DEC
18
2008

KDE 4.2 Beta2 "Canaria" Testimony to the Bug Fixing Frenzy

Two days later than initially scheduled due to yours truly preparing for coming year's desktop summit on Gran Canaria, KDE's release team has made availabe KDE 4.1.85, a.k.a. KDE 4.2-Beta2 to testers and reviewers, codenamed "Canaria". KDE 4.1.85 is not suitable for production use but meant to invite feedback and bugreports from the community.
The KDE community is in massive bugfixing mode, showing a focus on stability and feature-completeness in the KDE 4.2 series. But behold, 4.1.85 is not a boring release. It brings many visible improvements to KDE 4.1, and will ultimately follow up the KDE 4.1 series as a stable release this coming January. So get your testing gear ready and help us squash those bugs for a 4.2.0 that makes Redmond see flying chairs all over. There's a changelog over at TechBase, and the brave and bored can go for the more detailed feature plan. As 4.1.85 is the last release before Christmas, we strongly recommend using Wade's Christmas wallpapers and the KWin compositing snow plugin while testing.

Comments

Sorry for the approximate english sometimes and the few missing linkwords (I should've checked before posting :p).


By Gopa at Sat, 2008/12/20 - 6:00am

My experience is same as yours, but I usually don't comment it as it's more of a QT problem than KDE's problem.


By vf at Sat, 2008/12/20 - 6:00am

the lag you experience is from powermizer.

Me, I've disabled powermizer because it causes lag everywhere, even in GNOME.

However the reason that gnome seems faster is because it requires less of your hardware than the new stuff in kde.

And this is even before we start mentioning the situation as it was before nvidia fixed their drivers to work better in kde.


By txf at Sat, 2008/12/20 - 6:00am

Hi

Could you please report it or even better contact me (boemann) on irc (freenode) in #oxygen

Obviously we aren't aware of these issues, and it's only pure luck that I read this comment. (comments are a really bad way to report any bugs).

And we need much more info than a comment can give. We need to have a person to contact and help us diagnose it. Fixing a problem that we don't see and aren't even aware of is obviously never going to get fixed, so the only way is for you to take an active part in trying to resolve it (this is what opensource is all about).

As for you choosing gnome over kde if all you problem is just the oxygen style being too slow, then I suggest using a different style. Replacing the entire DE sounds a little extreme to me. But I'd really prefer if you (or anyone else) took the little effort of helping us resolve it. After all we are giving you a lot of our spare time to solve your problem (remember we often don't encounter those problems ourselves or we would have fixed them). The least thing you (any of you) could do is to give back a little effort of your own to help resolve issues.


By Casper Boemann at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

Well, I'm kinda busy now (I mean, this entire year :p) but I'd like to help so if I have some spare time tomorrow or probably later this week I'll try to report it (never done this before).
However, I don't think it's an oxygen-related problem, it's the same for other themes. Actually if I remember well painting is slow as well with pure qt when I'm in a gnome session... I'm convinced it depends on Qt and/or my nvidia drivers (latest beta or stable work the same...).
Well as for flickerings and frequent repaints, I don't know though...
Anyway, it's strange to see KDE developers (and I thank them for their efforts) being all enthusiast about how amazing KDE looks and how blazingly fast it is, when I haven't seen with my own eyes one fast KDE4 installation... Do I only have bad hardware ?! (When I say fast I mean in terms of painting performance)
Even the intel cards I tested are quite slow with KDE4, and nVidia cards as well, despite the work of nVidia engineers. Actually, I'm astonished by the few amount of people complaining about such an important issue, either I have bad luck with hardware, or people have forgotten what fluidity is on other desktop shells or OS...
It's strange, the few people around me who used kde3 still cant use kde4 for the same reasons and are either staying with kde3 or switching to gnome.
I think it's important to have a usable kde4 soon ; most distributions are switching to kde4 with their newer version, and people who want the latest and can't use kde4 may simply use another environment...


By Gopa at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

So ok I'll try to contact you on IRC tomorrow I hope, but I really think this has little to do with oxygen, obviously this is a more general problem, linked with the drivers or qt.


By Gopa at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

try the new nvidia driver, it's impressive how much faster everything is


By Beat Wolf at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

Yeah everybody says that but I already have latest beta driver (180.16), of course it is faster but it seems people got used to slowness or forgot how fast it should ! Or am I the only one that have a choppy kde4 with the latest driver ?
Maybe you should try kde3 again, or macOS or gnome to see the different when you just navigate in menus, minimize, maximize windows, scroll up and down in dolphin, konqueror or firefox... I did and it was a shock to use kde4 again. I mean, not like I have huge slowdowns but everything takes a little time to be painted, there are small lags when scrolling etc. This is not fluent like it should be.


