OSNews.com: KDE 3.3 Beta 1 Experiences

OSnews.com features a "non-typical" review of KDE 3.3 Beta 1. It contains the observations of what the user Osho GG saw when he updated from KDE 3.2.3 to KDE 3.3 Beta 1. The story examines the central parts of KDE and some major applications.

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by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

This is the 10000000st review wishing that Plastik were the default style. It's really sad that there is a small but powerful group of core developers that is preventing this from happening. I wish there would be a public vote on this.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Core developers? More likely the documentation writers/translators.

by Markus Büchele (not verified)

There is a saying: There is no fighting about taste (or so - sorry, I am not a native English speaker). The original version goes like that: DEGVSTIBVSNONESTDISPVTANDVM ;-)

This is why I would like to thank the responsible people for staying with Keramik which I do appreciate very much. I like its colours and its liveliness. I like the frames that grow around the active window.

By the way, if I remember well, wasn't there quite a hype when the first versions of Keramik were released?


by anon (not verified)

> By the way, if I remember well, wasn't there quite a hype when the first versions of Keramik were released?

Yeah, but then we realized it sucked for daily usage. It's the bulkyness factor. It's one of those styles that you either love or hate. That's not a good trait of a default style.

by ac (not verified)

I guess I don't understand the problem with Keramik. I don't know what is meant by "bulky". To me Keramik is simple, unobtrusive, inoffensive, and boring. Plastik is a little more distracting/flashy for my tastes, which is why I like Keramik better.

To me, the job of a desktop environment is to step back and let the user run the apps in a productive manner. Keramik seems to do the job better than any other theme I've tried so far. IMO boring and simple SHOULD be the default--it's business-friendly. If people like a little visual clutter they can change it.

Everyone seems to say Keramik is ugly as if it doesn't need explaining. I for one would like a tactful discussion of its shortcomings, because I can't think of any myself.

by banjo (not verified)

I see Keramik as being obtrustive, distracting, and too exciting (in a bad way). Just look at scroll bars and menus. They're all huge and 3D-ish. I never saw it as being a very nice first impression.

Plastik, however, is very subtle and sleek, in my opinion.

by AC (not verified)

> To me Keramik is simple, unobtrusive, inoffensive, and boring. Plastik is a little more distracting/flashy for my tastes, which is why I like Keramik better.

You seem to be opposite from 90% of people. We find Plastik to be simple and inoffensive, while Keramik is flashy and "heavy".

I for one like thinkeramik. Between plastik and keramik, plastik is better by a great deal.

by ac (not verified)

Maybe I need to look at Plastik again. I recall it being pretty much a Luna rip-off, and Luna is pretty much the worst theme I've ever seen. Maybe I'm remembering the wrong one, or maybe it's improved. I'll give it another go, but frankly I don't see Keramik's pseudo-3d effects as any worse than the overused gradients elsewhere.

Then again, I still can't get used to the close button not being in the upper left corner, a decade or so after it migrated to the upper right corner. Sure KDE allows me to change this (for which I am extremely thankful) but I can't understand the advantage of moving it in the first place.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Maybe you need to check style names before continuing to post. Keramik is the Luna rip-off.

by Luciano (not verified)

Wasn't it meant to be an "Aqua" ripoff?
Whatever - I prefer it to the dull Plastik. At least widgets are clearly visible. With Plastik, I everything seems surrounded by fog.

by Lee (not verified)

Sounds like your monitor is set too bright or something... ;)

by ac (not verified)

Just checked and Plastik is indeed the Luna rip-off. Keramik is the Aqua/"Windows Classic" fusion rip-off. I'm glad you were so polite about this, but I do wish you had been less wrong.

Anyway, just checked out ThinKeramik and it is indeed very nice and low-profile. Perhaps a new favorite, I'll have to try it out for a while. But no, upon second glance, Plastik is just as bad as I remember.

by John Upper Left... (not verified)

I couldn't agree more with the close button on the upper left. The important bit is that the close button shouldn't be grouped with minimize and restore/maximize to avoid accidently closing a window.

by Joe Schmoe (not verified)

I do the exact opposite. I put the minimize on the upper left, so my most used functions are the top corners.

by Xanadu (not verified)

Are you talking about the widgets or the Win-decos? Personally I hate the Plastik win-decos, I use ThinKeramik for that and use Plastik for widgets. (ThinKeramik with the title bubble on small) *THAT*, IMHO, is the best combination. I just thought I'd ask / voice my opinion.


by anon (not verified)

Most of the core developers *want* a move to plastik. However, it's simply *impractical* to do in KDE 3.3, because of documentation. Distros that change the default away from keramik on their own (which uh at least, Mandrake, SUSE, Xandros have done within the last year), have the resources to regenerate hundreds of screenshots in their own documentation. We don't until KDE 4.0.

by Norberto (not verified)

We -users- could help with the screenshots :)

I mean, ask 4/5 users of any language to take screenshots at 800x600 (or 1024x768) in a given color-scheme, submit them to webmasters and voila! Problem solved.

