Sonntag, 9. November 2008

KDE4.1 rant

I am a long-time KDE user, and always enjoyed the high functionality and pretty good UI performance of KDE3/QT3.

Since KDE-4.0.1 I try KDE4 based distributions from time to time, and I am quite unhappy.
What really hurts is that QT4's window-redrawing is as slow as GTK's, maybe even slower - even if trolltech advertises it as x-times faster.
Furthermore it seems design and eye-candy has (had?) higher priority than functionality - a lot of common stuff is not implemented or doesn't work as expected. They even maintain their own HTML engine, but are not able to get the basic desktop right.

KDE-3.5 is phased out by many distributions, so I'll have a look at Gnome. However I hope the gnome project will go different ways than its founder and innovate instead of just cloning others technologies.

After so many harsh words, I would like to say thanks to all who made linux on desktop reality. My discomfort with KDE4 is only caused by the high standards (your work) I've become used to in the past.


Krashan hat gesagt…

This is exactly what scared me away from Kubuntu 8.10 to Ubuntu 8.10. I've been using KDE for years, but 4.1 being the only option in the new Kubuntu is unacceptable to me. I's just not ready for market yet - putting eyecandies over usability.

Sinok hat gesagt…

Well, it's mainly that they are at the begining of their cycle, if I do remember well, kde3 wasn't really usable before 3.2 and became realy great for 3.5.

Moreover, their redrawing problems is quite often caused by video drivers, the one you had to struggle with on your project. Especially NVidia ones. For NVidia related problems you can find solutions there.
It makes KDE 4.1 quite usable.

Anyway, 4.2 is announing itself as a finally usable release, try to follow what is happening on
Just remember that they released the 4.0 version in order to let developpers port their apps to the kde4 frameworks.

BTW, Gnome 2 at its beggining was far worse than KDE4 is at the moment...

Krashan hat gesagt…

True. I didn't say, however, that KDE4 shouldn't be released with Kubuntu at all. I'd just like to have choice - KDE3 or KDE4 - just like it was with Kubuntu 8.04.

I didn't observe NVidia-related problems, maybe because I have pretty old one (FX5700 AFAIR)

What I miss the most in KDE4:
* scalable kicker panels that fallback multiline when wide enough (especially for tray and application chooser applets)
* "quick launch" applet that allows multiline/multicolumn icons
* icon previews on desktop

Linuxhippy hat gesagt…

I think the idea behind KDE4, to clean up everything and make it more flexible and cleaner is a really noble thing.

The performance problems are not only related to the drivers, but also QT.
QT4 does some quite stupid things, which hurt.

What I was angry about was that it seems a lot of time was dedicated to eye-candy, sometimes useless animations like the konsole-color-scheme selector, but on the other side I can't even move elements in "Kicker".

Sébastien hat gesagt…

Well moving the elements of the panel (the remplacement of the kicker) is possible in 4.1, you just have to click the cashew on the extreme right of the panel, wich allows you to configure the panel and by the way to move the elements it contains... Some distros even had it in 4.0...

Linuxhippy hat gesagt…

Oh, so it seems possible, my fault.

However I did not find howto do it, nore did one of my colleauges - and also on the Kubuntu mailing list people are complaining about this.
Maybe its a serious usability problem which should be thought about...

blackbelt_jones hat gesagt…

I was as distressed as anyone when Kubuntu went all KDE4, but I went ahead and bit the bullet. I started using KDE4 on Kubuntu because I didn't want to have to keep switching distros to avoid KDE4.

I've been using the KDE4.2 in beta. It may be released by now; I'm not sure. There have been significant improvements, but here's my appraisal:

Even now, if I could go on using KDE 3 forever on any distro, I would prefer that. KDE 4 doesn't fit quite as smoothly into my work methods as KDE3 did.

However, there are some advantages. The most significant is that I've actually come to prefer Dolphin to Konqueror as a graphical Desktop.

And the bottom line is that KDE4 is perfectly useable and, in my opinion, still far more powerful than Gnome or XFCE. Konqueror and now Dolphin both have the ability, which as far as I know, nautilus does not have , to create a graphical link to any location or application anywhere in the filesystem. This opens up all kinds of possibilities for organizing your desktop, and makes it possible to add graphical desktop icons to a window manager like fluxbox or fvwm simply by opening Konqueror or Dolphin.

It's still KDE, and while I'm not finding a lot of use for most of the new features, other people are, and I don't want to stand in the way of their fun. This may turn out to be the price we pay sometimes, for the rapid advancement of FOSS technologies. The changes may not always be exactly to our liking.

Other users are find