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KDE 4.5 Released

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the newer-and-shinier dept.

KDE 302

An anonymous reader writes "KDE 4.5.0 has been released to the world. See the release announcement for details. Highlights include a Webkit browser rendering option for Konqueror, a new caching mechanism for a faster experience and a re-worked notification system. Another new feature is Perl bindings, in addition to Python, Ruby and JavaScript support. The Phonon multimedia library now integrates with PulseAudio. See this interview with KDE developer and spokesperson Sebastian Kugler on how KDE can continue to be innovative in the KDE4 age. Packages should be available for most Linux distributions in the coming days. More than 16000 bug fixes were committed since 4.4."

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W00t (4, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213298)

Now we can have a thread with KDE haters AND PA haters in it!

Re:W00t (4, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213332)

Seriously though, phonon has pluggable backends, and this does not mean the PulseAudio is going to be compulsory for KDE users, any more than its DirectShow integration makes MS Windows compulsory for KDE users.

Re:W00t (2, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213386)

Seriously though, phonon has pluggable backends, and this does not mean the PulseAudio is going to be compulsory for KDE users, any more than its DirectShow integration makes MS Windows compulsory for KDE users.

I really appreciate this feature. Instead of just hearing sound from speakers, I find it tremendously important to be able to "plug my own backend" to hear it, you know, somehow differently.

Re:W00t (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213426)

Or your distributor can plug in the best backend on your OS (yeah, they really might be different on Solaris, BSD, Linux, Windows and Mac) so that you can get sound from your speakers.

Of course if you're an obsessive tinkerer or your distributor ships you a broken version of a particular backend then you have the option to fix it yourself too.

Stu J (who can't be bothered to register and account)

Re:W00t (0, Troll)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213472)

Or your distributor can plug in the best backend on your OS (yeah, they really might be different on Solaris, BSD, Linux, Windows and Mac) so that you can get sound from your speakers.

It should be a compile time option or something - at least there should be no GUI to change the backend. Exposing the backend selection in gui makes it a "reasonable" thing for a user to do, which should not be the case at all.

Re:W00t (2, Informative)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213500)

To be fair, I did have to do this once. Kubuntu shipped with one that was broken by default, at least on my system.

Re:W00t (0)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213590)

To be fair, I did have to do this once. Kubuntu shipped with one that was broken by default, at least on my system.

Me too. I don't consider that a good thing - I'd rather have just the working backend; not as a default, but as the only option.

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213748)

Eat my goatse hole you dummy.

Re:W00t (0)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213992)

To be fair, I did have to do this once. Kubuntu shipped with one that was broken by default, at least on my system.

Me too. That's why I'm complaining! In Gnome world I haven't needed to think about backends for a long, long time.

Re:W00t (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214434)

1) That option IS in gnome (in gstreamer-properties )
2) Even with that option, gnome (by default on ubuntu at least), is "use PulseAudio or no sound* for you" (I don't remember exactly, but I think the "fix" is to remove libpulse-mainloop-glib0, and install a SDL version that supports alsa/oss/whatever you are using to replace pulseaudio ).
3) The KDE audio backend option is a godsend if you use wine (I had problems with (no) sound in games when using PulseAudio that went away by disabling it)

Note: I actually like pulseaudio, but (in my case) until wine starts to work with/around pulseaudio and/or viceversa, or until mayor distros start packaging osspd ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/osspd ), pluggable audio backends are a good idea. And (probably) will still be a good idea for people that uses OSSv4.

Re:W00t (0, Redundant)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214084)

To be fair, I did have to do this once. Kubuntu shipped with one that was broken by default, at least on my system.

Me too, that's why I'm complaining. On Gnome & Ubuntu, you don't need to think of backends - it's pulseaudio or bust.

Re:W00t (1, Funny)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214266)

Sorry about redundant posts. Slashdot web backend seemed to be failing badly.

