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My KDE Neon experience after 15 years of KDE

mcallegari
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Hi, first of all allow me to say that I always loved KDE.
I've started using it since version 3.1 and I always suggested it to people approaching Linux.
I definitely hate Unity and always considered the Qt libraries superior to GTK libraries. (I am a Qt developer myself)

Unfortunately, after 15 years of usage, my opinion about KDE is changing and I'm going to explain why.
Last year I've bought an Inspiron 15 7559 laptop and as a natural choice, I opted to install Kubuntu 16.04.
I started having crashes and awkward behaviours, and I always told to myself: "this is going to be fixed with updates, like what happened with KDE 4.0".
The more I updated KDE, the more bugs I was having, until I found this blog post.

So I thought: alright, then it's a matter of having the proper KDE-Qt combination, and I decided to format my laptop and install KDE Neon, to wash away every doubt about inconsistent dependencies.
Result: same bugs, same [email protected] Basically what Martin said in his post about Qt seems like a bunch of excuses to me, and KDE is really buggy as it is. To make things worse, KDE is regressing on updates.
Now the question is: how is it possible that after 9 iterations of the KDE plasma framework, there are still so many issues on a Desktop Environment supposed to be stable for production usages ?

Here's a list of what I personally found. More details on each one can be provided on request.

- KDE Neon black screen
Flashed neon-userltsedition-20170302-1618-amd64.iso on a USB pendrive. Booted it up: black screen after the KDE logo.
Took me a while to figure out the "nomodesetting" trick, since my laptop has a dual Intel-nVidia card.
As a matter of facts, you can blame nVidia as much as you like (as if nobody in the world use nVidia cards), but you've got an image booting into a marvellous black screen with no apparent explanation.
I had to go through the installation on a awful resolution of (I think) 1024x768, risking to have windows cut out of the screen the whole time.

- KDE Neon is not ready for 4K (or HiDPI if you prefer)
My laptop has a 15" touchscreen 4K display. A strange combination, I know, but I bought it mostly for that, to test my Qt application on every possible resolution.
In any case, 4K monitors are becoming more and more popular nowadays.
Result: you're going to have a GRUB menu and a SDDM login screen which are impossible to read. I can post the screenshots if you want.
Now, this is not a matter of Googling like hell and finding all the possible hacks to fix GRUB and SDDM. This is a matter of out-of-the-box user experience, which is bad considering we're in 2017, and not 1995.
How many more iterations will it take to have a damn option in the "Login Screen (SDDM)" configuration page to set a specific screen resolution ?
Or even better, why can't SDDM adopt by default the same resolution set in KDE ?

- Multi screen support is awful - Screenshot
I've got an old Philips 1280x1024 17" VGA monitor that I sometimes use to test multiscreen features of my software.
Modern laptops don't have a VGA port anymore, so I've got a HDMI-VGA adapter. Please note that these adapters take the power source from the HDMI connector, so when they're plugged in it always "seems" there is a monitor connected, even if it's not.
As per the 4K issue above, I decided to set my laptop screen resolution to 1920x1080 to avoid having to tweak each and every application size.
When I plug the HDMI-VGA adapter in (even with the external monitor powered down), KDE goes into 4K resolution (WTF!?)
So I open the "Displays" settings and set again 1920x1080 on my laptop screen and 1280x1024 on the external monitor.
Obviously I set the laptop screen as primary, but this seems to be not so obvious to KDE, which decides to move all my applications to the external monitor, even if it's not even powered up.
This is the most annoying issue I'm having on KDE, cause when I turn on my laptop, I need to decide if I need the external monitor or not, therefore plugging the adapter (or not)
In any case, the "primary monitor" issue needs to be fixed cause it makes the multiscreen experience really really bad.

