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KDE 4.1 Released, Reviewed

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the looking-quite-nice dept.

KDE 475

StoneLion writes "After months of development and controversy, the KDE project announced the release of KDE 4.1 today. Linux.com (a Slashdot sister site) took a hands-on look at the new code, and reviewer Jeremy LaCroix says, 'KDE 4.1 simply rocks.'" Bruce Byfield's review is quite positive, as well.

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Stay frosty! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387243)

Like me!

Please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387267)

Bring back the lameness filter!

Re:Please (-1, Offtopic)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388495)

OGG NO WANT LAMENESS FILTER

Re:Stay frosty! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387271)

How controversial!

Do we really need notification? (-1, Troll)

fprintf (82740) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387261)

Do we really need notification of a (dot)1 release?

Re:Do we really need notification? (4, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387303)

Do we really need notification of a (dot)1 release?

You must be new here.

Re:Do we really need notification? (5, Informative)

borker (1192445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387319)

It's a pretty significant feature release and is probably a better example going forward of KDE4 can become than the .0 release was

The font still sucks (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388535)

After all these years, release after release, the default font still completely, utterly sucks. Are they ever going to change fonts?

http://www.linux.com/var/uploads/Image/articles/142661.png [linux.com]

Yuck.

Re:Do we really need notification? (2, Informative)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387331)

When it's a vast improvement over the (dot)0? Yes.

Re:Do we really need notification? (4, Insightful)

theM_xl (760570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387363)

Not normally, but in this case the 4.0 release was mostly to let people know they could work from that - 4.1 is supposedly the usable version :-)

Re:Do we really need notification? (5, Insightful)

Zarluk (976365) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387895)

And, taking previous releases of KDE as example, 4.5 will be the full-fledged, stable version, so it will also worth a note ;-)

(no flames, please, I'm a KDE user, too)

Re:Do we really need notification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387433)

Yes.

Re:Do we really need notification? (3, Funny)

michrech (468134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387689)

Since KDE 4.0 was never meant for users (I've read multiple articles about how it was only supposed to be for developers to get their KDE software ported) and 4.1 was supposed to be for "general use", I'd say this *did* warrant mention on slashdot.

Re:Do we really need notification? (1)

mixmatch (957776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388455)

Isn't that what alpha and beta releases are for? If the developers behind KDE really intended 4.0 to be fore developers, then I'd say that they aren't very smart and intended to turn users away from their software.

Re:Do we really need notification? (5, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387741)

Windows 2000 was NT 5.0. XP was NT 5.1. Wouldn't the release of XP warrant a notification? Version numbers don't actually mean anything. Some vendors create a new major version every 3 months, with no modifications, while others only go from x.1 to x.11 every 3 years, yet add tons of functionality along the way.

Re:Do we really need notification? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387753)

I'm a lot more concerned about the substance of the release than what number they throw on it.

For instance, MacOS has only had point releases for going on a decade now. In this case, the release is a huge improvement over the point-oh-no.

SARCASM CENTAL (-1, Flamebait)

slackoon (997078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387351)

Yeah but isn't Vista more stable......cough, cough....

Re:SARCASM CENTAL (3, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387513)

Not that I'm defending Vista, but KDE isn't an operating system.

Using a KDE release to rag on Vista's stability is like using a new product line from BF Goodwrench to rag on Ford Explorers.

I would say though, that KDE appears to kick GDI+'s ass. I haven't played around with KDE 4 or Aero enough to make such a comparison though.

-Rick

Re:SARCASM CENTAL (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388195)

KDE is an operating system in the same sense of the word that Windows is. It's the graphical shell that runs on top of the kernel.

Technically Vista is a new shell and set of services that run on top of the NT kernel. Of course, the NT kernel has been badly wounded for Vista (DRM thrown in, existing driver infrastructure removed, etc.), and the services are slow, memory intensive, and basically worthless, but it's comparable to KDE.

Sure, KDE is only really comparable to some portion of Vista (and more than just the UI, you have to remember various background services), but it's still comparable.