Re:W00t (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213564)

Why not? Compiling to change an option is not user-friendly.

Re:W00t (2, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213830)

This is a rather flawed argument: it's in the "Computer Administration" section, which is obviously not for playing with randomly as one might with "Look & Feel". If you go there without knowing what you're doing and break things, you were going to break your computer anyway.

In general, I would rather that developers keep obscure options available, (with sane defaults, and under an "Advanced" tab or similar) than remove them in case idiots play with them. If you don't agree with me, you're welcome to use Gnome, which has a tendency towards removing potentially confusing things, or indeed to buy a Mac, but it's not really fair to criticise KDE for allowing power users to mess with stuff if that's what they want to do, since an awful lot of KDE users like the configurability, and the rest just avoid clicking "Advanced >>".

Also, the Phonon KCM provides useful features other than backend selection, such as specifying priority of audio devices ("use my USB headset if it's plugged in, otherwise use my sound card").

Re:W00t (2, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214118)

It's KDE. Any change is a reasonable change for a user to do. That's why I use it.

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214204)

You sound like a Gnome user...

Re:W00t (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214208)

Or your distributor can plug in the best backend on your OS (yeah, they really might be different on Solaris, BSD, Linux, Windows and Mac) so that you can get sound from your speakers.

It should be a compile time option or something - at least there should be no GUI to change the backend. Exposing the backend selection in gui makes it a "reasonable" thing for a user to do, which should not be the case at all.

Compile-time? Why? Phonon is designed so that *all* backends that work with your OS can be provided and users can change backends in run-time without any applications having to handle anything, or even needing to be aware that anything has changed. Why should it be "unreasonable" for a user to select backends?

From Wikipedia:

Phonon can switch multimedia frameworks on the fly. The user can switch between frameworks even while listening to music, with only a slight pause during the switch. This change will also be system wide, affecting all applications that use Phonon, so changing frameworks will be much easier.

Re:W00t (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214346)

Compile-time? Why? Phonon is designed so that *all* backends that work with your OS can be provided and users can change backends in run-time without any applications having to handle anything, or even needing to be aware that anything has changed. Why should it be "unreasonable" for a user to select backends?

How often do windows/mac users change their audio backend?

Re:W00t (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213738)

I guess you're being sarcastic, but some people do want to use network-transparent audio systems, for example.

Re:W00t (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213764)

I gave the example of MS Windows especially so that people would realise that different types of computer require audio to be output using different systems. I can't tell whether you're implying that KDE developers getting to use a unified audio API across different operating systems complicates the user experience in some way, or that you are somebody who pointedly doesn't care how things work internally, in which case I'm not sure why you bothered replying.

Re:W00t (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214594)

I can't tell whether you're implying that KDE developers getting to use a unified audio API across different operating systems complicates the user experience in some way, or that you are somebody who pointedly doesn't care how things work internally, in which case I'm not sure why you bothered replying.

Phonon in KDE *is* a user-visible entity. You have to priorize different backends, etc. You can also enjoy nice error messages about Phonon backends not working when running KDE programs inside Gnome.

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214148)

Phonon is just an API, the end user never has to configure it.

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214504)

Well maybe hearing it, you know, somehow differently is not the point of phonon. Maybe it is so that application developers have a simple api to use so that sound in their app works no matter what sound back end the distro decides to package. You know, without having to code each and every app to work with all the different back ends on all the different platforms.

Re:W00t (2, Interesting)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213376)

Frankly, not supporting PA well has been the most ridiculous shortcoming in KDE (after networkmanager). It has been the "no audio desktop environment" lately, but this appears to be fixed now.

Re:W00t (3, Informative)

zsitvaij (1150191) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213582)

I've been using KDE since 4.2 with PA, often using the ability to output to another PA instance on the network, reliably, on Gentoo and Ubuntu, mainly using Amarok. You are trolling hard and fast.

