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KDE on KDE 4.0
Friday, July 11 2008 @ 02:42 PM EDT

There has been a bit of a dustup about KDE 4.0. A lot of opinions have been expressed, but I thought you might like to hear from KDE. So I wrote to them and asked if they'd be willing to explain their choices and answer the main complaints. They graciously agreed.

I was a bit puzzled at some of the complaints, because I use KDE, and when I didn't like something, I would just change it. For example, if I didn't like the new menu, I could right click on the menu icon and it gave me an immediate choice to go back to the old one. How hard is that? Could it be that at least some of what we are seeing is our old friend Stick in the Mud?

I asked that because a friend of mine just switched to Linux, and she chose Mandriva 2008, so I explained to her how to change back and forth and asked her to try both and tell me what she preferred. She reports she greatly prefers the new menu. I asked why, and she said she didn't know. It seemed to her easier to find things, less confusing. For what it's worth.

I confess I find the old one easier so far, but then I'm used to it. I do like to see immediately everything I have installed, so who knows? It's part of my personality to love to try new things. So I'm enjoying watching KDE move forward into new things, and I'm trying everything. Of course, I love trying things because I know I'm not stuck anywhere. I think it's fair to say I'm biased, therefore. I confess I love KDE. I like their attitude, and I'm sticking with them.

As I looked into it, I found it wasn't quite as simple as just old habits getting in the way. For example, I learned that if you are using Kubuntu, you can't just right click the menu. There is a way to get back to the old, though, which dburns figured out, which we'll share with you. But that part isn't KDE talking. I've added a footnote to the article about it. But the KDE guys say that your best option in Kubuntu, and indeed in anything, is just to upgrade to 4.1. That solves a lot of problems, they tell me, and more solutions are on the way.

But there has also been quite a lot of mean things said about motives and why this design or that was chosen. I suspect at least some of the fuss is deliberately done by those with a point of view. Who knows? Whatever. So let's settle back, and down if we need to, and let Sebastian Kügler of and representing the Board of Directors present the KDE point of view.

His article includes three screen shots, so that those who don't use KDE can see what this is all about. I include smaller versions of the screenshots in the article, so our friends on dialup don't have such a struggle, but you will find links to separate pages where the originals can be found. Enjoy.

Update: I got a request to make the images clickable to make them larger. I didn't know how, but Groklaw's grouch did, so I've altered them as per the request.


11 Myths About KDE 4
~ by Sebastian Kügler, KDE e.V. Board of Directors

Lately a lot has been said (or bemoaned) in the community about KDE 4, the 4.0 release and the KDE developers. In the following article we would like to address some common misconceptions about KDE 4 as we see it. As we firmly believe in KDE 4 and the future of the Free Desktop, we expected the heated discussions about KDE4 and especially the 4.0 release to go away - and we were wrong about that. As blogging about the issues raised didn't seem to reach the audience we intended, we took the opportunity presented by Groklaw for this article with both hands. We sincerely hope it sheds some light on why the KDE community did what it thought it had to do and we hope it shows we do take the criticism seriously.

1. "KDE4 is finished"

Actually, KDE 4.0 is just the beginning. KDE 4.0 has the beginnings of a publicly usable desktop and applications. KDE 4.0 also marks the stability of the libraries and their programming interfaces so application developers can actively start using them in their application. The new features and frameworks need some time to be implemented in a user-visible way. In that light, KDE 4.0 marks the beginning of the availability of KDE4-technology-based applications.

Assuming that KDE 4.0 delivers the full possibilities of its libraries and frameworks to the user is unrealistic. The merit of the infrastructural work that has led up to 4.0 will be seen in the coming releases, with KDE 4.1 showing first signs of an increased pace of development thanks to the new foundations.

KDE 4.0 is the starting line, not the finishing line.

2. "Releasing KDE 4.0 was a mistake"

Many of the official release announcements posted on contained the following text: "The aim of the KDE project for the 4.0 release is to put the foundations in place for future innovations on the Free Desktop. The many newly introduced technologies incorporated in the KDE libraries will make it easier for developers to add rich functionality to their applications, combining and connecting different components in any way they want."

This has been consistent in all communications. We only failed with KDE 4.0 if we measure the work based on others' criteria, not our clearly stated goals. We're glad that so many people eagerly anticipated the 4.0 release, but in some cases the expectations were heightened despite our efforts. We do understand the excitement that built up over 2 years, but we've actually had discussions on trying to meter/throttle people's exuberance and expectations for 4.0 so that they would not feel let down when 4.0 was released.

On another note, remember that we were also working in parallel on the 3.5 series, which is still available. KDE 3.5.10, a new bugfix and translation update is coming in August. We encouraged users that were not ready to be early adopters of new technology still in heavy development to continue enjoying the 3.5 series.

So why did we release KDE 4.0 in January?

Let's look at it from a broader perspective for a while. Let's see it in the Grand Scheme of Things to Come. The big question that should come up is: couldn't we have released what will now be KDE 4.1 as KDE 4.0? If that would have been possible, it would surely have been the right choice. But it was not possible, because of several reasons.

Release early, release often. One of the pillars of Free Software development is to release your software as soon as it is useful to others, so people can jump in.

Nobody has ever promised that KDE 4.0 would be functionally equivalent to KDE 3.5. With KDE 4.0 we have delivered a stable set of libraries and a basic functional desktop. 4.0 in technical terms means: From this point on, our libraries will remain binary compatible until 5.0. Not releasing 4.0 at that point means holding back hundreds of application developers from porting and releasing their applications. Not releasing would hurt these applications - they wouldn't receive the attention to detail they deserved. We're talking about core applications like Dolphin, but also whole parts of KDE like the Educational applications, Graphics applications, and the games. Not releasing them would also mean less new contributors and users than they deserved - another thing we didn't want.

Yet the publicly perceived quality of KDE seems to concentrate on Plasma, the newest, but most visible component of KDE 4. For this kind of new technology, it simply takes a bit of time and feedback from users until the user experience we could deliver in the past can be reached.

A second issue is packaging. KDE 4.0 is relatively hard to package, not due to it being that difficult - packaging it is far easier and faster than KDE 3.x. But it is new, and new things always require an adjusting period. CMake, SVN, many new dependencies, many new architectural pieces, changes in the internal structure of the major KDE packages like KDElibs and'll take a while for packagers to get used to those. We probably can't expect distros to put out KDE 3.5.x-quality packages for at least a few months. By the time 4.1 is released, though, they will have some experience, and will hopefully get it done rather quickly. (If you want the proof - just check out a few different KDE 4.0 distributions...they differ wildly in terms of stability, features, default setup, and more.)

