MAR
5
2008

KDE 4.0.2 Brings New Plasma Features

The KDE community has released another update to its cutting edge KDE 4.0 desktop. KDE 4.0.2 has, along with the bugfixes some new features in Plasma. The panel can now be configured to sit somewhere else than at the bottom and UI options for changing its size have been added. Do not let yourself be distracted by those new things, there are also plenty of bugfixes, performance improvements and translation updates in there, among which support for two new languages: Persian and Icelandic. KDE 4.0.2 is thus available in 49 whopping languages, and more are soon to come. More highlights include rendering improvements in KHTML and lots of bugfixes in Okular and Kopete. The KDE community hopes you enjoy this release which should be hitting your favourite packaging system soon. See the changelog for more updates and info page for download options.

Comments

Second that. I am using KDE4 on my office laptop and have to use firefox, as of now, since there's no proxy support in Konqueror.


By Ken at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Will most likely be a KDE 4.1 thing, apparently they want to use Qt 4.4 for that.


By jos poortvliet at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/478/

Like Kubuntu? Want it to get better? Want KDE to gain more exposure?

-If yes, please vote at the link above. (sign up required, but it's fast)

I'm reposting this for new people that haven't seen it yet.

To download KDE 4.0.2 with Kubuntu go to: www.kubuntu.org


By Jon at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

I guess I'll post my most recent stat here now. We're at 417


By Max at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Sorry.. Corrected: We're at 413 votes for KDE equal rights for Ubuntu.


By Max at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

keep posting this, everyone who hasn't voted needs to vote, kubuntu support means kde support.

we're at 437 by the way!


By kderocks at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

452 - not bad.


By Max at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

fixed.


By Max at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

454: Not much of an improvement.


By Riddle at Sat, 2008/03/08 - 6:00am

466. Yea, really not much of an improvement.


By Mike at Sun, 2008/03/09 - 6:00am

498 now, progressing slowly, very slowly.


By birne at Tue, 2008/03/11 - 5:00am

and still msn doesn't connect with kopete, thank god for pidgin, at least that connects, and to far much more than the very lacking kopete


By anon at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

I thought that the reason they almost didn't release kopete with KDE 4 was that it wasn't fully ready for prime-time use. People wanted it released regardless, and then they complain that it isn't fully ready.

Have you tried the KDE 3 version of kopete for the time being?


By T. J. Brumfield at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

On my computer, Kopete-KDE4 does work perfect well with MSN as well as with Jabber. Maybe something wrong with your ports?


By Djan at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Yes it does, and did since 4.0.0 :?


By NabLa at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

It did not work for me in KDE4 so far - but i haven't checked it 4.0.2 yet.
I just couldn't open any account. So i sticked with KDE3 Kopete so far.


By Kavalor at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

It doesn't work here either (neither SSL in Konqueror or MSN in Kopete) - see bug http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=155564


By Luke at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

There are some problems that itch me more than others when using KDE:

http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=154774
Makes Konqueror4 unusable for me - cannot connect to the net. Yes, it might be a weird router problem, but as no other internet program (including Konqui3 and Mozilla) does have this problem, it should get at least a workaround in KDE4, too.

Speed, speed and again speed:
As far as I see, with the (not so unusual) NVidia cards you will in many cases get a very sluggish desktop, even with no special effects. Again, you might say that is a driver issue, but I think for a popular piece of hardware working flawlessly and fast with all kind of non-KDE4 2D and 3D effects, this should nevertheless be addressed

Visual distortions of the panel:
OK, that's minor, but it shouldn't happen. Quite a lot of icons in the panel, and some other panel elements, too, are often only displayed distorted (or in the case of icons, simply wrong).

Apart from this points, I would say, that after the rushed release of KDE4.0, that KDE is now getting to the point where it starts to live up to the hyped expectations marketed before the first release.
Go on in this direction, I'm looking forward to the next releases!


By Stefan at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Oh, and to reply to myself: I'm still not really happy with the new "systemsettings" preferences center (fan of the old and crowed kcontrol).

Can anybody tell me who decides which settings are to be considered "advanced" settings? E.g. network settings (stuff like time outs and so on - I never used that all my life) is considered to be important enough to be one of the standard modules, and important things like keyboard shortcuts are banned to the advanced options???


