MAY
27
2008

KDE 4.1 Beta 1 Released

The KDE Project is happy to set the first beta of KDE 4.1, codenamed Caramel, free today. KDE 4.1 is intended to meet the needs of a broad range of users and we therefore respectfully request you to get testing Beta 1. Beta 1 is not ready for production use but is in wide use by KDE developers and is suitable for testing by Linux enthusiasts and KDE fans.

Highlights of 4.1 are a much more mature Plasma desktop shell that returns much of the configurability that was missing in KDE 4.0, many more applets and look and feel improvements, the return of Kontact and the rest of the KDE PIM applications, and many improvements and newly ported applications. The feature set is now frozen, so the developers look forward to using June and July to metamorphosing your bug reports into rock solid code, completing documentation and translating everything into your language. A series of Bug Days where users can contribute quality assurance to the release will continue towards 4.1's final release on the 29th of July, so watch the Dot for details.

For more details, see the release announcement and info page or if you are at LinuxTag, see KDE 4.1 being presented in Berlin this Friday.

Comments

Aaron's article made no promise that would be the future. A few people here said it might likely be the future, or distros might start doing it.

What I'm upset about is 4.1 being released in what I consider an unusable state. Making this kind of change right before the release we were instructed to wait for just doesn't make sense.

Furthermore, there is no proof right now that 4.2 will implement the change in a more transparent manner. That is merely a suggestion I've seen bandied about here.


By T. J. Brumfield at Mon, 2008/06/02 - 5:00am

from the actual blog post:
"In 4.2 we'll be separating context menus and background rendering from containments so that those functionalities can be easily shared; so while in 4.1 you can set the folder view as your desktop containment ... it's not going to be as pretty as it will be in 4.2. In 4.2 it will be completely seamless, whereas right now you'll get a "nice" wallpaper based on the applet background svg. Call it the Model T wallpaper: any colour you want, as long as it's the applet background ;)"

Dass said...

mmh
CRAZY IDEA:
1)transparent background +
2)possibility to put icons not only in grid but also free in any position of the plasmoid +
3)plasmoid big as the desktop +
________________________________
=

i can put icons in any place of the desktop and they are usable as in dolphin

so we have (the possibility, if we want) the same functions of the kde3 desktop but with plasmoids...

==========================

Aaron J. Seigo said...

@Dass: "mmh
CRAZY IDEA:"

not crazy at all. that's *exactly* how folderview-as-your-containment works.

neat, huh? =)

==========================

burpnrun said...

Yadda, yadda. KDE3 "just works", I happen to like having program icons on my desktop, and therefore the question is the same as another commenter asked: Will KDE4.x cater to this?

Apart from that, I think the KDE4 "look and feel" is all glitz and sizzle. No change in the amount of steak provided. YMMV.

==========================

Aaron J. Seigo said...

@burpnrun: 'Yadda, yadda. KDE3 "just works"'

for you, perhaps.

"I happen to like having program icons on my desktop, and therefore the question is the same as another commenter asked: Will KDE4.x cater to this?"

which i already answered, but i'll patiently answer it again: shortcuts (which is what program launchers are) are not affected by this change.

==========================
==========================

I also remember him saying that what was removed was the automatic loading of the contents of ~/Desktop. Aside from that, it supposedly has the same functionality so you can have shortcuts on your desktop as before (because that seems to be what they essentially were in 4.0 as well). However, in 4.1 they added icons on the desktop by adding that Folder View Plasmoid / Containment. And as you can see from the quote in the blog post, they definitely intend to allow you to use wallpaper as the background of Folder View in 4.2.


By yman at Mon, 2008/06/02 - 5:00am

"1 - What is so broken that we have to throw it out?"

Concept 1: The desktop is where you store files, folders, and launchers.
Concept 2: The desktop is where you have all tools and data pertaining to a specific activity.
Concept 2 includes Concept 1 and expands it.

"2 - Why throw out the old before the new is ready?"

From the sound of it, icons as Plasmoids meant a lot of code where it doesn't belong ("dirty hack"?), and produced broken functionality. Folder View is practically fully functional but looks ugly with certain themes because it is only partially implemented. Between bad and worse, I think Folder View sounds like the better option.

"3 - Why can't we have a folderview applet, and still allow people to have icons natively on the desktop like before? Can't they exist side-by-side?"

Because icons as Plasmoids is broken in concept and implementation and involves dirty hacks that seriously mess up the design, while Folder View provides better functionality?

"4 - Why make such a change right before the 4.1 freeze?"

One would think the freeze is the deadline for new features, not the deadline for totally completed, rock stable, fully functional features. Thus, as long as a feature makes the deadline, what's the problem?


By yman at Mon, 2008/06/02 - 5:00am

I think I just spread false information in the above post. Oops.


