First review of KDE 2.2

There is a nice and favorable review of KDE 2.2 available here.

The author does make some mistakes and some propositions that do not seem too clueful (Gecko instead of KHTML? Try KMozilla..), but it's still a nice read.

I do agree about the need for better integration between the kdepim programs and kmail, however.


It is so good that every time I use Windows I marvel at how primitive and limited it feels compared to KDE.

By ac at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

Man, ac! You are so full of yourself it is pathetic! I hope that KDE does get as good as Windows, but I don't see that with 2.2.

By Jiffy Jones at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

Try installing the Fast-Liquid theme from Mosfet's site at ! I was stunned how good my desktop looks after installing it!! This should be the default theme in KDE 3! It's fast, slick and big and small at the same time! It is much slicker than the REAL MacOS-X Aqua!

By Per Wigren at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

I made an RPM for it at if you want to try it out. That whole directory is built for RedHat 7.1 (since the official RPMs have issues on 7.1), but I put the source RPM for liquid up there too. Have fun...

By Ranger Rick at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

Is the Fast-Liquid theme from Mosfet's site == kdeliquid?

By tweet at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am


By Ranger Rick at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am

Liquid can't be part of KDE. Look at Liquid license.

By Hasso Tepper at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

yup, fork out the last BSD-license code and develope it with or without mosfet. why did he take away pixie anyway? just because a few ppl disagree with him? (not, i use few ppl, i'm sure the rest might have supported him)

By Rajan Rishyakaran at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am

This type of attitude is exactly why I moved my code to the QPL. People fork my projects just for the hell of it, and don't add anything of value. Yeah, take version 0.1, with a ton of bugs that have been fixed and a ton of features missing, and add a fork to KDE CVS just because I want to develop it independently. Good idea, there :P It's not like people who are forking my code actually added anything significant, the KDE CVS forks are much more buggy than my recent independent work. Stupid. This is why I switched to the QPL. I want people to use the most stable and bug-free versions of my software, not buggy versions KDE includes just to be in a pissing contest with me because I decided not to develop in CVS.

And if you had a clue, you'd know I originally tried to get it into KDE CVS (and even offered to have it disabled if it wasn't ready for KDE2.2). The offer was rejected, even tho I maintained all the style code.

And the last place you lack a clue is I was asked to remove Pixie from CVS by the KDE release maintainer after deciding I was going to code styles outside of CVS. I originally was going to leave it in.

By Mosfet at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am

Mosfet, I love what you have done for KDE, but your positions really seem childish and uncooperative. The 'cluelessness' and bureacracy you complain about are standard in a project of KDE's size, but you stay in there and work things out. You don't take you dice and withdraw into a shell, that just forces other people to fork your code.

By Chris Bordeman at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

Your welcome to your opinion, that doesn't really matter to me. But I haven't "taken my dice and withdrawn in a shell". As a matter of fact, the software I write and have been releasing has been getting even better. I simply want to be able to maintain and write my code as I see fit. As I said over and over, I don't do development via "bureacracy" anymore. This doesn't seem childish to me at all, and has greatly improved my productivity. I do this for fun, not for headaches. After arguing with bureacracy for a year, I've had enough. If the "bureacracy and cluelessness" I've had to deal with are standard in a project of KDE's size when dealing with code pertaining to UI issues, then I want nothing to do with it. Call me names if you want, but I'm the one doing the coding.

By Mosfet at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

Great for you, but who i going to use your crap now that it's not even part of KDE?

By noone at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

Judging from the downloads, emails, and comments, quite a few people are using my "crap" ;-)

By Mosfet at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

Be careful with words like that, even if you don't like the software. BTW a lot of people like it.

By AB at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

I really didn't mean to call you names, Mosfet, I think you are one heck of a programmer and I admire your work and I apologize for the condescending tone. I just wish you had a higher threshold for these committee decisions. There are many core developers I'm sure that had similar frustrations, but you seem to think either your situation was special or you're just too smart for those other opinions.

