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Frustrated with KDE SC 4.4, High Hopes for KDE SC 4.5

KDE SC Casper
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I know this is just my opinion so please respect that. I've been a BIG KDE fan since I discovered Linux back in 2008. I first installed Ubuntu inside Windows Vista and loved it. When I tried KDE 3.5 Kubuntu I loved that even more and erased Vista and made Kubuntu my main system. Through the rough spots with KDE 3.5 to 4.0 transition I, like many, switched back to Gnome but was always missing my KDE desktop. I find myself in a similar situation today.
When KDE 4.2.3 rolled around I started looking to make the switch back and I did. It was rough at first but I finally got all the apps I needed and things up and running the way I wanted, I was quite pleased. When KDE 4.3 came along I was even happier and found myself not missing any other desktop. KDE 4.3.5 put the polish on it and I was very happy.
Then came KDE SC 4.4, things started to fall apart from here. Random crashes seemed to come out of nowhere. When I plugged in a device the pop-up window ALWAYS showed up in the middle of the screen. Amarok searching now became slow and would freeze every night while making a playlist. To top it off, the VERY USEFUL Power Manager Widget had been reduced to nothing short of useless. I could not change power schemes from the drop down menu. The list goes behind the task bar with no way to fix it. This left me with using the KDE command bar, which left with all it's default options checked would freeze up over 75% of the time. I had to un-check most of the bar's functions to get it to work without freezing then open the main Power Control Center and change the Power Scheme from there. This would be fine it I could remember every day to change it back. In KDE 4.3.5 it changed back to the default automatically.
These problems I thought would surely be fixed with one of the next point updates, and to date they have not. KDE 4.4.1, then 4.4.2 to KDE SC 4.4.4 came and no fixes for any of the bugs. Color me disappointed, BIG TIME!
Now, to be sure it was not just my imagination, or a specific distribution I download and installed PCLinuxOS 2010, openSUSE, Sabayon and updated all to KDE SC 4.4.4. ALL DISTRIBUTIONS had the same bugs, in the same places! To further test I downloaded the current version of Linux Mint KDE which is at KDE 4.3.5, Kubuntu 9.10 and MEPIS Linux (KDE 4.3.5). None of the above bugs existed and could not be reproduced. Even with the same version(s) of Amarok!
The easiest solution would be to stick with a distribution that still has KDE4.3.5. The ONLY problem is a lot of the other apps are not updated, hard to update, or very time consuming to update. A catch 22 situation for sure.
For now, I have once again gone back to gnome (Ubuntu). As good of a job as Ubuntu does I REALLY miss my KDE desktop! I'm already fully aware of the workarounds that exist for some of the bugs, fine, but a pain in the backside. I searched forums, Google and anywhere I could think of for solutions but came up empty. I believe, just being an end user I tried. I KNOW I did.
I'm not sure what happened but I have a few ideas. KDE is moving VERY fast in it's development cycles. When changes are made that fast sometimes quality can slip (even ever so slightly) to let bugs accumulate and pass through). KDE SC IS a great desktop and I'm not slamming the developers in any way! I believe and have hope that the future will fix the issues I mentioned along with improved stability. I know that KDE and Gnome are constantly slammed because of a feature they don't have in comparisons to Windows or Mac OS. I see a lot of this in the forums. The fact is Linux, Gnome and KDE SC will not and can not be everything to everybody, and if you want a one size fits all then your better off sticking with Windows in the first place. I hope that on the same level KDE SC does not try to become every thing to everybody. That would be a shame.
Finally, I hope (REALLY Hope) that KDE SC 4.5 brings back the KDE I love, is more stable and obvious bugs like a few I've mentioned don't get passed over. I'd much rather have a slower development cycle than frustrating bugs. I think we all hate those small annoying bugs!

PLEASE REMEMBER this is MY opinion only. I've tried to present my frustration in a balanced way and I would appreciate any POSITIVE feedback!
Thanks for reading!
User avatar Punky
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So, does kde 4.5 has brought stability for you?
KDE SC Casper
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Hello Punky,
Sorry for the late reply. So far, I have not upgraded to KDE SC 4.5. I decided to wait until the 4.5.1 release at the end of August to do a fresh install. Then upgrade to 4.5.1. I'll let you know how it goes!