A third reason is for finding rare, obscure, or corner-case issues. Many of the problems in KDE 4.0 can and will be fixed by the KDE hackers. But many can't. By pushing the boundaries of technology, you'll be pushed back. We've exposed issues in drivers, architectural issues in X, window management, Qt, and more. Without an earlier release to start getting user feedback, these simply would've appeared in the delayed first release, and would've bit users just as hard as they're biting now.

And finally, KDE is a very complex beast, technically and socially. It consists of hundreds of applications, an extensive development framework and a desktop on top of that and literally hundreds of contributors with diverse backgrounds. It is plain impossible that all those things happen to be finished at the same time. We were able to release a basic first version of the desktop along with the development framework and an already very good looking set of applications. We did fail in communicating well enough this complex situation. But then, we're software developers, we create software ...

3. KDE needs a fork

Forking software is always a last-resort alternative. Even though it's an option open to any software developer, it carries a hefty price and responsibility, which explains why it fortunately seldom happens. It's a last-ditch option to be used when the directions and management of a given software no longer match the vision that a developer or a group of developers have.

We do not think we're anywhere near that point. A fork is a necessity only when other alternatives have failed. Yet people are calling for a fork of KDE without even trying those alternatives. We call that irresponsible.

The KDE community is extremely open to new ideas, new contributors, and new directions. Any current contributor will vouch for that. Those people who feel that their needs aren't being tended to or who feel the direction KDE is going are more than welcome to join the mailing lists and voice their opinions.

Forking carries a hefty price in maintaining the forked code. KDE is a complex set of interconnected applications and libraries, totaling well over 3 million lines of code (according to Coverity's Scan). It's a no-brainer conclusion that, the more people working on it, the lighter the load. So it's definitely better to work with the current developers than to gather a new group.

Forks for KDE have been proposed in the past and have failed. Whenever those forks were proposed, the KDE community met with skepticism yet welcomed the would-be-forkers, inviting them to join the community instead. Even when code was published, the community responded by offering to work together and incorporate the improvements. In all cases so far, the invitation was not accepted, the forkers did not join the KDE community and simply abandoned their ideas.

Forking KDE 3 and porting it again to Qt 4 is a monstrous job. It took the KDE team almost 3 years to do it. We don't believe that any group of developers is willing to undertake that task again. However, the code is open. Should anyone want to attempt, we'll even provide commit rights to our servers.

4. "KDE needs to drop Plasma"

Most of the gripes about KDE 4 so far concentrate on Plasma. The rest of the desktop, the rest of the applications, and the libraries and frameworks are generally are very well received by end users, and certainly by those willing to adopt those new technologies early. Since forking all of KDE is out of the question on technical grounds (see above), some call for just dropping Plasma and resurrecting kicker and kdesktop. The people calling for a fork are invited to resume working on kicker. As on previous occasions, the KDE community welcomes those developers and we will provide them with accounts on our Subversion server if they wish to undertake that work. The code for those applications has been partially ported to the new KDE 4 libraries already much earlier in the development process towards KDE 4.0.

The KDE team has no plans to resurrect kicker or kdesktop, however.

5. "Plasma lacks functionality"

Plasma is a new development from the ground up. This was necessary because of severe scalability problems of the old KDE3 codebase containing kdesktop, kicker and the minicli (the Run Command dialog you get when you press ALT+F2). Also, the requirements for a desktop system have changed in terms of user expectations. Those components can now use new graphical capabilities such as compositing and animations, which was either very hard to do or plain impossible with the KDE3 technology.

Plasma in KDE 4.0 consisted of a basic traditional desktop with a panel and an application launcher menu. It was not meant to fully replace all functionality that has matured in KDE3 for several years. Plasma does however make it relatively easy to replace those components, so it can be extended with applets and code to be very powerful indeed.

The perceived lack of functionality is mostly due to the default settings and applets available in 4.0. As the technology matures and KDE 4.1/4.2 are released, we think that this complaint will become obsolete.

6. "I cannot put files on my desktop"

The folderview plasmoids (which are enabled by default) show files on your desktop and let you interact with them as if you were using a filemanager. Although it provides the functionality of "icons on the desktop," it is actually far more powerful. It lets you show arbitrary folders on your desktop, even network resources, and interact with the files as if they were locally stored. The user can also display folders other than ~/Desktop, filter certain filetypes, and so on.

Folderview enters KDE in KDE 4.1, replacing the somewhat clunky support for icons on the desktop in KDE 4.0. In KDE 4.2, it is planned to set a folderview as "desktop background".

folder view

The folderview Plasmoids lets you put files on your desktop

7. "The whole KDE4 desktop interface is radically new"

While the underlying technology provides lots of new means to interact with computers and will have even more ways of working with different sets of users on different devices, the desktop interface in KDE 4.0 and KDE 4.1 is mostly backwards compatible with desktops as we've seen them in the last 20 years, containing a panel to switch between applications, a menu launcher, and several bits of functionality such as the clock. Users are not forced to learn new paradigms unless they want to take advantage of new features such as the dashboard and applets.

The desktop interface has not been radically redesigned in the last twenty years. The KDE team is working on laying the groundwork for new and innovative ways of dealing with the desktop while providing the traditional ways of interacting with the desktop so current users are not alienated.

folder view

The folderview Plasmoids lets you put files on your desktop

8. "I am forced to use the kickoff menu"

KDE 4.0.4 and KDE 4.1 both provide the possibility to easily switch from the kickoff applications launcher to the classic menu style known from KDE3. To switch back to the classic menu, the user right-clicks on the K-menu button and chooses "Switch to Classic Menu Style".1

folder view

From kickoff's context menu, you can easily switch to the classic menu style

9. "The KDE team does not listen to its users"

KDE, as a Free Software project, is more open to its users than any other comparable software team. All mailing lists are open to suggestions, development can be closely followed through SVN, and developers are usually easily reachable for interested parties, either through their mailing lists, on IRC, or directly via email.