Much of what's new in Vista is eye candy. Much of the instability has to do with changed user libraries and a changed UI.

Of course, more of the instability has to do with the kernel being screwed with and KDE hasn't changed the kernel. Vista is more analogous to a complete Linux distro, and as any long-time Linux user is aware, it's perfectly possible for a Linux distro to be buggy and crash-prone.

But analogies can be made between KDE and Vista, ESPECIALLY in the Aero and 3D desktop aspects. They're both implemented as services on top of existing infrastructure.

And Vista takes far, far more memory and CPU to do its eye candy than KDE does. I don't know about stability, but given my experiences with Vista, KDE would have to cause applications to crash routinely to be comparable.

But ... does it run linux? (-1, Redundant)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387379)

... So, does it run linux? ;)

Re:But ... does it run linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387457)

Jesus tap dancing Christ, do you people ever shut up?

Re:But ... does it run linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387683)

but does it run on windows?

Re:But ... does it run linux? (4, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387863)

but does it run on windows?

actually... somewhat [kde.org] . Not the desktop environment itself, I dont think, but KDE applications. I wasnt able to get it to work when i tried it a few months ago. it might be working better now.

Re:But ... does it run linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388173)

Not the desktop environment itself

Which is stupid, the Windows explorer shell is useless and there's nothing special about KDE apps other than their DE integration.

Re:But ... does it run linux? (2, Interesting)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388491)

Most of the KDE apps are just about integration, but there are a lot that I'd use, Dolphin, Amarok, K3B, Konversation, Dragon Player (Just in that it's very light and quick to use, not claiming it's "better" in any technical sense) and possibly KTorrent I would use a lot on Windows if I could.

Not to mention the KDE games are generally better than any other desktop games (although desktop games in general are only good for time-wasting :P).

However I think the DE itself WILL be able to run on Windows, I've seen some screenshots ages ago and vaguely recall hearing about how it will change your startup screen to allow you to choose between KDE4 and Explorer.

Fedora 9 packages? (2, Interesting)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387427)

Does anyone know where one can obtain Fedora 9 packages? I've been suffering through 4.0 for a while and I'd love to be able to upgrade, but I'd prefer to use fedora's package management rather than compiling it myself. It's just simpler.

Remember folks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387447)

KDE doesn't need you and has no obligation to do anything [livejournal.com] for you.

Re:Remember folks (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24387973)

This is not "funny", it should be modded informative.

Re:Remember folks (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388553)

Sorry - a rant about some abusive, ungrateful users isn't informative. It may, however, be funny.

Re:Remember folks (5, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388569)

Do they need you? Do they have an obligation to do anything for you?

From my perspective, they're Santa Claus: they may not give me all the free gifts I want or asked for ("I want the entire GI Joe collection"), but they give me a helluva lot of free gifts regardless.

Disappointing (2)

Tenrosei (1305283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387467)

I was really excited and happy when I saw how nice it looked and then I saw the battery meter and was like yes it looks crisp and nice. Then the thought settled in "I got rid of my laptop so I wont have a battery meter for my desktop noooooo!!!!(Darth Vader Style)".

Firefox 3? (2, Interesting)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387525)

Is Firefox 3 still looking like ass on KDE, and when you attempt to make it use KDE themes, the scrollbars disappear?
Does KDE still ignore any preferences about what you set your resolution to, then suddenly switch your resolution only when you open the resolution changer program?

Re:Firefox 3? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387655)

Are you asking us if the scroll bars disappear, or telling us they do?

Re:Firefox 3? (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387705)

I used the previous recent beta version, so I doubt that it's changed, but if it has, it would be a nice surprise.

Re:Firefox 3? (1)

ChameleonDave (1041178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388139)

I've been using only KDE 4 for a couple of months now, and I've not had those problems.

Re:Firefox 3? (2, Interesting)

teprrr (733211) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388047)

Don't know about your resolution issues, but about the Firefox thingy, check out Kde4 + Firefox3 0.10 [mozilla.org] Mozilla add-on.. It looks quite ok for me at least.

