KDE 3.0Alpha1 Developer's Release Ships

The KDE Project has just announced the release of KDE 3.0Alpha1,
the inaugural release of the
KDE 3 series. This release is targeted at developers, though experimental
users might want to check it out (be sure to read the
instructions for
installing KDE 3 alongside your KDE 2 desktop). The principal changes from the
recently-released KDE 2.2.1 stem
from the switch to Qt 3. However, that switch does bring with it an impressive
array of feature enhancements, including new database classes, new data-aware
widgets, improved RAD development with a much-enhanced Qt Designer, a new
powerful regular expression class (with full Unicode support),
improved internationalization support (including the ability to mix different
character sets in the same text), bi-directional language support (for languages such as Arabic and Hebrew),
multi-monitor (Xinerama and multi-screen) support, better integration of pure
Qt applications into KDE, and hardware-accelerated alpha blending. With
the Qt port out of the way, the KDE developers can now focus on the
KDE improvements. Read the full announcement
here, or go straight to the


if a project uses qt designer, just select a widget, and fill in 'whats this' in the property editor. happy whats-thissing.

By ik at Tue, 2001/10/09 - 5:00am

I'm a long time Linux user, but I've been using MacOS X for the last month and I must say I'm very happy with it, it's a quite impressive system. I can run XFree on it, and Gnome and most GTK+ apps on top of that, and even QT works well. Now, why not KDE?? QT works fine on XDarwin and so do most pure QT apps, and most of the GNU tools such as compilers and linkers.

Fink's (excelent UNIX Package manager for OS X) homepage says:
"KDE assumes it can do things with shared libraries that are only possible on ELF systems like Linux, *BSD and Solaris".

I'd like to ask KDE developers to work on whatever minor changes are required to make KDE apps run on XFree over MacOS X, so that I can use Konqui, KOffice and other tools without having to boot into LinuxPPC. Apple is now the world's largest supplier of Unix-based operating systems, and and by supporting those systems KDE could considerably expand it's market share.

By Pedro Ziviani at Sun, 2001/10/07 - 5:00am

> Apple is now the world's largest supplier of Unix-based operating systems

I highly doubt that, Linux's overall marketshare is as much as the classical MacOS's was (granted, most of Linux's share was in server, while MacOS was in educational, graphics, and prepress). Many MacOS users have not switched to MacOSX, so I highly doubt this.

But I agree, KDE should work in MacOSX :)

By asasd at Sun, 2001/10/07 - 5:00am

I also need KDE on Mac OS X, and now!!
No, I do not know the A & B of C ...

By kundan at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

Yep, it would be really interesting to have KDE on MacOS X. But is it possible to do this with Qt/Mac? How X dependent are KDE?

By Loranga at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

Uhh. KDE is a Window Manager, it NEEDS X11. But that is not a problem, I can run programs that require QT and X using XonX. Why can't I compile KDE?

By hal97 at Tue, 2001/12/04 - 6:00am

The problem is probably, that there are not that much KDE developers having Mac OS X available out there. If you have some basic C/C++ knowledge, don't hesitate to join :-)
A good place is kde-devel@kde.org.
If Qt is already running, then the problems might be not that big.


By aleXXX at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

Hear hear! I echo this cry.

I want to log in to my system as console, then startx and run KDE, just like a Linux box.

By Leo at Wed, 2002/01/30 - 6:00am

Then use Darwin, not MacOS X ;)

By MacOS X User at Thu, 2003/07/31 - 5:00am

duh, that's what you do if you log in as console and start x....:-)

By root at Tue, 2005/03/22 - 6:00am

MacOS is fine so far, but the GUI is horrible! Its totaly user inefficent. I was going to install Mandrake PPC but KDE on Darwin is a much better (and potentialy more compatable) idea.

By Delta at Sat, 2003/12/27 - 6:00am

Wow, that's the first time I've heard anyone say that.

By mikeydood at Fri, 2004/02/20 - 6:00am

Yea, I can't say I agree with your opinion of OS X. Panther is probably one of the most effectively structured OS' I've used. I say this because of expose, Finder enhancements to quickly access commonly used directories, etc.

By Adam at Fri, 2004/07/30 - 5:00am

I've been running KDE2.2 on QT3Beta5 for quite some time... why is KDE3 necessary to run QT3?

By desau at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

you probably have both qt3 and qt2.2 installed..

I do (installed both using apt)

By asasd at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

Nope.. just Qt 3.

By desau at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

You have?

Could you say how you did this? I have tried a couple of times and whilst I am no stranger to Linux I never managed to get this combo working.

Thanks in advance.

By John Bend at Fri, 2001/10/12 - 5:00am

So what is your full name ? perhaps we are related !

