KDE-CVS-Digest for January 2, 2004

In this week's KDE-CVS-Digest:
KMail gains a basic anti-spam wizard.
A new version of the SSLIODevice and SSLServerSocket code. An alpha version of the Debian KDE LiveCD was imported. Speedups in khtml and kjs. And many bugfixes.

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by Debian User (not verified)


seems Kapture will soon be ready to use. Will there be a 3.2 based release, compilable something?

Other than that, e.g. LiveCD, please rock on. It's so good to see people of the two most inportant (to me) projects in Free Software collaborate.

Yours, Kay

by Peter Rockai (not verified)

Kapture is intended to work with both 3.1 and 3.2. And about being ready to use: there's still lot of work to be done. Take a look at TODO :). However, we are getting to state where we can release 0.1, first public pre-alfa version. It should support the basic operations (update, upgrade) and package-browsing. However, it most probably won't support commiting the changes and if yes, the code will be #if 0'ed for the release: we don't want to break peoples' systems :). The code will need some more testing first. You can of course break your system with the CVS version if you like though :).


PS: I think i'll be creating some screenshots and posting them somewhere. I'll announce here (in a comment).

by Turd Ferguson (not verified)

Wow, a lot of KMail fixes.

And BTW . . . Thanks Derek for your weekly compilation.

by Rayiner Hashem (not verified)

Those Debian KDE folks are moving *fast*.

by JohnFlux (not verified)

Any ideas if this could be extended to also support mandrake's urpmi?

I was thinking what would be cool would be say programs asking the user if they can install packages.

So when I run, say, kdevelop, and it complains at missing htdig etc etc, it gives me a button to install them. :)

by Spy Hunter (not verified)

KPackage already exists, and it does both APT and RPM package installations. The problem is it sucks. I have never seen a gui package manager that didn't. I hope that Kapture can be the first non-sucky one. Hint: massive treeviews suck. Kapture should ditch the idea of a treeview and forget about displaying the complete list of packages at all, anywhere. It's a waste of time. Instead, it should provide an easy and fast way to search the package database, so you can find the specific package you want.

Maybe it already works this way, I haven't looked at Kapture yet. Anyone have screenshots of Kapture for us to look at?

by anon (not verified)

synaptic's ok....

problem is repeated exposure to apt-get is like crack,

I recently tried out gnome 2.4 and, after 4 years of using kde as my main
desktop, it just gives the impression of limiting you in the way you wanna
have things. And, aside of that, the impression that the gnome-developers give
(be there fault or not, I don't know) is that: "No there won't be any
config-option added, it just makes things too complicated"
(Another way of excusing a lower level, if you ask me...)

My wish for kde is:
Keep the current configurability, but add a "plain user mode" which has sane
and predictable defaults. Maybe this should be asked in the "Desktop settings
wizard" as first question...

Call to the usability experts!

> My wish for kde is:
> Keep the current configurability, but add a "plain user mode" which has
> sane and predictable defaults. Maybe this should be asked in the "Desktop
> settings wizard" as first question...

I completely agree on this.. and I think that kde 4.0 should have a global configurator to allow to quick change the behavior of the whole system (like choosing between kicker or a replacement, between the actual kdesktop or a karamba-like one or a new multimedia interactive desktop too).
This could give some 'system' themes (something more than kthememanager is doing now) useful to initially customize the desktop for a geek or a businessman or a child or a teenager girl or ... you say it.

P.S: thanks derek as always ^_^

Would it be possible to add a search functionality to the control center?

Another idea is perhaps a contents list of all config options available
in the control center.

by Henrique Pinto (not verified)

The Control Center has a search functionality.
That's why it has a "Search" tab.

Being a very new user to any Unix desktop environment, I have to say that KDE's control center is awesome. I have never used Linux before yesterday, although I know my way around a HP-UX system. So many reviews I have read said yuck! about the control center but this is simply not true. Every thing is relatively easy to find, more logically grouped than the original Windows control panel and the things you can do.... I'll be here for years just playing. I certainly have no problem using KDE and I hate being made to feel dumb by all the Wizards, etc in WinXP.

Also the defaults are very nice - although this may just be the distro I am using - the latest Slax distro since I didn't want to blow away my Win98 desktop.

Since Microsoft is trying to force me to upgrade, I will do just that - to Linux and KDE.

