A Look Back and a Look Forwards at KDE 3.3

Chris Dunphy wrote a nice four page KDE 3.2.1 Review in March which we obviously missed and which imo hasn't received the attention it deserves yet. On the other side we were notified by "illogic-al" that he has written a short "What's New, KDE 3.3 Preview" based on KDE 3.3 Alpha. The first KDE 3.3 Beta with more completed features is expected to be released in about one week.

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by Heiko Evermann (not verified)

One feature in KDE 3.3 that is not mentioned in the article is a change in language evaluation.
The old way was: from the list of languages that the user likes, pick the first language that offers a translation of the program. Fill the rest with English.
The new was is: from the list of languages that the user likes, pick the first language that offers a translation of the program. Fill the rest with the translations from the second choice language etc. Fill the rest with English.

This is especially useful for smaller languages like Low Saxon where the rest of the translation of a program can be filled up with standard German.

Another (quite stupid) example from bugs.kde.org:
Kontact was not tranlated into Ukrainian, but kmail was. The user had said in kcontrol, that he likes Ukrainian and Russian in this order.

If you then start kmail as a standalone program you get in in Ukrainian. When you launch it via kontact, KDE finds out that Kontact is not translated into Ukrainian and uses Russian for kontact and all its submodules.

This is now fixed.

Heiko Evermann

by Anonymous (not verified)

There is quite a bunch of new features not mentioned in the article if you compare it with the feature plan. It honestly only scratches a little bit on the surface.

by hein (not verified)

Low saxon? This sounds pretty cool. Is there a screenshot available.

Language order and fallback solution.

What I believe however is that language string contribution has to be made easier for ordinary users that are not skilled in Programming. This may help to fix the problem which in fact is lack of contributions.

by P.Alves (not verified)

Wouldn't it be nice if you were able to contribute to translations in a web page, wiki style? Hummm must think more about this. Or imagine that you are running a program that is not fully translated, you see a string that is not correctly (or not at all) translatted, you click Help->Tranlate String, the cursor changes, you click were the untranslated string is, and you are redirected to this wiki-style tranlation page, or the po file is opened for editing and when you click save the diff is uploaded to a server for review.

by Christian Loose (not verified)

> What I believe however is that language string contribution has to be made
> easier for ordinary users that are not skilled in Programming. This may help
> to fix the problem which in fact is lack of contributions.

Well there is KBabel. No need for any programming skills. How much easier is it supposed to get?

by Jelmer (not verified)

I absolutely agree with the guy who wrote the kde 3.3 preview about the kwallet thing. It must be me, but I hadn't found the option to disable it yet (there might be something wrong with my configuration though).

by Niek (not verified)

Indeed, he's absolutely right. Nothing is more frustating than the requirement to type your password _every_ time after logging in (because of Kopete). I know it's not very safe to built in a "remember my KWallet password" option, but usability-wise this option is absolutely needed.

by Nilesh Bansal (not verified)

Infact, "remember my KWallet password" is not very unsafe either. I need to supply my password atleast once to log in KDE, so why do i need to re-authenticate myself again and again?

by Paul Eggleton (not verified)

I put up with this myself, in case someone walks up to my PC while I'm not there (you could say my fault for not locking it before leaving, I suppose).

In future the threat of malware on Linux may become more serious, in which case measures like this will be more important.

by Anonymous (not verified)

kwalletmanager, Settings/Configure Wallet..., [ ] Enable the KDE wallet subsystem

by Chris (not verified)

Personally, I think the best approach would be a simple PAM module that would try using the user's password to unlock the wallet. This would be, IMHO, the easiest way to make this happen. Then, it is just a matter of adding the option to the 'kde' pam config file.

If I knew how to write something like this, I would have already.

by somekool (not verified)

PAM is not everywhere.

by Bausi (not verified)

But where it is, this is a good idea.

by Mark Hannessen (not verified)

Infact it is on almost every serious distro that is build these days.

on other platforms that don't support it you could still go the other way around. (or write something that fits better into that platform. having access to your own password hashes is a bad thing because email scripts, internet scripts, bash scripts, whatever script can send them up the internet to the hacker of choice, so he can brute force them.

security most always be done by external tools.

by Sebastian Greiner (not verified)

Will there be full support for real SVG-icons in KDE 3.3? Or is there a possibility to use SVGs in KDE 3.2.3? :-(
Will Kitchensync have new connectors or will it even work? For example to sync with a Sony-Ericsson mobile? (T630) ;-)

by Sebastian Greiner (not verified)

Sorry, I wrote my "title" in the form... :-o

by Dan Leinir Turt... (not verified)

Well... I'm working on a set as we speak (Reinhardt, found at kde-look.org), and apart from a few graphical glitches, it works just fine in 3.2.2 :)

by Luciano (not verified)

Well, in fact the Reinhardt icons work a little *too* well...
You can scale them up to 256x256 in the tooolbar, with 1 pixel increments...
The popup menu gets huge!
In my index.desktop file I limit the range for action icons to 16-64, and the popup, shile still large, si somewhat more manageable. The popup menu (or the icon theme interface, maybe) should be improved to reduce the number of items shown, and maybe show a dialog if it is really *really* needed to have pixel-precise sizing.
There are another couple of bugs that while not too serious, make vector icon support look incomplete.

