Message: previous - next
Month: August 2009

Re: [kubuntu-kde3.5-users] What's missing in KDE 4: let's file some bugs

From: kb9vqf@...
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 16:29:07 -0500 (CDT)
Hi Dotan,

I'm pretty busy at the moment, but I will definitely try to provide
specific examples of what I am talking about.  I have to load up KDE4.3
and KDE3.5 in a VM, and then I will take screenshots side-by-side of the
equivalent programs, with the items that are unintuitive or difficult to
use in KDE4.3 highlighted.  Will this help?

Hmm...a KDE3.5.11 release isn't a bad idea at all.  I'd still like to make
a few more changes to the UI before another release, but it's a worthy
goal.  Trouble is, I have no idea how to get my changes into the KDE SVN
and actually make a release!  Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

One other thing.  Microsoft removed the classic option in Vista--I used it
for one day before deciding it was easier (and better) to go to Linux than
to put up with that garbage.  I have also used a very recent Mac desktop
in a store (they had one on display that you could use), and I actually
counted the mouse clicks needed to do a simple task like creating,
renaming, and deleting a folder on the desktop.  I counted over three
times the number of clicks for each operation vs. KDE3.5 or Windows XP.  I
left wondering why people use Macs at all!

I didn't know you could put the network manager on the panel.  I still
like a tray icon with context menus much better; I'm glad they put one
back in.

Look for the comparison screenshots on this list in the coming weeks.

Thanks for trying to make KDE4 better for all of us!