What are we waiting for?

by ac (not verified)

We are waiting for kde 4.
It is not a good idea to keep shifting the look and feel of a desktop within minor release version.
Minor versions releases should be cosistent.
As said; it is quite easy to change the default style to something else, and so,e distro`s have done that already.

So, what is the problem?

by cm (not verified)

> Minor versions releases should be cosistent.

Only small things like speeling errors can be fixed.

SCNR ;-)

by Oliver Stieber (not verified)

Can't you use dcop to script all the screen shots? It would make a lot of sense, and make sure all screen shorts were upto date.

by Nicolas Goutte (not verified)

Contact your I18N team:
I am sure that many would not mind getting some help.

Have a nice day!

by Lee (not verified)

I would suggest development of some script to generate the required shots in whatever theme you want. Makes no sense to manually create screenshots for something that changes programmatically.

by Nicolas Goutte (not verified)

You would still have 1000s of screenshots to do, to *verify* and to put in the corresponding documentation. (And the same for each translation.)

Have a nice day!

by John Consistenc... (not verified)

If having the default style in the documentation screenshots is so important, isn't it even more important that applications are also up to date? That said I agree that changing theme all the time is not that good of a good policy.

by AC (not verified)

If most of the major distros don't use keramik anyways, does it really matter what style the docs are in?

by Mikhail Capone (not verified)

Well, I guess it's about putting your best foot forward. Especially for potential new users.

by David (not verified)

Plastik needs improvement, and a lot of TLC. KDE 4.0 and onwards will be a big thing, with new screenshots needing to be done, and this will be the correct time. KDE can't change its default theme every other minute.

by AC (not verified)

> Plastik needs improvement, and a lot of TLC

I agree. I'd like to see Plastik fix the ages old "little dots in the corner of kicker" bug, as well as tone down the gradients *slightly*. Other than that, even it's current state, it's better than keramik. I however, agree, that KDE 4.0 is the best time to make the change from keramik to whatever should replace it, plastik or not.

by tomislav (not verified)

Keramic was my love on the first glance. But Plastic is now my true love (although it could have tinier window bar IMHO). I don't see a real problem. Changing the theme is only couple of clicks... I don't understand the fuss about that...

by Slartibartfast (not verified)

I agree. Plastik is very nice, but the windec is slightly too "fat" for my liking.

by Bad Mood Bitch (not verified)

"Keramic was my love on the first glance. But Plastic is now my true love."

Men! All pigs!

by that guiser (not verified)

exactly what I was thinking. better not mention that I am on the other side, too. *fg
(you are not hetero, are you? scnr..)

by Erik Hensema (not verified)

The window bar scales automatically with the font you use. Simply choose a smaller font, and the title bar will become smaller.

(note: I don't have a clue what the default font for the title bar is, I have upgraded my KDE from 3.0 to 3.3b1 (in small steps ;-))).

by Fast_Rizwaan (not verified)

Plastik is like Luna theme with Gradient effect removed. Why don't you have gradient effect for plastik, that would of course look good. Indeed that looks.

C'mon, be brave, accept that "Plastik = Luna - Gradients". Because you don't like Windows XP, that doesn't mean you deny everything...

Plastik looks bugger all like Luna. I can use Plastik - I can't use Luna.

by Mikhail Capone (not verified)

Agreed. It's a similar design, but the implementation is better and more usable. I can't wait until Plastik is the default theme and they drop the ugly metallic gradient in the kicker.

by uniqueuser (not verified)

The only problems with Plastik is there is no AA for the curves (or it's just the curves) and the button mouseover makes me want to puke green vomit.

by Ian Monroe (not verified)

I don't like Keramik's window decoration, but I do rather like its widgets. The Glow window decoration is great, I certainly prefer it over Plastik. Don't know if it should be the default though, as it does in fact glow.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Glow needs to support the menu button.

by John WinDecor A... (not verified)

Yes, that is also true, the plastik win decor sucks :-/

by Damon Lynch (not verified)

"I said a few years ago that we would be rivalling the top commercial applications in a few years and here we are. Now I'm saying we will be blowing them away next year, and we will introduce technologies that
will revolutionize web development."