The developers do depend on precise information, however. Vague statements such as "I don't like the new foobar" are hard to address. Precise reports detailing current and expected behavior along with use cases (and sometimes a bit of patience) increase the odds of issues being addressed. Insulting, whining, or spreading FUD does no good to a developer's motivation to address issues; instead the usual effect is to cause the developer to become demotivated in regards to fixing a particular issue. Users that would like certain functionality in KDE 4 should be collaborative and helpful and open to new solutions.

A common understanding of acceptable and effective behavior in communicating with developers is expected, especially considering that the developers do not have an obligation to help and usually do it voluntarily.

In some cases, we need to balance out when to listen to certain users or not. After all, we are probably leaving some people comfort zone. There is always resistance to change, yet change is necessary for survival. A certain amount of room for innovation is needed, and in fact lies at the heart of Free Software. KDE 3.5 wouldn't be the stable product it is now without ignoring some of the voices once in a while, and KDE 4 would never become reality.

10. "KDE 4 vs 4.0 is confusing"

With "KDE 4" we refer to the complete lifecycle of technologies such as Phonon, Plasma, Solid, and so on. "KDE 4" spans the whole lifecycle. KDE 4.0 is the first release in this lifecycle, exposing new technologies to the public. Subsequent releases (such as KDE 4.1 and 4.2) build on the "Pillars of KDE4". The technologies that are there, but not yet visible surface as KDE 4 is around longer. Users, especially Free Software users who are typically considered more familiar with software options and availability, have generally had little problem understanding OS X and its subsequent versions, Windows XP and its service packs, Linux 2.6 and its point releases, and so on. KDE 4 is the new major software paradigm in the KDE project, and KDE 4.0 is simply the very first release. It makes sense that for the release, we have focused on the technical underpinnings and architecture to future-proof KDE 4 for years to come.

11. "KDE should just have ported KDE 3.5 to Qt 4 and not add all that other experimental stuff right away"

This is not a stupid idea and it was heavily considered. The problem with it is two-fold: social and technical.

Socially speaking, it assumes redirecting development effort is effective. To a certain extent it is, but for quite a few developers not developing features often means not developing at all. Not everybody is good at low-level stuff (or willing to do it). This has bitten us and other projects in the past and present. The development of KDE 4 has been slower than it would've been if we would be able/willing to force developers to work on whatever some top-down managers think is good...but it's just not how FOSS works.

Technically speaking, two arguments. First, an only-ported release would in time have to be reworked again, so we couldn't promise binary compatibility, and the first release would be useless for development of third-party applications. It would really be nice for users, but a total waste of time from the point of view of developers - the progress of KDE as a development environment would be minimal at best. And that development environment happens to be the major focus of KDE 4.0 - we want to push the Free Desktop further (long-term vision).

A second problem would be the fact the developers would have to port a huge amount of old code which wouldn't be needed on the new platform. Prime example here are KDesktop and Kicker. Many users asked the KDE developers to port Kicker and KDesktop to Qt 4, but they didn't because it would be a huge job and in the long run unmaintainable anyway. In other words, it would delay the release of Plasma by at least another year, with no long-term benefit at all. The same goes for audio and video capabilities, all chat and PIM related capabilities, etc. In other words, a LOT.

Innovation in technology will never go without changes. Changes will never go without naysayers. As much as we try to respect both sides, the desktop has hardly seen any real innovation in the last 15 to 20 years. The KDE developers need some room for new ideas to be able to push the Free Desktop to the next generation of computers and computer users.

1 The dburns workaround: In Kubuntu right clicking does not work the way it does in Mandriva. After looking at my options for a while I opened up the "Add Widgets..." option again and *then expanded the window*. The Traditional Menu based application launcher was now a selection. You could not tell the old menu was there unless the window was expanded. This was not here before, but there were a few things I downloaded for KDE4 the other day and the option might have been installed then.


KDE on KDE 4.0 | 241 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here, please...
Authored by: jbeadle on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 02:58 PM EDT

So PJ can find them easily.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here, please...
Authored by: jbeadle on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:00 PM EDT
Please make clickable links and post in html instead of plain text.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspick comments here, please...
Authored by: jbeadle on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:02 PM EDT

And please use the newspick title as the subject line...


[ Reply to This | # ]

Eyeballs for ODF - the Groklaw discussion thread
Authored by: jbeadle on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:04 PM EDT

Urgent "Eyeballs for ODF" feedback goes here. PJ says...



[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE on KDE 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:07 PM EDT
After hearing KDE's responses and forward thinking, I decided to give Kubuntu a

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: ile on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:25 PM EDT
Sorry for shouting (well, not really sorry, I'm afraid).

I have made no comment in the dot or in other venues
because I am a mere user, not a contributor in any way (I
did report one bug on kontact once, though; I also pay for
my Powerpack Mandriva edition, mainly to give back
somehow; and I do pester some of the admins back where I
work to tell me about the configuration of the LDAP server
in order to use it with Kontact - they seem to think only
MS Outlook exists).

But I've been very worried at the bad blood regarding
KDE4. I've tried it (the 4.0 provided with Mandriva
2008.1) and it is not _yet_ all I expect it KDE4 to
blossom into; so???

I have no right to complain: i am not a contributor. If
anything I have to THANK the devs for their work. What on
earth am I giving them back that enables me to be
dismissive of what they do? Am I being forced to use KDE
if I do not like it? I can keep on using KDE 3.5.9 (which
is what I am using right now), or I could move on to GNOME
(without Mono) or IceWM or...

As a matter of fact, not only do I lack a right to
complain: I also have no desire whatsoever to complain. I
am awed by proposals like Nepomuk and its integration,
flabbergasted by widget integration in plasma, amazed at
the portability of KDE to other platforms, and can only
commend the devs and other contributors of KDE for
attempting this.

I cannot now go back to other lesser applications after
having used kile or kontact, for instance.

So, a big thank you to KDE contributors, a very big thank
you to KDE e.V., I do not dare hug Aaron Seigo... and a
big big thank you to PJ for bringing this up.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • THANK YOU!!!! - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:53 PM EDT
  • THANK YOU!!!! - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 03:14 PM EDT
  • THANK YOU!!!! - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 04:35 PM EDT
  • THANK YOU!!!! - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 13 2008 @ 07:20 PM EDT
  • THANK YOU!!!! - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 12:02 AM EDT
Embrace change!
Authored by: stegu on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:27 PM EDT
Why do people have problems with the fact that KDE4 is different from KDE3? I
would have been very disappointed if it *hadn't* been different. Improvement
*requires* change. If any of the new stuff is really, truly bad, it will change
back, or better, evolve into something which is different in a good way

There are two kinds of fools in the world: those who say "this is old, and
therefore good", and those who say "this is new, and therefore
better". KDE4 contains a lot of great ideas and looks very good, well
designed and flexible. If you feel like complaining, do it clearly and politely
in a constructive manner to the developers, and they will most likely listen.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Question for PJ
Authored by: jbeadle on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:29 PM EDT
So PJ, what distro are you using? Mandriva? Kubuntu? Something else?



