KDE 4.0 to be Released in January

The KDE Release Team has decided to release KDE 4.0 this coming January. The release was originally planned for mid-December. The KDE developers want to solve a couple of essential issues before releasing. Having solved some of those issues, among which were glitches in the visual appearance, and in Konqueror, the KDE community hopes to have a KDE 4.0 that will live up to the high expectations for it. Read on for more details.

Meanwhile, the progress towards KDE 4.0 is astonishing. Most parts, such as the KDE Development Platform and a lot of applications are considered stable and well-usable.

Some parts of the desktop experience do not yet meet the KDE community's quality standards and expectations for a stable release. There are also some issues which need to be addressed upstream, for example a bug in certain codecs of xine that cut off audio fragments prematurely. The developers are confident to be able to release a more polished and better working KDE 4.0 desktop in January. The changed plans involve releasing on January 11th, 2008.

At the same time, the release team's call for participation is repeated. To make KDE 4.0 a success, your effort is needed. An overview of current showstoppers can be found on Techbase, KDE's knowledge platform.

This is also a call to the wider Free Software community, and also to companies working with KDE. If you have the resources to contribute, assistance in fixing the remaining bugs is most welcome.

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by Louis (not verified)

>>Have you at least considered adding a couple of demons to shoot?

HA! I laughed out loud on that one. I made the very same "maze" point a while back. It seems, though, that this menu business has become a sensitive issue. Any time somebody complains about it, the defenders use one of the following two arguments:

1. But there was a usability study, so it must be better.
2. Why don't you just use Alt+F2 or Search to type the command, you barbarian?!

I'll let others argue about the questionable usability study. I want to point out that I really don't want to type commands to start programs. Sometime back in the 80's, I discovered this new technology called the "Graphical User Interface." It brought with it an amazing innovation called a "mouse." Shortly after that, I got lazy and no longer wanted to type commands to start programs like in the old TRS-80 and Commodore 64 days. Two decades of mousing have caused my typing skills to atrophy. I'll take my menu, thank you very much :-)

Since I love KDE so much, and look forward to KDE4, I've tried to hold my criticism in check until things solidify more. I'm patient enough to wait for an alternative menu. I do have some fear that Kickoff being the default will turn some people off, and that's based only on my totally-non-scientific personal experience.

by jospoortvliet (not verified)

I'm sure if anyone writes a normal, 90's KDE menu quickly, and it's stable, it will get included. But currently, nobody did anything except complain, so there simply IS NO KDE 3.x MENU IN A SHIPPABLE STATE. Again, if there was, it would be included. So we're not trying to force anything on anyone, we just don't have anything else.

by Cultural Sublimation (not verified)

Thanks for your comment Jos. It is actually quite a relief to hear that. I just wish this rationale was made clearer: 4.0 is using Kickoff not because it is deemed to be the best, but because it's what is ready right NOW. There is no shame in admitting that. I think Kickoff detractor's would be a lot less whining if this situation were explained properly, without any attempts to camouflage the real issue.

by Louis (not verified)

Jos, I know the whole story; I've been reading Planet and Dot for a long time now. I hate to even complain because I'm not gonna write a menu. However, the menu, for most people, is one of the most primary parts of the user interface. It's something that they use all the time. My worry is KDE 4.0 will be released with the current menu, and the reviews will start rolling out all over the web, and reviewers will be complaining about how difficult it is just to navigate to programs. I, myself, can deal with it, since I've been using KDE for a long time, and know what I'm doing. But first impressions matter, and since the menu is probably the first thing people will hit right after bootup, I wonder what kind of impression it will leave when people have to click in and out, up and down, to see what programs are there. It seems that the menu deserved more attention for that very reason. I hope the extra month gives somebody time to provide a menu that's easier to navigate / more discoverable. Thanks to all.

by ne... (not verified)

You know, about 30 seconds before I read your comment I was thinking the same thing. The unfortunate thing is that the focus is now on Windows users and trying to adapt to them. In my view, this is just so wrong. The focus should be on KDE users. Others should adapt to KDE not the other way round.

by abc (not verified)

That's nonsense, KDE 3.x focussed on Windows users and that was the right thing.
KDE 4.x is currently an unusable joke.

take for example the start menu.
the 3.x menu wasn't nearly as comfortable as the XP one, but it was usable, the 4.x thing is poor.

