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KDE Software GUI Linux

A Screenshot Review of KDE 4 274

Posted by Zonk
from the who-doesn't-like-a-little-eye-candy dept.
billybob2 writes "PolishLinux.org has an extensive screenshot review and commentary on the development version of the Free and Open Source KDE desktop. Highlights include the ability to run any desktop applet prepared for Mac OS X inside Plasma, on-the-fly annotation and rating of files from within the Dolphin file manager. It also has an improved GUI for the Amarok music player, flexible 3D eye candy configuration in KWin, and improved support for both accessing digital cameras via the Solid hardware layer and the DigiKam photo manager."
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A Screenshot Review of KDE 4

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  • Poor server (Score:2, Informative)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135)
    It's a smoldering ruin and not a single post.
    • Seems to be up now. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:17PM (#22927040) Homepage Journal
      But here's the coral cache link [nyud.net] to save their server...
    • by cgenman (325138)
      Does anyone else find this image ironic?

      http://www.chriscanfield.net/Offsite/slashdoterror.gif [chriscanfield.net]

      It's like heading out on a romantic interlude while whispering "my wife will never find us here." This page simply could not have been served, by basic comedy rules of the universe.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:10PM (#22926988)
    That is the oddest screenshot I have ever seen. Is the applet that it is running designed to fail to establish a database connection?
  • ...from the first April 1st news post on Slashdot this year..
  • Dashboard Support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:23PM (#22927072) Homepage

    I've recently been able to do some widget development for OS X (nothing complex, just some HTML, JS, and AJAX calls). It's a neat little environment but the error reporting left a lot to be desired.

    That said, I really appreciate the ability to open Dashboard widgets in KDE. The interface isn't that magical, and except for the ability to call native code shouldn't pose much of a problem for the developers. I was wondering if they were going to do something like this and I'm glad they have.

    The little widget I developed could be used by users of one of our applications. I think a fair number of them would like it. For various reasons, 30% of the users of this application are using Macs, so that doesn't pose a problem. But when I pitched the idea (with a mostly complete widget) to my superiors they weren't that interested. I was basically told "that's quite neat, but it needs to work on Windows."

    Ignoring my minor "let Mac users have something first" attitude, there is a very serious problem with providing the Widget on Windows. I can't (reasonably). I researched the options and here is what I found.

    1. Vista Gadget - Only works on Vista, about 20% of our users... and I don't have a copy of Vista to develop on
    2. Google Widget - Depending on how you write it, works on Google desktop or only Google Homepage (and other sites). Google Desktop runs on Windows, OS X, and (I think) Linux
    3. Yahoo! Widget - Used to be Konfabulator. Runs on Windows and OS X.

    That list ignores whatever GNOME uses, and the 5-10 smaller engines that very few people use. Who knows how many people use Google Desktop or Yahoo! Widgets. None of the widgets developed on these systems works with any of the other system. Even if the widget is a simple as a "Hello, world" HTML file and image(s), the markup between Dashboard and Google is quite different. From the quick look I put into it, the same thing is true with Vista and Yahoo!. Google Desktop widgets can be loaded into the Dashboard, if you have Google Desktop installed on your Mac, because it performs some kind of translation.

    So I can't develop a widget. The only user base I can promise is Vista. That's a big headache and only 2/3s the side of the Mac users we know of. Asking users to go install Google Desktop or Yahoo! Widgets just to be able to view our little widget is a little tough. Making the application native would take quite a bit of time. Integration for a custom Google homepage is probably the best option for us, but still not worth it due to the inability to predict the number of people who would actually use it.

    So the project (which was just a side project of mine) is basically dead. Unless they decide that providing the widget to only Mac users (I find this very unlikely), the time isn't judged to be worth it (and I don't blame them). Until Vista takes over (probably by this time next year due to MS phasing out XP sales to OEMs) there are just too many widget engines. Targeting any decent sized group of users is nearly impossible. It's a quirk of our market that Macs have the market share they do.

