KDE 4.3.0 Released: Caizen

KDE 4.3.0 is out, and it is a great release. It is unlikely that any one specific thing will strike the user as the most noticeable improvement; rather, the overall user experience of KDE has improved greatly in KDE 4.3.0. The release's codename, Caizen, is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. That has been the goal of the KDE team for 4.3.0: polish, polish, polish. The statistics from the bug tracker speak for themselves: 10,000 bugs have been fixed. In addition, close to 63,000 changes were checked in by a little under 700 contributors. That is not to say that the KDE team did not add a large number of new features: 2000 feature requests were implemented in the past 6 months, meaning that any user's pet feature might well be among the improvements KDE 4.3.0 brings.

The changes in KDE 4.3 are largely in three categories: the desktop workspace, the applications, and the development platform.

  • Plasma, KDE's desktop interface and KWin, KDE's window and compositing manager are now working more closely together. Desktop effects and the Plasma shell now share their themes, and it is also possible to have separate sets of Plasma widgets and wallpapers on each virtual desktop. The new Air theme makes a visual difference. It is much lighter than the Oxygen theme, which is still available through the Desktop Settings dialog.
  • On the applications front, KDE 3 users will like the new tree view in System Settings, which more closely resembles KDE 3's KControl. Dolphin, KDE's file manager, now show previews of images contained in a directory as an overlay for the directory icon. Hovering over it enables a slideshow of the images in the directory the icon represents.
  • KDE's development platform has become more stable, more performant, leaner and at the same time more complete. For Plasma applet developers, there is now a geolocation plugin that makes it possible to query the current location. This is used in the OpenDesktop applet to show people near you. The new KDE PolicyKit library provides a mechanism for applications to authorise certain actions based on profiles. A KDE-style API makes it secure and easy to temporarily elevate privileges for an application.

Of course, those are just a few examples of the changes in KDE 4.3.0. All of the seemingly small changes add up to make a wonderful difference to our users.

The KDE 4.3.0 Desktop

The KDE 4.3.0 release will be followed by the usual monthly bugfix and translation updates. The next feature release, KDE 4.4.0, will see the light of day in January 2010. For those among our readers who enjoy microblogging, we have set up an experimental "LifeStream" tracking the "!kde" tag on Identi.ca and Twitter. Check out buzz.kde.org for the stream. Jos Poortvliet, who also wrote the excellent release announcement, has created a screencast (Ogg Theora, HTML 5) that gives an overview of the versatility and coolness of KDE 4.3.0. As always, be sure to check out the release announcement for more details.

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kde is opensource.
if it doesn't behave to your pleasing, you can change its behavior or search for someone who will make the changes for you.

In this discussion, aaron has pointed out that you can manually mount devices using the device notifier; in the sidebar of dolphin, and in the side bar of the file::open dialog of kde. You can also change the behavior of the device notifier to make it not opening a filemanager when you click on a device you want to mount.
If you want to distinguish different drives by givint them a unique drive name.

If all that isn't enough for you, please go ahead and change the software to your pleasings or find someone who can do it for you.

... that "Volume" as a label is not all that informative if no label has been set, IMHO. It would be good to make that a bit more informative, if possible. Adding the size could help, just like things like manufacturer etc. if available.

Otherwise, I am amazed that you get much response at all. The way you are "discussing" by constantly trying to bash the people who are working hard to build a system you can use for free is not all that conductive to a productive exchange of ideas. It takes away from any valid point you may have, I think.

> Otherwise, I am amazed that you get much response at all. The way you are
> "discussing" by constantly trying to bash the people who are working hard to

I started commenting and reporting bugs about KDE4 even before 4.0 was released. Most of them were closed as wontfix of ignored just because they didn't fit in their vision. After I saw that all the valid complaints (not only mine) are getting completely ignored I started to be sarcastic because I know nothing will be changed.

so you want to mount without dolphin opening

Aaron told you how to do that with the current device notfier.
Simply go to systemsetting and change the behavior of the device notifier when you click on a drive in it.

Why don't you follow his advise?

I believe the correct romanization would be "kaizen". Or is it a witty reversal on the k-pun? ;-)

That said - KDE ha ichiban dayo; ganbatte, minna.

KDE is making fun of itself a little with the release names. Since we traditionally made everything start with a K, we're doing it backwards sometimes - maybe to restore 'carma' or something :P Check some of the more recent release names for things in the KDE world, you'll find: "The Answer" for 4.2, also a bit of an inside joke.

Thank you for all the fish :P

I've used it a few times and love it. It seems a bit snappier to me than 4.2

Thanks for this release again, may the force be with you in future one.

I'm updating now ...