- Dolphin eats all my RAM when copying large amount of data
My laptop has 16GB of RAM. Sometimes I need to copy large amount of data (let's say 30GB) to an external NTFS USB hard disk.
No matter if I'm copying one single file or multiple files, all the transferred data is cached into RAM.
When the RAM gets full, Linux starts to swap, and my laptop becomes unusable. The transfer rate goes from 30MB/s to 100K/s.
So I need to stay in front of the PC for the whole time, with a shell open, tracking the RAM usage and doing a "echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches" whenever the RAM is about to get filled.
I mean, has anyone really tested Dolphin ? It's a file manager for god's sake, and it's supposed to perform file operations with no glitches. I don't believe transferring 30GB of data is an esoteric operation no one has ever thought about. And please don't tell me "this is how Linux works", cause Dolphin on KDE 4 was not having this issue.

- Kate freezes on startup
Kate is my primary text editor (I even contributed to it many years ago with the Symbol viewer plugin). Up to a couple of Plasma versions ago, it was working fine.
After some updates (can't really tell the exact version cause I'm confused about the colorful number of versions KDE has now), every time I open it for the first time, it freezes for like 5 sedonds for no reason. It doesn't accept keys, mouse clicks or anything. If I open another document once Kate "unlocks" itself, it doesn't freeze.

- White on gray tooltips - Screenshot
KDE tries to apply the Breeze theme also to non KDE applications...failing miserably.
Open FileZilla (or Inkscape) and hover on a toolbar icon. You'll get a fantastic white-on-lightgray totally unreadable tooltip.
Again, really bad user experience.

- Folder view plasma widget regressed - Screenshot
Another example of regression is the folder view widget. I have one on my desktop to launch applications. 2 days ago there's been a big update of KDE Neon libraries and now when I hover the icons in the folder view, they don't cancel the hover when the mouse exits from the icon area.
This is simply ridicolous, and makes me wonder if there is a serious issue in testing KDE components when releasing new versions.

In conclusion, I am considering to move away from KDE, in favour of some more efficient DE.
After so many years of supportive passion, even accepting crashes every now and then, it breaks my heart to being let down like this.

I don't really understand what happened over the years that led KDE to be like this, but the current state it's in is not acceptable anymore. At least not for me.
I really had the impression KDE is not properly tested, even though I know there's a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the quality standard high.
Please do not do the same mistake of Qt of keep adding new features without fixing the current features first.

I do hope my post will trigger some action and I'd really love to keep using KDE and suggesting it to other Linux users, but please, do something.
NoNameNoBlame
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Thank You very much!

I, too, think KDE could be the best.
But, unfortunately, it's not usable for production.
I only use it for entertainment and experimenting.

À propos 'Dolphin':
I wanted to copy a directory from local to a remote SMB-share.
Well, this worked. But I couldn't delete the directory on the remote
share. Since then, I only use 'Midnight Commander'
or 'command line'-commands for copying and removing.
I don't trust this 'Dolphin'-thing.

If I change 'Konqueror' from web-view to filesystem-view,
it hangs infinitely or crashes. And so on …

The Breeze-Theme was no really tested for GTK-Applications
like Firefox. That would be unbelievable, if it wasn't real.

KDE doesn't need new features or applications.
It needs bug fixes.

Nonetheless, I like KDE better than GNOME.

---

A little diversion/excursion:

Unfortunately, no distribution delivers a good
fallback-configuration for 'twm'.

But 'twm' "just works".

I'd very much like to have a user-friendly, modern
graphical configuration interface for 'twm' and 'xterm'.

Why? Both are not pretty/sexy. But they work since decades
more or less flawlessly.

---

If I (or any user) start(s) 'konqueror',
it opens on its default page:

about:konqueror

The first thing everybody can see is:
Icon-Links are broken.

What does this mean?
It means: The maintainer not even clicked once on
his/her application to check the first-opened window.

What does this mean for KDE as
a whole Desktop User Experience?

Especially for new users?

I don't care, because I can switch anytime to another
desktop environment or none at all (still staying on Free-Unix:
I don't need Microsoft or Apple for work).
For me, KDE is entertainment.

