OSNews.com: The KDE 3.2 Beta 2 User Review

Rahul Gaitonde has written a fairly comprehensive review of KDE 3.2 Beta 2 for OSNews based on his 3 week trial. "The target machine - my only computer - is a Pentium II 266 MHz with 384 MB RAM, with an Intel i810E chipset. [...] The first thing you notice when you start up a few apps is - 'Boy, this is Fast!'. KDE 3.2 is significantly faster than 3.1, and certainly way faster than Gnome 2.4 on my machine. It reminds me of the kind of responsiveness that Windows 98 used to give me on this same configuration few years ago (minus the crashes). Konsole opens up almost instantaneously, and Konqueror takes only about 3 seconds the first time. I was afraid that the increase in bloat with every release of KDE since the 1.x series would one day prevent me from using this computer at all with KDE. I'm glad the guys over at KDE have so splendidly allayed my fears." The review has a lot of screenshots and other information on the release. As usual, Plastik gets huge props.

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by brockers (not verified)

A couple of grips:

I can't bookmark individual text/PDF/etc files in KDE's Bookmarks, only folders. If I can bookmark an HTML page, why not any other type of file? This limits its usefulness. Also, Bookmarks and History ought to be available only in Konqueror's Web Browsing profile.

This is wrong. I currently have dozens of text files bookmarked in konqueror. In addition removing them totally from the universal sidebar is just plain stupid. I like being able to open a web-page without starting konqueror separately beforehand,accessing my mount point that are commonly used, remote computer connections over ssh (via fish://[email protected]), commonly used documents, etc.. etc... etc.. Hell the MAIN use of universal sidebar it the dang bookmarks and history tabs!!

Two words: Drop them. Kaboodle and Noatun are pathetic. They are nowhere as functional as XMMS

Smoking crack did you say? I understand that most people like XMMS because it is identical to winamp but it has NO WHERE NEAR the features or functionality of Noatun. Period! To say such a thing means that the review has no idea what the features and functions of Noatun are.

At the beginning of this article, I asked, rhetorically, if KDE 3.2 would enable me to use the command line more effectively. The answer to this strange question is yes. Presenting KDialog.

Can you say KDE 3.1

Just my .02


by optikSmoke (not verified)

>> ... Presenting KDialog.
>> ------------------
>> Can you say KDE 3.1

Can you say "mentionned in the article"? 2 sentences later:

"By no means is this new to KDE 3.2 - it was present in 3.1, too."

Anyway, kdialog is more useful in 3.2 -- it has some more complicated dialogs, like file dialogs, rather than just "yes/nos", warnings, etc.


by ac (not verified)

> -----------------
> Two words: Drop them. Kaboodle and Noatun are pathetic. They are nowhere as
> functional as XMMS
> -----------------

Could not agress more on that, or again move them to kdeextragear.

... Have not tried out Juk, maybe it obsoletes them...

by J (not verified)

JuK is a different.. but greatly replaces here any other software capable of playing music...

by LaNcom (not verified)

Well, I wouldn't say XMMS was better, but I still agree. I would like to see Kaboodle, Noatun _and_ JuK removed from KDE multimedia, and add Amarok instead. It's small, fast, slick, and it has a good playlist design.
For video, maybe KDE should add kmplayer, it doesn't need MPlayer to compile (so it's small and has no external dependencies), as it is the best plugin for Konqueror to play _any_ media on the internet (I haven't seen any media that didn't work,that is).

by John (not verified)

Personally, I'd much perfer to see kaffeine in the base distribution
it uses the xine libraries which are already used by the
xine_artsplugin in kdemultimedia.

Just my $0.02

by LaNcom (not verified)

Well, kmplayer is a frontend, it supports MPlayer, Xine, ffmpeg and ffserver as backends. It supports recording from a TV-card, streaming (client&server) and acts as a Konqueror plugin for Quicktime, AVI, Real, WMA/WMV, DivX etc.
So, the dependencies are not an issue. If Kaffeine also supported MPlayer, I wouldn't care which one goes in.

by theorz (not verified)

But it is not nearly as usable as kaffeine.

