December 29, 2009

Sometimes It Won't Work (III)

on kde and some other stuff

- kde respects bugs. bugs in kde3 have their equivalent in kde4. rule of thumb in developing kde is 'we do not fix bugs. ever.' the worst part is that important bugs in kde3 were not fixed in several years. it's been two years now and kde4 doesn't even provide the features kde3 did (oh yes, instead it is providing hundreds of new features, which all make it a very productive environment - especially if you know how to kill kdm every 2 hours)

- here's the routine when working in kde4:

1. type your username and password
2. change the last desktop environment from gnome to kde
3. now make your mouse search for that ENTER button which doesn't exist
4. take your right hand (if you're a right-handed person, otherwise take your left) off the mouse and press Enter
5. you are now logged in
6. open the web browser and navigate to a web page
7. (this happens only 50% of the time) open a terminal and kill your web browser
8. restart kdm (and goto 1)

- i wonder why didn't anybody bothered to make a 'satanic' edition of kubuntu? (yeah, i know, but don't smile, it's sad but true)
- for some strange reasons sound will cease to work at some point

- the killer app (that's amarok) is no longer - it is a fiasco, a shame, an app which opposes to any possible usability rules from every aspect, it is full of bugs, it is non-intuitive, it is stripped from every single useful feature, and it does this successfully for two years now

- (instead let's take a look at rhythmbox which, in order to play a song will require you to: 1. type alt+s; 2. type the name of some song; 3. wait for 5 seconds (for over 10,000 songs collections); 4. at this point the song is listed and (obviously) you'll want to play it, but surprise! enter does not work; 5. so move your dirty lil' fingers to the mouse and double-click the song; 6. What a funny experience! there is actually a song playing 7. but now you want to change the song, aye? 8. remember: press alt+s again, ctrl+a to delete the search filter; 9. now where is my song? 10. press ctrl+j and there you go!)

- the same thing in amarok: oh wait, you can't do it from the keyboard (now that's a standard application, and they had two years to do a simple search 'n play thing)

- kde4: we want equalizer! we want equalizer! kde4 is all about innovation, but they say that phonon (what's that?) doesn't support equalizer! oh crap... and i thought linux was ready for the desktop... ever since... 2002?

we are the creators of,, and maybe also ubu-vista.etcetera (just hit refresh on that domains until we register them)

we had the idea of bringing the ubu-vista operating system to you, and it features:
- full desktop environments like aero-gnome (parachuters included)
- several addictive games which don't crash (only 20 openend-bugs!)
- video editeur (to start it and see the crashing output in the console)
- audio editeur (it kind of works but... it crashes when it comes to proprietary formats and strangely it doesn't have support for Ogg Vorbis or flac)
- shell commander: that thing which can be replaced with synaptic if you know what you're doing
- the 'olive', 'goat's shit' and 'you can't stand me' themes (upcoming 'i shit my pants' on its way)

Each and every new release of firefox is faster, less memory-hungry and more powerful! (actually this is true and non-ironical, except for the faster and memory parts)

rules of thumb:
- do not use flash (unless you have a script to save session, kill fx and start a new session every... (well, this depends on the fx version, if you have the latest updated 2.x you'll have the chance to work for 3 hours uninterrupted, for the 3.5 i warmly recommend to just not use a web browser (i'm sure in 2010 we could use dillo, or, still better, lynx)))... was that 45 seconds?

back to the point:
- i like how kde 4 improved in the last two years, but for some strange reason those windows are always 200x200 pixels when a single widget inside them is bigger


Jaf said...

Traffic generator. Worthless and plain silly.

Anonymous said...

it's clear that you are gnome user in general, and your article is totaly, and i mean TOTALY biased.

comparing to your gnome disaster, that doesn't even include patches someone writes for it kde is light years in progress-

making an article about some minor bugs in a desktop you don't like is a sign of nerd type fanatism that is typical for gnome users.

gnome sucks, and none of you fanatical gnu/gnome nerds cannot change that facts.

xfce serves for some purpose, gnome doesn't.

Anonymous said...

This really is a legitimately awful article (both in terms of content and writing - why did LXer syndicate it?), but:

'we do not fix bugs. ever.'

KDE fixed approximately 10000 bugs between 4.2 and 4.3. No, that's not a typo.

Here: you can track the progress yourself - the current weekly period covers the Christmas holidays and it usually the least busy time of the year:

Hope this helps!

Unknown said...


Real men use fluxbox

Unknown said...

Well, sure this was a poorly written and badly worded rant.

However two points are at least somewhat valid.

First of all, KDE has gone a major trip down-hill from 4.x and onwards. I was a huge, I mean HUGE, fan of KDE, was thrilled with the change from 2.x (anyone remembers the hi-color icon set? oh, the nostalgia) to 3.x and used it for many years exclusively.

Times change nonetheless and today KDE is a half-baked product lacking in productivity, looks and innovation. A lackluster bloated mess nowhere near its heyday 3-4 years ago. Unfortunately, with much water under the bridge and despite 3.5's longevity it is time to replace it - the problem is that there is nothing to replace it with. A shame, because KDE was really going places.