    This kind of consolidation is a very nice thing. As a KDE user, instantly getting so many widgets available (since outside of native code and possibly running shell commands, there shouldn't be porting) is a very nice thing.

    • Hmmm, it would be great to have an OSS widget engine that ran on Windows, OS X, and Linux. I wish I had more time to code these days.
      • Re:Dashboard Support (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:44PM (#22927204) Homepage

        At this point, that's basically what WebKit is. If someone just makes a Windows front end, we'll be set. Getting Google to adopt it for Google Desktop would be great, but at this point I find that unlikely due to momentum. Dashboard is just little Safari windows, hiding things like the title bar, with a special Javascript object to let you do things like set preferences, flip sides, and know when your widget is shown.

        This this version of KDE is supposed to be able to be compiled and run on Window much easier than the giant mess that used to be necessary (my understanding is that this is due mostly to QT4), we may even be most of the way there. All that is needed is to get the users. Being able to say "use Apple Dashboard widgets" would be a major plus in getting the users.

        If it wouldn't cut into one of Apple's argued advantages, they would probably release Dashboard for Windows.

        But as it stands, there doesn't seem to be any way develop a widget and have it run on any decent fraction of the Windows computers out there. Like it or not, that's a large market.

      • by Jugalator (259273)

        Hmmm, it would be great to have an OSS widget engine that ran on Windows, OS X, and Linux. I wish I had more time to code these days.

        Mozilla is kind of there with Prism [mozilla.org] but not quite. Here's the user interface [mozilla.org] where most of the UI controls can be disabled/hidden. So I think you could actually get just a plain window left in the end, if you want to. But you'd still have the window frame and things like that, I guess.

        Otherwise, it has a lot of what one is looking for: builds on all open source components, platform support, a proven and established renderer (the Gecko engine), and a goal with the project to provide web applications in a de

    • by Excelsior (164338)
      Sounds to me like you might be interested in Netvibes' Universal Widget API [netvibes.com]. It allows you to write widgets that will work on NetVibes (of course), Mac, Windows Vista, Windows Live, iGoogle, iPhone/IPod Touch, Opera, and Yahoo Widgets (not the same as My Yahoo). I just found out about it today, so I haven't had a chance to try it out, but I will be trying it soon.
    • by zsau (266209)
      I hate it when people add superfluous or unnecessary words to their posts. That said, it makes it very annoying to have to read "that said" in hundreds of posts on Slashdot where it adds nothing. That said, it's superfluous because of course having said that, you've said it! In other words, I can tell you've said something by the fact that you've said it; you don't need to say "that said".

      That said, "that said" can occasionally be useful when you're contradicting an earlier point. But it shouldn't be the us
    • by cgenman (325138)
      A widget is basically a shell-integrated, usually web-aware program, created in a series of simple high-level scripting languages.

      What you're asking for, then, is a java-style cross platform language, but one that has been well integrated into the shell. I can't really see that coming from 1st parties (well, one in particular). So you'd need to turn to 3rd party support... which as you've seen is difficult to get an IT department to agree to, but means that your best bet currently is probably google.
    • vista sidebar does work on windows xp, although it is a hack.
  • by XNine (1009883) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:49PM (#22927238)
    to us OS X users. A free OS with these abilities really begs that Linux be given another look by the general public for a main desktop (and with the announcement of Adobe coming to the Linux arena, this just emboldens it's abilities). Unfortunately, until audio/video and graphics apps become powerhouses on the Linux platform, I'm afraid OS X will remain my main OS of choice.
    • by theLime (4908) <andrewduhan@gma3.14159il.com minus pi> on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @01:30AM (#22928262) Homepage
      I think you would be very, very surprised at the state of Linux pro audio (esp. Ardour.) Graphics apps (Gimp, Inkscape, Maya, etc) have been very mature for several years. Unless you need to stay with your current programs (and play Games For Windows(TM),) Linux is ready for you now.
      • by marsu_k (701360)

        I think you would be very, very surprised at the state of Linux pro audio (esp. Ardour.)

