Monday, March 10, 2008

KDE 4: wait

I'm a habitual early adopter. For instance, I moved my production databases to Oracle 11g weeks ago. So, naturally, I had to try the new Kubuntu with KDE 4.0. Sometimes, however, "alpha" really means "alpha", as in "nope, it's not ready yet, leave it alone unless you really want to suffer for science".

So far, these are the features from earlier Kubuntu / KDE combinations that aren't working for me on the new Hardy / KDE4 alpha-alpha.
  • response to volume / mute buttons on hardware
  • Automatic mounting of USB drives (the device doesn't show up under /media until after you've navigated into it with Dolphin)
  • Alt-Tab switching between windows (AAAAAARGH!)
This last one brings it to the threshhold of unusability, and I'll probably uninstall, unless I can find a keyboard shortcut to switching windows soon (and I've had little luck finding a good users' introduction to KDE4). Now, I'm sure there's lots of wonderful stuff about KDE4. I think there's an eternal tension between brilliant designers who improve products and ungrateful users who do nothing but gripe. That's because, if you introduce fifty new features that will please me greatly - when I get around to learning to use them - while, at the same time, breaking five old features that I know and have come to rely on... well, I say the new version "sucks". It isn't fair, is it? But it's the way it works.


Andy Crouch said...

Fair post but I would suggest that if you find a feature missing that you would like or you are used to why not file a feature request with the KDE team?

If you find bugs then a bug report is really helpful and will help make KDE 4 even better.

It's great users like you that try OSS software early that help make it better.

David Seruyange said...

While on the topic, I'm interested in your take of KDE vs Gnome - you were using Kubuntu @Codemash so how often do you switch the desktop versus going with the standard of the distro that you use?
Not that I'm asking you to write a blog post (which could get you slashdotted), just curious.

Unknown said...

David, I just dug up the post where I described my decision for KDE: here. That still describes my feelings.

Gonzo, I know the Alt-Tab problem has already been filed. If I can, I'll try to investigate the other problems, though I don't know whether I'll be able to describe them thoroughly enough for a proper bug report.