Re:Firefox 3? (5, Informative)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388185)

Firefox 3 still looks like crap by default because it's a GTK program, you can use gtk-qt-engine-kde4 to make it play nicer with QT (Looks close to, but not exactly like, a QT4 program).

I also use an Oxygen icon theme for Firefox, since that program doesn't change any icons.

The scrollbar bug doesn't happen for me, not entirely sure under what conditions it happens, it's also possible that it has been fixed in newer version of that software or only happened with FF2.

Nvidia cards (3, Informative)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387531)

From TFA (because I know some of you may not read it or at least not all of it:

"...users with Nvidia graphics cards and proprietary drivers may notice slowdown when resizing windows or moving plasma widgets, although I did not experienced this during tests with my Nvidia hardware."

Closer, but not quite there yet. Small problems like this are what is holding it back. However, with that said, I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on this.

Re:Nvidia cards (5, Informative)

joshtheitguy (1205998) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387679)

I have been playing with KDE 4.1 on my gaming desktop since beta 1. I have a 9800GX2 and the only time I noticed the slowdown on resizing windows or moving the plasma widgets is when I had SLI enabled in the xorg.conf. When I disabled it the performance increased drastically and I had no issues with that afterwards.

It is definitely worth downloading and I say it is more then sufficient to replace KDE 3.5

Re:Nvidia cards (5, Informative)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387783)

Use this setting:

nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1

Using this trick, resize becomes snappy.

Re:Nvidia cards (5, Informative)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387849)

I reply to mysel: to make this change permanent, I created a file called: /etc/X11/xinit.d/20nvidia-te-acceleration

which contains:

#!/bin/sh

if [ -x /usr/bin/nvidia-settings ]; then /usr/bin/nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1
fi

Re:Nvidia cards (3, Informative)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388179)

For the record: I managed to sort out all my nvidia speed issues by loading XGL instead of AIGLX. Because XGL masks away the card itself and presents a generic interface, it worked around the nvidia driver issues very well. None of the other tricks made much difference for me.

Re:Nvidia cards (3, Informative)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388287)

Closer, but not quite there yet. Small problems like this are what is holding it back. However, with that said, I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on this.

There was a lot of discussion about this, the KDE developers eventually decided NOT to fix these issues themselves because they are due to broken drivers, basically you either have to apply those config changes or hope NVidia improves their drivers.

I can't imagine how those drivers got so messed up, I've heard that any desktop effects are painfully slow on brand new NVidia cards, yet I'm sitting here running KDE4.1 with a 64MB GeForce 4 MX (which is like 5-6 years old I think) and it runs very fast...

What slashdot effect? (0, Offtopic)

fnj (64210) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387553)

The third link in the summary is performing very well. Either nobody's interested, or it's running on some pretty impressive hardware.

Kubuntu Packages (4, Informative)

TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387585)

I've been waiting for the 4.1 release before trying 4.x. I didn't care for 3.x and while I'm not a huge fan of GNOME, I like it well enough for daily use. So, good news for be because it looks like Kubuntu has deb packages ready to install with a few easy steps [kubuntu.org] ... thinkin' I'll give it a whirl tonight.

Re:Kubuntu Packages (1)

spud603 (832173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388103)

thanks for finding that.

My one erk with KDE 4 (5, Funny)

Khan (19367) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387589)

Hopefully they've gotten rid of that freakin' kidney shaped thing in the upper right corner. Talk about a useless static "feature". ugh!

Re:My one erk with KDE 4 (5, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387695)

From the Plasma FAQ [kde.org] :

Please provide an option to disable the upper right cashew.

Although putting an option to disable the cashew for desktops sounds reasonable, from a coding point of view it would introduce unnecessary complexity and would break the design. What has been suggested is, since the destkop itself (a containment) is handled by plugins, to write a plugin that would draw the desktop without the cashew itself. Currently some work ("blank desktop" plugin) is already present in KDE SVN. With containment type switching expected by KDE 4.2, it is not unreasonable to see alternative desktop types developed by then.