[ Reply to This | # ]

Watching the KDE vs Gnome battle from the sidelines
Authored by: seeks2know on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:50 PM EDT
I've been using Linux for a while now. I've used both KDE and Gnome for
extended periods. I found that I liked both, although, over time, I found more
comfort with Gnome.

About six months ago, I migrated to Xfce. I made the change due to the reduced
overhead and speed. Once I started to use Xfce, I found that I really liked the

It has been rather interesting watching the battles being waged from the
sidelines. Actually, despite the occasional venom being released, I believe that
the passionate dialog is healthy.

There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it
-- George Washington

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE 4 and accessibility
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:54 PM EDT
Does anyone have any insights into where KDE is at, wrt screen reader
accessibility for blind people?
I'd love to be able to try it out but it seems
Gnome with Orca is the best bet for the moment.

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE on KDE 4.0
Authored by: TtfnJohn on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:06 PM EDT
I admit I'm surprised that the KDE team is recommending Kubuntu as it's nowhere
near as complete at 4.1 as SUSE is.

That said, neither provides a relatively seamless upgrade path once installed.
In openSUSE it's rip it all out and reinstall due to a heavily complex set to
dependencies most of which seem to be for 3.5.9 rather than 4.1. I'm thinking
YaST is being it's normal confused self here.

Yesterday was supposed to be the day Mandriva released it's alpha test for 2009
which I'm going to go hunt for now.

It's likely to be a bit more polished than Kubuntu or openSUSE as 4.1.x will be
the default when 2009 goes into general release in October.

And I am liking a lot of what I see in 4.1 right now including, in spite of what
some of the naysayers say, a far better way to do my work thanks to Folder



[ Reply to This | # ]

Plasma FAQ - For all your Plasma needs!
Authored by: luca.b on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:16 PM EDT

I put this in the OT section of another story, but here I think it should get more exposure. I and a bunch of other people have been compiling a FAQ to answer common questions about Plasma.


Also, I and another person are planning to make videos showing off Plasma features. Here is an example.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. - Salvor Hardin

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE on KDE 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:25 PM EDT
KDE 4.X will be stable and secure only if and when Patrick Volkerding had
finally included it in Slackware! Until then I'll stick with KDE 3.X!..... LOL
okay I couldn't help it... Just joking as twm is really the only windows manager

[ Reply to This | # ]

I've been surprised by the furore
Authored by: TerryC on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:28 PM EDT
I'm not a developer (at least not of OS or desktop software), but I was fully
aware back in the early part of the year of the purpose of the 4.0 release.
Consequently, I didn't expect anything to be anywhere near finished.

I was therefore not surprised when the Kubuntu team said that 8.04 wouldn't
include 4.0 as standard, and think that their decision was the right one. I
think many of the problems have arisen because some other distros have been
released with KDE4 and raised false expectations.

I haven't even tried KDE4 yet; not even as a live disc release and I think I
will probably appreciate 4.1 all the more when it eventually gets proper
airtime. Whatever the outcome, I'm sure the KDE team based their directions on
what they felt was right at the time. Hindsight may have proved them wrong in
some areas; probably mainly in communication, but I think that the naysayers
have far more responsibility here. They should have listened more carefully to
what was said about the release, accepted it's limited capability and looked
instead at it's potential.

I for one am extremely grateful to the KDE team. They are doing things that I
certainly couldn't do for myself and they are doing it largely without any other
reward than the gratitude and respect of their users.

So don't lose heart. Just because a few are negative (and in my view
ungrateful), doesn't mean that the silent majority aren't cheering from the


Just think; if Microsoft added 'You hereby grant us a license to print money' to
their EULA, it wouldn't change it's meaning a bit.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: PolR on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:35 PM EDT
This is a very useful article. Thanks for PJ for asking KDE, and thanks to KDE
for writing it.

I for one am not involved in KDE development. I don't tend to read the mailing
list or participate to IRC channels. It is good to see in such a public forum as
Groklaw what the KDE project management thinks and how they navigate between the
desire to innovate and the constraints of FOSS development and choose the most
sensible course. Significant transitions are always difficult and are subject to
meeting speed bumps. Being afraid of that leads to stagnation. Thank you KDE for
your courage of going ahead.

I fully support the approach of doing the foundation work first and let the more
visible functionality spread its wings later when the foundation has matured.
For now I am a faithful Gnome user, mostly because it works for me and I am
comfortable with it. But I increasingly feel the urge to flee the mono
dependencies and the large number of KDE native software is very attractive. I
will definitely give KDE 4 a try.

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE 4.0 "Developer Release"
Authored by: kragil on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:41 PM EDT
Everybody .. for the future:

PLEASE call something like KDE 4.0:

KDE 4.0 Developer Release

That will be better for everyone .. geeks and distros will still try it because
of the 4.0, but trolls will not complain that because of the "Developer
It is the perfect name for something where all the libs are in place.
Just MHO, but I am sure I am right ;)

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE on KDE 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:47 PM EDT
I currently use KDE 3.5 on Fedora 8, I like it and am getting deeper into it
after moving from Windows ( a task I can never complete as I need to test web
pages and have some legacy apps that need it). I needed to test a system so I
tried F8 i686 and F9 i86_64 on it, both fine. My feeling was that KDE 4 was
beginning to look more the future while KDE 3.5 is starting to look dated. I
like the new menu, wasn't that on SUSE 10? I find the traditional menu a mess
while the new one is a lot cleaner. (aside, can users be given different menus
as I would like to give them much simpler ones to play with and limit system
stuff etc?)

It is nice to see the KDE guys coming out and answering the critics and
describing where it is going. It makes a lot of sense and confirms a lot of what
I though about it, this is the start of something new not the end. It is a
switch from following Windows to leading. KDE 3 didn't settle down overnight
neither will this but once it does I believe it will be a strong desktop. I
think it has some folks scared.