By Stefan at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

I agree, cut the standard / advanced crap in system settings, it confused the hell out of me. In particular as the search function on top does not show both!!! Big big usability mistake in my book. I was also searching for keyboard shortcuts.

There used to be a firm opinion within KDE that different configuration modules based on user knowledge levels are bullshit, who ever changed this opinion?


By Moritz Moeller-... at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

What's the bug report number?


By Will Stephenson at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

we can't fix NVIDIA's drivers, and we are unwilling to work around it. Because we won't work around it, they HAVE to fix it, and KDE 4.1 will be better because of that.

We didn't rush the release, we released it early for good reasons (and you can read about those all over the web so I won't repeat them).

Thanks to our 'rushed' release, by summer we will have a release which will be much better than it would've been without a KDE 4.0 in Januari. If you are unable or not willing to help us get it better, just don't use KDE 4.0 but keep yourself at 3.5.x! Of course, I understand you want the latest & greatest - but you'll have to accept it's rarely perfect, esp in case of such a major release which pushes the boundaries of both KDE itself and it's underlying technologies so much.


By jos poortvliet at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

I believe you underestimate the effort having a full functional desktop environment.

Even if everything works as expected, the Plasma developers will have problems just to have finished features until summer. And I am not talking about refining these features for the average KDE user. Not to talk about the time required for optimization and bug fixing of these new features.

In every software project, optimization and bug fixing takes at least - even if you have luck - 30 percent of the whole man time. And what I can see from my own experiences with KDE4 is that there is already enough do in bug fixing and optimization even without adding new features in order to deliver something "usable" in summer.

Moreover, I really hope your relation to KDE's userbase is not representative for KDE developers!!!

In the first point it is still the user base KDE is provided for. Off course, every developer has the freedom to decide what he/she is willing to change in KDE's codebase. But in the end the KDE quality team must define which features are ready and how certain features must be changed in order to become part of the official release.

And really: To deliver a desktop environment which does not run on a major fraction of hardware, is not acceptable. I understand your post in a way that you ignore a huge userbase. Off course, you hope that the NVIDIA issue will be fixed, but the problem is deeper:
(1) What if NVIDIA can not fix it in proper time. Then many users will not see a major KDE release within more than 2!!! years!
(2) What if NIVIDA fixes it and you find out that it is not NVIDIA?
(3) Are there at least some alternatives in case that it is NOT fixed for 4.1?

In the last years there was one constant among Linux users: Buy NVIDIA cards - ATI does not have drivers at all or they are buggy.

(o) What happens right now is that many developers reply to bug reports with "NVIDIA issue" or "Qt issue". This is ignorance! And arrogance! What if not? (And after analyzing the bug one may even find out that it is not a Qt issue!)

I understand that developers want to have clean and short codes without much exception handling. But as a user I want that a software provides workarounds if it knows that it may do better even with bugyg drivers. The previous poster said it: non-KDE4 apps can handle 3d effects pretty well with NVIDIA drivers!


By Sebastian at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

> In the first point it is still the user base KDE is provided for.
This is a common misconception. Users are nice, but someone said a few years ago: any free software can live without users, but not without developers.
So it's necessary to keep the developers happy, not the users. Happy developers often multiply themselves in weird magic ways and will eventually produce software that makes users happy as well. But I believe it must be the developers that come first.

> To deliver a desktop environment which does not run on a major fraction of hardware, is not acceptable
Being a user (ie. not a developer) with that very kind of hardware, I still find it highly acceptable. Please don't generalize if you're not an official spokesman!

> But as a user I want that a softw...
You as a user (not developer) are not very important, in my opinion. I (as an equally unimportant user) rather have a great working KDE4 in two years from now than KDE3 with a new skin.
Because that's what you'd get: the workarounds exist - in KDE3. Use it, be happy.


By Tom Vollerthun at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Good point :) As a real KDE3 fan (and KDE4 as well - I daily work with it at least on my private pc) one tends to overestimating his own importance.

But: Then I do not want to hear any complaints about the market share of KDE anymore...


By Sebastian at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

You should have bought a graphics card with Free drivers available, i.e. Intel chipsets with integrated graphics or ATI Radeon cards up to the X850 (and that includes the X1050 which is just a reissued X300/X550 with a new marketing name).


By Kevin Kofler at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Oh, and support the Nouveau project if you want to ever get working drivers for your Nvidia card.
http://nouveau.freedesktop.org
Proprietary drivers always cause problems.