Re:W00t (2, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214198)

Frankly, not supporting PA well has been the most ridiculous shortcoming in KDE (after networkmanager).

I am puzzled at what this networkmanager problem you state is/was? been using kde since 2002 and networkmanager has been around at least five years plus on my fedora system.

In regards to kde and PA, ever since PA graced it's ugly head some years ago (fedora users are always first for every new system, yay for bugs) it's been no more buggy than under other window managers.

Professionals use jack for their whole sound system anyway.

Re:W00t (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214550)

I think he's speaking about the fact that networkmanager integration in early KDE 4.x releases was EXTREMELY deficient.

If I recall correctly, Ubuntu had to pretty much write their own NM interface for KDE 4.x, and on my one remaining Gentoo box, I had to run the KDE 3.5 networkmanager applet for quite a while to have any sort of networkmanager functionality.

Re:W00t (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213484)

It does amaze me, as someone who tried the 'modern' Linux desktop several times over the past 15 years and always came away shaking my head, that audio support within Linux is still a topic that prompts regular discussion - when I am on Windows or OSX, I don't even know what the audio subsystem is called because its never been an issue, Ive never had to tinker with it. Hell, for the past 5 years I haven't even needed to install drivers and its still produced beautiful sound.

I can't comment on the rest of the Linux UI experience (my Linux knowledge is firmly positioned in the headless server region), but come on - audio is something that shouldn't even be on a users agenda for worrying about these days.

Re:W00t (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213532)

I don't even know what the audio subsystem is called because its never been an issue, Ive never had to tinker with it. Hell, for the past 5 years I haven't even needed to install drivers and its still produced beautiful sound.

Yeah, that's been my experience with GNU/Linux as well.

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213648)

Mine too, as long as I just did what I was supposed to and only expected gnome-apps to interact with pulse-audio, while for example audacity or skype (which is made to require pulse, but works much better with plain alsa) locked up my soundcard making parallel outputs impossible without researching how to use the "famous" dmix-plugin and finding a (even better documented ;)) way for setting the default pulse-sink to the created device with my recent version of pulse.......

Re:W00t (2)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213722)

Wait until you need something like SP/DIF output to work, or want to actually make it run natively at 44.1KHz instead of the abomination that is 48Khz.

Re:W00t (0, Troll)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213628)

Hell, for the past 5 years I haven't even needed to install drivers and its still produced beautiful sound.

Great, so Linux is so far behind the other OSes that the other OSes are only at least six years behind Linux. I've never once installed audio drivers in Linux, and have used it since 1999.

Re:W00t (4, Interesting)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213974)

Linux sound works perfectly for me now that Pulseaudio is stabilized. And it is great, I no longer use the system volume like I did in the past, I have a pulseaudio plasmoid which shows a volume bar for every app streaming audio and I tweak the bars as I like. I still see many people who like to bash Pulseaudio, but most of them seem to talk about the Pulseaudio of one or two years ago. In the latest releases of Ubuntu and Fedora I did google for any review that would talk about pulseaudio or any kind of sound problems. It turns out I found several reviews talking about how the new release had fixed the audio problems they had in previous releases, and only one talking about new audio problems. So it seems to me that Linux audio has got fixed and greatly improved with PA, but I don't think the PA haters will admit it.

Re:W00t (2, Interesting)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214020)

Well. audio support is no KDE4 issue. They did everything right with Phonon.

Re:W00t (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214590)

I don't know if it is Phonon or Amarok-specific, but I can tell you that for whatever reason, AmaroK completely screws up my system sound every time I use it.

Music played within Amarok will play fine, but everything else becomes silent until I fire up MythTV and watch something, as Myth seems to do a pretty thorough reset of my system's audio output settings once it finishes playback, while AmaroK seems to leave them hanging in a wacky state.

Re:W00t (2, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214650)

If something completely screws up your system sound, it's the system sound's fault. No app should be able to do that, no matter how broken.