        I really really wish this were true. While ALSA supports quite a large selection of pro hardware nowadays, I still find Ardour lacking. I know it's very capable as a multitrack recorder, and can be hacked to support at least some VST effects, it's still missing sequencing and VST instruments. I like OSS and use Linux almost exclusively, but until I can get Kontakt, Battery etc. working properly under Linux I'll have to continue booting into XP when I want to do some music.

        (but please do correct me if I'm

        • by richlv (778496)
          i have no experience with music (or related software), so i'm just blindly asking whether http://www.rosegardenmusic.com/ [rosegardenmusic.com] (that i have heard is quite advanced) does anything you need ? :)
          • by marsu_k (701360)
            Not quite - it is a MIDI sequencer, yes, but it lacks multitrack recording. I know one should be able to use it along with Ardour, but that doesn't quite fit the bill. While many OSS programs are very functional and in some cases excel commercial offerings, VST virtual instruments sound so much better that their free counterparts, ditto for VST effects vs. LADSPA. Despite my liking for OSS it really can't compete with the likes of Waves or Native Instruments. At least not currently, hopefully this will chan
      • Sorry. Linux is most certainly not "ready for you now".

        There is absolutely nothing on Linux that has fully integrated audio and MIDI sequencing with full professional capabilities and (crucially) that works in such a synergistic whole as, say Cubase or Reaper on Windows or Logic on Apple.

        Not to mention the fact that there is not full easy to use, support for Steinbergs Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plugins (i.e. run installer, use VST).

        I know as I'm almost desperate to move off my aging Windows setup (Em
    • by Zemplar (764598)
      No, KDE doesn't beg that "Linux" gets another look. KDE is a X window manager, suitable for Solaris, BSD's, or even that GNU/Linux system.

      There's a lot more to free operating systems than GNU/Linux!

      And in this case, the credit should goto the KDE developers, not Linux-only developers.
  • by xrayspx (13127) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:54PM (#22927270) Homepage
    It's still way too unstable for me day to day, but it's tempting enough to keep trying anyway. 4.0.66 lasted a week before I fired it this morning. My main problems are with multi-head related (it really doesn't work very well from my and others experience, especially non-Xinerama multihead), but it keeps improving. Good work KDE Team
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:00PM (#22927314)
    I see KDE as a very good, highly configurable and modern desktop environment but still wonder why it is not yet the desktop environment of choice for the "major" distros. Why? Is is because it is mainly European based and all the so called major distros are American based? I hope not.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:28PM (#22927466)
      I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that when KDE was getting started, Qt wasn't "free." GNOME was started to provide a fully-free alternative, is official GNU software, and attracted the support of companies like Red Hat because they could work with it without having to pay royalties.

      KDE is the BSD of Desktops.
    • Slackware proper only ships with KDE (and fluxbox, and XFCE, IIRC - they're in the 'extras' discs). You can get Gnome on Slackware via other projects, but Slackware doesn't support Gnome. So, that's one distro that is straight out of the box KDE. In fact, that's why KDE is my favorite desktop environment; Slackware was my first distro, and I just got used to it.

      Although, I do appreciate Gnome for what it is, but it just doesn't feel as familiar as KDE. So, yeah, the main distros these days are debian
    • by dbcad7 (771464) on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:53PM (#22927576)
      Distrowatch.. Top 10

      Ubuntu...................Gnome
      PCLinux..................KDE
      Suse.....................Your Choice at install
      Fedora...................Gnome
      Mint.......................Gnome
      Mandriva.................KDE
      Sabayon..................KDE
      Debian....................Gnome
      Damn Samll.............Joes Window Manager
      Mepis.......................KDE

