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Social Desktop Starts To Arrive In KDE

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the there-are-little-people-in-my-computer dept.

KDE 199

FrankKarlitschek writes "At last year's KDE Conference Akademy, the vision of the Social Desktop was born and first presented to a larger audience. The concept behind the Social Desktop is to bring the power of online communities and group collaboration to desktop applications and the desktop shell itself. One of the strongest assets of the Free Software community is its worldwide group of contributors and users who believe in free software and who work hard to bring the software and solutions to the mainstream. A core idea of the Social Desktop is connecting to your peers in the community, making the sharing and exchanging of knowledge (PDF) easier to integrate into applications and the desktop itself. One of the ideas was to place a widget on the desktop where users can find other KDE users in the same city or region, making it possible to connect to these people; to contact them and collaborate. If a user is starting KDE for the first time, he has questions. At the moment, a lot of the support for KDE users is provided through forums and mailing lists. Users have to start up a browser and search for answers for their questions or problems. The community is relatively loosely connected; it is spread all over the web, and it is often hard to verify the usefulness and accuracy of the information found somewhere out on the web. Although it works relatively well for experienced users, beginners often get lost."

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199 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806645)

first?

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806691)

I could be the first to troll about how kde is unusable etc, but I'm not going to do it.

The Widget (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806683)

It will not take five minutes before the experienced KDE users stop using the widget because they are being bugged by people.

Love or hate forums they are a better way to collate helpful information than using a disparate bunch of people all over the place.

Re:The Widget (4, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807345)

Forums, as most of them exist now, are actually an exceptionally lousy way of publishing collective wisdom. The problem is that they don't just collect actual wisdom, they collect lint, cruft, and other sundry garbage as well... and all too often even a smart person can't always discern one from the other.

There is as much or more MISinformation accumulated in forums as there is useful information.

Now, if you wanna invent the Next Big Thing in online collaborative problem-solving that will obsolete vBulletin and phpBB and all the rest, please get back to me! Until then, I'm pretty much sick and tired of spending hours trying to sift forums for that one nugget of informational gold hidden amongst all the pyrite, feldspar, mica, and hematite.

Re:The Widget (5, Informative)

who knows my name (1247824) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807657)

I think it's called a wiki.

Re:The Widget (4, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807769)

Yes, it is, isn't it? :-)

Forums are useful for the collaboration that precedes the creation of a wiki page, but they certainly do a lousy job trying to supplant one. If the initial post in a thread is consistently updated to reflect the best and latest collective wisdom of the discussion, it can almost take the place of a wiki, but in my experience that is rarely done, and even when done is even less rarely done well.

Wikis are indeed better storehouses of collective wisdom, but there aren't enough of them and they often don't rank as highly in search engines as the forum posts they should be superceding. That's perhaps what needs to be fixed: more, and more easily found.

Experts Exchange (1)

swahebrumaf (1452693) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807935)

One "forum" does this quite well. You've probably seen Experts Exchange appear sometime when you were searching the web looking for solutions to a problem. With EE you award points to users who have helped you, and other people can value answers as well. Because EE is not free, unless you help other people, the community is of great value. I use it quite a lot, and many times it has helped me finding the right answer.

Re:The Widget (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807961)

Now, if you wanna invent the Next Big Thing in online collaborative problem-solving that will obsolete vBulletin and phpBB and all the rest, please get back to me!

I think StackOverflow (http://stackoverflow.com/ ) is DAMNED close, for programming problems at least. My only complaint is their pig-headed refusal to use anything but OpenID to log in to the site.

Re:The Widget (2, Interesting)

Caledfwlch (1434813) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807599)

I think the widget is a interesting concept to make the desktop more dynamic, though I can see your reservation that the widget would present a deluge of unwanted traffic. Some people who like mentoring the masses would want this, others who want more targeted interactions probably wouldn't. Then it would be up to the community to come up with filters, voting, & preference mechanisms to make the widget, and presumably others that will follow, customizable to different strata/verticals of users.

Forums poor way of collaborating (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807711)

Actually they are not. Forums are really horrible collaboration mediums. They don't preserve any kind of conversational flow (forums are flat, usually in a straight chronological order within a topic). Additionally topics that might be of interest frequently fall off the front page and die rather quickly while other popular threads go on for thousands of posts and have to be split into new topics. These two flaws make it really really hard for someone to jump into an existing conversation. Having to go back and read hundreds of pages of posts trying to find relevant pieces of information is extremely time consuming. And half when you open a new topic people will say, "this has been discussed many times. Search the forum." But forums all have horrid search features. It's not so much that the algorithms are bad but rather there is a lot of noise (even relevant noise). Also I find forums to be very slow and cumbersome. Having to load a new page just to check to see if there are new posts is really bad, and it gets even worse when you are trying to follow many different forums on different sites.

Compare this to the various OSS mailing lists I'm on. It takes me about 15 seconds to fire up thunderbird and see all the different folders (filtered according to list) and where there are new messages. The threaded e-mail display makes it very easy for me to jump into conversations (lessons the problem of trying to get relevant background info). For example, in the GTK list I tend to look for posts from key developers in a thread and follow that section (branch) of the thread. I can see them right away without going through pages of posts. I follow probably a dozen lists this way. However I only follow forums occasionally because they are so awkward compared to this.