Re:W00t (1, Informative)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214080)

I have never needed to tinker with my audio for the last 8 years with Linux.

I've had a Pentium 2, an AMD 2800 and currently a Phenome 9950 X4. My Eee PC 900 (Celeron version) was also just working. An Pentium Dual Core Dell office pc and a Dell Precision with a Core 2 Duo...

Audio problems? Linux? I know some Alsa drivers are truly crappy. So crappy and buggy that PulseAudio doesn't work. But PulseAudio never failed me, except once with that Dell Precision for the first two Ubuntu releases that shipped PulseAudio but after that the driver got fixed.

I have been not installing drivers for all my computers in 8 years with Linux.

I suggest you always do your homework before you buy your new computer, instead of afterwards. Saves you a whooooooooole lot of trouble.

Re:W00t (4, Informative)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214094)

I think you will find that pulseaudio is able to quite a lot more than just play sounds. E.g, you can have one program play in your speakers and another in your usb headphones. The mainstay of the discussion is whether anyone needs this, and whether pulseaudio is bugfree enough for everyday use. The bit you mention has been solved by ALSA for a long time now.

Re:W00t (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214578)

I've found this to be incredibly useful. I can play a movie that only I can hear on my headphones, while still playing music for whoever is in the vicinity.

Re:W00t (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214308)

I never managed to make the audio system in Windows XP behave as i would like. I have 2 sound output devices(Headphones and an usb headset) and I never managed to
control which software did output to which sound device. And I also miss a Windows application to control the sound level on an "per application" level. And features such as redirect audio to other computers.

So part of the reason the linux audio system is still in a bit of a flux is that it is designed to do so much more then windows, thus making it much more difficult to design and implement. The other reason is that because there have newer been a single audio system/api different apps use different apis and this causes each sound system to add api emulation for the other sound systems which is quite a mess, and the emulation is not always that god.

Pulse audio is quite good until you use an old legacy app which only support oss. Then it will use the oss emulation api in pulseaudio-oss which atleast for me causes more then 1 second audio delay because the audio buffer is not flushed until it is full.

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214536)

The trouble is that in order to fulfil those relatively rare requirements (ouputting separate sound to two devices), the commonest case (just play the damn sound already) has been unreliable for many years. Probably 90% of users aren't interested in sending different sound to different output, nor sending it over a network.

I still find that, when I resume my computer from standby, sound doesn't come back reliably. At other times, certain applications just suddenly go mute, and won't come back until ALSA is reloaded. Probably I could find a reason and a 'fix' on a forum somewhere, but from previous experience, it's not worth my time to do so.

Your point about the multiple APIs is probably key. We really need to standardise on one system and make it work. But even now, there's a post below extolling the virtues of OSS4 instead of the more common ALSA/PA combo.

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213540)

Don't forget JS!

Re:W00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213584)

The hate for both is well deserved. KDE 4.x has a lot of good ideas in it, but things like Akonadi and Nepomuk ruin everything. But hey, at least the picture viewer is better than anything else *nix has to offer and Dolphin is sexy! Now, PulseAudio on the other hand hasn't got anything to brag about. Well, unless you consider the total annihilation of sound on the GNU/Linux desktop something to brag about.

Re:W00t (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213696)

Personally, I love the new OSS. What I don't love, is the pain in the ass procedure to get it installed. I'm no guru, but I'm no dummy either. It took me about 3 hours to get OSS4 installed. Yeah, it was GREAT - but it was just to much sweat. Every once in a while, I do another search for a distro that ships with OSS4 instead of PA/ALSA. No luck so far.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/list-of-distributions-that-have-oss4-in-their-repos-683617/ [linuxquestions.org]

why would you not just use dwm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213334)

if i wanted to get raped by a mouse i would just go to a pet store, buy one and shove it up my ass

Re:why would you not just use dwm (5, Funny)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213390)

if i wanted to get raped by a mouse i would just go to a pet store, buy one and shove it up my ass

So you have a pluggable backend too?

notifications (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213392)

i like the new notification system, but it still feels hacked together.
if you close tabs or subwindows in your notification it resizes in a jerky way.
doesnt feel really smooth and looks unprofessional.
it would be nice if you could make the notifications "transparent" in front of
certain windows (the way its done with the ubuntu notifications).
it annoys me to no end having notifications pop up, while you are gaming.
but i hope they will fix that in later releases.

