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Back to … KDE‽

Now this is one of the things that you wouldn’t expect — Years after I left KDE behind me, today I’m back using it.. and honestly I feel again at home. I guess the whole backend changes that got through KDE4 were a bit too harsh for me at the time, and I could feel the rough edges. But after staying with GNOME2, XFCE, then Cinnamon.. this seems to be the best fit for me at this point.

Why did I decide to try this again? Well, even if it doesn’t happen that often, Cinnamon tends to crash from time to time, and that’s obnoxious when you’re working on something. Then there is another matter, which is that I’m using a second external monitor together with my laptop, as I’m doing network diagrams and other things on my dayjob, and for whatever reason the lockscreen provided by gnome-screensaver no longer works reliably: sometimes the second display is kept running, other times it doesn’t resume at all and I have to type blindly (with the risk that I’m actually typing my password on a different application), and so on so forth.

Then since I wanted to have a decent photo application, and Shotwell didn’t show itself as valid enough for what I want to do (digiKam is much better), I decided to give it another try…

So first of all I owe lots of congratulations to all the people working on KDE, you did a tremendously good job. There are though a few things that I’d like to point out. The first is that I won’t be using the term “KDE SC” anytime soon; that still sounds dumb to me, sorry. The second is that I wonder if some guys made it a point to exaggerate on the graphical department, and then having to roll back. I remember how much hype was created around Oxygen and now it feels, that just like Keramik at KDE 3 time, they had to drop it back.

Another sore spot is the Italian translation — it’s not just awkward but in some places it’s definitely wrong! They translated “Plastique” (the theme name) and “Plastik” (the reference to the KDE 3 theme) as if they were “Plastic” — this is not the case! Keep the names the same as the original please. There are also a few more problems, including the fact that they did translate terms like “Serif”, “Sans Serif” and “Monospace” which … well they don’t really sound that good in Italian. At the end I simply changed the system language back to English.

There are still quite a few things that I have to take care of to set this up properly; right now it’s just a messy first set up and there are a few bugs that I have to report (including the fact that to upload originally-sized files on Flickr, KIPI is actually copying the original file to /tmp which makes it very unpleasant especially when you have that directory in tmpfs.

At any rate, you’ll probably read some more comments on KDE4 from me in the next few weeks, so be ready for them.

Comments 27
  1. This post is password protected.:) good that my RSS reader (google reader) knows that (I don’t).

  2. @kang : I prefer Yakuake, which is using Konsole. I have mapped my “caps lock” key to “num lock” (via KDE settings) and set the shortcut to open Yakuake on “num lock”. Finally the caps-lock key is useful for me 🙂

  3. These tips could be useful, if you use KDE on a netbook, like me:…And yes, i don’t use Gnome nor Cynnamon on my netbook because i disagree that 1.12 is a “good” load average for a user interface, even disabling a lot of social networking and visual effect features. On KDE i have akonadi configured with a gmail account(mail+contacts), amarok and kdewalletd launching on boot, a bunch of widgets and it runs smoothly(with a 0.4 of load)…

  4. Hey, welcome back. You don’t need to use KDE SC, this is mostly just for the time of release. When you talk about something just try to be specific and you will not have to use SC and it will still be correct at the same time. For example when you talk about the desktop you say [KDE] Plasma. Just replace Plasma with a name of another rpogram as ppropriate. And if you still need to talk about all KDE software in general, well, KDE software as a term is also just fine. Oh and don’t forget to congatulate our own Gentoo KDE/Qt packagers, which are also doing an excellent work preparing KDE software for Gentoo.

  5. Network diagrams – what do you use for it? I’m using visio in vbox as this is the fastest so far to me…

  6. After trying a few different options I fell back to LibreOffice Draw — which generally works just fine.

  7. I did the same. I went for sometime on OpenBox and got tired fiddling with the desktop …. And I moved to KDE too! I have to say it is very confortable and the translation in french is OK. So I’ll be watching you coming posts.Regards, Bernard

  8. I really love KDE4 as well…. except for the Nepomuk/Virtuoso indexing junk. I wouldn’t mind it at all if it worked. Every release of KDE there are “fixes” for it, and everytime something new is jacked up with it. It will work fine for a while. but eventually it’s data store will get corrupted and it will sit there spinning it’s wheels and burning up CPU cycles until you delete the data store and make it start over.

  9. yep i disable nepomuk as i don’t like it either.i also dislike a few things in kde such as akonadi’s zillion mysql processes (even thus it works ok :P)and kmail’s woeszyness. but that’s ok. i just end up using mutt/tb 😉

  10. That seems to be a common theme — as much as the developers stressed the usefulness of nepomuk & co. everybody who’s been using KDE told me to just disable them and live happy. Which for me is fine. I think that semantic technologies are useful as they can be have a long way to come still, and I’m fine with sticking to Thunderbird as a mail client (as long as Mozilla doesn’t let it bitrot).

