KDE 4.3 Beta 1 - looking pretty

KDE

PolicyKit integration is the most notable back-end change: this framework lets application developers request privileges from the OS without needing the all-or-nothing 'su'. On the user-visible side, 4.3 Beta 1 sports a new tree view option for System Settings, a fading desktop switcher, and new window animations. Here's the full changelog -- summary after the break.

Other updates:

  • Sorting folders first in the file manager is optional
  • Akonadi syncing with Google Calendar
  • The clock can now speak!
  • SVG-themed desktop and panel toolbox
  • System tray can show icons based on category

Right now there's only source code and packages for OpenSUSE available, but no doubt packages for other distros will appear sharpish. If you give it a go, let the dev team know of any glitches and gremlins you may find!

Looking back for a moment, there's no question that KDE 4 has had a very rough ride. Certainly, version 4.0 was a disappointment for many users, lacking features and functionality to make the move from 3.5 worthwhile. Version 4.1 started to repair the damage, and 4.2 padded it out to be good all-round desktop (don't miss our top KDE 4.2 tips!). Will 4.3 be the first 4.x release to win over armies of Gnome fans?

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Your comments

GNOME army colonel says

Where them screenshots at, private?!

I started to use Linux with

I started to use Linux with KDE (OpenSUSE 10.3), but after 4th version was released I moved to GNOME... KDE is beautiful and everything. But in terms of speed, stability and ease it cannot much GNOME. And those aspects are frequently more important in work. I would love to see 4th KDE finally usable... I hope 4.3 will get close to there.

KDE3 -> KDE4 -> Gnome -> Xfce

If you like Gnome becuase its speed, you should try Xfce. It has most of the features of Gnome but it's much lighter and faster.

Screenshots

Aye, where be the screenshots to show us how purty it is?

Must be the one!

I tried 4.1 on Kubuntu after being with Ubuntu for a while, and it was full of little annoyances and instabilities. Heard on Linux Outlaws that 4.2 on openSuse was the first usable KDE4 implementation in that guy's opinion, and I think he was right! Only a tiny handful of rough edges, but rather exciting and very pretty indeed, which was a bit of what I fancied after several months of Gnome and XFCE. :)

KDE 4 rocks!!

When Canonical puts more resources to Kubuntu, I'll probably won't use Gnome again for years. Until then, I'll use Ubuntu/Gnome and Fedora/KDE 4.

Nice effort

I have already switched from GNOME.

Read the Article? WTF.

Why should we read the article? That's what headlines are for. Works for the NYT.

Resource use?

Any reading yet on how 4's candy compares to Compiz in hardware load and system speed? Is it any better/worse for old/low-power systems?

My Experience

I used KDE 3.5 for a while with Fedora, and it wasn't the fastest thing in the world, so I tried Gnome still with fedora, and I had the same issues. When KDE 4.2 came out with Fedora though, I tried out this one and it's working beautifully, faster than any of the previous versions. This is all on the same laptop, a 512 MB 1.4 ghz pentium m from 2002.

windows 7

It is so windows 7-ish. Why KDE always is looking like a windows?
nothing wrong with that but I like my enlightenment desktop.

Thanks

I was not in a hurry to abandon KDE 3, so unlike others I didn't get angry at 4.0 or 4.1.

4.2 looks good but some problems were plaguing Kubuntu & Mandriva recently (e.g. kdenetwork); I'm about to change a 4-year old installation... I hope 4.3 gets well polished...

As always, thanks for the superb work. If it makes me proud to be a KDE user, I can very well imagine how much love you have for this "child"... please continue to improve the desktop experience.

Thx.

.... who cares?

What's the big deal with "desktop environments?"
All you really need is a way to switch between applications. Everything else should just work.
GnomeDo is the only perfect desktop environment.

Where are the screenshots?

I guess we need to register?Sorry :-)

No KDE for me, please

I have tried kde 3.59 and it broke on the 4th day. Then I tried 4.0 and I wished it was never created. Then I tried 4.1 and 4.2 and again was bitterly disappointed. Fact is I am not trying another KDE until at least 4.7-4.8. As someone put it "a lot of bugs were solved just to make place for a lot of new ones". And this is happening all the time with kde. It's always "experimental"...

Way towards 4.3

True, KDE is progressing nicely, but the first beta is still pretty unstable and the KDE team needs to fix the bugs that make applications crash.

Meanwhile LXDE seems to be a great alternative to run your favourite applications and it is so much faster.

KDE 4.2 on Mandriva 2009

KDE 4.2 on Mandriva 2009 kicks ass.
Its finally ready for your mom to use.

I kept friends and family on the reliable PCLinuxOS 2007 with KDE3.5 because unlike other panicking turkeys, I had read the label warning about 4.0 and NOTHING FORCED me to abandon KDE3.5.

Ive done about 15 Linux conversions with friends-family and about 60 installs at our LUG and I can tell you that KDE gets picked 7 to 1 over GNOME when giving people a choice.
If you want to make it easier for someone to switch, KDE4.2.

My parents love the kWin effects and the great magnifying tools and the kids love KDE4.2 on the Dell Mini (I think one click is a must on netbooks.)

As for it looking like Windows 7, KDE4 was already in created when Microsoft started rushing Vista 7 plans into motion. Its Vista 7 that looks like KDE 3.5 (more than 4 I think), not the other way around. And who really cares unless you want a Mac/Gnome discussion as well.
I HATE the default look of KDE windows and switch it to one called Keramik I believe. The desktop looks like I want it to look.