Re:My one erk with KDE 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388197)

Wow. I switched to GNOME a while back, partly in disgust over how the KDE 4 release management was handled, and I don't remember any "cashew". I honestly thought your post was a parody of their attitude until I saw that it was modded Informative and not Funny, and I had to click through to the FAQ to be certain that you weren't kidding.

Why does anyone care about the 'desktop'? (5, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388261)

I don't get it. Why all the fuss about the desktop background? It is just a background after all, and hidden by any windows you have open.

From observing 'ordinary users' running Windows, they use the desktop background for starting programs which have a shortcut there - because the Start menu is so congested with crap, they don't even look at it and are often incapable of running anything not on the desktop. Because of this most Windows application installers have taken to adding a desktop shortcut as well as a Start menu item. Of course in the long term this 'icon inflation' will make the background itself unusable and we'll have to think of something else. I can't help feeling that just making a usable Start menu would be a better answer.

The second use of the desktop background is because files get saved there by default from your web browser. Again, this seems to be because unsophisticated users have no idea of directories and if it doesn't go on the background, they can't find it. But on Unix everyone has a home directory and I'd expect KDE (or GNOME) to provide easy access to that directory, even for people who aren't aware that any other location exists.

The kind of technically skilled people who used to run Enlightenment probably enjoy having semitransparent widgets flip into shape in 3d on the background, but I don't see what usability advantages that brings. Would it not be simpler to make the background be a background - just blank? There is no difficulty in putting one application window _underneath_ another, so you will see it when the top window is moved or minimized out of the way.

Re:Why does anyone care about the 'desktop'? (5, Funny)

dlZ (798734) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388471)

The background icon issue will be resolved as soon as we can all easily arrange by penis.

Re:Why does anyone care about the 'desktop'? (4, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388547)

The various hotkey launch bars are the usable start menu and the better answer. Press hotkey. Type (part of) application or file name. Hit Enter. App launches or file opens.

Launchy is the one I am using:

http://www.launchy.net/#download [launchy.net]

Tastes seem to differ quite a bit for this type of app, there are dozens of alternatives (and apparently some similar functionality is built into Vista).

And yes, they got popular with Quicksilver on the Mac.

Re:My one erk with KDE 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388603)

I'm hoping Kubuntu 8.10 will allow installs of good ol' KDE 3.5x. One reason being that I like having my menu and task bars at the top of the screen. The cashew/kidney doesn't allow the gadgets on the end of my bars to work properly. If I can't get the older version of KDE in 8.10, I'm going to stick with 8.04 until KDE 4.x becomes usable.

Re:My one erk with KDE 4 (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388315)

Didn't you read the article? The kidney is there in memory of Uwe Thiem, a long-time contributor to KDE who passed away recently after a sudden kidney failure.

I love Linux but... (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387637)

Sorry but Linux.com and Bruce Byfield praising KDE is like PC Magazine praising Vista.
I would like to some more critical reviews.

Re:I love Linux but... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388113)

Hopefully, PCMag and a few others MS backed will do so. Of course, that would mean that they are giving it credence and I doubt that MS will allow that.

Re:I love Linux but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388499)

I would like to some more critical reviews.

OK.

KDE 4.1 Sucks arse. It is only one tenth of a percent "better" than 4.0.

Also, your HTML looks funny and we are going to pick you last for whatever game we play at recess.

Is that critical enough? I can do this all day. ;)

A second attempt (0, Offtopic)

seyyah (986027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387733)

I actually changed distros (to Slackware) because I wasn't pleased with the state of KDE 4.0. I guess this means that I may be changing my distribution for the second time in a month now that 4.1 is out.

I just hope that even if there problems persist, people will lay off on the personal attacks on the devs. That is not cool.

ATI still freezing with kdm? (1)

dangerz (540904) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387747)

I think it's more of a proprietary issue, but for those that have switched to 4.x, does kdm still freeze when you shut down X?

