KDE 3.1 Preview: The Best KDE Yet

Most of you dot readers already know what KDE 3.1 will be about (3.1beta2 story, 3.1beta1 story, 3.1alpha1 story). For the rest of you, you can find a little teaser preview, complete with some screenshots, at promo.kde.org. Enjoy! Update Saturday 19/Oct/2002, @16:17: ZDNet UK has published the story New KDE to arrive with Halloween eye candy based on the preview. Thanks to them for helping get the word out!

Dot Categories: 


by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

> > done in the recent past with a handful of smaller apps
> Where? When?

a few months ago... unfortunately in the last web site change we lost the reports. hopefully they will reappear. i'm planning on starting a new push for usability reports come 3.2-devel

> We can decide now that we're going to give KDE the means to become a true
> alternative to existing environments or decide to keep it around as a
> glorified toy for geeks

the fact that i support several non-techie users on KDE says your statement is false. it already is a true alternative. it needs more work, but it isn't the glorified toy for geeks you purport it to be with that statement.

and by "support" i mean that i'm their "primary care giver" though i almost never have to do a thing: KDE works reliably, dependably, consistently and understandably enough for their day-to-day.

it isn't perfect. but it works. now to make it better ;-)

> OS didn't "bring to light new ways to write code." It brought to light new
> ways for people to collaborate and distribute their work

yes indeed it did bring to light new ways to write code. the resulting lines of code look hauntingly familiar, but the process through which they were written was practically heresy against conventional development wisdom. "what? a bunch of volunteers spread out around the world hacking on whatever interests them? no way that'll EVER work!" they were, of course, wrong.

the same thing will likely occur with usability.

i remember a few years back when Linux really started to get popular. certain newcomers started saying that the kernel needed to be redesigned, that the way the development process was going was unsustainable, etc, etc, etc... not unlike what you are saying. they were were wrong then, and those saying the same today are, IMO, wrong now.

of course: how will we know? if by employing an interative during-devel/with-devels approach we elevate the usability of KDE beyond that of other systems, we will know it works.

now look what i've promised. heh. =)

by zelegans (not verified)

I've seen gnome on my mdk 9 and it has really cleaned up a bit.

I loved the look of small icons. This is something I've allways felt could be improved in KDE, especially in the panel. Small icons in gnome look readable and crisp, whereas KDE small icons usually look too small and dull.

I also like the nautilus folder notes and icon labels. This later offers much better functionallity than changing the folder icon to folder_red_with_smiley.png in konq.

by Sean (not verified)

Unfortunately, I have a few machines at work which due to cheap graphics cards and/or old monitors, struggle even with 800x600. If you think KDE is bad at this resolution, then try it at 640x480.

Yes, I know that there will only be a few people trying this, but sometimes it's the only option you have (other than text modes).

by Paloseco (not verified)

Then konqueror preferences, the kppp, the control center... is going this to be fixed soon?

by NewMandrakeUser (not verified)

Hi all. A question for anyone testing/developing 3.1 . Has the startup time been reduced in the 3.1 branch ? My experience is that KDE runs *very* fast once it is loaded, but the start up time (meaning from when you login at KDM until you are able to open an application in the desktop) is a little too long. Typically many times what GNOME takes. I still prefer KDE as my desktop environment, I only login perhaps a couple times a day, and once it is working KDE is just beautifull. And I know that the price you pay for the start up time is fair enough if you consider
the formidable framework you are launching.

But I wonder if there is some work on reducing startup time. I am aware of the object prelink issue. However, my mandrake 9.0 binaries are apparently compiled with the objprelink1 optimization on, according to http://objprelink.sourceforge.net/ . And according to this page it is not cleat whether objprelink2 would give any further benefits. I guess a way to speedup startup time would probably be to delay the initialization of non-essential services. Just let the user login with the essential components loaded, and load the rest in the background after that. Any thoughts, any further optimizations ?


by Janne (not verified)

objprelinking is a hack that tries to cure symptoms of a problem. prelinking is the solution to the problem itself. Prelinking is supported in the lates binutils and glibc 2.3. Thanks to prelinking, startuptimes should drop to fraction of what they were before. Does KDE work with prelinking? That I don't know for sure. To my knowledge the current stable releases (3.0.x series) does not. Any idea that will 3.1 work with prelinking?

by fty (not verified)

A question:

In the latest kde apps for example koffice-1.2, when execute ./configure --help appears:

--enable-objprelink prelink apps using objprelink (obsolete)

The new apps not use objprelink ?