I think forums exist for several reasons, none of which are particularly good. I know in the case of rcgroups the forum is a an ad revenue vehicle, first and foremost. This is the case with many forums I know. Some people like forums because they don't want to clutter their inboxes. This really means they don't know how to effectively use e-mail and automatic filtering (gmail makes it very easy). Or maybe they are worried about spam (legitimate). In any case, these problems were solved years ago with NNTP. However NNTP doesn't do a great job of preventing spam (can't control membership like you can on e-mail lists). Many forums actually have e-mail and nntp gateway plugins, but few forum operators use them because they would reduce ad revenue.

For forums that I really do want to follow, I've gotten annoyed enough to actually write my own NNTP gateway that scrapes the posts off the forum and offers them as nntp to thunderbird. This almost works well, but is a bit wasteful of bandwidth (have to load an entire page of 10 posts even if only one is new). Hopefully I can figure out how to optimize it better and make it generic enough to adapt to other forums. Also it's fragile, needed work when page layout changes. But since most forums use specific forum engines, even if the style changes the underlying tag structure does not.

Re:The Widget (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807783)

It will not take five minutes before the experienced KDE users stop using the widget because they are being bugged by people.

Love or hate forums they are a better way to collate helpful information than using a disparate bunch of people all over the place.

Not... necessarily.
Imagine it as a kind of torrent, i.e. p2p education. As you explain something to someone, he may in turn explain it to someone else, and even reinforce his own knowledge.

It could prove to be useful and educational, not just in relation to KDE.

Cool (3, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806693)

I like the idea. I find that I tend to look for desktop clients for a lot of connected stuff that I do. In fact I'm writing my own PyQT twitter client right now because I couldn't find a desktop client for linux that really works well and has the features I want. (The adobe air stuff is close but is flaky - crashes, etc.)

I wouldn't mind at all seeing more of this being pulled tighter into my workspace.

Re:Cool (4, Insightful)

ouder (1080019) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806827)

For a long time KDE was regarded as the stable businesslike desktop and Gnome was for the experimenters. It is interesting to me that the roles have largely reversed. Gnome is now taking an incremental, evolutionary approach while KDE is the one taking risks and being more revolutionary.

Re:Cool (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807331)

Give them a few years and the pendulum will swing back the other way.

KDE users wanted more options and new interface gadgets and abilities.

GNOME users wanted a stabler client on a saner development schedule.

Use choqoK for you microblogging needs Re:Cool (2, Informative)

SteamedPenguin (693277) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806865)

Are there features in choqok that you are missing? http://choqok.gnufolks.org/ [gnufolks.org]

Re:Use choqoK for you microblogging needs Re:Cool (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807045)

Thanks- I've looked at quite a few but for whatever reason that one did not show up in my searches. I'll be giving it a spin this week.

Re:Use choqoK for you microblogging needs Re:Cool (1)

SteamedPenguin (693277) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807091)

It isn't as advanced as other Twitter clients like Twitdroid for my G1, but if you are investing the time writing a Twitter client for KDE I am sure the choqok developers are open to ideas. For example, choqok as of version 0.5 doesn't have Follow/Unfollow functionality as far as I can tell.

MS Bob + Forum Jerks (5, Insightful)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806701)

I know, I know. This is probably different, but when I read the description, I pictured MS Bob with bright, colorful rooms that someone far away thought would put me at ease when using a computer. Then when I start a task, the helpful animated dog pops up, but instead of the vanilla "looks like you're writing a letter," some random jerk from the low end of the internet gene pool pops up and says something in between "Nice letter, fag!" and
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/4/27/ [penny-arcade.com]

I feel like there's too much desktop in my face most of the time. I want it to be a helpful tool, but most often being helpful means staying out of the way. But I am glad KDE is so configurable, so I can mold it into the desktop I want. That part is great.

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (4, Insightful)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806725)

I feel like there's too much desktop in my face most of the time. I want it to be a helpful tool, but most often being helpful means staying out of the way. But I am glad KDE is so configurable, so I can mold it into the desktop I want. That part is great.

Then why would you use KDE, instead of a minimalist desktop/WM like XFCE?

Not a troll, not a flame. But I can't quite figure out those who run KDE, and then complain about how "thick" KDE is.

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807085)

I'n terms of interface kde3 can get pretty minimal.
*All kde apps (except amarok) let you hide the menubar for many apps (especially media players!) you rarely use the menubar
*there is a shortcut to toggle window decoration (for when you just need more screen real estate
*the window decorations can get pretty light (e.g BII)
*kasbar can float and expand to show your running apps
*the autohide feature on being a per toolbar and widgets being pretty useful can also save a lot of space

I've played around with fluxbox and others but i really get the most screen under kde3 (i mean im sure it can be beaten but not easily).

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807237)

Presumably, it's a compromise: there's some feature they need or want, and for that, they are putting it with problems.

Other people complain about KDE after having tried it and then not using it as their main desktop (I fall into that category).