I am glad your code is moving along so well now, but now considerably fewer people will have the pleasure of using your additions. Ah well I guess.

By Chris Bordeman at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

Okay, this is my last post on this topic. If people don't like it or agree it doesn't affect my life one way or another :P

User interface code definitely is a different situation than most other programming. It's always a more controversial topic, with many different opinions and everyone feels their opinion is right (I know I do! ;-). Doing such work by committee is virtually impossible, or you end up with crap. You should of seen the fighting over the default styles I wrote... this had been going on privately for a year. What I was in was a situation where people who never contributed telling me what I can and cannot do, how I should make things look, etc... You don't see this in many other fields of KDE development. Part of it is because I'm so blunt and feel strongly about many issues, but a larger part is UI work doesn't lend itself to committee design. IMO it requires someone with a specific vision willing to implement it. This is what I will do now, without the fighting. I'm of course open to opinions, but I make the final decision about UI code I write (if you don't like it come up with something original yourself).

As for fewer people having access to my code, that's nonsense. Remember, it was the "committee", who said I couldn't include Liquid in CVS (even if I disabled it by KDE2.2 if it wasn't ready). I wanted to include it, but was outvoted by people concerned about having a Liquid style UI in CVS, so would of had to make it a separate package anyways.

Really doesn't matter either way. If users like the code they'll tell their distributors to package it, and they'll include it along with their other KDE related stuff (at least this is the way it should be). There are plenty of applications and developers doing lots of things outside KDE CVS... I'm still getting bug reports and suggestions, and that's all I really care about.

By Mosfet at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

For a couple of years now I have been seeing great things being added to KDE. And I have also seen KDE get bigger and bigger as a result. It's now time for KDE to limit what is the "core" and spin off the rest into sibling projects.

I want my desktop to be just a desktop. I don't want it to be a development environment, office suite, image processing shell, or anything of the sort. KOffice is a separate project and that is a Good Thing(tm). Keeping the KDE components separated into packages is the way to go. It shouldn't be just kdelibs and kdebase, but not every program written for KDE should be included with KDE. Mosfet's widget themes are simply superb. But let's limit kdelibs to just a few themes, with a few more in kdeaddons/kdeartwork, but keep the rest as separate projects.

By David Johnson at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

Dude, get realistic. Fast Liquid has a nice look
but there's no way it's half as attractive as
Mac Aqua. Don't get me wrong, I wish it did
compare favorably, but the gradients are grainy,
the color scheme is inconsistent and the widget
graphics don't have the same quality.

By Freddy Fred Fred at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am

But I like it being more squary than the (IMHO) too-round Aqua! :)

By Per Wigren at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am

I'd say it's least half as attractive ;-) Some widgets look different, but this is supposed to be a fast and efficent style usable by people like me who are also compiling all day, etc... You have to balance features vs. performance. People are even reporting success using it on remote X terminals and are happy about the speed.

Liquid doesn't use gradients, so I don't know what you mean there...

I just released version 0.5 as well, which further increases the quality without sacrificing performance.

By Mosfet at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am


ok, I got it with
But it's nowhere announced on your site yet :-)
And please bring it back to the main KDE distribution. It's just too good to be not part of KDE.

By thomas at Sun, 2001/08/19 - 5:00am

a) It has been announced on Freshmeat and will be announced on, b) I don't do work in KDE CVS and even had my account removed because I wanted to code my styles outside the core distribution, and c) even when I did do CVS development I was not allowed to put Liquid in CVS (see my earlier post). Not for any technical reasons, mind you, but because some people outvoted me even tho I supposedly maintained the widget styles. Stupid reason, but with a lot of the style stuff I was forced to do things I didn't want because people who never even contributed voted on it. I'll never develop in KDE CVS again, I don't do design by committee.