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • KDE on KDE 4.0 - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 07:07 PM EDT
KDE on KDE 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 05:09 PM EDT
Thank you PJ & KDE. This was great information, and I'd love to see a write
up similar to this as a press release to the likes of and other sites
that have high traffic.

From my perspective, I looked at KDE 4.0, and I knew it was more that I wasn't
ready to change my workflow, but also I wasn't willing to work around its
unfinished user side. In that I understand why 4.0 was released, and would have
been as upset as those I see if I thought it was a final release for end-users.

I also would have been as upset as them if I could not rely on my good ole KDE
3.5. Thankfully, Kubuntu has not gotten rid of KDE 3.5, and I thought the
default was still 3.5. Though I may have kept the version back manually for
above reasons. Either way, I do love the direction KDE is going, and eagerly
await checking out KDE 4.1!

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE on KDE 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 05:34 PM EDT
'KDE, as a Free Software project, is more open to its users than any other
comparable software team'

... and that's a pretty bad thing to boast. Joe doesn't always know what's right
for him, but when he has a complaint, it better be listened to. It does not,
however, mean that his idea to solve it is always good.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • It depends - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 06:08 PM EDT
Resource usage ... ouch!
Authored by: dkpatrick on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 07:20 PM EDT
I teach Linux at a community college where hardware is not the priority
investment. I've run Redhat/Fedora for my classes successfully from RH 7.2 up
through Fedora 8.

With Fedora 9 and KDE4, however, my classes' 1Ghz CPU and 512MB of Ram systems
can't cope. KDE is too sluggish for classroom use so I'm switching my
desktop-of-choice for the students to XFCE. I don't care for Gnome because
historically the application menu has included fewer of the system functions
than KDE and that's what I'm teaching.

Maybe we'll upgrade the systems someday and I can revert to KDE but honestly, on
these 'lesser' systems it's like trying to run Vista.

"Keep your friends close but your enemies closer!" -- Sun Tzu

[ Reply to This | # ]

People never like change
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 01:13 AM EDT

The number of people who switch from Gnome to KDE, or vice-versa, is negligible. If you ask Gnome/KDE users why they prefer Gnome/KDE to KDE/Gnome, they usually mention deficiences of the "other" environment that were fixed at least 2 releases ago.

Nobody should be surprised that KDE 4 has attracted flak. It's not that it's worse; it's different.

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE 4.0 giving it another chance
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 01:47 AM EDT
Reading PJ's article I thought, well, give it another chance.

I was able to find:

"Word Processor"

"Text Editor"

"Terminal" or "Terminal Emulator"

"Web Browser"

I never have good words to say about Microsoft, but at least they aren't ashamed
of the names of their programs. It it is called Microsoft Word, then that IS
what's called.

"Text Editor" turned out to be an application I've known as kwrite.

The terminal emulator turned out to be what looked like an application I've come
to know as Konsole, but it didn't proudly display the name.

Maybe we should all fall into generic shame, nothing to be proud of. (somewhat
sarcastic, but not totally)

Kudos to Microsoft for having the sense of pride to give their products specific


I understand this naming convention may or may not have anything whatsoever with
KDE 4. I don't know, the Live CD booted and that's what I got.


Now for the specifics:

The Live CD is none other than openSUSE version 11

This time, wanting to give KDE 4 an honest to goodness fair trial, I set boot
default screen resolution from 1280x1024 to 1024x768. The resolution change took
fine but also caused the taskbar and start menu to disappear.

Working only with mouse, keyboard and desktop, I tried various ways to get a
taskbar and no go. Same thing on reboot totaling 2 tests.

The obvious work around is use the resolution they want you to have. At least
you get a taskbar, start button and programs menu.


In the final analysis I certainly won't give it an install. Your mileage may
vary, and I'd really be interested to learn if others can reduce the resolution
on the Live CD as I did and not lose the key elements of usability.

What I've described, is in my opinion, a glaring flaw, I hardly believe it. It's
bad enough I'd not even bother to advise them (openSuse) of it, a minor quirk
sure, but not something this vital and fundamental.

Please, don't accept this post as gospel, until others have validated it. If you
don't believe me, then don't, because I don't think I would either.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Missing" features
Authored by: BitOBear on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 03:33 AM EDT
Having a discussion of "missing" features is potentially interesting.

To start off, here is mine...

I have a small laptop with limited vertical screen space. I live an die by
hiding the task bar etc. The KDE 4-ish work I have done has made the absence of
that feature annoying sometimes. The absence of that whole right-click,
auto-hide task bar seems like the most obvious first-off thing to have put in.
(Using Ubuntu with the KDE-3 and KDE-4 options added on top.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

KDE on KDE 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 06:34 AM EDT
Mistakes in release management:

"The aim of the KDE project for the 4.0 release is to put the foundations
place for future innovations on the Free Desktop. The many newly introduced
technologies incorporated in the KDE libraries will make it easier for
developers to add rich functionality to their applications, combining and
connecting different components in any way they want."

This marketspeak doesn't translate as "not ready for end-user

See here as well:

Face it: the .0 release was over-hyped by the promotion team. The backwash
from the disappointed users was well-deserved.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • KDE on KDE 4.0 - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 06:58 AM EDT
    KDE on KDE 4.0
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 06:37 AM EDT
    Although I've tried KDE 4.0 on some live distros, the glitz has not been enough
    to overcome my fear of the unknown and I've gone scurrying back to good old KDE
    3.5. My own view, FWIW, is that it shows promise but I don't see a reason for me
    to change. Fortunately as an inveterate Slacker, and as others have noted above,
    that's not likely to be a problem for some while ;-). Consequently, for some of
    the following I have had to rely on information provided by others, so I
    apologise in advance for any factual errors.

    I suspect that one of the drivers for PJ's request was the article by Steven J
    Vaughan-Nichols proposing a fork, which was linked in Newspicks IIRC. Having
    read both that article and this response I would like to offer a few
    "statements of fact" followed by some observations in the hope of
    pouring oil on the waters (without igniting it).