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (1, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807387)

Like it or not KDE and Gnome both have a great deal of functionality that the minimalists simply don't or have with much prodding.

I will sometimes switch to a minimalist setup but always come crawling back after a few days or weeks(sometimes months) usually for some small widget or behavior that just isn't available or easy to configure in the minimalist environment. Its a trade off, configuration/learning time vs functionality vs footprint.

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807643)

KDE is hideously bloated, but that bloat does have a point. It has the nicest, most easily configurable desktop from hotkeys to anything else.

That said, I use Fluxbox, because KDE itself takes up around 300 mb, and then the only KDE app I used, Amarok, takes up 500 mb in its newest iteration. It's clear the developers don't test on anything with fewer than two cores.

Point is, there's a difference between being easily configurable because of really well thought out design (perhaps overly thought out), and being so minimal as to make anything configurable trivial to configure.

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (1)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807791)

It's vastly easier to mold KDE into a simple desktop than do do the same with others. I played with XFCE and *Box window managers, but they can't touch how easy KDE is to configure. Besides, I like a lot of KDE apps, and they work well together. The arguments for a light window manager don't always add up to me. I'm not an extemist when it comes to picking software. That's why I like "mixing metaphors" like putting files and program launcher icons on the desktop. It doesn't make sense (is it a file or something else? why put stuff on the desktop, the thing the windows cover?), but it is really convenient.

There have always been strange ideas in KDE that some have found useful but others not so much. There was a simple file-share system, klipper, etc. Many of these quietly faded, but I'm sure they were a big help to someone, else they never would have been written. I feel like lots of plasma is the same, but who knows? Some parts will turn out to be great. In every way that it breaks some UI paradigm, there will be some other way in which that breaking will be useful.

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807941)

the thing that makes me go back to kde again and again are the apps. i mean is there any damn player better than amarok? but then there is a very glaring void: firefox. it is a mad bitch on kde. the thing looks fugly and hangs up as regularly as you click on links. does someone know of a good kde browser. except konqeror. that is even worse than ff on kde. its like safari. eww!

Not flamebait (0, Redundant)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806823)

Then when I start a task, the helpful animated dog pops up, but instead of the vanilla "looks like you're writing a letter," some random jerk from the low end of the internet gene pool pops up and says something in between "Nice letter, fag!"

Mods, not flamebait, +1 funny

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807269)

Good Point, but still an idea with considerable promise.

It would seem that KDE folks might benefit by considering application of these ideas in various "modes", which define the desktop social universe. You want the collaboration/social benefits, without it being constantly "in your face". This would allow for a degree of freedom in selection of how rigorously applications will ultimately be forced to integrate with the underlying distributed desktop services. Although this would constrain every conceivable universe of social interaction, it would provide a narrower set of incompatibilities that might emerge as effort evolve to address new issues, across desktop applications.

I like the idea of "neighbors near you idea", but it needs to be conceptually broader, so that the neighborhoods define various aspects of nearness with respect to "functional space", so that references to it via desktop API's facilitate user needs rather than offering only partially configurable alternatives to what the user seeks.

Being able to get the underlying API hooks in the desktop to assist in the organization of information, topics, help, projects, etc. in a more integrated, lower-level mechanism that could greatly facilitate progress across a broad variety of fronts by forcing some fundamental thinking and consensus across applications, without the need for individual applications to partially reinvent the wheel.

This will be a challenge given the diversity of viewpoints with respect to what is really important on the desktop, especially in a consensus Open-source approach, where there is no single commercial authority that ultimately chooses among numerous alternatives.

Ultimately, if one ones to get beyond the 1%, KDE or any "alternative" OS needs to be able to provide a platform for a much broader array of POPULAR software to coexist and thrive. As the applications emerge that more seamlessly work together (freeing the user to focus on tasks and results rather than implementation/installation issues) the larger the audience.

This approach to the hardware problem paradigm is interesting, but KDE needs to see the development of more than a mechanism to help the user identify problems and solutions (that section of the presentation was I thought very good). It needs to provide a fundamental framework of establishing how the accumulation of these minor problems can get resolved and better integrated across distributions. A desktop that would make that task easier would be a big step forward for Linux and OpenSource in general, given the constant change in underlying hardware and software.

It would be wonderful to see these ideas incorporated into "custom desktops" (back to the "modes" ideas) that might allow say integration
between a "science and computation desktop" with say a "web media" desktop, which might be two alternative "end user modes" for desktop integration to take.

A good place to start might be along establishing which API's, apps, and OS administrative "utilities" are most popular, most similar in terms of underlying language, compilation, libraries, etc. and then developing functional modes for each subset, with desktop API's geared to interaction with the kernel to optimize within and between modes.

Establishing priorities or security within and among modes could provide mechanisms to facilitate the exclusion of MS Bobs and Forum Jerks, say by only allowing input that users determine meets specified criteria be met before being able to communicate either within or between certain modes. By allowing the user to set the desktop mode, users could decide if they really like MS Bob or some Forum Jerks to get through or if their highly secure, only interact with specific IP addresses, API switch settings, etc. apply for their customizable environment, say "global warming prediction community desktop" or "numerical algorithms working group desktop" or "web media news working group desktop", etc.