By D. DeSau at Fri, 2002/12/27 - 6:00am

Hello all,

first of all let me say that KDE is truly a heck of a DE. But I have a few gripes with the configuration. One example that really annoyed me was the size an image is allowed to have if you care for an icon preview of them. Some time in the past it was deemed to slow if the image was larger than 1 megabyte. This is ok as long as there was a way to change this (I really needed to have previews of larger images). But here comes the catch: This option is not available in the control center. Even worse: There are two places that enforce this limit on preview icon generation with different settings to change. One palce is somewhere in FMSettings of Konqueror and the other is buried somewhere deep in kdelibs (forgot really where, because I have patched the source to get rid of this annoying limit)...

So my plea to all developers is:

- Look for consistency in the configuration. Don't simply add a new option, look if someone else has done this at another level already and reuse (as with relying on the base classes one should rely on base configuration whereever possible or suitable.
- Make all UI-configuirations visible inside the control center and add apropiate searchable headings/topics so that you'll find the places to tweak when looking for something like "image size" or "icon generation".

Not being able to change the default made me resort to grep'ing through the source to find the limits and disable them completely. This however is nothing a normal user (who get's his KDE rpm's from a distribution) will do or even could do. I almost reverted back to the previous KDE (2.2.0) in which the limit was limited to one place I found by reading the mailing lists, which is another thing normal users won't/can't resort to.

I'll gladly go over the source and point out all configuration options that are available but don't have an control-center entry.

Karl Günter Wünsch

By Karl Günter Wünsch at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

A few days a ago I was still a devoted KDE user. Accidentally my last apt-get upgrade (debian unstable...) screwed up something, making X quit without even an error message. Right now I really have no time to fix things, so I booted Win98 up to check my email. And wow - is it fast! For some time I've been thinking about buying a new computer, my K6 / 200Mhz is simply too slow. Too slow for KDE, and very much too slow for every Linux-available internet browser. As it turned out I guess I'll just switch to Windows - at least until I have the money to buy a *really* fast computer, right now my windows box is feeling more responsive than a brand new Duron running KDE.

Pleeaase consider revolutionary speedups! With a 200Mhz computer KDE is practically unuseable right now. To compete with windows my guess is that you have to make KDE in general twice as fast and make program start up four times quicker.

By Renegade at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

The apt-upgrade problem: Comment out the last lines before exit 0 in /etc/X11/Xsessions and add a "exec startkde" line just before exit 0. I don't know if this is the correct way to solve the problem, but it works.

For speed. I'm very happy with the speed of my KDE2. Everything is responsive and looks great. I don't think you should blame the speed problem on the KDE developers. It's probably a X issue.

By Mark N at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

Yeah, X is a serious problem. What ever happened to those attempts to replace it with something a bit more light-weight?

By dingodonkey at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

I don't think KDE is so slow.
On the other hand, for the price of Win98 you can get a faster CPU and more RAM instead.

By AB at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

I know this is cheezy... but it made a hell of a difference on my thinkpad (a21m, p3 @700mhz). Just lower the bpp for X to 16 or even 8 if you want it faster. X11 is a huge bottleneck in and of itself.

Of course, this won't change how long it takes apps to start. But at least once they're running, the performance is quite a bit better.

By Shamyl Zakariya at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

What computers do you guys have? On my PentiumMMX 233MHz 256MB RAM KDE 2.2.1 is 2 to 4 times slower than Windows ME! Not unusable, but very slow! I don't know if it is because of g++, X or KDE, but what I'm saying is entirely true, and that's the point here: KDE runs slow (on startup I can even go make a coffee and it stills loading when I come back).

By Helder Correia at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

It is is really, really, rediculously slow, it could well be that
your DNS settings are messed up. This can cause each KDE application
to timeout for several seconds whislt it tries to look up the name of your machine.

Basically, make sure you have an entry in yoru /etc/hosts file
for any ip addresses on your machine - including the loopback address

eg. I have, localhost localhost.noc.u-net.net ewe.noc.u-net.net

where the second IP address is of my ethernet port.

Have fun!


By Adrian Bool at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

Mmm... You should have enough RAM - so that shouldn't be the bottle neck. Once the applications are loaded, can you flip from window to window in a reasonable time? (just press the buttons on the task bar). That should really take no time at all - and be as fast as Windows...

If the above is OK then it may well be your disk that is not set for optimum performance. Do you have dma turned on (it will be on in Windows if it is available)?

hdparm -tT /dev/hda (if hda is your main disk drive) might be interesting...

By Corba the Geek at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

I just can't turn DMA on (applies to Linux AND Windows) for some reason. Everytime I try to enable it some of my hardware just stops working (like the IDE Iomega ZIP drive). This must be a bug in my BIOS (very old one) or even in my motherboard circuits, who knows. Anyway, my hardware is about 5 years old and I just don't care about bugs anymore. Hoping I can get money to buy a REAL computer soon.
But it's true that I get immediate responses from the Windows desktop, and it often happens getting stucked in KDE. No DMA for both!

