KDE4 User Review : better than expected !!!

I have been waiting for KDE4 for a while already.... And now it has gotten much closer to the goal and it's time for a real survival test... Due to my old computer slightly lacking horsepower, I recently switched from Gentoo to Ubuntu. tried Gnome for a little while but wasn't for me, really. Then I installed kubuntu-desktop and followed the quick steps shown on [kubuntu.org](http://www.kubuntu.org/announcements/kde4-rc2.php) about [KDE4 rc2](http://dot.kde.org/1197405276/). Really easy install... From KDE 3.5.8 I could already see many applications in the menu which had got duplicate for their KDE4 counterpart letting me try them from within my desktop. but on the early morning of December 26th, without knowing if it would work at all, I decided to give the already installed KDE4 a try. Without expecting much it shine onto my screen promptly. Fired up, I am looking at what is to become the next best and most popular desktop on the planet. Let see what Santa-san has in store... read on for more details ...
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hey it launched... and quickly... I'd have to shut it off and launch it again to check the speed for sure but I did not wait so much that I cared. First thing I notice is the top-right corner which contains a config tool icon, letting me add plasmoids easily. I tried them all. there is a nice little collection so far, nothing too fancy but nothing crashed at least. The "Button" plasmoid, a launcher button does not seems to work. it only shows a file icon of a binary file. But overall, I can say Plasma already works wonderfully. The quick access to the calendar isn't there yet. But what I can see if a very solid platform with endless possibilities, I can't wait to learn how to customize my new shiny desktop. ![Plasma - Plasmoids](/files/2-kde4-plasmoids.png) Second thing I notice : The new beautiful widget sets. they aren't Plastik or Keramik anymore. It's Oxygen, Oh god that every button and scrollbar are pretty. One thing I like a bit less, is the background of the panel at the bottom. That gray and wide border just does not cut it. But I know for sure it will be uber easy to change very soon. ![Plasma - mouseover](/files/3-kde4-plasmoids-mouseover.png) These buttons appears on mouseover. Now that good news and bad news never comes alone, I realize that I forgot to backup my ~/.kde folder and I might not be able to run KDE3 again with this user. Don't do the same mistake as me, and backup your user's config or user KDE4 under a separate user. (clock ticking...) After giving a quick look at my home directory, it seems like KDE4 applications have created their config and stuff under ~/.kde4, leaving my ~/.kde intact. I don't know for sure but it really seems like so. Therefore, everything is great. What a wonderfully stable and fast first experience. Now I understand why they call it a RC2 release. It definitely ain't Beta anymore. I can feel the release coming soon by seeing how stable this desktop is. Now more in details about what I personally use... I recently started learning to play Go and for some strange reason, when I was starting qGo under KDE 3.5.8, I had no sound: I did not care that much to investigate into the problem, but here that I launch it under KDE4 and ItJustWorks(tm). Wow. Kompose, which I use as an application switcher under KDE3 works just as fine under KDE4. The Add applet tool to add plasmoid onto the desktop is really easy to use and while I could not find a place to click on the panel to add a pager to it, I discovered I could simply drag-n-drop an plasmoid from the add-applet dialog to the panel and Voila! ItJustWorks(tm) I recently had to switch to pidgin because I cannot type japanese in Qt applications (please help) and it made me discover a little annoying bug. No GTK+ apps with a systray can run on KDE4 yet. Apparently caused with missing argb implementation in GTK+. (ain't exact but just to make the story short ...) There is bug ticket in both team's bugzilla so, things should get fix soon. In the mean time, don't be surprise if you see an error like this one.
somekool@somekool-laptop:~/packages/kload$ pidgin
The program 'pidgin' received an X Window System error.
This probably reflects a bug in the program.
The error was 'BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)'.
  (Details: serial 373 error_code 8 request_code 2 minor_code 0)
  (Note to programmers: normally, X errors are reported asynchronously;
   that is, you will receive the error a while after causing it.
   To debug your program, run it with the --sync command line
   option to change this behavior. You can then get a meaningful
   backtrace from your debugger if you break on the gdk_x_error() function.)
But that bug made me discover something very cool about KDE4. See, in order to track if the problem was related with kwin or plasma, someone on IRC made my relogin using the "failsafe" option which does not load any windowmanager or anything but an xterm. from the xterm, I manually lunched kwin-kde4 and then pidgin. Worked !!! Then I launch plasma-kde4 and BAM! pidgin crashed. So that tells me two things. One. the problem is definitely with plasma, more precisely the systray applet. TWO and the best... KDE4 can pretty much be run by launching these two program only. I suppose there is more under the hood when you launch the default startkde BUT ... think about it how this desktop has gotten much lighter. kwin and plasma and that is pretty much it. Anyone looking for a minimalistic, yet powerful desktop. KDE is in the HOUSE ! Add to that the huge optimization Trolltech have included in Qt4, this desktop is gonna be faster than a silk made and turbo propulsed rocket. How wonderful. ![Alt-F2 (krunner)](/files/4-kde4-alt-f2.png) The Alt-F2 krunner application has totally been redesigned. The black is a little too much and makes labels unreadable here. But Oh that I love this new button "Show system activity" its like launching top in a nice GUI window, but it is much slicker, smaller and faster than the kde3 counterpart ksysgard. unbelievably awesome job. And how the process are easily sorted for the user to see the apps they care about... Wow. ![System Activity](/files/10-kde4-system-activity.png) I have been a heavy user of the ALT-F2 feature since early KDE1. I even believe I had a more rudimentary equivalent on the same hotkey under WindowMaker back in the days I was only running kmail and kfm from within WindowMaker. But even though KDE4 pushed the bar even further, their own new competitor might change my mind. The redesign K-Menu is awesome. I never liked the Windows(tm)-ish K-Menu but now look for yourself... ![KDE4 Application Launcher - Search](/files/5-kde4-app-launcher-search-cropped.png) KDE4 Application Launcher - Search feature ! yé ! ![KDE4 Application Launcher - Applications library](/files/6-kde4-app-launcher-applications-cropped.png) KDE4 Application Launcher - Applications library ![KDE4 Application Launcher - My Computer](/files/7-kde4-app-launcher-computer-cropped.png) KDE4 Application Launcher - My Computer ![KDE4 Application Launcher - Recent](/files/8-kde4-app-launcher-recently-cropped.png) KDE4 Application Launcher - Recent ![KDE4 Application Launcher - Shutdown](/files/9-kde4-app-launcher-leave-cropped.png) KDE4 Application Launcher - Shutdown And finaly, the most awaited Konsole with Split view. Unfortunately, tabs are mirrored on each split views. So it ain't like 4 konsole tiled. I hope it changes in the final release. That's about it. I have been running KDE4 RC2 for close to a week now, without a serious glitch. I am looking forward redesigning this panel to suit my taste. Conclusion, what do I see is something totally new yet built on the powerful base kde is known for. There is not that many and that fancy plasma applet yet but one can clearly see how the plateform is ready for the world to develop upon. Cheers to KDE and lets make 2008 the year of KDE on the User desktops and Business workstations. Not to forget the 400th anniversary of the oldest city in North America (Québec city). Please visit us and happy coding.

