Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Wed Dec 9 23:52:32 GMT 2009

Draciron Smith posted on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 11:50:56 -0600 as excerpted:

> So potentially a fork on Kdesktop is far more logical. Depends on how
> difficult it'll be to add back all the lost customization and
> functionality.  The main thing really boils down to people having their
> desktop THEIR way.  If I want to write a script and run it from the
> panel why shouldn't I?  Yet to do that in KDE 4 I'd have to first write
> code to add that script to the KDE menu. Then I could drag and drop.
> That is an insane amount of work to add a console app. I STILL haven't
> been able to add FIrefox to the menu much less the panel. A trivial task
> in KDE 3.x.

It's easy enough to add an app to the menu.  Simply right click on the 
menu icon, choose menu editor, find where you want to put the app, and 
fill in the details, the exact same way one could do it in kde3.  If you 
prefer the manual way, you can edit the text files or drop the pre-made 
*.desktop file in the appropriate location and run kbuildsycoca.  Adding 
firefox or a script shouldn't be /that/ difficult doing that, I did it 
all the time in kde3 (with kde4 I decided to keep the default menu, in 
most respects, tho I do have a few of my own entries as well) and I've 
/no/ idea where the claim that you have to create your own code to do it, 
just to add a script to the menu, came from.

If you'd asked...

> KDE 4 says this is how your going to use your desktop like it or not.
> Folks are responding with a loud and clear NOT.

> It's not going away either. Think about it. If folks wanted a hard to
> customize desktop manager why change off the default Gnome

I've found it quite easy to customize, barring significant remaining 
bugs, some of which (multi-key global hotkey, I ended up scripting my own 
solution) might not be fixed for awhile.

KDE's still generally easy to customize, arguably easier than GNOME, one 
of the reasons I stuck with it.  To be fair, I'd have stuck with kde3 for 
awhile longer until more of the bugs on kde4 got worked out, had I a 
choice, but Gentoo dropped it because upstream kde was dropping it.  
That's my /my/ complaint.  There shouldn't have been that support gap 
that kde left.  They should have kept kde3 supported until kde4 provided 
parallel functionality -- with at least close to parallel lack of 
functionality-show-stopper bugs.  But in general, kde's still very 
customizable, tho it has taken it some time to get back in stride and 
still isn't ready for normal use, IMO.  By 4.4 (February) it should be 
close.  By 4.5 (August), the prediction (mine and others) is it will be.
Unfortunately kde's trying to claim it is now, and has been since 4.2, 
and that's just crazy.  *IF* one believes them, then yes, kde4 sucks, 
isn't as customizable and won't be, etc, but the evidence suggests 

> The reason is the appeal of KDE has been that strong, an appeal
> based not on colors or functionless eye candy like the plasmoid. Come on
> you could lock your panel going back to what KDE 2? IT was a right click
> away.  Aside from locking your desktop what function does the plasmoid
> server other than eye candy? It's no faster to log out using the
> plasmoid than the menu. If your in such a hurry you can just drop the
> logout applet onto the panel.  Me I log out and reboot a few times a
> year once I have everything the way I like it. Only for security updates
> to the kernel usually will I reboot unless I'm on a laptop.

Plasmoid server?  I'm afraid I can't parse the kde-point part of that 
paragraph very well, so perhaps my response is off, but...

The leave plasmoid is simply one of many choices, available for those who 
want them.  Personally, I don't use the leave/logout on the menu, 
either.  I simply use the global hotkey. (Ctrl-Alt-Del is custom-assigned 
to logout without waiting, I hate that 30 second logout wait!  What was 
that about customizations?  That I can change those hotkey assignments is 
functionality I take for granted and kde would indeed not be kde to me 
without it, but it's there.)

Actually, I don't tend to use the menu itself much at all, one of the 
reasons I decided it wasn't worth seriously customizing this time 
around.  I have hotkey launchers configured for everything I use 
regularly, generally use krunner for less frequently used apps I know the 
name of (kruler, for example, and BTW I use kcalc far less frequently now 
due to the krunner integrated math solver functionality, but it's another 
I'd likely run from krunner otherwise), and only use the menu when I 
can't remember the exact name of the app or to browse what choices I have 
in games I've not tried yet, or something.

But the point is that all the plasmoids can exist on either a panel or 
the desktop, and with the choices as shipped and the *HUGE* number of 
choices available at kde-look, there's a LOT of customizability 
available, **FAR** more than with kde3.  If you want a blank desktop, run 
it that way. Want a whole desktop activity dedicated to weather apps?  
Well, there's weather plasmoids galore at kdelook.  You got it!  Want a 
desktop filled with icons all of files in the same directory?  No 
problem!  Want a desktop with several directories shown?  That's possible 

What's great is that with activities (which can now be linked to virtual 
desktops or separate, as they are by default) you aren't even limited to 
a single desktop.  You can configure multiple activities, each for 
different tasks.  Not that everyone will use that, I don't, tho who 
knows, maybe I will in the future, but it's there for those who want 
something like that.  Customizability at its best! =:^)

