Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:04 pm
... finally I uninstalled it. Why?
To begin with, I used KDE 3 for some years. I liked the versatility of Konqueror and the well integration of KDE apps. But there was a problem: Bugs. Gradually, I replaced KDE apps by applications that had fewer bugs and worked better - until nothing was left of KDE anymore.
Now that Gnome 2 is discontinued, I've tried them all: Gnome 3, KDE, Xfce. My first impression with KDE 4.8.4 on Debian Wheezy was overwhelming: Nice looks, lots of features and the integration I've always liked with KDE. But there were things that didn't appear to work properly so I tried Kubuntu 12.04.1. Very impressive. But my excitement lasted only until Konqueror crashed. And then Amarok and Nepomuk crashed. So I removed Amarok and installed VLC instead, along with the VLC-phonon-backend, which seems to work better. The next thing I soon noticed was that some words overlap, with negative spacing, in Konqueror. This improved with the WebKit-backend, but the problem persisted. So I installed KDE 4.9 from ppa, hoping bugs to be fixed. Instead, there were new problems: Konqueror crashed each and every time I left the settings menu. So I went back to Debian Wheezy. KDE greeted me with a message that my HDA intel audio system was broken. The first thing I did was to deactivate Nepomuk to prevent it from crashing. Surprisingly, the Konqueror font issue didn't show up here, eben with the KHTML backend. Still, some things didn't work properly and I noticed obvious bugs in the system settings. The next crash of Konqueror left me really disappointed. And no, it wasn't some heavy and complicated web site, it was krita.org. Of course, not reproducible so of little value for bug reporting. I installed debug symbols. Unfortunately, DrKonqi kept telling that my backtraces aren't useful. So I tried Rekonq. Only to notice that I can't zoom embedded pdf-documents. Back to Konqueror. It crashed one time too often and I removed KDE altogether.
Frankly, I haven't experienced that many bugs in any system I've used in the past years. And that includes Win XP, Win 7, Gnome 2, Xfce. I'm not even sure if I've ever seen a Gnome 2 app crashing. Also, I found the KDE system settings, while offering more features that Gnome, quite confusing and not intuitive to use.
This all reminds me of the reasons why I left KDE 3 some years ago. Deja vu. And I'm not talking about KDE 4.0, it's KDE 4.8, which should be mature. And I haven't tried KMail 2 yet. This is really sad because KDE has a lot of features to offer and Gnome 3 refugees feel at home easily.
However, the magnitude of buggyness I experienced suggests there are more serious problems underneath. I worked on software QA in a large corporation so I'm particulary sensitive to quality issues. Remember that encountered bugs are only the tip of the iceberg. This is a problem that can't be solved anymore with bug reporting alone. Has KDE grown too complex for its available manpower? Is software design given the right priorities? How well do you test your software before you release it? And of course, things don't become easier with 100 linux distributions, different system libraries, different audio, video and web backends, and 100 knobs in the system settings. That amount of variability would be difficult to handle even by a well-staffed company and can result in an untestable system. It's a fundamental problem of linux though.
No I use Xfce with Gnome 3 applications. It has less features, doesn't look so nice, but nothing has crashed so far. And it's easier to configure either.
Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:42 pm
I'm finding most of what I read compliments Kubuntu and KDE on their recent releases. I run Kubuntu 12.04 (KDE 4.8.5) and Kubuntu 12.10 (KDE 4.9.1) and both are rock solid. I do have a few problems with the rekonq browser but that's about all. All of the crashes that I regularly experienced were fixed prior to 12.04 being released and yes there were quite a few.
So, I think you'll find that you're in a minority but I accept you've had problems. May be you'll re-install on to a second hard-drive or another PC some time and give Kubuntu and KDE further chance?
Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:52 am
Please provide more information on the "obvious system settings" bugs. It seems that majority of the problems you had were with Konqueror - with the KHTML backend.
In regards to the useless backtraces, please note that it is impossible for developers to use incomplete traces to trace and fix bugs. Generation of useful backtraces requires the installation of debugging packages, which it seems you are missing. Debug packages at a bare minimum should include Qt, kdelibs and kdepimlibs.