P.S.: I now have XFS (SGI filesystem) installed. Some time ago, when I had EXT2, the speed was even lower...I had just 64MB RAM a week ago, and I can't notice any big improvement in KDE now that I have 256MB but launching xterm instantly. By the opposite, my Windows desktop is significantly faster now.

By Helder Correia at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

You should notice a big improvement in KDE when upgrading from 64MB to 256MB. If not, something is wrong. Are you using Linux 2.2? What does "cat /proc/meminfo" say?

By Erik at Wed, 2001/10/10 - 5:00am

You should notice a big improvement in KDE when upgrading from 64MB to 256MB. If not, something is wrong. Are you using Linux 2.2? What does "cat /proc/meminfo" say?

By Erik at Wed, 2001/10/10 - 5:00am

You should notice a big improvement in KDE when upgrading from 64MB to 256MB. If not, something is wrong. Are you using Linux 2.2? What does "cat /proc/meminfo" say?

By Erik at Wed, 2001/10/10 - 5:00am

You should notice a big improvement in KDE when upgrading from 64MB to 256MB. If not, something is wrong. Are you using Linux 2.2? What does "cat /proc/meminfo" say?

By Erik at Wed, 2001/10/10 - 5:00am

What computers do you guys have? On my PentiumMMX 233MHz 256MB RAM KDE 2.2.1 is 2 to 4 times slower than Windows ME! Not unusable, but very slow! I don't know if it is because of g++, X or KDE, but what I'm saying is entirely true, and that's the point here: KDE runs slow (on startup I can even go make a coffee and it stills loading when I come back).

By Helder Correia at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

what a fast coffee machine ! ;-)


By aleXXX at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am


By me at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

Check out this page to optimize your X server a bit.

KDE's problem will only be solved when GCC 3.1 is released. Until then, I recommend you to run a lighter environment, such as IceWM or BlackBox.

For a web browser, you can run Konqueror, Galeon, Netscape 4 or Mozilla on top of it. But please note that KDE apps will be _slower_ unless you run kdeinit.

By Evandro at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

I have a k6-2 500 with 192 RAM, and I think KDE is sooooooooooo slow....
And I am using prelink!
I don't mean only startup times, but on use of the programs, for example konqueror simply stops responding (all windows of it) when loading a page, I can't even stop it loading. Why? Well, did you saw that kde opens a kio thread for each frame/image, and keeps it open? I think this is a bad way on doing things. Another thing is that it "remould" the tables, images, etc sizes - this is comproved to be slower than just doing as opera does.
This is two little examples that could be easily improved, and have nothing to do with compiler/etc.
I think the wole KDE should same tons of things that are just a bad design - maybe developers should start taking a look at this NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW! (sorry for that, I think it should really be made now on kde 3.0).

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

interesting. i have a k6-3 500 with 640mb of ram, kernel 2.4.10 (+kernel preempt patch), and kde 2.2.1 (from debian unstable) runs great for me. it takes a little bit (~30 seconds) from kdm login until the desktop (and my session) loads, but that's fine considering that i'm launching ~12 apps in my session.

kde 2.1.x was really slow on that system. i switched back to gnome until 2.2.0, which was fast enough for me again.

i also have kde 2.1.1 on a pentium 3 700 w/512mb of ram, kernel 2.2.19, running debian "testing". it's faster than my k6.

By Blue at Tue, 2001/10/09 - 5:00am

I have myself a K6/200, not really flying, but fast enough.
About the application startup speed: this is a known problem. E.g. for konsole linking to all libraries takes on my system approx. 1.8 seconds, i.e. 1.8 seconds which *we* can't do anything about. But there is help in sight, some ld.so hacker implemented a faster ld by using so called pre-linking, which will reduce this linking time *very* much ( the last figures I saw where from 0.8 sec to 0.05 sec or something like this). The patches are available for glibc 2.2, hopefully it will be included in glibc 2.3.


By aleXXX at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

MathML (http://www.w3.org/math/)in Konqueror would be awesome!

Unfortunately the spec. is 500+ pages.

By A Wacky Scientist at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

I remember when MathML first appeared -- I thought 'that sounds like an interesting thing to have'... but it's a bloated monster, unfortunately, and I don't imagine IE ever supporting it. I don't imagine many other browers supporting it either, given that most people who write mathematics will just use TeX.

What would you rather type --





By Jon at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

1) Mozilla supports it today (if you compile it with the appropriate switch).
2) There's already a TeX to MathML conversion tool available (search the web) so you can easily write x^2 and have x2 or whatever pop out the other end.

