JAN
16
2004

OSNews.com: The KDE 3.2 Beta 2 User Review

Rahul Gaitonde has written a fairly comprehensive review of KDE 3.2 Beta 2 for OSNews based on his 3 week trial. "The target machine - my only computer - is a Pentium II 266 MHz with 384 MB RAM, with an Intel i810E chipset. [...] The first thing you notice when you start up a few apps is - 'Boy, this is Fast!'. KDE 3.2 is significantly faster than 3.1, and certainly way faster than Gnome 2.4 on my machine. It reminds me of the kind of responsiveness that Windows 98 used to give me on this same configuration few years ago (minus the crashes). Konsole opens up almost instantaneously, and Konqueror takes only about 3 seconds the first time. I was afraid that the increase in bloat with every release of KDE since the 1.x series would one day prevent me from using this computer at all with KDE. I'm glad the guys over at KDE have so splendidly allayed my fears." The review has a lot of screenshots and other information on the release. As usual, Plastik gets huge props.

Comments

I would say there are simply a *lot* of small optimization which sum up,
and if these happens to be in libaries, all apps benefit from it.
The question is why hasn't this be done with earlier releases? Of course
there will be multiple reasons, but for sure the use of performance analyisis tools to locate the problems should be one.

Me as the author of calltree (derived from cachegrind) and KCachegrind
would be interested in how many of the optimizations were done on the background of using these tools.
Unfortunately I get very little feedback on this,
only some of the optimization commits mention cachegrind.


By Josef Weidendorfer at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

KDE doesn't make use of templates does it? The QT Abstract Data Types all seem to use void* at the back end or they did when I last looked at them which was admittedly over 4 years ago! The reason I ask is there's been a recent fix to g++ that means it now picks up the correct specialisation for a given STL container whereas before it didn't.

It'd be interesting to see what versions of gcc where used in the review for the 3.1 and 3.2 versions. There have been a number of subtle improvements in both the compiler and the STL shipped with it.

Now KDE is pretty much feature complete we can really start work on the optimisation.

These should be good times.


By Nick at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

I've actually been using KCacheGrind during feature freeze on the stuff I've been doing. I usually don't use software like this all the time, only when I pause. So maybe the next release it will get more mentions.


By Leon Pennington at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

To give you some feedback: at TT, we use both tools frequently. Many of the performance improvements (even more in the upcoming version 4) can indeed be attributed to the availability of those tools.


By Matthias Ettrich at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

Can Kuickshow be instructed to start a slideshow with DCOP? If so, it could be made into a service menu item like he suggests in page 3.


By Spy Hunter at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

> Can Kuickshow be instructed to start a slideshow with DCOP?

In KDE 3.2, yes:

id=`dcopstart kuickshow`
sleep 1
dcop $id kuickshow activateAction kuick_slideshow

Don't know yet, why the sleep is necessary.


By Carsten Pfeiffer at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

hello there sorry for my offtopic post,

but i would like to know, if there is a way to disable certain programs when compiling kde from source,

any gui (or implemented in konstruct (i've never tried this because i use gentoo)) where you can choose which applications should be installed.

eg:

kde-games:

Kasteroids (y)
Kbounce (n)
...
KPoker (y)
...

and so on.

kde would be more slick and navigation with k-Menue would be better because only apps needed would be installed..


By hatsch at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

You can just export DO_NOT_COMPILE="Things you don't want to compile" and then emerge kdewhatever.

Just search the gentoo forum to find out more about this option and how to use it.


By ralph at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

cool,
thank you i will check that out


By hatsch at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

Or create a file "inst-apps" with the directories you want to compile and run "make -f Makefile.cvs".


By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

Plastik is IMHO a very nice looking theme. It however does lack contrasting colors. Everything is gray, and almost the same shade of gray too.

On my system I changed two colors and now it looks MUCH better. I have made the title bar of the active window light blue and made the buttons somewhat darker:

'Active Title Bar' is set to #1B7EE2
'Button Background' is set to #D5D7DC

Makes the theme prettier to look at and more usable, IMHO.

Here is a screenshot I prepared: http://hensema.net/tmp/shot.png


By Erik Hensema at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

I double that.
Plastik is WAAAAYYYY too gray for me. Your changes are very welcome. I can even begin to like Plastik.


By Romain at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

Ohh noo!! The original colours are fine - I do run it on a laptop though. I'm really impressed with the theme and vote it becomes the default for 3.3.


By Malcolm at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

Changing the outline color of widgets makes the theme prettier,
here is a screenshot of my plastik theme:
http://mywebpage.netscape.com/jlrch2/instant/aboutme.html


By tetabiate at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

Personally, I think Plastik looks perfect with the Redmond XP color scheme.


