Diego Calleja: Why KDE Rules

KDE convert Diego Calleja explains Why KDE Rules by showing off some of its power features. He starts by dismissing some myths about KDE then tells us about the application that brought him to KDE, amaroK. Power features explained include KParts, DCOP and KIOSlaves. "I wrote this document to tell everybody why KDE is great, why it's worth using (great functionality), supporting (great development platform) and hacking (great design) and why you can expect many other awesome features from KDE 4."


by Jason Clinton (not verified)

Easy fix. Just move the SPAM handling to the very end of the filtering chain so that it only runs the mail through the spam filter if it doesn't match anything else. And then put a duplicate of the spam hander at the very top of the filter list so that the analyzed spam doesn't go through the entire list again.

by Mike (not verified)

Sorry, i dont get it. Put the same spam filter on top and on bottom of filter list??

by Anonymous (not verified)

Uh. Did you read what I wrote?

If it was spam handling that was the problem - it would take linearly longer time. It doesn't.

1. message is filtered fast (less than a second).
10. messages is filtered fast (less than a couple of seconds).
100. messages is filtered pretty fast (say, ten seconds).
1000. messages is getting slow - say 3 minutes.
7000. messages is VERY, VERY slow. Processing the first 400 took 15 minutes(!)

So, to filter one week of email - if I've been on a vacation, I basically select the messages in bunches of about 1000 - and filter them in the background while doing other work. That gets the work done fast enough. Filtering them by selecting all and then starting to filter just doesn't work fast at all.

There seems to be an O(n^2) algorithm or something in there, instead of an O(n) algorithm - which it should be. It's only noticeable on large bunches of email - which I'm unfortunate to get at work.

by Zak Jensen (not verified)

Chances are your filters are configured incorrectly. If you use complicated filters & don't set distinct points to stop processing, then your mail can potentially go through the list several times. This *may* be what is wrong. If not, I encourage you to submit a wish for further optimization via http://bugs.kde.org/

by fast_rizwaan (not verified)

Preloading konqueror instances won't really speed up konqi loading.

Test: prelaoding enabled
1. click on HOME/konqueror button (on kicker) takes quite few seconds 3-5 seconds
Doesn't really improve konqi loading... :(

Real Preloading should be (example when preload konquror is disabled)
1. open 1 HOME/konqueror folder
2. preen ctrl+n (new window)
3. new window appears in just 1/2 sec. now this is snappy...

You're welcome to use your personal voodoo magic skills to make that happen.

by fast_rizwaan (not verified)

did the voodoo magic ;) it is named "fvisibility=hidden" for gcc 3.4.5! really i hope KDE 4 + QT 4 + GCC 4 will be the ultimate Desktop performance...

by superstoned (not verified)

well, here it DOES make a difference, esp if my cpu is busy, preloading makes stuff much faster...

I dig the general tone of the article. Every time I tried gnome and KDE, I find myself sticking to KDE after the initial awe for the Gnome desktop.

However, KDE uses too many resources, and has way too many subprojects.

I don't see why KDE would not be able to work as well as windows 2000 or windows 98 on my e-mail-internet 128 Mb, 266 Mhz Computer.

The only recent(?) distribution I found that works well on this hardware was Beatrix: a limited choice of industry standard software in a Gnome desktop. However, every time I install Gnome, after initial awe, I feel frustrated by not being able to do what I want. Even as a total newbie. KDE is able to give more eyecandy, but nothing I tried up to now comes close to Beatrix in being low on resources. Every distribution installs way too much software, users that need them can install themselves.

The look and feel of KDE is very well, but a lot of the packages (games!) freeze before doing anything. Throw them out of your core package.

Moreover, as I understand it, KDE has its common APIs, should it not make more sense to have NO other dependencies in KDE applications, the way Mac does it?


first about performance - why doesn't windows XP run fine on a 368 with 4 mb ram? i think it should, really. windows 1.0 did! why shouldn't XP? maybe it has some features windows 1.0 didn't, and these make things slower? they might consume memory? could it be? naaah, i don't think so...

well, KDE 3.5 can do more than windowsXP. of course, there are a few things windows XP can do and KDE can't - but there are many many things KDE can do and XP can't. thats natural, as Windows XP is build for 2001, and KDE 3.5 is a 2005 OS - so it is made for 2005 computers. won't run on your old 368, sorry.

seriously, KDE uses quite some resources. duh. you think it all comes for free, virtual desktops with their own background, custom window settings, window shortcuts, autocomplete and quicksearch everywhere, themabillity, systemwide spellcheck, KIOslaves (netwerk transparancy) etcetera? come on...

