10 Things I Hate About KDE4 RC2+ – Archived

KDE4 has a lot of hype. It is a significant change, reportedly a big jump forward. There is a lot of new technology and names: Plasma, Oxygen, Phonon, Okular, Solid and more . Depending on what you read, and where you read it, it is either the second coming of the DE Christ, or the first coming of the DE Anti-christ. I decided to live with KDE RC2+ on OpenSuse Linux for an entire month, Dec 11 – Jan 11th (the release date) and record my experiences. I’ll be publishing an article a day about KDE 4 through the release.

10 things I hate about KDE 4 RC2+ (the openSuse flavor) !

10. Crashy and inconsistent. Dragging a widget to the Panel wrecks it, every single time. I get some garbled half-bar, end up having to log out and log back in only to find the widget did not go into the TBR. Key combos, like Cntl + F8 (to show all desktops) work some of the time, other times do things like CLOSE THE WORD PROCESSOR i AM USING WITHOUT WARNING, making me lose everything I have typed. Other times KDE4 will just crash without warning. I will say this, the quantity of crashes keeps diminishing with each update.

9. I’m stuck with a big, fat Panel. One of the first things I typically do when running a new system is resize the taskbar. I like my taskbars like Americans like their female celebrities, super thin. I can’t change the size of the taskbar (or for that matter get widgets to go into it) as far as I can tell. I’m a KDE freak. One of my complaints about the 3 series of KDE is that it lacks configuration options! Getting stuck with a huge Panel with no way to change it creates a small feeling of hostility, like I’m at the mercy of what someone thinks my computer should look like. This brings me to petty point eight:

8. Right clicking on the Panel does nothing. For some reason this makes me nuts. I wouldn’t even mind it if a box appeared telling me “nothing to see here!” Instead, I feel like I am locked out of something. It might not make sense, but do us Linux users make sense?

7. Space wasting translucent strip on top of the Panel. It might look nice, but it gets old very quickly.

6. Get your Dolphin out of my Konqueror, or let me do it. I have no problem with Dolphin. It seems to work well as a basic file browser. I thought I had read that Konqueror would use Dolphin as a file browser, but you could change this. I can’t see how to do it, and now I feel like I am using something neutered. Things that are part of my daily life, right clicking and choosing “Extract here” or the excellent “Move to” or “Copy to” are just gone. I’m hoping it is just an add-on package that isn’t ready or that I have overlooked, because if these things fall out of KDE 4 I see problems.

5. Desktop Icons from KDE 3 sessions get ugly and crazy. This might be a specific Opensuse issue. When I log into KDE 4, all of the desktop icons sit in a big pile in the middle of the desktop. If I spread them out, they get chopped and become ugly half-icons, some showing a translucent box around them. It is simple enough to close them, I don’t need desktop icons anyway, but it is still an annoyance and unpleasant to look at.

4. Right click opens both the file and a dialog in Dolphin. I’m sure this will change upon final release, but man, I really hate this.

3. Why do I want to “Zoom out” and “Zoom in”? I’m given these choices from the little wrench in the upper corner of the screen, but I don’t know why I would want to do that, or what purpose it serves.

2. Blurry fonts. Fonts are blurry in Ocular and KWord, which I am using to write this. I feel like I need glasses.

1. Upcoming Firestorm. This is the real reason I wrote this. It is only recently that I have seen recommendations that people hold off until KDE 4.1 to really use series 4. Unfortunately, the expectations are so high that when people do use it for the first time anger might be the first emotion they feel. That is a shame. I can see countless posts like this all over the internet. I hope people get some sense of perspective about the huge amount of effort that has gone into KDE 4.

I’m impressed with KDE 4, this post aside. It has become usable very quickly. It will take months for some of the radical changes to bear fruit. Complaints will be listened to and addressed. Change isn’t easy, and for those of us who love KDE, this is a big change. I had a hard time coming up with ten things I hate about KDE 4. Tomorrow I will give you ten things I love about it, it will be much easier to write.

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