KDE 4.1 Beta 1 Released

The KDE Project is happy to set the first beta of KDE 4.1, codenamed Caramel, free today. KDE 4.1 is intended to meet the needs of a broad range of users and we therefore respectfully request you to get testing Beta 1. Beta 1 is not ready for production use but is in wide use by KDE developers and is suitable for testing by Linux enthusiasts and KDE fans.

Highlights of 4.1 are a much more mature Plasma desktop shell that returns much of the configurability that was missing in KDE 4.0, many more applets and look and feel improvements, the return of Kontact and the rest of the KDE PIM applications, and many improvements and newly ported applications. The feature set is now frozen, so the developers look forward to using June and July to metamorphosing your bug reports into rock solid code, completing documentation and translating everything into your language. A series of Bug Days where users can contribute quality assurance to the release will continue towards 4.1's final release on the 29th of July, so watch the Dot for details.

For more details, see the release announcement and info page or if you are at LinuxTag, see KDE 4.1 being presented in Berlin this Friday.

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by Jonathan Thomas (not verified)

I'm talking about trunk/KDE 4.1 beta1, which is where you are bawwwwing about features not getting implemented before release.

The 4.0.x branch is just a bugfix branch, you shouldn't be looking to that as what KDE 4.1 will be like. Only the most vital Plasma features were backported to that branch.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

I didn't realize Ozone was default now. So 3 out of the 4 most commonly requested features will miss the cut.

Proxy support is a deal-breaker for many, including me. I wanted to use KDE on my new work laptop but can't.

by Jonathan Thomas (not verified)

You can't be sure. Proxy support still could be fixed since its a bug, and the icon background issue is an issue of personal taste.

The panel is also more configurable, as promised. I don't recall anyone ever promising that the panel would have feature parity with Kicker for 4.1. If you drew that conclusion, then it sucks to be you.

So, 1, possibly 2 out of this list 4 issues won't be addressed. Most of these besides the proxy one aren't important anyway or can be fixed with another theme.

by Janne (not verified)

"Proxy support is a deal-breaker for many, including me. "

I thought "no desktop-icons" was the dealbreaker for you? Besides, your list of complaints is mostly invalid. You claim that three of the four complaits go unaddressed. But that's not true. Complaint about Oxygen is fixed. then you complain that "panels are not configurable". Um, yes they are. What about the black-border thingy? Well, that's a question of aesthetics, and you can't please everyone. So we are basically left with the proxy-issue, which is (apparently) dealbreaker for you.

Why do I get the feeling that your "dealbreakers" change on a whim? Earlier it was the "no icons on the desktop". Now that you have been educated on the matter, the dealbreaker suddenly changed to "no proxy". I get the feeling that no matter the KDE-devels do, there will always be some "dealbreaker" that is going to prevent you from using KDE. Helkl, maybe you should just switch to Windows, I bet there are no "dealbreakers" there...

by Anon (not verified)

You just need to go through TJ's posts to see that he hates the project, and will happily seek out (or make up) reasons to moan about it. Just ignore him. I can't imagine why he still posts here.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

I have a great deal of respect for people who misspell my name (as amazingly complicated as it is), post anonymously, make personal attacks, and don't research their opinions.

Google my name and you'll see for years I've been a huge KDE advocate and fan.

by Jens Uhlenbrock (not verified)

Well, that's kinda funny. No matter how many features you implement, as long as there are 3 features left unimplemented, there will be "three most commonly requested features that miss the cut".

I agree that these features should be implemented, but that will be the case in a few weeks/months.

by Martin Fitzpatrick (not verified)

'Well, that's kinda funny. No matter how many features you implement, as long as there are 3 features left unimplemented, there will be "three most commonly requested features that miss the cut".'

Thanks for that, it really cheered me up (and it's a very good point).

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

My point is the four most commonly requested features were ignored, where as the changelog from 4.0 to 4.1 is huge. Surely there will always be a to-do list for future versions, but the things requested most when 4 was still a beta, and when 4.0 was released, still haven't been addressed, or so it seemed when I made the initial posting.

If Ozone is the default now, then I stand corrected on that one point.

by Janne (not verified)

You seem to he in a whining mood today....

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

You seem to fall back on personal attacks rather than logic. Grow up.

by Janne (not verified)

Calling whining "whining" is not a "personal attack".

by jos poortvliet (not verified)


Sorry, TJ, you sometimes make sense, but imho you went way out of line on this one. Just because in your opinion the default look is horrible (the black Plasmoid area behind the icons) you create a huge flame. Not a good one, sorry.

