JUL
26
2005

JLP's KDE 3.5 Previews (Part 1)

Every year, during the summer holidays, I regularly download the source code of the new version of KDE desktop that's in the works and compile it, test it and help with translation into Slovenian language. This year I've decided to also post previews of the development version of KDE on my blog. I'll try to put up as many screenshots as possible so that everyone can see what is coming in the future. JLP's KDE 3.5 Previews - Part 1 is now available.

Comments

A very nice preview. Thanks for doing the work.

*dreaming*
Maybe this could be used as basis for a KDE 3.5 feature guide like we had for the KDE 3.1 release (http://www.kde.org/info/3.1/feature_guide_1.html).


By cl at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

"home:/

KIOSlaves are a special feature of KDE that make it simple to work with files and folders over different protocols. You probably know some of them very well, like file, http or ftp. A new one has recently been added: home. When you open location home:/ in Konqueror you can now see all home folders of the users belonging to the same group as you do."

That is sheer brilliance! These are the little thoughtful touches that we need!

Good stuff.

I can't say that I could tell the difference between kicker's elegant and classic mode by looking at the screenshots.

One other thing, KDE 3.5 will be a seminal release for lots of people. Why? Because many organizations that currently run a KDE desktop will not rush to the KDE 4.0 series until it has been out for a good while, probably until KDE 4.1 or
4.2, which is logical if you consider the breadth and scope of the changes.

Therefore, KDE 3.5 and KDE 3.5.x will be the default desktop of lots of people for up to three years, maybe longer. While much of the new and exciting work may be happening on KDE 4.0, the slow and gradual improvements in the stable series are both very much appreciated and needed.

Please keep this in mind, guys.


By Gonzalo at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

> I can't say that I could tell the difference between kicker's elegant and classic mode by looking at the screenshots.

Look closer at the tasbar applet buttons.


By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

> When you open location home:/ in Konqueror you can now see all home folders of the users belonging to the same group as you do.

I am worried that this might confuse users. Don't already have two meaning of "home", the user's home directory, and the home page for web browsing (btw, can we now have the "home" button work differently in Konqueror's file and webbrowsing modes?). And now we have a third location that's called "home".


By ac at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Maybe call it homes:/ ?


By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

or group:/ ?


By Jason at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Don't worry, it's meant to be used with system:/
and it's then fully hidden to the user.

The user will deal with system:/users/ in the end
(it's really home:/ but the user can't see it).

I'm working hard to hide this kind of implementation
details.

The home:/ protocol doesn't exist.
You only need system:/

=)


By ervin at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Why does it exist, then?


By ac at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Agreed, that name is seriously broken. In the desktop metafor home is the users home directory, and in *nix filesystems home is where all users have their private directories. Creating yet another, and proprietary to KDE, home is just plain stupid. If it is meant to show the group the users belong to, call it group or 'users' group. Don't invent yet another use of an already existing name.

Besides who are this feature supposed to aid? Users new to *nix systems? Newbies or close to computer illiterate users, or those Joe averages? All user types not having the faintest clue about the concept of user groups anyway. It's one of the most ill conceived and badly named features ever added. It does not help inexperienced users, as it involves a concept they have no clue of. And for experienced users it add another meaning too a well known name and adds a new concept to an already established functionality. And hiding it for most users in a virtual ioslave hierarchy does not change that.


By Morty at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Yeah, call it "group", or something like that. It shows the group, don't it? "home" just confuses.


By shiny at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

Actually, there are three concepts:

Web_Home (URL of your ISP's start page)
Home_Directory (HOME, /usr/)
Documents [or better: User_Files] (My Files, working directory, etc.)

For optimum usability, it should be easy for a user to tell these appart.


By James Richard Tyrer at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

Other people have already said that the name "home" is not a very good one, and I totally agree. I also don't understand what this is good for. What scenraio did the author have in mind? Just because I'm in the same group as someone else doesn't mean that I have read access to that person's home directory.


By anon at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

it is really sad, that Kicker still has got a white frame/border around it. a better way to handle that is: remove the white frame from the code and including a kicker-wallpaper which has got a white-line or frame in the wallpaper-pixmap. The strange thing is: current transparent kicker hasn't got any frame, well, it definitly shouldn't ;) But People which using a dark kicker-wallpaper might prefer a kicker without any frame. if the function resizing kicker by mouse is back again, then a frame is maybe needed, but then the frame of kicker should be maybe more thick and refelct the kicker-wallpaper color. If the reader of this comment has got no idea of what i mean, just check the look and behavior of windows-xp's "kicker", then you notice the diffrences.

thanks


By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

what are you babbling about? in svn:

a) the frame is not white (it follows your colour scheme)
b) the frame does not appear if you are using a wallpaper


By Aaron J. Seigo at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

b) that's fine


By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Ahhh! Finally, I can use these cool kicker backgrounds I've been making.