If this is like the RCs that I have been using on my machine then it will be a very nice, polished release indeed. Great work and thanks to all contributors!

I'm running KDE 4.3 since the betas and like it very much.

Unfortunately, while everything was fine up to RC3, the final yesterday broke Nepomuk (on two machines, I had to delete my index and start it again) and, a more serious issue, the NetworkManager applet: I lost my wireless connection and can't bring it up again (just nothing is shown in the menue, although in the settings I can scan for networks). The now rocking plasmoid stopped working, too.

I know, this thread is not for bug reports, nevertheless I want to ask how come that from RC3 to final there were such changes causing problems, I thought there should be nothing else but bug fixing.

Anyone else having these problems? It could be a problem with the opensuse packages, too.

Use the knetworkmanager client if you are using the plasmoid.

There is however a bug in knetworkmanager that I fixed yesterday with the default config - wireless and cellular interfaces are not shown in the tray icon.

The workaround is easy, open the config, go to Other Settings and drag all the interface types so they are below 'Icon 1'.

"The workaround is easy, open the config, go to Other Settings and drag all the interface types so they are below 'Icon 1'."

That did it, thanks a lot!

And after re-indexing Nepomuk seems to be fine again, too. I just have to take a look at the NowRocking config in order to be happy again. ;-)

It also worked for me.. thanks

Looks like KDE4 is progressing quite nicely! I'm looking forward to installing it as soon as I have some time...

The screencast is quite nice. One question though: What's the deal with rotating the widgets? There must be some thoughts about where that is useful, I just haven't seen any yet and can't think of any either? As an example, the screencast shows it's possible to rotate the calendar, but I couldn't imagine I would ever want to do that. If I wanted to rotate anything, it would be the whole desktop, not just the calendar widget, so why is the option available on the calendar widget? It will likely only irritate the user because he/she will click on it by mistake.

Well, I could see one thing that could be interesting to rotate and that would be a video player widget - sometimes people turn their camcorder which of course means the video will display wrongly when played on the computer.

rotating is also useful for images, though I must admit that I seldom use it myself.

I wouldn't like to see it go away, though. For heavy customization it still looks very nice - maybe I want _my_ desktop to have a folder-view rotated to the left on teh bottom left side, mascerading as some game interface :)

I'd love to see a KDE Starcraft lookalike someday ;)

Overall I've been using KDE4.3 since rc1 and I love it! Also I liked reading the news post. Nice work on getting to the codename :)
And the screencast is really well done - damn interesting to watch.

Many thanks to all the great KDE developers, documenters, and advocates who made 4.3 possible!

"What's the deal with rotating the widgets?"

a number of people actually enjoy being able to rotate widgets on their screen, esp ones showing photos or what not. but that wasn't the primary reason i had in mind.

think about a screen that is laying flat on a table or other horizontal surface. position yourself and a couple other people randomly around it. it becomes natural to orient different widgets towards who ever is currently using it.

problem with adding rotation as a feature only for those use cases is that it then never gets tested (or, probably, even written) by anyone because so few people have such hardware today.

then again, i do have an internet tablet. they are likely to grow in usage.

in the meantime, people can make pretty sets of photos on their desktop and plasma is ready for the near future should that include flat-mounted screens. :)

Dear KDE-team,
KDE is becoming a great DE again! I have been working with the RCs and Betas and it has been mostly real fun. I am now very positive and optimistic about the things to come and I am really looking forward especially to fruits of Akonadi. I hope there will be a lot of it in 4.4.
I just forwarded this announcement to my Facebook feed. While doing that I was rereading that announcement and was thinking about all my non-tech-savy friends. I think many of them would not understand part of the tech-bable. Since I now I really believe KDE4 is really for the average user, I would to suggest that you might publish two different types of announcements: One for the geek crowd and one for the rest.

Not at all. I did try to make the announcement a bit easier to understand for non-techies, with the introduction to the workspace/app suites/dev platform and such, but it's still technical. If you are willing to 'translate' it for next time into something reasonably easy for newbies, please join [email protected] ;-)

I simply don't have time for that too...

I am a geek, but for what it's worth, I thought the release announcement was pure genius.

Great work and my congratulations to all the people behind KDE. All of you are into something good

4.3 is a beauty! :)

So true :) It looks great, performs great and is a pleasure to work with.

It is clear that you don't have any clue about what Aaron was talking about, nor are you interested in solving whatever problem you are experiencing.
You are just looking for a place to rant.

Congratulations for the release!

I haven't tried it yet, but according to the screenshots and the screencast it looks much cleaner than KDE 4.2. Better spacing in the taskbar, more fine tuned widget theme and no unproportional spacings in the default KWin windecs anymore... I like it! The icons were great from 4.0 on anyway.