Here are the bug reports:


I think the KCM bug and the icon selector one are probably related, and fixing one will probably fix both issues.

by Fred Schättgen (not verified)

Simone Gotti started to implement a kitchensync konnector for IrmcSync. I've never used it myself, since I lack the phone to use it with, so I don't know exactly what's working already and what not. But in theory it should work with a T630.

You can find it in the CVS of kdebluetooth (kdeextragear-3). Compilation is disabled by default at the moment, since it depends on KDE 3.3.

AFAIK Simone is a bit short of time at the moment. I'm sure he will appreciate any help offered to make SonyEricsson/Siemens mobile phone users happy by completing the konnector ;)

by Sebastian Greiner (not verified)

Thanks for telling me about this IrmcSync-Feature. But I couldn't find a RPMed Version of kdebluetooth with this integrated.
And since I also couldn't figure out how to download from KDE(-Extragear)-CVS I gave up a bit frustrated...
So I'll wait for 3.3... ;-)

by brenton (not verified)


Documentation -> 3. Getting the KDE Bluetooth Framework

by smt (not verified)

Weren't most of the other appearance-related KCM's supposed to be hidden once the theme manager was moved out of kdenonbeta? I've been waiting patientially for someone to do that for some time :-)

by Lukas Tinkl (not verified)

Yup, shame on me :( Still on my TODO

by Anonymous (not verified)

Please also fix the size of the buttons in the theme manager.

by hein (not verified)

"get new themes" and "install themes" sounds very similar.

This might create confusion.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Don't think so. None necessary involves the other.

by Michael Donaghy (not verified)

I never had a problem with the kdm pictures (I like being a stylised dragon thank you very much), but what bugs me is that in 3.2 the option to edit the session list in kcontrol seems to have gone missing. So I can no longer log into xfce from kdm. Anyone else have this problem?

by David (not verified)

The 3.2 Kdm is supposed to automatically find all of your installed window managers and destkops, and display them in the appropriate login menu. If XFCE is not displaying, it's either because you don't have it installed, it's installed under a name Kdm doesn't recognize, or Kdm doesn't know about XFCE.

by somekool (not verified)

First one keep complaining about small issues which are really subjective.

like the default look. I'm sorry, but I like life and bright color. It's what make KDE and Apple different from all other boring interface like Gnome and Windows.

Working on a computer is not only for boring gray guy wearing a tie.

I like curves, forms, movement, like cars and womans ;)
Keramik is great and looks ALIVE ! Plastik is dead and morgne. look like default gray GTK.

BUT WHO CARES !!! Its what makes Linux so great... use whatever you prefer. It's available to you. Keeping complaining about default look all along the review does not makes it a good review. Really boring to read.

For the orange and yellow in kmail, If I understood correctly what he was talking about ... The orange is customizable in colors, and the yellow is to show SECURITY RISK !!! Which MUST jump in user's eyes.

well, whatever.

and the second one... way more positive.. but unreadable...
come'on do you think we remember your 3.2 review ? All this insides jokes are way to much. Please be more professional. I've not been able to understand half of his review because of all his jokes, smiles and unreadable kiddies english.

whatever, hopefully this review won't make peoples laugh out of KDE.

KDE is way better, however how it looks on your particular setup.

by oliv (not verified)

>I like life and bright color. It's what make KDE and Apple different from all
>other boring interface like Gnome and Windows.
>Working on a computer is not only for boring gray guy wearing a tie.

Windows is gray and doesn't have bright colours? Are you colour blind, or are you using a monochrome monitor?

Windows has colours which are much brighter than MacOS, and this is why MacOS does not look like a kids' desktop.

by illogic-al (not verified)

About the review. You're right. It was unprofessional and did contain inside jokes, but the point was really to do a professional review. It was just one user's (mine) perspective on what i thought about certain things in the upcoming release and a chance to show screenshots to those who haven't seen it before.
Yes, it does sound childish at points and that was intentional because I am looking forward to this next release with childlike enthusiasm in my boosiasm. I'm weird like that. If you want professional reviews wait until 3.3 released when OSNEWS, PCLO and others will inevitably review it. If you want opinion and screenshots I got what you need :D Oh and about the english, I do sometimes forget that not everyone using KDE or reading the dot is english speaking so if I made it any harder to understand for the non native english speakers/readers I apologize. I'll try to remember to do better next time :p

by ac (not verified)

With apparently both Juk and Amarok now in KDE 3.3, can someone enlighten me as to what the use, purpose or reason is for allowing any further existence of Noatun?

Look at the "freaking" Noatun website for a good laugh: http://noatun.kde.org/news.php#NoWereNotStillAlive "The primary reason nothing is happening here at noatun.kde.org is that we noatun developers consider noatun so close to completion it's not worth discussing."