    1. KDE4 looks pretty and a great deal of effort has clearly been invested in
    producing an interface which looks attractive.
    2. A huge amount of work must have gone on behind the scenes in developing new
    frameworks to support the features of the new interface. That work is ongoing
    (isn't it always?).
    3. Many users have become become familiar, and are very happy, with KDE 3.5.
    They have work patterns which rely on features of KDE 3.5 not provided on Gnome,
    MS Windows or any other desktop.
    4. KDE 4.1 does not provide a seamless upgrade from KDE 3.5. Some features of
    KDE4 have not yet been implemented and may ease this process. Some aspects of
    KDE 3.5 may never be part of KDE4.
    5. Learning something new costs time and effort and successful migration can be
    measured by whether those costs outweigh the benefits of the new over old.
    (Rather than just KDE, think of moving from Linux 2.4 to 2.6, or even 2.2 to
    6. Some distributors have announced their intention to move to KDE4 in the near

    From the above, it is clear that a conflict of interest has been brewing between
    KDE developers, KDE users and distro makers. KDE users don't want to lose
    productivity - if they wanted to explore technologies rather than use them they
    would be called KDE explorers :-). KDE developeres want KDE to develop in new
    and interesting ways. Distro makers want to attract new customers (the number of
    GNU/Linux users is still very small compared to the overall market) and offering
    bright, shiny things will likely remain a useful marketing tool.

    When confronted with a conflicting interest, we have a number of choices : keep
    your head down and hope it goes away; enter into negotiations to resolve the
    conflict; keep barreling on and hope your interests win. Generally speaking, the
    fist option is generally the preserve of the underdog and the last is generally
    the prerogative of those with the upper hand (Thermopylae being a notable
    exception). Happily what we are seeing is a negotiation between two of the
    parties involved. Unfortunately, a stable solution needs the third leg of the
    tripod and that seems to have gone for option one. What I don't hear is how the
    distros plan to address the concerns of their users/customers.

    If the distros offer both KDE 3.5 and KDE 4.x then both sides can be happy while
    KDE4 matures. Distros have offered older versions of the kernel in a similar
    situation and I remain baffled as to how this situation is so different. Perhaps
    this is utterly beyond the abilities of the respective package management tools
    but I don't see why. Otherwise it looks like Patrick Volkerding could be seeing
    a lot more custom ;-).

    Nigel Whitley

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • KDE on KDE 4.0 - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 09:28 AM EDT
    • KDE on KDE 4.0 - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 09:31 AM EDT
    • KDE on KDE 4.0 - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 13 2008 @ 08:24 AM EDT
    And the KDE-Look community?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 09:41 AM EDT
    I don't see a single word about the way they have no backwards compatibility for
    theming of things like kdm and other such that the enormous kde-look community
    have contributed. Trolltech have effectively thrown years of work by hundreds,
    if not thousands of contributors into the trash.<li>They certainly do
    ignore a LOT of their community don't they? Disregard and undervalue I'd say.
    I'm disgusted with it to be honest and will probably switch my many years of
    loyalty and efforts to gnome - at least they don't spit in their contributor's
    faces. This is the price of dealing with a company trying to make money from
    FOSS instead of dealing with a true community project I suppose.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    KDE on KDE 4.0
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 10:29 AM EDT
    I used KDE 4.0 for a few days after it was first released. My problem was that
    my expectations were way higher than what was delivered in KDE 4.0. For
    example, I quickly saw that I could not right click on much of anything on the
    desktop to customize things. Some things I could customize from the control
    center, but other things not at all. The desktop icons at that time had tiny
    buttons that would appear in a translucent frame that would magically appear and
    disappear, which reminded me of Vista (not good).

    Furthermore, stability of KDE 4.0 was pretty bad, at least for me.

    I think a lot has probably changed for the better in KDE 4. However, I wish
    that the hype and expectations had been tempered down as KDE 4.0 was initially
    being released.

    Here is the official text used to tamper down hype: "The aim of the KDE
    project for the 4.0 release is to put the foundations in place for future
    innovations on the Free Desktop. The many newly introduced technologies
    incorporated in the KDE libraries will make it easier for developers to add rich
    functionality to their applications, combining and connecting different
    components in any way they want."

    Why didn't they just say "KDE 4.0 is a limited functionality development
    release. KDE 4.x is our target for the first user quality release."? Or
    else use the "alpha" or "beta" terms, although Google among
    others has seemed to have confused the meanings of those terms.

    When I was using KDE 4.0, I just kept thinking, why did they remove basic
    feature xyz which was working perfectly fine in KDE 3? I didn't know if the
    absence of basic features/functionality in KDE 4.0 was a bug, a to-do, or a
    strategic new design that was somehow supposed to be "better". I
    probably wrongly thought that these flaws were part of a new design which made
    me more and more frustrated. The reason I thought that bugs or to-do's in KDE
    4.0 were part of the new design was because of all the hype in how this new
    design/paradigm was the greatest thing ever. The hype in the new design almost
    seemed to be arrogance where nothing was supposed to be questioned.

    I do appreciate all the work going into KDE 4. I just think the messages about
    KDE 4.0 came across wrong.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Lound and clear
    Authored by: Random BedHead E on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 12:50 PM EDT
    I just wanted to say congrats to the KDE devlopers on a great work in progress. Also, thanks for coming up with what I'm convinced is a great development framework. While a lot of people seem bewildered by the 4.0 release, I carefully read the very clearly written announcements in late 2007 and early 2008, and I fully understood both what KDE 4.0 was and what it wasn't. (My opinion of the complainers is that they need to get (a) patience and (b) an attention span.)

    I tried 4.0 on a LiveCD after its release. Like most people I didn't adopt it, and instead still use a 3.5 release. But I didn't abandon the 4 series either. I knew from the announcements that the real usability improvements and eye candy would come later. I'm looking forward to KDE 4.1's release - Desktop folders look awesome. I recommend people check out Ars Technica's coverage of this feature as well. I'm already sold on it being more useful than the old ~/Desktop folder paradigm.

    Thanks again. Thanks also to PJ for giving the developers a forum for re-emphasizing their 4.0 goals and explaining their reasoning a bit further.

    -Ed Holden

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Out of the box experience
    Authored by: rhdunn on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 05:07 PM EDT
    Most people want a system that will work out of the box and that feels
    integrated. Most people looking at Linux for the first time have heard of
    Ubuntu. Ubuntu provides a good (not perfect) environment to work from that feels

    However, having used Kubuntu with KDE4 (installing it via `apt-get install
    kubuntu-kde4-desktop`), I can't help but understand why KDE4 has so much
    negativity. This makes me wonder why this has happened?

