OSNews.com: KDE 3.3 Beta 1 Experiences

OSnews.com features a "non-typical" review of KDE 3.3 Beta 1. It contains the observations of what the user Osho GG saw when he updated from KDE 3.2.3 to KDE 3.3 Beta 1. The story examines the central parts of KDE and some major applications.

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Yes, KDE has this already. If you change the panel size, it will go horizontal with all virtual desktops in a row, rather than a grid layout. Also, it has an option to allow switching desktops by scrolling a mousewheel over the desktop background, and there are keyboard shortcuts, too.

Virtual desktops have been around almost FOREVER on Unix. Most window systems have them.

by Mikhail Capone (not verified)

That's not at all what I was asking for, sorry.

OOPs. Sorry, guess I skimmed your post. Yea, I think enlightenment did that thing you're looking for. I thought it was very cool, but I wanted the idea extended a bit, so that the windows in the pager were the same windows as on the desktop. Not graphically -- just in terms of having the full range of options that something like clicking on a window title bar gives.

Although, now that I think about it, maybe it makes sense to ask windows to render their own thumbnails rather than the pager doing screengrabs like it does in Enlightenment :)

by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

"It's much more efficient than right click -> to desktop -> desktop #"

Apropos efficiency: I've found that 2 desktops is the right thing for me. So when doing "right click -> to desktop -> desktop #" I'd like the system to autodetect that I've got exactly two, and offer me "Move to other desktop" or "Move to current desktop" (respectively) and also "Move to both desktops". It should be in the root menu. That wouldn't take more place in the menu, and I'd save a click.

I don't really care about window-moving pagers, so y'all gotta take that discussion by yourself.

by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

A shortcut you may find a little quicker is:

Go to the "destination" desktop. Right-click on the desired app's entry in the taskbar, then select the first entry there: "To Current Desktop". Et voila, it gets moved to the desktop you're currently viewing.

It's not quite what you're asking for, but I find it pretty efficient.

by Fast_Rizwaan (not verified)


1. Splash Screens
2. Fonts
3. Mouse Cursor Themes (and mouse setting like double-click to open)
4. Panel Settings (Kmenu)
5. Window Decoration
6. Konqueror profiles

by Lukas Tinkl (not verified)

A few remarks from the theme manager author:

ad 1: on my TODO
ad 2: I might consider that
ad 3: works (although it doesn't actually "bundle" the cursor theme, it's in the TODO)
ad 4: WONTFIX (it is a behavior, not visual thing)
ad 5: ditto as 3
ad 6: ditto as 4

by ac (not verified)

Don't want to be nagging, but 'Window Decoration' not a visual thing??

by Luciano (not verified)

4 was panel settings.

I think small parts of the panel settings could be moved, in fact.
The "menu sidebar" setting, maybe with an option to customize it.
The background tiles, transparency, etc. too.

by Lukas Tinkl (not verified)

The transparency and the bg image of panel are supported

by Luciano (not verified)

I once wrote a patch to add "font themes" to the font control center module, but it didn't seem to be well received when I tried to submit it to the developers. The patch is still in the Improvement section of kde-look.
I'd have to port it to current KDE fonts panel, however.

About the Theme manager: Am I the only one that have the text labels on the "Customize your theme" section truncated? And I also don't understand why the buttons can't look like normal buttons.

That said, the theme manager is going to improve the current "look and feel" situation, so I'm quite happy it's been done.

For example, it took me quite a bit of browsing to discover that the Cursor theme was under "Peripherals/Mouse" instead of "Look and feel". Maybe I'm peculiar, but I expected that the look of the cursors has little to do with the peripherals, and it's only slightly connected with the mouse.

An option I can't find anymore, which I miss, is the ability to have "Big cursors". On large displays, the standard cursors are a bit too hard to find.

by chr (not verified)

-> perhaps you could insert sound themeing too !

by Lukas Tinkl (not verified)

That works as well

by Bad Mood Dog (not verified)

In KDE 3.1 chosing style and win decor was much easier than in KDE 3.2.
You could click one style or win decor, and check them out by moving the arrows. Now using the keyboard is a pain, you have to put the focus of you keyboard in that widget by using ALT, most people won't figure this out... I know it saves space, but seems like a pretty bad option to me. Probably can't be changed in time for 3.3 though...

And yes maybe KDE-Usability is a more apropriate place for this :P

by Lars Roland (not verified)

I find his comments about Konqueror to be just right. The user interface is way to cluttered. I once had a student job as an computer admin, in a facility running about 50 suse boxes with kde as default login, one of the questions ask at most had to do with configuring konqueror - perople could often not:

- set the default startup page.
- understand the idea with the diffrent profiles.
- find the way though the menues.