      So default installs... 4 with gnome, 4 with KDE, 1 your choice... and of course on any of these you can add the other manager anyway.. I don't see any conspiracy against KDE... people use what they want.. There is Kubuntu, same people, but it's not in the top 10 (it's 15th).. If done right, I am sure it's a great window manager.. My experiences with it have been ok, but I prefer gnome.. BTW gnome can be done wrong too.. I tried an alpha release of Suse with gnome, and hated their menu.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Vertigo Acid (1164963)
        Where are you getting that top 10 list from?
        From http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major [distrowatch.com]

        Ubuntu (Gnome, although you might argue that since kubuntu is official and not really a fork, that this could be either)
        openSUSE (either)
        Fedora (Gnome)
        Debian (Gnome)
        Mandriva (KDE)
        PCLinuxOS (KDE)
        MEPIS (KDE)
        KNOPPIX (KDE)
        Slackware (KDE)
        Gentoo (either, neither. same with sabayon)
        FreeBSD (not a linux distro, I know. anyway, either, neither)

        So, conservatively, I see 3 Gnome, 2 either, and 5 KDE
        • by ajs318 (655362)
          Debian comes "out-of-the-box" in console mode (no desktop at all!) but it certainly supports KDE.

          About the time of "Lenny Plus One", I expect KDE4 will just be coming into Sid.
          • by xSauronx (608805)
            last time i installed Debian with a desktop environment, it defaulted to Gnome. a server install comes to a console, sure, but if you use their installer and want a desktop, Gnome is what they give you.
        • by dbcad7 (771464)
          From the front page of www.distrowatch.com based on 6 month history

          But I looked at your page also (good find).. I actually agree more with your list, and I'd substitute Xandros for FreeBSD to keep it all Linux.. and you would have the major players.

          Strange...update.. I think early april fools, but the list of Linux distros at distrowatch,... is just weird.. see for yourself.

    • Because GNOME is comparable?

      Another reason might be because of licensing issues. KDE is based on Qt, which is GPL'ed. Some commercial distros might not want to GPL everything in which case GNOME might be a better choice.
    • As a Windows gimp, I have been trying to install and use Linux for ten years. I always used KDE and it was always the same two things that killed it as an experience for me:

      1. RPM (What is up with that, way to go to differentiate your product for Enterprise, make all software pretty much uninstallable and unmanageable)
      2. KDE, I installed it each time, and each time, the desktop was great for a day, then slipped irreversibly into a quagmire of wierd bugs, or horrible configurations I couldn't rescue.

      OK, I'm
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Is is because it[KDE] is mainly European based and all the so called major distros are American based? I hope not.

      Lets see, the highest market share distributions using Gnome are:

      • Ubuntu - developed by Canonical, main offices in London.
      • OpenSuse - developed by Novell but Suse development branch is in Germany. Doesn't really count since it is KDE/Gnome agnostic.
      • Fedora - developed by Redhat in the US.
      • Debian - distributed development and KDE/Gnome agnostic.
      • Gentoo - distributed development, but centered in US

      It looks to me like there are as many KDE users as Gnome and it doesn't really correlate to where the compan

  • Maybe it's just me... but is anyone else really tired of the Fisher-Price trending in desktop operating systems.

    It started with Windows XP, but it wasn't *too* bad... but then Gnome showed up with full blown Fisher-Pricey-ness. KDE has always been halfway there, and with KDE 4, it looks like they have completed their journey. OS/X showed up to the party with the Teddy Ruxpin of desktop graphics. A little more sophisticated, but still clearly for kids.

    So, we have all the major operating systems/window man
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      So, we have all the major operating systems/window managers fully in the Fisher-Price camp.
      Use FreeDOS. I use it on my 8GB USB flash disk, and I still have 7.999GB free.
    • by rtb61 (674572)
      You just have to adapt to the modern market. The never grow up, teenagers for the rest of your life market. Although that is technically a mass media market, buy everything now it and must look good before being good, it still will survive for some time to come before being supplanted with the new independent media market.

