AUG
10
2009

Reviews of KDE 4.3

Since KDE 4.3 has been released, various reviews have appeared on the web. The DOT had a look at some of them.

Polishlinux once again offers an extensive review with many screenshots showing what is new in KDE 4.3. According to Korneliusz Jarzębski, "Finally the day has come, when the curiosity about the KDE4.3 development branch took the better of me.". The result:


Polishlinux likes the new Air

"Like it or not, KDE 4.3 will be a great leap forward in this environment’s development. I won’t hesitate to say, it will be a bigger one than KDE 4.1 to 4.2. Interestingly enough, my compilation of development snapshot worked stable and jerk-free - no major issues there."

SoftVision from Terminal Variant shares his vision on "Caizen" noting how "Even with a new direction however, the KDE developers have shown that they are aware of the users’ needs." He gives a special thumbs up to the KDE Games team:

"Now I’ve got to hand it to the KDE games team for this unique idea. There’s no better way to show off the theming capability of the KDE games module than a special theme for the next release – an Egyptian theme."

The improvements in the 4.3 release amaze and even scare this writer:

"If you look at the amount of effort being put in, its quite scary I think. The potential is pretty much infinite in all aspects be it bringing the Web to the desktop, window management and more. There’s so much that can still be done and I’m sure the ideas will keep flowing and be implemented over time. Nepomuk, Akonadi and Phonon – these technologies all have so much potential and we’ve just started to see it in applications like Dolphin, KDE PIM, Gwenview, etc. KDE 4.4 should take it to the next level and it will be another six months till then. But it’ll be worth the wait. To infinity, and beyond!"

Ars Technica's Ryan Paul focuses in his review on the Social Desktop integration.

"KDE 4.3 was released this week with a number of intriguing improvements. Ars test the new version, which introduces KDE's Social Desktop initiative, an effort to bring social networking integration to the popular desktop environment."

"One of the fundamental ideas behind the Social Desktop effort is to facilitate community-building by providing a vehicle for connecting open source software enthusiasts to each other. It can be used to help inform others about Linux user group meetings, release parties, and similar events. It can also help you find fellow Linux enthusiasts in your region. Another important motivator behind the project is the need to simplify the process of providing community-based software support for new users. The OCS knowledge base framework, for example, allows users to ask questions about open source software and get answers from other members of the community."

Bruce Byfield writes on LinuxPlanet about "Bling, Widgets, Security, Usability" and appreciates the more incremental nature of this release:

"However, the move to incremental releases is perhaps inevitable. Many users have yet to absorb the possibilities of features like multiple folder views and activities, so a release that consists of smaller enhancements only seems suitable. If the KDE 4.3 beta contains nothing earth-shattering, it still includes dozens of improvements that, although not necessary, are still very welcome."

"As an enthusiastic KDE 4.2 user, I look forward to the final 4.3 release, and expect it to improve my everyday computing in all sorts of minor ways -- mostly by offering me more choice."

And 'Cyber Cynic' Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols considers the KDE 4.3 release a "change for the better" in his article A first look at KDE 4.3:

"What really struck me about this release aren't any of the new features. Instead, it was the improvement in its overall performance and looks that caught my attention."

Besides these reviews you can find buzz surrounding KDE all around the web. Even the more cynical begin to see and appreciate the vision behind the KDE 4 series. Our community, from developers to artists to those members helping out fellow users on IRC or forums, has reason to be proud on the accomplishment which is KDE 4.3. As SoftVision said, "To infinity, and beyond!"

Comments

Is that the "KDE4 sucks cause 4.0 sucked!!"-people got a lot more quiet.
For me 4.3 is not so much about new features. I just love that it runs faster than 4.2. Kudos! Doing profiling and fixing performance bugs is not the sexiest of works, but it is of great benefit to the user.

Thanks again for that!

I think if Nepumuk and Akonadi get more use 4.4 or 4.5 could be real game changer! Rock on guys!


By kragil at Mon, 2009/08/10 - 3:38pm

It's not quite a general overview of KDE 4.3, but I spend some time discussing why I think that KDE 4 is now at the point where there is not really a pressing need for many new features, but that certain half-working things (e.g. nepomuk, certain plasmoids, etc.) need to be polished and improved instead of working on the next whiz-bang invention:
http://randomtechoutburst.blogspot.com/2009/07/kde-43-more-ranting-revie...


By CajunArson at Mon, 2009/08/10 - 6:09pm

Nice media Digest Jos, thanks :) I actually looked fairly hard (using google) to try to find negative reviews of KDE 4.3, and I just couldn't find any other than the odd misplaced user comment about being burned by KDE 4.0. Perhaps 4.0's memory will linger for a while longer, but at least 4.3 isn't really being tainted by it anymore.

Cheers folks.


By Troy Unrau at Mon, 2009/08/10 - 6:31pm

What is highly appreciated is the more honest description of the current state of KDE. To recall the spirit of 2000: Where does KDE 4.3 need improvements? Which bugs do bug us? What does not scale in the development process? Which earlier promises made to users are not fulfilled yet and what is needed to make them happen?