  11. Welcome back to kde! =:^)FWIW, as a regular on the kde lists, I recommend those that can (and on gentoo, we CAN =:^), not only disable nemomuk/strigi/akonadi at runtime, but run kde binaries BUILT with all the semantic-desktop stuff disabled.That’s a bit of a problem for users of binary distros since I don’t know of any binary distro doing that, but for gentooers, having that sort of control over the stuff we install is THE POINT; the thing that makes going to the extra trouble of building stuff ourselves worth it! =:^)Unfortunately, on gentoo that /does/ mean choosing other-than-kde apps to replace anything kdepim related (kmail and akregator were the ones I I ran, knode, knotes, korganizer, and of course kontact since it integrates most of these), since kdepim requires akonadi, which is part of semantic-desktop, and gentoo/kde sets semantic-desktop= dependencies that in effect require it to be turned on everywhere if it’s turned on for anything. So to be able to set USE=-semantic-desktop on gentoo, one must entirely avoid kdepim and all the apps that are part of it.But at least here, BOY WAS IT WORTH IT! =:^) I had known semantic-desktop was sucking resources, but as I had run-time disabled what I could (nepomuk and strigi were both run-time-disabled, much to the dismay of akonadi/kmail, whose popup complaints about it were the last straw, finally triggering my KILL IT WITH FIRE! response), so I didn’t expect it was sucking THAT much. In addition to being determined to kill that annoying popup, I figured getting rid of semantic-desktop would mainly mean less packages to worry about updating. I was thus quite surprised at the system performance I got back after I set USE=-semantic-desktop and finished exterminating it from the system (emerge –newuse, –depclean, etc). Seriously, it was as if I got a half a GHz or another couple cores on the CPU, but all it was was ENTIRELY getting rid of the cycle and memory stealing semantic-desktop! I felt rather like someone on MS after they kill all the malware that was loading their system. In a way, that’s all that semantic-desktop stuff was — malware — *I* certainly wasn’t using it nor did I really WANT it, and it certainly WAS sucking resources, even with all but akonadi supposedly turned off. I just wanted a mail client that did mail like kde3’s kmail did, etc, not the performance-sucking and unstable malware akonadified kmail has unfortunately become. Unfortunately, actually working and efficient email is no longer available from kde, it seems. Oh, well… malware gone now! =:^)FWIW, I switched to claws-mail (with its feed plugin, replacing both kmail and akregator; tho I actually run two separate claws-mail sessions as I didn’t want both mail and feeds handled together; a couple env vars need set differently for the second session to get that to work, but work it does! =:^), which I’ve been very happy with. Additionally, on the strength of my recommendations I’ve gotten a number of other akonadified kmail refugees to switch to claws-mail as well. =:^)It’s delicious irony that given that semantic-desktop was one of the major bullet-point-features of kde4, it was only after building and running kde4 WITHOUT semantic-desktop, that I felt I’d finally found something not only matching kde3.5, but exceeding it. (I’m on record that IMO 4.5 was what SHOULD have been 4.0 and that only with 4.5 did kde4 /match/ kde3.5. Yes, release early, release often, but call it 3.50+ or something, signifying kde4 pre-releases in the same way the 4.9 betas and rcs have been 4.8.80+. But while 4.5 /matched/ 3.5 for me, it was only after building with USE=-semantic-desktop that I could really say kde4 /exceeded/ 3.5 for me.)So my main recommendation for gentoo kde-ers is to set USE=-semantic-desktop and use something other than the resource-sucking and unstable akonadified kdepim malware (as I said, claws-mail works great for me) for mail, etc.Meanwhile, not to forget this…@Nicolas: Thanks for that link! While the material covered is old hat to me, that’s a very useful link to keep handy for replies on the kde lists, where I’m sure I’ll find myself posting it more than once! =:^)Duncan

  12. @ Flameeyes re libreoffice:I don’t run libreoffice personally, but recently became aware of a libreoffice-on-kde related bug via the kde mailing lists. With the native kde file-dialogs option enabled, libreoffice removes an extra extension dot-component from save-as dialogs. Kde file dialogs already have an option for automatically handling extensions, and either strip and replace the last dot-component extension, or don’t touch it, letting the user manage the full filename including extension, based on whether the automatically manage file extensions checkbox is on or off. That works fine with most kde apps. The problem with libreoffice seems to be that it strips an extra dot-component before it hands off to kde, so the kde file dialog never even sees that component, thus either stripping and replacing a second one (if there’s a second to strip) if it’s auto-managing extensions, or ending up with the last one stripped anyway, if kde’s set to let the user manage extensions manually.Both the original poster and I verified kde’s normal behavior, and while I couldn’t verify libreoffice’s behavior since I don’t use it, someone else did. Since you’re now using both kde and libreoffice and (unlike me) are so good with code, if you find that issue bothering you too, I’m sure a patch would be appreciated. =:^)Here’s the bug report, which links to the kde list thread on gmane, if you want to read that too.https://bugs.freedesktop.or