Thanks a Lot!!
KDE SC Casper
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UPDATE: Two different installs of KDE SC 4.5.1. Both with Linux Mint 9 (KDE Version)
1. Dell XPS M1330 Dual Core, Nvidia Go 8400M GS, 4 GIG RAM, 320GB 7200 PRM Drive.
2. Dell Vostro 3300 i5 Intel with on-board graphics, 4 GIGS RAM, 320GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive.

On both systems I started with a fresh install of Linux Mint 9 KDE, added back-ports and updated (sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -f) and then booted into the desktop. I then added back-port repositories to enable full updates to KDE SC 4.5.1. On both systems after the full upgrade, I went into Dolphin (both root and home folders and renamed the .kde folders to .kde.OLD. I wanted to make sure I was starting with fresh configuration files!
The Dell XPS M1330 Booted into the system fine and had NO graphic problems. Install of software went fine and a great improvement over KDE SC 4.4.5. HOWEVER, I ran into TWO different problems. First, Nepomuk and Strigi search did NOT work from Krunner as it did so well in 4.4.5. So, I did a lot of Google-ing and finally I decided to carefully add Maverick resources to my Lucid repositories. The Nepomuk versions seemed the same, however,
the strigi plug-ins were all updated for Maverick. I carefully updated ONLY the Strigi plug-ins and turned off Nepomuk search services. I deleted the:
/home/user/.kde/share/apps/nepomuk/ folder and the
/home/user/.kde/share/config/nepomukserverrc and the
/home/user/.kde/share/config/nepomukstrigirc configuration files. I rebooted and enabled Nepomuk under System Settings and let in re-index my specified folders. After that, it worked correctly.
Secondly, Dolphin was acting strangely with freeze-ups and quitting. In these forums under this topic, "[KDE 4.5.1] Right click on files/folders is freezing Dolphin." I found a Ubuntu repository with upgraded libdbus packages which seemed to sole the problems.
So, my observation is it may be best to wait until the distro's come out with their new versions and avoid a few hassles. overall I'm quite please with KDE SC 4.5.1, HOWEVER a newbie might get a headache and return to Gnome or Windows 7 if the don't know what they are doing.
My new Vostro 3300 proved to be a little more problematic. not only did I have to fix the Strigi packages and update the libdbus packages (the ppa for the libdbus files can be found here, https://launchpad.net/~aleksander-m/+ar ... evelopment
After these two fixes, because I opted for the Intel graphics chip I had no blur effect and my pop-up thumbnails had no images in them. Again, after searching on the web and this forum I found that blacklisting the, "Lanczos," filters in the, ~/.kde/share/config/kwinrc
file I was able to restore pictures to my thumbnails. The Windows blur effect I found would work if I kept turning in down in System Settings to, "less intensity," setting I found I could get it to work. I breathed a sigh of relief and went on. Two days later I decided to try one more experiment. I COMPLETELY BACKED UP MY SYSTEM WITH BACKINTIME FIRST! Next I added "xorg-edgers fresh X crack" to my repository and updated the system. MAKE SURE YOU INSTALL ppa-purge in case it borks your system! After it upgraded the packages and I rebooted Kwin seems more reponsive. I lost my pop-up thumbnail pictures but was able to turn up blur to the recommended settings. In the ~/.kde/share/config/kwinrc file I had to update the blacklist information for the Lanczos filter and once again I have working pop-up thumbnails. Yeah!?!?
WOW, the new Intel Graphics Chipset proved to be quite a problematic stinker! Now that it's up and running I'm leaving it alone. That was a lot of work. Newbies stay away Linux veterans should have pretty good luck, I hope. MY opinion is that I like KDE SC 4.5.1. Obviously, I will like it a lot more once these items are straightened out. I do think these fixes will be sooner that later.

 
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