(the whole 'it's a different containment so they are not on my desktop' is really sad, btw - for all sense and purpose, the icons ARE on the desktop, separated by a black border or not)

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

The icons aren't on the desktop though. I have an applet cover my desktop, or I get the containment with no wallpaper as my desktop.

It comes across as archaic while presenting no benefit right now, and I'm not even sold on future benefit at this point.

A flame is a personal attack. I didn't create a flame. I didn't go after Aaron, or anything like that. For months I've politely, humbly asked someone to please explain what is so broken about ~/Desktop. Instead, I get attacked.

I'm disgusted and disappointed by the philosophy that KDE is demonstrating. Few people seem to understand the principle here. Generally, I don't care what the defaults are. I just want the freedom to have my desktop operate the way I want it, and KDE used to be all about that level of freedom. I've never argued against people having choice.

For instance, I can't stand the Mac-like menu being at the top at all times. It saves real-estate, but I just don't like it. I've never suggested developers shouldn't spend time offering that option to those who want it.

I've seen repeated developments and decisions that suggest the future of KDE is forcing people into mandates, whether they like it or not.

by Jonathan Thomas (not verified)

But they *are* on the desktop. It barely makes a difference whether they are in a translucent rectangle. This is hardly archaic. If anything, this makes things more organized. What this argument boils down to is "this implementation looks different".

This was not a calculated move to "force" anybody into a "mandate". Functionality such as having a wallpaper for folderview as a containment may not be coming with 4.1, but that doesn't mean that come KDE 4.2 you' won't be able to use Folderview as a containment with wallpaper functionality! But for now, due to time constraints, this is a very livable compromise. Would you have rather stayed with the confusing and rather limited way ~/Desktop icons were represented in 4.0.x? No, of course you wouldn't. Nobody would. It's current implementation is confusing and frustrating for new users. Certainly it would be better to live with a translucent box between your icons and the wallpaper (Which is not the desktop, by the way) than to leave it in the broken state it was in 4.0.x while developing Folderview in a separate git directory until it's super-duper-perfect.

You get attacked because you generally bash KDE and its developers with an ignorance of the facts (Issues that have already been addressed or bugs that could still be fixed or patched by the distros have no chance of being addressed during the time appropriated for bug fixing!!1!1!) and blowing other things out of proportion to express your ill-placed "disgust". (Time constraints are a concerted effort to take away our freedom!1!)

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Insisting that two things are identical when they are not isn't very productive. The new implementation, and the long-standing implementation are different. Please stop suggesting the icons are on the desktop. They simply aren't.

You are forcing people to operate their desktop in a new manner. If the state of icons in KDE 4 was unacceptable by your own standards, then either perhaps a greater developer emphasis should be have been placed there, or the release should have been pushed back.

Making a half-hearted, half-implemented change the new standard does not bode well for what is supposed to be a major release, especially when I keep hearing the mantra of "everything will be fine by 4.1".

Furthermore, I think it is pretty silly to suggest that a proper KDE release is one with a major component broken (or several), and then expect distros to fix it for you. KDE, like most FOSS software, is community driven, and contributions come from multiple sources. That's great. Expecting others to clean up your mess isn't.

It however mimics all the responses regarding Flash not working on Konqueror. Nevermind that other browers can handle the plugin fine. The plugin operates within the standards of nsplugins, but if Konqueror can't implement it, that isn't an issue for Konqueror, but rather for Adobe.

For years I've praised KDE. For years I've also spread the hype I swallowed regarding KDE 4. I'm not universally critical. I'm critical of things that I am strongly opposed to, and quite frankly I wouldn't feel nearly so strongly on these issues if I hadn't enjoyed using KDE so much in the past.

You insist everything will be great down the road, except I keep hearing that. I've been told that since the KDE 4 alpha releases. 4.0 will be usable. 4.1 will be usable. Now 4.2 might be usable. I'm patient. I'm understanding. However, if you're not going to represent feature parity and stability until next year or whenever, then say so. Don't make claims about your next release if you're not going to uphold those claims.

As for ignorance of facts, I largely operate off of what I'm told. For months I repeatedly politely requested why Aaron felt that ~/Desktop was broken, and repeatedly he said he intended to get rid of it. Aaron never did explain (that I've seen from reading here, his blog, and all his interviews that I can find) what exactly is wrong with ~/Desktop, but he did repeatedly say he wants to be rid of it.

So now you claim that we'll likely have the same thing in the future, except I find that hard to believe.

by Kapri (not verified)

True. For whatever reason he hasn't replied to that question.

