George Staikos: Preview of KDE 3.4

In his column "KDE: From the Source" at O'Reilly's George Staikos details in the current issue what is to be expected from the upcoming 3.4 version of KDE and includes a few screenshots. KDE 3.4 Alpha 1 is planned to be published within the next days.


by dk (not verified)

looks like another rock solid release to make my pc experience that much greater.


by superstoned (not verified)

well, right, kde 3.4 will have some goodies (altough, will it have support for hall/d-bus/udev? I am afraid that will be seriously lacking... no automagically appearing usbstick-icons on the desktop (unless the distribution does some work) and no automatically starting of k3b/cdplayer/etc when inserting media... :( thats a pitty. and what about xorg?)

but I am more waiting for KDE 4 :D
more speed, better multi-media, easier to use (I think I'm gonna love the search features) and better looks. hmmmm :D

by squared (not verified)

> but I am more waiting for KDE 4 :D

I'm sure KDE 4.0 will rock, with all the waiting you do

more seriously though, why not contribute... one step at a time, a JJ after another... :)

by superstoned (not verified)

ej, I'm trying to do my little best... write some doc's, answer questions, be there at KDE stands in the netherlands, report bugs, etc... but I'm no coder, I know...

by panzi (not verified)

"and no automatically starting of k3b/cdplayer/etc when inserting media"

I *H-A-T-E* this feature in Windows XP. It's ******* annoying.
Well, i think if KDE would have such a feature, it would be possible to turn it off. Not so in Windows.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually it's possible to turn it off (with Powertoys, XP-Antispy or alike). Or you can press Shift while inserting a CD - but for this you may be impeached for evading a copy protection. :-)

by Joe (not verified)

The word is "arrested". Impeachment could only happen if Bush did it.

by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

SUSE has this "feature" as well in 9.1 Pro. It took me a little while to figure out where to turn it off (it runs as a applet in the system tray).

by James Richard Tyrer (not verified)

Well, I could wait through at least two more 3.3.x bug fix releases. It would be nice if we could decide how to install the icons before 3.4.0 is released for one thing.

But about automatic playing of CD music disks.

My KDE 3.3 BRANCH install has this feature. You have to have KsCD running in the background which is optional in KDE (I presume that it isn't in Windows) and it is easy to turn on and off. There is a check box in the configure dialog for KsCD.

I still have problems playing CDs. They sound like a record that skips and nobody seems to know how to fix that. That BUG is much more important than automatic play.


by Joerg Zopes (not verified)

Your problem with the CDROM and playing music is a hardware problem. Cause, the KSCD frontend just triggers the CDROM (hardware) to start playing. Older CDROM's even had a button under the tray to start playing. And the music itself is routed directly from the CDROM via the audiocable to the soundcard and routed to the speaker out without anything to do for the OS. Though I think another CDROM will solf your problem.

Best regards

by Flitcraft (not verified)

I used to dislike this feature too, so I disabled Suse's Plugger asap, but recently I tried it out again und now I love it.

I disabled those instances I don't need or like and replaced kscd with "kfmclient openProfile filemanagement audiocd:/".

by Samiel (not verified)

I agree with u, it'a a very boring feature.
Only, it's possible to turn it off in Windows,
modifying a line in the system registry.
I'm not interested in this feature,
and in any case I hope that the next release
of KDE let us the possibility of leave
or turn off thi function


by Rinse (not verified)

"well, right, kde 3.4 will have some goodies (altough, will it have support for hall/d-bus/udev? I am afraid that will be seriously lacking... no automagically appearing usbstick-icons on the desktop (unless the distribution does some work) and no automatically starting of k3b/cdplayer/etc when inserting media... :( thats a pitty.