These users where not geeks, but users, normaly running windows. I am 100% sure that someone will come and say that konqueror is the best file/web browser around, and it may be for geeks, but it is not great for normale perople.

I think that the two apps in KDE that needs the most cleaning is Kcontrol and Konqueror - please do not misunderstand me, I am not voting for removing the advanced functionalyty in these apps. I am voting for sane defaults and a simple default look - advanced users can always go into some advanced menu and get there nifty functionalyty added to the default one.

by Lee (not verified)

I've just recently discovered the power of Konq's profiles, and I'm loving it! *holds gun* "step away from the profiles code!!" :D

by anon (not verified)

> I am voting for sane defaults and a simple default look - advanced users can always go into some advanced menu and get there nifty functionalyty added to the default one.

Completely agreed. My family uses KDE. They all used to use phoenix/firebird/firefox back about a year ago, but when KDE 3.2 came out, I switched them to Konqueror, as it was MUCH faster on their hardware. However, my little sister continued to use firefox, because she thought it was simplier to use.

by Abhijeet (not verified)

Well I'm a long time Windows user just Installed my PC with Gentoo and KDE 3.2.3. Well Guess what! Konqueror the web browser has some serious usability issues. ;-) I mean I had to do a google search to actually find out how to disable pop-up windows. I use MyIE2 on Windows, and boy that is sooo much geared towards usability. Well as soon as I'm through with QT tutorial 1, I guess I can finally wet my feet with KDE Development!

by Leo S (not verified)


While I have mine configured to only display about 5 buttons on the toolbar, its definitely way too cluttered by default. And to be honest, the way to configure the toolbar was confusing as hell.
If I right click on the toolbar I have "Show main toolbar" and "Show location bar" checked. Then I go into configure toolbars and half of the buttons that I have visible on the toolbar don't show up in the list of current actions!

It's completely unintuitive that it takes the actions from all the main toolbars and concatenates them onto the main toolbar. Weird.

And theres wacky behaviour too.. Can't add a location bar to the main toolbar, can't remove the kget icon.. I guess I'll check b.k.o for those issues.

by Troels (not verified)

You can get a location bar on the main toolbar, the trick is that you can only have *one* location bar, so if you remove it from the location toolbar, then it will show up in the main toolbar.

Intuitive? No, not at all, but one of the smaller problems i have with konqueror. :-( One worse thing is that if you remove the "weird" entries (the merge ones) then you can't get them back, i have no idea how anyone could even think of making it like this, they even went to great lengths to add a warning text, instead of simply fixing the problem.

I am beginning to think it would be better to start a new browser only program, since konqueror is so complex. Others have mentioned it, but i can't believe that something as simple as setting your homepage is practically impossible. (yes, i know how to do it, but i wouldn't imagine my sister could figure it out, while she had no problem making both ie and mozilla start with a blank page)

by Ben Roe (not verified)

A lot of the problem with KDE usability is the default settings. It seems as if the developers intentionally set the defaults to be really unusable, and the distro makers just seem to be keeping the defaults as the standard settings.
For example, why is the Up arrow, the least used button in web browsing (because it rarely does anything beyond bring up an error page) on the far left where every other browser has Back, the most used button.
I love the kde desktop, but it is a little annoying that it takes so long fiddling with settings to make it usable. Many users just won't bother.

by Anonymous (not verified)

> It seems as if the developers intentionally set the defaults to be really unusable

Please troll somewhere else. Thank you.

by Ben Roe (not verified)

I'm not trolling. Why is a constructive criticism trolling? I get plenty of it to my project (http://benroe.com/sied) and consider it very useful. The default settings have remained reasonably constant through plenty of releases, and many people have a problem with them.

I use KDE 10-12 hours a day. But it's only usable, at least IMHO, after a lot of fiddling. The default toolbar icon sizes, the default icon theme (try figuring out quickly which is reply, check mail and forward in the default Crystal/tiny icon settings - I'm not the only one who thinks this is a bit silly: http://lwn.net/Articles/91308/). It's not very welcoming to new users, who may never figure out the true power of KDE.

by anon (not verified)

> . The default toolbar icon sizes,


by Ben Roe (not verified)


by Lars Janssen (not verified)

I agree Konqueror has a few usability problems.

To the developers: Pretty please, with sugar on top, consider renaming the Location menu to File!

Other problems:

1. Right click a web page, the context menu has an Actions sub-menu. Most of these involve adding the webpage to archives (gzip, zip, bzip2). All fail, in various ways, as we're not in the local filesystem here. None should be there. The menu also includes Print, which is likely useful, though not necessarily needed here. Also the name "Actions" is meaningless, as all menu options are actions.

Also, "Copy Text" should just be "Copy", in order to match the hundreds of other places a user is likely to have seen. The "Text" bit may seem helpful, but it's not.