Timothy Pearson
KDE3.5 Maintainer

>> While I don't agree with the tone of some of the replies you received (I
>> do appreciate what you are doing here) I need to respond to this
>> particular point.
> Excellent, your opinion of the situation is by far the most informed
> opinion that I expect to hear here!
>> I *am* developing KDE3.  If you look in the PPA that I maintain, you
>> will
>> see a whole slew of my patches that add new features, fix old bugs, and
>> generally keep the code compilable and functional as the backend
>> libraries
>> change over time.
> While I was aware that you were cleaning up the bitrot to maintain
> compatibility with certain libraries as time moves on, I did not
> realize that you are performing actual bugfixes and adding new
> features. However, that is great for KDE users of [k]Ubuntu, not KDE
> in general. I would argue that you are maintaining Kubuntu. Have you
> considered contacting a KDE representative and releasing KDE 3.5.11 or
> even KDE 3.6? Would you like me to see exactly how that would be done?
> My intention is not to belittle the effort that you are investing for
> the community. Quite the opposite, believe me, I respect your effort,
> your time, and your dedication more than most. And those who don't,
> will, should the day come when you can no longer maintain the project.
> (tfu tfu tfu).
>> Now, from all appearances, *if* I were to stop development then yes, KDE
>> would bitrot and become unusable--purely because no one else has stepped
>> forward to assist.
> So it only takes one bus accident?
>> I use KDE3.5 for a different purpose than some.  My desktop is
>> configured
>> to look, feel, and act like an enhanced version of Windows XP in
>> "Classic"
>> mode.  Like it or not, and I know many would argue with me, Microsoft
>> had
>> one of the best desktop interfaces available with that release.  If
>> they
>> hadn't abandoned it, I would still be an avid Microsoft user.
> They hadn't. Isn't it an option in Windows today? I have never used
> Vista or 7, but my Windows XP VM uses the lightweight, readable
> Classic interface.
>> Likewise, I know I will be argued with up and down on this, but KDE4
>> seems, from a look-n-feel perspective only, to be a hybrid of Windows
>> Vista and the latest Mac OS.  I hate those two operating systems.  In
>> almost every design choice.  Period.
> I have not used the two OSes that you compare KDE 4 to, but I very
> much enjoy KDE 4.3. We are branching into three fronts, so I will
> separate them:
> 1) What it looks like:
> I agree that KDE 4 looks like Mac and Vista. That does not bother me
> as I have no grudge against those systems.
> 2) How it is operated:
> I do not know how Vista / OS-X are operated, but I find KDE 4.3 to be
> less intuitive than KDE 3.5. This is a point in which the KDE 3
> holdouts can help! The KDE devs, and even myself, are so used to KDE
> 4. after working with it for so long that we don't see what is not
> intuitive anymore. Let me know what you find unintuitive (like the
> panel configuration) and I will file bugs on it. This is very
> important, and only the KDE 3 holdouts can help here.
> 3) What it can do:
> I can do everything in KDE 4.3 that I could in KDE 3. I may do some of
> them differently, but all can get done. However, for _you_ it might be
> different, and I need to know what is missing for _you_ in KDE 4.
>> I am not alone here.  Many engineers I have talked with do not like the
>> new interface.  There are some of us who use a GUI simply because more
>> information can be placed on it, and many tasks made faster, than the
>> command line.  Gnome and KDE4 don't have very much *useful* and
>> *relevant*
>> information on the screen at any given time.  These people have also
>> mentioned that the interface has a clunky feel, that they are having
>> difficulty just getting basic tasks done in a streamlined, efficient
>> fashion.  Simply, more clicks required in the UI per task == more time
>> wasted.
> I would love to hear the details. If you prefer off-list, I'm here. If
> you write off list then please write to the address kb9vqf at
> dotancohen d o t c o m. Thanks.
>> The clunkiness has a direct impact on this.  The DE should recede into
>> the
>> background, not constantly push its way into the foreground.  When it
>> shoves its way into the users programs, in the form of excessively large
>> menu bars, taskbars, and buttons, valuable screen space is stolen from
>> the
>> user's application, forcing more scrolling, window management
>> operations,
>> and application menu use inside the user's program.
> I do not feel that what you describe is the case with KDE 4.3. I do
> not like the toolbar buttons' default to having the text shown as well
> as the icon, but other than that I do not find the interface to be
> excessively large.
>> This is a common flaw with the new direction all desktops seem to be
>> heading in.  They are all pretty (well, actually, the Mac OS is pretty,
>> while Vista and KDE4 are really ugly), and seem to work well--until you
>> try to use them in your job, when you have 4 clients and 2 managers
>> demanding you get X, Y, and Z done *NOW*.  Then you find that in order
>> to
>> multitask in any sensible form you will need to learn to click
>> constantly,
>> everywhere, and end up purchasing a really big replacement monitor.
>>  Yet,
>> somehow, your old monitor was perfectly adequate under Windows XP and
>> KDE3.5.  Your programs haven't changed.  So why again is your DE
>> forcing
>> you to buy new hardware and slowing you down?
> I am not doubting you, but I do not perceive this problem with KDE 4.
> Can you maybe send to me a screenshot of the same interface elements
> in both KDE 3 and 4 for comparison (the defaults). I will take it up
> on the usability list. Your assumptions and statements are correct in
> the general sense, but I fail to see where that they apply to KDE 4.
>> I have even caused some older folks, who have used Windows since it came
>> out, to switch to Linux.  How?  By showing them a truly better desktop
>> interface: Windows XP classic + some sorely needed features--in other
>> words, KDE3.5.  They all hated where Windows was going, and Mac was too
>> limiting.
> I have seen this too, with MS Office users flocking to OOo.
>> So, rant aside, try adding a "super-tiny-taskbar, icons, buttons, and
>> menus" option.
> I will file a bug on that, and I will mention it on the usability list.
>> Also make an "angular buttons option" so that they can be
>> compacted on the screen the way they always were.  (Actually IIRC that
>> last one finally does exist in KDE3).
> Please be very specific, I will file a feature request.
>> Also, make it so that the shiny stuff can be turned off.  Menu drop
>> shadows are OK, but shiny rounded menus are distracting.
> That is configurable in KDE 4.3.
>> Bring back the old KDE control center.
> The KDE 4.3 System Settings has the familiar tree menu. In that
> configuration, it resembles Kcontrol very well. If there are other
> elements of Kcontrol that you miss, please tell me what they are.
>> Bring back task tray icons as plasmoid replacements.  I DON'T LIKE
>> having
>> to minimize my windows (an extra click) to get at something critical
>> like
>> the network manager plasmoid and then have to un-minimize them all again
>> when I am done (another extra click).
> The network manager plasmoid could have been on your panel. In any
> case, it is now in the system tray. But I understand your point in
> general, however each fix needs an individual bug report. So lay 'em
> on! Which functionality that you have on the panel in KDE 3 cannot be
> had on the panel in KDE 4.3?
>> To say nothing of having to check
>> connectivity in another program and then go back to the
>> plasmoid....click
>> click click click click....grrrr...Windows was so much better...  This
>> is
>> a massive waste of the user's time and is, bluntly, a really, really
>> stupid design decision.  You NEVER want to make the users think what I
>> just wrote.
> It is not like that anymore, at least, not for the network manager.
>> I like putting icons on my desktop.  Only icons.  Can we turn off that
>> stupid cashew yet?
> No. Sorry. Write to Aaron personally on that one!
>> The UI fonts are way too large.
> So change them! I think that they're great, and of the 5-10 KDE
> 4.[2|3] installs that I have performed for people, the only ones who
> mentioned the fonts were those who liked them.
>> Why can't I *easily* and *intuitively* reconfigure something as basic as
>> my desktop???
> Because you haven't complained to _me_ yet! Seriously, be specific
> about what is unintuitive and I will file the bugs. I agreet hat KDE 4
> is not yet intuitive enough but the devs are used to it: they need
> _you_ to tell them what is not intuitive.
>> You get the point.  Many of these items are design decisions that the
>> developers made to "set KDE4 apart".  I don't think they will be fixed
>> anytime soon.  Feel free to surprise me though! :-)
> I have been pleasantly surprised by KDE 4.2 and 4.3, the devs are
> really starting to take into consideration what the users want. Just
> let me know what that is.
> Thanks, Timothy, I look forward to hearing the specifics.
> --
> Dotan Cohen
> http://what-is-what.com
> http://gibberish.co.il