Re:notifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214310)

... resizes in a jerky way. doesnt feel really smooth and looks unprofessional.

That has been my experience with plasma in general (4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4). I see they still haven't polished it in 4.5. I can put up with stuff like that, ie. restart plasma if one of the plamoids on my panel enters an endless resizing flicker loop, or when it eats too much memory. But I'm sure as hell not recommending KDE 4 to non-power users who'd just find it a low quality product. It's pretty much the vista of the Linux desktop, I'm wondering when are they planning to release the win7 of the Linux desktop.
(Disclaimer: I've never actually used vista, the comparison is based on anecdotal reputation)

Re:notifications (2, Informative)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214340)

"but i hope they will fix that in later releases."

This is basically now the KDE mantra.

I remember when I used to be excited by new KDE releases. Now I just greet every new one with a sense of dread at what they've broken this time.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213400)

Still fugly and inconsistent I see :( I really want to like it.

Re:hmmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213440)

Fuck KDE. Seriously, who wants a desktop with a smelly foot on it?

Re:hmmm (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213470)

Fuck KDE. Seriously, who wants a desktop with a smelly foot on it?

smelly foot = Gnome

Re:hmmm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213496)

Who cares? All this Lunix shit is the same. It's all a bunch of basement-dwelling neckbeards furiously masturbating to Richard M. Stallman's hairy, stinky asshole. Speaking of which, I'm sure it was rms' decision to put a foot [youtube.com] on the desktop of all versions of the Linux OS with no easy way to remove it.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213728)

I'm sure it was rms' decision to put a foot [youtube.com] on the desktop of all versions of the Linux OS with no easy way to remove it.

What, you don't keep your snacks in your socks?

I thought everybody was doing it.

Re:hmmm (0)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213672)

Fuck Gnome. Seriously, who wants a desktop with a smelly foot on it?

There, fixed that for you.

KDE 4.5 Released (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213504)

Still a long way away from 23.2 ;-)

Bug fixed (3, Insightful)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213526)

More than 16000 bug fixes were committed since 4.4

I'm not really sure whether this is a good thing or not.
At least for code quality.

Re:Bug fixed (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213810)

What I am left wondering is if we are going to see more of the same: 16000 bugs fixed, more than 16000 new bugs introduced.

Re:Bug fixed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213870)

More than 16000 bug fixes were committed since 4.4

I'm not really sure whether this is a good thing or not.

At least for code quality.

KDE SC does contain a lot of code. 16000 bugs may sound like a lot, but combined over all the different apps and subsystems it really isn't.

Re:Bug fixed (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214030)

Sure it's good, only (G_64)-16000 left!

Re:Bug fixed (3, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214042)

KDE Code quality is high and they have a KDE review board [kde.org]

Re:Bug fixed (1, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214544)

Just because it complies with some formal coding styles and formatting doesn't say anything about the actual content and sanity of the structure. Very many systems seem to get do-overs on a regular basis.

Re:Bug fixed (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214138)

It's a huge codebase, and it seems it is getting stable just now. Some tens of thousands of fixes more and I can even start thinking about switching to KDE 4 :)

Why do I need KDE? (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213544)

I think I'm the typical techy user. During the day I'll use xterm , open office, firefox and gxine. And maybe one or 2 other apps.
Can someone explain to me why I need a huge resource hungry window manager, sorry - desktop enviroment - like KDE running as my machine? This is a genuine question, not an anti KDE troll. I simply don't get it.