Look at how XP or Vista provide a professionell start menu and try to imitate that.
That would be the right thing.

That means..
- easy configuration with drag 'n drop
- two mouse clicks to reach all relevant items (in the kde 4.x version... forget it)

by walter (not verified)

This is basically the same menu that's in OpenSuse, right? Well, i can say after using it for awhile, it is addicting. I really like it. It's a huge improvement. Probably it would be nice to have an 'old-menu' option for people who can't get used to it. KDE is about choice, right?

by oc (not verified)

Yes, one need some time in getting used to a new thing. I remember the XP menu initially gave me trouble and I always switched back to the classic menu. However, after a few tries, I started liking the XP style menu and now I am using it since last couple of years.

However, i tried the same thing with the Kickoff (in KDE 3.5.x even). However, I still do not feel comfortable. Too much of clicks and unexpected hover as I mentioned in another post.

by fken (not verified)

I thought rc1 had been released in october... I don't think it's a good idea to base all your comments upon a deprecated release...

by oc (not verified)

Personally, I didn't like the new menu. Too much of clicks (reminds me of Windows 3.x Program Manager) and unexpected hover effects (tabs getting activated upon hover). Also, the hovers does not work always. It may be a problem in my setup however as I do not see anybody having the same problem. Why stuff everything in a small scrollable window when there is enough desktop space? A click to get to a subcategory and another if u wanted to come back (a few pixel wide place with an arrow). A typical menu would have been better after 1st level. Also, five tabs to start with!!!

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

I'm using Dolphin3 and while there are some issues like when renaming a file (konqueror did not select the extension, only the part after the dot in the name) and some blinking when a change a directory I find it's nice.
So what can you tell us about Dolphin4 that is better than Dolphin3?

by opensuse10.3 (not verified)

for me, there is only linux and kde. when i upgrade to kde4, i don't want to be disappointed at all. i definitly can wait a bit longer and get a strong and powerful kde4 :)

by Emil Sedgh (not verified)

so wait for 4.2 ??

by opensuse10.3 (not verified)

no, i believe and hope, that 4.0 will be finished and very useful in January. otherwise i stay with stable 3.5.8+

by josh (not verified)

Sorry for posting this here but I thought I'd get a quicker response.

I'm trying to update my system with the built-in updater. Since the main site isn't working I tried switching mirrors like SSJ said to do in http://dot.kde.org/1195829316/1196069183/ with

export KDE4DAILY_SUBSTITUTE_MIRROR=http://home.kde.org/~kde4daily/

but as its going along I get the following error(PIC attached).

by SSJ (not verified)

Hi Josh,

Please see the original thread in the KDE4Daily topic:


The mirror is only used for emergencies, and won't work at all other times. Please use the normal settings instead :)

by josh (not verified)

Thanks, I switched back to the original URL and its working fine now.

by Concerned gearhead (not verified)

I think it was wise to move the release to January to ensure the loose ends are tied up properly, even if it means no shiny finished 4.0 for Christmas.

How is Sonnet going since poor Jacob Rideout disappeared off the face of the KDE planet? Are others working on it so its original goals will be achieved by 4.0/4.1?

by MrCopilot (not verified)

I think I can sum up every post in this thread with one word.


The current RCs are not Ready. We would rather have it late and right than on time and soil the good name of KDE.

I use KDE 3.5x daily, and have since 3.1. I like the direction we are going, but I urge the main developers to listen to the critics, harsh as some might be, they are KDE users, they are coming at it from a direction far more kind than a new user would. If they are this harsh, think how badly KDE will be blasted from non KDE users/Lovers.

I welcome the idea of developer releases, and I think this should be pointed out in BOLD 26Point Letters on the next few releases. Many are of the mistaken idea that they can get a usable productive KDE4 desktop from a Release Candidate, and are severely disappointed to find what they get.

Overall, Great progress, Keep polishing, and can we rethink the menu and clock please.

by Henry S. (not verified)

Why do people keep talking about RC's??? That was so last month. Maybe for 7 days after an RC is released, you are allowed to critic it. But KDE4 is moving at a lightning pace. Developers need us to weed out the *hidden* bugs...not the big glaring, in your face GUI issues from last month. The big glaring things are usually there because developers spend most of their time dealing with the thousands of behind-the-scenes stuff.