I updated yesterday, but hadn't noticed this.

Thanks for all of your hard work Aaron.


By Andrew P Rockwell at Thu, 2005/07/28 - 5:00am

> I think it would be a good idea to also use them for system tray icons.

this won't happen until we have the new systray protocol (coming in kde4) .. sorry =/


By Aaron J. Seigo at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Hello,

I really like KDE, it's my favourite environment. Some of the future KDE's stuff seem really good.

But there is one thing I don't like with KDE : the default look and feel is too close to Windows'. I like the ability to personalize my desktop, but the default settings seems to copy Windows.
Is this on purpose ?
Does this mean that KDE is only a copy of Windows ?
Don't KDE have any originality ? any "sense of identity" ?
Is there an lack of creativity ?

I think KDE have to build its identity. It don't have to look like Windows, OSX or whatever. I think Gnome or XFCE have an advantage. Have you ever heard people who try to describe the different Linux desktop tell "KDE is the one closer to Windows" ?

I say that because of the new stuff : the autorun feature. It's exactly the same than Windows'. It's a really good feature, and I'm glad that KDE will have a stuff like this. But are we obliged to copy Windows ?

For exemple, why are people trying to do themes or "improvement" in KDE-Look.org which tend to make KDE like Windows ?

But don't think I don't like KDE... I've been using KDE for 4 years... and I really think it's getting better and better... But my opinion is that KDE have to be creative and original. I hope KDE 4 will begin the "revolution of the desktop"... (I don't think it will change a lot, but maybe plasma will help us to make the difference)

Thank a lot to all KDE developpers for your good work.


By Didier at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Shut the hell up. I'm so sick of this over and over.


By manyoso at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Doesn't have The users feedbacks any importance anymore ?

As I said, it is just my opinion...


By Didier at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Yah, it is your opinion, but your opinion is crap. Not only has it been done to death, but it really is an entirely worthless and void comment.

All you have is some vague 'impression' that KDE is 'too much' like Windows. Well, I can write out a list of a hundred and one things right now where KDE is nothing like Windows. 1. Copy & Paste 2. Double Click VS Single Click etc, etc.

I'm sure if only we'd put the kicker at the top you'd be satisfied that, finally, we did something 'creative' and 'original'. Oh, and egads if we'd put it on the right side of the screen or the left you'd be in orgasmic delight with all the 'creativity' and 'originality'.

Nevermind the fact that if you don't like how KDE looks and feels or want to make it the diametric opposite of Windows... you yourself can do that. Feel free. It's called the control panel and the configuration dialogs. Have a ball.

As for decrying that others would want to exercise their control panels and configuration dialogs so their personal desktop looks and behaves more like Windows? What the hell do you care?

I know I don't.


By manyoso at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

I've taken in consideration your point of view ... I won't try to tell you are wrong... (everyone's point of view is welcome)...

BUT :
---

don't think I'm a newbie... don't think I don't have modified my KDE (my settings are really different from the default ones)...
I was just talking about a tendance I see more and more...


By Didier at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

What an ass!


By Jason at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

> Yah, it is your opinion, but your opinion is crap

> What an ass!

I don't understand very well...

Maybe my message wasn't clear...
I did NOT want to be aggressive in any of my posts...

Why such reactions ?

If talking about this here is problematic, let's forget it... there is no need to fight...


By Didier at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Didier,

I wasn't replying to you.


By Jason at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Unfortunately, some don't seem to realize that the user's feedback is the most important thing.

However, I have to say that I don't agree with you -- but I won't be rude to you just because I disagree -- about KDE being too much like Windows. We shouldn't make it different just to make it different. There *are* many ways that KDE is different than Windows (it is not a copy of Windows like XPDE intends to be) but I see nothing wrong with the basic look being similar. OTOH, if we can make usability improvements over Windows by changing the look, they we should do so.


By James Richard Tyrer at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

Total agreement. Shut the hell up.


By Joe at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

There's your kde developer for you....being an asshole as usual.


By rogue at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Newsflash:

KDE developer angered by man posting apparent troll about most trolled-to-death topic in KDE.

Film at 11!