Anyway, my 2 cents as a sometimes KDE/Linux user, who would like to use it more often but regrettably found that I couldn't do without certain applications not yet available on Linux because of the 1% problem, without a far too large a time investment on my part (not to mention the need to recognize my IQ simply isn't high enough to solve all the pertinent issues in a realistic time frame to accomplish what I need to achieve.

Re:MS Bob + Forum Jerks (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807481)

when I read the description, I pictured MS Bob with bright, colorful rooms that someone far away thought would put me at ease when using a computer.

The next edition of The Sims will be woven into social networking.

The geek is whistling past the graveyard when he summons up the ghost of MS Bob.

If there is a true break from the desktop metaphor - if intelligent avatars do become important - you will see it first in the home and not at work.

Will this end up like Nepomuk? (3, Insightful)

orkybash (1013349) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806713)

Don't get me wrong, I love the KDE 4 desktop (though lets not start that debate...), but one thing that has been plaguing KDE is the introduction of new "revolutionary" desktop paradigms that no one actually uses.

Nepomuk, for example, was supposed to launch us into the era of the semantic desktop, with everything tagged with all sorts of metadata andd actually searchable. The problem is, applications don't use it. Developers for Amarok and Digikam, two major KDE apps, have both stated that they have no interest in integrating with Nepomuk for the time being.

It gives me hope that there are already ideas on how to use this (Plasmoids, or desktop widgets for those of you who don't speak KDE), but those strike me as the moral equivalent of being able to tag things in Dolphin (the file browser) but not being able to make use of those tags elsewhere.

So until I see commitment from developers, I'm not excited.

Re:Will this end up like Nepomuk? (3, Informative)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806841)

WTF?

Because a lots of new codes have been done in digiKam for KDE4, we need to stabilize current implementations before to play with Nepomuk. Also, the new Database interface from Marcel which is already very stable need to be polished before to be interfaced with Nepomuk. So, it's something planed for 0.11.0 release.

Gilles Caulier

Re:Will this end up like Nepomuk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806843)

Nepomuk is already integrated with Digikam, so you can tag, search, rate etc. the images.

As for Amarok, 'we will not do it' was related to implementing the collection framework in Nepomuk, not that there is no interest in using it. (there is some work being done)

Nepomuk has only begun its journey and is not widespread yet. Plasma, for example, has yet to provide its activities info to Nepomuk so that other apps could benefit from it...

Re:Will this end up like Nepomuk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807549)

Nope, Nepomuk support is not (yet?) on digiKam.

Currently digiKam use normal database where it stores the metadata and it syncs if user wants them to pictures too, as well the other software (like exiv etc) supports. Currently there is beta quality of RAW writing and normal PNG/JPEG/TIFF etc files can be written with metadata on them.

Nepomuk is currently still too slow for digikam and it ain't so well designed to manage hundreds of thousands photographs on remote medias, servers etc... like digiKam has.

Right now you can use nepomuk on KDE 4.2. By typing to dolphin/konqueror addressbar or open/save dialog a:

nepomuksearch:/tag:TagNameWhatYouWant

And if you have tagged files with Dolphin, you get them listed on that. And you can place save that as path to save/open dialoge or every wanted application dialog only if wanted. Or even place it to "folder view" widget and get updated views of tagged files to your desktop.

What nepomuk is missing is easy way to include tags, rating and other metadata when storing data and when downloading etc. The semantik part is still missing bretty badly. Like I can not search yet the "tags: Funny, Video from: Thomas"

Re:Will this end up like Nepomuk? (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807021)

Of course, because for the most part tags are worthless except for limited in scope items. The only possible use case I can think of is actually for photographs, which makes me a little confused why digikam doesn't want to integrate. But on the otherhand, who wants to tag documents or songs? Songs have metadata that should contain all the information you might possibly want to tag, same for documents, open them for a full text search when indexing. The idea of user input tags if a flawed one for all but the narrowest of use cases (or for people who are anal retentive about organization).

My head hurts (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807257)

Nepomuk, for example, was supposed to launch us into the era of the semantic desktop, with everything tagged with all sorts of metadata and actually searchable.

Amarok

Plasmoids, or desktop widgets for those of you who don't speak KDE
Dolphin (the file browser)

Nepomuk sounds like he should be hunting seals on the artic ice pack in the Brittanica films your grandad slept through in high school.

When Geek-Speak meets Marketing-Speak all hope is lost.

Re:My head hurts (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807429)

Well, KDE always was a bit German to me. You know, the K in everything.
As a matter of fact, I'm from Germany. And Nepomuk is a pretty old, but known name, around here.

In the 80s and 90s, we had a nice TV show with a small town of puppets here.
In that show, there is also a puppet called Nepomuk: http://www.hallo-spencer.de/home/images/stuff/wallpaper/nepomuk.jpg [hallo-spencer.de]
He is portrayed as a somewhat weird old man, who is a bit cold at first, but in fact a very nice man on the inside, when you give him a chance.