Well there I go again on the Konqueror context menu... I haven't filed enough bugs on this yet! ;-) Maybe fixed in 3.3 anyway...

Don't want to be too negative about Konqueror, but I have never really enjoyed using it. The tabbed file browsing is cool though. :)

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

I have to agree that 3.3 beta1 is the most stable bete KDE team ever produced, I'm using it daily and I've naver had any serious crash, actually the only programs that crashes are quanta (when you fastly closes all the files open) and kget (this one is really buggy). But those are minor things for a beta.
I belive this shows that KDE is already a very mature techonology and probally the jump to KDE4 won't be problematic at all.

by Anonymous (not verified)

> I have to agree that 3.3 beta1 is the most stable bete KDE team ever produced

I think this is at least partly due to the shorter release cycle. Let's hope that Beta 2 with all the last-day features is stable too.

by anon (not verified)

It's probably stable because it's the end of line 3.x release. KDE 2.2 was very stable as well because of this reason (and had feb 2000->aug 2000 6 month release cycle as well)

Note that kde 2.1 was pretty crash prone (not as bad as kde 2.0), and has a small release cycle (4 months). kde 1.1 was pretty stable.

by Anonymous (not verified)

KDE 3.2 was also believed to be the end of 3.x line at time of release. And were their betas especially stable because of that?

by AC (not verified)

I would guess it being the other way around: 3.2 was not the end of the 3.x line because it didn´t stabilize too well

by Anonymous (not verified)

You do recognize that 3.3 has new features, yes?

by Nicolas Goutte (not verified)

The problem was more that, as there was no Qt4, KDE4 could not be started.

Have a nice day!

by Nicolas Blanco (not verified)

In my case, I have more crashes using Konqueror in Beta 1 than in Alpha 1.

I keep getting this one on several web sites (no problem with 3.2.x & 3.3a1) :

Using host libthread_db library "/lib/libthread_db.so.1".
[KCrash handler]
#5 0x41d5a78a in KJS::Value::operator=(KJS::Value const&) ()
from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkjs.so.1
#6 0x41c18b20 in EmbedLiveConnect::toPrimitive(KJS::ExecState*, KJS::Type) const () from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkhtml.so.4
#7 0x41c2b01b in TestFunctionImp::call(KJS::ExecState*, KJS::Object&, KJS::List const&) () from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkhtml.so.4
#8 0x41acdf44 in KHTMLPart::clear() () from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkhtml.so.4
#9 0x41ae26ab in KHTMLPart::restoreState(QDataStream&) ()
from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkhtml.so.4
#10 0x41af66d1 in KHTMLPartBrowserExtension::restoreState(QDataStream&) ()
from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkhtml.so.4
#11 0x415702cc in KonqView::go(int) ()
from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkdeinit_konqueror.so
#12 0x415ad929 in KonqMainWindow::slotGoHistoryDelayed() ()
from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkdeinit_konqueror.so
#13 0x415c0516 in KonqMainWindow::qt_invoke(int, QUObject*) ()
from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkdeinit_konqueror.so
#14 0x40b7dacc in QObject::activate_signal(QConnectionList*, QUObject*) ()
from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#15 0x40ead99a in QSignal::signal(QVariant const&) ()
from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#16 0x40b9782d in QSignal::activate() () from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#17 0x40b9ef63 in QSingleShotTimer::event(QEvent*) ()
from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#18 0x40b225bf in QApplication::internalNotify(QObject*, QEvent*) ()
from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#19 0x40b2198b in QApplication::notify(QObject*, QEvent*) ()
from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#20 0x406f1946 in KApplication::notify(QObject*, QEvent*) ()
from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkdecore.so.4
#21 0x40b11e95 in QEventLoop::activateTimers() ()
from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#22 0x40acdc96 in QEventLoop::processEvents(unsigned) ()
from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#23 0x40b345d8 in QEventLoop::enterLoop() () from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#24 0x40b34488 in QEventLoop::exec() () from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#25 0x40b22811 in QApplication::exec() () from /usr/qt/3/lib/libqt-mt.so.3
#26 0x415601fe in kdemain () from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/libkdeinit_konqueror.so
#27 0x4089e966 in kdeinitmain () from /usr/kde/3.3/lib/kde3/konqueror.so
#28 0x0804ca03 in ?? ()
#29 0x00000002 in ?? ()
#30 0x0805ef70 in ?? ()
#31 0x00000001 in ?? ()
#32 0x0805ef13 in ?? ()

Moreover, a Konqueror plugin is very buggy in B1 and makes Konqui crash each time a program launches it on a specific URL.

by Anonymous (not verified)

dot.kde.org is not bugs.kde.org!