Ok, KDE isn't as fast as it could be. but thats mostly NOT KDE'S FAULT but the underlying toolchain. the Gnu Compiler GCC isn't really a c++ beast (which happens to be the language KDE is mostly written in). and also the underlying stack isn't as highly optimized for desktop usage as windows XP and Mac OS X. Xorg is far from the most efficient graphical server you'll find etcetera.

KDE just offers a lot more functionallity compared to Gnome or windows 98/2000/XP, and that's what taking cpu and mem. wait for KDE 4, as hopefully GCC will be a bit more mature by then (gcc4 introduced a whole new optimization framework, which hopefully gets utilized a bit more with gcc 4.1/4.2) and the same goes for Xorg (XGL might bring us better hardware accelleration). also Qt4 will bring massive (>20%) decreases in memory usage, and work is being done on other things KDE depends on, like fontconfig (which kind'a sucks now).

Again, lots of KDE's performance troubles are in the underlying technology, and you wouldn't seriously expect KDE to start rewriting all this, isn't it? its a Desktop Environment, not an Operating System... it would be a waste of time and effort, sorry. (yes, this is meant to answer your last question)...

You don't have to rewrite it, just put the dependencies of programs that are not already in KDE in the package itself. If this is not possible with the current package management, than it might be a good idea to write one where it is possible.

by Roland Kaeser (not verified)

Yes it uses to many resources! Thats really true! Try run KDE on a 1GHz Pentium or similar machine and open a konsole. This takes around 10 seconds to start. What happens in this 10 seconds just to open a terminal? I think the developers should take more time on code optimization, especially optimization for speed and reliability. I get at least one kde crash a day. Just start a fvwm2 on your machine or try to install a old linux distribution from around kernel 2.2 and you can see how match faster this ones working on actual hardware.

On the other side kde misses a lot of features which are usual on windows desktops. Who want's diffrent desktop designs or even change the startup screen? THAT DOESN'T MATTER! But a function to arrange the icons on the desktop along a raster without bringing them all disordered would be helpful. Or the possibility to make the kicker wider than 256 pixels (I have a 3 monitor system (matrox parhelia) and the kicker upwards on the left side). Or PLEASE PLEASE this view/viewmode menu to a arrangement which is more user friendly. Windows for sample has it direct in the menu and not hidden in a submenu. About the bottom line try to hire a professional gui designer to optimize this menu chaos in konquerror and the other design bugs in kde. What does it helps when konquerror supports multiple view profiles but no editor to customize it. Does the developer really think a average user goes to edit this text file (if he can find it)?

THAN the whole multimedia apps in kde. It mostly remembers me on the first windows media player and also have in common with it (the wmp) that it crashes all the time and sometimes it plays files and sometimes not.

On priciple i think the main developpers should install a second windows machine just to see how it could work. And then try to get a similar result on kde. Microsoft copied all their technologies from other ones. It's now time that the other ones copies a bit from ms.

by Fri13 (not verified)

> This takes around 10 seconds to start.
> What happens in this 10 seconds just to open a terminal?

Why do i get konsole open under 1 second? I have KDE 3.5.
In KDE 3.1.x series Konsole did take long time to open, about 3-5 seconds. 3.2.x series it gt much better times but 3.4.x series really blowed speed up so there is not almoust any delay.

by superstoned (not verified)

sorry, but WHAT are you talking about? you can arrange icons in 1000 ways, including every way windows could do it...

profiles? editor? what would you need an editor for? change your setup and save profile, thats what a profile is for... duh... every moron could use it, sorry...

and they hid the window things in a submenu because nobody used it and the menu became too crowded. good choice, imho!

and i already answered the performance moan above your post - to summarize:
1. don't expect 2005 Desktop Environment with the performance of an 1998 OS, that's stupid.
2. Lots of KDE's performance problems aren't KDE's fault, but due to the underlying stack of applications and systems - kernel, Xorg, libraries, C++ compiler peformance.

