Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Tue Dec 8 01:42:08 GMT 2009

Dotan Cohen posted on Mon, 07 Dec 2009 23:44:16 +0200 as excerpted:

>> 2. I would like removable media icons (such as USB flash disk, CD-ROM,
>> DVD, digital camera) to be placed onto the desktop when plugged in. I
>> would like to be able to mount and unmount them manually, and remove
>> them safely (ie eject, safely remove options in KDE3.5).
> There is a bug for that.

The way that works has simply changed.  Maybe the old way of handling it 
will be a configurable option in the future, maybe not, but there are 
ways of handling it now, tho you may not like them as well...  Perhaps an 
explanation of the new ways, and how to use them, is in order?  (I'll not 
do it here because I don't know if you don't understand the new ways, or 
simple were expressing a preference for the old ones.  Just ask if you 
want an explanation, tho.)

>> 3. I would like in certain cases to hide the panel manually. Autohide
>> is not what I want.
> There is a bug for that.

That is one of the remaining big annoyances here, as well.  I didn't know 
there was a bug, but figured the feature would eventually appear in any 

What I've taken to doing here as a (not entirely satisfactory) 
workaround, rather than fiddle with all the config to move it elsewhere 
and/or shrink it down, etc, is to simply "killall plasma-desktop" (or 
kquitapp it if you prefer, I'm an old-school Linuxer in that regard and 
prefer killall) when I want to full-screen something, and restart plasma-
desktop when I'm done.  This can be done using krunner, since it's a 
separate mechanism that still works when plasma-desktop is gone.  Of 
course, I can't use the launchers and desktop and etc while plasma-
desktop isn't running, but for my usage, I don't need them then anyway, 
as I'm pretty much running a single full-screen task.

YMMV, but the killall/restart solution is the best workaround I've found 
to this moment, for my own usage.

>> 4. I would like to set panel transparency, background image. I could
>> not find out how. I would like to use classical appearance, where I can
>> see the borders of the tasks and widgets on the panel. How?
> There is a bug for that.

Panel transparency depends on your plasma theme.  There's quite a range 
at kdelook.org.  I prefer the Professional theme as panels are quite 
transparent, yet it has a visible panel border, etc.

Also note that panel transparency depends on xorg's composite (and/or 
OpenGL/3D) at present.  If your graphics subsystem is sufficiently old 
(or new and unsupported by X except as an unaccelerated framebuffer or 
the like), it likely won't work, or will be buggy.

Panel background image would be entirely different (transparency would 
simply show the desktop wallpaper, or the apps under the panel if you 
have the option set to let them under it).  That has been a fairly 
frequent request, so it's no surprise there's at least one bug (probably 
with a bunch of dups) for that.

>> 5. I don't want to see those large bubbles when I move the mouse over a
>> widget. How can I disable them? I would like to see normal, thin
>> tooltips.
> There is a bug for that.

Tooltips can be disabled in various places, and I think the bubbles 
qualify as tooltips in that regard, but I wasn't aware of any bug on it, 
tho I'm not surprised now that I read about it, because while I like 
them, KDE has traditionally made such things configurable, recognizing 
that not everybody likes the same thing.

>> 6. I would like to see borders between system tray, taskbar, and other
>> widgets. (In KDE3 they were called apllet handles.)
> There is a bug for that.

Certain plasma themes may handle that, I'm not sure.  However, even if 
they do, I think it's unlikely you'll get that and transparent panels 
(above) in the same theme as they don't really go together.

>> 7. I could not find out how to set theme/lookout so that it would look
>> like my openSUSE KDE3.5 theme.
> This you probably can't have. I do not know how your KDE 3.5 theme
> looks, but you might be able to come as close to it in KDE 4 as you
> would in Gnome or another desktop environment.

I don't recall a mention of the kde4 version we're talking about here, 
but 4.3.<something> added kde3 color scheme importing, as a start. (FWIW, 
that was due to a discussion right here on the lists, started by me, that 
the KDE dev in charge of that functionality responded to.  I admit I was 
rather cranky at the beginning of the conversation, but he was willing to 
ignore that and work with me to get something that worked as well as 
technically possible.)

The two-fold problem in that regard is that kde4's color schemes are MUCH 
more complex.  The first aspect of the complexity problem is that 
they're /so/ complex it's going to be very difficult for an ordinary user 
to understand them sufficiently to safely modify things, without screwing 
something else up (unreadable text /somewhere/, because foreground and 
background are almost the same, for instance).  I understand it 
reasonably well now, but only after talking with that dev.  There's some 
explanation in the help (improved after our discussions), but it's still 
going to take a LOT of effort for an ordinary user to understand, and, in 
my experience, ordinary users simply aren't interested if it's going to 
be that hard.  The second aspect is that because of the differences 
between kde3 colorschemes and kde4 colorschemes, the conversion isn't 
exact, and after the import of a kde3 colorscheme, the user will likely 
have to do some fiddling (which then reduces back to point one, except 
that it's actually possible to do now, where importing kde3 colorschemes 
wasn't even possible, before) on the "extra" colors to get the scheme to 
turn out right.

The other elements of the theme... well, depends on the element, I 
guess.  But DO note that (as mentioned above) plasma uses its own 
themes.  Plasma's a separate component with its own config.

>> I have a system with a 2.4 GHz CPU and ~700 MB of RAM. I guess many
>> people has computers with weaker resources. KDE3 runs pretty smooth on
>> this computer. KDE4 is noticeably slower.
> I actually find KDE 4 to be snappier on older hardware than KDE 3,
> especially with dual-core CPUs. It looks terrible as there are no
> non-composting effects, but it flies.

This is true.  Turn off all the effects and kde4 runs quite fast -- but 
is ugly.

However, it /may/ be possible to get kde4 running reasonably fast with 
limited effects turned on.  Here, I wanted semi-transparent windows and 
the desktop grid and present apps functionality, which require 
composite.  After adjusting the animation speed (under Desktop Effects, 
on the General tab, common settings section) to "Instant", and after a 
particularly nasty plasma bug was fixed in kde 4.3.1 (before which I 
couldn't have any plasmoids on the desktop or the system would drag big 
time, plasmoids on tho panels were fine), speed with composite (but not 
OpenGL) wasn't great, but it was reasonably acceptable -- roughly the 
same speed as kde 3.5.10 had been with similar settings (window 
transparency, fast or instant speed, no fade or similar effects, of 
course desktop grid and present windows are kde4 effects, but they aren't 
active most of the time anyway).

However, I've had others report that similar fixes didn't work for them.  
Whether they screwed up a setting or it was a hardware or other apps and 
preferences issue, I don't know.  YMMV.

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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