Not need this ?

by Rayiner Hashem (not verified)

Well, so far, 3.1 beta2 doesn't seem to work with prelinking. I'm not totally sure I've got it setup perfectly though. I installed glibc 2.3, ran prelink -a (my prelink.conf file included the KDE and QT directories) but the apps don't get prelinked. Worse, it causes qmake to fault with a "unexpected reloc type 0x05" which can only be fixed by prelink -u qmake.

by Anonymous (not verified)

And you did report the bug to the prelink author yet? And I fail to see where qmake is involved in starting KDE/programs. Undo prelink for it and it's fine, I don't see why this is worse.

by Rayiner Hashem (not verified)

First, I don't know if its a bug or just my configuration. Nothings failing, it's just that prelinking doesn't seem to have any effect. The number of relocations done at runtime remains the same even after prelinking. Also, qmake isn't involved, but without it, you can't build a lot of Qt apps. And prelinking seems to break it, which it isn't supposed to do.

by ShavenYak (not verified)

To speed up the KDE startup on Mandrake 9.0, try this:

1) open up /usr/bin/startkde in your favorite editor
2) search for "/usr/bin/nspluginscan"
3) comment out that line (put a # in front of it)

This greatly improved my startup time. If I ever install a new Netscape plugin (why I would do that, I have no idea) I can always re-scan plugins from the KDE Control Center.

Needless to say, if you don't have the kdebase-nsplugins package installed, this tip isn't going to help you.

by Sad Eagle (not verified)

If you power cycle your machine often (as in if you turn it off when you don't use it); you can also probably cut away a few seconds by commenting out the removal of /tmp/kde-* in rc.sysinit (be *extra careful*, this is a critical script); as this will keep the KSyCoCa cache over reboots, thus savingthe startup process of KDE from having to rebuild it.

by NewMandrakeUser (not verified)

Great tip, thanks !. I am actually doing it in a per/user basis: from Konqueror, "Settings -> Configure -> Netscape Plugins" and uncheck "Scan for new plugins at KDE startup"

Also, I removed a bunch of irrelevant entries in my list of directories to scan, and it is much faster to scan now.

Thanks a lot for the pointer Shaven!

by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

Hurm. I wonder if turning it into something like:

( sleep 15 ; /usr/bin/nspluginscan ) &

Might be a good idea for everybody - although a nsplugin might be used at the very beginning of a KDE session, using a newly installed one is less likely.


by Duncan (not verified)

I've read about pre-linking, but don't know the details. However, I do know that betas are not the place to be doing speed or size comparisons, since they often still include a lot of extra crash tracing code and symbols compiled in that full production versions may exclude.

by JoJoMan (not verified)

Not that I'm a KDE developer or anything, but who cares?

I get into KDE and stay in it for weeks or months.
So for me, KDE startup time is fairly irrelevant.

by NewMandrakeUser (not verified)

Who cares ?. I do. I share my computer at home with my wife and we keep loging in and out. It is a decent machine (PIII 550 Mhz), and loading KDE takes a minute. It is a little long :-)

I can't figure out how to get the history sorted by time, to figure out
what was the most recently visited sites.

Does anyone know how?

I tried phoenix the other day, it's got some nice mechanisms to sort/find
in the history which would be nice.

Right click on any entry in the history tree, Sort->By Date.

by Damek (not verified)

Does anyone know if amidst the "video thumbnail" feature and the "folder icons reflect folder contents" feature, maybe they managed to add the feature that Win XP has (sorry to have to mention it) where the file browser can display a thumbnail image for a folder based on its contents?

This is a great feature for working with pictures (you can see a sampling of what's in a folder) and with music (you can make folder icons be the album art for the album they contain). It seems that with all this eye candy and thumbnail generation going on, they could maybe use some of that code to add this feature, too. At the very least a kludge showing a thumbnail over a folder icon for an image in that folder named "folder.jpg" like Windows does it - granted I'm not a programmer, but it sounds easy to me, what with all this other thumbnail and folder-icon stuff going on.

Little touches like this will help people switch over from other operating systems. I know I'm going through withdrawal over this feature...

by Kroupster (not verified)

Kroupware - Kroup? What the heck? Argh! I really hope this kind of naming doesn't keep happening... it's seriously bad. What's up with everything having to have a K or a G in front of it? Sorry, just had to say it somewhere!

by Pingo (not verified)

I totally agree. Kroupware has to be one of the worst names ever.

by gandalf (not verified)

Don't forget Kandalf! (smirk)

by Anonymous (not verified)

It's a work code name. The final will be named nicer, perhaps "Koala" as previously suggested.

by Anon (not verified)

KThe Kpoint Kis, Kwhen Kwill Keverything Kstop Kbeing Kprefixed Kwith Ka K'K'?

by Glen (not verified)

Does KDE release patches? I don't see the need to get THE ENTIRE SOURCE TREE when I want to upgrade from 3.0 to 3.1 when it's ready. But I've never seen any diffs on any KDE ftp site or mirror.

by shm (not verified)

I dont think they do, but admittatly, I haven't looked very hard, as I often download more than 1gb per day (go college connection :-) ).

Couldn't you just use cvs and the release branches?

by Anonymous (not verified)

> But I've never seen any diffs on any KDE ftp site or mirror.

Then look at this: ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/3.0.3/contrib/diffs-3.0.2-3.0.3
No, it's not created for every release because I guess seldom requests for it.

by Richard Moore (not verified)

The patches to upgrade between 3.0 and 3.1 would be huge. If you just want to download part of the source tree use the anonymous cvs server.


I Love KDE.

i've been dying for tabbed browsing in konqueror, and atlast it's here :)
KDE is now 1337ly perfect