Imho the appearance is a very important aspect to gain more users. For the most users it's simply the first impression they get from Linux.
In a time where Windows (from which most new users will come) doesn't look like some ugly Teletubbie/Fisherprice combination anymore this is more important than a few years ago, too. Nice to see a lot of improvements with KDE 4.3 there.

But what's still very ugly are the fonts. Compared to Vista's/Win7's Segoe or OSX's Lucida Grande with their optimization for the font rendering of their OS it looks very dated.

I know, I know... it's a distribution thing, it's patent thing, it's a X.org thing, you have thousands of characters with Unicode... and there are people who hate antialiasing and there are the ones who love ist. It's quite complicated.

But I'd find it cool if the KDE team could come up with own recommended default fonts that look modern and beautiful. And ship it with the default packages. Helvetica, DejaVu, Bitstream Vera etc. look quite dated nowadays. Some nice narrow font like Frutiger or Lucida would look much more modern and would fit the modern look of the Plasma themes and the icons much better.

Unfortunately I don't have anywhere near enough sparetime to do something like that. And I know that good screen fonts take a huge amount of time to create. But at the moment it's a single elements that makes the whole nice desktop look much worse than it deserves. And the fonts are always present, much more present than e.g. icons.

Just look at the screenshots from the announcement. Beautiful icon artwork, a modern turquoise default wallpaper, a nearly borderless widget theme, little shadows everywhere, a very stylish clock... and a font that looks like it's from Windows 95 14 years ago. The KDE appearance deserves much better.

Making a free font is something that takes huge huge amount of work and truly expert skis, I use liberation sans from the same company that made the segoe UI fonts and the android fonts, and full hinting one, (the ones you can see in the first screnshot) now depending on what you have in your windows and your personal preferences there are things we can do in Linux and things we can't (patent issues). Personaly I really like liberations sans.

Well, I have gotten rather partial to the liberation fonts and use those for everything. I guess it is a matter of personal taste but I do think they look better than the ones you mentioned.

"But what's still very ugly are the fonts. Compared to Vista's/Win7's Segoe or OSX's Lucida Grande with their optimization for the font rendering of their OS it looks very dated."

As hard as it may sound: This is not KDE's problem. All we do is to provide an interface to select fonts.

If the default fonts bother you, ask the distributors.

If the font rendering bothers you, ask the Qt developers.

You have a valid point, though: We should pay attention to the fonts when creating official screenshots and stuff.

Holly crap! Has anyone gone into System Settings > Paths, and tried changing the Downloads path from /home/someuser to /where/I/want/downloads/to/go ? It moved my whole frickin Home directory. I forget exactly what the warning said before I clicked ok, non the less I was not expecting that to happen. That's just wrong.

Well, next time you will read the message boxes :o)

But you are right, the module should be aware that some directories just shouldn't be moved.

I could not find the module you are talking about. Can you give more details?

Also, consider filing a bug report.

AFAIK the System Settings are provided by kdebase-workspace if that is the module your talking about.

No, i meant which module/section in systemsettings allows one to change the documents directory.

I couldn't find it.

It's under "Personal information". If you can't find that, either, invoke "kcmshell4 desktoppath" from your console.

Thanks, i found it!!

to the whole KDE team: I can only say thanks for this impressive release.

What I find so impressive about this release is that the team has confirmed what their *vision* was. When they started with KDE4.0, arguably a release, they took an incredibly amount of heat from their most loyal people.

Despite this, the team was pragmatic and kept going towards what their goal. And now, with this release, they can loudly say "here people, this is what we meant". I still remember Aaron politely answering to flaming comments about the first plasma version. I find him an example of social skills, how he handled that and kept going with the project. Some people would have given up. Instead, he (and others) accepted constructive criticism, let the trolling slip through, and get going forward.

The release is terrific. The amount of work is tremendous. I want to thank *everyone* who contributed to this, regardless of whether that was the whole Kwin or a single patch.

You guys have all my respect not only for the results that we see now, but also for what you had to go through since the KDE4.0 release.


Hi there,

I hereby retract my statements that the comments system is not working. I think the amount of comments would be higher without it, but we are building up and big releases like this one are going to contribute to it.

So not all is lost after all. Some releases more and it will be like it was.


"I hereby retract my statements that the comments system is not working. I think the amount of comments would be higher without it, but we are building up and big releases like this one are going to contribute to it."


BTW I think that the real reason for comment numbers going down is the missing commit digests.

There is only one thing to say about this release.

The new "Air" Theme is damm awesome and sexy =)

Hope that KOffice will be ready to use as soon as possible.