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Posted in , | Posted on 31 Dec 2007 12:00by somekool |

Trying out KDE4

So I wanted to have a sneak preview at KDE4 and also have the development environment ready in case I find some time to fool around. So I compiled KDE on my gentoo system. I simply followed the various instruction found on the [developer website](http://developer.kde.org/build/trunk.html). I created a kdefour user. Installed cmake and Qt 4.2.2 normally using gentoo portage system. and from kdelibs into the user home directory. that's what my .bash_profile looks like
kdefour@krypton ~/usr/build $ cat ~/.bash_profile
# /etc/skel/.bash_profile

# This file is sourced by bash for login shells.  The following line
# runs your .bashrc and is recommended by the bash info pages.
[[ -f ~/.bashrc ]] && . ~/.bashrc
export YACC='byacc -d'
#export QTDIR=$HOME/usr/qt
export QTDIR=/usr
export KDEDIR=$HOME/usr/kde
export CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull
export PATH=$HOME/bin:$HOME/unsermake:$QTDIR/bin:$KDEDIR/bin:$PATH
function cmakekde { cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$KDEDIR \
-DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull $@ && make VERBOSE=1 && make install

kdefour@krypton ~/usr/build $            
and I created myself a small rebuild script
kdefour@krypton ~/usr/build $ cat rebuild

source ~/.bash_profile

modules="kdelibs kdepimlibs kdebase koffice kdegames"
modules="koffice kdeutils kdenetwork kdemultimedia kdepim"

for i in $modules
        echo $i
        #echo $build_dir$i
        #rm -fr $i
        mkdir -p $build_dir$i
        if [ -d $src_dir$i ]
                (cd $src_dir$i; svn up)
                svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/KDE/$i $src_dir$i
        cd $build_dir$i
        time cmakekde $src_dir$i
        if [ $? -ne 0 ]
                cd -
                echo $?
        cd -

kdefour@krypton ~/usr/build $     
and here is a small screenshot for the curious [kde4 snapshot 1](/files/kde4-snapshot1.png)

