Ironic parallels

Story: Desktops in troubleTotal Replies: 17
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Jun 13, 2008
7:11 AM EDT
I am far from the first to see the parallels between kde 4 and Vista. They run much deeper than most of us would be comfortable agreeing with. Some have even argued that the KDE DevTeam has adopted the "the user wants what?" mentality that MS has exhibited since 95. I won't go that far...I don't see that as being true. However one thing I see as being almost humorous is the fact that as Microsoft has XP to fall back on, KDE has KDE 3 to rest upon. (silly note...I misspelled the word "rest" in the previous sentence as "rust". I don't care who you are, that there's funny)

Jun 13, 2008
7:20 AM EDT
Surely it's just a case of it being a new system and most people are averse to change?

From what I've been lead to believe, KDE 4.1 and onwards will be lighter and faster than KDE3.5 once it's stable. I think the problem is that people have got what are beta releases (that are alpha quality) and expect them to work faultlessly. Along with it being something different and people hating change it's causing a ridiculous overreaction.

Jun 13, 2008
7:37 AM EDT
Quoting:I think the problem is that people have got what are beta releases (that are alpha quality) and expect them to work faultlessly.

I agree DiBosco, They have all but completely re-written it from the ground up. Yes I will agree that on its face it acts a little like Vista, kinda, but come on. NOTHING acts as bad as Vista, I have proof of my own in that regard. Comparing it to Vista is not a fair comparison in any way. Compare 4.0 to 3.5 all you want, but not to Vista. Vista is a flaming bag of poo on your porch that needs to be stamped out.

Give 4.0 a chance to get a few bug fixes in it and then in six months see if it's still as bad as you think.


Jun 13, 2008
7:48 AM EDT
My impression is that the reason KDE4[.0.x] is so badly skewed towards Vista-like "shiny eye-candy" rather than actual functionality is because the developers were under the mistaken impression that this was what people most wanted. I suspect that since by KDE 3.5x most of the functionality people really wanted was already taken care of, most of the complaints the developers actually heard were about lack of eye-candy features - thus giving the impression that this is what everybody cared most about.

I'm holding back on judgement until they get 4.1x out the door. HOPEFULLY it will be much more fully-functional (and able to have the awful gigantic-shiny-bubble themes minimized while still being able to USE the system...)

Jun 13, 2008
8:08 AM EDT
Scott and DiBosco --

I think you are missing Ken's main point --

that KDE 4.0 development has not paid sufficient attention to the users.

It is, it seems, a bunch of talented developers growing hair on their palms.

No doubt, aversion to change is part of the issue, but...

You have to remember that aversion to change is rational when you have something that already works and makes you mostly happy.

Change can be good or it can be bad, as Vista demontrates quite well.

KDE developers have not, it seems, thought at length about the question of whether KDE 4.x will be good for the rest of us.


Jun 13, 2008
8:41 AM EDT
Point taken Dino, I cannot refute or deny that the KDE devs have lost touch with the users or not. From the "looks" of it, helios is right on the money then.


Jun 13, 2008
8:56 AM EDT

quote: " ... Vista is a flaming bag of poo on your porch that needs to be stamped out."

Somehow, I would not want you to lead my unit, if that is your battle plan. If, however, you had a shovel and the plan was to fling it onto a certain porch miles [kilometers] away I would be your driver.

Jun 13, 2008
9:00 AM EDT
Your hilarious Hersch, I guess the picture in my mind was one of Vista being a "surprise" to be found and... well...ok, your right, I would fling it too.


Jun 13, 2008
9:39 AM EDT
My company doesn't buy new PCs on a continuing basis. We buy 500 at once, every seven years or so. And I never buy anything new. Thus I only see Vista in small doses. It's sure different than XP -- and more than a little bit alien to those who haven't used it.

What disturbs me most about KDE 4 is that many KDE apps are not ready for the new environment. That's why Debian isn't including KDE 4 in Lenny. For me, it's all about functionality, speed and apps.

And I'm having an XFCE kind of week.


Jun 13, 2008
1:20 PM EDT
There is actually a bit of a flame war going on on the KDE developers' mailing list at the moment about this very topic. I think it's a terrible shame to get so angry at a bunch of people, many of whom work for free, for trying something new. As people have pointed out, if you want to carry on using 3.5, you are quite at liberty to do so.

From my point of view I think KDE4 looks absolutely brilliant and I am not remotely interested in fancy graphics. (I briefly played with 3D graphics on my Mandriva laptop and desktop and soon switched it off because it just seems pointless.) However, I am willing to bet that many "normal" computer users (if I might use that term! ;-) are impressed by it, and much as I agree Vista is a truly dreadful mess in terms of speed, needing resources and lack of compatibility, it does look very good and makes older desktops look drab.

I see your point, dino, but I've found myself in situations (many times) in the past where I've been happy with how something worked and not wanted to change to something new. In time, having been forced to work in a new way I have grown to see its advantages and eventually found it incredible that I used to work in the original way.