Re:ATI still freezing with kdm? (1)

dangerz (540904) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387763)

What I meant is a 'proprietary drivers issue'. Missed that in the preview, sorry.

Not a fan of the look (0)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387757)

Not that it can't be themed, but to me the default kde 4 and 4.1 screenshots I've seen are just down right ugly. I much prefer the look of gnome and even kde 3.5

Some screencasts on Plasma features (4, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387765)

Here [youtube.com] and here [youtube.com] there are some screencasts showing off some Plasma features.

So far, I am impressed (5, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387777)

I must say I am impressed by KDE 4.1. The features I like most include Konsole's ability to have fonts changed by a slider, the new file manager (Dolphin) and the beauty the whole KDE 4.0 stack introduced.

What I would like to see includes better fonts and more useful and complete help files. I also miss Amarok.

I have had my disappointments too. My college website will not allow Konqueror. Plug-in installation still needs work so that it is as smooth as that on Windows XP.

I have nothing but praise for KDE developers who insisted that we needed a new way of doing things in KDE and therefore started developing KDE 4.0. At that time, I did not see any reason why we needed a new paradigm. Now I see the reason. Thank you so much.

Re:So far, I am impressed (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387925)

My college website will not allow Konqueror.

Just change the user agent. Supposing it works like in KDE 3, go to Settings, Configure Konqueror, Browser Identification tab, and add a specific rule about how to identify to your college's website.

If it still does not work because your college's website uses some ActiveX or otherwise proprietary-nonstandard crap, rephrase your original comment as "my college's website is broken". Though it's a long time since I saw something not working in Konqueror.

Re:So far, I am impressed (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388573)

If it still does not work because your college's website uses some ActiveX or otherwise proprietary-nonstandard crap, rephrase your original comment as "my college's website is broken".

Using tools you find despicable is not broken. Learn the difference.

KDE PIM (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388077)

Did you spend much time using Kontact or any of the PIM applications individually? I can't live without KMail or KOrganizer, and haven't heard much about them in the KDE 4.1 prerelease reviews I've read other than the fact that they are included.

Re:So far, I am impressed (5, Interesting)

ForeverFaithless (894809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388335)

We're working very hard on getting Amarok 2 out of the door, and if you are enthusiastic please give our alphas and betas a try. Amarok 2 is quite usable at this point, We definitely will take a close look at each bug report, and we're aiming to make an awesome release really-soon-now :) --markey

Best KDE 4 distro? (4, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387789)

For the adventurous that have been using KDE 4, which distros do you think have done the best job at packaging it? Also will they be releasing packages for KDE 4.1 shortly, or are they waiting for their next normal release cycle?

I've been having all sorts of kernel/Xorg headaches with Hardy Heron, and am looking to dump it. I'm planning on moving all my must-have software to another box running Debian stable which will free up my desktop to experiment with a new distro.

Re:Best KDE 4 distro? (5, Funny)

nonsequitor (893813) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388435)

Gentoo. Not only do you get to run KDE 4.1, but you also get to watch it compile from source.

Re:Best KDE 4 distro? (1)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388485)

OpenSuSE has some really nice one, you can find them on http://en.opensuse.org/KDE [opensuse.org]

Re:Best KDE 4 distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388529)

i assume openSuse 11.1 would bundle KDE4.1.. Not sure..

real target audience (0, Troll)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387791)

I'm hard pressed to think of anything missing

Not that's what I call real target audience. Without Amarok, kile (at least the last time I checked) and some others, there's no way for me to switch from KDE3. Maybe I'm one stupid prick, but I care more about my applications than the DE and the looks, since it's the apps I use the DE for in the first place.

And about Dolphin... I hated its first plans back in the days, I hated the first versions, and there's still nothing in it that would make me like it more then konqueror. I find it a sorry excuse of a "simplified" file manager [or whatever you might call it] and I wish it vanished from the face of this earth.