Re:Why do I need KDE? (1)

nOw2 (1531357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214352)

Just for point and click file management really. KDE 3.5's KTerm is quite good but doesn't require the whole desktop running.

Re:Why do I need KDE? (5, Informative)

mystik (38627) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214370)

Because for every one of you, there are 10 (or more) folks that are not techy's and appreciate the richer UI.

You can probably get by w/ e16/fvwm/fluxbox, and be extremely productive. Users who have used Win32 will appreciate a similar UI to help them ease into the power of a linux desktop.

KDE is more than just a desktop Environment, it's a whole programming library and philosophy that unifies a family of applications, so they can interoperate, exchange data, and work together as well as you do.

Re:Why do I need KDE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214646)

If you are happy like that, you don't. Some others do like the eye-candy for changing between virtual desktops or applications, the complete software suite with consistent look and seamless integration etc, and are happy to install a huge resource hungry desktop environment to achieve that. In ideal world, all applications using the same background library should take less memory and inter-operate better than a set of independently developed applications using frameworks of their own. In practice, KDE applications like KOffice and Konqueror/Rekonq are not yet on par with OpenOffice and Firefox and one has to install additional huge and resource hungry libraries, increasing the size of the system even further. Hopefully the KDE applications will catch up soon and we won't need more than one set of huge and resource hungry stuff! Though, the version of KDE runs so well on my tiny netbook that I can't see how my life will be massively improved by that.

Re:Why do I need KDE? (2, Informative)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214652)

In your case, it sounds like a solution in search of a problem. You seem quite able to do your own thing and having to do similar things in KDE's framework might prove to be a stumbling block for your workflow.

That said, for a lot of people who might not be so technical inclined, the KDE desktop *becomes* linux. Sure, in reality, it's just a desktop manager, but for those who choose to avoid digging deeper, KDE for all purposes becomes a metaphor for linux itself. For other people like me (mind you, I'm an OSX user), I don't shy from console work, but I do enjoy the benefits of working with a well designed user interface as it makes my life easier (kind of like using an IDE to write code instead of using vim or a barebones text editor).

The funny thing ... I used to love KDE back in the day. I rode the KDE wave from version 2 to 3.5 and I grew to love tools like Kate and Quanta. I loved all the different settings and figured once I got around to C++, I'd be making code contributions. A year ago, I tried a couple of live CDs and I found myself really liking GNOME over KDE (this was when KDE 4.1 was just released) which gave me a kick. In my absence, I realized I had grown tired of tinkering with a UI and wanted something that just got out of my way. While I have some issues with GNOME, I found it to be pleasant drive around the Linux block. Each to their own, I guess.

KDE is great (4, Interesting)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213562)

I really like KDE and I believe that it needs to be supported better by distributions. Kubuntu is a mess.

The investments of KDE in code quality [englishbre...etwork.org] and design will pay off. Unfortunately runtime quality was lacking, esp. reg. Plasma crashes in earlier versions. KDE is now in a state where it maturates. Here the SC split in three components really makes a whole lot of sense.

Re:KDE is great (3, Informative)

nOw2 (1531357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214254)

I agree Kubuntu is a mess, I installed it recently to try KDE 4.4 and was completely turned off it. Mandriva seem to get KDE right. But I'm still not coming back, not just yet.
I really liked KDE 3.5. KDE 4 turned me off Linux desktops completely - I'm now a Mac user. It'll be years before KDE regains the users lost due to early KDE 4 versions.

KDE is like Ford! (3, Insightful)

yet-another-lobbyist (1276848) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214450)

Yep, that's right! I am still not buying Fords since their disaster model Pinto [wikipedia.org] in the early 1970s. And it'll take them many more decades to regain my trust!
I am not stubborn or anything, but if KDE made a mistake once, they can never be trusted again! Ever! Especially in the software business, where hardly anybody takes any wrong decisions these days.