Hmm, kde 3.3 does all this on SuSE 9.1 :)

Dunno if they released it under a open source license though..


by Pat (not verified)

knoppix does it too

by superstoned (not verified)

yeah, but the way they did it isn't considdered 'properly' by the kernel dev's (submount, if I'm right, or supermount (which I use) but both aren't good enough to ever make it into the kernel - udev/hall/d-bus dont have to BE in the kernel.)

its open-source code, btw (at least supermount is) but its like, well, a hack... not "the right way(TM)". So we have to wait for d-bus/hall/udev support to have it on lets say debian and slackware, who aren't willing to add such things as a hack.

by Aaron Krill (not verified)

SuSEPlugger watches changes to /proc (or whatever the new one in 2.6 is called) for new devices. hotplug and coldplug monitor for new hardware, automagically insert kernel modules for it, and BAM its in proc or sysfs or whatever you use. That's how that works. SuSEPlugger then just automounts it and says "Hey, dude... you got hardware." or "hey, dude... you got media" depending on whether or not its a USB device or a CD.

The way it can tell if there's a CD is the CD drive tells the kernel its got media, and the kernel modifies one of those crazy files in proc (or sysfs, yet again). SuSEPlugger then probes the disc to see if its blank, audio, or what have you, and lets u know (and, if applicable, automounts it)

There no wrong way, to eat a reeses... i mean... probe for hardware and media.

Forgive the stilted speech. I haven't slept in days...

by Gilles Leblanc (not verified)

I can't stand that annoying automaticly starts media player when inserting disc, please, please don't put this in KDE !!!

by superstoned (not verified)

hey, I didnt like it in windoze too, and I dont really need it, but if its configurable enough, I can put it to some use :D

for example, k3b might be started if I put a cdrw into the drive. and a musiccd might be added to the playlist in amarok. a cd with a moviefile might just start playing in kaffeine, I whoulnt mind that.

by Jérôme Lodewyck (not verified)

The new media:/ kioslave has a HAL Backend. If HAL is found, it will be used to list backend, hence automatically listing devices upon insersion. However, this backend seriously lakes testing, so please feel free to compile it (You only need a fairly recent HAL >= 4.0, and DBus-Qt bindings from cvs)

by superstoned (not verified)

yes, but will a icon automatically appear on my desktop if I put in the usbstick? and if I connect my digital camera, will it start digikam?

If so, well, I dont think we need more. if not, well, there might be some work to do... I didnt use these kind'a functions under windows, but if I can fully configure it, well, I think it whould be usefull for me. and to newbies, it whould be usefull anyway...

by Jérôme Lodewyck (not verified)

If you plug your usb stick, it will get listed automatically by media:/. So if the desktop uses media:/ to list disk partitions (It used to relying on devices:/, but I am not sure if this has been changed to media:/), your usb stick should appear on the desktop.

If you plug you camera, it will also get listed and the media:/ entry will be mapped to the corresponding camera:/ url.

There is no "application autoplaying" by now, but this might be a good idea for KDE 4 !?


by Big-A (not verified)

I'm kind of also waiting for the big 4 instead of any smaller update. KDE really is a great desktop environment already but it has some small missing features. One is this difficulty to use usbstick and digital cameras, not to mention still cdrom and floppy. If you compare it to Windows, My Computer should be also in KDE. system:/ is a small replacement but still far far behind...

And other thing that I hope will be fixed soon is the icons on the desktop. At the moment it's quite difficult to organise them in straight lines and the desktop is a mess really fast if you copy anything to it.

by superstoned (not verified)

well, imho "My Computer" is a totally braindeath concept. you can easily create a KIO slave for it, considered what is there: hard disks, cdrom drives and other media, and the config screen (??? why the heck? what has that to do with media?) and network. media:/ and locations:/ are much more logical.

by the way, the way windows works with drives (c: d: etc) is stupid. in unix this is done much more elegant: you can mount your drives anywhere.

So I certainly whouldnt want to see the "My Computer" anywhere.

by Big-A (not verified)

OK, I agree that My Computer is stupid name and in Linux it's not very useful to show the hard disks since everyone can view the contents in the directory tree.