To me having kaffeine for video and juk for music would be perfect.
Noatun tries to do to much and ends up being too hard to use. Kaboodle has the right idea, but has a really kludgy interface.

Though this is all moot with 3.2 about to come out.

For 3.3/4 it would be nice to see a video pure video app created, totem from gnome is a good example of a video player with a good interface. Some of noatun's features like visualizations be put into juk. With this Kaboodle and Noatun could be phased out. Maybe gstreamer will be good enough with their 0.8 release to be a viable media framework to be used in 3.3/4.

But all said 3.2 is an incredable release. I am running 3.2beta2 right now and I can say hands down it is the best desktop I have ever used. Thankyou kde developers.

by ac (not verified)

What is this Kaffeine you speak of?

by Mike (not verified)

Ummm, he said "functional" not "lots of functions".
Look it up in your dictionary.

by JC (not verified)

Noatun is really good. The default GUI is horrible but it does work as good as xmms and even more when listenning radios via internet.

I agree with the author about Kedit and Kwrite. I use Kedit because it's light to edit a small text file (I don't have to use vi) or Kate to write scripts, programs, but never Kwrite.

And you can bookmark any type of files you want. Not only folder or html files.

by Anony Guy (not verified)

Amen about the default GUI and icons. I constantly get confused about which button opens the playlist and which opens a file. Some of the worst icon selection I've ever seen. Functionally though, its a pretty solid piece of work.

by kosh (not verified)

I happen to like noatun and lot and honestly I very rarely use its gui. What I use is its keyz plugin. From that I can stop,start,pause,change songs, change volume etc all from the keyboard with any application having the focus. The gui I see for noatun is that little circle it puts in the system tray.

I have not used xmms for anything beyond playing with it a few times to see if it had the features I wanted for years now and I still see no reason to use it. Sure xmms has a better looking gui but when I just want the app to stay in the system tray who cares about its gui? I just want it to play music and let me get on with coding, testing, debugging etc and noatun does that much better.

by KDE User (not verified)

Smoking crack did you say? I understand that most people like XMMS because it is identical to winamp but it has NO WHERE NEAR the features or functionality of Noatun. Period! To say such a thing means that the review has no idea what the features and functions of Noatun are.


Does noatun require arts to run? If so, it's useless to me. Does noatun utilize XMMS input plugins? If not, it's useless to me. Look, I love KDE, but its multimedia side is so far behind the rest of the desktop that it's embarrassing. I use almost exclusively KDE applications, but I still use xmms and mplayer because they're superior to anything else out there (I use gaim, too, though kopete ain't bad--needs Perl scripting, however).

Anyway, the point is, for a lot of us, kdemultimedia just doesn't cut it. Getting indignant won't change the fact that xmms is superior *for us*, for the time being.

by c (not verified)

I use xmms for exactly the same reason that I use KDE. It doesn't crash and it doesn't hog CPU, which AFAIK (as of versions for 3.1.5) everything in kdemultimedia still does. I've similar hangups with JuK (my 17 gig music collection kills it whilst rhythmbox copes) and even newer kopetes (which will happily hang my entire KDE when network connectivity is bad).

I'm not complaining and there's nothing I'm willing to do about it, I'm just saying - the man probably has a point.

(Am desperately looking forward to new versions of konqueror, kmail and quanta - by far my favorite linux apps.)

by James Richard Tyrer (not verified)

> Kaboodle and Noatun are pathetic.

What is the problem here. This appears to be the second reviewer that doesn't understand that one of the functions of Kaboodle and Noatun is to be a fron end for XINE.

