JAN
25
2009

KDE 4.2 - progress in a year

More than a year ago I wrote a post about KDE 4.0, I was quite unsatisfied with how in was and that we are going to release a product that has defects and in the eyes of the users will be a step back. I actually switched to KDE4 as my main desktop sometime during the 4.1 developing cycle. Since then I use KDE trunk on one machine and whatever my distro (openSUSE) provides on another one. There is always a shock when I have to use the distro packages. They did a very good job on integration and in many cases the distro package looks more polished than my self compiled one, still I was always liked the trunk version better. The improvement between 4.1.x and 4.0.x and 4.x.x and 4.1.x is just so big, using the older version is like going back several years. Not talking when I use KDE 3.5 on some other machines. I miss KDE 4.2 a lot in that case. Was it good that we released 4.0 a year ago? I think it was bad from PR point of view, but probably needed to actually have a 4.2 like the one will appear soon in the wild.
Yes, there are still issues, yes there are some applications that aren't ported or their port is not up to the expectations (yet). Luckily, unless your distribution did it wrong, it is possible to run the KDE3 applications under KDE4, without much hassle.
In the previous blog I complained about performance. My system is almost the same, except the video card is a newer one. And buying a new card at that time caused more trouble, and virtually no visible speedup at that time. Meantime the drivers improved (also due to KDE!), KDE improved (both kwin and plasma), and now I can use my system with effects enabled without thinking about performance. The current performance problems are actually caused by the flash plugin and its wrappers, in many case they start to use 100% CPU power. I'm not sure it can be fixed by us or the wrapper developers, what I know that both Konqueror and Firefox suffer from this problem. I just had to close down Firefox running in a KDE3 session because the X server for that session used completely one core.
I'm happy now with KDE4 and trunk already has some improvements compared to 4.2 that I enjoy. :) I'm amazed by the progress of KDE, aren't you amazed as well?

PS: If you miss Quanta being ported and you know C++/Qt, you should help. The only way to make it a KDE4 application is to finish the port, it won't happen magically if noone works on it. :(

Comments

Why aren't you using the :KDE4:FACTORY or even :KDE4:UNSTABLE repositories on your "distro packages" machine? OpenSUSE made a concious decision not to push version upgrades to the regular update channels like Fedora does (in Fedora, we're going to push out 4.2.0 as an update for Fedora 10 and even Fedora 9), but they provide repositories in their build service you can upgrade to: STABLE for the 4.n.x point releases (but that's not really what you're looking for), FACTORY for the 4.x upgrades and even UNSTABLE with trunk snapshots. As far as I know, the UNSTABLE repository is usually at most days behind trunk.

I wish I had time to help you with Quanta, but I'm already swamped. :-( Fedora is still stuck with kdewebdev 3.5.10 because of Quanta.


By Kevin Kofler at Sun, 01/25/2009 - 15:38

On my desktop machine I'm not using their packages, because I want to have a version that I can update quickly from source or debug something if needed. The other machine (laptop) where I use the distro packages is something that I must always work, without spending too much time with it, so I prefer to keep it as "clean" as possible.


By amantia at Sun, 01/25/2009 - 20:59