By Kevin Kofler at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

...and open source drivers may lack of quality and may be of alpha quality. They do not often, but the current status of KDE4 proves the possibility...


By Sebastian at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Well, on my private box I got an old Radeon M7. Since bying the computer 3 years ago, ATI always referred me to the DRI project in order to get 3d acceleration, but DRI did not support the card. We have several recent ATI cards in our office (DELL ships them mostly by default). There, X11 hangs very often (we extensively call 3d application, mostly CAE) and many CAD structures are not rendered correctly.

NVIDIA cards on the opposite work at least stable and correctly render the things we need. Off course I do not know how NVIDIA drivers support shaders and other gimmics used by gamers, but for us they were the only manufacturer with working drivers. I do not have experiences with Intel cards, though. I only know, that the early drivers had severe stability issues. For productive use in companies such news are not creating confidence in such hardware, so our sysadmins never tried those.


By Sebastian at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

The Radeon M7 (also known as Mobility 7500) should have been working for ages. My Radeon 7000 definitely did. (I'm currently using a Radeon 9200 SE though.)


By Kevin Kofler at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

PS: And when I say "working", I mean with DRI 3D acceleration, of course.


By Kevin Kofler at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

«I understand that developers want to have clean and short codes without much exception handling. But as a user I want that a software provides workarounds if it knows that it may do better even with bugyg drivers.»

Who cares? This is a hobby project, not a business. If you want support on top of KDE, checkout Novell and Red Hat.


By blacky at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Short term thinking galore :/

Next time you run into that problem, you'll realise that you really don't want those workarounds, you want fixes.


By Sebastian Kuegler at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

"Next time you run into that problem, you'll realise that you really don't want those workarounds, you want fixes."

Well said :)


By anon at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

> And really: To deliver a desktop environment which does not run on a major
> fraction of hardware, is not acceptable. I understand your post in a way that
> you ignore a huge userbase.

You have a point here, but please realize that KDE 4.0 was announced with this explicit disclaimer. 4.0 is not meant for the general public, but is a step that's very much needed to get to a production ready desktop with 4.1.

Linux 2.6.0 sucked, Apache 2.0 sucked, Mac OS 10.0 sucked. Pre SP1 versions of Windows XP and Vista also had major issues. At some point you'll have to release something, or you'll be developing for the blue sky forever.

I remember Linus pointing out that 2.6.0 was still not good enough, but he had to release it. Nobody dared to run the 2.5 branch. The lack of feedback slowed down development and the difference between the user base and developer community only got bigger. (people backporting the weirdest stuff to the 2.4 kernel, and you'll receive more and more patches that can't be merged anymore). Therefore I'm happy KDE took the same path.

Also see: http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2008/01/talking-bluntly.html, which explains this very well.


By Diederik van de... at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

> please realize that KDE 4.0 was announced with this explicit disclaimer. 4.0 is not meant for the general public

Where was this announced? It wasn't in any of the official announcements I saw. The only place I saw this expressed was in developer blogs, i.e. exactly the place the general public doesn't look and not at all "announced".

> At some point you'll have to release something, or you'll be developing for the blue sky forever.

There's a reasonable middle ground between blue sky and the debacle of KDE 4. No matter how many times people keep repeating that blue sky isn't acceptable, it doesn't make KDE 4.0 any better.


By Jim at Sat, 2008/03/08 - 6:00am

I agree with you pertaining to the nVidia driver. There are also issues even when running KDE 3.5x without compositing. The desktop would just freeze after a while and the only thing that can help then is reset because the keyboard doesn't respond at all. The funny thing is that this doesn't happen when running Compiz-Fusion on KDE 3.5x.
The afore mentioned doesn't occur when running KDE 4.0.2 but there are a lot of performance losses and lots of issues with the nVidia driver.


By Bobby at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

I completely agree with this. I do not really know what the KDE representatives are doing these days. Is there any quality management team at all, any internal testing environment? Does the quality team has any right to do decision against developers? Or are they afraid of a conflict with Aaron who probably takes most of the responsibility for plasma? It seems to me that the most KWin fixes wait for 4.1 while we receive new unfinished "features" in plasma introducing new bugs. And yes, I hear "this is an NVIDIA bug" or "this is a Qt bug" way too often... Really, I do not need a resizeable panel as long as any panel icon does not work or as long as I can not edit 'favourite applications' in kickoff. Particularly as the resizing feature is still incomplete and introduced new bugs (namely the panel background distortion).