Secondly, Amarok 2.x is indeed utter garbage. I still in fact use 1.4.10 - and will until it is impossible to compile from source due to dependency problems or compiler issues. Yes, it's ugly, it's old and its source code is an utter mess. But, it actually *works* and has some brilliantly implemented functions in addition to functions you come to expect from a music player nowadays (oh, I don't know, like an equalizer? and playlist sorting?).

Anonymous said...

KDE 3.5 hit a techwall. Core design hit a brick wall that core crashes could not be cured.

Kde is still progressing forwards.

As you said the old amarok source code was a mess it was hacking it way around lots and lots of problems.

Clearing skeletions out sometimes takes 2 steps back to take many steps forwards.

Unknown said...

Sure, the only problem is that we are yet to see ANY steps forward - the only steps taken up until now have been solely backwards. And KDE 4 has been around for what, a couple may be three years? For God's sake, we are at version 4.3.4 already! Don't you think that at least *some* progress would be visible by now?

The problem with rebuilding everything from ground up like KDE/Amarok did is that you'll be spending a good while re-creating the greatness that came before. And when time finally comes to implement something new and innovative - it's too late, world has moved on, your core technology is too old and pretty much everyone is far beyond point of caring having moved on to better software.

It's really sad, but that's exactly the trap KDE dev team has worked itself into.

Reed said...

We're at 4.3.4 already and *no* progress, you say? Really? You don't see any difference between KDE 4.0 and the current version? Ridiculous. KDE4 has been improving dramatically with each major release.

The major distros probably shouldn't have packaged KDE4 until at least 4.2 and we wouldn't be having nearly the rants that we do.

KDE is legitimately bloated. So is GNOME. XFCE is getting a little pudgy around the waist also. On a lot of modern hardware that isn't a problem. (Well, I think it's a problem, but as far as the average user's experience.) Fact is, all that eyecandy and fancy schtick have a cost.

My problem with KDE and GNOME both are...what happened to small is beautiful? Write programs that do one thing and do it well? Expect the output of a program to be the input of another program, and [i]you don't know what that program will be[/i]?

I'm with the fluxbox guy, except pekwm for the win.

Unknown said...

No progress in comparison to the 3.5.x branch, no. Comparing current 4.2 branch to 4.0 is not in the least helpful: 4.0 was an alpha at best and of course hugely underwhelming for the general public. Yes, improvements have been made (in comparison to the aforementioned alpha version) - unfortunately I do feel that it is still lacking in comparison to the good ol' 3.5. So there we are.

"Small is beautiful" is dead. Why? Because it's hard. Smart GUI-design is hard. It is far easier to either have 70 buttons crammed into small space with a ton of unintuitive menus (aka KDE) or reduce drastically number of features available (aka GNOME). Combining freedom of customization and advanced functionality with understandable and clean graphical user interface is ART. Neither Gnome nor KDE4 (or even KDE3) are there yet and will probably never attain that level of refinement. Although, as you clearly state, it is an ideal worth striving for. Thus I do not entirely disagree with your paradigm, although I still believe it is somewhat in the realms of wishful thinking.

Therefore, let me toss in a "ftw"-exclamation of my own: OpenBox FTW. Or EvilWM for that matter. Very simplistic and highly configurable.

Unknown said...


It's clearly that you are not objective on this subject.

When a baby is born in the real life it should stand up right away and go to work, study, go out, have sex etc etc.
This is what you are saying here.

Well, it takes time.
Amarok is far batter application than any gnome music app. Be real about it.
Unlike you, I found that Amarok is indeed the best music application.

I've been using KDE4 since 4.0 and yes there were crashes and a lot of bugs, but now? Come on man. 4.3.4 Is fantastic and can't wait 4.4 SC to get out there in the wild.

It's about choice. If you're sooo not into KDE use something else, but by writing this on your blog you are lying the users - because it's not true.

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Poorly researched and written content, wrapped in abysmal sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and capitalization. A waste of electrons that brings shame upon its author.

Anonymous said...

im using kde forever (i hate gnome)
nothing of what you said happend to me..
maybe except the enter button that do not exist.
i never had to kill kdm.
flash is working great.

kde 4 is very good
well yeah some of the applications are still buggy but you dont have to use them.
the desktop itself is far superior to gnome's.
you can costumize and fix anything
in gnome everything is the same.. looks like windows 98 for me.. ugly desktop
qt is much better than gtk.

KimTjik said...

I'm not a KDE user, except at work. Personally I'm a more minimalistic guy, even though using the bloated Awesome WM, still I'm quite fed up with this mindless trashing of KDE4.

KDE4 has just reached 2 years since initial release. My mother-in-law has used it since 4.1 and at work it has been my working station for a year. Compared to 3.5 a lot of things, like administration, has become cleaner. For those who find anything besides a classical staircase menu difficult the choice is still there. The desktop isn't particularly revolutionary, but in view of our tendency to get stocked by habit even small changes might become a mountain challenge (at least that's what these endless rants suggest).