In the mean time, are we supposed to wait for coders send from "above" to code heavenly plugins which are not likely to become default in 10 years and not likely to ever ex-hist in the first place, given developers and users are 'embracing' Juk and Amarok?

Is there some hidden secret agenda behind Noatun which is going to blow all our minds away in one big global awe? Please enlighten me as to why Noatun is even allowed to be in KDE anymore.

Just curious.

by Anonymous (not verified)

amaroK is not in KDE 3.3

by ac (not verified)

Too bad, I would prefer it over Noatun ..as you might have noticed. I don't think I am the only one with 'bad feelings' over this whole Noatun thing.

Whats so great about Noatun?

by affenschlaffe (not verified)

I completely agree. And everytime something like this is mentioned, nobody speaks up saying "I actually like noatun". And for those of you who do like noatun - I hope this was enough to make you reply ;-). I just use mplayer, kmplayer, kaffeine or xmms.

by foljs (not verified)

I also agree.

BURN Noatun, BURN!

by teatime (not verified)

I actually like noatun. But then, I don't like mp3.. ;)

by Jeld The Dark Elf (not verified)

Well, here I am, I actually like noatun. I use kaffeine for playing videos, but I think it is an overkill for music. I use "wake up" plugin as my alarm clock (haven't found a single decent alarm clock program yet). noatun is simple, lightweight and full featured. May be I will change my opinion once I try amarok, this thread is definitely reason enough to go and compile it. So far I didn't look for an alternative music player, since despite a few minor annoyances, I found noatun to be a very nice program.

by yemu (not verified)

actually i would replace juk with amarok immediately. juk is so much worse...now when amarak reached stable 1.0 it should replace juk in kmultimedia

by somekool (not verified)

kaffeine does everything i need.

including MP3, party animation, playlist, movies

Hello ! It looks like KDE 3.1 to 3.2 had much more changes than KDE 3.2 to 3.3 doesn't it?

Anyway, it's wonderful that Chris' just one more time telling us what's new in the next KDE version ;-).

Chris mentions: " Kwin has suffered the occasional inexplicable death. You never really fully appreciate the term "Window Manager" until it's crashed and you realize just how much it does."

I totally agree with you man ! I've even suffered kwin crashes in KDE 3.2.x stable versions, and ended up filling a feature request, where I suggest the best possible solution: If the WM crashes, KDE should restart it smartly: http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=82277 .

I'm happy you still hadn't any konqueror crash, because in FC1 + KDE 3.2.2 it likes crashing a lot =). I have filled a bug report that suggest a solution with a similar approach to the last one; this time the fix would be to ask the user if he want to recover last session when it opens a new konqui's window and it has just crashed. You can read the report in http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=83803 .

Finally, Chris mentions that he configured gstreamer output in amaroK. I'm a tad curious: wasn't KDE 3.3 supposed to replace arts with other Sound System ? I think It would be sad if we continue with arts for another KDE big version; every other Sound Library I've used so far has worked better than it here. I think that I'm most probably wrong and the challenge was for KDE 4 :P.


> It looks like KDE 3.1 to 3.2 had much more changes than KDE 3.2 to 3.3 doesn't it?

Is this surprising when you look at the development time which is only the half of the KDE 3.2 cycle?

> I'm a tad curious: wasn't KDE 3.3 supposed to replace arts with other Sound System?

No. We've never intended to replace aRts in the KDE 3.x series since it's required for binary compatibility with previous releases. We will most likely switch to another system for KDE 4.

by Mark Hannessen (not verified)

every kde release has had "a must have" something since I started using kde 1.0

This time the there are many many interesting features including:

Anti Spam Wizard
Anti Virus Wizard
Kolab client integraton
HTML mail composing
GUI for enabling KIOSK features

keep up the good work kde!

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

If you take a look at Kommander you might decide it is worth putting on that list. It is somewhat revolutionairy in it's approach to bringing application extention through DCOP and rapid small application development to users and scripters. It is in the kdewebdev module.


If there is something missing in KDE you want you might find yourself building it in a few hours some night. ;-)

by Mark Hannessen (not verified)

I agree kommander is looking very very cool,
But I haven't really had the time to try it out yet.
But I'll surely take a look at it very soon.

by Pupeno (not verified)

What I'm finding kinda disturbing in KDE lately is the repetition of applications, can we just leave one application for each tasks... I don't know about Noatun, Juk and Amarok, but about kwrite and kedit... when will kedit will be removed ? My simple market researching shows that application redundancy confuses people.

by Paul Eggleton (not verified)

My understanding was that KEdit will disappear as soon as the part that KWrite uses supports bi-directional text. So it's an i18n issue. If you are compiling from source you can use DO_NOT_COMPILE to remove certain applications anyway.

I agree in general that there should be some consolidation, particularly in the areas of image viewers and media players. There are also quite a few little applications that I suspect nobody uses or even finds because they are stuck in the "more applications" subfolders in the K menu.

by Anonymous (not verified)

> as soon as the part that KWrite uses supports bi-directional text.

And this support is said to be implemented much easier with Qt 4.