We should be more worried about hard-to-reproduce issues, security issues, translations and documentation...instead people only care that the system tray was floating about. Which of these items do you think takes the most work?

by Richard Van Den Boom (not verified)

Everything is in the title...

by Schalken (not verified)

Nice to hear we're giving more time for KDE contributors to finish implementations, polish and iron our problems. :D

by Andrew (not verified)

I'm also very glad that the release is postponed. KDE is my favorite desktop for Linux (making it my favorite desktop for any computer system), and I don't want a new major version to be released with less functionality than the previous one. I really like the direction that 4 is headed, and I like the way that the new modules (Phonon, Solid, Plasma, etc) have been designed. However, the current state of the "RC" version feels more like an alpha. I know that it's a lot of work to reimplement all the functionality of kicker and the old desktop, and for that reason it should not be rushed. I wouldn't mind if the release were postponed even until the summer if all the features of KDE 3.5 were all implemented on top of the new framework. I know that everyone is looking at KDE 4.1 as being the release where all the cool new KDE 4 features are brought into the desktop, but I still think that a reliable, stable, and functional desktop is essential to the 4.0 release. In conclusion: Thanks for all your hard work, and great progress so far, but please please don't release until everything works like it should.

by Henry S. (not verified)

It's not going to be reliable and stable until lots of people are using it. And lots of people aren't going to use it until it is called 4.0. That doesn't mean that 100% of the people have to use it. If 15% of the people use it, that'll still be lots of people.

If it makes you feel better, when 4.0 comes out, pretend that it is a release candidate. When 4.1 comes out, tell yourself that it is 4.0. I say this because it seems what bothers people is the name, because the development pace will pretty continue at the same pace no matter what. If you want to use it in January or next summer...it doesn't really matter what it is called.

by Abdulla Bubshait (not verified)

That is true, but with the current state of rc1 you don't need a lot of people testing to tell you it isn't ready. Give any user 5 minutes on RC1 and he will give you a list of reasons that it feels like a beta or even alpha release.

I understand 4.0 will not be bug free, how can it be without a larger testing base. But it certainly should not feel like beta software to a user. Think of it as Debian's unstable branch. Yes, I expect things to break every now and then but it is perfecly fine for daily use.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Once 4.0 is released it will be reviewed by countless sites. It would be a shame if people feel that it was released prematurely.

The general concencus here seems to be ready rather than early. And I agree.

And thanks to all the KDE devs for their hard work.

by Phobeus (not verified)

I must aggree. The latest releases shouldn't be called a "release candidate", because a lot of people feels that this is still beta stage. So please, do not call it a rc. I think every KDE addict is keen on having a new version, but the current state is IMAO not ready to be used in a daily productive work envroiment. Lot's of feature does not exist or feels "strange". For example, it looks like last week the first context menu operations on the "kicker" pabel was applied. The first time, I was able to switch application to another pager screen. But we had a RC already! Still I am missing lot's of configuration option for the panel and ... yes, it is told that they will be added soon.

This does not mean that the developers had done a bad job. Many applications does already looking very promising and solid. The backend also got lot's of love. It is quite easy to write own plasma applets and KDE 4 will be a great thing. So please, don't silenece every voice telling that KDE 4.0 is not ready yet. This call is IMAO very good, because it allows to add missing features + adding some more days to polish. KDE people waited a very long time for 4.0 and most of us will be waiting even more... but please made the new release shiny and not looking like a step back (even, if it is promised that 4.1 will add missing stuff). The real weak point is plasma and oxygen and the last weeks plenty of work had been done to deal with this issues.

So no tears on the new schedule, don't take it personal, if people are not satiesfied with the current state. IMAO naming it RC1 and trying to implement some important features within the last days, made more troubles than are actually in the back end.

by jospoortvliet (not verified)

You think it's not RC just because Plasma some other parts of KDE aren't RC. 95% actually IS RC quallity, and in desperate need of feedback. As the feedback didn't come during the Alpha and Beta cycles, we decided to release an RC. It's not like the users/potential testers gave us much choice...

by André (not verified)

I really understand and agree with that, but that 95% is hard to get at if your desktop keeps on freezing after a minute or five of playing with it (latest Suse live CD). It may be a minor thing causing it, but the only way I found out was restarting X. That is simply not acceptable to a majority of users, and makes the whole of KDE 4 feel unfinished. Yes, that is an unfair assessment, I know, and I am confident KDE 4 will eventually rock, but it is not right now. It is also not like you can for now keep the oldfashioned, stable desktop and start playing with all those great, RC quality applications...

by Louis (not verified)

I do.

by Tom (not verified)

Developers: You're doing a great job indeed! Don't let some people get you down. If you follow the dot and planetkde, then you'll see that the people only complain about some GUI stuff and RC1, they don't even take the time to install a recent build where most of the problems are already fixed.