Re:KDE is great (2, Interesting)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214332)

Kubuntu is a mess.

KDE was always a mess on Debian.

This is odd (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213570)

I am still getting massive RAM usage from plasma-desktop after moving from RC2. I understood it being higher in RC2 but 174mb in Plasma, in the stable version, is extremely odd. Anyone else getting it this high? Not using many plasmoids here, just a pretty standard set of clock and taskbar and such.
Anyway this release is strangely disappointing. I am not even sure of what I was expecting with it but feels the same with a new notification system (still bothersome when doing anything fullscreen, too). Oh well, much better than the old for sure, I think. At least you don't lose notifications forever if you fail to see them (due to being out of the room or doing something fullscreen).

Re:This is odd (2, Informative)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214558)

How do you measure RAM usage? not with top, I hope... Because most of the plasma memory is in fact the pixmaps which are counted thrice (once for the app, once for the xserver, and an extra time in the videocard for the double-buffering)

See, plasma runs on phones [slideshare.net] , so clearly it is not that heavy (not that phones are not pretty powerful these days, but still)...

That's all nice (1, Troll)

overshoot (39700) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213606)

but it would be even better if the robustness were more of a priority.

KDE is doing a Miguel de Icaza lately and imitating Microsoft's "total integration," including their own version of the Registry: akonadi. Which may be nice, but it's also terribly fragile for something that's supposed to hold all of your data. See, for instance, bug 244250 [kde.org] .

Re:That's all nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214518)

If Akonadi was used to store configuration values and used raw C structures written to disk instead of a mysql database, then you'd be right.

Get his name right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33213626)

It's Sebastian Kügler, not Kugler.

Re:Get his name right (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214386)

Or Kuegler, at least. Don't just replace the ü by a u.

Coolest feature yet... (4, Interesting)

orzetto (545509) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213668)

I use the Marble globe with satellite images as a background for my KDE desktop. After upgrading to 4.5 yesterday, I noticed clouds were added to it. "How pretty", I though. It turns out that clouds are not placed randomly for scenic effect, they are actually downloaded images of the current state of clouds all over the planet. Yes I checked yesterday, and today the image is slightly different and still consistent with satellite imagery from weather websites.

Call me easy to impress, but that blew me away.

Re:Coolest feature yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214588)

Yes, you are easy to impress :-)

I've been doing exactly that for years (using xplanet). Yes, it took a (very short) cron script, which I guess is now no longer necessary... except that with KDE3 it was trivial to make each virtual desktop provide a different view of the cloud-covered planet; in KDE4 I've never been able to find a way to duplicate that behaviour.

Lots of new features (-1, Redundant)

overshoot (39700) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213718)

But it would be nice if they put more priority on robustness.

Lately it seems that KDE is doing a Miguel de Icaza: devoted imitation of Microsoft. For instance, the "KDE Registry:" akonadi. Terribly fragile [kde.org] , but it's supposed to keep all of our data without a mechanism for backups.

Um... (0, Offtopic)

YankDownUnder (872956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213732)

Can I run it under Gnome?

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214248)

no but you can run it over Gnome!

KDE vs GNOME (0, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33213950)

There's this huge KDE vs GNOME war that people like to tell you is all politics, that it's just a bunch of rabid overzealots, people on each side are horribly angry and flinging poo...

Of course, GNOME3 articles on Slashdot get tags like "gnome" "linux" "ubuntu" ... KDE gets tags like "shit" and "perl." I think we know who's winning.

Re:KDE vs GNOME (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214318)

For me there never was a war. It's KDE, hands down. The most popular option is never the highest quality.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
-- Matthew 7:13-14

Re:KDE vs GNOME (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214436)

Dunno, Ubuntu is pretty popular. So is Debian.

Re:KDE vs GNOME (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214582)

which basically tells us something about how mature fans of each desktop are...