Slackware packages? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387833)

Someone knows where have packages for Slackware? I tryed compile the source, but do not work (too many strange dependences from thirdy party librarys, test on Slackware 12)

(do not the bad english, I not american)

Re:Slackware packages? (1)

appelza (1151359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388069)

Does slackware even have FF3 yet? I don't think you'll have much luck other than relying on external binaries someone other than the slackware maintainers create. Slackware likes being ancient. They still use LILO by default...

Re:Slackware packages? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388593)

Does slackware even have FF3 yet? I don't think you'll have much luck other than relying on external binaries someone other than the slackware maintainers create. Slackware likes being ancient. They still use LILO by default...

Slackware users don't care about defaults, we go get whatever we want. LILO is good because it's simple, but I've installed grub on machines as well. It's not hard.

Re:Slackware packages? (0, Redundant)

ChameleonDave (1041178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388245)

(do not the bad english, I not american)

That's not just ungrammatical; it's a non sequitur.

KDE 4.0 was always more of a test release (5, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387837)

After months of development and controversy

I've never been sure why there was much controversy. The various announcements around the time of the 4.0 release and in advance made it clear that KDE 4 was the entire new desktop (in all its future versions) with new core technologies like Phonon and Plasma, whereas KDE 4.0 was the very first release of said desktop, wherein the underlying technologies were frozen so that developers could start using them, but the apps and desktop were incomplete.

I tried it as a LiveCD and the desktop experience was lukewarm, so I went back to 3.5. But I never wrote off KDE 4. No one should have, and there never should have been any controversy, considering what 4.0 was. The 4.1 release is the one people have actually been waiting for, since the apps and desktop components have had time to adjust to the new libaries, so if you adopted 4.0 thinking it would be your new desktop and you hated it, you probably jumped the gun. Have another look.

Re:KDE 4.0 was always more of a test release (4, Interesting)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388137)

I've never been sure why there was much controversy. The various announcements around the time of the 4.0 release and in advance made it clear that KDE 4 was the entire new desktop (in all its future versions) with new core technologies like Phonon and Plasma, whereas KDE 4.0 was the very first release of said desktop, wherein the underlying technologies were frozen so that developers could start using them, but the apps and desktop were incomplete.

The controversy is that it redefines what .0 means to most computer users and has meant throughout the release history of KDE.

It only occurred to me today, but I actually think KDE should do it again for KDE 5. If consistently used, there's nothing wrong with the following version numbering:

[b].0[/b] is the [i]zeroeth[/i] release set of a new product or technology generation. It could be used instead of silly names such as alpha, beta, preview and technology release alltogether and would indicate incompleteness.

[b].1[/b[ would be the [i]first[/i] release and would be complete.

This would probably also be more intuative to end users because only developers use zero-indexed lists.

Then again, it would not have provided the KDE release team with a way to push forward their new platform the way they did now. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Complaint about this review (5, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387861)

I'm bugged by something he says in this review and I see reviewers doing it all the time: "everything ran fast and smooth, even when I had six plasmoids in use and desktop effects turned on, even on a modest 1.6GHz laptop." He's using the old megahertz myth [wikipedia.org] . If he's using a 1.6GHz Centrino 2, I doubt that I'll see the same performance on my 1.8GHz Sempron that's four years old.

Pros and cons of KDE 4.1 (4, Informative)

MaulerOfEmotards (1284566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387909)

The article lines up pros and cons, though it is names "KDE4.1 Rocks!" actually appears rather fair and objectiveish. It claims the significant problems with 4.0 has been addressed. The earlier discussions here on /. have more or less focused on KDE4.0 being incomplete, which was taken to mean either incomplete as a desktop platform (insufficient basic functionality, such as icons, menus, expected behaviour etc) or desktop environment (complete set of application), and it is in this light that the article should be taken.

* KDE 4.1 Plasma panels are now resizable and you can have multiple , and they can be repositioned by dragging them by mouse.

* "The Folder View plasmoid ... is a container you can place on the desktop that can show the contents of any directory. Most distributions set one up in the default configuration to show the contents of the desktop folder, but you are no longer limited to having the contents of just the desktop folder displayed on your desktop -- you can add several instances of Folder View, each showing a different directory." This addresses the popular misconception and marketing catastrophe of KDE4 now having desktop icons.

