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KDE 4: Good, bad, ugly.. mostly bad January 13, 2008

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.

After all the work that went into developing KDE 4, Im just pissed they didnt produce anything even resembling useful or user friendly.

The good:

This is a very short list, visually KDE 4 is beautiful. Its got some drop dead GORGEOUS wallpaper and themes and the color arrangement is one of the best. The desktop blends together and doesnt have any aspect where it doesnt look like it fits. This is the biggest and really only improvement.

The Bad
It doesnt compensate for GTK themes and GTK apps dont look like a first class citizen, they look like a “go away I dont want you here citizen”, before someone pipes up and says configure the gtkrc file, I didnt have to do that in KDE 3 and i shouldnt have to do it in KDE 4. Sorry. There is no way to configure the panel size or location so Im stuck with this monsterous blob at the bottom of the screen, There is also no way thats user friendly to add applets to the panel. The desktop icon system looks like something that came from Irix or CDE. The default filemanger is good but for some reason when I mount removable media there is a delay in the opening of any readable data.

The ugly.

Not so much ugly as there is bad. One thing I noticed and from reading forums is that to do anything really useful, you must edit configuration files in “.kde” in your home directory. KDE Team, 1995 called and they want their text configuration files back.

Well, thats mostly it. In this release the KDE team shows clear lack of respect for screen real estate. I was supposed to go to the release party but I dont feel like being celebrating this release as for me its been a huge disappointment. I cannot in good regards suggest this desktop to anyone. Stick with KDE 3 or GNOME and let them fix the train wrecked plane crash that is KDE 4.



1. Niels Egberts - January 15, 2008

Kde4 is not meant to be better than 3.5 in the first place. They also discourage to give it as default to the users. Kde is a large project, and half of the projects were ready for a release, and the other half (like plasma and the dock) is not. But becouse many project are in fact ready they released 4.0. Read this:

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing – there has been a lot of discussion about what was promised and what is going to be released. In order to appreciate KDE 4.0 and the packages provided by openSuSE, you should read and spread the following: blog 1, blog 2 , blog 3

“To make a long story short: KDE 4.0 is not and never was meant to replace 3.5.x for regular users. The main goals were porting to Qt4 and creating the frameworks to create all the things anounced for KDE 4. Frameworks are unfortunately hardly visible to the user, so most things that use them, like plasmoids, panel-functionality etc., will only appear after the frameworks are in place, i.e. starting with 4.1.”

2. Mark - January 19, 2008

Are you joking, rjdohnert? 4.0.0 is not release for you. Come back, when 4.3 is released.

3. Mihael - January 29, 2008

Yeah, you clearly didn’t read ANY of the release notes or anything, especially whats Niels quoted about the framework being the emphasis for 4.0

Do you’re research, then complain. You=fail

4. jamp - February 2, 2008

It was a real delusion for me. I am mainly a developer and I appreciated KDE since version 2. KDE4 looks more or less (less, I must admit) like Vista. The first impact is good but by scratching a bit the surface it appears clearly that the product is not mature for end-users.I will wait for the 4.1 release and hope for the best.

5. keymone - March 7, 2008

anyway they should’ve spend an hour to make GTK apps at least do not look so ugly…

6. blink4blog - March 31, 2008

i just jumped back to gnome 2.x and kde4 ugly to the most, i wonder who is the chief designer?

7. abc - July 30, 2008

I have been using KDE for 5 years, and… finally give up KDE4 and switch to GNOME..

KDE4 is even not customizable, similiar with Vista/MacOS, why do I need this crap?

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