As for the Nepomuk crashes, on my KDE Trunk system I have not seen any for a long time, so this is quite mystifying (although without backtraces or debug output it is not possible to tell exactly why it crashed). My best guess would be that it tried to index a file which caused the indexer problems (causing the crash).
The Amarok crash could have been caused by any number of things (but without any information as to what you were doing at the time - it is impossible to tell what the issue is).
Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:56 am
I reported the systems settings bug via the Debian bts, which is connected to the KDE bts. Considering the backtraces, I did install debug packages for KDE and Qt, yet KDE told me they weren't useful.
Yesterday, I installed Kubuntu 12.10 and noticed the following:
[*] The systems settings bug is still there: Settings -> Multimedia -> Phonon -> Overview. KDE asks if the changed settings shall be applied, although I didn't change anything. Same problem for some other settings, which I don't remeber anymore.
[*] Settings -> Application Appearance -> Gtk Config -> Icon Themes. Only blank sheets are shows there instead of icons and if I select "Oxygen", Apply that setting is lost when I return.
[*] Sometimes, Muon doesn't show packages that apt-cache knows about. I type "konqueror" in the search field with the filter set to "All", but no package is shown. Also, Muon shows a lot of error messages if started from the terminal, eg
[*] The weather panel applet doesn't work.
[*] I set Settings -> Locale -> Country to Germany, but a click on the panel clock shows US holidays.
[*] Sometimes, the KDE menu just disappears while I'm still searching entries.
In our computer lab, we have Suse with KDE 4.7. The following problems happened there:
[*] Sometimes, nothing happens if you try to log out using the KDE menu. Our sysadmin knows the problem.
[*] Some students clicked on the start menu button, but the menu didn't pop up.
Gtk applications have bugs and quirks, too, but I usually don't discover that much in half an hour. Most of all, I want my system to work and I don't want to spend a lot of time fixing problems.
Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:29 pm
I don't get any of that using a gtk free - non debian based distro.
KDE runs well but in my experience there's, comparatively, very few distros that do it well.
Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:27 am
Which distros are you talking about? (just curious to know your experience).
Kubuntu seemed to me to have progressed very well with the 12.10 release.
Other people who were testing it in Ubuntu forum confirmed the latest release seems to be rock solid.
And last question: why gtk free is so important to you? I mean, you make it sound as having gtk libraries installed, would make the distro more unstable.
Is that what you mean?
All in all, in my experience Gnome is more stable than kde for some reason (even gnome 3).
But KDE seems to be coming more and more stable with the 2 latest releases.
At least this is in my experience between Opensuse, Debian/Ubuntu.
Right now, I like KDE more than Gnome 3 as a desktop, and I hope developers keep their focus on fixing things rather than adding new features,since the
desktop has already (and by far) more capabilities than any other desktop . But not matter how many wonderful features a DE might have: if the DE is not perfectly stable, very few ones will use it.
Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:03 pm
It's easier to list the distros that I've had the best (KDE) experience with (on standard hardware desktop tower, not laptop). I listed them in the 'what distro' thread in the main discussion & opinions section here. So if you go off those you've got openSUSE, Gentoo, Arch, Mandriva derivative based options.
I just came to the conclusion that the KISS principle (like most things in life) seems to work best and that seems to hold true to a large extent with my KDE experience and why Chakra has given me least problems and best KDE integration - apart from Gentoo (which is a whole different universe on it's own).
I could (and have) install 20 random distros who's main focus historically has always been the Gnome DE and get very few problems with any of them. Original Gnome 2 always was the more popular of the open source DE choices. GTK being the more popular toolkit. From what I see the same still holds true with Gnome 3 despite radical change in concept and UI.
I've seen stunning improvements through 4.8 to 4.9, both performance and stability. And I've never had a particular problem with the latter in Chakra (apart from the recent move to systemd but that's teething trouble, it'll settle)
I think the KDE hierarchy are well aware of the issues and situation and people's wishes but in this day and age I get the impression real hands on 'human resources' are at a premium.
I'd argue KDE itself is stable and more than fit for purpose, it's the implementation of KDE within distros that is the hit and miss factor. Here's something to ponder. Ask yourself why "the most popular distro", Mint manages to spit out regular Gnome / Xfce / Cinnamon / MATE releases and yet their KDE version lags behind weeks later and was deemed needing to have a partnership with Netrunner (Blue Systems) to improve.