By Mosfet at Sun, 2001/08/19 - 5:00am

a) the reasons were largely legal and timing concerns. it wasn't a conspiracy against mosfet or anything, just a few people who were worried about the legal liability of a theme that looked so much like Aqua in the screenshots he provided and the remaining limited time to 2.2.

b) there are developers who can not or will not work with larger teams of people (i know several people like this personally) and that is cool if not occasionally unfortunate. what would be nice is if the more important contributions made by such people could be easily made available to the wider numbers of the kde user base.

c) i don't have a c point. i wish i did though.

By Aaron J. Seigo at Sun, 2001/08/19 - 5:00am

As for a) Liquid doesn't look like Aqua, none of the graphics are the same and it doesn't even operate like Aqua. Thus there are no legal issues (as is being proved every day now). Usually I'd ignore such cluelessness, but since everything was developed by committee I couldn't do that. *This* is why there is no Liquid in CVS. This also partially addresses b). I also had people telling me if I could or could not include testing styles (something I need), setting maximum limits on the amount of code I could include, etc... Totally not acceptable. The maintainer makes such choices, not people who never contributed. All these put together is what made me decide it's better to develop solo. Since making that decision, I've been a hell of a lot more productive since I don't have to fight tooth and nail with other people in order to do anything ;-)

As or b) I don't really care what your opinion of me is... or if you feel I can or cannot work with the KDE team. I spent well over a year defending KDE and helping it any way I could, but we have different visions of what KDE should be. Most people get along fine, but when your doing code that concerns UI issues people are much more likely to flame, think their opinion is right, and just generally argue. I'm was sick of it. I'm much happier now :)

By Mosfet at Sun, 2001/08/19 - 5:00am

> I'd say it's least half as attractive ;-)

At one point you state:

> Some widgets look different,

.. and at another point of time you state:

> Liquid doesn't look like Aqua, none of the graphics are the same

So you admit that some widgets do look like Aqua. This was exactly what some people were concerned about.

By Anonymous at Sun, 2001/08/26 - 5:00am

WTF are you talking about? I never said any of the widgets were copies of Aqua. *None* of the graphics were stolen from MacOS. Since it aims to provide the same style of UI ie: one that looks like a liquid with rounded widgets, of course some are similiar. But then again, Motif and Windows have a lot of similarities, both have rectangular buttons. This means nothing. I don't very well think Apple can copyright how water looks.

If you actually used Liquid or looked at it's graphics, you'd know this (everyone who uses it states it looks or operates nothing like Apple's), but evidently you haven't, like most people making such comments.

Either way it doesn't matter. Just one less thing KDE packages won't get, but of course I'll make sure the users can.

By Mosfet at Mon, 2001/08/27 - 5:00am

Hy, can someone help me. I cant get liquid running. When i type make -f Makefile.csv i get an errormessage:
./aclocal.m4:2695: error: m4_defn: undefined macro: _m4_divert_diversion acfunctions.m4:1108: AM_FUNC_OBSTACK is expanded from... ./aclocal.m4:2695: the top level autoconf: tracing failed make[1]: *** [cvs] Error 1 make: *** [all] Error 2

I run Suse 7.0 with KDE2.2


By steve at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am

You may need to downgrade your version of autoconf. I think you'll find that you can't compile any KDE projects, not just Liquid. I've heard from a few SuSE users of my KDE project with similar error messages. They all had autoconf 2.5. Downgrading to ac2.13 or so clears up the problems.

I think the problem is that ac2.5 isn't backward-compatible with the autoconf scripts in most KDE projects.

hope that helps,

By LMCBoy at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

I'm also having a problem installing the theme... Does it work with 2.2-release or just 2.2-beta? I don't think it's autoconf, since I only have version 2.13_1.
Anyway here's what happens:

bash-2.05$ make -f Makefile.cvs
This Makefile is only for the CVS repository
This will be deleted before making the distribution

*** Concatenating configure tests into acinclude.m4
make: don't know how to make acinclude.m4. Stop
*** Error code 2

Stop in /home/erin/themes/kde/mosfet-liquid0.5.
*** Error code 1

Stop in /home/erin/themes/kde/mosfet-liquid0.5.