Will XMMS play Quicktime movie trailers with sound?


by lazarus (not verified)

But a crippled one. Noatun can't play dvd/vcd, although it should simply pass dvd:// or vcd:// to the xine-lib. They can't play most of the asx, mov, ram urls from the web (kmplayer can also using xine-lib).

by JC (not verified)

> "An upgrade to this beta is a simple matter of 'rpm -Uvh ./*.rpm --nodeps --force'"

Lol. Why to use a rpm system if you use --nodeps and --force ?

by Mike (not verified)

I'm using SuSE and do that always for KDE updates and SuSE version
updates. You can go into YaST (the SuSE setup tool) afterwards and
say: Check integrity and it lists all remaining or new problems.
You can solve them one by one which is often far easier than to
obey RPM. Because my experience is: RPM sometimes won't install KDE
and claims that some apps are not compatible but afterwards everything
runs fine. It's all a matter of the order in which you install the
packages I guess.

by James Richard Tyrer (not verified)

Hmmmmmmm: "--nodeps"

Do you suppose that is how he forgot to install XINE and a lot of other audio and video libraries?


by ac (not verified)

Just drop it, users don't want it and get confused by it. And since kwrite
is just better (yes I wanna generalize), just drop kedit, or move
it to kdeextragear. So the ones who really prefer it can still use it.
At least don't ship kde with it. Shipping it bloats kde.

Other nice thing, for the windows explorer used people...:

Could konqueror show the available space of the current partition
in it's status bar? Definately a big + in comfort!!
RMB on a file is not really intuitive to find our the free disk space...
Or is it and I am on crack?? ;-)

Apart of that, looking forward to 3.2, it just seems to rock!!
Thanks to all the contributors

by LaNcom (not verified)

IIRC, kedit support bidirectional editing, kwrite doesn't (yet). As soon as kwrite supports bidi, kedit should be dropped...

by anon (not verified)

Yeah, there is a highly experimental-at-this-stage branch of kate called KATE_GOES_BIDI.. As it matures, kedit will get dropped. Hopefully by 3.3.

by cies (not verified)

Sometime kate (and derived apps like kwrite/kdevelop/quanta) mangles my code.

I get dubble lines and last-second-indentation-corrections...

Never the less i used kate in my own app, and love the features that it comes with.

by Alex (not verified)

I've never seena difference and that's why I don't use it. I only use Kate, and I also don't know what Kwrite is for, but I think the features of Kedit and kwrite should be merged in Kate.

BTW: RENAME KWRITE. it sounds like a wordprocessor.

by Leon Pennington (not verified)

I think their is a problem with bidi support, and I like Kedit. Its useful for all those little tasks. Kate I use for programming, and I don't like filling up the open pages bar, nor waiting for them to load when I just wanna had an /etc file.

by ac (not verified)

> I think their is a problem with bidi support, and I like Kedit. Its useful
> for all those little tasks. Kate I use for programming, and I don't like
> filling up the open pages bar, nor waiting for them to load when I just
> wanna had an /etc file.

mm ok maybe then kwrite should be fixed in terms of bidi...
It has maybe this 1 bug, but many other features over kedit, and it
not really slower. Kedit can still be used, and be in kde cvs.

It just should not be shipped IMO.

by Nicolas Goutte (not verified)

Missing right-to-left is not just *one* bug.

What would you tell if an editor could use right-to-left but not left-to-right? You would want another.

So right-to-left writers have a similar problem and therefore they use KEdit.

Have a nice day!

by me (not verified)

I'm using kate for programming, too, I just have one last problem with it:

How can I move the focus between the text-editing window and the builtin-terminal-window using the keyboard? Everytime I have to use the mouse, and I hate it!

also, is there a shortcut for going to line x (like :x in vi)?


by Leon Pennington (not verified)

Ctrl+g brings up the goto line dialog.

Goto configure shortcuts...
And go down to Kate->Show terminal
And enter whichever shortcut you want.

by me (not verified)

Thanks for the ctrl+g thingy!

about the terminal, I don't want to switch it on and off, but rather have it always on and just switch focus. Is that not possible?


by Leon Pennington (not verified)

I don't think so. You could put a wishlist item in the bug database for that.

by Dieter Bercx (not verified)

I would also like to be able to switch focus between the editor and terminal without using my mouse. I lose way too much time reaching for my mouse every time I want to go in and out the terminal, so instead I use a seperate Konsole and ALT + TAB to it. The only change they need to make is to let the terminal receive the focus when it's shown and return the focus to the last editor used when it's hidden again. This would make Kate perfect ;)

by Source (not verified)

What we actually need in Kate is a shortcut for commands. Like the ":" in vi and the "Meta-x" in Emacs.