And a positive point to end my post with: The new menu is very good(favourites, search, history). Way more features than the old 90's menu. The critics of the new menu are actually arguing that they want LESS features. Who understands them?? :-p

by yman (not verified)

my favorite menus are the GNOME menu and the Windows XP menu. I never really tried other menus except the Windows 98 style menus in Windows, GNOME and KDE.

I think menu preferences are probably a matter of habit. new users want their menus from the previous environment, and in KDE 4.0, everyone is basically a new user, except those who regularly used the development releases. I'm not saying that's everyone. many users welcome change and like new features, but many would rather stick with what is familiar, or works for them, or like new stuff but determined that this particular new stuff isn't for them.

by Tom (not verified)

I agree, it is a habit, but by trying out KDE4, you're trying something new, so I think you should be consistent and keep an open mind then on everything that is presented to you, including the menu.

If the argument is: I want to stick with what is familiar, then I wonder why they don't stick with KDE3 then. Apparently they don't really want to stay with what is familiar.

It's the same argument about the look of KDE4... I'm often wondering what it is that people don't understand when our developers say it is FULLY themable.

My post was just to let developers know that there are users who respect and understand that the foundation is layed now for the future.

And to end my post another time with a positive note: KWin is really better than compiz-fusion, the default configuration is just what you expect from it, it is usable, not just flashy!
Thanks for reading.

by Michael (not verified)

I'll say why I prefer the old menu: speed. Kickoff simple gets in the way. It requires one to repeatedly move the mouse from one side to another of a rather large menu. The use of mouse-over buttons results in accidental switching of menu mode. Most people put shortcuts to stuff like My Computer, /home, etc on the desktop, not in the menu. Assuming Plasma sticks with the usual desktop by default (it's already much more powerful), then having it in the menu is stupid and repetitive and a waste of space.

Let it be noted that this is a fairly minor problem (nowhere near any kind of showstopper) it is an annoyance that should be a configurable option (FYI, KDE4RC1 is already my day-to-day desktop).

by yman (not verified)

personally, I see the desktop as the place for all the stuff I'm currently working on. the main menu is to me where I find places, applications, and system configuration. I really like my desktop to be completely clear of anything but the files I'm working on and files I can't place anywhere else.

that's just my personal way of working.

I guess you use the desktop for links to your most used apps and to some of your files, and directories you frequent. that's all dumped into the Kickoff menu, which really inconveniences you. after all, the desktop is meant for your favorite apps, not the menu, and they are more quickly accessed from the desktop. in fact, what advantages does the kickoff menu have?

the desktop is better for that.

you already have recent documents, and you can add recent applications to the kmenu.

Computer -> Programs:
covered by "System", "Settings", and "Utilities".

Computer -> System Folders -> home folder:
already on the desktop.

Computer -> System Folders -> document folder:
already on the desktop, or can easily added to it. besides, who needs it?

Computer -> System Folders -> remote folders:
already on the desktop, or can easily added to it (I think).

Computer -> Media:
it's already on the desktop as "Computer", right?

thats the main function of the kmenu!

covered by "Logout" and "Lock Screen".

the only thing thats added is search.
of course, to many people, perhaps me included (never tried kickoff), this menu might offer a better solution, but for others, this is an unnecessary and inconvenient restructure that only inconveniences and doesn't really improve anything. plus, it can clash with their philosophy about how desktops should be used. switching a menu might require changing the whole way you work and think and that's a huge change. I'm really glad that there is now a KMenu for Plasma, even though I don't expect to ever use it.

by alphamugwump (not verified)

I dunno. I do it completely differently. I completely cleared out my desktop and disabled all icons. Furthermore, I hardly ever use the K menu; I launch everything with Katapult. I have never tried KDE 4, but if the new menu is set up to operate like an improved Katapult; I would celebrate it.

by Sagara (not verified)

I was very worried about the quality of KDE 4.0. I think now KDE is on the right track. You should have gone for many betas. At least go for few RCs. Served it when cooked, not half cooked.

by KDE User (not verified)

Nice to hear that the realease of KDE 4.0 was postponed, it's not yet stable as many (the majority?) users expect it, IMHO.