By Dolio at Thu, 2005/07/28 - 5:00am

This whole thread is worthless. Please kill it and leave a message saying why it was killed. I do not know why ppl can be civil. I almost get the feeling that this is at best a 2 person coversation, and at worst a one person conversation meant to look mean-spirited on KDE developers part


By a.c. at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

He's right. It's been done to death. There are some ways in which KDE is like Windows (like even Gnome and Mac) and other ways in which it is nothing like Windows. The fact is, in a desktop environment every desktop environment will look vaguely like another.

As he says, just shut up.


By David at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

"look and feel is too close to Windows"

Two points:

One: Is that a bad thing? If so, why? If something resembles Windows, is it automatically bad?

Two: Care to show some examples on how KDE is like Windows? Yes, there are SOME similarities between KDE and Windows. But there are similarities between all GUI's that use the WIMP-paradigm.

Seriously: should some thing be done differently in KDE just so it wouldn't resemble Windows? Maybe KDE should get rid of the taskbar, since Windows has it as well? the Kmenu servers the same purpose as the Start-menu on Windows, so I guess it needs to go as well? Both also seem to have close-button in the top-right corner of windows, so I guess that needs to be changed as well.... And of course KDE should drop Autorun as well. Since Windows has the ability to run apps when the user starts the desktop, KDE must not have that ability. Otherwise it would be "copying Windows".

What would KDE achieve with changes like that?

"For exemple, why are people trying to do themes or "improvement" in KDE-Look.org which tend to make KDE like Windows ?"

Because they want to. And what do you suggest KDE should do about it? Tell them to stop? Why?


By Janne at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

As I have answered in the previous message :

I'm not trying to convince everyone... I just tell you what might be wrong (in my point of view) and I have a little bit explained why (maybe tou haven't read it)...

There is now 3 persons who have answered me and told me I'm wrong... it's OK for me... I've not the absolute science...

I've said what we can do to improove (again : in my point of view) KDE...

Just another thing :
I've tell nowhere that Windows' Look&Feel (or Windows itself) was bad... I have also talked about OSX (which is really beautiful)... I just talked about differences (which would be good for me)...


By Didier at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

But I don't see your point. really, I don't. Yes, KDE has some features that can be found in Windows as well. Is that a bad thing? Of course not! And KDE has tons of features that are NOT found in Windows!

You talk about "improving" KDE. But looking at your first post, those improvements would merely be changes to the UI so it would look different from Windows. Looking different from Windows is not a virtue by itself. Being different for the sake of being different is not smart IMO.

What you basically said was that "KDE looks like Windows, and we must change it so it looks less like Windows". Well, that is not IMO a smart way of designing a UI. Designing KDE like that would also tie it to Windows, just in the reverse. Instead of "cloning" Windows, KDE would be avoiding Windows. But still, KDE would be defined by Windows and it's UI. But not by the similarities between the two, but by differences between the two. One of the defining features of KDE would then be "it's as different as possible when compared to Windows!". But why should it be? If Windows does something right, why shouldn't KDE do the same?

What KDE should do is to create as kick-ass UI as possible. And I see them doing just that. Yes, there are similarities between KDE and Windows. Just as there are similarities between Windows and OS X, Gnome and others.


By Janne at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

> Yes, KDE has some features that can be found in Windows as well.
> Is that a bad thing?

Having some stuffs like Windows is not a bad things, but you should read my others messages, this is not the point...

> Designing KDE like that would also tie it to Windows,
> just in the reverse.

Not to copy doesn't mean to avoid or do the reverse...

But my reflexion was based on one impression : "KDE seems to do copy Windows" (I say it this way as a simplification)... but if you read the other messages, my impression is not shared by everyone. Moreover, the guy who is responsible for the new autorun feature has written a message and told that if the KDE's autorun looks like Windows', it was not on purpose...
So maybe my impression may be wrong about KDE's global evolution... I'm open minded, so I can understand it and the problem doesn't exist anymore...

And even if there was an intention of copy, it wouldn't mean it was bad... the "debate" would have been opened. It would not really be a debate because this is not the right place, but only my suggestion about building an "original line" for KDE.

Bye.

PS : I'm using some simplification for the problematic to be clear, but, of course, I've not said that whole KDE was the Windows' copy...


By Didier at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

I think that KDE should remove whole GUI, because Windows have one too.


By accc at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

And I think that KDE should run away from linux, because Gnome on it.
How about OS KDE? ;)


By Vik at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

thats exactly what osx is. its not better, jst different.