By yman at Mon, 2008/06/02 - 5:00am

You can still show all icons from ~/Desktop on your desktop. Simple as that. With Folder View the mechanism for that is even extended. So now you can show content of any folder you like on the desktop. You can add as many Folder Views to your desktop and show the contents of different folders. You can even filter what kind of files are shown (think about filtering by file type or by tags or by score aor by any combination). And I'm sure this will be made even more powerfull once people get even more clever and innovative ideas.


By Jure Repinc at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

You can show them in a separate containment, which is different from your desktop.


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

And what exactly is the problem then? This only makes this mechanism more versatile and extendable. The desktop is in fact also just a containmanet. So now you have a Folder View containment layered over Desktop containment, while before you had icons layered on top of desktop background.


By Jure Repinc at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

And the plasmoid is floating on your desktop. Seigo shows a screenshot.


By Riddle at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

I'm familiar with the screenshot.

Now imagine going to your desktop, but your files aren't there. You have to configure and pull up this containment folderview instead. However, you're juggling multiple windows (if not multiple desktops, etc) and you need to find that containment on your taskbar, except it isn't a window so it isn't on the taskbar.

If someone really wanted a plasma applet to view files (which seems odd when we have file managers for this) then let them have it.

I've yet to see one single good reason however to remove displaying ~/Desktop on the Desktop for those who want it. If you want a clean desktop, then don't put anything there. Everyone wins.

Not a soul can seem to explain why we should remove choice from the users to force everyone into this new mandate. Repeated moves like this demonstrate quite clearly the new direction of KDE. KDE used to represent freedom and choice.


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

>Now imagine going to your desktop, but your files aren't there. You have to configure and pull up this containment folderview instead. However, you're juggling multiple windows (if not multiple desktops, etc) and you need to find that containment on your taskbar, except it isn't a window so it isn't on the taskbar.

Drop Folderview applet on desktop.
Have ~/Desktop icons on desktop inside Folderview. Simple. Files on desktop, and new user upgrading from KDE 3.5.9 is happy because the stuff on his desktop is there and he can do all that he could do before + new stuff.

Even if you set Folderview as a desktop containment, its not as complicated as you uninformatively make it out to be. Currently, all desktops show the same containment. No juggling around multiple desktops. Since Folderview is a containment, it can house other containments such as panels and even applets. You could use the folderview containment in the exact same way as a regular containment with you panels and widgets and such, and you wouldn't even need to use the normal desktop containment. No juggling between virtual desktops, no juggling between containments, no problem. All you will have to do is set the Folderview as a containment and you will be good to go!

>I've yet to see one single good reason however to remove displaying ~/Desktop on the Desktop for those who want it. If you want a clean desktop, then don't put anything there. Everyone wins.

Most people would be satisfied with an applet displaying the icons on the desktop like folderview does. For those who can't bear to give away the icons being directly on the desktop, set Folderview as a containment. Configure a bit of Panel mojo and bam! A completely customized desktop with icons on the background. Everybody wins and nobody loses.

Nothing is being taken away, as you can still display your precious icons directly on the friggin desktop, not that most people wouldn't be satisfied with the little box with their files nicely grouped. Even the most diehard file icon lovin' configurations I've seen have icons separated in some manner. If you don't like the default opaque background, find a theme that has a transparent background or wait until Folderview can have a set background.


By Jonathan Thomas at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

I was prepared to launch into my usual flamebait about Havoc Pennington infiltrating KDE, but it really looks like this is a change in implementation with no feature loss.

I'm still waiting on the liveCD torrent so I can't say for certain.

At this point I still plan to stick with 3.5.x until there's not a single distro left supporting it.


By Velvet Elvis at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

"I was prepared to launch into my usual flamebait about Havoc Pennington infiltrating KDE, but it really looks like this is a change in implementation with no feature loss."

I'm glad you spared us what would no doubt have been a rant high on emotion and low on facts and logic.

"No feature loss" does this a huge disservice: "eventually large feature gains" is more accurate.


By anon at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

> Now imagine going to your desktop, but your files aren't there. You have to configure and pull up this containment folderview instead.

The article says that a folderview applet for ~/Desktop will appear by default (i.e. when you first start Plasma, or when you delete your plasma-appletsrc configuration).


By Stefan Majewsky at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

And it does, tested with a svn trunk compile from a few days ago with a different user.


By Luca Beltrame at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

And it adds that ugly black background to your icons? What do I have a nice wallpaper for when I can't see it? Do I understand something wrong?


By panzi at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

nice theme!


By silent bob at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Short answer: No. Hiding it behind your windows? Yes.

Longer answer: There is a workaround in trunk that makes it possible to use a transparent background. In the future, the Folderview applet is going to be a containment. This means, if I've understood it correctly, that you can set a background for Folderview and make it "fullscreen" = traditional desktop.


