47 comments on “KDE 3 vs KDE 4: It’s Finally Over

  1. Obviously since youre a ubuntu/gnome fan you would think the average user is an idiot that would be confused with a desktop you could actually use. But the simple truth is that regardless of what the interface nazis (as Linus Torvalds called them) who develop gnome would have you believe the average computer user isnt a moron who would run screaming from the first sign of configurabilty. Those of us who use and love Kde just want to keep what we have. Improvements are always welcome but to emulate gnome is a seriously wrong move. If we wanted a castrated desktop we would be using gnome in the first place. The kde developers are really screwing up the best desktop available today and I feel its probably misguided ego thats driving it. They want to be remembered for and credited with doing something revolutionary and all they are likely to be remembered for is destroying or hopefully just damaging the best desktop in use today.

  2. The average user is not an idiot. Yes, I am an Ubuntu fan, although I am indifferent on the desktop interface argument. My impartial view allows me to be decisive in my choice for different user groups. The average user wants something that works, and does not get in their way. Sure, GNOME is not perfect, and neither is KDE (3 and 4), but from my experience converting users is that KDE 3 was often too overloaded for most basic users. The features were at times overwhelming, even though KDE was designed to be like Microsoft Windows.

    I also know that KDE 3 was not feature complete enough for me to give to the average user. GNOME, when packaged in a distribution like Ubuntu was much easier to use, and was far more professional. Look at KMail vs Evolution for a second. It becomes painfully clear that KMail was far more difficult to set up than Evolution Mail. Something you should know (voice of experience here… ) is that most users do not like a whole lot of change, especially when it comes to the level of difficulty in their programs. Switching to Linux was a big enough leap, but going further than that by overcomplicating their applications is something that many cannot take.

    On the other hand, more experienced users typically had no problem using KDE, and even enojoyed it.

    Saying that KDE 4 is emulating GNOME is a bit far off, seeing as KDE 4 brings some welcome changes to the Linux desktop.

    I can tell you want to make the best desktop for geeks, and that’s cool. I like using KDE 3, and it’s fun to play around with. But, you do have to admit that KDE 3 was a bit… cartooney. It’s hard to give something like that to someone and expect them to fall for Linux right away.

    When I want to give someone a professional desktop to use that is new to Linux, it’s Ubuntu/GNOME all the way, and depending on how KDE 4 plays out, I could very well be sending out CDs with KDE 4 on them. Saying KDE 3 is the best desktop around is a bit prideful as well, since there are many different kinds of desktops available that are each good environments.

    KDE 3 was a big part of Linux, and it won’t go away today or tomorrow. It will be available for a while on various distributions, so you should still be able to use it… no reason to panic, yet. 😉

  3. HEAR, HEAR. well stated Greg. i personally refuse to use kde4 because of the animosity they have created. this should have been developed seperately. why did they have to take over in the first place? can’t this be developed seperately? why do they keep saying it’s better and more simpler? i don’t understand what those terms mean. what is better is what i like not what they think is better. as a creative and revolutionary project it is a beautiful thing but they should not have taken over something that is already great. i hope someone can step in and repair this conflict.

  4. I am very excited about this new desktop. KDE will stand apart from the rest of the desktops, which all use the desktop directory metaphor for the desktop, with the accordeon style program menu in the lower left (à la MS Windows). I have never been able to figure out what to use the desktop folder for, as I put my files into hierarchies on my hard drive, so anything that is in /home/me/Desktop is not filed. I hate icons defacing the spartan simplicity of my desktop, which this new kde seems to support. Using the desktop to give information, like a system information plasmoid or other types of information, to make it beautiful, like the picture frame… these and other types of now possible functions give the desktop a purpose and usefulness that goes far beyond simply mirroring the contents of a useless directory. It is time to look at a new way of interacting with the computer. KDE 4 is going a long way to making this happen. It is in the vanguard and others can only follow. When one compares kde3 with gnome, in light of kde4’s concepts, there really is not that much difference… but now kde is truly apart and unique. It is very exciting to wait for the new features on the horizon and the maturation and evolution of this new metaphor for desktop.

  5. I know exactly what you mean about the cartooney feel of kde. I used to be strictly a kde user, but fell in love with the elegant simplicity in gnome. Also, as a suse user, I like the SLAB interface much more than any other interface I have ever used. It takes a little bit to get used to, but once you overcome the initial hurdle, it is extremely nice.

    Also, I don’t agree with KDE users saying there is much more configurability in kde than in gnome. After I switched, I noticed no needed configurability options that were in kde and not in gnome. The only thing I think would be nice are tabs in Nautilus(which is coming) and the column view that is in mac systems and now in dolphin.

  6. I didnt want to double post but I feel I should make a comment on a statement you made.

    “I can tell you want to make the best desktop for geeks, and that’s cool. I like using KDE 3, and it’s fun to play around with. But, you do have to admit that KDE 3 was a bit… cartooney. It’s hard to give something like that to someone and expect them to fall for Linux right away.”

    Just wqant to be clear that Ive only been running Linux for a little over a year and the first distro I installed was ubuntu because it was the distro I kept hearing about. I installed it and couldnt stand it. And im not putting down ubuntu because it was gnome I couldnt stand. In fact if I hadnt already tried the Knoppix live cd I might have gone back to windows right then. I cant believe anyone would think Kde is in any way so complex as to only be suitable for geeks. Anyone who can run gnome can run kde. The only difference being that you can customise kde to your hearts content. But to spread the fud that kde is to complex for the average new user is disingenuous at best. if anything someone coming from a window environment is going to be much more comfortable with kde rather than gnome.