      So it should eventually shift back to, no matter how good it looks if it don't function right it sucks and the minimalists life style, only have what you need, work to live don't live to

    • by zullnero (833754) on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:59PM (#22927606) Homepage
      Make your desktop manager. Seriously, there's a market for a desktop manager where all applications are bound to an elaborate set of keystrokes, and if you mess up and get the keys out of sequence, an image of Denis Leary pops up out of the desktop and glares at you like you're an idiot. If you fail a login to your encrypted volume, your background turns into a graphical sound wave representation of Sam Kinison screaming. In fact, I think a considerable amount of that is going into the next Emacs rev.

      Desktop managers are designed and made for people who can't use command lines and want something graphically cute. They are designed by people whose minds work in ways that most real engineers can't fully understand. They are designed by the same folks that really want their computer to match the color scheme of the rest of their office, as well as reflect the color that they best associate themselves with.
    • by Cadallin (863437)
      I disagree strongly. Windows XP Luna and Vista Whateverthefuckitscalled are by far the worst offenders in this regard. What's wrong with XFCE after a little tweaking to personal preference? Xubuntu and Zenwalk are both pretty tasteful out of the box. OS X really isn't bad either, Panther and Tiger (and leopard after the latest patches) are solid, and have high contrast UI elements. It's convenient.

      Speaking of which has anybody noticed all the websites going to a light gray text on white background?

    • by sholden (12227) on Monday March 31, 2008 @11:43PM (#22927800) Homepage
      colour depth went up. As soon as you could essentially assume a universal 24-bit colour everything went fisher-price.

      I expect it's what most people wanted all along, I remember netscape used to grab all the colours on my X terminal so that as you moused in and out of the netscape window the screen would flip between the netscape window and the rest of the screen showing random color goodness.

      Like people want borders on their windows... crazy...
    • by PitaBred (632671)
      Cartoons are for kids, too. Real men watch sports, and that's it. Or a skin flick if it's Friday night.

      Get over yourself. It's a clean, functional, nice-looking interface. You can tweak it how you like (KDE has some very minimalist themes if you'd like), or just don't use it. The appeal is that you have to use the thing 8 hours a day at least, so you may as well have it not be harsh on the eyes. As long as it doesn't get in my way (I don't feel that it does), then I'd rather have something nicer to st
      • by VENONA (902751)
        "Real men watch sports, and that's it. Or a skin flick if it's Friday night."

        Actually, real men watch whatever they like.
      • by MrNemesis (587188)
        Some of us are acutely sensitive to colour, and randomly coloured crap and needless animation is enough to send me round the bend. I use colour inside applications to draw attention to things, I don't want colour clustered around the application drawing attention away from it. I personally find the default theme in KDE4 ugly beyond words.

        Posted from a bleak grey desktop, and proud of it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jjohnson (62583)
      Because while an extreme ability to customize the smallest thing is great when 1) I want to customize small things, and 2) I know how to customize it, the rest of the time I want Fischer Price. I want a simple, direct interface. I don't want to spend time clicking through multiple tabs or unfolding tree menus or visually selecting one from many icons.

      90% of my time is spent doing very few things that implicate the interface--terminal, browser, IDE--and are best taken care of with a very slick, minimalist
    • by Eivind (15695)
      I noticed, and I dislike it.

      Also, did you notice the trend where it gets harder and harder to run a negative desktop ?

      I belong to those that think dark-text-on-brigth-backgrounds is for paper whereas I find the reverse much more readable on a computer-monitor.

      Even high-clue applications for technical users, like Eclipse, make it a chore to configure them that way, and I don't get why.

      The single exception is CAD-programs. For some reason those all come with easy dark themes, in many of them it's even the def
      • by Winckle (870180)
        Have you considered a macintosh?

        The accesibility options include a negative option, you can hit ctrl+alt+cmd+8 to activate it at any time.
    • I guess the rationale behind it is that the theme designers believe the broad mass wants computers to be fun (ready: flashy, omgpwnies), not remind them of work (read: efficient/useful design). I always wondered myself why Gnome/KDE icons need to be so huge, when recognizing and aiming for 32x32 pixel icons is just as easy.

