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KDE Perl Linux

KDE 4.5 Released 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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KDE 4.5 Released

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  • Re:W00t (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultrabot ( 200914 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:32AM (#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.

  • KDE is great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @07:22AM (#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 [] 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.

  • by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @07:46AM (#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:W00t (Score:5, Interesting)

    by diegocg ( 1680514 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @08:31AM (#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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @08:35AM (#33214020)

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

  • Notification System? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yet-another-lobbyist ( 1276848 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @08:55AM (#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.
  • Re:KDE is great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tokul ( 682258 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:07AM (#33214332)

    Kubuntu is a mess.

    KDE was always a mess on Debian.

  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:28AM (#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?

  • Re:W00t (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:31AM (#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.
  • by SomeKDEUser ( 1243392 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:34AM (#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:W00t (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultrabot ( 200914 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:39AM (#33214680)

    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.

    Nice that it worked for you.

    With freshly installed Ubuntu, I could hear sound from Gnome, but not KDE. Well, KDE 4.4 works ok.

    Clearly it was not the fault of KDE - perhaps I should have called a computer repairman?

  • by SomeKDEUser ( 1243392 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:43AM (#33214714)

    the notification system is hard: applications like to embed little applets in the tray, for one thing, and interaction with these in a clean, consistent way is not easy. Notifications are also hard to get right: you want all the information, you want it non-obtrusive, you want to know what is happening, you want to be able to respond to them in a timely manner.

    Basically, it is a very small part of your desktop which can cause immense amounts of grief: a lot of the bad rap vista got was from the popups from there...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:46AM (#33214740)

    Depends on your needs. If you are running on a notebook, for example, common things that you might need are:

    • plug&play usb drives
    • battery indication and automatic change of performance profile
    • easy network management
    • plug&play different with types of screens
    • you'd like to have a notified notification system, with support for reviewing the recent history (for those times when you ask yourself "what was that thing that just appeared and disappeared before I could read?")
    • you might like to have some useful small informational panes to see at a glance relevant information (network state, cpu/memory/disk load, climate forecast, calendar)
    • you might want/need an indexing system
    • you might want to be able to change between an overlapping window and a tiling window management system
    • you might want some bling-bling on your desktop

    All that and more, is provided with sane defaults with KDE4. You can also get that with other DM, or you can manage a small collection of small applications, following the Unix Way (tm), but sometimes it's just easier to have a cohesive and integrated package.

    Me? I got tired of having to remake my scripts that did all those things whenever I made an update on my rolling release distro (Arch) breaks them. It didn't happen as often as it might sound from that sentence, but it happened often enough to bother me. KDE's defaults where always appealing to me, but could easily change them if I wanted to. Just by reading the KDE GUI Guidelines, and its focus on a clean interface I decided that that was what I was going to use going forward.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:53AM (#33214838)

    "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." - by Richard_at_work (517087) on Wednesday August 11, @06:58AM (#33213484)

    Yea, that's right, per my subject-line above:

    Yes - Even though I am a "huge Windows fanboy", I have been running Linux 10.4x (latest/greatest) via KUbuntu here, and it's pretty damned nice Richard!

    Sound's been NO hassle @ ALL either, bonus!

    (I've even been comparing Linux & BSD running on this laptop. Currently, its LINUX & even earlier, I was using PC-BSD (which also has a default KDE Desktop), & Linux seems faster in GUI tasks, whereas I feel that PC-BSD seems faster in filesystem/disk I-O bound tasks)...

    Again, I like both, especially on KDE... &, do remember: That's coming from ME, the "poster boy of /. for Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Windows 7" - I have to admit that Linux has FINALLY come into its own and is a decent enough OS to use daily.


    P.S.=> See, I decided to give PC-BSD & Linux a go while I am on vacation in Europe (I tend to do a lot of tty terminal/console work though, "old 1980's *NIX habits die hard" here, but I am slowly "going GUI" here), & while in London, Berlin, & Madrid I used PC-BSD & liked it (especially the KDE desktop being the default GUI vs. GNOME (Gnome's "ok", but I am definitely a KDE man))... &

    Now/lately, while in Warsaw, St. Petersburg, & now Prague/Czech Republic, I am using KUbuntu 10.4.x & like it (again, especially KDE))... Heh - "imagine that": Me, the Windows fan, saying I like *NIX's! apk

  • Re:W00t (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qortra ( 591818 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:16AM (#33215074)

    Linux sound works perfectly for me now that Pulseaudio is stabilized.

    It has certainly gotten better, but there are still plenty of issues with audio in Linux, at least out of the box. Some of them are driver related, some are still PA related, and some are related to poor default Alsa configurations. I can give several current (Ubuntu 10.04) examples of audio issues in Linux.