Hard work is being done on all these things - most KDE performance improvements are actually improvements in underlying structures, made in cooperation with KDE devs. Qt4/KDE4 will bring is at least 20% less memory usage, Hardware Accellerated display (Xgl) and a huge cleanup of the libraries, most probably increasing the 20% less memory to maybe even 30 or 40% (maybe a bit optimistic, but hey, one can dream?).

you're right on the multimedia track, but again - its mostly NOT kde's fault. there simply is NO default multimedia framework under linux, and KDE can't write its own (as it would just clash with the others). we'll just have to wait for gstreamer and the like to get stuff finally working well.

the dev's are working on usabillity, but again - there is nothing windows does better than KDE on this plane. c'mon, only because it has lots less features makes it look cleaner. you know those lovely config dialogues with several LAYERS of tabs in windows? impossible to navigate? ever seen that in KDE? sorry, but KDE can do 1000x what winXP can, and still isn't much more crowded (Konqueror might be the exception here, it is quite a bit more crowded compared to Explorer, but it can do much much more so i can forgive it).

by D Rollings (not verified)

You are dealing with a severe error in configuration! You *might* have a network issue; in some cases, I've seen misconfigured DNS produce these symptoms. You also need to make sure your binaries are prelinked, your drivers aren't horribly off, and that you don't have a mangled and bloated font directory setup. For some setups, disabling arTs and relying on hardware sound mixing helps a lot. Seriously, I get nearly instant response from my hotkey bound to Konsole on my older Athlon 800.

When I installed Linux on my laptop, I went through several iterations of window managers and environments, trying to get the leanest setup I could. By the time I had all my regular applications loaded - FireFox especially, along with others - I realized that KDE would have reused its libraries more, been just as spry, and taken up no great amount of resources considering all the extra functionality it offered. It's worth the time to get it right.

by rinse (not verified)

>Yes it uses to many resources! Thats really true! Try run KDE on a 1GHz Pentium or similar machine and open a konsole. This takes around 10 seconds to start

Hmm, sounds like a configuration problem.
i installed kde on several +/- 1 ghz machines with 128 mb ram or more, and konsole starts in just a second on all machines...

by Thomas (not verified)

> This takes around 10 seconds to start.

I'm working on an 1.2 GHz Intel with 256 Mb atm....
I did not open konsole before (so no caching whatsoever).
Konsole opens instantly. No way to measure this, as it's clearly less than a second. (KDE 3.5 on archlinux noodle)

by Mike (not verified)

No, please don't do it. Dont feed the troll!


Ahhh, too late :(

by Francis Burton (not verified)

"The spell checker works everywhere inside KDE BTW."

Then why didn't the author use it?? ;-) Or is it not so easy to use?

Diego, I realize that English is not your first language, but wouldn't that make one even more inclined to use the spell checker? (Btw, your English is vastly better than my Spanish could ever be! Please don't take this criticism too harshly.) I guess my point is that any article will gain in readability and credibility from a bit of language checking/polish.

by gerd (not verified)

When we are forced as non-native speakers to use English language we shall enjoy our freedom to slaughter a language. :-)

English as a common means of communication will result in modifications of English. Language is a social tool and we take over control of that tool. There is no right or wrong English as language is under permanent development.

Feel free to offer checking ressources if you are not pleased with it. Otherwise let the people just write how they want. As long as everybody understands what their text is about forget about the standards of your highschool English teacher.

by Joe (not verified)

Wow, yeah, this is a dumb statement by an obvious slacker who just wants to slide with sloppy language skills.

by Thomas (not verified)

> slide with sloppy language skills.
grmblpf... (untwisting tongue)

by Gert (not verified)

"obvious slacker" ...ahemm

I was 100% serious.
You insult people for no reason.

by Francis Burton (not verified)

Of course people are free to write as they please. That's how it should be. But if there is no right or wrong English, surely spellcheckers are redundant and therefore deserve not to be promoted. And while we are at it, we can get rid of highschool English teachers too! :-)