      Fortunately the window managers allow for some tweaking (*heavy* tweaking if you really want to spend some time on it), so why not spend an afternoon or so making it look "cool" and t
    • by VENONA (902751)
      I'm thinking the same thing. At some point, desktop developers the world over decided that buttons should look like radioactive throat lozenges, etc. I want small, distinctive, contrasty icons. I want one display, so I can keep everything the same between a laptop and a desktop. I use a very small panel, then add a second just above it, which contains my pager and taskbar. The total size is about the same as the panel alone on a default installation. The best icons I've seen for this purpose are KDE Classic
      • by MrNemesis (587188)
        If I hadn't already posted I'd give you all my mod points.

        But then I guess you're preaching to the choir - your setup sounds like it mirrors mine in a great many ways (although I keep my "here's where I start apps and look at the systray" panel on autohide at the top and have one long taskbar panel that spans the screen at the bottom. I too require contrastyness, multiple desktops and a window manager I can configure the hell out of to keep all my apps nicely segregated (although I do run two 1920x1200 desk
    • So what you are saying is you prefer this...
      http://content.answers.com/main/content/img/CDE/_PROGMAN.GIF [answers.com]

      over this?
      http://www.istartedsomething.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/iconfactoryvista.jpg [istartedsomething.com]

      Because if you live in anything like this...
      http://www.seeing-stars.com/OC/Julie&CalebMansion(400).jpg [seeing-stars.com]

      I would love to trade you something like this just so you could be happy.
      http://www.shunya.net/Pictures/NorthIndia/BodhGaya/ShantyHouse.jpg [shunya.net]

      Also open to trading (ex)girlfriends. And do I have one you will love!
    • I share your dislike for the Fisher-Price trend, but I am sure you can *fix* it in any Linux distro by tweaking the setup. But I am guessing it isn't as easy on Windows for most people, especially Vista. Unfortunately I am stuck with Vista, and have had to find a way, and I found a solution with LiteStep [ls-universe.info] and Windowblinds [stardock.com] (shareware, but there are alternatives). I kill DWM so it never runs, and use WindowBlinds to replace the oversized window borders with something tolerable.

      LiteStep replaces the Windows s
      • by MrNemesis (587188)
        KDE 4 currently contains so few tweaking options (as in the features are missing from the code, not that you have to edit some obscure XML file or what have you) that it isn't an option at the moment. Since I know exactly what I want to do, I can go from a vanilla KDE install to a desktop that's almost fully tweaked to my needs in about half an hour, after 90 minutes of fiddling with KDE 4 I gave up.

        Progress on adding features in preparation for the "real" KDE4 has been glacial enough that I can say it won'
    • I think the "fisher-price" you refer to started as a reaction against the mind-numbingly dull themes from windows98 and NT, where the main colour schemes were "grey" or "grey with with hints of grey".
      I think both XP & OS X were supposed to get away from this; studies show that the grey actually inspires boredom and a loss of productivity.
      Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant, since the UI developers at Apple and Microsoft both do.
      Personally, I like Aqua. It is, like it's name suggests, refreshi
  • by leamanc (961376) on Monday March 31, 2008 @11:00PM (#22927612) Homepage Journal

    As a long-time KDE fan, I have been waiting for what seems like forever for KDE 4. I've been using 3.5 every day, along with OS X Tiger/Leopard, for the last couple of years. I love the apps, I love the environment and, in general, KDE's sense of style. The beauty that is Oxygen has had me stoked since the first screenshots came out.

    I've been trying to use it as my regular window manager since a repo became available to Kubuntu users. I have been fully prepared to sacrifice some functionality and applications to use the latest and greatest, but yet still can't use it on an everyday basis, by a long shot.