At my workplace I can recall one kwin crash to KDM, which was triggered by a inability in a previous version to change themes on the fly. That's all. My mother-in-law, a computer illiterate, hasn't had any crashes at all. Version 4.2 and 4.3 have been from this point of view very stable. Hence I've not been able to figure out what all the "KDE4-is-a-disaster" stuff is based on. The big DEs aren't for me, and maybe that makes me less biased.

Stephan Beal said...

Amen, brother. KDE4 is without a doubt the worst FOSS decision made by a group of otherwise intelligent people in the past 10 years. i wrote a post about this about a year ago ( saying "so long!" to KDE and "hello" to GNOME (which i still don't like much, but it's at least usable), and it become the most-flamed blog post of all time on my site. i still can't believe that people are still defending KDE4.

@anonymous: "KDE fixed approximately 10000 bugs between 4.2 and 4.3. No, that's not a typo."

bugs in features which 3 people worldwide use do not count for the purpose of discussion. KDE4 is, two years after its release, still utterly useless as a work environment (and yes, i still try it out over few weeks, as i was a die-hard KDE user since before 1.0 came out). And i'm not afraid to put my name on that statement, unlike anonymous posters.

Scott Dowdle said...

I switched from KDE to GNOME during the KDE 4.0.x phase. When KDE 4.1.0 came out I was back to KDE.

I experience none of the problems you have with KDE. It works fine for me.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Arch/KDE/Enlightenment from Ubuntu Gnome. I prefer Arch's rolling release system, with bleeding edge software over Ubuntu's 6 month release cycle, where your software gets old the moment you finish upgrading.

KDE is far more configurable than Gnome, and Dolphin is light years ahead of Nautilus, though in 4.3.4 it needs to be a tad less crash prone, but i see that improving.

KDE and plasma are also light years ahead of Gnome and it's Gdesklets in terms of functionality, productivity, and useability.

If KDE and Gnome were an icecream dessert, Gnome would be melted vanilla lying on cement for several hours in the hot sun. While KDE would be Cherries Jubilee melting on your tongue.

I also found KDE's plethora of free software to be far more engaging than Gnomes sparce fare.

Gnome is also going down the mono road to hell, and that is a huge negative for me.

3 cheers for KDE, and a whole lot of Boo for Gnome.

PS - check out enlightenment (DR17). KDE and DR17 is a great mix.

Anonymous said...

I think alot of what the author said was tongue in cheek, with some truths sprinkled in.

I would NEVER install kde for any of my customers, because let's face it, it's not ready.

Let me ask the kde fans this: why is it that just about any distro and desktop environment work perfectly on my custom built computer, EXCEPT kde? Why? Please explain it to me. Gnome, xfce, fluxbox, etc, give me stability. Kde does not.

If it works for you, that's fine, but don't sit there and tell me it's on par with gnome as far as stability. My gnome is rock solid.

I WANT to like kde, but I can't. Call me when it's ready. Oh wait, by then kde 5 will be just around the corner.

John said...

As a KDE dev, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what most problems it is you are having? KDM is a known issue, the code is mostly unchanged since 3.5 and is planned for a re-write in 4.5. EQ is back in the latest Amarok. Really an outdated ill-informed rant.

Unknown said...

"As a KDE dev, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what most problems it is you are having? KDM is a known issue, the code is mostly unchanged since 3.5 and is planned for a re-write in 4.5. EQ is back in the latest Amarok. Really an outdated ill-informed rant." -John

Speed John speed; most people complaining are people who don't have the latest and greatest in hardware, like myself. I have a Second gen Sempron Processor 2 gigs of ram and integrated graphics it's not the fastest system on the market but it's a few year old (I'm being nice to her). Gnome runs well, KDE 3.5 flys (some eyecandy) but KDE 4 puts along (with eyecandy turned off). There's so much you can forgive is a system is fast, the same is not true on a slower system.

Make 4.x as fast as 3.5.x and you'll hear a lot of complaints simply disappear.

Still I want to thank you for the work you've done. KDE still is the reason a lot of newbies end up leaving M$.

PatsComputerServices said...

I'm not entirely sure what the fuss is about with KDE either. I'm running KDE 4.2.4 on Kubuntu 9.04 on a Toshiba Satellite A105-S2194 laptop (intel celeron m processor with 1.5 G RAM) that is 3 years old as we speak.

KDE is faster than my Windows 7 (which is fast enough for me) on this laptop. The mouse isn't sluggish (Microsoft wireless keyboard/mouse setup) compared to Windows 7.

I don't have the crashes every two hours--although I'm not doing anything really major. The only times that I have crashes are when I do things like "sudo kate" in the terminal. However, if I do kdesudo kate, it works fine.

As for the bugs and the wants, if you're a coder then it's a simple fix. Go and get the source for both versions of Amarok, and migrate the equalizer back in (although it's in now according to John).

Have a great day:)

Anonymous said...

KDE sucks. GNOME ftw!