I'd be surprised if IE isn't forced to support it fairly soon because Mozilla is pulling so far ahead feature-wise (MathML, SVG, tabbed browsing, gestures, support, etc) that upcoming Netscape releases are going to start being serious competition.

Say what you want about Mozilla being bloated and slow - if you have a computer that can support it (which most new computer buyers do these days) it's a kick-ass browser. Unless MS really starts "innovating", Mozilla will leave it in the dust by 1.0. That doesn't mean it will be successful user-wise, but even if it gets 10% of the market that will be enough to force MS to keep improving IE - and then everyone wins.

(Sorry if this is offtopic but Mozilla works just as well under KDE as any other DE :) Konq's good too, but IMO still a way behind on standards compliance and features, and for me it felt even slower/bloateder than moz does. YMMV, and probably does.)

By Stuart Ballard at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

I just want to say that on my computer, Konq actually runs faster than Mozilla!

(and I have a really old computer. It's so slow that people can get away with telling me that it is the computer that is slow - not KDE.)

By Renegade at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

I am sorry to say this, but Netscape really is a lot faster than Konqueror. I remember when the first preview versions of KDE 2 started leaking out to the general public; people were boasting about how fast Konqueror was - faster than Netscape!

In reality, the only time Netscape is slower than Konqueror is when rendering tables. Netscape has to load the full contents of a table in order to render it, while Konqueror renders the parts of the table that it has loaded. In all other cases, Netscape is faster.

For pages that consist of one large table (such as Slashdot articles), Netscape is ridiculosly slow. It hangs for several seconds before anything shows up, while Konqueror immediately displays the page.

Konqueror, on the other hand, renders pages in a whacky style. Text and images liteally jump around the screen until the page is fully loaded. This is incredibly irritating! Often when browsing on a slow site, the text appears at the top of the page and stays there long enough for me to start reading the text. And then, bang, a picture appears from out of nowhere and makes the text jump several rows down. This makes me totally lose track of the text. Again, incredibly irritating!

I don't know which is worse, having to wait until the page is loaded before it is rendered, or having the page jump up and down before your eyes while it is loading. I am using Konqueror even though it is slower and whacky, mostly because it is so nicely integrated with the rest of KDE, plus it has other nice features that Netscape doesn't have.

By Helbons Travis at Tue, 2001/10/09 - 5:00am

Well I know which is worse -- having just a blank page... 'for a couple of seconds' you say - you must have broadband because it's 'for a couple of minutes' for me. I like being able to see the information as soon as Konqueror gets it, not have to wait. It doesn't render pages in a 'whacky style' -- it does the best with the partial page it has recieved.

Believe me, if you had the internet connection *I* had, you'd be thankful for Konqueror.

By Jon at Tue, 2001/10/09 - 5:00am

Did I say I didn't like Mozilla? No :)

I prefer Konqueror though -- given that I'm running KDE, there is no point me using a whole new widget set and all the memory that implies, when Konqueror works perfectly well on any pages I use, plus it integrates perfectly with the rest of the desktop.

Tabbed browsing is lovely. I love it in Konsole -- I'd like it if it could be made possible in just about every KDE program. Kudos for Mozilla for implementing it, and implementing it well. Sadly, I didn't get to see the Links toolbar (it had got disabled by the time I downloaded a build). Is there a screenshot of it anywhere?

I still don't think IE will support MathML anytime soon... it's far too technical for them -- they can't even get XHTML right :)

By Jon at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

MathML isn't meant to be typed. It wants an interface, be it textual, e.g. TeX, or graphical, e.g. MathType (not ported to Linux yet :^( ).

The fact that MathML is a XML implementations should make easy to start with. Qt now has XML classes. I don't know how useful they are, though. Also font support seems to have improved. This means any Unicode characters should be displayable. This enables an easier display of difficult symbols. I'll test this soon in a very simple GUI for LaTeX based on Qt3β that replaces \Alpha onscreen by a real alpha etc.

The recursive nature of the MathML spec allows for a recursive widget implementation. This might be slow, but easy and clear to program.

BTW Is it true Konqueror will be able to display XML with stylesheets in the next version?

By Jos at Tue, 2001/10/09 - 5:00am

people actually use this?

By dingodonkey at Mon, 2001/10/08 - 5:00am

is it just me, or is KDE 3 just as ugly as a 1280x1024 closeup of george bush senior having sex with a donkey?

if it's not just me, well... good to see nothing's changed since KDE 2 then!

By Normal Adult Vision at Tue, 2001/10/09 - 5:00am

kde 3 has no themes yet (maybe now, but not last time i checked) because the
QT theme engine has been rewritten, and the kde style/theme engine will have to be rewritten/adapted too (and the existing themes will have to be ported to the new engine)
anyway, i think thats not the highest priority. Lets make it useable first so that application developers can have a look at it ...

By ik at Tue, 2001/10/09 - 5:00am