    Besides just general bugginess, there are some issues with the user interface that need fixing ASAP. First and foremost is speed. KDE has always been snappy for me, even on PowerPC G3/G4 hardware. On my Dell Inspiron with a 1.83 GHz Core Duo, things take forever to launch. It feels like OS X Public Beta all over again to me, in terms of application launch speed. (KDE 3.5 is super snappy on this same box.)

    Next on my hit list are the widgets. We need to be able to hide the widget launcher in the right hand corner of the desktop. I've always been able to keep a super-minimalist desktop with KDE, and this menu is nothing short of distracting. And why is the panel now a widget that can only accept other widgets (of which there are a very small amount)? Where are the great little applets and buttons from KDEs past? Why can't I add an application launcher icon to the panel, like in any other desktop environment out there? For that matter, can I even create a custom application launcher anywhere? Why can't the panel be made to be a custom size?

    KDE 4 has the potential to be truly revolutionary, but at this point, it's all good looks and severely lacking in functionality. Here's hoping 4.1 will actually be where 4.0 should have been.

    • by nutshell42 (557890) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @07:18AM (#22929390) Journal
      Next on my hit list are the widgets. We need to be able to hide the widget launcher in the right hand corner of the desktop. I've always been able to keep a super-minimalist desktop with KDE, and this menu is nothing short of distracting.

      Yep.

      And why is the panel now a widget that can only accept other widgets (of which there are a very small amount)?

      Because there's no reason to have half a dozen different classes and types of little doodads that are fundamentally identical.

      Where are the great little applets and buttons from KDEs past?

      Currently being rewritten.

      Why can't I add an application launcher icon to the panel, like in any other desktop environment out there?

      You can by now.

      Why can't the panel be made to be a custom size?

      Because they probably shouldn't have called KDE4.0 4.0.

      KDE4 is a major rewrite the way KDE2 was. And if you think back KDE2 didn't become usable until KDE2.1/2.2 either but the code they wrote then was the basis for KDE all the way through the 3.x series. Linux 2.6, Gnome 2.0, none of them were ready for primetime and inclusion in distributions. But with OSS you have to release at some point because otherwise you end up with Enlightenment 0.17.

      At least they 'fessed up and told us that the lack of functionality was caused by a lack of time and not by some brilliant vision for a new simpler, "more usable" DE. =P

  • you can go here [jarzebski.pl]. The original Blog in Polish that was translated... be nice to the server. maybe someone can mirror...

  • by MrNemesis (587188) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @03:31AM (#22928656) Homepage Journal
    I know it's not a "true2 part of KDE and I hate to make another rant about this, but I've been unable to see anything but a horrific downturn in amarok, both in terms of usability and basic visual appeal and the developers are convinced their "content-centric" way of doing things is The Right Way. In my experience this translates to:
    Making it look like superficiallyiTunes whilst continuting to ignore the ability to have the user decide where to put things like the playback controls and position slider
    Seemingly ephemeral "content window" taking up greater than a third of the main app real estate so I can repeatedly read the wikipedia articles on my bands, or something. Why would I want to do this all the time? Oh right, because it's plasma
    Aforementioned content window gets in the way of dragging things from the tree browser on the left to the playlist on the right
    Playlist has been severely gimped compared to amarok 1.4 IMHO. Devs have been telling users like me that keep several thousand items in their playlist are stupid (the only valid reason I ever saw was because it increases startup time - something I'm not particularly worried about with my current amarok uptime being about fifteen days) whilst failing to provide me with a convenient way to listen to my music in the way I liked (generally on random/semi-random unless I want to listen to a particular album or artist, in which case I use the boolean filter)

    Maybe I'm horrifically sad and very much music 1.0 or some such crap, but I use amarok because it makes managing and quickly picking out music from a massive collection really, really easy. Amarok 2 just seems to me to be a catalogue of style over usability and change for changes sake. Pretty much every criticism I've seen of the new UI on the blog from the very first mockups has been shouted down with either "these aren't even alpha yet, shut up, the final design will look nothing like this!", "you're wrong, this way is prettier", "we think it's more usable even if you don't, no we won't provide that as an option, it goes against our philosophy" or "can't change it now, we're too close to release". Seriously, how much time to /.'ers spend staring at their music application (not counting pretty visuals like projectm)?