    • Some HDMI sinks tend to run at 48khz regardless of the source frequency (another poster here mentioned the 48khz madness). Moreover, Alsa doesn't seem to re-sample the audio properly by default in these cases, creating the chipmunk phenomenon. I'm fairly sure this is an Alsa-script fixable issue.
    • In certain situations, applications seem to lock the sound device causing all kinds of consternation. This shouldn't happen (software mixing ought to always kick in). This is most likely because those applications don't use Pulseaudio (which isn't yet appropriate for all tasks, and probably never will be). As with above, I'm sure this can be fixed with Alsa magic, but it shouldn't have to be
    • M-Audio 2496 internal audio card doesn't play well with Pulseaudio (to be fair, I last tried this with 9.10, never with 10.04). Apparently, it didn't have the kinds of Alsa controls that PA expected.
    • When plugging external speakers into my laptop (a TimelineX), the sound on the internal speakers would turn off, the but the external speakers would not get the sound. Eventually fixed by upgrading to 10.10 alpha.
    • As another poster mentioned, getting s/pdif to work properly is often non-trivial. Alsa is pretty good about offering raw access to the sound card controls, but it isn't always obvious what combination of control settings are compatible with digital audio out. In some cases, it is a single switch, but in other less fortunate cases, 3 or 4 controls need to be set properly before it will work. To make matters worse, there isn't a lot of documentation about what settings will work properly with a given audio interface. Usually, it's 15-20 minutes of forum reading before I can find some obscure reference to the information I need.
  • Re:W00t (Score:3, Interesting)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:25AM (#33215166) Homepage

    In foobar2000 in Windows 7 you can choose Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI), DirectSound or ASIO/Kernel Streaming, and each has different advantages.

  • Re:W00t (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ebuck ( 585470 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:36AM (#33215294)

    Back in KDE 3.x days, NetworkManager was just getting started, and Unbuntu shipped a very bad snapshot of it which prevented network connections.

    At the time Unbuntu shipped this broken copy, the KDE NetworkManager group had already shifted dev work to the 4.x series, but Unbuntu didn't ship a 4.x KDE until much later. As a result, Unbuntu's poor QA and packing practices led most people to think that NetworkManager didn't work under KDE, rather than the correct conclusion, which is that Unbuntu didn't do proper QA with its packaging.

    The end result for that Unbuntu release was that most KDE Unbuntu users either switched to Gnome, stayed on the previous release, or changed distros to see a working NetworkManager in KDE.

    My experiences with this may be anecdotal; however, they are anecdotal as personally experienced at the Houston LUG with literally eight to ten people dragging in broken Kbuntu distros monthly over a period of four or five months.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @11:05AM (#33215640)

    Mandriva, openSuSE, ArchLinux, PC-BSD

    Mandriva and openSuSE are both examples of what can be done with a little bit of integration work. Arch's is a great example of how great KDE is by itself, they don't tinker with the packages, you are getting (for the most part) the exact KDE that the KDE team released. PC-BSD is just awesome.

    Kubuntu feels like a secret Gnome plot to make everyone think KDE sucks, it's just a pathetic turd of a clone.

  • Re:Bug fixed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:33PM (#33216712)

    review board isn't about code styles and formatting. Its about seeing what the changes were to the code. Sure, you can use reviewboard for style-based code reviews, but its trivial to also use it for potential code issues. Its really there for an experienced developer to cast his eyes over the changes, and to make sure it doesn't do anything he knows is wrong.

    If you're using reviewboard solely for style reviews, its because your development processes havn't yet been printed out, rolled up and shoved into your development manager.

  • by 12357bd ( 686909 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:43PM (#33216872)

    Insane. And it looks like the KDE devs are not even considering making the whole Akonadi and associated daemons mess optional. What happened to good old Kmail?


  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:02PM (#33217226)

    I disagree about the 'waah, it uses too many resources' as there's plenty of times code is written as cheaply as possible (for the developer, that is) leaving the users to pick up the tab. The cost-basis of coding *should* be the other way round, but I guess that's just my ideal.

    However, in this case it looks like Akonadi has used a DB to store its cache instead of a simpler, internal, construct. Or a sqlite DB, which is very suited for this task. Whether the developer didn't know about serialising a key-value collection, didn't know about sqlite, needs something in MySQL that no other app provides, or just didn't care remains to be determined. Either way, MySQL is probably an inefficient use of resources that could be better dealt with. Let me put it another way, the developer could have mandated Oracle instead of MySQL, you wouldn't be happy then!

    The problem with 'you have so many resources, so who cares' gives you the Windows syndrome - fine, your 1 app works (once its loaded all its bulk into memory), but once you start doing more than one thing, possibly at the same time, you start to realise why you want each of those fat apps to be a bit leaner and efficient.

    The goal of more efficient use of resources, rather than whatever happens to be easiest, is something that needs to be kept at the forefront of developer's minds. It won't always be used, won;t always be appropriate, but we need to keep reminding ourselves to try harder.

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