By Hans Chen at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

> Not a soul can seem to explain why we should remove choice from the users to force everyone into this new mandate. Repeated moves like this demonstrate quite clearly the new direction of KDE. KDE used to represent freedom and choice.

Is your brain switched off? KDE is quite obviously still representing freedom and choice - more than before in fact, because now, not only do you get the contents of ~/Desktop on your desktop by default, you can also show other folders, remove them, move them around - all sorts of things you didn't have the freedom or choice to do before. Just because KDE now mandates that you have more freedom and choice doesn't make it a bad thing.


By Johnny Awkward at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

From the article:
---
In the future we'll have a little label in the folderview telling you which folder you are looking at, it will turn into an icon with a menu listing in horizontally constrained containments (e.g. panels), it will be collapsible on the desktop with a single click (it's already resizable, rotatable and removable) and you will be able to use it as a containment itself.

That last bit is important: it means that you can have an Old Skool(tm) desktop with an icon mess if that's what you really, really want. So don't bother with that flame, nobody has anything to complain about. ;)
---

Ok, he does say "in the future" :)
But the future is just a measurable amount of time away!


By fhd at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

If you've read the article and comments as you've claimed, you would know that your "Desktop" *is* a containment, and one that will eventually (already?) be replaceable by any other containment. So why did you make this obviously incorrect post, if not to troll?


By anon at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

"So why did you make this obviously incorrect post, if not to troll?"
becouse T.J.B is 13 years old boy without friends?


By question at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Ad hominem attacks are unnecessary and unproductive. Please be more constructive.


By Oscar at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Actually, it shows them inside an applet.
The Folder View applet can be used as a containment like the desktop, but in a default KDE installation you will have a Folder View applet inside your Desktop containment which will display your ~/Desktop folder.

Nothing is taken away or destroyed with the addition of this applet and the removal of ~/Desktop files being displayed as icon applets on the desktop. If anything, the "display a bunch of files on your desktop" paradigm has been advanced with this, allowing you to do much more with any folder you wish. Flexibility has increased, which is the KDE way!


By Jonathan Thomas at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

I wonder if this whole thread just points to that when KDE developers talk about the future and current plans, that they might need to dumb it down, especially considering that a lot of people are shifting to linux from windows.

But alas, having used KDE 4. I love the new desktop, very easy, and very good.


By anon at Thu, 2008/05/29 - 5:00am

It's simply impossible to dumb it down enough to get through the thick skulls of some of the densest Dot commentators - I'm sure you could literally say something like this:

"The sky is blue"

and you'd get a flurry of posts saying

"Oh god why have you made the sky green I'm switching to GNOME where at least the sky is blue!!1"


By anon at Thu, 2008/05/29 - 5:00am

I've just been dragging and dropping files and foldres to my desktop, what is it that you are missing?

What I'm mising is a folderview where the background and borders are invisible until hovered. BUt knowing the KDE developers, more choice will be available in future releases ;)


By Jo Øiongen at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Ok, you always looked like a wannabe troll here on the dot, now you've just confirmed it.
PLONK.


By Vide at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

No one needs desktop icons!

I'm always like OMG when I see how my wife uses her computer.

Firefox saves all downloaded files to the Desktop folder per default. She is a rather messy person with her computer, and she is an artist who keeps downloading reference pictures and such 24/7. So letting her sit at ANY pc,
there will be >300 files on the desktop after approximately one hour.

Some day she found out how to turn off showing files on the desktop in Windows XP and this tells me all about the use current desktop I need to know.

I like to keep some app launchers around, but almost no files. If at all, just temporary - I'd love to use a nice file area instead. This would be just ONE temp directory actually used by the user, not his programs. It's a very useful thing.

Having ~/Desktop files automatically integrated with plasma icons is just a PITA. You mix up actual widgets and actual files, and you are confused because you cannot more/rename/delete "files" from the desktop. It was a good decision.

I'm pretty sure that you will be able to drag-and-drop all the app launchers and file/folder shortcuts from anywhere to your desktop to suit your needs later.
But keeping files (literally: files) on your desktop is IMO not necessary.

But, to all those who can't life without there I-have-them-since-8-years-desktop-icons:
it's REINVENTING THE DESKTOP right here! (not just telling to do so as MANY do)
What do you expect, a Windows XP clone with EXACTLY the same drop shadow on desktop icon fonts?


By fhd at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

if the ~/Desktop is no longer reflected on the users 'wallpaper' than what's in the name?

i mean ~/Desktop is a bit of a standard for desktop linux right?

i truly hope a transperant-folderview-plasma-thingy will be covering the wallpaper of default KDE installations...

just my .02 (MYR at the moment)


By cies at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

If you read Seigo's blog, that's exactly what happened. He stated that his screenshot was (mostly) a default Plasma.


