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KDE GUI Software Linux

Preview of KDE 3.5 402

tr_x_data writes "There is a quite interesting KDE 3.5 preview with screenshots on JLP's Blog. I thought there wouldn't be so much improvement to KDE 3.4 since everyone is working on porting KDE4 to QT4, but obviously there are quite a few changes. Look forward to "Storage Media Notification", "Adblock" for Konqueror, new Tooltips, better Workspace-Pager, and so on. Read for yourself."
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Preview of KDE 3.5

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  • It looks good... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daviq ( 888445 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:44AM (#13176038)
    The new KDE looks good. Except for the one pet peeve of mine-->the taskbar is way too huge. It would be much better at half or even a quarter of it's size. The real highlight is storage media reconizing. This is a whyI have loathed KDE-->the lack of such.
    • Re:It looks good... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Linus Torvaalds ( 876626 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:46AM (#13176064)
      Right-click on the panel, select "Configure Panel...", change the size from normal to small or tiny, and click OK.
      • Right-click on the panel, select "Configure Panel...", change the size from normal to small or tiny, and click OK.

        I used to think that the zooming icons were annoying, until I set my taskbar to be tiny. Then it was usable. And if you need that taskbar to be anything smaller than tiny, then you must have incredible eyesight. :)

    • Except for the one pet peeve of mine-->the taskbar is way too huge.

      If it hasn't been removed somewhere along the development line, you *can* adjust the size of the kicker bar. Just go into the control panel and look for the Panel settings. You should be able to find a size that's more suitable to your tastes.
    • Worse than that are the tooltips which are twice the size of the already large-by-default toolbar. Really, why do I need a tooltip that's 2 inches high on my screen, most of which is a bigger copy of the icon I'm already hovering over? Just seems like poor design to me.
    • Re:It looks good... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bynary ( 827120 )
      The real highlight is storage media reconizing.

      Is it just me, or does that media recognition window look eerily like the one in Windows XP? The longer I use KDE, the more it feels like Windows. I don't want it to feel like Windows. It seems to me that the Linux community doesn't have a creative bone in its collective body when it comes to GUI design. Can't we do better than just emulating Windows or Mac OS X?
      • It seems to me that the Linux community doesn't have a creative bone in its collective body when it comes to GUI design
        Interesting. It seems to me that the "Linux community" that produces applications are programmers, who will probably treat GUI design as secondary. It also seems to me that the "creative community" is not really interested in *sharing* their work the way programmers do. Maybe if a few graphic artists and GUI folks were less self centered they would contribute to some of these projects. In
      • by moranar ( 632206 )
        What the Open source community doesn't have are Art Directors. We have very capable coders, some good testing courtesy of Sun, but no Johnathan Ive. For reasons explained better elsewhere [], without people like him it's very hard to transcend the "cool tech gizmo" and achieve the "great usable interface". Beagle might be a great tool, but if the usable interface is not there (and it might be, I don't know) it won't succeed.

        The second point I will make, the most repeated one, is that Apple and MS do things for
    • Re:It looks good... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by davidsyes ( 765062 )
      Two ways so modify the size of your Kicker are to right-click on it and adjust the size.

      If you haven't INITIALLY done it that way, another way is to go through KControl (KDE Control Center) and then under "LookNFeel" click on "Panels"

      There, you have two nice options to try in the "Arrangement" tab, subsection "Length":

      click the box for "Expand as required to fit contents" and THEN set the slider to say, 50% or whatever you want. You'll still have blank space to the left or right if you've centered the bar,
  • Don't Interrupt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:44AM (#13176048)
    The storage medium notification is not untuitive the way XP (and now KDE 3.5) does it. Basically, the user puts in a disc and then some time later, gets a notification that interrupts whatever is being performed.

    A better way to do it would be to stick a little message notification bubble above the system tray. This would also prevent movies from auto-running.

    A big problem with XP is that DVD movies often have crap software that auto-installs on the computers of people who don't know any better. If OSS wants to become a widely used desktop, then it needs to be better than the status quo, rather than a copy. This means that it has to protect users rather than facilitate spyware and junk.
    • Re:Don't Interrupt (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ssj_195 ( 827847 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:53AM (#13176128)
      Yeah, I prefer the old way (currently using 3.4) - add the Storage Media applet to your kicker, and when you insert a DVD/ USB Pen etc it will appear as a small icon in the kicker, which is nice and unobtrusive. Unfortunately, all USB Mass Storage (include cameras, card-readers etc) devices have the "USB Pen" icon shown. I filed a bug report about this ( []); if anyone else feels this would be a good idea, please chime in :)

    • A better way to do it would be to stick a little message notification bubble above the system tray. This would also prevent movies from auto-running.

      That's a good idea. I don't know that autoinstall is a problem because you have to choose an action before anything happens, according to the synopsis. However, I've always hated autorun because it's intrusive - if I put a disc in, I probably know what I want to do with it, and it's guesses are usually wrong.

