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[vox] Does Anybody Like KDE 4.x?
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[vox] Does Anybody Like KDE 4.x?

I run Debian with KDE 3.5 on my desktop and Kubuntu on my laptop.   But I've 
got a spare partition on my desktop that allows me to play around with 
different distros.  Recently I read a criticism of KDE 4.x by a big fan of KDE 
3.5.  That made me curious, and so yesterday I upgraded to Kubuntu 8.10 on my 
spare partition.

I haven't had that much time to explore KDE 4.1.  Part of the reason is that 
the default screen resolution of 1792x1344 made the screen roll around with my 
mouse.  Not all of my icons and screen features were visible on the desktop at 
the same time.  By the time I  figured out how to cure that problem it was time 
to go to bed.

For starters, the log in box clashes with the splash screen to create the 
ugliest log in screen I've yet seen.  Until I began writing this email the 
thing I disliked the most about KDE 4.1 is that I have to spend so much time 
relearning how to use KDE.  For example, if I want to add an application to 
the task bar (now called the "Plasma Dashboard") all I used to have to do was 
right click on the task bar to add an application.  I can still do that to add 
an applet (now called "a widget"), but to add an application I have to do 
something else.  Such learning takes time.  And I don't want to spend time 
relearning how to use KDE.

What I now hate most is the Kmail spell checker.  The red squiggly line that 
tells you that you've misspelled a work begins to appear as soon as it detects 
a misspelled word.  This happens before you finish correctly spelling the word.  
For example if I want to type "for", the red line appears at "fo" and then 
disappears at "for."  This is killing my eyes.  I can't figure out how to turn 
this off.  I cannot use Kmail 4.x.

When I add an application or applet to the task bar I can no longer move its 
location.  So KDE 4.x has taken an option away from me, and I do not like 

When I first staring using KDE 4.1 the icons I previously had (Firefox and Open 
Office) and a new icon were lumped together in some invisible "force field" of 
some kind.  I clicked something and all of these icons disappeared.  And that 
was a good thing because now when I add an icon it's not connected with the 

When your cursor covers a desktop icon four mini icons appear next to it.  
Clicking on one mini icon makes the application icon disappear from the 
desktop.  Clicking on two of the mini icons does nothing.  Clicking on the 
fourth gives you the box that you used to get when you right clicked on an 

Right clicking doesn't do much on KDE 4.x and this is one reason why Linus 
Tovalds has switched from KDE 4.0 to Gnome:


I particularly dislike the Windows Vista imitations.  My wife has Vista.  I 
can't stand the constant need to click to get something to execute.  But at 
least in Vista the clicking is security related.  But why do I have to do the 
following to reboot this computer in KDE 4.1?

1)  Click on the start button.

2)  Click on the Leave icon.

3)  Click on the Restart icon.

4)  Click on "Restart Computer" so that I do not have to wait 30 seconds for 
an automatic reboot.

Another Vista feature that I hate is that the menus under the start button no 
longer splay.  So If you click on "Applications," and want to look for 
individual applications, the menus do not unfold (splay) like in KDE 3.5.  
Like with Vista, the sub menus just appear.  I do not like this because it is 
not clear where I am in the menu tree.

Visually KDE 4.1 looks very nice.  The task bar icons look great, even if I 
can't put them in the order I want.  

Before I started writing this email I thought that I would give KDE 4.1 some 
time before I seriously considered switching to Gnome.  I stared out with 
Gnome in RedHat 6.0, and I gave it another try a couple of years ago.  I've 
never felt comfortable with Gnome.  But I cannot use Kmail 4.x with this eye-
bugging spell checker.

But there may be hope!  I notice that people on the web are starting to talk 
about Windows 7.  If KDE 3.5 fans are lucky, maybe Windows 7 will be more 
functional and simple.  If so, that will be good news because the KDE 
developers will be sure to follow.

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