As far as eye candy, one person's eye candy may be another's essential 
feature, especially after they've used it for awhile.  System monitoring 
is an example.  A lot of folks used superkaramba system monitoring in 
kde3, but I used the ksysguard kicker applet.  Well, now it has become 
"the application formerly known as ksysguard" (it's called system 
monitor, but there's a bunch of system monitor plasmoids, none of which 
are ksysguard, and system monitor is simply too generic to sufficiently 
identify the app in question), and not only does it not have a full-
function plasmoid to replace the kicker applet, but the application 
itself is so buggy it's unusable for any serious routine monitoring (many 
of the bugs are in restoring the saved config, it works acceptably for 
single-shot monitoring where you add the monitor you want and configure 
it on-the-fly).  But after having used and grown to rely on the kde3 
ksysguard kicker applet, that's essential functionality to me.  
Fortunately, there's superkaramba and I was planning to learn how to 
configure and use that, but then I discovered the yasp-scripted (yasp= 
yet another system-monitor plasmoid) plasmoid, which is slightly simpler 
than superkaramba to learn the configuration for, and that's what I'm 
using now.

It /did/ take me awhile to find and configure yasp-scripted, but I sent 
the author my scripts and he's shipping them with yasp-scripted, now (in 
addition to his own general sample script), so the latter bit should be 
far easier for others.

Thus, even where kde4 doesn't provide the same functionality directly, 
its configurability means that others can and ultimately do provide most 
of it, or you can do so yourself, if desired, as I ended up doing for 
both system monitoring and global hotkey functionality (the latter 
because global-multi-key hotkeys no longer function correctly in kde4, 
due to an upstream, presumably qt4, limitation).

> I've dared a couple people to name improvements in KDE 4 and none
> have taken that dare.

I did, above.  kde4 is actually much more customizable and thus much more 
flexible than kde3.  That's a big improvement. =:^)

> The new menu is useless if you have hundreds of
> apps it'll take you a week to get to the ones at the end. The old menu
> made it easy to get too an app. At worst you were a few clicks away from
> anything installed in your menus.

So change back to the old style menu, if you want.  It's customizable! 
=:^)  (Again, that's in that right-click on the menu icon menu, that you 
seem to have missed.  But it's also available from the add widget dialog, 
and you can add one, or many, wherever you want! =:^)  Like I said, I 
don't use the main menu that much here, but I do use the "classic" menu 
as well, configured only to show two things, bookmarks, and the applets 
from "the application formerly known and kcontrol", now known generically 
as system settings, even tho it's not /system/ settings it's dealing 
with, so much as kde settings, so the kcontrol moniker was far more 
accurate and far less generic, thus being much more useful.  Anyway, 
bookmarks and individual kcontrol applets, are both a launch away on the 
classic menu plasmoid I have sitting right beside the kickoff plasmoid, 
on my menu launcher panel.  (That same panel, a small one set to auto-
hide, has two other plasmoids as well, the device notifier, and the quick-
access folder-view replacement plasmoid from kde-look.  FWIW there's also 
a more powerful device-notifier replacement available on kde-look, tho 
I've not needed it.  What was it I said about customizability?  It's all 

Or change out the menu for a different one.  Lancelot is a mature 
replacement, with (IIRC it's called) Raptor coming as well, tho at a 
somewhat slower development pace, as I think it's depending on the 
semantic desktop functionality that's not yet fully functional in kde4 

> Just to change your resolution in KDE
> 4 you need 5 clicks.  If you have a mere 100 apps in a sub menu it might
> take you a dozen clicks or more to find and launch an app and if your
> not sure WHICH menu it was in your just better off running it from the
> console cause it'll take you days to find it. The menu system that KDE 4
> defaults too works OK with Windoze cause you can't possibly install that
> many apps without corrupting the registry. This is Linux though. People
> like me who heavily use their computer can have thousands of apps
> installed.  That means hundreds in each sub menu. At the 10 or 12 per
> screen display that means 10-12 clicks on the more apps down at the
> bottom to finally get too some of them.

You're missing the best of its functionality.  Both kickoff and krunner 
have search and auto-complete functionality.  No need to run the app from 
a konsole or other CLI unless you want to.  Simply type the first few 
letters of the app name into the search box and it'll find the apps in 
kickoff, or auto-complete for you in krunner! =:^)

Really, the menu isn't the most efficient way to access apps around.  
Certainly not if you have hundreds of them installed.  The improvements 
in kickoff and the krunner replacement for the kde3 run dialog, are both 
designed to mitigate that inefficiency.  But being kde, and being 
customizable as kde has a reputation for, there's other alternatives, 
quick-launch bars, hotkey launching (my preferred alternative, tho I 
admit they crippled it in kde4 due to that bug, and I've had to script a 
partial solution of my own to replace the missing functionality from 
kde3, but that's a bug, hopefully eventually to be fixed), and 
replacement menus including the classic menu, for those that just want a 
menu they can use.

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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