    The new menu has the potential for simplifying user interaction, and I really
    want to like it. However, I don't like that hovering over the quick tabs at the
    bottom of the menu switches to that menu, while in Applications, the sub-menus
    don't fly out - so you don't get a preview of what is there - and clicking the
    menu changes the content to the submenu. From my initial usage I have also found
    that I am doing more clicks/mouse movements than normal, but if you add the
    items to the favourites, then there are fewer. On the whole, this is an

    My initial exposure to changing the desktop background is that I like the Gnome
    one better. I like being able to see the preview of an image when browsing files
    (this is technically in the file open/save dialogs, not the desktop background
    dialog). I also like that the Gnome appearances dialog keeps the list of
    available backgrounds (that you can add and remove entries to/from) and displays
    them as a set of thumbnails. The live update/preview is another nice feature of
    the Gnome appearance manager.

    The panel does not scale and reposition well, and the clock is clipped at
    different sizes. I suspect that this is a bug in KDE itself, and not an
    integration issue.

    Once a CD is loaded, you can't use the eject button (whereas this works in
    Ubuntu proper). You have to select the eject option on the disk (which does not
    eject the tray) and then press the eject button.

    Running Gnome/Gtk applications looks horrible out of the box. I had to google
    for the gtk-qt-engine-kde4 package. Why isn't this part of the
    kubuntu-kde4-desktop package? I also googled for a KDE4 theme add-on for FF3
    which is *really* nice - better than the Tango theme, IMHO. However, with these,
    FF3 still does not look as nice as it does on Gnome: menu items with checkboxes
    (View -> Status Bar) do not render properly; the controls on forms (e.g. see
    gmail) render with a gray background, and the checkbox controls cause the email
    message lines to look taller, which makes them look odd.

    It appears that it has also lost my enabling of sub-pixel smoothing of fonts,
    which causes some fonts to look less crisp than they can be. I could not find
    where to set this, nor where the compiz effects are.

    This can only get better in time. Forking will not solve these issues, but
    introduce another set of integration issues.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Communicating Better
    Authored by: CondorDes on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 06:22 PM EDT

    I'm really glad to see this article. Thank you, Sebastian and PJ, for taking the time to clarify things.

    I don't know whether January was the right time to release or not. But I still think calling it KDE 4.0 has ultimately proven to be a mistake, for two reasons:

    (1) Calling it 4.0 is misleading, clarification notwithstanding.

    I realize you guys were trying to avoid the stigma of the term "beta" -- labels are powerful things. But not everybody pays attention and reads all the news articles, so saying "It's 4.0 (but...)" clearly wasn't enough.

    You called it 4.0, without any qualification. Right off the bat, that's misleading -- "KDE 4.0" implies the software is stable and ready for general-user adoption. One would have to read further (news articles, press releases and the like) to figure out it was intended for early adopters only.

    Another commenter suggested "Developer Release" -- I think this, or something like it, would've been a great idea. It avoids the stigma of "beta", while still conveying the "early-adopters only" impression.

    (2) You were not consistent in your communications.

    You claim that "Many of the official release announcements posted on contained the following text: ... This has been consistent in all communications." Unfortunately, that's not the case.

    The KDE 4.0 Press Release, which one would assume to be the definitive source of information on KDE 4.0, does not contain that text. Indeed, it doesn't contain any statement that I can see to the effect that KDE 4.0 was an early-

    I suspect this omission, alone, created huge headaches for the KDE community. I doubt (although of course I don't know) that many casual users would dig much beyond the press release. The release discusses many new features, and neglects to mention the features that, for example, aren't (yet) included in Plasma.


    It seems as if a lot of users had inflated expectations of KDE 4.0, and Plasma in particular, and they were disappointed to find those expectations were not met.

    I think if PR materials such as the press release and news articles had included a clear, simple label (e.g. "KDE 4.0 Developer Release", or "KDE 4.0 Early-Adopter Release"), it would have done much to ease the confusion and set more accurate expectations.

    The paragraph of text you mentioned earlier seemed very vague -- using a simple, prominent key phrase would have been more clear.

    All that said, I was very glad to see this article. I think there's still a lot of angst and disappointment that must be overcome, but this was a step in the right direction, and I'm sure the community is up to the task.

    I've been running SVN trunk as my primary desktop for several weeks now, and I think KDE is making great progress. Now that 4.1 has been branched, I'm really looking forward to what 4.2 has to offer. I know I'll be contributing in any way I can (right now, just bug reports, but hopefully soon, bugfixes).

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    KDE on KDE 4.0
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 12 2008 @ 10:09 PM EDT
    I am one of those early adopters, i'm using KDE4 since it
    was first released (writting from KDE 4.1 beta2). It was
    kinda unstable at first, and i couldn't find anything but as
    time passed i got used to it, and find it pretty good, and i
    don't find a real reason to go back to 3.5. But then again
    it needs some time to get used to it and sometimes that is
    pretty hard to do, but i think it is a great desktop once
    you get used to it.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "Lacks functionality"
    Authored by: Newsome on Sunday, July 13 2008 @ 01:02 AM EDT
    I find it interesting how Mr Kügler believes he has debunked the "Lacks
    functionality" myth by stating "It was not meant to fully replace all
    functionality that has matured in KDE3 for several years."

    I think that was the whole point. KDE4 doesn't do things that KDE3 did.
    Stating that Plasma makes "it relatively easy to replace those
    components..." just emphasizes the point. KDE4 today lacks functionality
    that KDE3 provided. The "myth" is still intact.

    Frank Sorenson

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    KDE on KDE 4.0
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 13 2008 @ 09:15 AM EDT
    Just to say I do like KDE4 and my primary OS server and desktop is Linux(for
    over a decade). What I find crazy is how innovative everyone says the KDE4 is
    though. I've used a friends vista laptop for a few weeks because of a project I
    was working on, and going back to my linux laptop with KDE4, it felt like a
    really bad, really unfinished ripoff. In the linux community I do believe there
    are many fresh ideas and many old ones brought to life again, but KDE is far
    from a masterpiece of desktop technology anyone has ever seen before.
    Infact I would say it's nothing but a copy of what we see in Vista.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    KDE on KDE 4.0 - Dolphin
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 13 2008 @ 08:30 PM EDT
    First of all: I really appreciate the KDE developper's efforts to create
    something that in the end will enable greater ease of integration and a greater
    choice of applications, or so I believe after reading some of the above.

    There is something that's bugging me, though, and I like to get rid of it.