So this is what I thought of, when I read "Nepomuk". :)

What??? (2, Funny)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806737)

If it's as useful as the slide presentation in TFA is informative, then it will be as eloquent as twitter and as disciplined as USENET.

Decentralization (5, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806745)

Decentralization is not necessarily a good thing. It spreads possibly valuable information to isolated cells (private chats?) with no googleability.

Also, do you really want to be interrupted even more than you used to, by some newbie that can't be bothered to google around?

Re:Decentralization (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807167)

Isn't this what IRC is for, only if you go to #kde with a question about anything that isn't to do with kde, its quite hard to figure out what you problem is when your new, you get next to no help (seriously its like kubuntu killed most of their dogs or something).

Re:Decentralization (3, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807443)

Who pray tell is posting all these magical answers to questions that may or may not be asked by someone googling?

Googling around only gets you so far with most interface/specific computer questions. Often there are bugs which take time to reach forums let alone well written help pages. More often then not your problem isn't going to be what people are linking to/talking about on many pages and so will NOT show up on Google page rank. Many problems also are rooted in individual configurations and individual mistakes made along the way thus appear vastly different to different users.

Oh and the kicker is often to get the most out of google you have to know a bit about what you are searching for which for newbie help is almost never going to be the case.

Perhaps one day when we put as much time and thought in writing the helpfiles and user information bits of programs then google will be the ultimate answer but for now it is in most cases thirty minutes of frustration that would be more helpful just hitting IRC or a forum to ask someone who might have a clue as to what they are doing or might have seen the problem before.

I wish they would focus their energies elsewhere (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806769)

While I appreciate the efforts KDE programmers have put into making KDE really usable, I wish they (KDE developers), would focus their efforts at reducing the huge number of bugs in KDE 4.x and improve the user experience.

I know KDE is a mostly voluntary effort but in the current situation of over 50,000 [kde.org] bugs, introducing even more features which translates to more bugs does not help at all.

I tried the latest KDE on a 2.4 GHz, 512MB RAM system with an on board graphics card and I must say I was underwhelmed. The system (Kubuntu) was so slow.

Heck...why is it so hard for programmers to make KDE beautiful by default?b Operative word here is "default". Why do the menus and widgets have to be huge...wasting space?

I had to say this otherwise I know I will be castigated for saying what is true and is on my mind.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (2, Interesting)

destroyer661 (847607) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806825)

Don't want to flame, but *ubuntu is usually a pretty bloated install. I built KDE 4.2 from scratch on Debian installed on a P4 with 768 ram and an old Intel onboard, it ran perfect. *shrug*

IMO both KDE/Gnome meet their real potential if you take some time to customize them and work out what makes you, as an individual, happy. I don't think they're going to satisfy many people left just on default settings.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (4, Insightful)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806859)

Just looked at some screenshots of KDE4. It looked like Vista. Why do the always have to emulate a current Windows version for looks? Windows has _always_ been ugly. Vista especially being hard on the eyes with it's glossy black style.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806949)

I said the same thing for a while, until my new laptop came with Vista. It's actually pretty nice. The transparency isn't as jarring as it feels the first time you use it, and the glass effects are pretty muted.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

vdboor (827057) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807723)

Just looked at some screenshots of KDE4. It looked like Vista.

Interestingly enough the designers of Oxygen didn't look at Vista at all, and implemented their own vision of a nice desktop style :-p

If black == vista, then yes, almost everything can look like vista..

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806863)

Until i can make my toolbars the same size as kde3's tiny, I'm simply not interested in kde4. I used to love kde for the way i could get it out of my way, right now it feels like they're just trying to show off all these fancy new desktop changing ideas, instead of focusing on what users want!

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807029)

Well, they only released what they called a 'user ready' version of KDE4 a couple of months ago, so, based on the way all software releases everywhere work, an actual user ready system is only a version or two away.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

lordtoran (1063300) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807065)

Well, I don't know how the setting is called in English as I run German KDE, but somewhere in systemsettings in the applet where you can choose your icon set there is a second tab where you can set the size of the toolbar icons.

KDE4 is Just EZ (1)

soloport (312487) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807511)

KDE 4.2.2

Click the settings (yellow yin-yang) icon on the far right. Click the Hight button (center of settings bar). Drag up or down to grow or shrink icon size. You can make the icons virtually any size you want.

Wasn't that easy?

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (2, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806941)

I know KDE is a mostly voluntary effort but in the current situation of over 50,000 bugs

Take a memo: Since when has the number of opened bugs, certainly in an open bug tracking system, ever reflected the general quality of any software? How many of those bugs are actually relevant? How many of them are just arguments over functionality? Have they been triaged? Your argument is meaningless if what you've linked to hasn't been filtered. All it tells me is that people obviously care about what is going on in KDE 4.

I tried the latest KDE on a 2.4 GHz, 512MB RAM system with an on board graphics card and I must say I was underwhelmed. The system (Kubuntu) was so slow.

Well, for an awful lot of people it hasn't been. If you want people to take notice of what you say then you'll have to qualify those claims further with specifics because I'm afraid just saying it doesn't make it true.