  13. first you get on a plane, then you actually fly to the states…now THIS? what is the world coming to? j/k

  14. Welcome back “home” ;-)Nowadays kde is a real pleasure to use, it works, and with all its limits (kdepim & nepomuk) is the most stable and complete env.Unfortunately sometimes you cannot get semantic desktop out of your box (some apps like bangarang or kdenlive requires it) but once disable everything works like a charm.yakuke +1Also I really appreciate x11-themes/gtk-engines-qtcurve to have a coherent desktop with ff & tb (as long as it lives).cheers

  15. Interesting comments re getting rid of semantic desktop. For me semantic desktop was the final straw. . . I don’t want to have a mysql server on my laptop and I know where I put my files . . . now please go away and stop it with the popups. After exorcising KDE4 from my machine (the direction of the development seemed misguided to me; semantic-desktop, Akonadi etc), I installed XFCE and haven’t looked back. . . but you’ve tried XFCE and moved on, so each to their own which I suppose is the strength of Linux (and Gentoo especially)

  16. Is it possible to emerge kdepim without USE Flag semantic-desktop?I’ve never used Kmail “as long TB lives”.

  17. Welcome home, I hope you like your stay this time. The main problem with KDE is probably the fact that the framework loves to keep files open in read mode even if it’s only reading config (this opens a serious path t file corruption on unclean KDE exit) and the fun with /tmp is just the tip of the iceberg on how much this sucks but I still haven’t heard of any other DE that would be usable so KDE it is.Regarding GTK+ apps that deadhead mentioned I like x11-themes/oxygen-gtk which provides GTK+ apps with native oxygen engine including proper KDE colour theme and while there are very slight problems overall it avoids the usual pitfalls and lack of GTK3 (wasn’t GTK3 supposed to make it easier to write such engines?) engine is the only serious complaint.

  18. Strigi aka file-indexing can be very useful. But its important to configure Strigi, that not the whole home-directory is being indexed. I use strigi exclusively for my (huge) eBooks, movies and pictures – folders, and it is working really fine. Especially the indexing of all the eBooks is something quite nice.

  19. So True Diego,this is why time ago i entirely dropped localization and switched to english for everything => poor or inappropriate translations.Anyway welcome back to kde 🙂

  20. I suspect that Con grazie and senza grazie have been use for a long time in typography. We could argue about monospaziato and its usage instead of “non proporzionale”, but it is quite used.As for “plastic”, yes, it was a choice made a long time ago, but we are open to discuss if we have some feedback using the proper channels (see below).Anyway, I don’t think you can’t judge more than 190000 GUI messages (+ >50000 doc messages) just because of few strings, and please consider the fact that you are more used to English and not used to some (Italian) words, so that the translation is awkward *for you* (which are the magic words missing/not totally clear from your sentences above) but not for others.Proper channel: we have a mailing list and a product in the bugtracker.

  21. Followups:Libreoffice w/ kde file dialogs bug: fix already pushed to both LO master and 3.6 branch. (I hope gentoo grabs it for current versions, but as I don’t personally run LO I’m not tracking it at the gentoo level, and only got involved at the upstream level due to the kde lists post on the topic.)@ Andrew, who asked: > Is it possible to emerge kdepim without USE Flag semantic-desktop?Not with modern kde4/kdepim, no. Even for the few kdepim apps that don’t yet depend on akonadi directly, they still require kdepim-common-libs (AFAIK, but there’s two similarly named kdepim-libs packages and it’s been nearly a year since I messed with it so it might be the other), which depends on akonadi in ordered to support the other kdepim apps that do use it. Akonadi in turn requires semantic-desktop in kdelibs, and due to gentoo/kde’s “semantic-desktop=” dependencies, once it’s pulled in for one part of kde, it’s pulled in for all of it.So saying no to semantic-desktop means saying no to any app that’s part of kdepim. However, for me anyway, that was a small price to pay, and I think the same applies to at least a few other gentoo/kde users as well. =:^Duncan

  22. Kde4 is really great Desktop, except nepomuk/akonadi crap. I compile kde 4.8.4 with -sematic-desktop use flag and i am happy so far :), except my favourite mail reader (kmail) 🙁 , try to use thunderbird now

  23. I use nepomuk and strigi all the time. I almost never browse for User files nowadays. I think the nepomuk stuff, at-least to the stuff I use it for works splendid.I began build and use kmail 2 long before it was released as stable. Yes it was (much) bugs but I thought it worked better with smtp.

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