KDE Ships First 4.7 Beta

KDE has released a first beta of the upcoming 4.7 release of the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, the KDE Applications and the KDE Frameworks, which is planned for July 27, 2011. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team's focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing new and old functionality.

The 4.7 release will bring a number of exciting improvements:

  • KWin, Plasma's window manager now supports OpenGL-ES 2.0, improving performance and deployability on mobile devices
  • Dolphin, KDE's flexible file manager has seen user interface improvements and now sports a better user experience for searching in files' metadata.
  • KDM, KDE's login manager now interfaces with the Grub2 bootloader
  • Marble, the virtual globe now supports offline address search, especially making its mobile version more useful on the road

To download source code or packages to install go to the 4.7 Beta1 Info Page.

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by Anonymous (not verified)

I like KDE 4.6.3!

It is good looking, it does everything I want to, but I stop Akonadi as it eats away my CPU for no major benefit for me. But, I could stop it, as I knew how to.

I think Akonadi is a good idea, which should be available for those who need it, and be easy to turn off (which it is) if you don't need it.

I have run KDE since Mandrake, ca 1999, and to most friends surprise positively happy with 4.x!

I do not use KDE because it is the environment more beautiful, nice, technology, full customizable nor its platform QT is used everywhere, the better, easier, lighter, and more, which is used in C + + .

I use it a philosophy, for his idea. Be cross-platform -> Do not rely on "Linux" (Kernel - How will Gnome), or its founder is satisfied that a company stops supporting Gnome (eg, Miguel de Icaza).

Besides if they innovate, have personalities with their applications and therefore the best, multiplatform.

Debian / KDE, is for me the best combination. 2 Free minds. Independent and can be used in BSD, Solaris, etc. And many developers support from outside, even in Windows / MAC OS X can use.

KDE Great!

been stepped up recently.

Articles in "uncertainty" over QT/KDE have been planted in the media, forums are stuffed by posts hinting the same, while praising gnome and so on.

It will not stop the adoption of QT, meego and KDE on a larger scale than now, IMO.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Guys, I've read all threads, and all of them amount to "KDE 4.6.3 is great / KDE 4.6.3 sucks", with a majority of "sucks" simply because happy users don't comment (like me: ironically, I always found KDE 3.5.10 LESS stable and MORE crash-prone than KDE 4.6.3, but, then, I used Gentoo). But they all refer to KDE 4.6.3, and the discussion derailed completely.

Please, guys, I want to know how are you doing with KDE SC 4.6.80. Bugs? New features? Is the new composition engine a freaking and useless crashfest, or the coolest thing since sliced bread? How are the system wide resource optimizations doing? The new Shadow Engine? The new KDE PIM 4.6.80?

by Anonymous (not verified)

To make it clear, I'm one the "sucks" posters. I tested many betas years ago.

But now, the many old bugs still around takes 2 major problems for testing new releases.

- Testing new features is very difficult: how can I test wether "the new composition engine a freaking and useless crashfest", if kwin is ALREADY "a freaking crashfest" to me?

and, most important:

- Motivation: if we loose out trust in the will of KDE developers to really fix bugs, why should we hunt and report them?

That's what I'm complaining about.

I'm the OP, and forgot to login ;)

Honestly, if you lost all confidence in KDE devs, you shouldn't be here stating your views, because it's a waste of time to try to change minds of people who you don't trust. I think you got frustrated about the current state of affairs, and a lot of solutions can be made.

1. Distro. I CAN'T use KDE in OpenSuSE. Period. It's simply too crashy and the performance, in my both computers, is nightmarish. Perhaps YaST is great, but I don't think so. I find SuSE like a punishment, and it's been like this for me since S.u.S.E. Linux 5.2 (the oldest SuSE I tried, this was with a Pentium-100, what memories...) until today. Almost every other distro is better for me, starting with Slackware, Arch, Gentoo, Sabayon, Ubuntu, and Fedora, what I'm using now. Sometimes, an impression is fixed simply by switching your distro.