By Gopa at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

I'd like to file a bug report but I don't even know who's responsible ! KDE ? Qt ? nVidia ? X.Org ? I mean it's not a particular bug related to a single application!
Maybe I should post a video somewhere and show all the choppy things. Maybe people with nVidia cards may have got used to it. (well actually I doubt it a little, how come people can't notice that...)
Or I'm just an isolated case ? Again, I doubt it, plus kde4 was also choppy on all the other configurations I tested, and there weren't only nVidia cards (though the worse is with my 8400M GT).


By Gopa at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

> Maybe I should post a video somewhere and show all the choppy things.

Hehehe, I had the same idea. Let's see how much glitches we can show in, say 30 seconds or something. Probably 1 per second or so.


By Sad KDE user at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

... but meant to invite feedback and bugreports from the community.

You've been missing that sentence!


By Sammy at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

I can confirm the same as what Gopa is saying.

I have two test rigs with openSUSE 11.1 running KDE 4.1.3. One of them has an AMD 2400+ with 2GB RAM and an nVidia GEForce FX 5 graphics card running nVidia 173.14.15 driver and the other an AMD 2200+ with 1.25GB RAM and an nVidia GEForce 6600 running nVidia 177.80.

I leave the desktop effects to being enabled.

When resizing windows there is a noticable/serious lag, just as Gopa described. When resizing the Kickoff menu it flashes until stop being resized.

When restoring windows from the task manager it doesn't go smooth. I remember Compiz Fusion in GNOME being loads faster.

Overall, from the KDE 4.1 days it is a lot faster. However, I think by default SUSE modifies the environment variables initialPixelPlacement and GlyphCache. If these weren't dealt with then KDE 4 would probably be unusable.

If desktop/window rendering was as fast as it was in KDe 3.5 then I wouldn't give a damn about the other bugs. I know that the devs are working hard and I wish them all the best. KDE and GNOME are great desktop environments and my hats off to those maintaining these software projects.

---

Sulligogs


By sulligogs at Sun, 2008/12/21 - 6:00am

Hi mates,

Unfortunately, I must also join to the group of users experiencing slow painting performance on KDE4. I'm using ArchLinux with KDE 4.1.3, qt-4.4.3 and Xorg 7.4.

My PC specs are:
- Athlon Thunderbird 1200 MHz.
- 768 MB DDR memory.
- ATi Radon 8500 LE (R200 engine) 64 RAM

I notice that KDE behaves laggish when maximing o minimzing a window. Besides, when scrolling up or down the screen moves choppy and you can see how the new regions of the screen are painted. In an attempt to shed some light on this issue, I have done a small test I don't know whether it would provide us any useful information: I have a cpu monitor on my desktop and when "nothing" is done, it consumes around 3-6% of CPU. However, when I simply maxize a window the CPU usage goes up to 70-80% more or less. This apparently indicates than the graphic card 3D features aren't used but instead the CPU is loaded. I don't get to find a more logical explanation to such an intensive CPU usage.

I'll try to overhaul my xorg.conf file and find out if anything else can be done. I have this settings currently:

....
Identifier "Card0"
Driver "radeon"
BoardName "Radeon Radeon 8500 LE [R200 QL]"
BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
VendorName "ATI Technologies Inc"
# Options recommended on dri.freedesktop.org
Option "AccelMethod" "XAA"
Option "AGPMode" "1"
Option "AGPFastWrite" "1"
Option "GARTSize" "64"
Option "EnablePageFlip" "1"
Option "ColorTiling" "1"
....

If you see anything that can be change to improve the painting performance, just let me know.

Before ending this post, I want to thank the whole KDE team for the great job and just want to encourage them to find a solution this.

Best regards! :-)


By Musikolo at Mon, 2008/12/29 - 6:00am

Option "AGPMode" "1"

sets the video card into 1x mode instead of a possible 4x, I would just remove all those options, xorg and drivers do a pretty good job of configuring themselves nowadays.


By Tony Murray at Wed, 2009/01/14 - 6:00am

I've just installed Fedora 11 Beta with KDE 4.2.1 - I just had to see if anything new had come along and I am happy to say that there has.

Originally, I moaned that desktop rendering was not up to scratch. Resizing and moving windows can feel awkward with bits of blank overlays taking a couple of seconds at a time to correct themselves.

However, it now actually appears that these annoyances have been rectified. Browsing in Firefox is extremely smooth, just like Firefox on Windows is.

So, my hats off to the KDE devs. I am sitting here with a graphical desktop on Linux that once more seems to be on a par with KDE 3 in terms of rendering speed. I like it a lot!

Here's to the future of desktops. All the best, KDE devs.


By sulligogs at Sun, 2009/04/12 - 10:30am

I noticed the same problem using KDE 4.1 on Kubuntu.