I would like to add a Mac OS style menu bar at the top of the screen as a requested feature. As far as I see this is still quite broken. Lubos Lunak offered to take a look at this sometime "post-4.0", which I think would be now.

by Steve (not verified)

Yep, the missing autohide sure is a pity when your on a laptop and vertical size matters :-(. It was on the featureplan but it seems like there was not enough time..
I think the main reason was that it would depend on some (relative new) changes to the containment, and those changes was ready so late it didnt get implemented. Perhaps some devs can comment? Is there any chance it will get backported for 4.1.n like with 4.0.2?

by reihal (not verified)

No autohide, eh?

I will not use KDE 4 until the panel autohides.

by noorker (not verified)


by Anon (not verified)

"It was on the featureplan but it seems like there was not enough time.."

It's still on the 4.1 feature plan:


by JRT (not verified)

Don't worry yet. This isn't actually a Beta. In the great KDE4 naming tradition, it is incorrectly named.

It is really just a TRUNK snapshot that is called a Beta.

Yes, I miss autohide as well as several other desktop features.

Like many others, I don't want a radical new desktop. I like what comes with KDE3. It had some bugs and a few design issues under the hood, but the interface was fine.

We have made the Vista mistake! If Plasma isn't going to be able to provide the same features as Kicker and KDesktop, we should seriously consider offering both desktops in KDE4.

by Jonathan Thomas (not verified)

It's quite ready. It's stable and is now quite configurable. Granted, it is not feature-complete with the 7 years worth of features accumulated by KDesktop/Kicker, but that's to be expected.

Plus, porting KDesktop/Kicker over to KDE4 and maintaining it would be a ton of work. It would probably take at least 1 release cycle, during which time no work could be done on Plasma since all of the desktop-shell devs are hard at work porting these 2 applications into a usable state. This would lead to Plasma stagnating and remaining virtually in the same state for another 6 months at the least. Not a good idea, and this will never happen.

You can always use the KDE3 KDesktop/Kicker with KDE4 if you don't like Plasma anyway.

by YAC (not verified)

> You can always use the KDE3 KDesktop/Kicker with KDE4 if you don't like
> Plasma anyway.

Duh? That won't fix the bugs in KDesktop/Kicker will it?

But, the main point that you missed is what was stated:

If ... , Then ... .

Emphasis should be in the IF, and the subjunctive context in which it was stated.

Instead, we are treated to yet another straw man. People that don't reply to the main clause in a sentence usually have their own agendas.

Plasma needs to provide all of the featrues of KDesktop/Kicker. Saying that this issue isn't important because there is no alternative is useless. If Plasma can't do this, then it would be better to port the KDE3 desktop and get back to Plasma in 6 months. I hope that this isn't necessary.

by Jonathan Thomas (not verified)

My last statement which you are attacking so vehemently is but a small aside I placed at the end of my comment. I am most certainly not putting up a straw man. I was merely suggesting that you use the existing kicker/kdesktop in the meantime while Plasma gains these features you so desire.

Going through my post I:
-Refuted your first paragraph/point. KDE 4.1 beta is aptly named a beta.

-Then, in a separate paragraph, you state that you miss panel autohiding along with some other features. There is no point or anything here to refute, as, unless you are lying, you truly do miss these features. That's your personal opinion. Nothing I can do here.

-Your next paragraph follows the same pattern as you last paragraph, you are just stating your personal opinion. There's nothing to debate here either unless I can prove that you actually hate KDE3.

-Now we get to the last paragraph, my response to which you accuse as being a response to a straw man argument. In this paragraph, you state that KDE4 should offer KDesktop/Kicker alongside Plasma. I refute this by saying that KDE shouldn't (and won't) since it would be a monumental amount of work which would probably also delay work on Plasma for another 6 months. This was the main point of my post.

Now as an aside to my main argument, I suggested that KDesktop/Kicker was still a viable alternative if you can't live without feature X in Plasma.

But you, you turn around and accuse me of not addressing/partially addressing all of you claims in an attempt to weaken your argument. I have refuted all refutable claims that you have made. You, on the other hand, hone in on my aside and try to attack it as a straw man argument. It's kinda ironic how in fact *you* were the perpetrator of straw man logic in the end.

Please, don't insult my intelligence and/or my logic.

by yman (not verified)

I think he's talking about this: "If Plasma isn't going to be able to provide the same features as Kicker and KDesktop..."
To which the response is, I guess, that it will all come in due time and you can't expect a brand-new desktop shell to have all the features of a fully mature desktop right at birth. Right?

by Bobby (not verified)

There will always be whiners, no matter what the devs do to make KDE even better. Some people haven't seen the wonderful improvements even over KDE 3.5x because they are too busy finding faults.

