Kde 4.1 thoughts

Paul Lemmons paul at lemmons.name
Fri Aug 8 19:58:28 UTC 2008

-------- Original Message  --------
Subject: Kde 4.1 thoughts
From: "Steve C. Lamb" <grey at dmiyu.org>
To: kubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com
Date: 08/08/2008 10:50 AM
>     Ok, I've posted a few times to this list my utter disgust at the state of
> KDE v4.0.  I feel that it is only fair that I also post my initial reaction to
> 4.1.
>     My first reaction while KDE 4.1 was starting up was that the background is
> very, very nice.  I know that is fluff but as pretty as the Gnome background
> is in 8.04 I felt it was a shame that KUbuntu did not have an equally striking
> background.  KDE 4.1's background is absolutely spot on.  Subdued and not busy
> enough to work as a wallpaper, striking in its lines and colors.  I love it.
>     Next up is the panel.  Previously I was quite upset that simlpe things
> like moving items on the panel was not included.  That has been rectified.
> Items are now movable so one doesn't have to know the secret handshake to get
> items placed where desired on the panel.  Also the method of locating the
> panel and sizing it is quite intuative.
>     I am still cold to the whole "plasmoid" thing.  Seriously, they're
> applications inside non-standard window controls.  Requires the user to noodle
> out non-standard way of manipulating them and they're, by and large, a waste
> of screen real-estate.  I honestly don't see why these are supposed to be the
> hottest thing since sliced bread nor why so much time is going into developing
> the framework when it is of little to no benefit and obvious non-intuative
> duplication of controls.
>     All-in-all KDE4.0 was utter crap.  KDE4.1 is a huge step in the right
> direction.  It is nominally usable now.  Meaning once I replaced the idiot
> menu with the functional one (which is still graphically buggy) the system is
> to a level where one can perform basic functions.
While I basically agree with Steve, I am not as adamant about it. KDE 
4.0 was exactly what it was advertised to be. They set expectations and 
met them. It was totally unusable but gave us a glimpse of where it was 
going. It was, at best, very interesting.

KDE 4.1 is still very much a work in progress and is still being 
represented as such. Nobody is saying it is done or even close to done. 
What is impressive about 4.1 is the delta between it and 4.0. A "step" 
in the right direction is a huge understatement. KDE 4.1 has the 
potential to actually be useful. It is much more stable and the ability 
to customize the interface is improving daily. It is close enough that I 
am teetering on the brink of switching. It is almost ripe enough to be 

The jury is still out for me on the whole "Plasmoid" thing. I have 
tinkered with them and so far, I have not found anything valuable enough 
to dedicate any work space for. That does not make them bad or useless. 
It just means that for me they have yet to show their value. Time will 
tell if this changes.

I, like most of us, am still looking for a few features to appear. If I 
have any frustration at all it would be centered on the interface 
mimicking Vista too closely. I don't like Windows. It is why I use 
Linux. I do not like the new start button. Truth is I did not much care 
for the old start button. In 3.5.9 I configured my desktop so that a 
right-click brings up the application menu. A Left-Click brings up the 
running application list. Center-click brings up the desktop 
configuration menu. This allowed me to remove the start button and task 
list from my panel. These functions now take zero space and are still 
very handy. KDE4.1 does not have this ability yet.

I also miss the quick-start panel. I keep my top 4-6 applications there. 
I have seen that someone is writing a widget that does this but at last 
gander they did not have it working for 4.1 yet.

For me it is getting down to the little things. Soon the bulk of what I 
want will reach critical mass and I will tip over to 4.1. I am actually 
hoping that will happen sooner than later.

Sometimes I wonder.  Were our faith able to stand upright and look around, would it be looking down at the mustard seed or standing in awe of the height and breadth of it.

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