But using some removeable devises can be a bit difficult. Not just CDROM and Floppy which are quite well supported but the biggest problems come with digital cameras and usbsticks. IMHO there should be easier way to access these different devices, without the need to mount the devices manually...

There might be a easier way to do this, perhaps I just haven't found it yet...

by superstoned (not verified)

well, the Locations:/ KIO slave in the upcoming kde 3.4 will fix this...

It will show (afaik) remote and local filesystems, like ftp:/, samba:/ audiocd:/ pop3:/ telnet:/ etc.

System:/ will show other KIOslaves, like (maybe) man:/ and locate:/, fish:/, settings:/, apt:/, programs:/ etc etc. (at least, this is what I imagine... and I'm sure it will be configurable!).

by KOffice fan (not verified)

My Computer is the stupidest concept since the dawn of time, and the MS implementation is even stupider. Keep it out of KDE.

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

Yep, I know you can use imap folders with disconnected imap, yes you can easily setup sieve filter rules with kio_sieve but what about

Any news from Don Sanders and Marc Mutz?

Hmm, thinking about kio_sieve, a simple gui would be a nice kommander project if Marcs Sieve GUI dont get into 3.4 :-)



I'm not doing any sieve related work currently. I am working on bug 50997 (client side imap filtering).

I have a prototype of client side imap filtering working. I still have at least one bug to track down (in the imap code) before it will be working reliably.

After that I have to test the prototype in the wild on different imap servers, measure the performance (to compare with other mail clients) and add some fault tolerance to handle unexpectedly losing the connection with the server (currently no mail should be lost but some mails may not be filtered).

Basically it's just quite time consuming. If people want to encourage me to spend more time on it, or work faster, then please see the commercial improvement system and consider making a pledge for Client side IMAP filtering.


by Brad Hards (not verified)

There are a few things in there that aren't really done (eg QCA isn't complete, even though the article says it is).

by George Staikos (not verified)

It says it's a planned feature for inclusion. It doesn't say that it's done. If there's no intention for it to be in KDE 3.4, then it should be moved out of kdesupport anyway. That's what kdenonbeta means.

by Matt Rogers (not verified)

QCA integration is one of the things on the table for KDE 4. kdesupport is it's permanent home now. QCA will be a seperate package, like taglib, that KDE will make use of.

I think you seriously misinterpret the current use of kdesupport, but we can discuss that privately if you'd like.

by Justin Karneges (not verified)

QCA 1.0 is totally usable for KDE. And not just usable, but used: Kopete. :)

Not that I'm in charge of anything, but I'd say ship QCA 1 with KDE 3.4, and we can put QCA 2 with KDE 4.

by Cougar Smith (not verified)

I hope Kmail will become completely compatible with Firefox. Konq is a great file browser but it absolutely sucks as a resource robbing web browser. Setting file association to open Firefox instead of Konq is useless and I ****ing HATE the way it writes to /var/tmp/kdecache-'user' before it opens (sometimes!) Firefox. I hope 3.4 or 4.0 fixes this grave weakness.

KDE? Are you listening? Some of us HATE Konq as a browser but love it as a file browser. Please take note!

by Carsten (not verified)

Did you file bugreports or wished in Plus, nobody forces you to use Konq as a webbrowser. Why do you complain about a choice somebody offers you for free?

by Allan Sandfeld (not verified)

No, I admit Konqueror is _still_ not at resource robbing as Firefox. But as a small hack you are free to add long while loops to the code, to get it more on par ;)

by Cougar Smith (not verified)

Ok, just *HOW* can I rectify the Kde/Firefox boondoggle? I'm no programmer and although I love Kde, I will always hate Konq as a web browser.

by Janne (not verified)

" I'm no programmer and although I love Kde, I will always hate Konq as a web browser."

You will ALWAYS hate Konqueror as a web-browser? Even if Konqueror in KDE4 would blow Firefox away? Don't make claims you cannot keep. I cannot say that "I will ALWAYS love Konqueror as a web-browser", since it's possible that Konq starts to suck in the future releases. Anything is possible.