Plasma has issues yes, but it has also come a long way and has improved a lot since the 4.0 release. At this pace I am sure that KDesktop's and Kicker's features will be surpassed in the not so distance future.
I would also like to have a panel as feature rich and flexible as the good old champion Kicker but the Plasma panel is also evolving, slowly but surely. We are all eager to see our favourite KDE 3.5x feature being ported to 4 but we have to simple exercise patience and help the devs in whatever way we can. That's the fastest and best way to get there.

by Anon (not verified)


Please stop using your sock-puppet "Yet Another Critic" identity to make it seem like more people agree with you. Thanks!

by Anon (not verified)

"Granted, it is not feature-complete with the 7 years worth of features accumulated by KDesktop/Kicker, but that's to be expected."

Hey genius,
autohide isn't just one of the "7 years worth of features", it's the kind of thing you find in any panel/taskbar project worth mentioning.
Even Gnome 2.0, when they ported Gnome to GTK2, which was a massive change from GTK1, as big as the change from QT3 to QT4, they got features like this one right.
For fuck sake, autohide is a feature that was present in windows *95*.

And you wonder why everyone says KDE4 isn't even considerable alpha as it lacks so many *basic* desktop features ? all those things traded off for.. plasmoids ? all I see are retarded desktop widgets like Konfabulator and OS X dashboard.

by Jonathan Thomas (not verified)

>Even Gnome 2.0, when they ported Gnome to GTK2, which was a massive change from GTK1, as big as the change from QT3 to QT4, they got features like this one right.

They probably didn't do a complete from-scratch rewrite of their desktop shell. It's just a port from GTK1 to GTK2. If KDesktop and Kicker were ported from Qt3 to 4, we wouldn't have this problem either. But instead KDE opted to rewrite the shell into something greatly more flexible.

You also can't compare that to a non-free software project, which usually gets all its features at once.

And, for your information "genius" hardly anybody calls KDE4 alpha. As for 4.1 it has a respectable set of features. It has gained maturity, though it still has a little ways to go. If you can't see past the plasmoids we have to day, then that's you fault.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

"And, for your information "genius" hardly anybody calls KDE4 alpha."

Don't tell me you're taken back by a personal comment, since those don't exist on the dot. However, to be fair, a whole slew of bloggers and reviewers have critized KDE 4 for lacking basic desktop features you'd expect.

About a month back or so, I was concerned that Plasma was getting a serious rewrite because of QT 4.4, and there were seperate changes taking place at the same time. I suggested then, that it would be nice to have multiple repositories (via git perhaps) when considering making large changes to important functions such as Plasma. I was concerned about making major changes to Plasma, when everything was supposed to be stabilizing towards a KDE 4.1 release.

I was told that there wouldn't be any more changes to Plasma before 4.1, except the digest suggests new features have been added, and now this infamous Desktop change as well.

Aside from my hatred for the desktop change itself, I see a bigger problem. When rewriting the basic desktop shell from scratch, I'd consider it very important to lock in core libraries first (which you guys did early, except you were dependent on a feature you couldn't use yet until QT 4.4, which meant readdressing things, which might give people pause enough to hold off the 4.0 release until you could use 4.4 and do things the right way from day 1), plan for major feature sets, implement core important features first, and then simultaneously try to stabilize those core features while integrating smaller, new features.

However, what I've seen (largely from reading the digests) is a bunch of small features constantly being added to Plasma before important basic features like panels, desktop, icons, etc. are addressed.

KDE 4 isn't meant to look and operate exactly like KDE 3, but it should provide most of the same basic features you could to expect from a modern GUI, let alone any GUI.

by Anon (not verified)

"And, for your information "genius" hardly anybody calls KDE4 alpha"

You don't want to see the boatload of KDE 3 users complaining but they are there no matter how you like it. Closing your eyes doesn't make reality disappear. No matter how good the underlying foundations are (true, the KDE4 libs, except for plasma, are all in good shape) if the desktop has less user features and GUI configuration (as opposed to go in a hunt for config files) than something you would have expected in 1995 it's alpha quality, not production release. Yet distributions start shipping KDE4 as is, following the "KDE4 is good enough" meme. Fedora 9 only ships KDE4, openSUSE 11 will ship KDE4 by default with an optional KDE3. They will probably all ship KDE4 as the default when KDE4.1 will be out.

Plasma is dragging down all the other efforts that went into making KDE4 great. Qt4 is a great toolkit and Phonon, Solid and other KDE additions to it are all great ideas too. But plasma is making the users flee in terror and turns KDE4 future into uncertainty.