I probably won't get any responses, but I figured I'd try anyway.

By Genghis_Conn at Mon, 2001/08/27 - 5:00am

I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I have to agree with ac that KDE is much nicer to work with than Windows' UI. Of course, KDE is a desktop environment whereas Windows is an operating system, so it's possible to believe KDE is better than the Windows equivalent but that Windows systems are better than systems running KDE (I don't, but it's possible).

As much as I hate trying to install software on *nix (yes, I've tried Debian;) or upgrade the systems or make my distro work with my unusual hardware or watch movies or play games etc., I can't switch back to Windows because I can't stand to work without KDE! I've used quite a few UIs and I've never grown as attached to one as I have to KDE.

Thanks KDE team!

By kdeFan at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

I don't know how many people have the misconception that Windows is an OS, but The only
Windows that are an OS are ones derived from WinNT. (NT, 2K, XP?) The other 'Windows's are just Desktop environments like KDE or Midnight Commander for DOS :) They Just sit on top of DOS which is the OS.

By Tom Fjellstrom at Mon, 2001/08/20 - 5:00am

I don't know how many people have the misconception that Windows is not an OS and sits on top of DOS... are you drawing your conclusion from the fact that you can type "win" on the DOS commandline to bring up Windows ? So a Linux started with loadlin also sits on top of DOS, eeh ? And DOS can't be so bad, because it supports preemtive multitasking from windows 95 (it have to, if it is the underlying OS...). the fact, that DOS is still there does not mean it is used for anything else than an osloader.

By cylab at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

With windows you still can run dos programs right? but you also get most of dos's limitations like the 8.3 filenames, and insuficient memory protection. Your point about multitasking doesnt' make much sence considering its the hardware that 'supports' it, not DOS.
Loadlin on the otherhand overwrites dos with the linux kernel.

By Tom Fjellstrom at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

sure you can still run dos-programs in windows... in a dos-box. you can run dos-programs under linux to in a dos-box called dosemu. the dos-api-calls are indeed supported by windows, but that does not lead to the conclusion, that dos is the underlying os of windows (i dont talk about win311 of course). if you dont use the dos-api calls you are in a (mostly) pure windows (there are exceptions in win95 like formatting of disks) environment with no dos at all. the 8.3 filename problem is only true for 16bit win-apps which are the same as in win311 so not counting in this discussion. and there is no such thing like hardware multitasking. you have memory management units and context-switching opcodes in some cpus to make implementation of multitasking easier and faster, but you cant ask a cpu to "run windows-programm Excel with priority normal". thats clearly an os issue. to end this discussion: yes, dos is still there and can be used with all disadvantages, but you dont have to use it (most of the time... there are exceptions as i said). to compare dos as the win9x-kernel with a linux-kernel and the windows-shell with the kde-desktop does not reflect the facts. and some more: not everything microsoft does is bad. they have done an incredibly good work in some areas, dont judge this company only by their marketing behaviour...

By cylab at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

First things first, I have never actually said Microsoft Sucks, In fact they have made some fairly nice software but I wouldn't count Windows 3.i or Win9x into that category. Sure its an dosemu is an emulator but Win9x neven included one, the closest thing in win9x that I've see to a dos emulator is the crappy DPMI server that it forces you to use. And where did you get the Idea that without hardware supoort that TRUE multitasking is even possible... when was the last time you saw a OS for a chip like the 286 that could multitask? YOU NEED to have those 'extra' opcodes, without them all your apps would share one memory space, one stack, etc....

