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Sunday, May 29th, 2011, 2:58 pm

Reflections on Permanently Moving From KDE3 to KDE4: 2 Years Later

KDE3 and KDE4

My last KDE3 desktop on the left and the current KDE4 desktop on the right

MY FIRST experience with KDE4 was KDE 4.1. I had not had a reason to abandon what I was using back then (no upgrade treadmill). I finally started using KDE4 (full time) when 4.3 came out. From that point onwards I could not really go back to KDE3 and be happy. There was nothing in KDE3 that I really did not have in KDE4.

GNOME seems to be going through a similar phase of transition right now. Linux Mint is clinging onto GNOME2 and some users abandon GNOME altogether because of Unity or Shell. Eventually, however, it will probably stablise and users will come to accept change. It can take time (maybe years) and despite minor changes that take some time getting used to, KDE3 does everything substantial that KDE3 could do and it actually does a lot more with decent performance (comparable or better than) w.r.t. to KDE3 on the very same hardware.

All improvements come with a learning curve.

4 Responses to “Reflections on Permanently Moving From KDE3 to KDE4: 2 Years Later”

  1. twitter Says:

    There are a few things I’m not used to and think are less efficient. I can’t go back because the community has moved on, so I run KDE 3.5 in a virtual machine so that some things are not lost. Konqueror still rules but it is damaged. I’m starting to have my doubts about the new framework promises panning out in the near future.

    The inability to use the kde panel outside of kde desktop and the separation of file and web browsers are striking examples of things I consider downgrades. Konquer’s do everything ability was a major step forward over other browsers and non free OS. KDE 3.5′s X11 modularity was admirable for more than the Kicker.

    The move to databases for KDE PIM has still not paid off for me, and there is some controversy over it. The person who made the move boasted:

    Working on the port of KAddressBook has been real fun, because I had the chance to throw away all the ugly, historically grown code and restart from scratch.

    Now that’s confidence! There are still feature losses and I’m not used to it. Data handling through Akondi is complex and I’m still learning how it syncs and when. One particular annoyance I’ve yet to fix is being able to search all of my address books at once. There is no top level for me, so I have to search all of a dozen or so books one at a time to match a contact. That is a huge regression. I have not yet learned how to sync my older gadgets besides copying files back to a KDE 3.5 system that still works.

    I’m reasonably sure the community will get KDE 4 where KDE 3 was but it has caused some disruption and I’m not sure it was worth it. The people at Trinity assert they can get everything done with DCOP, which Free Desktop copied. In a way, it feels like the Gnome people reached out and screwed up KDE just before Microsoft moved in for the QT kill. If KDE remains true to software freedom, these problems will fade in time. KDE 4 is about as usable and stable as Gnome. I’m waiting for it to be as stable as KDE 3.

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    For me, KDE4 is more stable than KDE3 ever was. What distribution did you run it on?

  3. twitter Says:

    I’m using Debian Squeeze. I started with KDE 4.3 then moved to testing 4.4 and now 4.5. KDE 3.x was rock stable in Sarge, Etch and Lenny. KDE 4 is still good but not what I’ve come to expect. I attribute this mostly to ACPI and new code. This weekend I will try an install on a box that does not have ACPI to see how it goes.

  4. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    Last week I too moved to Squeeze.

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