2. Hardware. Do you have any hardware-specific bugs? Something to report?

3. Interface decisions. What do you hate about KDE interface? Compile everything you hate about KDE design, submit it into a proposal, and let's discuss it. I'm convinced KDE designers won't have the last word on this one, if you do that.

About bugs, you can read in KDE Commit Digests that there ARE some great memory, CPU and robustness improvements in Nepomuk and Akonadi scheduled for KDE 4.7, and if you have problems with the KWin compositing engine (you mention that KWin crashes constantly), KDE 4.7 features a rewrite of that engine. So, if KWin has been a crashfest for you until now, you must try KDE 4.7.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for the constructive reply.

Unfortunately, openSUSE is not a choice I can change (corporate decision), same for the hardware (will try going with Nouveu instead of NVIDIA, as someone suggested, but last time I tried Nouveau made VMware unusable... so again no choice).

What it REALLY annoys me about KDE interface is having my PC sit down by some sort of background reindexing (Kontact is absolute winner), or by some instance of mysql gone nuts (a relational DB on a desktop?), or by some process I've chosen to disable (nepomukerver anyone?) with no warning, an no choice, always when I have to work, and work fast!

Really, the problem is not about resources hogging.
It's about having no choice and no warning on what is going on. That sucks. And that's about interface design.

On the "choice" side:
a flag in system-settings saying something like this: "I'm no social-semantic user. Please disable Akonadi, kill Nepomuk, don't launch Strigi, uninstall Soprano, STOP WHATEVER BACKGROUND REINDEXING and let me freely use my desktop".

On the "warning" side:
when some strange-named service is about to start something that can hurt the user's productivity, just display a kind requester saying "Sorry, I really have to hog your system for %d hours, may I start now?". It would be perfect with 3 buttons saying "No!", "Not now!" and "Disable forever!". :)

Ok, too harsh, but I think it makes some sense, and maybe not just to me.

I used to always report bugs I found. But at some point I started to get the usual sad set of answers:
- it's distro's fault (but, guess what, on openSUSE's forums it's KDE fault)
- it's hardware's fault (but how comes gnome is rock-solid? Heck, and KDE 3.5 too!)
- it's my fault because I don't know and don't understand, and it's just me working the wrong way (but a Desktop should be a tool in my hands, not a chain around my neck!)

Whatever, but in the end they never get fixed.
So, now I don't report them anymore.

So, in the end you are right, I don't trust KDE devels anymore, so I will stop the whining. Let's just hope for the better...

About your issues.

1. NVIDIA has a OpenSuSE specific bug, you can watch it here: http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/applications/... . That bug alone KILLS KDE under OpenSuSE, and it's SuSE specific, because no other distro shows this behaviour. No matter what the forums say, this IS an OpenSuSE bug, and one that has been neglected.

And I haven't started with the conflicts between vesafb and NVIDIA drivers, that kill switching to and from console, black desktop when you return from console, and failing to hibernate and suspend, among a lot of buglets in between. If you are referring to THAT KDE experience, it's pathetic. However, I'm not using SuSE on my machines, and I really enjoy KDE. BTW, Nouveau + OpenSuSE works, but SuSE doesn't provide the latest Nouveau Fedora gives me, so still no SuSE for me.

2. The background reindexing is a problem, but KDE 4.7 begins to take care of that. Strigi is moved to its own process, so, if it fails, it doesn't drag Nepomuk with it, and doesn't force Nepomuk to reindex all of your data. There have been heavy optimizations all across the board, and they should become apparent soon. Akonadi has made tremendous progresses since KDE PIM 4.6 beta 1, so I trust KDE guys on that one.

3. The "hog your system" song is no more with Strigi 0.7.3. However, no one is packaging that. KDE DEVS, PLEASE, ANNOUNCE THAT RELEASE, I'M USING IT WITH KDE 4.6.3 AND IT SLASHED CPU USAGE FOR ME (now when Strigi is indexing, CPU usage hovers between 4 and 7 percent on a 3 year old computer).

Appropiate responses for all of your issues. If you don't want to believe in a light after the tunnel, you are free to do so. I believe in it, and I do what I can to promote better my favourite desktop.