Konqueror and Webkit? (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214078)

I always thought Konqueror was based on KHTML, which was Webkit by another name. Guess it's time for me to go figure this out.

Re:Konqueror and Webkit? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214372)

Apple forked KHTML, making Webkit. Webkit advanced, was open-sourced, and became popular (Safari, Chrome), but there were some hard feelings between Apple and KHTML before it was open sourced (which is probably why KHTML still exists separately).

Re:Konqueror and Webkit? (3, Insightful)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214402)

KDE + Konqueror gave us KHTML. Apple took KHTML and extended it and gave us WebKit, which ended up being hugely popular, powering Chrome, Palm's WebOS browser, and now Flock as well is switching.

Strangely, WebKit integration back in Konqueror has never been particularly "robust".

Re:Konqueror and Webkit? (3, Interesting)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214618)

Integration is not simply about having an extra widget (which has been there for some time). Integration is about saving sessions, integrating with kwallet.

It is also about providing the API which is used by other applications for purposes other than displaying web pages. All these things, KHTML does, and does well (as well as displaying the web pages), but the webkit kpart needed much development.

Re:Konqueror and Webkit? (2, Informative)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214424)

It's not KHTML by another name, it is a fork of KHTML.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KHTML [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebKit [wikipedia.org]

Webkit has had Apple developing for it in the 8 or 9 years since they created it. It also has a much larger userbase than KHTML since it is used as the basis for Safari, Chrome and many mobile browsers (notably those on Symbian and Android, and of course iOS).

not quite yet for kubuntu... (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214124)

The 64-bit binaries have been released, the 32-bit haven't yet - at least not on the beta ppa.

I upgraded my 64-bit machine over FreeNX this morning and it appears to work fine.

16,000 bug fixes (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214134)

16,000 bug fixes committed.

That's a lot of work, really.

But I don't know whether it's something to be really proud of, as it also means that there were at least 16,000 bugs in KDE 4.4. And no matter how you look at it that's no small number!

Does it still require you to install a RDBMS? (4, Informative)

Nighttime (231023) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214146)

I hopped off the KDE4 train at 4.2 when Akonadi required MySQL as a dependency. IIRC, it can now use PostgreSQL as well, but the point stands: Why do I need a RDBMS to run a desktop?

Re:Does it still require you to install a RDBMS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33214414)

Yes it does, and Im quite sure most users running kde wont mind it...
In my opinion Gnome and KDE are much like windows - as long you stick to the tools supplied by the vendor (in this discussion pulse with gnome,phonon with kde,whichever things windows uses (i guess there have to be at least two there - one old and stable and one new and buggy)) you should be quite fine, but if you want to use other things prepare for a mess.

Re:Does it still require you to install a RDBMS? (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214416)

And if you do, why not just use Sqllite?

Re:Does it still require you to install a RDBMS? (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214458)

Because Akonadi needs a RDBMS to do what it does.

Notification System? (4, Interesting)

yet-another-lobbyist (1276848) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214224)

OK, I didn't check this rigorously (Why should I? This is slashdot!), but it seems to me that every single one of the past five releases of KDE/Kubuntu and Ubuntu featured a significantly improved/totally reworked notification system. Each time I was expecting some breakthrough experience, and it just always looks like a more or less OK notification system. And this is one of the top 5 highlighted features? Was it so broken to begin with? Did it really get so much better? Am I missing something here?
I definitely appreciate very much the developers fixing bugs and making the system more stable and polished. Thanks! However, if some trivial things get sold in an exaggerating way, this may actually not help the image of KDE (GNOME, Linux, etc.). After all, one of the reasons I am using FOSS is because I am really tired of stupid bullshit advertising crap.

A Gnome user that wants to give this a try... (2, Interesting)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214548)

I've been using Gnome on Ubuntu for about 5 years.

I know that Kubuntu is not as polished as Ubuntu. What would be a good KDE distribution to give a try, to see the desktop environment for all it is?

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