By André at Tue, 2009/08/11 - 10:56am

Nice plan!!
I'm eager to read your article about it.


By whatever noticed at Tue, 2009/08/11 - 11:12am

KDE 4.3 is really good, stable and very beautiful. There are a few things here and there that I personally would like to see improve. login, logout and switching user are somewhat slow, It's not near to KDE 3.5 in this area but working performance is fine.
The other little thing is KDM - changing the KDM theme is a pain in the ass on openSuse. I have been trying for days now and it just doesn't work. I tried by using kcontrol, which shows that the theme was changed from SUSE to Oxygen-Air but nothing happened. I deleted the KDM Suse theme in Yast and wrote Oxygen-Air but nothing happened.
I have been searching the internet on how to change the KDM theme but nothing that I found seems to work. Why is this made so difficult? I hate to mention Gnome and GDM because I am not a Gnome fan but has any one of the devs here tried GDM? You change the theme, logout and it's there! Why can't the KDM theme be that easy to change? Please don't misunderstand me, I love KDE but there are a few things here and there that can make a great DE like it even better.
Thanks.


By Bobby at Wed, 2009/08/12 - 2:29pm

openSUSE fault.

Check this: http://en.opensuse.org/Custom_splash_screen#KDM_.28login_screen.29_theme...

it works, but for KDE 4 extract themes in /usr/share/kde4/apps/kdm/themes


By deabru at Wed, 2009/08/12 - 5:30pm

They are all in place but it still didn't work. I got a fall back theme instead, you know the one I mean with the blue background.
If I tell you what the problem was then I guess you wouldn't believe.
I changed the theme to Oxygen-Air in suse-conf and in the display manager file but it still didn't work. The problem was that I wrote Oxygen and Air with capital O and A. In /usr/share/kde4/apps/kdm/themes it's written oxygen-air so I changed the capital to small letters in suse-conf and the display manager file. It worked.
Isn't that crazy? Why can't I just use Kcontrol alone to change the theme? Why all this crazy inconvenience?
If it's openSuse's fault then they should get this fixed before 11.2 is released because these little things can make a bad impression of a great OS. Linux isn't a geek OS anymore, at least a newbie should get that impression.


By Bobby at Wed, 2009/08/12 - 7:20pm

No matter what i do with it, I am unable to connect to my wifi network. Was using OpenSUSE 11.1 and the network manager was perfectly fine and I did an upgrade to 4.3. Even then things were fine. But I felt the performance was slow, so I downloaded the OpenSUSE 11.1 KDE 4.3 Live CD and was not able to connect to the wifi. Infact it did not even show available networks when rightclicked. But when I scanned, it showed my network there, but it just wouldn't connect. And yes, it's not a hidden network

Then I downloaded the latest alpha 4 of Kubuntu with 4.3 and it shows available networks, but it wouldn't connect to it, no matter what settings I tinker with it. Since there is no internet, I cannot download alternate packages as well.

So anybody with any good suggestions, please do ping me.. thanks a ton!


By Andrew Sam at Fri, 2009/08/14 - 3:05am

i had similar experiences on openSUSE with KDE4 and knetworkmanager4, but didn't bother looking into it.
I simply disabled the networkmanager in YaST and configured the network interface manually with YaST.
Since i only connect to 1 network, i don't really need a networkmanager, and the benefit of connecting the old fashion way is that I'm immediately on line whenever i start up my computer or make it wake up after suspend/hibernate.


By whatever noticed at Fri, 2009/08/14 - 9:26am

what does

sudo grep NetworkMana /var/log/syslog | less

tell you?


By esben at Fri, 2009/08/14 - 1:06pm

I also had some problems with knetworkmanager and the networkmanagement plamoids also didn't work since an update so I tried wicd and it's great. unfotunatelly it has no qt frontend.


By mkraus at Fri, 2009/08/14 - 7:41pm

Network Management, including knetworkmanager, is still a building site. Me and several others are rushing to get KNetworkManager complete and polished in time for openSUSE 11.2 as well as this autumn's Fedora and Kubuntu releases.

I am updating packages almost daily, so you should use an up to date repo for your distro. For openSUSE this is http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/KDE4:/Factory:/Desktop/. Even if you are using an openSUSE Factory milestone, you can register this repo and get day by day updates.

So please test and give feedback at bugs.kde.org, product Network Management - this is an area where only broad testing will give us a good tool in the end.

Will Stephenson


By Will Stephenson at Mon, 2009/08/17 - 9:20am

Well, i got networkmanager working again, so i'm going to give knetworkanager4 a try.


By whatever noticed at Tue, 2009/08/18 - 10:16am

installed it, and it works fine.
it is faster than knetworkmanager/kde3 :)


By whatever noticed at Tue, 2009/08/18 - 9:14pm

Hey thanks Bill

Can you let me know the repository for Kubuntu where I can get network manager daily updates?

I tried my best and went off to WICD. It's getting connected alright, but I think I am having some issues connecting to or accessing LAN samba shares. Does it have something to do with kde-network-manager uninstalled?

Sam


By Andrew Sam at Tue, 2009/08/18 - 12:56pm