My rant: How not to do blogs...

Apparently, with my original posting here, I stepped on several people's toes. I'm sorry for that, and for this reason, I've simply removed this content (and also because - as some of you pointed out - some of the things I mentioned were not Plasma's fault, but workarounds or bugs in other areas, although to me as a user they appeared on Plasma).

On the other hand, my frustration with KDE is growing... I find my self more and more replacing KDE applications with GNOME applications, simply because the KDE application does not fulfill my needs or is buggy, while the GNOME application provides the fundamentals that I need.
When KDE 4.0 came out, I accepted the excuse that some things simply needed the time to be ironed out. However, now at KDE 4.4, my biggest problems are still there:

  • Printing in Konqueror is just not working so I have to use Firefox (and yes, I posted messages to bug reports),
  • KDE's printer dialog does not seem to remember any settings, and it also messes up CUPS in other applications
  • VPN does not work in knetworkmanager so I have to use nm-applet (and knm does not display the list of available networks),
  • Booklet printing is missing altogether so I have to use Acroread to print my students' seminar works and other papers,
  • printing landscape slides 2-up doesn't work in Okular so I have to use Acroread to print handouts for the students,
  • KMail regularly decides to eat my inbox or my calendar,
  • My bluetooth headset is working only with gnome-bluetooth and gnome-volume-control-applet
  • etc.

(And just for the record, for most of these problems I either filed bug reports or talked to the maintainers on IRC, who told me mostly, that it's not their application to blame, but some underlying framework and I could do nothing about it...)


here are some:

- How about replacing the categories sideways-list with a simple combo box? I like the whole horizontal "add widget..." idea in general, but I agree that this part of it is just awful. A combobox wouldn't take up any more space -- actually less -- and would be significantly more usable, I think.

- I don't know how big of a problem the "you can't see how much stuff is in the list" thing is in practice, but it seems like it could be solved by adding a thin(!) black scrollbar underneath the list without doing very much violence to the visual appeal.

As for the "the names of widgets don't fit" problem, which I think is the most serious one -- two identical KDE icons next to each other each with "Application" underneath is the most egregious case -- I don't really see any elegant solution, except maybe making the whole thing a bit taller and the space for each entry wider. Actually -- using the extra vertical space to allow widget names to wrap over into a second line, seems like it would solve 95% of the problem at least.

By Gábor Lehel at Tue, 03/16/2010 - 18:59

The task switcher belongs to kwin and is only Plasma styled. The problem is in fact not that the title is center aligned, but that some windows have very long names and in that case the complete layout looks terrible if it is left aligned. Nevertheless there are different layouts available and there is also one layout available which does have left aligned titles (it's the compact layout). I hope to add the custom configuration for 4.5.

Btw I think it is way better to report bugs or contact us on IRC for such issues instead of "blaming" here on planetkde. Especially as you blamed plasma with two issues with one not belonging to plasma ;-)

By mgraesslin at Tue, 03/16/2010 - 19:17

You are right, the compact layout makes reading the list easier by left-aligning the window titles. But the problem is that the icons are so small that they are hardly distinguishable (in particular since in KDE 4.x it seems that all applications have either same grayish or some bluish icon, so the color cannot be used to distinguish applications).

But I still think that the problem with the list is that it is centered. Reading centered lists with unevenly long entries is very hard and takes a lot of mental effort (and a lot more eye movement).

By Reinhold Kainhofer at Wed, 03/17/2010 - 01:58

> Printing in Konqueror is just not working so I have to use Firefox (and yes, I posted
> messages to bug reports)

well, posting to bug reports won't help if you don't actually *track* the bug reports' evolution...

Most printing bugs in konqueror (assuming you mean #214352 and friends) were an indirect consequence of a workaround for a Qt bug that got recently fixed.

As a consequence, the workaround was removed and printing is now working fine as far as we know on all pages as of Konqueror 4.4.1

Please at least double check your facts if you are going to rant - you aren't helping anyone here.

By spart at Wed, 03/17/2010 - 10:58