By Miles Robinson at Wed, 2004/01/21 - 6:00am

Do you know whether new languages can be added in the releases 3.2.x? There still is no internationalization option for nds (DE, NL, DK regional language) support.


By elektroschock at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

The KDE translation policy tells that the language must be an official language of at least one country for being in the KDE I18N module.

As Niederdeutsch (I suppose that you are talking about this) is an offical language neither of Germany, nor of the Netherlands nor of Danmark, it will never be an official I18N package. (As opposite to Dutch, also of this language familly but official language at least of the Netherlands.)

The rule is just to maintain the kde-i18n module at a somewhat acceptable size, as there are many locale languages that are not official. (Just a few other examples for Germany only: Bavarian, Saxonian, Schwäbisch...)

I do not know if anybody had tried to start such a translation. (Perhaps you could look in the archives of kde-i18n-doc at http://lists.kde.org )

Have a nice day!


By Nicolas Goutte at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

Then why is there a en_GB and a en_US translation?
Is the official language of USA american english?


By Anonymous at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

Their isn't a en_US as far as I'm aware ( The doesn't appear to be one in the kde-i18n ). en_GB is Great Britain, and the language is spelled differently than in the USA. Plus there are other differences. Meter and Metre are to different words in en_GB.


By Leon Pennington at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

Yes, you're right. Of course there is no en_US module but thats because the original messages are written in american style.

But on the other hand you proved my point. There is only a en_GB because some words a different or spelled differently. So it's basically a kind of dialect (I'm sure most english people see it the other way around :)).

So back to my point, why do we make a difference between british and american english but also disallow to add a dialect for german?


By Anonymous at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

Doh, I just read the message below. Thanks Thomas for the explanation.


By Anonymous at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

> The KDE translation policy tells that the language must
> be an official language of at least one country for being
> in the KDE I18N module.

There is no such policy. On the contrary: We avoid mere dialects and other "fun projects" but KDE always gave a chance to minority languages that don't get an "official status" in their countries for one reason or another. We want to be sure, however, that every translation is continuously maintained and that there is a real chance to have it completed in the foreseeable future. Minority languages often have a problem with this, simply because there is no big pool of native speakers to attract translators from. This has also been the problem with nds so far but there are still a few people around who want to change this situation.

Regards,

Thomas


By Thomas Diehl at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

Well, for me it sounds very different on what was written on kde-i18n-doc, at least in the past.

But if the translation policy has changed, good, I take note of it.

Have a nice day!


By Nicolas Goutte at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

No idea why you think there was a change in the policy. Just have a look at http://i18n.kde.org/teams/ which includes languages like Latin, Occitan, Breton (although mostly unmaintained, thus illustrating the problem of "no big pool of native speakers to attract translators from"). Or look at "policy postings" like http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-i18n-doc&m=103233498728247&w=2.

Thomas


By Thomas Diehl at Sun, 2004/01/18 - 6:00am

Don't get me wrong, we already have a few good ones like noatun and kaboodle.
Noatun seems to me like a plug-in toy with a hairy interface, so of those
I prefer kaboodle as it has the easiest GUI.

But KDE needs a more generic framework for extended funcionality, like streaming.
Gnome is in the process of building such a media framework, GStreamer.
This can probably be adapted by KDE at some point, but I'd like to point the finger to the VideoLAN project over at http://www.videolan.org/.

This is already, and has been for quite a while, a very promising media framework with lots of potential.
The VideoLAN client is ported to tons of platforms, it plays most media formats (without any external win32 DLL dependencies), it's pluggable, and extremely powerful when it comes down to streaming (multicast, relaying, multi-protocol, video on demand).

The VideoLAN client is based on a generic C/C++ library, so writing a KDE front-end is easy. In fact, it's already done but it's AFAIK not maintained and the GUI isn't the greatest.
VideoLAN has a plugin for Mozilla, I'd love to see a KHTML plug-in for integrated Web-TV applications.

Well... I guess that's work for KDE 4.0? ;)


By Jan Vidar Krey at Fri, 2004/01/16 - 6:00am

> Gnome is in the process of building such a media framework, GStreamer.

GNOME is not building GStreamer, they are using it (earlier than KDE because they had no other framework before).

http://www.gstreamer.net/docs/cvs/faq/html/chapter-general.html#general-...


By Anonymous at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

I'm having problems with the Splash screen as well (just freezes on 'starting interprocess communications', and I'm using KDE CVS.


By Anonymous at Sat, 2004/01/17 - 6:00am

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