    Since the site seems slashdotted, here's the latest dev image posted to the amarok blog: http://amarok.kde.org/blog/uploads/Newtheme.png [kde.org]

    On a more KDE-centric level, I'm not enjoying the low-contrast Qt themes with the insistence of rounding every possible corner, and I've yet to come across any themes that give be the beautific simplicity of Plastik
    The new XP-style kicker replacement is an absolute abomination to use. Too many clicks, practically impossible to browse the program hierarchies quickly. Everyone says "use the search!" - sorry, I shouldn't have to use the search function because you neglected basic functionality
    Still doesn't like working across multiple monitors
    Panel and window configuration options are still severely lacking
    Seeming enforcement of "the desktop is the application!" metaphor with the proliferation of widgets replacing apps. The desktop, in my way of working at least, is visible for about three seconds after login until an app or five autostarts and covers it. Thanks to KDE's fantastic setup of multiple individually configurable panels and/or kb shortcuts I was able to do away with all of that tiresome minimising of windows. If you're going to make us use widgets, at least give us the option to make them use the window manager so they get an entry in the taskbar, please. The lets-have-windows-without-taskbar-entries philosophy is annoying enough on windows, as anyone who's spent time trying to find that security dialog box that took a minute or two to appear will testify
    Speaking of the taskbar, the icons are still huge and it still doesn't play very nicely with having lots of windows open
    Last time I checked, those somewhat confus
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LiquidFire_HK (952632)

      On a more KDE-centric level, I'm not enjoying the low-contrast Qt themes with the insistence of rounding every possible corner, and I've yet to come across any themes that give be the beautific simplicity of Plastik

      How about the Qt 4 version of Plastik, called "Plastique", which ships with Qt 4 by default?

      Many (if not all) of your other complaints, while valid, are things that have simply not yet been fixed, or features that have not been implemented. It was just that KDE 4.0 was somewhat rushed (it probably should have been still beta, but at least this way it got lots of development attention).

      As for Amarok, you really don't need a playlist of all your music just so you can listen to random stuff or stuff based

      • by MrNemesis (587188)
        For one thing, I don't want to have to be continually defining new playlists (I have about twenty that I use for when I want a specific subset of music but that's about it), and secondly how do you script "play random stuff from this folder, this folder, this folder, this folder and this folder until I decide I want to listen to some Tori Amos"? I'm used to just switching to amarok, typing in "tori" and leaving it. I'm not aware of any method in amarok 2 that allows me to do this quickly. Like I said, I don
    • I agree with the two many clicks on kicker. First time i cam across it was with an open-suse beta. It's really putting me off kde4. Which i want to like! Apparently you can install the old type though...

      As for the new amarok gui. I hadn't seen that yet.

    • The new XP-style kicker replacement is an absolute abomination to use. Too many clicks, practically impossible to browse the program hierarchies quickly.

      Absolutely right. I came here to see if anyone was going to mention it. I have a long description of what's wrong with the new KDE 4 application launcher [ath0.com] on my web site. I've told the maintainers, I've tried to bring it up on the KDE 4 HCI discussion mailing list. So far, I've heard absolutely no response.

      I gather that the window is now resizeable, but the

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @05:43AM (#22929106) Homepage Journal
    I hate THAT!

    Sorry, just had to vent. In my office the trash can is out of site but easily accessible. So should it be on my computer desktop.

    On XP I just removed it totally from the desktop and get at it through explorer. I saw a mod that allowed it to live in the system tray which I think is a better solution. I understand that on my Mac that its a native part of how the UI operates but at least I can keep the whole bar down there off my screen or scale it so its not annoying.

    Still... in real life we don't sit them on our desks.... maybe they should use the ashtray instead - because thats the only "trash" thing ever to sit on a desk

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