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Posted in , | Posted on 16 Feb 2007 21:24by somekool |

How to not being forced to XOrg 7.1 on Gentoo

If you are like me, you like system that works and you care much more about the latest version of KDE than the latest version of XOrg. especially when updating KDE is pain-less and bug-free while XOrg means talking with God, backup-ing your Mother and what not. So I wanted to be able to run
emerge -avUNt world
like everyone else, while staying on XOrg 6.9 Like you might know, the recent portage are not forcing us to do the update. you cannot run 'emerge world' without upgrading. and upgrading is far from being easy. While preventing portage from forcing is not as easy as it sound. It is not that hard. thanks to /etc/portage system. here is how to do it. * first add the following lines in **/etc/portage/package.mask**

### I dont want to update X
### END
* then add the following line in **/etc/portage/package.unmask**
after that you might get 1 or 2 more problem. I remember I also had to modify an ebuild and remove a useless dependency on a package. if it does not work for you. please comment below. I'm gonna help you to go through it and I'll update this post for a more accurate information. have a nice day.

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Posted in , , , | Posted on 17 Nov 2006 07:20by somekool |

KDE has turned 10, lets celebrate

[KDE](http://kde.org), the world famous open source desktop environment is now [10 years](http://events.kde.org/10years/) old. WOW. [Matthias Ettrich's 14th October 1996 announcement](http://www.kde.org/announcements/announcement.php) [original post](http://groups.google.com/group/de.comp.os.linux.misc/msg/cb4b2d67ffc3ffce) It's the great moment for KDE right now, KDE 3.5.5 just got released. The most powerful and stable release ever. and KDE 4 is just around the corner. [KDE4 Beta Packages already available for Mac OS X](http://ranger.users.finkproject.org/kde/index.php/Home) and for [Linux](http://dot.kde.org/1158239585/) I think its a great time to watch [screenshots](http://www.kde.org/screenshots/) and try it out ([Kubuntu](http://kubuntu.org/), [Sabayon](http://www.sabayonlinux.org/)) and [get](http://www-devel.kde.org/getinvolved/) [involved](http://www.kde.org/jobs/) KDE Happy 10 years and we wish you another good 10 years. omedeto & gambatte

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Posted in , , , | Posted on 13 Oct 2006 22:25by somekool |

Do you HATE your programming language?

As many of you already know, [Google](http://google.com/) recently released their [Code search](http://www.google.com/codesearch). After reading about Code search ideas and found [Expression of which programming language sucks more. For instance, Python sucks. (thx, paolo)](http://www.kottke.org/06/10/google-code-search). I thought, actually its not about which language suck the most. but what language are the programmer the less Happy with. So I checked a few of them. I'm sure the huge number next to C is related to the fact tons of C code is open sourced and C is also the oldest. but there is a huge difference there. * [PHP (20)](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22php+sucks%22&btnG=Search) * [Python (20)](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22python+sucks%22&btnG=Search) * [C++ (50)](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22c%2B%2B+sucks%22&btnG=Search) * [Java (50)](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22java+sucks%22&btnG=Search) * [C (25900)](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22+c+sucks%22&btnG=Search) But finding "qt sucks" in kdelibs source is a bit of a shame. at least for me who literaly love Qt and KDE. [Qt (total 11)](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22qt+sucks%22&btnG=Search), [KDE (total 2)](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22kde+sucks%22&btnG=Search) I am a bit disapointed to find almost none [MFC Sucks](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22mfc+sucks%22&btnG=Search). It's probably just because there is not much open MFC code. Well, I hope so. But what I found very interesting and why I am actually posting this. Is because ..... (roulement de tambour)..... **No one**, programming in [Ruby](http://ruby-lang.org) thinks that [ruby sucks](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22ruby+sucks%22&btnG=Search). For few very simple and straight reasons.... [ruby rocks](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22ruby+rocks%22&btnG=Search), [i love ruby](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22i+love+ruby%22&btnG=Search) and [ruby is fantastic](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=ruby+fantastic&btnG=Search) so go ahead and learn [Ruby](http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/downloads/) and don't forget that people DO [love their job](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22i+love+my+job%22&btnG=Search) and [more](http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&lr=&q=%22i+love+this%22&btnG=Search)

