[kde-linux] Am I Alone?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Tue Sep 29 18:43:34 UTC 2009

David Baron posted on Tue, 29 Sep 2009 19:13:05 +0200 as excerpted:

> KDE4 works fine for me, BUT ...
> If one is using several plasmoids, desktops, etc., startup is
> sssslllloooooowwww. Startup status is not stable--desktops can be
> reordered and that trashcan is always mis-sized and mis-placed until I
> unlock widgets and mouse the curser near it, then voile. Sometimes kmix
> and kxkb appear on the panel, sometimes not (must be restarted).

FWIW, first startup here, when it's loading from disk, can be pretty 
slow.  However, after everything's in cache, it's not so slow to quit X/
KDE and restart it.  Of course, I'm running dual dual-core Opterons with 
6 gig memory (was 8 gig but I had a stick of memory die and haven't 
replaced it yet) too, so don't swap in the normal case and have gigs of 
cache to work with as well.  Also, as I run Gentoo, I can turn off a lot 
of the bloat dependencies a lot of distributions compile in, as well as 
install only the kde apps and their kde dependencies I need instead of 
all of kde or by monolithic tarballs/packages.  That means there's 
actually less stuff to load, and less stuff to keep in cache, than there 
would be on most binary distributions.

Of course, if you're running a gig or less of memory, your application 
and cache working size is likely to be larger than your physical RAM, and 
you'll not only swap regularly, but will be pushing stuff out of cache so 
it has to reload from slow disk, too.  If you've already maxed out your 
memory to what your mobo can handle, there's not a lot that can be done 
about that, but if not, with memory the price it is now days, a memory 
upgrade to 2 gigs or so will speed things up for you dramatically.

As for the trashcans, etc, not staying in place, and stuff like kmix and 
kxkb[1] not starting sometimes, that can happen due to unsaved settings 
or session management.  What I find often works for unsaved settings, is 
starting the app just long enough to configure it how I want, then 
quitting, immediately, before it has a chance to crash or something 
without saving settings.  In this case, that'd be quitting plasma (plasma-
desktop in 4.3).  You can run a konsole or use krunner to terminate it 
using killall, then restart it.

For session management, in kcontrol (aka systemsettings) under advanced 
user settings, session manager, "On Login" (this is the 4.3 location) try 
setting it to restor manually save session.  Then setup the session as 
you want, and save it. (I believe that option would then be in the 
shutdown options, tho I always use restore previous session instead, so 
have never had to look.)  That way if an app isn't running when kde 
exits, it won't forget to start it when kde starts.

> My wife does none of this fancy stuff, comes up lickitysplit, OK every
> time. Tells you something.

Something I noticed on kde4 before 4.3.1 (when the bug triggering it was 
fixed) was that on my older Radeon (9200), which can do composite but not 
OpenGL because that's limited to a size of 2048x2048, and I'm running 
dual 1920x1200 LCDs stacked for 1920x2400, is that any desktop plasmoids, 
particularly dynamically updating ones like system monitors, REALLY 
slowed the system down.  The worst bug should be fixed from 4.3.1, as I 
said, and the issue does seem much better, but I still keep my desktop 
plasmoids to a minimum and run a panel with the real dynamic stuff on 
it.  You may wish to see if that helps, as thru 4.3.0, it made a BIG 
difference, here.

Another thing, in the desktop effects kcontrol applet, make sure 
animation speed is set to instant, and/or under All Effects, Translucency 
(if you have it enabled), ensure fading duration is set as short as 
possible.  Between this and the desktop plasmoid thing, kde4 was pretty 
well unusable for me until I figured both of these out and set them 

> Konqueror? I haven't touched in in ages. Simply was too messed up to
> bother with. Opera, Google-chrome, and firefox are much much better.
> Liking google more and more.

I don't do non-freedomware (I can't agree to the EULA in most cases, 
thus, don't have legal authorization to run the proprietaryware even if I 
wanted to) so won't do Opera or Chrome... and haven't bothered trying 
Chromium yet.

But I use iceweasel/firefox -- as my /second/ browser.  konqueror is my 
primary browser.  But firefox's vastly better javascript permissions 
handling once noscript and jsview are installed (and once they've picked 
ones they like, other people will no doubt have similar extensions they 
have trouble doing without if they don't care about scripting), among 
other things, are growing on me, and I may well make firefox primary at 
some point.

The trouble with konqueror is that the userbase is simply too small to 
have an effective extensions community.  If they'd switch to webkit, as 
seems likely at some point, that'll get some decent numbers on their side 
in terms of rendering support, but the extensions will still be an 
issue.  But if they joined forces with chrome and safari and anyone based 
on qt-webkit, to support a common webkit extensions standard, they'd 
likely have a userbase of a reasonable size, and the number of useful 
extensions should rise quite fast.

But that's what I miss, good extensions...

> Kmail? After a shakey start in early KDE4, works quite nicely. Crashes
> are very rare now. No complaints as long as network is duely connected.

Of course, you know that, probably 4.5, will possibly destabilize a bit 
again, as kmail switches to akonadi and becomes little more than a 
wrapper around it, right?

> Plasma is getting better and better and only the surface of it potential
> has been touched. One can revert to the older schema if one desires and
> keep applets on the panel or on dashboards. Very flexible, or will be.

Definitely so.

> KDE3 is a dead end. Since I compiled that starting when one could not
> update it from Debian Sid, I have both 3.5.6 and 4.3. Can use 3 if 4
> gets really mussed but this has not happened in ages. My daughter still
> runs 3.5.6 because the kaboom did not work on her login. I'll get to
> fixing it up but no rush.
> My only real complaint now is the 3.5.6--most everything in it--is much
> quicker (on my PIII 600mhz clunker with an old matrox card so maybe
> don't blame KDE4 and progress!).

You know that 3.5.6 is way outdated even for the 3.5 series, right?  
3.5.10 is the latest and apparently last kde3 version.

Meanwhile, yes, 3.5 seems like a deadend.  Gentoo/kde is already planning 
to phase it out, as qt3 is unsupported now and kde3 effectively is as 
well, and they're worried about security updates and etc.  Reading that 
on the gentoo/desktop list was what convinced me I had to finally make 
kde4 work.  I'd had it installed since before 4.0, but it was and remains 
broken in enough areas that it's not a fully functional replacement for 
3.5 yet, and probably won't be until 10-ish months from now, when 4.5 is 
released.  Every release is a dramatic improvement, so the trend is 
right, but kde is a big project and the 4.x version simply hasn't made it 
to 3.5 quality yet.  Which makes the abandoning of 3.5 all the more 
frustrating, since 4.x isn't fully functional compared to the 3.x 
version, yet.


[1]  I don't use any of the three.  I don't use a trashcan, as if I want 
it deleted, I don't want it still taking space on the drive, I want it 
deleted.  So that's not on the desktop.  I don't use kmix as my system 
sound output is digital, to my 5.1 surround-sound amp, and the digital 
output is line level and therefore not volume controlled, so I don't need 
kmix.  I configure the keyboard (hal config file) before kde starts and 
only do English anyway, so no use for kxkb, either.  I also don't use any 
of the semantic desktop stuff, having it turned off via USE flag where 
possible, so don't have akonadi, mysql or nepomuk installed at all, and 
akonadi-server installed as a dependency of kdepimlibs which in turn is a 
dependency of a bunch of stuff, but it's not actually used, either.  So 
as I said, less kde bloat I don't use anyway to load, and the system runs 
better for it.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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