. On August 15, 2007, Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo presented Tarantino with a lifetime achievement award at the Malacañang Palace in Manila.

Tarantino has been quoted as saying "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, 'no, I went to films.'"

Quentin Tarantino: Born, March 27, 1963. Died, July 12, 2008.

My experience (0, Flamebait)

geek (5680) | about 6 years ago | (#24163773)

I tried KDE 4.0 when it came out. I found it lacking but viewed it as a nice start. I had to uninstall it though as for some reason it was screwing with my wireless network setup, suddenly network-manager couldn't connect. I waited and installed KDE 4.1 beta 2 and found it to be more feature complete but also much more buggy. Things would just crash for no reason, simple things like moving files wouldn't work. It was Alpha, not Beta, regardless of what title they gave it.

The KDE team made the same mistake that the Warhammer online team is making (article from yesterday about releasing with a large amount of content missing). KDE 4 has flopped hard because first impressions are everything.

I went back to gnome because, while somewhat limited in functionality (unless you know what to tweak), it's stable as a damn rock, does everything I need it too, and with GTK themes and Compiz it looks nice while maintaining a reasonable speed.

My whole problem with the KDE team is they just seem to be so arrogant. It's like they are hoping we wont notice they screwed up and if we do we're talked down to and told we're wrong. THEY gave it 4.0 status, NOT us.

Riiight... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24163883)

So when Vista is first released and nothing really works and a lot of programs aren't compatible - Microsoft doesn't know what they are doing and the OS is labeled a failure.

When KDE releases the same type of program - there are 'misconceptions' and you have look at it in the 'Grand Scheme of Things to Come'.

Give me a break.

(Yes, I realize the two are functionally different pieces of software, I'm not comparing that. I'm comparing the level of criticism and PR cover-up here.)

It is all about self-defined goals, is not it? (4, Interesting)

mi (197448) | about 6 years ago | (#24163971)

We only failed with KDE 4.0 if we measure the work based on others' criteria, not our clearly stated goals.

This particular line is especially pathetic — even if truthful. Yes, according to others, we royally screwed up, but, fortunately, we had our own definitions of the goals.

To see this guys try to wriggle out of this shame is as unpleasant as trying to use their software. They've "redefined" an alpha pre-release as a "4.0". They've followed up with several minor post-releases (it is at 4.0.4 right now, is not it?) — which continue to be both feature-incomplete and buggy. But, I guess, if none of that was among their "clearly stated goals", things are dandy...

To call release of Plasma — the "new development from the ground up" — a "success" by any definition is a bad joke. The software screws itself up every once in a while so badly, the Internet-forums are already full of of advises, like this [fedoraforum.org] "just delete .kde/share/config/plasmarc".

KDE appears to have grown a serious marketing department some time ago — I noticed this during their pre-release "tension build-up", which was not unlike that of a new X-Box or iPhone. Heck, their "release party" was Google-sponsored [kde.org] ! Except the new X-Box and iPhone work (save, maybe, for a few glitches). KDE4, on the other hand, does not — by anybody's definition, except, maybe, their own.

This most recent "gracious" response is just another marketing spin-attempt...

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