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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Dear KDE 4, we need to talk.

Don’t get me wrong KDE 4, you are an awesome beast.

But I have some big gripes with you, and they are very sad gripes indeed. I don’t know who’s responsible for them and I don’t really care. I just hope they get fixed by the time 4.4 is official.

For one thing, KDE wallet needs to go or be seriously rehauled. It is not uncommon when you first log in and your session is restored from your previous boot that you will be baraged with 7 or so KDE wallet password windows. KNetworkManager asks for my wallet password presumably to store a security key even when we’re connecting to an unsecured network. Then, even if I entered my password on the first window, Kopete asks for my wallet password because the window was lurking behind the first one, and if you don’t want to type it and didn’t enter the password on the first window (because say, you’re trying to just get something done without answering the stupid barrage of password windows in the center of your screen) it will proceed to pop up password requests for all the IM accounts you have configured. Personally I have six of them. I also use some pretty fancy window effects which make clicking through those password windows really painful.

At one point when reconnecting after losing my wireless connection, I literally was hit with about 14 password windows for no apparent reason. I never want to see that stupid window modal and center again. If you must have it put it in the damn corner where it belongs.

Naturally these are just two applications (KNetworkManager, Kopete) which have managed to throw 7 password windows at me. I just want them to go away at this point, I don’t care if I can’t log in to my IM services.

Second point, the folder view in Plasma is just broken out of all hell. The whole point of having folder view (afaict) is to allow you to have multiple views of your filesystem, not just a single limited Desktop folder. However, folder views are notoriously unable to remember where they are supposed to be, nor what size they are. So you come to a situation like this when you log in:

KDE 4: We add new stuff for a specific purpose and then leave it broken so that purpose is left unfulfilled.

No matter how much you try, they never stay in place.

What’s worse, oftentimes you will be sizing your folder views and they will suddenly bounce into the wrong position and become stuck in their place. No plasma dongle on the side of the folder view at all. You can still interact with it but you cannot move it around.

KRunner is so great. I got rid of my KDE launcher button in the corner because I just don’t use it and both launchers suck pretty bad (ESPECIALLY Lancelot: possibly the worst possible design evar). Problem though is that the autocomplete functionality is broken. If you type, say ‘kcha’ and you see in gray ‘rselect’, then press enter, nothing happens. You must first press arrow left to complete the text. This is so stupid it’s mind-numbing, and makes a lot of the utility of KRunner just *disappear*.

Also, though probably not KDE’s fault at all, kde4-window-decorator for compiz has the most vicious bug where hundreds of fake square windows are launched for no reason continuously until there’s 336 windows open, all grouped on your taskbar (thankfully!!). Each time the system launches one of these windows it steals focus from what I’m typing in, so for awhile every time I logged in I had to fight it for control of the KRunner window to fervently type “emerald –replace” and press enter. Luckily I found out what setting compiz was using to launch the kde4 decorator and switched it to Emerald permanently.

On a different note, good luck with the stupid KDE SC branding crap. If you want to run a marketing campaign at least come up with a good one.

In conclusion, I hope you get your act together KDE (and to an equally large extent Canonical for Kubuntu). KDE 3.5 was fantastic for it’s era, and I just want a version of KDE 4 with that same rock solid stability. Please!?

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