Now if only I could work out what distro to buy.....

by Paul Koshevoy (not verified)

Go for SuSE! They are the biggest KDE supporters - buy from them and you will help to pay a salary of a KDE developer. Also, their product is top notch - I am running SuSE 8.2 Pro on five computers at home (a network with two servers and three workstations) and it is excellent. I'll be upgrading to the next SuSE Pro when it ships with KDE 3.2 (they have 3.1 as default right now).


Mandrake is the way to go. SuSE has supported KDE in the past, but that is now in question since they have been acquired by Novell. I've been using Mandrake since 7.2 and it is absolutely outstanding. Other KDE supporting desktops include Xandros, Lindows, Lycoris and Ark Linux.

Get your facts straight! SUSE always employed more KDE developers than Mandrake. Mandrake laid off half of their KDE developers (which actually were only two) while SUSE employed and still employs four people working full or most of their time on KDE with others contributing casually.

Still too few. I think we shall raise more funds and get informed about x-financing. For instance internationalization may get paid by governmental organisations or development aid institutions.

>>still employs four people working full or most of their time on KDE with others contributing casually.<<

I only count 2.

Sorry, Suse has to serve a market that requests KDE as a standard desktop. Programmers and technicians alwys think in a "technology-push" manner. The market decides. Suse hasn't to sell what ximian produces but ximian has to develop what Suse's customers want!

Before you decide on a specific distro, I suggest you try both Mandrake, and Suse. Both are excellent. If you are a rich guy, buy them both and try them out, otherwise download Mandrake ISO and install Suse via ftp. Explore and investigate (sort of kicking the tires) to determine which you like better (your preference) then buy. If you have two computers like me, I have both installed.

Try Tweak UI/Tweak UI XP and you have 100s of options in one place...

Is there an option in KDE to enhance this poor popup menu behaviour? You always have to wait for submenus popping up.
I want something like Windows->Control Panel->Tweak UI->Mouse->Menu Speed->Fast.

I want to work as fast as possible and KDE forces me to wait for popup menus.

What distro to buy? Buy Suse, they ship an enhanced KDE version. Mandrake ship a crippled KDE Version.

click on the start menu (K button)
configuration->configure your desktop
(or whatever it is to bring up the kde configuration)
Chose lookNFeel->Style
Chose Effects tab
turn off "Enable GUI effects".

Necessary option not found. Still I have to wait some 1/10 seconds for the menu.

While my machine is pretty fast and I dont have any problem with the menu delays, the option that removes the animation effects (in 3.2 beta 2 on latest Slax) is:
Control Center --> Appearance & Themes --> Style --> Effects Panel --> Menu Effect = Disable and Combobox effect = Disable (or just turn the GUI effects off all together).

And yeah I have played with tweakUI. It's almost an essential window install to avoid having to use the registery to fix the annoying defaults for animations, paranioa and especially the bane of my Windows life, autoplay.

Cheers and thanks for all the distribution feedback, Bob.

PS - What is debian like as a Distro. Lots of people have suggested it, but it doesnt seem to funnel any money back into the Gnu/Linux/KDE world.


> PS - What is debian like as a Distro. Lots of people have suggested it, but
> it doesnt seem to funnel any money back into the Gnu/Linux/KDE world.

Erm, that's because it's a *community* distro,
created by volunteers, not by a company.
Where should the money come from? ;-)

I haven't used it in years but with the recently
started cooperation effort between KDE and Debian
I think I'll give it another try.

For the moment I let others comment on the merits of Debian.

by Quique (not verified)

Debian is great. It's somewhat more difficult to install than other distros, but it's worth it: you only install once, and keep your system updated forever.

The .deb package format manages dependences way better than .rpm, and apt allows you to keep your system on the bleeding edge at extreme ease.

Debian doesn't funnel any money back into the KDE/GNU/Linux world because itself _is_ this world. It's not a company, but a volunteer based project.

Some more pros:
- All the packages included is Free Software. SuSE, Mandrake, etc include proprietary software.
- It's available for many architectures. Not just x86 and PowerPC, but also alpha, m68k, sparc, s/390, etc.
- It's not limited to the Linux kernel: it's developing HURD and NetBSD based distros.
- It includes more packages than any other distro.

If you don't dare to install plain Debian, you can install it from a live CD such as Knoppix or Mepis.

Hope that helps,

by Grenouille (not verified)

hello i'm a brand newbie to linux world i'm actually running
knoppix installed as Debian on my HardDrive it works superfine
and i'm learning more every day i've set up the environnement
as i wanted it still questions but it works well.