by Mark Dufour (not verified)

I don't use kate, but wouldn't it be possible for you to use the vim kpart?

by Rischwa (not verified)

>What we actually need in Kate is a shortcut for commands. Like the ":" in vi and the "Meta-x" in Emacs.
Try pressing F7 :)


by john (not verified)


what can I enter in that command-line? vi-style won't seem to work. What is this?!

by Haakon Nilsen (not verified)

There seems to be various commands you can use. Just press a key and it will show a list of commands starting with that letter (try s, that gives a lot). I'm not sure how useful this is, it's certainly no M-x ;)

by Jos (not verified)

Are there any programs in KDE or under Linux that can automatically format C++ code?

I was recently using Eclipse for a Java program and it's automatic formatting function is awesome. It saves a lot of time when moving loops and if statements about.

by Leon Pennington (not verified)

Yep theirs KDevelop, switch on automatic indentation, and set the source formatting how you like it.It doesn't do this for copy and paste yet, so you have to press format source under the edit menu. Works very well all round. Also the auto-completion and Persistant Class Stores more than make up for this. ( PCS Means you can tell it about any h files your using and it will autocomplete with those so it already knows any external function you will use).

by cloose (not verified)

AFAIK it uses astyle (http://astyle.sf.net) for that. Just in case you don't want to install KDevelop (who wouldn't want that???).

by Jos (not verified)

I just checked out astyle.
It does a lot of nice things, but unfortunately does not do everything well.
I like tabs and the author obviously likes spaces, since every option still leaves spaces at some level of indentation. Also there's no option to specify what maximal width you'd like the code to be.
And furthermore it does not recognize and reformat const char * string.
For example:


+tr("Welcome to the cube test.")

"+tr("We are going to compare cubes.")

"+tr("Choose the cube that is the same as the"
" top cube. You can turn the cubes with "
" the mouse. The six squares next to the "
"cube are the same as the six sidex of the "

"+tr("Click \"Start\" to begin.")+"


A multiline constant can be fitted to the width of the line simply by moving around the quotation marks.

Any formatter that does only one thing wrong is useless, because you'll need to fix something by hand anyway.
No disrespect to astyle's auther: obviously formatting c++ code is difficult because of all the different esthetical point of view.

by steve (not verified)

I follow kde cvs digest and lurk on kde-optimize, but somehow I
missed the source of the performance improvements all the
reviewers are talking about. Besides konqueror pre-loading, what
caused the speedup?

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

I have the same question. :)

by JC (not verified)

better gcc ?
better rpm packages ?

by Rayiner Hashem (not verified)

A lot of the speedups are just due to optimizations in (say) KHTML and other applications. Qt 3.2.x is also perceptibly faster than 3.1.x was. Memory usage is also reduced a bit. I've been using KDE 3.2 for awhile, and its definitely the fastest KDE since 1.x.

by Derek Kite (not verified)


Ha! I can even quote my own work.

There was a similar commit last week. That was one of the speedups.


is another from Safari.

http://members.shaw.ca/dkite/apr252003.html#fKonqueror for another micro optimization.

http://members.shaw.ca/dkite/may162003.html#oKonqueror Maks' optimization making Konq a usable file manager.

http://members.shaw.ca/dkite/may302003.html#oKonqueror and another.



I got to set up an index of some sort for this stuff. If someone wants to look further, http://members.shaw.ca/dkite/backissues.html is the whole list of digests, and one can go from the TOC to the Konqueror sections.

Derek (who wishes that he had more time...)

ps. maybe someone with authority and power can make these things real links? :)

by Derek Kite (not verified)

Responding to myself. Yes, I do it all the time.

Some of the Safari work included optimizations. I think some work was done on the config management to quicken things up.

Can't think of anything else off hand. And yes, it is much faster than 3.1. I had (before things got stable) 3.1 and cvs on my box, and it was painful to go back to 3.1. Of course, things seem fast for a very short time, then my inherent impatience flares up again. But I think the waits are now the transfer speeds rather than khtml.


by muleli (not verified)

And kernel 2.6 is another source. no konqi lockups.even soffice is usable now