But for others?
ivanthekdefan
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On Neon Developer.
Black screen: Yes, NVIDIA is buggy. This is not a KDE issue. It's a problem on Linux Mint and pretty much every distro. I use Intel Graphics, but I recommend AMD graphics on Linux.
HiDPI errors: KDE neon/SDDM/GRUB issue. Not KDE issue. SDDM issue can be partially fixed using:
Code: Select all
xrandr --dpi <dpi>

and editing SDDM configs as well. Not sure about GRUB though.
Multiscreen errors: No comment. I believe that there is some effort to fix this, but I don't have another (good) screen to test this on.
Dolphin eats RAM: Copying 120 GB of files and Dolphin is using 558 MB of RAM.
KATE freezes: Not happening to me
White-on-gray tooltips: Not happening to me. Try changing the theme.
Folderview issues: KDE git(the 5.10 previews) now have spring-loading in a full folder-view desktop. You should use that instead.


Hi, I'm Ivan, a competent computer user (which means geek to most). I run KDE neon Developer when it works and KDE neon User when Developer doesn't work.
Hope I helped you with any problems you may have had :)
arturasb
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Hi.

Sorry to hear that your KDE experience got worse recently.

~Year ago I had similar experiences with Kubuntu due to not updated Plasma 5 stuff - it was either broken or missing. Tried Manjaro, openSUSE, but always wanted Debian/Ubuntu based distro.
KDE Neon saved my life with KDE. I installed it ~6 month ago before Calamares was introduced. It was (and still is !!!) smooth. It was updated almost immediately after KDE was releasing Plasma or Applications' updates, way ahead other distros (including Kubuntu).

It doesn't make any easier but remember how terrible was KDE3-to-KDE4 transition. It is pity that lessons were not learned for Plasma 4-to-Plasma 5 transition :(. But it should be getting better and better. Before we see Plasma 5-to-Plasma 6 transition emerging :)

Regards
Artūras
ivanthekdefan
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arturasb wrote:Hi.

Sorry to hear that your KDE experience got worse recently.

~Year ago I had similar experiences with Kubuntu due to not updated Plasma 5 stuff - it was either broken or missing. Tried Manjaro, openSUSE, but always wanted Debian/Ubuntu based distro.
KDE Neon saved my life with KDE. I installed it ~6 month ago before Calamares was introduced. It was (and still is !!!) smooth. It was updated almost immediately after KDE was releasing Plasma or Applications' updates, way ahead other distros (including Kubuntu).

It doesn't make any easier but remember how terrible was KDE3-to-KDE4 transition. It is pity that lessons were not learned for Plasma 4-to-Plasma 5 transition :(. But it should be getting better and better. Before we see Plasma 5-to-Plasma 6 transition emerging :)

Regards
Artūras

Calamares was introduced in the developer edition only, not the user edition. It has less features than Ubiquity, but for me it worked.


Hi, I'm Ivan, a competent computer user (which means geek to most). I run KDE neon Developer when it works and KDE neon User when Developer doesn't work.
Hope I helped you with any problems you may have had :)
arturasb
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ivanthekdefan wrote:Calamares was introduced in the developer edition only, not the user edition. It has less features than Ubiquity, but for me it worked.


True. I didn't mean it was introduced to User Edition, I just wanted to specify a point in time ;)
kpiwowarski
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mcallegari wrote:I do hope my post will trigger some action and I'd really love to keep using KDE and suggesting it to other Linux users, but please, do something.


Did you report these bugs? I think using https://bugs.kde.org/ is better way than posting on forum ;)
How to report issues
User avatar edgarejm
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This post is depressing me :( I just wiped out windows in favor of Kubuntu. I hope I won't regret it.


oshunluvr
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If you have 15 years experience with KDE (as do I) and you're a QT developer, I have to wonder why you don't understand that some of these issue are not related to KDE/Plasma like SDDM and nVIdia drivers and why you aren't posting bug reports instead of, well, whining? Do you really think general, undocumented, complaints are a path to bug resolution? Sceenshots are not bug reports and this isn't a place where anyone who matters is likely to read your comments and if they do, they aren't going to hunt you down, come over to your house, and trouble-shoot your problems for you.

