KDE 3 users: What are the last of the KDE 3 features missing from KDE 4?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Sun Jul 19 11:59:42 BST 2009

Anne Wilson <cannewilson at googlemail.com> posted
200907190721.27574.cannewilson at googlemail.com, excerpted below, on  Sun,
19 Jul 2009 07:21:20 +0100:

> On Saturday 18 Jul 2009 23:19:40 James Richard Tyrer wrote:
>> Anne Wilson wrote:
>> > On Friday 17 Jul 2009 07:04:55 James Richard Tyrer wrote:
>> >> Anne Wilson wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> You do know, of course, that right-clicking on the entry in kickof
>> >>> then Add to Panel is a simple answer?
>> >>
>> >> Sorry to say that that doesn't work either.  Actually, you can't use
>> >> right click to add menu items (apps) to the Panel either.
>> >
>> > I did say 'kickoff' menu - and you have been able to add applications
>> > to the panel by this method since 4.0
>> I can "Add to Favorites" but not to a Panel.  This might be my desktop
>> configuration.  I have more than one Panel.  With KDE3 your could still
>> add to the "Main Panel" but with Plasma, I don't think that there is a
>> "Main Panel" -- they all seem to be equal except for Z order.
> It probably is something to do with your configuration, then.  You
> should have
> Add to favourites
> Add to desktop
> Add to panel
> as well as order choices.

Too bad none of those options show up with the classic style menu.  I 
guess switching to kickoff just to right-click on an entry, and then 
back, should work.  But it'd be nice to have the same functionality 
kde3.5's menu did in that regard, since classic is closest to the kde3.5 

FWIW, I just switched my CLI login kde starter over to "k4" by default, 
instead of the old "k3".  But I don't use the menu that much anyway, and 
when I do, for now, I want the classic style.  One component at a time 
and all that... and I'll stick with classic, until I get a bit more used 
to kde4 and plasma in general.  Chances are I'll probably switch to one 
of the more advanced once later, as I liked the idea from when I first 
heard about it tho I think the implementation will take some time to grow 
on me, but later isn't now.

Oh, and people may find it interesting to note that the HUGE slowdown I 
was experiencing with kde4 turned out to be a combination of kwin and 
plasma configuration.

The biggest issue was with kwin, in particular, with the default "fading 
duration" on the compositing/translucency effects setting, which as I've 
said, worked fine in kde3 (tho likely after tweaking there too, but 
that's been a long time ago and I forgot it).  I have /no/ idea what 
"default" meant, but that's what it was set at (the actual word, 
"default"), and the spinner increment was 100ms units, so a fair guess is 
that it was several hundreds of ms, that is, tenths of a second.

OK, but for one problem.  The option leads one to believe, and I'm 
guessing it's actually supposed to work that way given the default 
increment, that the "fading duration" time is supposed to be total; that 
is, that the full effect is supposed to take that much time.

Were that actually the case, tenths of a second would be a reasonable 
increment, but what /actually/ seems to be the case, is that "fading 
duration" controls the delay between individual steps of the fade, or at 
least that sure seems to be what it was doing here!  In ordered to 
actually see the fade, there's going to be several intermediate steps.

Well, that X-hundred ms per step was ending up taking several /seconds/ 
worth of time, and the system seemed to be seriously lagged as a result.  
There's actually a text entry box with the spinner beside it, and by 
manually typing in a far lower time, at first I tried 1ms just to see if 
it'd take it (it did), but I now have it set for 50ms, and the response 
is **FAR** **FAR** better!  The app I expect gets activated when I expect 
it to (focus follows mouse), and typing goes into the correct app, not 
somewhere entirely unexpected, because the effect was so lagged out, as 
it was doing before.

That in itself was a major fix, but compounding the problem was plasma.  
I had a bunch of plasmoids on the desktop, and apparently with my aging 
Radeon r2xx chip, 92xx card, the effect of all those dynamically updating 
desktop widgets updating their composite layers was too much, and /that/ 
lagged the system as well.

I fixed that by moving most of the plasmoids, including ALL of the 
dynamically updating ones such as the CPU and Temps system monitor 
plasmoids, into panels.  Using either always-on-top or auto-hide on the 
panels means they're never covered, and the only compositing done on them 
is against the static desktop wallpaper, dynamic front layer and static 
back layer.  THAT works MUCH better, so plasma's running much more 
efficiently now, too.

The effects of both together made they system almost unusable.  I had 
made the point several times that the exact same compositing effect on 
kde3 was running fine, as it was.  But what I didn't realize was the 
effect the multiple layers of composite updates stacked over the dynamic 
widgets was having, AND I hadn't remembered that I had to tweak the 
default fade times on kde3 as well.

Since it was, as I had stated, "substantially broken" for my usage, it 
was was in effect broken enough that I could never get enough actually 
done with the configuration to realized what the issues were, 
particularly since the two issues were doubling up on me like that.

But, when I realized KDE and Gentoo had cured the earlier issues at least 
Gentoo users had with running kde4 apps on kde3, and the reverse, kde3 
apps on kde4, it opened another possibility for me.  I could, and did, 
start running individual kde4 apps on kde3, configuring them one at a 
time to be more useful and less broken.  Some worked "out of the box".  
Others required serious reconfiguration.  Some still don't work quite 
right and I'm having to invent workarounds or come up with alternatives.  
But the /key/ was approaching them one component at a time, in an 
otherwise actually workable environment, where kde4 as a whole was simply 
unworkable for me as it was.

So there you have it.  I've now customized enough of the individual 
components that kde4 in general is actually workable, now, and I can, and 
just did, make it my new default. =:^)

But meanwhile, I'm still using "compatibility mode" elements like the 
classic kmenu in a number of places, and the desktop in general still has 
quite some way to go before it fits me anywhere close to as well as kde3 
did, after years of customizing and years of kde developer work, fine 
tuning what was very nearly the perfect desktop for its time.  But that's 
only to be expected, since I have /not/ had years of customizing on kde4 
yet, and while the devs have been working on it for a few years now, 
they've quite some distance to go before it's as perfectly customizable 
and flexible as kde3 was, too.

But it's certainly very useful to have kde4 be /actually/ useful, now, 
not any longer "substantially broken" for my usage, only "minorly 
inconveniencing" at times for my usage. =:^)
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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