Well, it would be unfair to say that plasma is the only one, there is a second offender : Dolphin. Everyone cops out by saying "if you don't like dolphin, use Konqueror, which is still there" but they don't seem to understand that the dolphin kpart made a lot of old konqueror features disappear. Even if you use Konqueror you can't drag and drop via Spring Loaded Folders like in KDE3. The right click context menu is the same and lacks a lot of basic functionality. Like a menu to extract an archive without having to open it.
Konqueror has become useless because it's just another name for Dolphin.

by Adrian (not verified)

Not a beta?
Do you mean autohide could still be implemented?

by jos poortvliet (not verified)

He just doesn't understand what beta means. It's just a point in time in the KDE release cycle when we start to focus on stabilizing, and will only add bugfixes.

by Adrian (not verified)

Ok, that's what I thought. Bad news :-(

by jos poortvliet (not verified)

Well, it IS possible someone MOSTLY implemented the feature, and the fact it doesn't work can be considered a bug ;-)

Besides, the beta was tagged a few days early. So there IS a chance it will be implemented. Finally, as everything in Plasma is a Plasmoid, I can imagine someone can come up with a pannel applet which DOES have auto hiding after the release. Code it in Python, and it can be automatically downloaded using Get New Applets :D

Not sure how feasible that is, technically, but you can still have hopes ;-)

by jos poortvliet (not verified)

Let me give you the same I said to TJ.

Here you go:

Anyway, the change in icon behavior you are angry about is done because it would be relatively hard to make icons work like they used to - and yet it would, in a sense, be a waste of time. After all, plasma is about trying new things, trying to innovate. Innovation is difficult, often doesn't work and takes time.

Now you probably don't want us to do anything new and original, but we think we must. So we're gonna ignore those who are holding us, and The Free Desktop, back. Sorry about that, but we aspire more than just appealing to a few geeks. We want to overtake Apple and MS - and for that, we need to be clearly better.

And to be clearly better you need to to things different. Try new things. Innovate. So that's what we are trying.

If you can be constructive, and tell us better, new things to solve old problems - we will listen. If you can only scream 'I want it to work EXACTLY like KDE 3.5.x - then just go to KDE 3.5.x and never look back at 4.x because it WILL NOT HAPPEN. We sure want the same features, but NEVER the same THING.

We're going for the future, and we're leaving the old behind. If you can't keep up, stay with 3.5, nothing else I can say.

by jeff strehlow (not verified)

It almost sounds like you want to make changes because you have a pie-in-the-sky idea that KDE4 will be revolutionary. KDE 3.5 is a fairly good desktop environment that does a lot of things well so it seems reasonable to leave many things as they were before and only make changes that actually are improvements.

And then when people point out that something isn't done well in KDE4 and was better in KDE 3.5 you insult them by saying that they can't keep up.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Change isn't always inherently good. Where is the benefit here?

I'm not against change wholesale. I'm against the removal of choice.

You suggest that you want the same features of KDE 3.5, except we're losing a feature here.

The old and new can exist side-by-side. Instead you opt to force everyone (willing or otherwise) into a new paradigm.

by Dog (not verified)

I'm not forced to anything by KDE4 T.J.B.! I like those changes, and I want them. Don't assume that your opinion equals everyone's opinion.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

I never said everyone agrees with me. In fact, my point is that people disagree. If you like operating out of an applet as opposed to working directly on your desktop, then do so. But I want the freedom to work as I please.

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

I was hoping ubuntu packages would be ready for this night... but seems like I'll have to wait a bit more for the fun.

Any previews from people who are running it, comparing to 4.0 and telloing how stability is (remembering 4.0 is still a kind of beta in terms of stability).


by anon (not verified)

Stability in what? Different apps are very different, imo.

by Stefan Majewsky (not verified)

Applications seem quite stable to me, while Plasma has some bugs and feels a bit quirky in general. Because of the feature freeze, I'm confident that these get fixed.

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

Overall maybe?
But if you want to list each app and give individual ratinging on all of them, I will not complain ;)

by nixternal (not verified)

I am working on the KDE 4.1 Beta packages right now for Hardy. Once they are all completed, I will more than likely blog about it, or you will see some news about it at http://www.kubuntu.org.

by pvandewyngaerde (not verified)

hardy ??? i am already using Intrepid

by Raul (not verified)

where is kedit?? is used to be in kdeutils (at lest in version 3.5.9), i just compiled and is not there :\

by fred (not verified)

Do you mean kedit the text editor? I think It has been removed from KDE and replaced by kwrite. IIRC the only reason kedit was kept in KDE 3.5.x was because of bidirectional language support in kedit.