"Maybe KDE should get rid of the taskbar, since Windows has it as well"

-they made the dock, which confuses the hell out of me TBH.

"the Kmenu servers the same purpose as the Start-menu on Windows, so I guess it needs to go as well? "

the apple "bar", moved menus from windows to the top of hte screen, moved the "application" button to the top instead of at the bottom like windows.

"Both also seem to have close-button in the top-right corner of windows, so I guess that needs to be changed as well"

apple moved it to the top-left corner.

why? just to be different. being like windows is not a bad thing IMO. if kde was as insecure as windows or as uncustomizable as windows, then yes, it definetly needs to be chagned. but changing something just for the sake of changing it will result in:

1. wasting dev time
2. confusion for the user
3. something that will most likely end up less usable than before.


By drizek at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

Apple GUI was designed before the first Windows was created (see the Apple Lisa GUI, 1983)

Then Windows copied them, but there was patent infrigments, or something like that...


By pepebotika at Sun, 2005/07/31 - 5:00am

> I say that because of the new stuff : the autorun feature. It's exactly the same than Windows'. It's a really good feature, and I'm glad that KDE will have a stuff like this. But are we obliged to copy Windows ?

I don't quite understand your point. You like the new feature, you're glad to have it, so what's wrong with it? So what if Windows does the same thing? Would you rather not have it, just for this reason?

Of course, if you had an idea how to do it *better* than in Windows, then I'm sure the developers would be very interested to hear about it.


By ac at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

"But there is one thing I don't like with KDE : the default look and feel is too close to Windows'. I like the ability to personalize my desktop, but the default settings seems to copy Windows."

In FreeBSD, a wizard guides you through the configuration process, and enables you to pick a predefined look&feel: Windows, Mac OS, CDE or KDE. Probably Linux distros feature such a wizard also.

Features are not good because Windows implements them, but neither are they bad because Windows implements them. I for one don't have a problem with copycatting, as long as good features are copied, be it from Windows, GNOME or OS X.


By St. Kevin at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

It's a KDE thing - the program is kpersonalizer. it's run if there's no .kde folder.


By JohnFlux at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

A bit too generic description, it runs if kpersonalizerrc: "[General] FirstLogin=false" is not set.


By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

By the way IMHO we should get rid of kpersonalizer.

Developers should select reasonable look&feel defaults for user,
and not ask them from a newbie.

Just my 0.02 euros.

Eleknader


By Tapio Kautto at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

> By the way IMHO we should get rid of kpersonalizer.

why?


By cl at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

In contrary, it should be heavily extended instead.


By ac at Wed, 2005/07/27 - 5:00am

Well, I discovered this feature in MS Windows only recently and it was
_after_ I took the decision to have a dialog like the one you'll have in
KDE 3.5.

That's definitely not decided by copying MS Windows.
Maybe you're right in some cases, but not this one. ;-)

As a side note, we use a dialog here because it was the best solution
considering our current framework. Expect something completely different
thanks to Plasma for KDE4.


By ervin at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

What was wrong with just putting an icon on the desktop and letting me access it when I want to? Having things pop up in your face is generally annoying...
It lets you do nothing, I don't think, you couldn't previously -- (double) click the desktop icon for the default action, right click for the context menu for other actions -- and if there's two ways of doing things, one that involves popping up a dialog and another which doesn't, the other is usually correct, I think.


By Gábor Lehel at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Take another look at that dialog, are you seeing that checkbox? Realize the meaning of it? You can set the preferred action for each type of device once, to what you prefer. You get it right according to your own preferences and not some arbitrary default.


By Morty at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

Figured I would get this reply.
Yes, I realize the meaning of it. Putting "do not show this again" checkboxes on all of the many dialogs that get popped up at you merely makes them less bad; not good.

The thing with configurability is it should be available to the user, but not forced upon them. Imagine having to explicity configure everything in kcontrol before using KDE; wouldn't be very fun. Same thing, smaller scale. That's what defaults are for. (And also why the defaults should be as good as possible: so the user has less need to change them.)

In this specific case, what I also dislike about it is it assumes that when I insert something, I want to do something with it /right now/, and that that something is one of the choices presented; this is quite often simply untrue. (If you need an example: inserting a USB thumbdrive to download something onto it; or for a more mundane one, when I simply want to finish the paragraph I'm reading first). Of course, in these cases you can say 'do nothing', but the computer should be just sitting there waiting for the user to tell it what to do, not taking initiatives on its own.


By Gábor Lehel at Tue, 2005/07/26 - 5:00am

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