As you said, just the appearance of the panel distortion bug is THE metaphore for quality of KDE nowadays. I was surprised that this found a way into the official release -


By Sebastian at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Jeez, read your own post again. To me it just sounds like whining with total lack of constructive criticism. That could surely not have been your intention.


By Amazon at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

Well, you my be right.

I may summarize myself: they should concentrate on fixing bugs instead of creating new bugs by enforcing a feature plan that is not possible reach in time while doing required optimization and refining. I hoped that at least the 4.0.x branch will contain only "usable" backports from trunk.


By Sebastian at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

And please please please stop calling every, really every critical comment as "whining" or "trolling".

This current attitude is what p**es me off most at the moment.


By Stefan at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

You just don't understand the difference between work-for-hire and work-donated-for-free. When people are working for you for free, you need to keep the magnitude of their gift firmly in mind.

It's OK to offer criticism, but frankly the criticisms offered here have all the social grace of a pack of gradeschool brats.


By T at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

> You just don't understand the difference between work-for-hire and work-donated-for-free.

Many KDE developers are paid to work on KDE. It ceased to be a purely hobby project years ago.

> It's OK to offer criticism, but frankly the criticisms offered here have all the social grace of a pack of gradeschool brats.

The criticism was reasonable in the beginning and steadily got worse as the reasonable criticism wasn't being responded to appropriately. It got a lot better after they announced the release was being postponed.


By Jim at Sat, 2008/03/08 - 6:00am

Many? I know of only 2 people whose primary job is to work on KDE, and a
few more who have large KDE roles related to their employment at distributions. In contrast, the last commit digest listed 245 commiters, and not everyone commits every week!

KDE is certainly not a -purely- hobby project, but it still is driven primarily by volunteers (unlike many other high-profile projects, some of which are more like corporate projects with community outreach).


By SadEagle at Sat, 2008/03/08 - 6:00am

I probably know some more devels who get payed, but the result stays the same; KDE is a real community project driven by lot of high skilled volunteers who participate in there free time.

That's quit interesting since that so much ppl do participate in there free time says a lot about the quality of KDE (or would anyone like to work on something that is a mess in there free time?). Really, beside projects like debian I don't know of many other projects that are so much community-FOSS :)


By Sebastian Sauer at Sat, 2008/03/08 - 6:00am

You maybe shouldn't gauge those features by if they make it possible to break things, but by if they make it possible to have things behaving well.

And then, again, again, again: If things break, please help by filing a bugreport. Whining on the Dot is utterly counter-productive. My motivation for hacking on those problems has gradually gone down to zero while reading all the comments to this Dot story. All this whinery on the Dot does steal people's motivation to work on the issue, reading it also costs time.

Good, detailed bugreports do help fixing those issues.
Whining about the general quality of certain components does not. If it doesn't work well enough for you, either try to provide information why and what needs fixing, or just use something else. You do everyone a service by adopting this behaviour.

Now this is not only a reaction to the previous poster, it's a general thing. The fact that the comments to this story made me *not* want to work on them should be pretty alarming.

You as poster to the Dot do carry responsibility for that. It's time to use that. If you merely want to vent your frustration, it'd be better for all of us if you just stayed away, rather than making it worse.


By Sebastian Kuegler at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

If features don't get backported (especially features which were there in KDE 3 and lacking in Plasma / KDE 4), people complain. If features do get backported, people complain too (hopefully not the same ones ;-) ). One can't win...


By Kevin Kofler at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

On my desktop, the distortion happens when I'm running Firefox or OpenOffice, I wouldn't necessarily point at KDE that's buggy here ...

Did you also notice this pattern?

This is BTW the exact reason to not release later. The later you release, the longer those problems in other components are being ignored.


By Sebastian Kuegler at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

no, panel distortion appears always. btw: bug did not appear in 4.0.1 - so this is not an arguMent against early release, but an arguMent for iMprove testing.


By Kevin at Fri, 2008/03/07 - 6:00am

Could the slowness be a kde4 problem, Running apps which compile against Qt 4.x e.g. smplayer are really fast! the toolbars animate beautifully, Its just apps dependent on kde which are slow (scrolling etc). This is not mentioning the window dragging slowness, resizing etc.


By Fool at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

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