Since these aren't actually bugs reports, here are my retorts to your complaints:

KDE Neon black screen - Never happened here. Nvidia GTX780 with three screens. However, anyone who has installed Linux over the last 3-4 years has encountered or at least read about the "nomodeset" situation. 20 seconds of web searching will reveal it. I had to use it on my old Q6600 machine with a GT8800 but I upgraded last year and haven't used any boot options beyond default since then.
KDE Neon is not ready for 4K - SDDM is not part of KDE/Plasma. Change your display manager.
Multi screen support is awful - Agreed, some what. The lack of "Primary Display" functionality is a PITA at this time. It is a known area of issue and being worked on. Of course, odd ball combinations, ancient CRT monitors and rarely used adapters are hardly a common test case for over-all multi monitor support. I work with Windows setups and often have issues like you describe, even with supposedly "better" driver and configuration tools. I have a triple montior setup and except for a few programs which open on the wrong screen, I have no complaints.
Dolphin eats all my RAM when copying large amount of data - Never happened here. Of course, I don't use NTFS so maybe the problem lies there. I transfer large amount of files via NFS and don't see this happening.
Kate freezes on startup - I use Kate every day and never I've seen this.
White on gray tooltips - Doesn't happen here. I use Breeze. I have inkscape installed. Try a different theme or figure out why your's is behaving poorly.
Folder view plasma widget regressed - Not happening here. I use the Folder View widget and don't see this.

With this number of issues that frankly, I don't believe exist at large, I can only assume you have a larger installation problem. This sounds to me like you have either "upgraded" from Kubuntu to KDEneon (not recommended by the KDEneon team because of large numbers of potential problems) or you're running one of the Developer editions.

In conclusion, I agree with you; you should absolutely move away from KDE. Plasma 5 and KDEneon are in heavy development - mind you at no cost to me or you. What a free, no cost, open source, project like this one needs are users who contribute, report bugs, do their own research, attempt to resolve issues on their own, help other users by constructively participating in forums and/or IRC, and pass on their findings, experiences, and results back to the project and it's users. - in short, everything this post is not. There are plenty of distros and DEs that are not under much development that are likely better suited to someone with your needs. Good luck to you.
raddison
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Hi,
There are some issues, yes. But I'm confident they'll get sorted out. Neon is a major undertaking and quite frankly the only GNU/Linux OS on which I don't miss Windows anymore. I think criticism is welcome, especially when well-founded and constructive.


Best wishes community,
Richard


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mcallegari
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oshunluvr wrote:If you have 15 years experience with KDE (as do I) and you're a QT developer, I have to wonder why you don't understand that some of these issue are not related to KDE/Plasma like SDDM and nVIdia drivers and why you aren't posting bug reports instead of, well, whining? Do you really think general, undocumented, complaints are a path to bug resolution? Sceenshots are not bug reports and this isn't a place where anyone who matters is likely to read your comments and if they do, they aren't going to hunt you down, come over to your house, and trouble-shoot your problems for you.

I'm wondering why you wasted time of your life to reply when it seems to me you read alternate rows of my post, and you clearly didn't get the point of it.
I mentioned I am a developer for the sole fact that I know how a development cycle works. I am indeed capable of opening proper bug reports (I have a number open in the Qt JIRA system), but I don't really have time to do it also for KDE. I am already oberated by my own project and by following Qt craziness.
I am pretty sure if KDE developers are as picky as Qt ones, I will spend hours to provide logs, and rebuild stuff. Hours that I don't physically have.
In any case I stated "More details on each one can be provided on request.", but you probably skipped that line.

I have written my post with the "user hat on", not the developer one. And as a long time KDE user, I am surprised of the current status after 9 minor versions. KDE 4 was kind of stable around 4.4 - 4.5.

Another thing that it seems not clear to you is that KDE Neon is a distribution, not an application, thus my comments about the integration with SDDM and nVidia.
As a user, I expect a distribution to be consistent with the components they picked. In this case GRUB, SDDM, a specific kernel, specific Qt libs and so on.
Instead, it seems they only tackle the "Qt inconsistency", leaving all the rest exactly as it happens in Kubuntu. Honestly I expected more from a dedicated KDE distro.
For example (regarding nVidia) why on earth do we have Mesa 12.0.6 when it's damn clear that Mesa 17.0 is light years ahead of that ?? This sounds like shooting on their own balls to me.

oshunluvr wrote:With this number of issues that frankly, I don't believe exist at large, I can only assume you have a larger installation problem. This sounds to me like you have either "upgraded" from Kubuntu to KDEneon (not recommended by the KDEneon team because of large numbers of potential problems) or you're running one of the Developer editions.