Now, what a cool bunch of good advices in this thread!

I have many problems in common with the OP, and will gladly test your solutions ASAP.

Many thanks, sir!

But I have to say that I somehow like even the idea of the requester saying "is it good now?", or whatever form of user interaction when dealing with long background processes.

I got the latest Strigi snapshot, it bumped again, this time to 0.7.5 (maybe indicating an imminent 0.7.4 release).

I need a fix for FFMPEG indexing support, because it's using deprecated symbols and in Fedora 15 it doesn't compile anymore, but Strigi bugs seem to have no visibility, no maintainer, and no integration with KDE bug reporting system. They are reported in a Sourceforge bugzilla, and have no connection with the rest of bugs.kde.org, despite the fact Strigi indexing is an important part of Nepomuk.

If you can do something to fix the perception of Akonadi and Nepomuk, that would be the magic bullet.

A thing that most people doesn't seem to know is that KDE PIM is split in 2 main trees: kdepim-runtime and kdepim. While kdepim contains... well... KDE PIM, kdepim-runtime contains all the Akonadi indexers KDE PIM needs, among other things.

The fact is: when you complain about Akonadi, you also complain about the KDE-PIM Runtime you have. And if you haven't installed Kontact2, you are complaining against KDE 4.4 and its KDE-PIM Runtime. You are missing a year of improvements.

Even installing KDE-PIM 4.4 on KDE-PIM Runtime 4.6 yields consistent and measurable performance improvements. It's one year of bugfixings and optimizations, and remember Akonadi is only a database; it saves what the akonadi-agents crawl. And akonadi-agents are a part of KDE-PIM runtime, not Akonadi itself.

FYI, I did those tests mixing releases with KDE-PIM 4.4 and KDE-PIM Runtime 4.5. You know how hellishly buggy KDE-PIM 4.5 was, but KDE-PIM 4.4 + Runtime 4.5 ran great.

by Anonymous (not verified)


This is what is needed:

On the "choice" side:

a flag in system-settings saying something like this: "I'm no social-semantic user. Please disable Akonadi, kill Nepomuk, don't launch Strigi, uninstall Soprano, STOP WHATEVER BACKGROUND REINDEXING and let me freely use my desktop".

I went with Trinity because of the indexing stuff (and a db daemon for a desktop!?).

by Anonymous (not verified)

Things that didn't work:

no pdf preview in dolphin and desktopview
compositing doesn't work (no dropshadow and other effects)
kmail imported mail acconts, but all mails and mailfolders were gone and I was unable to fetch mail from any account (imap and pop3).
kalender is empty, except for my google calender. Only month-view and timeline are available, day and week-view are grayed.out.

Programs I tested that did work:

konqueror web browser

tested on
openSUSE 11,4 standard installation
Atom DualCore 1,6 GHz with integrated Nvidia graphics card
Nvidia driver 270.41.06

After testing I reinstalled KDE 4.6.3 without any issues and everything works fine.

Thanks. I'll wait for Fedora packages, because, as I wrote before, there are serious problems with the SuSE + NVIDIA mix, and, sadly, SuSE is the most recommended choice when someone speaks about the best KDE distro.

If you are using NVIDIA, you'll be fine with ANY DISTRO BUT SUSE (Fedora, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Debian, Slack, Gentoo, Sabayon, Arch, Chakra, etc.)

Thanks for testing. Please check bugs.kde.org for the issues you found and either add information to existing reports (if relevant) or file new ones.

no pdf preview in dolphin and desktopview

Do you have ghostscript (and the `gs` binary) installed?

Hi again... don't know if someone would ever read this, but I finally solved many of the problems with KDE on openSUSE simply by upgrading NVIDIA driver to 275.xx version.

This does not solve Kontact problems, and does not make Nepomuk any less crappy ;) , but at least kwin is now absolutely rock-solid and many (if not almost all) random crashes are gone.

Many thanks to Alejandro Nova for the useful suggestions. And my best excuses to kwin developers: it was not their fault.