* The article raves about the beauty of KDE4.1.

* Application support has grown and out-of-the-download contains Konqueror, Dolphin, Gwenview, Kopete, JuK, Kontact, the KDE CD Player, and the minimalistic Dragon Player for videos

* Dolphin has been improved with tree view and tabbed browsing features.

* Is is faster than KDE4.0, "everything ran fast and smooth, even when I had six plasmoids in use and desktop effects turned on, even on a modest 1.6GHz laptop".

* "The new interfaces may take some getting used to by those accustomed to KDE 3. "

* "Nvidia graphics cards ... may notice slowdown when resizing windows or moving plasma widgets"

* Amarok 2.0 is still not complete

The article is finished by saying that the author has finally replaced KDE3 as his production DE with KDE4.1.

In short, whether by design or by listening to the criticism, KDE4.1 seems to have addressed if not all then at least the most important warts of the unfortunate 4.0 release. I'll probably still wait for 4.2, but as a KDE fan I'm certainly excited!

Power management? Decent WiFi controls? (4, Informative)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387915)

I've got to say, Kubuntu Hardy with KDE4 was extremely disappointing. Neither Ubuntu nor KDE provided a functional wifi manager - The Network Settings application shared by many Ubuntu desktops couldn't write a interfaces file that preserved WEP keys, and was insanely cludgy. Steal some code from Maemo, people.

More KDE4 specific, using it stripped me of any sort of effective GUI-based power management. Hibernation, sleeping, and battery usage controls were completely absent. All it brought to the table was a (commonplace and unimpressive) battery monitor.

I enjoy using KDE4, but I really hope they're getting their acts together with this release, so far as laptops go.

Re:Power management? Decent WiFi controls? (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388557)

Keep in mind that KDE 4.0 was meant to be used by developers. It was not user level. The hope was that by giving it a .0, that it would encourage app developers, but discourage regular users. After all that is what seems to happen in the windows world. But I think that Linux has more in common with Apple than with Window; That is that users put more trust in it.

Re:Power management? Decent WiFi controls? (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388575)

don't complain about the *buntus and call it kde's fault. The KDE project has no control over what wifi manager ubuntu has.

Integrated distros? VMWare images? (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 6 years ago | (#24387953)

Any integrated distros or VMWare images with KDE 4.1 I can try? Yes, I could download the packages - build it from source even, but I'm sure some busy bees have it ready somewhere.

one-click install for openSUSE 11.0 (4, Informative)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388053)

People with openSUSE 11.0 can just click here [opensuse.org] to run the one click installer or go to http://news.opensuse.org/2008/07/29/kde-41-released-with-opensuse-packages-and-live-cd/ [opensuse.org] (or KDE developers [kdedevelopers.org] )

Re:one-click install for openSUSE 11.0 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388515)

Or we could a try a distro without MS worshippers Novell involved.

This time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388093)

...they actually got it right. I had been worried about "no desktop icons" but the reality is that I still have them, and can have more than one folder represented on the desktop. Well done KDE devs. You've (mostly) redeemed yourselves for the whole KDE 4.0 fiasco!

Fedora (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388123)

I know I'm probably in the minority running Fedora instead of an Ubuntu release but I'm thoroughly unimpressed with the Fedora Project in keeping up with something like this. The KDE 4.1 release is sitting in rawhide like a coiled snake waiting to pounce, and what happens when I install it? It fails on a series of icons. Who does that?? And to RingDev, you're absolutely right KDE isn't an O/S and Windows isn't either. Windows is a GUI that sits on an unstable CLI, they just hide it more/better.

KDE41: my experience (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388191)

So far I've had the following issues/nags/etc:

* Using the resize on the upper right of the new menu instantly made the default size *bigger*, which isn't what I wanted, and there was no way to resize back to even its default size.

* Input Actions don't work at all. Yes, the action and the group it's in are not disabled, and KHotKeys daemon is activated from Global Settings. No key combos work.