      A nice little bubble as you suggest would help a lo

    • A big problem with XP is that DVD movies often have crap software that auto-installs...
      That might be difficult to get wrong, considering that Windows software usually does not work on Linux ;-)

      One would have to spend considerable effort to integrate something like Wine into KDE, just to facilitate spyware and junk. Not likely.
    • Re:Don't Interrupt (Score:2, Informative)

      by ppz003 ( 797487 )
      For those with XP

      The easiest way to handle this? Disable AutoPlay.

      I find it best to disable CD or DVD autoplay in XP using either local group policy or, for an enterprise, an Active Directory group policy.

      The local group policy editor method:

      * Click Start
      * Click Run
      * Enter GPEDIT.MSC
      Group Policy mmc will popup. On left panel:
      * Double-click Computer C
    • Re:Don't Interrupt (Score:4, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:00AM (#13176197)
      If OSS wants to become a widely used desktop, then it needs to be better than the status quo, rather than a copy.

      It needs to come up with something more useful before the other OSs come up with it. If people see that Windows pops up with a window notifying them that their SD card is now ready to be read they will expect that everywhere else.

      People don't consider it an "interruption" they expect that window to appear and if it doesn't it's not acceptable.
      • Re:Don't Interrupt (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Microlith ( 54737 )
        The question is what kind of window.

        Currently if there's an autorun, windows runs it. Fine for installers, generally.

        If it's some sort of removeable media with no autorun, it'll scan the disk then ask you what you want to do. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't tell it to do the same action every time (it hides the checkbox) or even if you tell it to do that, it'll ignore your setting and prompt you again anyway.

        What'd be nice is an option for either no notification, or a simple "Your device is ready" popup
        • What'd be nice is an option for either no notification, or a simple "Your device is ready" popup that slides up from the corner of the screen like thunderbird/trillian/other software pops up then slides away without interfering.

          That's what we would prefer with our understanding of the computer world. It doesn't work like that for other people's viewpoint.

          They see a window show up telling them what to do and the second that another OS doesn't do exactly that they don't feel comfortable.
        • Currently if there's an autorun, windows runs it.

          Currently if I plug in a USB HD, windows spends several minutes with a popup window telling me it's searching for an autorun file. While this is easy to turn off for a CD drive, I have yet to figure out how to tell windows to stop for a removable drive that actually gets removed.
      • Re:Don't Interrupt (Score:4, Informative)

        by HorsePunchKid ( 306850 ) <> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @02:18PM (#13178213) Homepage
        I have found that people get used to the annoying behaviors of computers very quickly but are also quick to recognize good behavior. Just because they expect the dialog box does not mean that they don't find it irritating. Give them a better solution, and they'll gladly accept it. A new media notifier doesn't have to be exactly what they're expecting, it just has to be intuitive (admittedly, not necessarily a trivial thing!).
    • or to actively poll hardware like Mac OS does (and always has), and just pop the icon onto the desktop, and await for you to come use it.
    • It's not an interruption - generally what's being performed is the act of accessing whatever's on the thing (disc, SD card, etc) that's just been inserted. You can certainly argue whether it's better to try to anticipate the user's next act or simply inform them that the medium is ready, but I fail to see how it's an interruption.
    • The screenshot of the popup that appeared for an audio cd presents the user with 4 choices -- one of which is "do nothing". Couple that with checking the "always do that for that media type" and in true to form linux tradition, the user gets to decide exactly how the system behaves. You just want to see an icon of the mounted device? You got it. You want it to open in Foo? fine -- have it your way.
    • "untuitive"

      Assuming you meant "intuitive", I do not think it means what you think it means.

      It means "obvious" and "natural", something discovered through intuition [] rather than reasoning. It does not mean "practical".

      A little notification can easily be missed, and is thus not intuitive, even if it might be more practical.

      The popup asking you what to do can't be missed and is fairly obvious, making it intuitive, but maybe a little annoying.

      There is sometimes a trade-off between practical and intuitive. It is
      • It is normally better to annoy some power-users a little bit rather than baffle newbies.
        I believe the opinion wether to do the one or the other is what really separates Windows programmers from (traditional) Unix programmers. Windows programmers cater to the needs of new users above all, unix programmers figure newbies shouldn't stay new all their computer life and thus more people are "powerusers" and the programs should be designed without forgetting them.
    • The most common software on Hollywood DVDs is the InterActual Player, or InterActual's PCFriendly. Neither of them auto-install. Their installers automatically launch, but neither will automatically install anything. Combined with InterActual Packs from the creators of DVD playback software (currently I'm aware of InterVideo's WinDVD and Cyberlink's PowerDVD), the discs will autoplay to that player. There are only three major software players on the market these days, but I'm sure InterActual would like
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:46AM (#13176066)
    I haven't been this excited since the preview for KDE 3.4!!!

  • There are too many times I have frozen my machine just by using the search feature and opted to the command line instead (which I'm still not an expert with) Although I do like the sort of tooltips in the kicker.