-- Eric Laffoon, Quanta Plus project manager


Everyone knows of "competitive advantage", but "collaborative advantage" is more applicable when it comes to making great software. The Quanta Plus core development team needs to be able to make it to aKademy. Now is our opportunity to collaborate to help make this happen.

As far as I know the core team have never had the funds to meet in person and cooperate on improving Quanta Plus. This is their time to finally do that. They could spend a week and a half together and brainstorm how to improve Quanta.

The project manager, Eric Laffoon, is struggling to get the money together (the entire project is financed largely out of his own pocket) and if he can't do it they will not be able to make it. So now is truly an important time to make a donation.

It's easy to donate, and even small donations will make a big difference:


I've made a donation today... I hope others will too.


by TimLinux (not verified)


I don't mean to be a party pooper for you quanta guys as I realise that a) you write great software and b) you need funds to continue doing so.

As an OSS developer myself I also appreciate that marketing your beloved package is important.

BUT...(there had to be a but at the end of that)...its beginning to feel like no matter what is posted to the dot, quanta is always 'on topic', and that reading the dot is always accompanied with petitions for money for quanta development.

I hope this doesn't come across as hyper critical because it isn't intended to be. But I believe in the end you will do yourselves a disservice by posting to each and every thread whether it relates to Quanta or not.

Best regards


by Lee (not verified)

Yes. Also, if you feel it's hard to develop remotely, then make up the right technology to fix that, and add it to quanta. That will be your first feature to blow away the competition. Or wait 'till I make one ;)

by Andras Mantia (not verified)

Damon is supporting us since a long time and I was surprised by his mail on the user list (it has the same text, I belive) and I'm also surprised by this posting as well. This just shows that he likes our software and maybe us as well. ;-) And he cares about it. I agree that sometimes it can be just disturbing hearing the same thing over and over (even if it is true/valid). But I don't think Quanta is/was "on topic" in every dot posting, although it was in many of them, but in those case it mostly made sense (was mentioned in the news, by a comment or related comments were made). In this case it's true that it's offtopic and this may upset some, but I we cannot do much about it (cannot control who posts and what), nor can I be angry as I like Damon and what he wrote is true. I hope that his post won't scare anyone. ;-)


by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

Hey, I'll admit I was a little surprised to find this post here, but I sure appreciate Damon's heart for helping out. What can I say? I was personally astonished how much of this article talkback is consumed by the discussion of styles, which I think is pretty superficial, but I'm not going to be critical of that. ;-)

Technically Quanta did not show up in this article about the 3.3 release, even though it's a part of it. Off topic? Maybe a little. Relevent? I hope so. Detrimental? The fact of human nature remains that our donations trickle down to a couple a month unless we have a great release or a someone like Damon points out that we have a genuine need. Personally I hate asking, but since becoming part of the KDE packages our release donation bump is diluted. While I would like to imagine that the fraction of a percent of our user base that makes this possible on this level just knew that now was a good time to make it count, it isn't so.

I don't enjoy asking for help, but I think the benefits to the community will be worth while. Damon has been very effective in helping us to grow Quanta and I'd really like to publicly thank him for taking up the cause of helping us to hit important objectives. As for how often we appear, we have a lot going on and a lot of people are interested, though some are not. I think I can also say with confidence that no other KDE application has a better shot at besting commercial applications. Quanta is competitive with Dreamweaver for many uses now and we have many converts. If you want to see a wide spread adoption of KDE on the desktop then even if you don't do web development (and there's always Kommander too) Quanta should be of some interest for it's potential to be an asset to KDE. Besides, I still get email telling me people just found Quanta and asking for information. :-)

by ZennouRyuu (not verified)

I dont really know everyone's personal situation, but I do know that most of us have $1 US sitting in our pockets/our desk drawer/under our bed/in our sock/under an ash tray/wherever else you can stick a dollar. And if every person who has ever used Quanta (and actually made some use out of it) were to give that dollar to Eric, the team could go first class, no doubt. Here is my dollar and $9 others as well (check PayPal).

Cheers Guys -- Quanta Rules!

by Mikhail Capone (not verified)

What I'd really appreciate are pagers like in XFCE; you can drag windows from one pager desktop to the other.

It's much more efficient than right click -> to desktop -> desktop #

It'd add polish.

Unless someone can tell me that they are working on it, I suppose that I'll go look to add a wish on bugs.kde.org

by Alex (not verified)

kpager can do this

by Mikhail Capone (not verified)

So I just discovered, but it's still not what I'm looking for since it can't be integrated with the kicker (I don't use that function quite often enough to leave kpager laying around, taking real estate).

Anybody else interested in the issue should check out (and vote):



by Anonymous (not verified)