Bob wrote:

> PS - What is debian like as a Distro.

Good enough, I guess, but STAY AWAY from the kde packages at the standard debian apt sources if you are planning on using debian sarge. It just won't work (and is hellishly broken). I had to muck with /etc/apt/preferences and have apt-sources for unstable and had to use the -t flag on apt. Yuck.

Instead, go for the KDE team's .deb packages. At least they've never failed me.

The menu speed delay drives me mad!

I'm a converter, new to Linux and I'm very used to Windows. And while KDE is great, I can work twice as fast in Windows. Windows is very user-friendly, lightning fast and configurable. (compared to kde)

I'm not kidding. Windows XP is much more complete and better than KDE in it's current state. It's much more flexible and user-friendly. You can work much faster in Windows.

All the things I did in Windows, takes me about twice the time in KDE!

SO HOW DO I CHANGE THE MENU SPEED DELAY??????????????????? (sorry) That's fundamental! You use menues all the time, and it really is a bad design. When you have to wait ages.

Of course, the developers knows that KDE is a bit slow. So things like this should improve the overall experience greatly, speed-wise.

Others than that, KDE is great, especially since it's free. I'm not going back to Windows.

Please make the menus popup instantly! It's ridiculous. KDE has no problems with heavy disk-intensive 32-bit BMP-icons like Windows. So there is no reason why there should be a delay.

by wilbert (not verified)

> Since Microsoft is trying to force me to upgrade, I will do just that - to Linux and KDE

This is a nice oneliner :-) Almost like "The box said: use windows 95 or better, so I installed Linux"

by cloose (not verified)

You mean "use windows XP or better,..." of course. ;-)

by wilbert (not verified)

of course ;-), but the oneliner I mentioned is already very old, i found it in postings dating back as far as 1997 :-)

by planetzappa (not verified)

...you forgot the rest of the quote: "...and lived happily ever after" ;-))

by Coolvibe (not verified)

Well, I'd consider FreeBSD an upgrade to Windows too. But that's just my bias speaking. KDE works nice on FreeBSD as well.

by Ruediger Knoerig (not verified)

that the limitations of the Gnome framework break through, i.e. there is no way to configure the GUI of programs like you can do for kde apps (btw. this would solve your problem) via xmlgui. That's why most of the linux users see gnome as a dying horse :-)

by Debian User (not verified)

You wrote "That's why most of the linux users see gnome as a dying horse" and I take this as a chance to easily disagree.

When I joined Desktop Linux 5 years after Server Linux, I did so for the promises of Gnome. Many things now called for, level of expertise (beginner, intermediate, expert) should be available, bindings for all scripting languages.

It didn't work that way. True, I could write Perl app with GUI in GTK and that was great. But that was it, no real access to the desktop itself.

Compare this to KDE. There we have now Javascript bindings for allmost everything, full development enviroment with UML, GUI designers and great editor (I still wait for Kate to become deeply scriptable) along with soon to be implemented configuration levels.

The real problem of Gnome is all the broken promises. GNU Object Model ... who is really using that at all, Gnome Office? No! Levels of users? Nah, pretend the user is silly and wants to remain so!

To me, Gnome was disappointing and I went for KDE and have so far never again received false promises.

Maybe already this year, I am really going to get the scriptable desktop that i want.

Yours, Kay

> along with soon to be implemented configuration levels.

dont hold your breath for these. I've seen lots of posts here suggesting them, but no-one's ever promised to implement them.

But more importantly, user levels are A Bad Thing (tm) from a usability perspective - see this thread: http://lists.kde.org/?t=101405087200001&r=1&w=2


I'm not a usability expert, but I participate on the usability list, at least :) KControl comes up often, it's probably THE hardest thing to get right usability wise without losing all of the configurability it offers.

One suggestion that has arisen of late is to split it further into KAdmin and KControl, so what was once KControl becomes:

KControl - configure bits of KDE that apply individually to each user
KAdmin - configure system things like hardware, peripherals, the kernel, KDM, KIOSK, etc.
KInfo - show system information

It will both dramatically decrease the number of options in KControl, and stop your average user being confused by admin stuff they don't need to see, or perhaps even shouldn't see on some systems. What do people not on the usability list think about this idea?

by wilbert (not verified)

This looks like a nice idea to me.

Maybe even better to merge KAdmin and KInfo into KAdmin, then.

So: KControl: all user, desktop settings
KAdmin: system-wide settings, other not-often needed debugging info/help.