As for Martin, McShnitzel and Chips on Linux Outlaws (best FOSS podcast around) are Gnome users, they didnt recommend anything as much as read an article. Seriously, how hard is it for Linux podcasters to have Gnome, KDE, XCFE on their machines so they can comment on it (how hard is it for most tech writers to run a LiveCD once in their lives to see what its all about?) ? You dont have to use it all the time but at least know what you are talking about,

Oh yeah, I discovered KDEnlive to take our digital pics and videos and make movies with soundtracks and am stocked that it works for well so I have one more wish for what Id like to see eventually: make audio work (better or at all in some cases).

KDE3.5 was a great desktop.
KDE4.2 is even better.
Cant wait for 4.3. Heck, its just around the corner!!

And if you feel your desktop is 'better' then by all means enjoy it. Just remember that it wont work any better if you have to justify your choice, We're not Mac users, we dont have to justify everything we do.
Show a little class.

Response to various soundbites

> But in terms of speed, stability and ease it cannot much GNOME.

> If you like Gnome becuase its speed, you should try Xfce. It has most of the features of Gnome but it's much lighter and faster.

KDE since version 4.2 is faster than bothe GNOME and XFCE as long as your hardware has a hardware-accelerated video (ie. a GPU on the graphics card).

>I used KDE 3.5 for a while with Fedora, and it wasn't the fastest thing in the world, so I tried Gnome still with fedora, and I had the same issues. When KDE 4.2 came out with Fedora though, I tried out this one and it's working beautifully, faster than any of the previous versions.

Yep. There were some performance issues with nvidia graphics and KDE 4.0 and 4.1, but that was due to the graphics driver from nvidia, and not due to KDE. Now that it has been sorted, KDE is faster than GNOME or XFCE even for systems that have nvidia graphics.

>Meanwhile LXDE seems to be a great alternative to run your favourite applications and it is so much faster.

No. Due to its use of accelerated graphics hardware, KDE is as fast as LXDE, and way, way more functional than LXDE.

>It is so windows 7-ish. Why KDE always is looking like a windows?

Why is Windows 7 looking like KDE, you mean. Windows 7 isn't out yet, whereas KDE4 is up to its third release already.

>it has so many usability problems with the current KDE that it's mostly an irritant instead of being a help.

Sounds like FUD. This and quite a few other comments sound entirely like FUD. Given that many of them just simply aren't so, one wonders if the authors of such comments have actually even run KDE 4.3.

>4.2 looks good but some

>4.2 looks good but some problems were plaguing Kubuntu & Mandriva recently (e.g. kdenetwork);

Knetworkmanager has been fixed since KDE 4.2.2, so no issues with KDE 4.3, and no issues with either Kubuntu 9.04 or with Mandriva 2009.1.

In any event, in eralier versions of KDE4 if you were having issues with the KDE network manager you could always have used wicd instead if you had wanted to.

when will khotkeys full functionality return???

I am still using KDE 3.5 because the khotkeys in KDE 4 is
hopelessly broken and it's feature set appears to have had
a lobotomy. When will it return???

I've looked at GNOME, and find it is still missing far too
many creature features for the technology inclined. Perhaps
I need to go look at other desktops such as Enlightenment
(which had a lot of nice features the last time I used it
years ago).

Oh, dear

That looks really, really horrible. My eyes would be bleeding, if I had to work with that hybrid between chewing gum and gelly fish.

Agreed, KDE 4.0 wasn't

Agreed, KDE 4.0 wasn't really usable (I mean, it was usable, but it could get on your nerves pretty easily) but starting with 4.1 and now 4.2 it works really well and I don't see any performance problem even on a "oldish" system (Athlon 64 X2, 2GB, geforce 7300GS, Gentoo). On that computer all fx works without problem and I have no lag at all. And to be honest, it's more responsive than Vista was (was because it has also been replaced by Gentoo and KDE) on my quad with 8GB memory and a GTX280. And the nice thing is, with every dot release it get better, with more goodies. A big thank you to the devs for their great work :)

No thanks.

I'd tried KDE twice just because I wanted to try out some popular apps that comes with KDE, Konquror is one of them.

But 15 minutes after installation. I removed it.

Reasons:
KDE only supplies KDE apps. But I've always been using popular apps on Gnome and even on Windows! But those apps that everybody tend to be familiar with is replaced by the KDE alternatives. Human nature resists change!

Minor Reasons:
1. Adept package manger didn't work. On Gnome, syanptic ALWAYS works.
2. Too many apps installed on default.
3. Konqueror is both a web browser and a file manager. But most distro also added Dolphin and Firefox. So in total, they have 2 browsers and 2 file managers.
4. Vistalike startmenu. I was browsing through the apps, but I kept hovering over the switch off, computer and favourite tabs at the bottom. That switches immediately to that tab without prompt.

After 10 years of KDE desktop usage

KDE 4 was Mess, a great f*cking mess.

They f*ck up entire kde reputation.

I still cannot work with my 2 monitors. And I did not bother to say other glitches, bugs, problems.

F*ck you devs. You bring M$ quality on OSS lands.

And oh yea they bring analog clock on my screen.

That was all I need.

Re:After 10 years of KDE desktop usage

@Anger Zealot: nobody told you to go rush installing KDE 4.0alpha. Everybody (with a brain) knew it wasn't ready.
Now 4.3 has been released and it's just amazing.

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