Jun 13, 2008
1:29 PM EDT
@Steven_Rosenber and DiBosco On the note of "functionality, speed and apps", it seems to me like KDE is trying to be many things to many people. Both GNOME and KDE are already fairly apps-dense what with their own specialty default apps, e.g., KOffice and the other heavier gtk/qt-library stuff. Lighten up some of the heavier libraries' reqs and co-deps, such as for example using the XFCE DE and you get faster speed. Makes perfect sense.

What all this leads to is a clear tradeoff: 1) go to bloatware with complete functionality and plenty of apps even with a quirky system at suboptimal speed --- KDE 4.0 now, or 2) go to rock hard stability and fast speed, excise the cruft and brilliant eye-candy, but also lose by way of this that add-on functionality and the gotta-have killer apps. KDE4 vs. 3.5, you takes your picks (and chances)

As far as wm's for the extreme here, you can crank out even better speed performance by going as minimal as possible. This means using icewm, jwm, fluxbox among others with their low RAM usage. Also related to the above, I continue to be impressed at how Kauler and Shingledecker(& Andrews) leave GNOME and KDE in the dust with their default Puppy and DSL DEs and WMs here. Finegrained functionality for both of these WITHOUT the KDE4 bloatware. hmmm.... good idea! :) -fb

Jun 14, 2008
12:05 AM EDT
Quoting:Surely it's just a case of it being a new system and most people are averse to change?

No it's not. It's the fact that it has no functionality, and even the eye candy doesn't look all that fantastic. It's quite boring really. The whole KDE4 thing is quite over rated. It might turn into a decent desktop one day, but it's got a long way to go.

Jun 14, 2008
8:36 AM EDT
" No it's not. It's the fact that it has no functionality, and even te eye candy doesn't look all that fantastic. It's quite boring really. The whole KDE4 thing is quite over rated. It might turn into a decent desktop one day, but it's got a long way to go."

The point on functionality goes back to the other part of my original point. This is a beta release, give it a chance!

If does have functionality, btw, you can do a surprising amount on it and it's nothing like as bad as people make it out to be. I put it on 2008.1 and was able to surf, do office stuff, get mails, listen to music etc.

On the subject of its looks, I have to disagree; to my eyes it looks superb and other non-Linux people I've shown to are amazed at how good it looks. I think this is one of the misconceptions of Linux from a lot of people - that it looks substandard - and KDE4 will help dispell that myth. I also think maybe it's just not so some people's taste. I know people who love the OS X desktop (Enlightenment is it?) but I think it looks awful. I don't think, if KDE 4 was boring, it would attracting so much attention and venom! ;-)

How do you do that neat trick with quoting of a previous post, btw?

Jun 14, 2008
2:34 PM EDT
Di, it looks very ordinary. I've been running the Live CD demo version. There is nothing impressive about KDE4 at all. There is Fck all functionality. It's highly over rated, stop making excuses for it. There needs to be a huge reduction in hyperbole where KDE 4 is concerned. At the moment KDE 3 give both better looks, if you like eye candy, and way better functionality.

Jun 14, 2008
2:46 PM EDT
Quoting:How do you do that neat trick with quoting of a previous post, btw?

type square bracket "[" then type "quote" then type the close square bracket

paste the text

then type square bracket "[" the forward slash "/" then "quote" then type the close square bracket.

Jun 14, 2008
3:28 PM EDT
The problem is the KDE devs have overstated their case, and they keepp on doing so. There may be some really brilliant ideas embodied in KDE 4, but they aren't in the least obvious to a pleb like me. I can see nothing in any of the screen shots that the KDE people plonk on the web, or indeed from the Live CD version I have that gives me any impression that the hyperbole is in any way warranted.

The desktop looks quite ordinary. There is this magnify function, accessed from the top RH corner of the screen, that does nothing useful, and nor to an onlooker such as myself can I see anything useful in it. So what you can make the desktop background fill only a quarter of the desktop, instead of all of it.

There are, when you put them there, these "desklets" whatever in the hell they are, that don't provide any useful functionality, that can't be made small enough to get them - visually - out of the way. You can't resize the damned task bar at the bottom, it's just this huge thing that sits there taking up space, and to get the decent "legacy" menu - I loath that frigging kickoff menu, it has no flow, it breaks my concentration while I click here, scroll there to find application - on to the task bar you have to remove everything then replace everything.

It doesn't rate Beta. It's Alpha.


Jun 14, 2008
4:34 PM EDT
I think BIll Hicks said it best when talking about the movie Basic Instinct, don't get all caught up in the hype and the controversy, take a second look and think for yourself. Your first reaction is probably correct "Oh it's a piece of ****" and regardless of all the press, hype, and controversy your right ... repeat, think for yourself and your right.

Jun 15, 2008
12:49 AM EDT
Ok I downloaded the very latest live CD demo of KDE 4, as far as I can tell because it shows the same lack of desktop icons that Aaron Seigo blogs about. I think I can see where they are going with this now, but it really isn't Beta software, it's still Alpha. Unfortunately it's running on open SuSE which means I didn't bother installing it on an ancient spare computer I have (I decided to forego the pleasure of Yast). The upside is that it will run quite well on an old AMD Duron 850 based machine, with 376Meg of RAM, from the CD.

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