By Tom Fjellstrom at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

>And where did you get the Idea that without
>hardware supoort that TRUE multitasking is even

that was not my statement. i refered to the following statement in a earlier post:

>Your point about multitasking doesnt' make much
>sence considering its the hardware
>that 'supports' it, not DOS.

which was an answer to my ironic argument, that DOS seems to support multitasking, if it is the kernel of the windows shell, because windows does support multitasking.

>Sure its an dosemu is an emulator but Win9x
>neven included one, the closest thing in win9x
>that I've see to a dos emulator is the crappy
>DPMI server that it forces you to use.

i dont really know what you mean here. as far as i know DPMI is a memory managemant api like VRMI (or similar ;) that allows you to code dos-programs for the 32-bit mode instead of the native 16-bit environment and the DPMI-Server is a protected mode framework that provides the needed functionality. windows only provides a DPMI-server to allow this dos-programs to be executed in win9x, so i dont see the correlation to dosemu (despite the fact, that dosemu also provides a DPMI-server)

i noted dosemu only to show that running dosprograms in a dosbox is no evidence for an os that sits on top of dos.

but back to _true_ multitasking: it isnt possible at all with a single machine as you surely know, so lets talk about _faked_ preemptive multitasking. you can of course implement multitasking on a 286 cpu or on a 68000 and if you want to even on a Z80. if you lack an MMU you might (possibly will) run into trouble with unwanted memory-access, but that does not prevent you from implementing multitasking. the registers of a cpu (the stack-pointer mostly is one of them) and process relevant information like filepointers can be saved manually, so you need no extra opcodes for context switching.

after all iam tired of this thread and everyone else probably too. but i have to have the last word =P

several other _last_ words: i personally count win9x as one of the great pieces of software by microsoft. it might be unstable, but it changed a lot in my world and its gui had a great impact on every other gui for any other operating-system, kde included. yes, i know finder was before and others(xerox?) were first, but win9x had the greatest impact in my opinion.

By cylab at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

win9x a great piece of software? nah. not even for Microsoft. WinNT/2k on the other hand is.

By Tom Fjellstrom at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

looks like you have to have the last word, too =)

By cylab at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

Of course not. what do you take me for? ;)

By Tom Fjellstrom at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

I do think that Win95 changed the world of personal computers. People like my mother surely appreciated the changes M$ made to the face of the computer. W9x surely _is_ crap, but quality isn't as important as the sheer amount of installations in this context - M$ managed to introduce personal computers to a market where no Unix derivative would have had any chance of survival.

Do you need a perfect OS architecture for playing solitaire?

Visit if you're interested in a german newssite.

By Zaphod at Wed, 2001/08/22 - 5:00am

I'm far from a Windows-lover, but I feel I have to respond to this:

- You can run DOS programs under Linux as well, through DOSemu. In fact, DOSemu under Linux will even run some DOS programs that won't run in a DOS box under Windows 95, 98, or ME.

- Windows/DOS hasn't limited users to 8.3 filenames for a while now. DOS still uses 8.3 filenames internally, but it has ways to show and allow use of the long names in commands.

Personally, I'd consider Windows to be an extension of DOS. You still have the option of running "just DOS", but Windows adds/extends many things that are generally considered to be OS services, such as process management, memory management, and device management. Win9x does not call DOS for most memory management and filesystem tasks -- it uses its own services for those, and provides them to DOS boxes running under it.

Interesting note -- boot a Win95 boot disk up in "DOS mode", and you can't work with long filenames. You can quote filenames to put in spaces and such, but anything beyond 8.3 just gets ignored. It's Win95 that provides the long filename services, and it goes around DOS to do so. A DOS box running under Win95 can work with long filenames, though -- because it's calling Win95 to do the actual work, rather than doing it directly.

For some more information, see:

For a *lot* more information, read Andrew Schulman's "Undocumented DOS" and "Undocumented Windows".

Perhaps the best way to view it would be to say that Windows is not a complete OS, but is an OS extension. Thus, DOS+Windows is a different OS than just DOS, providing different services.