I had to say this otherwise I know I will be castigated for saying what is true and is on my mind.

Wow. It's true is it? I didn't know ;-).

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807027)

...Your argument is meaningless if what you've linked to hasn't been filtered...

So you haven't even bothered to find out have you? Amazing. What I linked to were confirmed bugs. Now for what I know about bugs, "they should not be there in the first place". Are you proud of any bugs?

And who said the number of bugs define the quality of the software? Come on...bugs however small or "insignificant", should not be there. Period. Get it?

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807101)

So you haven't even bothered to find out have you? Amazing. What I linked to were confirmed bugs.

Says who? I don't think you know what goes on in Bugzilla in any project, how it works or whether most of what is in there there is actually representative. Regardless of what has or hasn't been marked as confirmed in Bugzilla that snapshot still needs triaging to see whether it is indicative of the current quality of the project. You just linked to it because thought it proved something. Sorry, but it doesn't. Bugzilla never does.

Come on...bugs however small or "insignificant", should not be there. Period. Get it?

Uh, huh. I'm sure every software project would love to have zero bugs but the bizarre thing is, no one has ever achieved that. It's funny that. Haven't you noticed? You're trying to hold KDE to a level that no software project has ever achieved anywhere, and to try and do so for your own ends is obviously just plain daft.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807149)

I should also add that the graph that you have used to 'back up' what you're saying only confirms that as a software project gets more complex and popular the number of bugs increases - over a period of years. Well stone me. I never would have thought that. It doesn't give any picture on the current state of the project at all.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806957)

I tried the latest KDE on a 2.4 GHz, 512MB RAM system with an on board graphics card and I must say I was underwhelmed.

Buy some RAM, they are practically giving it away for free. KDE4 is not really meant for low end machines (yet).

KDE4 is also very quick to expose bad video drivers. A while ago nvidia sucked, now it rocks (mostly) - whereas the Intel driver is in bad interim state.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807071)

Er, really? I still seeing people complaining about using KDE with nvidia driver on nvnews forum. I am using an nvidia card and planning to switch to KDE 4.3 when it is out so I need to know if it will work properly or not.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807485)

Er, really? I still seeing people complaining about using KDE with nvidia driver on nvnews forum. I am using an nvidia card and planning to switch to KDE 4.3 when it is out so I need to know if it will work properly or not.

Yes, my nvidia chip works fine on Jaunty (stock nvidia driver, not self-built one), unlike the intel chip I have at work. Resizing is still not perfect, but it's pretty much a smooth ride now.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807147)

Buy some RAM, they are practically giving it away for free. KDE4 is not really meant for low end machines (yet).

Why? kde3+compiz ran fine on less than that.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807765)

Why? kde3+compiz ran fine on less than that.

Who knows - maybe the devs thought it's more important to drive the technology forward instead of implementing yet another lightweight desktop environment.

Most probably, though, it's just about different parts of the stack evolving separately from each other (Qt, KDE, X, drivers), and it's taking some time for everything to get optimized.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807139)

Weird. I am using kubuntu at the office on a P4 3GHz, 512 MB of RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce 6200 (that card is so wimpy that it uses passive cooling) and it runs great. No slowdowns or anything like that.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (2, Interesting)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807265)

Not a flame but Kubuntu is terribly slow, in my experience. I tried it and moved to openSuse 11.1; I got a much better experience, even on cheap hw (1.7Ghz, 1Gb, intel graphics).
I've heard it speculated that KDE is not a terribly high priority for Canonical, whereas the reverse is true with Suse. Don't know whether its true, but my experience definitely jibs with it.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

Snarky McButtface (1542357) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807695)

I see this complaint about KDE often and wonder how so many others are having a very different experience than me. I am currently using 262.6 MB of the 1 GB of RAM I have and 26 MB of that is due to the system monitor running. The processor is just an AMD Socket 939 something or other. I am running Kubuntu 9.04 and my system is very responsive. I do not doubt that others are having a very different experience than me but I do wonder why.

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807701)

You have to split your number into 17451 bugs and 15561 wishes

And in the last year more bugs have been closed than opened:
https://bugs.kde.org/weekly-bug-summary.cgi?tops=20&days=365

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807773)

That 5000 doesn't really mean what you think it does.

If there is a bug with kpacman, it goes on that list. If there is a problem with kbackgammon, it goes there. Problem with ktorrent, kopete, kcalc, koffice... you guessed it - they all go on the KDE bugzilla.

Most people base their desktop assumptions on Windows and how few tools and extras it comes with. KDE is much more massive while yet retaining modularity.

By the way, is your system going slow, change kwin to openbox in systemsettings. That is KDE 4 using the lighter window manager for it's desktop. Seems like a solution since you don't care about visuals. (It still looks great, though.)

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807835)

I left off a zero :)

50000.

But then, the report you are linking to is not reflective of KDE 4 (which was more or less built from scratch.)

That report has bugs from KDE 1.x and so on.

Hopefully, when KDE 3.5.x is officially no longer supported, they will just mark all bugs below version 4.0 as 'fixed in upstream.' ('Won't fix' would be more accurate, but semantics are important. I can just imagine the Slashdot article KDE closes 40000 bugs after refusing to fix them.)