I installed Mandriva (but others distro may be good as well, I don't know). And the smoothness is back again !

Even with compiz-fusion enabled, I find it really performing well.

At least try the one live distro: http://www.mandriva.com/fr/produit/mandriva-linux-one

Regards,

GC.


By GCollin at Thu, 2009/01/08 - 6:00am

My first impressions are realy good!
It's more responsive than 4.1.3 and i like the notifications? !!!


By plan9 at Sat, 2008/12/20 - 6:00am

I have been using SVN versions of KDE 4.x since 4.0 and I must say that I am deeply disappointed on the way it is progressing.

It is still so buggy that I consider it alpha software as of KDE 4.1.85 (KDE 4.2 beta2). Bugs who have been present since 4.0 are still there. New bugs have been introduced. A few bugs have gone away.

I do not recommend using any version of KDE 4.x for anything other than testing purposes. KDE 3.x can be used as a desktop in corporate environments. KDE 4.x? Forget it.

Will KDE 4.2 be usable and "stable" enough for even personal use? No. How about KDE 4.3? At this rate.. I doubt it. How about KDE 4.6.0? At this rate, maby.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to get very basic things like proper proxy support, support for two monitors (supposedly works on some configurations, does not work if you you two graphics cards for example) and other _basic_ functionality working before adding new features?


By Øyvind Sæther at Wed, 2008/12/24 - 6:00am

I have been a user of kde from the beginning. I don't like gnome, and I have only managed to use it for a few hours at times. Kde3 was the best linux DE.

Kde4 promised a lot and I still pray it will deliver (at least what kde3 already had.) But what we get at this point, is:
a) Everything is missing, and what is left is slow and crashing.
b) Applets, ie: info/(screen real estate) -limit-> 0
c) A new theme (that I don't even like)
d) New names (cause with names like eg. "kpdf" you might actually understand what the app does. And we wouldn't want that.)
d) Stupid UI decisions that offer nothing and actually make things worse. (Ie, I don't know if it just kubuntu 8.10, but when I want to hibernate (and that is 90% of the times I close my computer), "hibernate" is not offered in the "leave" menu. You have to double click the "turn off computer" option to get a sub menu for hibernate. I suppose that this is supposed to make the main menu "easy" and de-cluttered. But if you miss the double click, the comp just turns off, and there go the 20 open apps that are running at the moment. Also, when you double click, a counter starts that tells you that the computer will close in 30 secs. Do I actually pay electricity for this sh*t? Well, at least if I suddenly die of, say, a heart attack, at the very least I'll go happily as the computer will close in 30...29...28... and even dead I would have saved the planet. WTF? Everything is stupid.)

Now that I said stupid. WTF is dolphin? Just make konqueror from the beginning, just FUBARed, with stupid defaults about "usual things users do"? There is no such thing as "usual things". Where is all the f* functionality? You will be at the place you started after a couple of years, and that would be a "success"? Or just a present to M$ to have time to improve?

And you can't f* save on the desktop? WTF? ...I think I read somewhere that if you install a specific applet then you can. Well. Suggestion for KDE5: "KDE5: Now you cant even save on the hard disk!!!" (That will teach them who "innovates". Anyhow, we all just use the "cloud" nowadays, don't we? So who cares for HDs?

KD4: WTF?! Dude, where the F* is my f*ing desktop?

The best linux DE just commited suicide. It is sad in general, and very sad in particular for myself, as I am left in a situation that I don't know what DE to use.

I pray to all the flying spaghetti of the world to do something, but I am losing hope.

Kde4 is a train wreck gone wrong :-( (And that is not a double negative. It is a train wreck squared).


By George at Mon, 2008/12/29 - 6:00am

Your posting contains quite some insults. There are people spending lots of work into developing and improving a free desktop solution and you insult them. Please instead join the crowd and help improve things from within.

KDE 4 is different from KDE 3, you have to get used to it. The way to do things in KDE 4 is different, but it is not worse. Its sort of a completely new concept. It has to mature, for sure. Do not compare it with the 3.x version which has a long history and is quite finished. Compare it e.g. with KDE 3.1 to be fair.

Your hibernate problem is rather not KDE related. I also use Kubuntu 8.10 and have hibernate there right in the K menu all the time. Mind you, I use the new style K menu, not the classical one. This point should be discussed more in depths to find out what the problem realy is.

If you do not like the theme, than switch to an old theme. It is not that 100% straight forward, but most components of KDE 4 can be switched to a mode where they look more like KDE 3.

You do not like dolphin? Change the default application to Konqueror via system-settings / default components (probably has a different name in English).

Kind regards,
Stefan


By Steffan T. at Tue, 2008/12/30 - 6:00am

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