I am not running a developer edition. I even stated the exact filename of the iso image I installed. Probably another line you skipped.
Anyway, this is the only useful thing you said in your reply. I too suspect something went wrong when switching from Kubuntu to Neon. (even though the KDE version is the same....)
I normally partition my drive to have / separated from /home. Before installing Neon, I formatted the root partition, but obviosuly I kept /home, and I manually wiped all the KDE data that it seemed relevant to me (e.g. the whole .kde folder and all the k* and plasma* files in .config). Probably that wasn't enough and that's why I'm having so many weird behaviours. And I'll add more. Qt 5.8 introduced an evilish cache system of QML components. It drove me crazy one day cause I believe there's a bug with singleton object bindings. After hours of seeking a ghost I realized I had to wipe that damn cache. This is not mentioned anywhere and I'm afraid KDE might have issues with that too.

In any case, that's the whole point of my post: seeing if someone had a clue for what I am experiencing with Neon.

oshunluvr wrote:In conclusion, I agree with you; you should absolutely move away from KDE. Plasma 5 and KDEneon are in heavy development - mind you at no cost to me or you. What a free, no cost, open source, project like this one needs are users who contribute, report bugs, do their own research, attempt to resolve issues on their own, help other users by constructively participating in forums and/or IRC, and pass on their findings, experiences, and results back to the project and it's users. - in short, everything this post is not. There are plenty of distros and DEs that are not under much development that are likely better suited to someone with your needs. Good luck to you.

Again, "heavy development" after 9 minor versions sounds ridicolous to me. If that's the truth, then again IMHO I'm afraid there are bad choices behind the release cycle policy.
Also, isn't this a forum ? In a "KDE Neon" area I would expect KDE Neon responsibles to read the posts. Am I really expecting too much ?
I don't think KDE/KDE Neon people can expect to have an army of developers ready to help them hunting bugs. They are the developers ! They should take the responsibility for what they release. At least, that is what I do when I release a new version of my software, and I am more than prepared to pour shame on me if something went wrong in testing my software.
User avatar subdiff
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> why on earth do we have Mesa 12.0.6

Because Neon is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. If you want Mesa 17 (I did), you can use the available PPAs for it.
raddison
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@mcallegari
I haven't skipped anything and I'm sure your topic will trigger some reaction. I endorse your topic. It's just that I would fancy a more optimistic approach. Thank you for opening the topic. I trust the devs have read the issues encompssed by it attentively. Cheers.


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User avatar apachelogger
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mcallegari wrote:The more I updated KDE, the more bugs I was having


KDE is a community. I should think that you didn't update a bunch of people.

I need to point out that this forum is not a means of reporting or getting bugs fixed (that would be https://bugs.kde.org). You can, of course, discuss the issues to your heart's content, but ultimately it would remain just that - a discussion in a random corner of the internet.

Free software empowers you to be more than an idle bystander. In fact, with KDE software being largely created and released by a bunch of volunteers doing the work in their spare time if you want things to change, the best way to go about it is to use said power. Lasting happiness with the many products KDE creates can only come from affecting change, and to do that you need to put your best foot forward and engage in the process yourself.

Occasionally test software before its release. File bug reports when you notice problems. Perhaps even be bold and talk to developers on the relevant mailing lists.

Get Involved!


Annoyed with bbcode since 1999.
mcallegari
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@raddison
I was replying to @oshunluvr (quoted)
On the contrary I found your comment constructive and I appreciated it

@apachelogger
Yeah, I'm aware of that. I just wanted to start a discussion about the current status of KDE/KDE Neon. Eventually bugs can be opened, tests can be made :)

Tonight I will do a hard reset of my /home hidden folders and see what happens. In case, is there a KDE-way to do a "factory reset" without manually messing up the home directory ? Thanks.

 
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