Re:I wish they would focus their energies elsewher (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807903)

Windows 2000 Pro is well-known to have had over 64,000 bugs on release, and it's widely considered one of the best Windows versions ever made. I don't see how the bug count is relevant.

Existing Features (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806775)

How about get 4.x as stable as 3.5x before we start moving forward?

Re:Existing Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806809)

How about you start using a sane distribution rather than freaking Kubuntu? It's got to be the lamest distro on the planet.

Mandriva 2009! for KDE, not the worthless Kubuntu (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806903)

Mandriva is a sane, stable distro that is tweaked for KDE and not Gnome. Kubuntu is garbage.

Seriously, Mandriva is really nice.

Re:Mandriva 2009! for KDE, not the worthless Kubun (2, Insightful)

lordtoran (1063300) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807117)

Definitely agree. I tinkered with Kubuntu for two releases, then went back to Mandriva because it is a KDE distro that Just Works.

And the Control Center is awesome :-)

Re:Mandriva 2009! for KDE, not the worthless Kubun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807187)

kubuntu is like driving a sports car on its rims with no tires!

Re:Existing Features (1)

oever (233119) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806967)

I'm happy with it. You think it is not sane and lame. Without further information that does not help me. Perhaps you could do a more in depth comparison of Kubuntu with a few other distros that are more sane and less lame. You seem to have made up your conclusion already, but I am nevertheless interested in such a comparison.

Re:Existing Features (4, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806897)

You do know it took seven years for the 3.x codebase to stabilize, right?

Re:Existing Features (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807133)

Yup, but they made it a *priority* to get there. I don't get the same feeling of commitment with 4.x, especially with stories like this.

Re:Existing Features (3, Insightful)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807239)

You see news about this, but not about the millions of bug fixes that go in for a particular component. Pushing out stories about new ideas does not mean there is no polishing going behind the scenes. There is quite a lot, and if you see lack of "polish" remember also that manpower, especially for some KDE areas, is quite limited.

Re:Existing Features (2)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807031)

How about get 4.x as stable as 3.5x before we start moving forward?

Hmmmm. Maybe because software doesn't stand still and those that do become irrelevant curiosities promoted by irrelevant people?

Since KDE 4 is a different desktop to KDE 3 with different libraries, tools, applications and functionality I don't know how you can compare both with a statement such as 'as stable as' because it just assumes the two can be compared. KDE 3 took a number of point releases itself before it became 'stable' in the eyes of many people (I notice you wrote KDE 3.5x) and I would imagine that would be the case for KDE 4 as well. So, they should focus on making KDE 4 as 'stable' (however you choose to define that) as KDE 3.5x...........but they had to get to a point release of 3.5.x to actually achieve that 'stability' and they should ditch all new functionality in the meantime to get there?! Logically, that's just stupid. I know of no software project that has managed to defy logic like that.

Re:Existing Features (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807887)

I almost wish I hadn't commented on this story just so I could mod you up.

This post is exactly what people seem to miss in comparing the two. I almost wish that KDE could have been called something else so it could skip the comparisons - even though 4.x is the perfect evolution of KDE 3

Re:Existing Features (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807039)

Mankind needs goals. Just like the mars mission:
On first sight quite useless, but the side-effects will catapult us forward.

Re:Existing Features (1)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807173)

4.2 is quite stable and very usable. I've been using it in a virtual machine to do video editing with kdenlive. (It was quicker to grab the .iso torrent for Intrepid and share some directories than to upgrade my whole box.) I understand that with jaunty they're backporting 3.5.[whatever] for us diehards who are afraid of change, but after fiddling around with it 4.2 for a while, I actually became used to it. (Though, I was having problems with some settings "sticking" but am not sure if its a problem with KDE or hte virtual machine.)

Re:Existing Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807179)

Yeah, let's go for that.
Akregator is always miscounting feeds,
Amarok crashes regularly,
Akregator crashes regularly,
weird black spots show up in Firefox,
and KWin distorts the screen a little bit when I change desktops, then it doesn't bother to re-draw it.

Besides, wouldn't noob help just be like an IRC channel? Just point them to the IRC client and the KDE help channel.

Re:Existing Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27807359)

Because the same people who implement new features aren't exactly the same people that work on stability. Not only that, if you put twice as much people on a single task you will not get the end result in half the time.

Keeping the Open Source Desktop Relevant (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806893)

Like it or lump it, I see KDE as the only open source desktop trying, or even able to, to keep open source desktops relevant and on the radar with people with respect to what the proprietary competition is doing and will be able to do in the future - graphics, resolution independence, development tools and libraries, searching with semantic meaning....... With the foundation of all of that in KDE 4 they have the ability to create actual tools, applications and widgets that can make the social desktop a reasonable reality rather than just creating the appearance of it with hastily put together front-ends to Facebook because that foundation isn't there. I'll mention no names there.