    Although I'm quite enthused for the new feature in home: I like the idea of having a mac-like user folder so easily accesible for things like dropbox functionality.
  • It seems that all four major camps (Apple, Microsoft, GNOME, and KDE) keep improving their environments by leaps and bounds. They look better and better, become more and more usable, and slowly pick up features that make them more flexible (remote desktop, for one). It may not all be Real innovation, but it's definitely Real progress.
  • by zpok ( 604055 )
    It looks way better than XP, that's for sure. I'm glad they don't take the "looks bad but you can make your own skin" route. The default look is professional and clean.

    Can't comment on the feel. Last time I tried to get KDE running on top of OS X it did nothing (unless crashing is one of its hidden features).
  • Don't bother scrolling down to read the comments in the blog, they are just a bunch of racist jokes and rants pasted in from somewhere else.

    It might be a good idea for the blog author to turn off commenting for this post.
  • by Kylere ( 846597 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:59AM (#13176192)
    It appears the KKK has a serious interest in KDE, I have to wonder if they think it stands for Klan Desktop Environment.
  • Meh (Score:2, Funny)

    by stud9920 ( 236753 )
    Windows NT was at version 3.51 like what, 11 years ago ?
  • Now all I want is the ability to close a tab by middle-clicking it, same as I have set up in mozilla. I've searched around in vain for any place I can change the default behavior.
  • I miss KDE 1.0 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by devphaeton ( 695736 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:16AM (#13176335)
    Seriously... I do.

    It was light, fast, stable, and pretty enough. Using wmaker right now because XFCE4 has a few drawbacks. While I might look at KDE 3.5 just to see, i still might cobble together all the 1.0 code and try to run it on my fbsd 5.4/athlon system. It oughta fly balls!
    • How many fucking times?!! Window Maker is a Window Manager. It does nothing but manage windows. By all means compare it to kwm, but comparing it to KDE is comparing apples with bicycles.
      • Re:I miss KDE 1.0 (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Al Dimond ( 792444 )
        He wasn't comparing KDE to WindowMaker, he was saying that he used WindowMaker. Perhaps all WindowMaker by itself does is manage windows. But it does so in a neat and clean way that makes it (running WindowMaker without any other desktop environment) a compelling alternative to KDE for many users even if they aren't similar at all (with its easy configuration, that desktop paperclip thing, and a few choice dockapps many users get all the functionality they want, and choose that functionality on an opt-in
  • by pestie ( 141370 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:23AM (#13176383) Homepage
    Have the KDE people figured out how to make the desktop icons line up properly yet? I'm sorry if this sounds like another "Why can't KDE be like Windoze?" whine, but when I turn on icon auto-arrangement in Windoze, I get nice, neat vertical columns of icons. Do the same in KDE and I get some quasi-random scattering of icons. I have no idea why that is. If I right-click the desktop and select Icons > Sort Icons > By Type, it works fine. But the auto-arrange seems to use some completely different arrangement algorithm that creates multiple columns, some of which aren't even full, and some of which only have one icon. WTF?
    • by Uncle_Al ( 115529 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:38AM (#13176545)
      I have a "Align to Grid" option...that obviously aligns all icons onto a grid, not into vertical columns or rows...that is the quasi-radon scattering you talk about. It just moves the icon to the nearest position on the grid.

      But I also have "Line up Vertically" and "Line up Horizontally" commands which...well I think do exactly as you wish ;-)

      This is in KDE 3.4 by the way...
  • by crivens ( 112213 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:35AM (#13176504)
    I'm glad they're slowly tidying up the interface. My current pet peeve is the default icon set is really ugly. I know that you can replace it, but when I look at the KDE screenshots I don't get excited at the improvements to the interface or to Konq. I am put off by how ugly it looks with the icon set.
    • Agreed.

      That horribly bright WinXP-clone icon theme needs to go if KDE wants to gain any credibility.

      I recommend Slick as the new default. It already comes with KDE, so there's no need to package anything new. It's also the single best icon set out there--it's very sleek, and it's also quite unique. I've yet to see any other icon set that resembles Slick in any way. Did I mention that it lives up to its name?

      It would also be nice if KDE were to adopt Slick's subdued colour scheme as their main colour scheme-
  • It should be interesting to finally see KDE native to windows, as the free QT4 is now supported for windows.

    Imagine Windows (or ReactOS), running KDE as the desktop, with applications like Firefox on top. This is Windows?

  • I'm still waiting for them to make Kmail compile in 3.4.1 - it barfs on the Outlook Express import filter at the moment, of all things. [] []
    Tell you the truth, I've actually moved to Thunderbird + Enigmail now - it rocks.
  • Does it now work with Google maps and gmail?
    I know you could argue that Google should make them work but Konqueror has such a small market share that I know Google will not.
    Will the new version of KDE render faster? Use the 3d in my video card for eye candy?

    • Re:Konqueror? (Score:3, Interesting)

      Google maps has been working pretty well for me for the last month or so. For some reason I don't get the intial "default" map of the US that I get in Firefox when I connect, but otherwise typing in addresses, GPS coordinates, etc into the search bar and/or getting directions seems to be working for me reasonably well in Konqueror.

      If you add "fc=1" to your query it'll bypass that obnoxious "you aren't using a 'supported' browser!" warning, too (e.g. "").

      YMMV - I'm a compulsive

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. -- Abraham Lincoln