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Posted in , , | Posted on 12 Oct 2006 19:22by somekool |

My new KDE desktop

I changed my KDE desktop feels, I like it so much better :) And feel much more productive since then. it's been about a month now. and I totally love it. I got rid of everything, make it simpler looking and giving me more screen space.
1 - kicker kicker is too large and takes too much of my desktop space for things I don't need that often. making kicker smaller bugs me even more. because than I miss kicker space to put my favorite applets. some applets are annoying in their small version. but some applets are worse when kicker is vertically positioned. solution ? getting rid of it. hard. with so many programs using the systray. I can't really. Hide it ? I always hated auto-hide, but still worth the try. And I made it so its fine. I wanted hidden, easily accessible but not over-annoying like hitting a edge by accident would raise it. The top-right corner of the screen is busy for the close button. so I choose the top-left corner of the screen as a hotcorner to raise the kicker. I moved the systrays icons to the left, because systray icons are really the most important reason why I still need kicker. And I don't want to ride my mouse from the top-left corner to my systray at the other end. so I then reordered all my applets by how often I am accessing them. putting the clock on the full right as I am not clicking on it very often. the K menu that I use maybe once a month. and the Garbage not so far as I am trying it out but so far, not appealing enough. 2 - desktop icons. actually I like them, I press F11 to show my desktop and I use them very often. but recently I've been hitting on a bug that makes my desktop and kwin crash when I use the context menu of a desktop icon. and I don't like when it happens and I can't wait for the bug to be fixed. so I removed desktop icons. its nice to see my desktop backgrounds without a mess of icons on it. 3 - task switcher. I use kompose, with a hotcorner on the bottom-right and F9/F10 hotkeys. its perfect. I'm also ALT-TAB addict but I like using kompose a lot. 4 - flaws ? only one so far, I don't get changes notification from kwin. so I need to close kopete window or else I forget to answer my friends. its a big problem I'm trying to deal with. if you got any idea. I wish kompose could wake me up ;) [4a - changes notification system](http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=126749) and two more requests: [4b - get the trash applet a better tooltip](http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=126748) , [4c - titlebar buttons are just a 22 years old technlogy.](http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=126750) got solutions or comments for me ? my ears are wide open.

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Posted in , , , , | Posted on 04 May 2006 09:39by somekool |

ALSA we love you

Anyone had fun with ALSA before ? Some would say its much better than OSS and much more powerful. Some would simply say the it supports more cards (well of course, development on OSS is kinda stopped for a while already) anyway. Who need this kinda of configuration ? why there is so many options to this config file ? its like your computer could really have 5 different sound card and reroute them in some weird way. well, buy a mixer. got true use for all the power ALSA offer ? please comment below. I'm just to a point where, even though you are a geek programmer, if all you want to do is software or web development. You don't really want to understand the fully underlying sound system of your operating system to chat with your girlfriend. There is advantage Linux has I can't live without but there is huge whack of extra time that you have to spend in order to get things working. And some of you who does not have problem, well either you have not used it long enough or you are just as picky as I can be. anyway, I did not want to troll about anything today. I'm just very tired of rebooting on windows when I have to do my phone calls. And **the good news is**: I found this little hack that I need to get both my soundcard device and my USB microphone as default device.
somekool@krypton ~ $ cat /etc/asound.conf
pcm.!default {
        type asym
        playback.pcm {
                type plug
                slave.pcm "hw:0,0"
        capture.pcm {
                type plug
                slave.pcm "hw:1,0"
somekool@krypton ~ $
that's it. so now I can just use arecord to record my voice without needing any options to specify the proper device.
somekool@krypton ~ $ arecord file.wav
well am I happy ? not really. skype needs OSS or OSS emulation to work. it does not use ALSA directly. but OSS is too old. and I can't really switch my system to it. so I'm not sure if I can get an OSS-emulated device for my USB microphone or If I really need to get arts to see my microphone. arts seems the easiest way to get everything working. but for some reason, it still does not see my microphone. Hey you out there who knows all about it but are just a little to shy to help. show yourself off it will be highly appreciated.

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Posted in , , , , | Posted on 14 Apr 2006 23:59by somekool |


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