    I have used used KDE 3.5 for more years than I care to count, and praise to the
    KDE guys, I have been greatly happy with the interface's great choices of
    customization and it's usefulness. In no way though, do I mean to imply I am
    closed to new and better things, UNDER ONE CONDITION:

    The economy of necessary interaction with the system stays at a
    minimum, while the rich choices of customization remain or get better. This way
    both beginners and expert users get what they need!

    This may sound a little abstract, so let me explain with an example:
    As I said I am still using KDE 3.5. Everytime I push in a USB-memory stick, the
    new KDE 4 interface Dolphin comes up, a great pride of the KDE4 developers, or
    so I have heart. After trying it out for a short time, I discover, that I tend
    to close the Dolphin window again, only to return to Konqueror. If Dolphin is
    any measure of what's to come with KDE 4, my positiveness about anticipation of
    'the new' is waning.

    Why you might ask? I am dealing with hundreds and thousands (if not millions) of
    files in my home directory. Everyone in a similar situation, will understand
    that in a file management tool I am not particularly keen on having an extra
    icon for every one of my files, as suggested by Dolphin's default view. So lets
    have a look at the other available options Dolphin is offering: Detail view and
    columns view (lets ignore preview here, gwenview is the tool for that) as
    displayed in the sceenshot jpegs in this post.

    Lets start with detail view: Everytime you click on a directory it promplty
    shows what's inside, taking the user straight into the directory, but removes
    the information of the parent directory. To return to the previous view, I have
    to move the mouse to a back button in the top panel of the interface. My
    verdict: Too much hand/mouse movement is required if I have to search numerous

    Column view: it opens the content of a directory in an extra column. To view
    another directory, one just clicks on the desired directory in the parent
    column. Even though its the next useful view, to the one I really need on my
    wife's iMac, its not really usefull if I have to navigate and evaluate a dozen
    sub-directory levels.

    WHAT DO I NEED: Tree view! What's wrong with a little '+' for exploding a
    directory content view under the current directory, and then '+' transforms into
    a '-' to collapse it again, when I want the child display to disappear? Too aged
    in design, too MicrosSoft?
    Needless to say, that to this day and time, I have not seen a more useful view,
    and my only gripe with Konqueror is that the dradded icon view is the default of
    any new session, and there does not seem to be a customization to change that.

    I hope my critizism is constructive enough, to find an ear soemwhere.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    KDE on KDE 4.0
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 14 2008 @ 12:52 PM EDT
    Maybe we're going to have to "agree to disagree".

    KDE Project Ships Fourth Major Version of cutting edge Free
    Software Desktop

    With the fourth major version, the KDE Community marks the
    beginning of the KDE 4 era.

    It says "Fourth Major Version of cutting edge Free Software
    Desktop", not, for example, "the first cutting edge release
    of the new (upcoming?) Fourth Major Version of the KDE Free
    Software Desktop".

    So, KDE is (versions 4, 3, 2, and 1 are) "cutting edge
    software"--that's at best puffery, how many people don't
    describe their new software as cutting edge?

    I hesitate to talk about the next sentence. It is (like
    the first sentence) subject to multiple interpretations.
    Very little, though, to remind me that it is a first,
    incomplete release of KDE 4.

    I'll say this a few times in this post--if you know what
    they're trying to say, you can probably interpret this
    properly. (If you're "on the in"--if you're the general
    public, or even just an "ordinary KDE user", good luck.)

    For those interested in getting packages to test and
    contribute, several distributions have notified us that
    they will have KDE 4.0 packages available at or soon after
    the release. The complete and current list can be found on
    the KDE 4.0 Info Page, where you can also find links to the
    source code, information about compiling, security and
    other issues.

    Wouldn't (almost) everybody (who is interested in KDE4)
    want to test before they committed to a changeover to KDE4,
    so the word "test" there is not any kind of warning.
    Likewise, "contribute" is no warning--no matter how
    complete kde4 (or kde3, or ...) is, FOSS is all about

    Then the paragraph tells us that several
    distributions will have packages available. Well, that's
    no warning, just information--many of us are not
    going to compile KDE, we want our distro to create a

    I don't see the phrase "new phase of development" in the
    announcement. Instead, I see "This significant release
    marks both the end of the long and intensive development
    cycle leading up to KDE 4.0 and the beginning of the KDE 4

    Again, if you know what they're trying to say, you can
    interpret it the way they want. If someone is trying
    to communicate to people who don't already have the
    message, the announcement is easily interpreted
    differently--I'd go so far as to describe it as

    (Aside (for my peace of mind): I told people (publicly)
    before 4.0 came out that I was unlikely to make the switch
    within the first two years of the release, for a variety of
    reasons. Whether I understood the message or not, I knew
    what to expect.)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Don't get it...
    Authored by: wbk on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 10:41 AM EDT
    I don't understand the angst over KDE 4. I moved to Linux and KDE in the KDE 1
    days. I was a Mac user, and fully expected to lose some features and ease of
    use. Amazingly enough, even though proprietary platforms are supposed to be
    customer-centric, I found that free software and the "developers scratching
    their personal itches" model ended up being better for me as a user. The
    reason is that the developers have no business motivation to change things just
    to extract money out of me, so when big changes occur, like a change in major
    release number, it has always been to improve the software. In the case of KDE
    4, so far most of the improvements have been to the underlying technology, and
    have not been visible to the user, but it's improving fast.

    Basically, I trust these guys to get it right. In the meantime I have my trusty
    KDE 3.5 series to use. The sky has not fallen. KDE 4.1 looks much better than
    KDE 4.0, I expect 4.2 will be better still. The developers are providing
    additional ways to mimic 3.5 with each release, which means if you wait a little
    you'll have less of a learning curve, not more.

    One last point - distros are generally at some level money-making operations.
    It's in their interests to give you a drop-in replacement for Windows or the Mac
    OS, or at least give the impression that's what they provide. But, their
    business is completely different than MS or Apple, because the distros don't
    actually develop the software they distribute. When their users go straight to
    the developers to complain, they take with them their attitude as a disgruntled
    customer (assuming they even pay the distros, many don't). Judging from what
    I've seen in many of the comments about KDE 4, here and elsewhere, many don't
    realize how different it is to be a user of an OSS system, rather than a
    customer of a proprietary company. I think the distros intentionally hide this

    So, I'm optimistic, excited even, that KDE 4 will become an amazing desktop. I
    may be adopting it at 4.1, if it proves stable enough. As Ms. Jones is fond of
    saying, freedom is the killer feature of free software.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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