[kde-linux] Goodbye

John Layt johnlayt at googlemail.com
Sun Nov 15 11:19:54 UTC 2009

On Sunday 15 November 2009 07:58:54 Werner Joss wrote:
> Am Saturday 14 November 2009 23:16:28 schrieb David J Iannucci:
> > I thought one of the "hype points" about 4.x was that the code base was
> > significantly rewritten to be smaller-footprint, faster, stabler, more
> > efficient for older hardware.  Was this just a load of c**p?
> I would not go so far to back this assumption :)
> seriously, I'm convinced that the kde devs did a good job w.r. to
> rewrite/re-design/improve the code base.
> from what I've seen, the new buildsystem (cmake) alone is far ahead from
>  the old autotools** stuff (which I never really understood in terms of
>  beeing able to fix things in case something breaks).
> however, I've come to the conclusion that the underlying qt4 is the real
> culprit, responsable for the unacceptable responsiveness on older graphics
> hardware.
> (one indication here is the behaviour of arora, web browser built on top of
> qt4, running inside my kde3 env - and it tends to be comparable sluggish
>  than a whole kde4 desktop on the same machine).
> I'm sure the trolls at nokia would be able to confirm this, but of course,
> they never will admit that.
> werner

The codebase is smaller and faster for some values of smaller and faster :-)  
It really does seem to vary depending on an individuals hardware and distro 
configuration.  If some people are finding KDE apps run fast and small under 
some other desktop, but sluggish and fat under Plasma, that's a clue that it's 
not the core KDE libraries or Qt that's the problem.

Actually, a lot of the issue is Qt, and the trolls do admit problems with 
graphics performance, and it is important to them given their new focus on 
mobile platforms.  I believe they are doing something about it in Qt 4.6 with 
new graphics backends, and I think the Plasma guys are looking at dynamically 
testing and switching graphics backends at start-up to whatever performs best 
on your system, rather than relying on the system being correctly configured.

There's also a lot of problems further down the stack in X.  Remember KDE4 is 
pushing the boundaries of what the infrastructure is capable of and exercising 
parts of the whole graphics eco-system that haven't been worked hard before so 
is uncovering lots of issues for which we then cop the blame.

Just as a data point, I have here an eee 701 and an eee 901 that both run the 
latest openSuse without problem.  There's plenty of reports of KDE4 running 
fine on 512Mb, and even 256Mb without much tweaking.  It really is that 


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