* The main panel glitched out and everything was horribly spaced out when I tried to add and remove widgets from it; I had to completely recreate a new panel to fix it.

* While it's not exactly slow, it does have several slow redraw issues (e.g. the classic launcher menu) and I've seen it lag at random times much more than KDE3 ever did. I know this is probably to be expected, but it's worth noting. No, I don't use desktop effects (compositing), as I've seen that slows things down much more in general (games, etc) than it helps with desktop elements.

* System Settings crashed on me on more than one occasion.

Overall, much better than the completely unusable 4.0, but they still have a long way to go to make KDE4 even remotely stable.

i almost love it (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388215)

i've been using kde4.1 for a couple of days now and it is pretty great. there are a few annoyances however....

-khotkeys doesnt work for me
-desktop search doesn't seem to work (ala strigi)
-artifacts left in the system tray

Mish-mash (4, Insightful)

delire (809063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388293)

From TA

"As far as eye candy, KDE 4.1 looks simply stunning."

I look at this screenshot [linux.com] linked from the article however and I see a confusing mash-up of design agendas. Dolphin file manager looks drab and strangely cluttered with shallow implied 3D for tabs and other delimiters yet the OS X style scroll bars bulge out. What are those scrollbars supposed to be made of? Blown glass? Gel? The panel at the bottom caves in with greater depth than the background image.. The simulated lighting model they're using to shade elements come from all over the place. I can count about 3 contradicting implied directional lights, from the panel to the icons to the widgets themselves..

Other things confuse: What is that Logitech logo doing in the top-right corner? Those tiny minimise/maximise buttons look like they're from another universe entirely: not echoed in any other element on the desktop, lest of all the stripey title bar.

I'm not convinced much effort has been spent on making KDE look 'stunning'..

KDE was very tweakable last time I looked so I'm sure someone will come up with a unifying theme. Glad to hear stability and speed have been greatly improved.

Ugh. (3, Informative)

monkeySauce (562927) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388337)

STILL can't hide system tray icons?

This is a big problem for me. I don't have a widescreen monitor, so the system tray is taking over the panel, squeezing my task bar to a frustratingly small size.

KDE3 has an excellent system tray icon hiding mechanism. Why does KDE4 make me look at them all, all the time?

Re:Ugh. (3, Informative)

icebear.dk (182125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388549)

I follow the KDE panel development mailing lists and blogs so I read just this week that the System tray hiding is going into the KDE SVN or is already in. I don't know if it will be backported to a KDE 4.1.1, but it is a definite for 4.2.

I KJust KWish... (1, Redundant)

Bravoc (771258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388513)

they KWoululdn't Kstart KEverything with a 'K'

I KMean, KWhat's Kup with KThat?

Panel object can be moved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24388517)

Bruce states in his review that objects on the panel can't be moved. That isn't correct. If you click on panel's cashew at the right, you go to configuration mode. If you move your cursor over an object, you will see a sort of crosshairs. Click on the object, moving your cursor moves the object and click where you want it to go. That releases it. Granted, it is not obvious. I stumbled on it by accident.

I will definitely try it out but ... (1)

slashdotlurker (1113853) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388581)

Finally, users are likely to miss Amarok 2.0 (at the time of this writing it's not yet completed) and a KDE 4 version of KnetworkManager.
KDE marks a triumphant return to full usability with the 4.1 release. I've read that some KDE 3 features still need to be ported to KDE 4, yet I'm hard pressed to think of anything missing, except for a way of hiding the panel.

You do not have amarok and knetworkmanager and this fellow is "hard pressed to think of anything missing". Is he high or something ?

Maybe it is just the default look (1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388605)

What ever it is, it still looks like OS by FischerPrice to me. Of course, I could say the same about XP, Vista, and pretty much every other OS.

Why do they all look like they were designed for 4yos?

Re:Maybe it is just the default look (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24388635)

yeah, I know, maybe I should have said "GUI", but I am also talking about other OSes.

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