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Fifteen years of KDE
Posted Oct 19, 2011 11:42 UTC (Wed) by acooks (subscriber, #49539)
Posted Oct 19, 2011 13:07 UTC (Wed) by boudewijn (subscriber, #14185)
In what way is KDE not modular according to you? Because you can use KWin without plasma-desktop? Because a KDE application like Krita runs fine on any other desktop than plasma-desktop? Because plasma is modular enough that you can create an old-fashioned Windows 95-like desktop with a start-menu, a panel and icons on the desktop as well as a finger-friendly information-on-the-desktop tablet gui?
And in what way would KDE be more user-friendly for you without plasma-desktop, always accepting that any judgment on user-friendliness given here on LWN is bound to be highly subjective and completely skewed because of the reader base?
And while KDE 4.4 was perfectly usable for someone who used to use KDE 3.x (KDE 4.2 was already in that stage), yes it matters which version you were talking about, because KDE 4.6 is much better again.
Posted Oct 19, 2011 16:06 UTC (Wed) by acooks (subscriber, #49539)
To be clear, afaict plasma consists of:
1. the bar at the bottom of the screen, which contains application launchers, status indicators, the "cashew", etc.
2. the desktop with its "cashew"
I don't particularly care if plasma is actually something else entirely. Those are the two items I have not been able to get rid of. If you could post a link to some instructions for running a kde session without those two things, but with an alternative panel, I'll gladly give KDE 4 another try. Ideally, I think what I would like is to have kicker from KDE 3.5 back, but without having both kde3 and kde4 libs taking up memory.
1. I don't want any wallpaper or icons on the desktop, or at least I want the option not to have it on my work PC. I also don't want to see the cashew or any of its plasmoids or transparency effects.
2. I don't want any fancy effects, save for seeing the content of a window while it's being resized or moved and anti-aliased fonts.
3. I don't want to toggle state on the panel to be able to move a launcher icon or add an application launcher.
4. I want the ability to right-click on the panel and add a launcher for any executable anywhere on the filesystem, with an icon in any of the common image formats, found anywhere on the filesystem, without changing into a special editing state.
5. I don't want any social or semantic anything when I'm trying to write code or fix something and I don't want it taking up resources in the background.
6. The multi-monitor support in 4.6 is broken. There were multiple times when KDE would corrupt some config setting and refuse to start. This happened when I had a second monitor attached before power-down (at work) and only the LVDS at start-up (at home). Recovering from that requires either a deep understanding of the config back-end or deleting the .kde4 directory and dealing with the unpleasantness that follows.
KDE might have improved in numerous ways between 4.2 and 4.6, but the things that caused me grief haven't improved afaics.
I find it ironic how new desktop environments like XFCE and LXDE have evolved to service the needs of the boring old farts who just want a lightweight desktop without the gimmicks, while the old projects are trying to attract new users and change the way their existing users work.
Posted Oct 19, 2011 16:54 UTC (Wed) by mgraesslin (subscriber, #78959)
There is also Kor http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php/Kor+Testudo+Shell?co... which is a small desktop shell.
And if it is just the cashew: there is a Plasmoid on kde-look called something like "I hate the cashew" and which removes it.
You mention a lot of "I don't want..." things and all of those are not mandatory.
1. You don't need a wallpaper and by default there are no icons on the desktop. The cashew can be removed and translucency can either be switched off or you can change the theme.
2. so turn off all other effects. Plasma works fine without compositing or with compositing. It's all in one source base and we keep functionality (no reimplementation like Unity-2D or GNOME Shell fallback mode).
3. Well that is the compromise to also support users who are not as adapt with the Computer as you are. And I doubt that you configure your panel each other day ;-)
4. Right click open window -> Advanved -> Show a Lauchner for Foo when not running. For anything else as .desktop file try to just drag'n'drop it and be surprised what KDE can do :-)
5. So turn it off
6. there are so many different things referenced as multi monitor that it is hard to answer. But looking left and looking right I see that multi monitor is not broken ;-)
Posted Oct 19, 2011 17:02 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
1. wallpaper, you always have had some background, you can change it from the default picture to some simple patters, just make that image and set it as your wallpaper (the image can be all black if you want)
icons on your desktop
on my desktop there was one window with some icons in it by default, but hitting the close button on it eliminates that, so I now have no icons on my desktop, just the bar at the bottom.
2. if you go to system settings, desktop effects there is a checkbox that will turn off all of the fancy animations and similar effects. seeing the contents of the window as you move it and anti-aliased fonts aren't affected by this checkbox.
3. I think you are out of luck here. but at the same time, I don't see how you would manage a launcher bar without having a modal interface, what clicks or gestures would you make to do the editing/rearranging functions that would never have a meaning outside of editing? left, right, and middle click are used, as is drag-n-drop
4. the difficulty in adding an arbitrary program to the launch is annoying, but since it's not something I do frequently, I don't worry about it a lot. what I do is to pick an app from the KDE menu and right click on it to select 'add to panel', I then right click on the result and select 'edit'. I can then change the command line, icon, name to be anything I want it to be.
5. nepomuk is trivial to turn off, go to system settings, desktop search and unclick the 'enable' button
6. I use multi-monitor support and while I have had problems with it not remembering my settings from login to login with prior versions, the version shipped with kubuntu 11.10 seems to be working for me so far.
Posted Oct 20, 2011 13:22 UTC (Thu) by jwakely (subscriber, #60262)
I think that depends on your POV and whether you are happy to abandon using your preferred terminal dimensions. Even when I finally get to run 4.8 it'll take a long time to forgive http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=176902 - a small thing, maybe, but it left a bad taste in my mouth long after the showstopper bugs in 4.0 were fixed.
Posted Oct 20, 2011 13:36 UTC (Thu) by jwakely (subscriber, #60262)
Posted Oct 20, 2011 13:39 UTC (Thu) by niner (subscriber, #26151)
Posted Oct 21, 2011 13:18 UTC (Fri) by jwakely (subscriber, #60262)
It's alright to stay on the old version - stability and legacy are good things!
Posted Oct 19, 2011 13:30 UTC (Wed) by k3ninho (subscriber, #50375)
Posted Oct 19, 2011 16:50 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
I don't know of any distro (other than probably gentoo) that offered the option to use either 3.5 or 4.0
Posted Oct 19, 2011 17:26 UTC (Wed) by niner (subscriber, #26151)
Posted Oct 19, 2011 20:09 UTC (Wed) by Anssi (subscriber, #52242)
Posted Oct 20, 2011 15:29 UTC (Thu) by tsr2 (subscriber, #4293)
Out of the box I found the user experience painful and even after using it for a couple of months I never managed to configure it to be anywhere near as usable as KDE3.5, so I got rid of it.
I now have one desktop running Linux Mint and my other desktop is running Trinity desktop Environment. If Mint goes to GNOME 3 I will try GNOME 3, but I expect I will eventually run Trinity on both boxes.
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