Without this stuff going on then the open source desktop is just where CDE ended up - a woefully inadequate alternative that saw itself as 'good enough' when the rest of the world said 'No' and moved on to Mac OS and Windows. Until people wise up to that all we'll have in the open source desktop world is a bunch of sad people arguing about what the 'default' desktop is in a Linux distribution that well over 90% of the world have never heard of and have no reason whatsoever to use. If Psystar wins its case that will probably get several times more difficult and Apple will make a crapload of cash bizarrely, but I digress.

KDE is actually repeating the CDE mistake (4, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807395)

Without this stuff going on then the open source desktop is just where CDE ended up - a woefully inadequate alternative that saw itself as 'good enough' when the rest of the world said 'No' and moved on to Mac OS and Windows.

Quite the opposite. CDE, in fact, was trying to do too much: it had many things that came to other platforms much later, including styles, theming, remote access, config databases, scalability, and GUI scripting. And the people who owned CDE thought that because it was ahead of the competition, they could charge a premium for it. Meanwhile, in the PC market, companies were pushing out low-cost machines with crappy and cumbersome low-level GUI libraries by the millions.

KDE is repeating the CDE mistake: instead of focusing on what people need right now and doing a really good job at it, KDE is trying to realize some long term pie-in-the-sky technical visions of its developers that no user asked for.

Re:KDE is actually repeating the CDE mistake (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807953)

KDE is repeating the CDE mistake: instead of focusing on what people need right now and doing a really good job at it, KDE is trying to realize some long term pie-in-the-sky technical visions of its developers that no user asked for.

Since CDE's greatest mistake was charging premium for it, I'd say KDE is not doing anything wrong.
I used to be a Gnome fan myself, but nowadays KDE appeals to me much more.

anti-social apps (4, Insightful)

ifeelswine (1546221) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806927)

am i the only one that pines for anti-social applications? and in this case a desktop? i don't want a picture of me smiling gaily or puking my guts out on facebook. i don't want my professional qualifications smeared across the interweb. i don't want to 'tweet' my latest bowel movement to the universe. 1. write app to crawl the interweb and cleanse the world of references to your name 2. ??? 3. profit!

Re:anti-social apps (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#27808001)

You could just... not use the feature.

I don't get why people like you always have to complain instead of just saying "huh," and going on to *ignore* the thing you don't like. If you don't like it, don't use it. Period. The end.

it's already here (2, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807199)

The "social desktop" is already here. It consists of web sites, site specific browsers, instant messenger apps, feed readers, desktop notification, and widgets. Some people also still use local mail, calendar, and address book apps.

What is KDE trying to contribute to that? Even more heavy-weight local apps and new protocols? How are they going to keep up with the rapidly evolving set of protocols and features available through web apps? And why bother?

I think KDE suffers from a serious case of paradigm envy: they keep wanting to revolutionize the desktop instead of just focusing on what works and coming up with specific, useful, incremental improvements.

Re:it's already here (3, Interesting)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807303)

One of the major ideas behind the Social Desktop is desktop network transparency [wordpress.com] .

Re:it's already here (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807423)

Yeah, actually read that page and think about it: to share a workspace, KDE is developing APIs, distributed data storage, services, and new desktop apps/widgets.

Meanwhile, people who actually need to do this open a Google Doc or Spreadsheet in their browser and are done with it. If they need to go off-line, they use Google Gears. (I'm just giving Google as an example, there are many other similar multi-user web apps.)

Re:it's already here (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807521)

Well there is a difference: google is centralized, a social KDE network would be more of a P2P.
But I'd still go through the browser. I hope they go as much as possible with existing protocols.

Re:it's already here (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807931)

And P2P is better... how? How is that data backed up and replicated? What's gonna happen when some users whose data I rely on upgrade to KDE5 and stuff starts failing?

Running these services centralized has a lot of advantages.

Re:it's already here (1)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807541)

Google's done it, so everyone else should give up?

A proprietary solution is being developed so free software should give up?

I'm having trouble seeing your point.

Re:it's already here (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807951)

Which part of "I'm just giving Google as an example, there are many other similar multi-user web apps." did you not understand?

The point is: go ahead and implement open source equivalents, but don't waste your time on developing heavy-weight C++ desktop apps.

PDF made with Mac OS, not KDE? (1)

omz (834760) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807559)

Mmmm. the PDF linked in TFA was created with "Apple Keynote 4.0.3"

Does it run on KDE ;-)

Re:PDF made with Mac OS, not KDE? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807713)

Mmmm. the PDF linked in TFA was created with "Apple Keynote 4.0.3"

Does it run on KDE ;-)

Yes. I have osx86 running in VMware under KDE just fine.

freenode (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 4 years ago | (#27807927)

I know a lot of people have been criticizing IRC as means of getting the help you need in regards to a lot of BOFH's and just random jerks, but ever since I joined freenode I've found that there's a good portion of people very willing to help regardless of your skill level. it only starts to tick off the ops and regulars when someone has a hard time forming their question.. I've got a lot of patience with newbies, but sometimes it just gets out of hand.. if you read the manual, readme's, help documentation, and google'd your problem and still have issues, then you should easily be able to form a proper question that most anybody would be willing to lend a hand with..
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