dual screen in KDE 3.5 (3.5.7 vs. 3.5.10)

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Tue Jan 5 00:53:50 GMT 2010

Istvan Gabor posted on Mon, 04 Jan 2010 16:24:59 +0100 as excerpted:

> I am still using KDE 3.5 on openSUSE 11.1 with proprietary nvidia driver
> (Nvidia FX 6200 card). Earlier I used openSUSE 10.3 with KDE 3.5.7 (SUSE
> version). On that system I could configure dual screen/head mode as
> separate displays, ie. no twinview, no xinerama. With KDE 3.5.7 this
> setup worked perfectly, after login I had two different KDE desktops,
> both of them fully functional, with their own panels, desktop icons,
> startup menu etc.
> Updating KDE 3.5.7 to 3.5.10 caused disappearance of window decorations
> on the second desktop. Window decorations were missing and because of
> this windows could not not be moved.  I had to revert to KDE 3.5.7.

Bad news (but some good news as well).

According to what I've read, the fact that dual separate kde session mode 
(I believe I've seen it referred to as zaphod mode, after the guy in the 
hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy) worked at all in kde3 was rather an 
accident.  It wasn't designed to work that way, it just happened.  As 
such, and because no developer with sufficient interest and skill has 
come forward to port that functionality to kde4, there are no plans at 
this time to have it in kde4 at all.

That means your choices going forward get rather limited.

However, I was unaware that it had stopped working in the last of the 
kde3 updates.  So one bit of good news is that, perhaps, you can make it 
work.  But, I don't know how.

FWIW, I used pseudo-xinerama (with Radeon cards, I long since got fed up 
with servantware drivers (see the sig) and decided I wasn't going to run 
them or buy hardware that required them for features I'd use) mode with 
different monitor resolutions in kde3 for some time.  FWIW, the simplest 
way to do so is to set X's virtual desktop an appropriate size, and use 
(1-dimension) panning on the smaller resolution monitor to allow you to 
cover the otherwise uncovered areas.  At least, that's what worked for 
me.  Of course, now, monitors are much cheaper than they used to be, and 
I bought my way out of the problem by simply using two monitors of 
similar size and resolution.

Meanwhile, the other mixed news, with RandR (resize and rotate) extension 
based xorg supplanting old-style xinerama, dynamic hotplug support and 
arrangement of multiple monitors, either the same resolution or 
different, is far easier than it was, and kde4 is improving rather 
dramatically in that area, altho with current 4.3.4 and earlier, the
kde/graphical randr support is broken for some graphics cards, and the 
command-line xrandr support, possibly scripted as I've done here, must be 
used instead.  However, that's one of the bugs said to be fixed with kde 
4.4, scheduled for release about a month from now. in February (IDK the 
day).  Kwin4 is adapting to the dynamic resolution changes as well, tho  
too isn't quite as smoothly operating as it should ultimately be.  But as 
each kde4 version has fixed quite a number of remaining bugs, many have 
been predicting 4.5 will be the magic version at which it's finally ready 
for "working" 3.5 users to switch to kde4.

(kde has claimed kde was ready for switching since 4.2, but with that and 
the also promised support for kde3 as long as there were users, their 
credibility is somewhat shot, to put it mildly, at this point.  With 
users being forced into the not yet ready kde4 by their distributions, 
because kde broke their pledge of continued kde3 support until kde4 was a 
suitable replacement, many users are finding it extremely hard to adapt, 
and some are ending up switching to gnome, xfce, or other environments, 
instead.  By 4.5, that problem will hopefully be gone, but that doesn't 
help all the users left in the support gap in the mean time because kde4 
simply isn't ready and kde3 was dropped by their distributions due to 
lack of upstream kde support.  But, to be fair, kde recently announced a 
focus switch away from users, to devs, along with the name change from 
kde to kde software collection, and that explains a lot.  Perhaps 4.2 was 
ready for /developer/ users, those designing kde4 apps, to switch.  It 
wasn't and with 4.3 remains not, ready for a good portion of real kde3 
users, to switch.)

So at some point, hopefully about the time of kde sc 4.5 in August, both 
kde and xorg should be ready to work well together, and with the dynamic 
monitor hotplug support, will hopefully support at least single unified 
desktop mode (aka xinerama mode) quite well, even, better yet, 
/especially/, with different resolutions, because it'll be the first 
hopefully major bug-free kde4 version, and kde4 has been /designed/ for 
monitor hotplugging.

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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