I remember the early Red Hat days when they used to short change KDE to make Gnome their primary chosen DE look good. I had a look at Fedora KDE a few months back and I still get the same vibe off it. Problem is more distros commitment to KDE.
Just my view as an end user outsider watcher.
Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:51 am
For the System Settings bug - that would actually be a bug in the KDE Phonon support. I am not sure why that is occurring. It is possible that Phonon is configured to use a backend which is no longer present on your system.
The Gtk Configuration module does not ship as part of KDE, it is a 3rd party component shipped alongside KDE by your distribution. You should be able to find it on kde-apps.org (a 3rd party site) and let the author know of this issue there.
I'm not sure why those Muon errors are occurring - but it looks to me that you are running it using "sudo" which I don't think you should be doing. This is why it is complaining of file/directory ownership differences, and being unable to open the audio device (because it will be locked, likely using Pulseaudio). Muon uses (afaik) the KAuth framework which allows it to obtain authorization as necessary from you to execute actions administratively.
There is no such applet shipped with KDE called "Weather panel". Only "Weather Forecast" and "LCD Weather Station". The sources these two applets use depends on the backends installed on your computer but should include BBC, NOAA, Environment Canada and Wetter.com. If you are using an older version of KDE however, you may not have the Wetter.com backend, and the BBC backend may have broken due to API changes on their side.
The holidays shown by the clock are only initially set from the KDE Country setting I believe - future changes require you to add / remove the holidays you want it to show in the Digital Clock settings > Calendar.
Which "KDE menu" is this? The one provided by the Kickoff applet, or the KRunner search function (accessible through Alt + F2).
As for the logout problem, I am not aware of any issue where this should occur. The only thing that can block logout is when an application supporting the XSMP protocol specifically requests it, or is otherwise unresponsive to KDE requests for this information despite being registered as supporting XSMP.
Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:17 am
That one might be true, but unfortunately normal users (like me) don't have the time+interest to extensively test all the distros, even though I like to try new distros,
I always remained confined to the main ones (Opensuse,Ubuntu/Debian/Mint and fedore at less extent) as main installations.
About the others I tried for less than a week , but usually after less than a week I go back to the convenience offered by the main one (they usually have more documentation, more user=more help when having a problem, and easier way to install packages).
But all in all, I'd be curious to know the reason why main distros like Kubuntu (even though is not supported directly by Canonical, still has a large or at least comparable user base compared to other community-driven KDE-centric distros ) have to be less stable (if it's true) than those others.
I noticed that myself, that over the years KDE is getting less and less attention from both distro developers and also blog reviewers, for no apparent reasons.
Last case I have seen is on http://www.webupd8.org/ website.
Both Xubuntu and Lubuntu as also the new Gnome Shell Remix (along with Ubuntu obviously) got a quick preview article.
And I find that quite peculiar to say the least..
Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:19 pm
You'd be surprised at some of the smaller distro communities (and documentation) , sometimes small and manageable can function extremely well. Bigger is not always better
Ubuntu is / was a triumph of marketing in many respects. Advertising works, business spends billions on it the world over. People are influenced, a lot of it sticks, mainstream Western political parties are a great example .....Kubuntu has polish and eye candy and that's a good enough starting and ending point for a lot of people. Provided they don't run into too many glitches using it they go along with things, and it's a hassle changing for a lot of light end users (as you point out). Coming from Windows world Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Mint are like a gateway into a rather large and often complicated open source world.
It's a circle; the more popular something becomes (through marketing) the more media attention it gains, the more the media focuses on it because they know people want to read about it, which ensures them a readership - and if it's a commercial venture then advertising revenue comes into play.
I think there are a few factors at work working against KDE. I think a lot of it's down to the number of desktop environments most distributions now cater for, time and man power. Combined with fixed release cycles and a lack of people in testing for any decent length of time. Something has to give somewhere along the line.
My question would be; what makes KDE appear harder to integrate into a distribution over Gnome based desktop environments. And if that is true, what, if anything, could be done about it.
Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:24 pm
First of all, thanks brookley for your detailed explanation.
I happend with the vanilla live system I installed on USB, the installed system and after I replaced the gstreamer-backend with the vlc-backend. I did the latter because the default gstreamer backend neither plays mp3 nor avi. It also happens on opensuse in our labs.