By Travis Casey at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

This is by far the most inteligent post so far :)
But you still feel the need to bring up dosemu? Why? It has absolutly nothing to do with the fact that Win9x literally sits ontop of dos and now and then has a few hacks to get around some of dos's shortcomings. Also DOS programs don't have any real access to windows services, accessing window's longfilname API through dos is a headache have you ever tried? Running in a DOS box while in windows is a bit different because windows replaced some of the DOS INT codes, so yes I'd have to agree that Win9x is more of an extention to the OS its still just a really complicated shell. (Bash can run its own kind of program too ;)

By Tom Fjellstrom at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

actually i tought windows uses the same technique for running dos programs as linux does with dosemu: vm86. it only hacks around having to restart dos every time by starting (a part of) dos at boottime, and keeping that 'image' around.
correct me if i'm wrong

By ik at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

I think thats a part of it. But Windows 9x NEEDS dos.
So when it keeps dos arround its not doing it just to speed up the startup of dos programs...

By Tom Fjellstrom at Tue, 2001/08/21 - 5:00am

Well, plain and simple, fruitless arguments over past procedures never did anyone any good. So I think we need to look past our egos here and examine this in a logical and _unexcited_ manor.

By Zach Meyer at Mon, 2007/03/12 - 5:00am

Jiffy, I think you missunderstood what ac said. He/She clearly states that in their experience doze is the one with the problem.

By tonyl at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

I say not yet.
I just used win2k a little on my machine (that happens from time to time...), and I must
say that there is still one major problem with
It doesn't feel so snappy (or is it snippy?) as win2k.
Whn I compare Opera win/Opera Linux and
Opera win renders a little faster than opera linux
Konq renders ok, but when you switch from one window to another, or switch between desktops, it feels heavier, there is more cpu load compared to similar action in win.

Well, despite alll this, I'm a convert since KDE2.0 and I'm, looking forward to the future of KDE.


By Yves Glodt at Fri, 2001/08/17 - 5:00am

> I just used win2k a little on my machine (that happens from time to time...), and I must
say that there is still one major problem with
kde2.2. It doesn't feel so snappy (or is it snippy?) as win2k.

Yes, but it is only a part of the comparison. Globally KDE has surpassed Windows, I agree. In terms of functionnalities :
- Konqueror is better than explorer/IE
- KNode/Kmail is better than Outlook Express
- Kicker is better than the windows taskbars
- KDE games are better than Windows games
- Virtual Destops don't exist in Windows
- Korganizer don't exist in Windows, and so, and so... (KMid, Kate...)

Windows still has some advantages :
- it is quicker (snappy, yes)
- it has easier management of start menu
- all functionnalities are ready to run (no need to search for having Flash or for displaying the local network...)
- it is better translated

And KDE has big advantages in terms of price and philosophy (technical philosophy with many choices, parameters...)

And I don't speak about KOffice...

But Microsoft has a big advantage in terms of marketing and base of users...

By Alain at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am

I agree with what you say.

I think that there is one point which could be easily improved: the ready-to-run point (an important one IMHO).

I upgraded to KDE2.2 and I like it very much, still when I want to view a website with Flash, RealAudio or things like that, I'm using Mozilla not Konqueror because I could find the instruction easily to install these component on Mozilla not on Konqueror.

I found nothing in the FAQ, HOW-TO of KDE/Konqueror, if it's there it is well hidden..

By renox at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am


I'm new in Linux and in English. Hehe...
and sorry my poor vocabulary.

Well, I didn't download KDE 2.2 'coz I
think I wouldn't know how to install it.
And 'coz I have a dial up Internet
connection. I'd take forever to get
here... hehe..

So I'd like to ask for you a screenshot of
the new KDE. I'd like to see how it looks
like. If you don't mind. Or anybody else
that reads that could send me some screen
shots too. I'd thank you so much. My e-mail
address is ''

Well, thank you.

By Felipe at Sat, 2001/08/18 - 5:00am