But, to answer your question ("how to use Firefox as the default-browser instad of Konqueror?"): Control Center ==> KDE Components ==> Component Chooser ==> Web Browser ==> "Open HTTP and HTTPS URLs in the following browser" ==> Firefox

I tried that just now: I clicked a link in Kmail, and it opened in Firefox. Zero problems. Really, things like these are NOT rocket-science!

by Moritz Moeller-... (not verified)

You must not only associate mozilla-firefox with HTML, you must also tell KDE, that mozilla-firefox can handle urls. Replace the command line in the desktop file with "mozilla-firefox %u". Then mozilla will handle the url, not kio.

This is not a bug of KDE, but of the mozilla-firefox.desktop file.

by Raghu GS (not verified)

this is not exactly true,
i have associated Firefox as default browser for kde 3.2 and added %u in the end
but still rss feed links in kontact newfeeds open only in Konqueror,
but in KMail links contained in e-mails open in firefox fine

by Jason Keirstead (not verified)

KControl -> KDE Components -> Component Chooser -> Web Browser-> Pick firefox.

Have a nice day, and next time, do some research in KControl before ranting about nonsense.

by Anonymous (not verified)

This post really isn't nonsense since so many people have had problems with it. Do a search on the internet for making Firefox the default browser. MozillaZine doesn't even tell you about the URL handling part. The make default browser option also does not work correctly.

by John Dean (not verified)

Heh, yes that is a partial solution of the problem but if only that was the end of the matter! The real problem extend beyond using another browser as the default.

If you associate html with another browser, Konq no longer functions as a browser. This isn't the desired functionality! For example a web developer may associate html with an editor/browser, but also test those pages in konq. Konq isn't good at playing both the role of internet browser and file browser -> sometimes those roles conflict. It won't happen just because I say so, but konq should be split into two seperate applications.

by John (not verified)

Sorry to be an idiot but in my component chooser i only have thw following three

email client
embedded text editor
terminal emulator

so how do I add web browser

using suse 9.1 and KDE 3.2.1
thanks in anticipation


by tom arnall (not verified)

indeed choosing firefox in the kde control center works, >except that the browser page remains behind the kmail screen until i click on the desktop task bar item for firefox. anyone had to deal with this one?

tom arnall
north spit, ca

by Daniele (not verified)

KDE 3.4 is [ck]ool!
Thank George for your review.

In meanwhile, people interested in Scientific and Professional Applications enjoy in a new mailing list called "KDE-Science".

Discuss ways to share code, knowledge, ideas.

- "components" to link R, Octave, ATLAS lib and QT/KDE apps;
- "components" to plot many scientific graphs (eg. boxplot, ...);


by Phil Rigby (not verified)

I know it's usually not wise to put Alphas onto "live" machines, but does anyone know how stable 3.4A1 is - would it be a bad idea to put it onto my main machine for day-to-day use?


by Aaron Krill (not verified)

Depends. Do you run windows at all? If you do, you're already running alpha-quality software so you may as well. :-p

by Phil Rigby (not verified)

Ooooooooooh, put those claws away!!! :-)

I love KDE, have done since I first started using it (KDE 2 some version). I find 331 to be rock solid, I'm dying to look at 3.4 but don't want all kinds of stability problems... if the general feeling is good for it, albeit an alpha, I'll try it but I don't want to regret putting it on if you know what I mean.


by Aaron Krill (not verified)

In the past i've run alphas and never had any major issues. Been doing that since 3.0 alpha 1. Heh. You could always install KDE 3.4 to a separate directory, and as a different user than you usually use. That way you can try it out without the chance of messing up your stable KDE 3.3 data.

by Phil Rigby (not verified)

Yes that's a good point, I wasn't sure if there were any ramifications of having 2 seperate KDE installs on (even if they are in seperate directories).