Indeed, I used sudo so I have to enter my password only once (otherwise muon asks several times). On Debian, I use synaptics as root. Is there something like gksu which should be used instead?
I thinks it's "LCD Weather Station". I choose it by clicking the "add to panel" button on the right and selecting it from the list of available applets. I configured my location, which was found, but I don't know what backend is used. Kubuntu 12.10 uses KDE 4.9.
In KDE 4.9, I don't see such an option. But it appears the KDE Country setting is not used at all by the clock. Besides, on Linux there's locales. I feel that different places with (possibly inconsistent) locale or country settings are certain to cause problems.
The classic Win-95-style menu (I switched to the classic menu).
It happened in a local KDE session on a computer in a lab, where login passwords are stored on a server.
As for Gtk, I installed geany, which I prefer over kate. Geany uses Gtk2.
Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:44 am
The short answer: no.
The somewhat longer answer: running GUIs as root, including the associated programs needed to keep them up (dbus session, etc.) is an unneded elevation of privileges (why do you need full root access to write a configuration file, for example?) and a potential security risk. That's why stuff like Muon should not be run as root, but as regular user. KDE's authorization framework (KAuth) will take care (by asking for the appropriate password) to raise the application's privileges just for the specific purpose it needs.
Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:27 am
The continuous prompting for your credentials by Muon is a function of the policies of your distribution, which have been laid out in the PolKit configuration files. In this case, they are set to not remember authentication for a particular session, but to reprompt every time.
Running KDE applications as root, especially using "sudo" is not recommended and highly dangerous to your normal user account profile as it may overwrite configuration files, etc causing numerous permission related errors and other similar issues.
As for the Phonon issue - i'm not sure why that is happening, as it shouldn't be. I would suggest filing a bug report.
For the Weather issue - the exact applet and source in use are crucial as some backends do not provide some information. KDE 4.9 and later should display the name of the backend in brackets following the location. (bbcukmet) for instance.
For the Country issue - that is highly unusual, that should be there. You need to right click on the Digital Clock applet in the panel itself to see the settings option I mentioned.
I'm not aware of any issues involving the menus - at the very least I cannot reproduce the issue described.
Next time you see the logout problem, please try and individually close KDE and other tray based applications and try initiating a logout again.
Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:54 pm
I did not read all the threads here, but I have the most recent Sabayon Linux with KDE and I don't seem to experience any of the problems. I can't comment on Amarok, it annoyed me a long time ago, got fed up the way it works and all the bugs and now I use and old style "audacious" . Works perfectly, you can customize it to look like WinAmp, etc. Simple interface, drag and drop works, radio stations work, not a single glitch.
Maybe this is a problem with the distros you are using? I've stopped using any other distros like Mandrive, it was so full of bugs always. My problems really ended when I started using Sabayon Linux since 2007 (http://www.sabayon.org).
Updating the whole system is a charm, when you have major bug fixes your whole KDE will be updated with no hasle at all. KDE was recently fully updated twice in the past 2 weeks, so it does begg the question why so many fixes in such a short time? However, since yesterday my KDE is really solid and stable.
Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:18 am
Try KDE Mint 14
I was on Kubuntu (12.04), then went to OpenSuse because of various KDE-related issues. I heard that OpenSuse treated KDE with more respect. BUT.... it was the most incompetent Linux distribution I have ever used, and, I used the original Red Hat distro. It crashed as much as my Android tablet. Their version of LibreOffice was producing output that couldn't be read by other people with Office. Even PDF export from LibreOffice was frequently borked. Frequent crashes upon resume from sleep. Absolutely no control over processor speed and system load. Most of the negative views of Nepomuk/Strigi comes from this sort of system resource consumption that gets out of control on some distros. There were just too many bad implementations specific to OpenSuse that caused the distro to be misery. The last straw was that KRandRTray was still borked on OpenSuse, but far worse than Kubuntu. I was at a conference and was trapped at the podium while I rebooted trying to get the video out to work.
I switched to KDE Mint Linux 14 with finally great performance, stability and only some minor configuration issues that people in other KDE forums can help with. Mint is far better than Kubuntu. That's my advice.
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