Eric on 16 Oct 2008 16:03:40 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Anybody using KDE 4.1.2?

Casey Bralla wrote:
> KDE 4.1.2 was just released into the Gentoo unstable Branch as a update for
> KDE 3.5.x.
> I'm very happy with 3.5, and have heard some ominous things about KDE 4.0, but
> not much about the more recent releases.    I generally enjoy living on the
> bleeding edge, so I don't mind having to put up with some minor annoyances.
> But I'm wondering how the KDE 4 experience is.
> Does it still have the multiple desktops that I use so much?
> Does it integrate compiz into the window manager? (I always had trouble making
> compiz work)
> Is it too "weird"?
> I'd appreciate any comments from early adopters.
> PS:  Since I'll probably become an early adopter this weekend (Hey, ya gotta
> live dangerously!), if nobody has any comments now, I'll probably make some
> soon.


I've been vocal about this at the PLUG central meetings but have not written too 
much about it.

KDE 4 is a mixed bag:  I love it and I hate it.

I have a laptop running Kubuntu 8.0.4 with KDE 4.1

The PLUS side:

	Very nice interface - the new code under the hood (Plasma I
	believe it is called) is really well done and the interface
	looks great.

	There are many familiar things.

	There are some really cool new things - IE: desktop widgets

	The Dolphin file manager works well.

	Konqueror is still available including kfm so you're not
	tied to Dolphin if you don't want it.

The MINUS side:

	Somebody decided that leaving icons on the desktop is sort-of a
	"Windows" thing to do... so they flat-out prohibited it.
	You CAN put an icon on the desktop without using a Widgets
	but, trust me, you don't want to do that.  It's an indirect
	process - worse than useless for regular use.

	The familiar things are fairly well hidden.  For example, if
	you don't like the new menu structure then you just remove the
	Application launcher widget and drop in the "Traditional"
	Application launcher.  Thanks....   now I'm a "traditionalist" :-)

When I complained that I (occasionally, honest!) like to drop icons on the desk 
while working on a project I was told to use a widget called "Folder View". 
Folder view allows you to see the contents of a folder in a sort-of-shaded 
window on the desktop.  Unfortunately, it behaves kind of like a permanently 
open window on your desktop.  Worse, you have to add the widget and then 
configure it so don't expect it to be something you'd do routinely as part of a 
work-oriented task.  How this is better than leaving icons on one's desktop I'll 
never know

My impression is that some really smart (but not exactly customer focused) 
developers got a "rod" for desktop icons and managed to hijack the rest of the 
KDE team to go along with it.  If they did not want desktop icons then they 
don't have to use them but to effectively prohibit them is, in my opinion, 
ignorant elitism.

Bottom line?  I say install it (as well as 3.5) and try it out.  There are, as I 
note, many things to like.  I'm looking forward to 4.2 and beyond.  You may also 
discover (as I have) that Gnome (which I abandoned years ago) is not as bad as 
it once was.  And at least they don't tell you the "right" way to do your work :-)

#  Eric Lucas
#                "Oh, I have slipped the surly bond of earth
#                 And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings...
#                                        -- John Gillespie Magee Jr
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