By Riddle at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Although people seem to think that a transparent background over the folderview widget would solve all issues, it has been tried very recently and actually shown to have some issues that will require more thought.


By Luca Beltrame at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

1. what issues?
2. what people?


By ??? at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

THere's a a thread on the panel-devel ML about it (I'll see if I can dig up the link) and discussion was pretty strong.


By Luca Beltrame at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

"I've yet to see one single good reason however to remove displaying ~/Desktop on the Desktop for those who want it. If you want a clean desktop, then don't put anything there. Everyone wins."

This is the most sane argument about this topic I ever saw.
I do not know why Aseigo hates the current desktop with icons and no-fancy widgets so much :-P
But overall I do not see a problem in placing the desktop icons in a container, but isn't the ~/Desktop a freedesktop standard? Can we simply change things that where made as a consensus with other DE guys (like gnome)?


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Actually, it isn't. The functionality isn't being removed, just approached at a slightly different angle. (Sorry for ripping of your phrase, Chani ;P)

The standard isn't being abandoned, just implemented slightly different.


By Jonathan Thomas at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

I would even say extended rather then different since everything works like before if someone likes to but can also be extended the way users like to have it. That's why I love KDE so much. They care about there users!


By pineapple at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

It seems to me that the distributors could just make the necessary widget installed by default, thus eliminating any discomfort people may experience.


By blueshirt at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Desktop Icons Have Not Been Abandoned: http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2008/05/no-more-desktop-icons-in-41.html and http://plasma.kde.org/media/plasma_4_1_beta.png

In KDE4.0, the desktop containment automatically added an Icon Plasmoid for each file in ~/Desktop. This had the serious disadvantage on disassociating the icon on the desktop from the actual file it points to. If you delete an icon from the desktop, it isn't deleted from ~/Desktop and may reappear.

In KDE4.1, a Folder View Plasmoid (basicly a mini-Dolphin) is placed on the desktop, thus completely associating the icon with the file. It appears by default, pointing to ~/Desktop, thus keeping with FD.o standards. If you delete an item from the desktop, it stays gone and is actually deleted from ~/Desktop.

If you dislike keeping the icons contained, it is still possible to add an Icon plasmoid by d'n'd to the desktop.

NOTHING IS BROKEN. NO FLEXIBILITY IS LOST. Plasma just changed the way it used ~/Desktop.

Yes, Seigo made a poor choice of a title for his blog entry.


By Riddle at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

I wouldn't say it was poor, just unfortunate that there are so many people who misunderstood it AND skipped the body of his post.


By yman at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

I'd guess it was all on purpose. I'm quite sure he got addicted to those flamewars.


By fhd at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

No, you missed the body of my post.

I clearly read the body of his post, and saw the screen shot, and that's what I'm upset about.


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

After a bit of polishing (making the folder view transparent etc. which is likely to happen) you won't experience any difference from the traditional icons-on-the-desktop system. (Probably a folder view with ~/Desktop will be default, if not in KDE, then in the distributions.) Just the advantages as stated above.


By Grósz Dániel at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

If so, then say straight out: what is the problem.


By Riddle at Thu, 2008/05/29 - 5:00am

wish i had my computer to try it on, but alas, HP technicians are friggin hopeless and damn slow when repairing a hardware fault under warranty. Can't wait to get it back and try beta 1


By anon at Tue, 2008/05/27 - 5:00am

Take VirtualBox.


By andy at Thu, 2008/05/29 - 5:00am

I've tried it in a debian machine, but I can't live without autohide panels.
Does anyone know if this feature will be implemented in 4.1? If it's not in the beta1 I think it won't be a new feature.


By Adrian at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

I'd contend the most requested features of KDE 4.x that I see on the Dot are:

* Panel configuration
* Removal of black border from icons
* Proxy support
* Oxygen recognizing color settings

Everyone keeps saying to wait for KDE 4.1, so what happens when none of these are addressed in KDE 4.1?


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

The Panel is configurable.
The icons thing is more of an aesthetics issue, and not a deal breaker imo.
Proxy support is being worked on, though it still is a quite major problem. (http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=155707)
Oxygen is no longer the default KWin window decoration style. Ozone is, which is a direct clone of Oxygen that respects the color settings. No problem here, and it hasn't been for a while.

In short, please stop drama-llamaing. Half of these have already been addressed, and one is just an aesthetics issue. You dislike KDE4, we get it, but please stop spreading FUD or at least take the chance to research so you can make a list of things that actually need to be addressed...


By Jonathan Thomas at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

Since when is Ozone default? I have 4.0.4 installed on Sabayon, and it still has Oxygen default. The entire reason for the Ozone fork was that the color setting patch wasn't accepted in Oxygen.

And the panel still doesn't match KDE 3's configuration.


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2008/05/28 - 5:00am

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