Just maybe,

Not sure..
It means checking 2 apps to find one item that "i don't know where is it".

1st proposal)
Isn't a simple 'show admin stuff' checkbox in top of kcontrol enough ?
or 2 option widgets to switch between simple/advanced mode ?

2nd proposal)
The search tab is here but nobody has ever seen it! Why don't we use a search LineEdit on top of the left tab in kcontrol?
This can lead to an as-you-type pruning of the tree with auto-launch of a config module if it's the only available option at a time.

Conclusions : separating into 2 apps will bloat for sure! It's better to review the actual app adding smart functionality (also think at 'coloring' of sysadmin-only items in the tree selector).

What do you think ?

by ybouan (not verified)

Once Kiosk mode has a nice GUI we can add an "DUMB USER" option. With all the tweaking hidden...

by Rayiner Hashem (not verified)

Its not just dumb users who want a simpler KDE GUI. I'm a power user who wants optimal efficiency from my GUI, and having a lot of extra toolbar and menu items that I never use is not efficient, nor is it asthetic. If I want to print a frame, I'll use the hotkey, thank you. Having lots of menu and toolbar items makes you have to actually read the menu to use it. When you have a minimal set of items, especially in context menus, you can use the menu from muscle memory.

by Rischwa (not verified)

The advantage of the KDE GUI is its configurability, which makes it so nice to work with, especially as poweruser, who knows, that toolbars and even contextmenues can be configured in the way it perfectly fits one's needs.

by Bob (not verified)

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I have only been using KDE for about 3 - 4 days now (and I've taken it to work today - SLAX is brilliant) and I quickly worked out how to configure my toolbars to have just the options I use - especially important for Konqueror. Just as easy as windows which I have used for years.

My point: It seems to me that if a distro is aiming at a novice user then their GUI defaults should be for a novice user and it is easy to do. If a distro is aiming at a power user then the defaults should match.

Of cource ask 100 people what these defaults should be and you will get 150 different answers.

Since I am playing with a beta release of KDE I would reasonably expect to see the KDE defaults - ie what the developers have set - to showcase all the features that they have built. The KDE developers should not make GUI choices for their users and the distribution builders, the users (if they can) or the distro builders (if the users can't) should do this because this is what they are there for.

My 10 cents anyway.


(PS I can't believe how responsive KDE is. Blows 98 and XP out of the water in terms of speed and I already can't live without Tabbed browsing - I have put Mozilla on my Win build.)

by Derek Kite (not verified)

>ie what the developers have set - to showcase all the features that they have built

I don't think this would unify much.


by Rayiner Hashem (not verified)

I appreciate the configurability and take advantage of it. It takes hours and hours to get apps looking the way I want them, and updated versions will sometimes wipe out my changes, but KDE is so much better than GNOME that I put up with it.

However, my point was that a simplified KDE GUI wouldn't be just for "dumb users" like the original poster commented. That's a myth that a lot of KDE people keep perpetuating. They think that the only reason to simplify the GUI is to make it easier for novices. That's a load of crap. Consider people who used NeXTStep (like John Carmack) or the UNIX hackers who have switched to OS X (like Bill Joy). It would take a lot of balls to call those people "dumb users." They are people who appreciate the productivity of a clean and elegant GUI.

by Coolvibe (not verified)

May I add that you probably use kcontrol very little. Maybe once the first time you set up to change the horrible Keramik to Plastik ;) and maybe tweak the stuff you need, and after that, you'll probably never have to touch it again.

Also, many KCM applets are available elsewhere, like a context (right) click on the desktop gives you the ability to change wallpaper et al.

The whole kcontrol may be an usability eyesore (well, that's what "they" say), but you generally don't use it much, so the point is pretty much moot. Unless of course, all a GNOME user does is tweak fonts, wallpapers and themes all day and doesn't get any work done :)

KDE doesn't get in your way, even if it is very configurable. Which is mainly why I use it.

by Anyone know how... (not verified)

I'm working on a project in Suse 9.0 using KDE 3.1.4. I see in a lot of places where people say that there is a built in kiosk mode now. Nevertheless, up to know I have not been able to find it and have been able to find no references to how to set it up and implement it. I was'nt even able to find info concerning it on the Suse or KDE website other than a reference that it would be a feature in the 3.3 version of KDE. Any assistance is appreciated.


by Anonymous (not verified)

Visit http://www.kde.org, click on "Sysadmin Documentation". Difficult, eh?