In my opinion kde developers must take more into account that when KDE 4.0 will be released it will be reviewed from many people that do it just for sport and not to contribute to it. What they will do is judge it, not contribute to it.
And if KDE4.0 will be released with some unfinished stuff they will say that it sucks.

So if you are planning to release it early just to get a wider user base to test it, think to it twice, the risk is that you get only unconstructive critics, i.e. what you don't like and doesn't deserve.

by A lazy KDE user (not verified)

I agree.

The kde "users" community is much wider now than at the time of KDE2.0.
But there are many kind of users, the developers acting as users, the power users, the new users and the normal users.

I think that after KDE-4.0 "developers platform" we need a KDE-4.0 "Enthusiasts Edition" one that explicitly targets users willing and able to contribute to the KDE development with constructive feedback and that don't mind the fact that they can't remove yet their beloved kde-3.5.x.

by Glen Kirkup (not verified)

Currently that is KDE4 Daily.

by anon (not verified)

KDE 4.0 at it current state is a mess.
To avoid future disasters like this you might consider instead of trying to build a complete new version 3.X -> 4.0 instead going in small incremental steps.
To achive this: Become independent from Trolltech: Fork QT. Make QT a part of the KDE source tree and maintain it along side with KDE. Throw out all unnecessary stuff not related to KDE.
Try to remember some forgotten values like: simplicity, correctness and performance.
Fight your egos and listen to the flaming crowd.

by A lazy KDE user (not verified)

This comment is a disaster!

KDE-4.0 is going in the right direction. Only requires more time to be finished and a strategy to be released to an incremental user base and not to the whole public.
The first step was the release targetted to the developers users.
Now it's time for power users, users interrested in the KDE advancement.
Then will come the others.

by Carlo (not verified)

> This comment is a disaster!

No, it's preposterous - a troll's rotton breath.

by Anon (not verified)

Reading this comment, I'm reminded of Pauli's (in?)famous remark to a student: "This isn't right. It's not even wrong". I honestly don't know where to begin critiquing it, so I guess I'll just say that Qt currently has over 40 full-time very talented staff working on it, so "forking" Qt would be about the worst possible drain on manpower imaginable.

by André (not verified)

Not to mention that some highly valued KDE contributors are actually on Trolltech's payroll (cough! *aaron* Cough! *Thomas* cough!) and that agreements are in place to secure the availability of Qt for KDE in the future.

by riri (not verified)

Well i installed it through kubuntu hardy... I use it now everyday but I am retired so I have time to play :)
As I couldn't get coming changes I compile svn and apart few things which aren't working I think kde4 should be quiete interesting in january :)
The problem is that 3.5.8 has so many enhancing that it will be hard to get them straight away on kde4 but they plasma on kde4 which will make the difference... Tanks all for your good job :)
Now I can even use kdevelop to develop my small examples :)

by Gerwin (not verified)

Sorry, I find your comment a little bit biased, your arguments are .... *well* .. nevermind.

On track, to bad the final 4.0 release of KDE is delayed. But it's better then have a rushed-out release. I'm using the kde4daily image and I see major changes after every svn update. And to be honoust I think the end result will be a close finish anyways.

Good luck to the KDE guys which are working their arses off to get a new exciting product released.


by Abdulla Bubshait (not verified)

I wholeheartedly disagree. Small incremental changes are nice to maintain stuff, but for leaps forward you need a major code rehaul. There comes a point in any software projects life where it would be easier to do a complete rewrite rather than maintain it with small patches. The switch to KDE4 gives us this chance. We should give the devs the time they need to produce a proper KDE4.

by Vide (not verified)

Hey! We've got an expert here! I name you brand new "KDE Project Manager" from now on! All hail the new KPM!

by oc (not verified)

Why do you think forking QT is 'the way'?

by pharaoh (not verified)

I will make it even more simple.
fork KDE! You will save the world from the blight that is KDE 4