  7. KDE 3 was a desktop for serious power users, and now KDE 4 has become a desktop for the rest of us, including home users.

    What? WHAT?!? Could you please elaborate what you’re talking about? Could you please explain what parts in KDE3 were not suitable for everyday use or mere mortals? Could you please explain how the dumbification of interfaces helps making things easier or *cough* *cough* better, whatever the hell that means?

  8. Thanks folks for the comments… I’ll reply to each as I go. 🙂

    Buster – Yup, KDE 4 looks like it’s gonna rock!

    Mark – Agreed, KDE 3 was a bit cartooney. Sometimes, the packaging of KDE with a distribution can make things better. Really, the best KDE packaging that I have seen was OpenSUSE. It had a nice theme, clean interface, and it worked really well.

    Greg – np about the double posting. 😉 I see you’re point. It’s not impossible for someone new to Linux to use KDE, but I have had more trouble with converts to it than GNOME in the past. If folks aren’t really turned on by GNOME, then I often offer KDE.

    Schlens – Allow me to be perfectly clear: TOO MANY BUTTONS!
    There are far too many controls for your average user to jump right into. There’s also larger possibility that a user mich click a button and have something go wrong. That’s not very fun. IF you look at Mac OS X’s interface, the one thing you notice is that KDE is far, far more complex. For GNOME, it’s about the same complexity. Vista, well, just isn’t designed well enough for a comparison, but people are swarming over to Mac. Being more like Mac shouldn’t really be the goal, but emulating their interface success does help by creating an easy, appealing interface. KDE 4 also accomplishes this.

  9. The one thing this community needs as a whole is to stop chasing its tail. Diversity is good, diversity makes for good competition which is good for US, the end user. If we keep squabbling over who has the best this or the more powerful that, we will chase people away. Desktops are just complex pieces of software programming, they are not a way of life or a religion. Chill out people, take a deep calming breath.

    Desktop’s are just tools to get things done. Fact. KDE has embraced their future and jumped in with a new version of their Desktop. If you are not happy about it, don’t use it until you are forced to. If you are unhappy about it, let KDE now politely. I am sick to the back teeth of seeing stuff where people bicker about pointless minor things.

    KDE 4 is a work in progress. It will improve. Give them time.

    And all this came from a guy who uses GNOME predominately as his desktop environment.

  10. It’s great to have a voice and all, but people please, KDE 4 can quite possibly bring the Linux desktop to stardom.
    No, its not YET as feature rich in some areas as 3.5x and no it’s not YET as stable as KDE 3.5x.
    But its new, and its radical, and its brilliant!

    I don’t understand why people are slagging off this FREE bit of software. It’s almost as if the KDE dev’s owe you something … very strange!
    If 3.5x is perfect, then use it forever. If Gnome is all you need, awesome!
    If you like XFCE, good for you, it works very well.

    Check out some of aseigo’s blogs about the direction KDE 4 is going.

    I would hate for KDE 4 to be dropped because of vocal haters. It’s fine to have an opinion but really, just because something does not work for you, doesn’t mean that it wont for other ..

    Or in the words of Chris Crocker
    OK, ill stop that now cos … well, its just getting weird.


  11. kde 4 sucks¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ it,s de vista version for kde
    delphin sucks¡¡¡¡
    konqueror 4.0 sucks¡¡¡¡¡
    I use linux, i like to play with it.
    kde 3.x.x forever, i’m a fanboy
    Mandriva fanboy.

    Viva Colombia….

  12. GKR- “I don’t understand why people are slagging off this FREE bit of software. It’s almost as if the KDE dev’s owe you something … very strange!”

    This comes up a lot in discussions about free software that has problems, that we shouldn’t complain because it’s free. Than why bother with free software if there is no incentive to progress beyond beta? Open-source will never be a viable alternative or replacement for closed-source software as long as we refuse to hold them to the same standards.

    And don’t give me a speech about entitlement. That’s an irrelevant argument that has nothing to do with the fact that KDE 4.x is not up to the same standards of quality that KDE 3.5.x was at, let alone anything from Vista or OSX.

    Ambleston Dack- “KDE has embraced their future and jumped in with a new version of their Desktop.”

    The future the devlopers have chosen. Are they listening to the community? I thought this was open-source. I know that if we want to improve it, we should involve ourselves, but we are. Those of us that cannot code are trying to guide them. If we think they’ve messed up horribly, should we play nice and bite our tongues? I guess the KDE developers know what is best for me, and what I want? They should be politicians.

    “If you are not happy about it, don’t use it until you are forced to.”
    That’s why there are rumblings of a fork, so we aren’t forced to use a product we don’t like.

  13. *I don’t understand why people are slagging off this FREE bit of software. It’s almost as if the KDE dev’s owe you something … very strange!*

    People are slagging on it because they depend on it. I think the devs owe the users respect, and the users owe the devs respect. I’ve seen plenty of disrespectful behavior all around lately.

    Slagging on the software is acceptable. It’s part of the process. Slagging on the devs is not acceptable.

    *If 3.5x is perfect, then use it forever.*

    I would love to have that option, if we could get security updates. Is anyone talking about that?

    *KDE 3 was a desktop for serious power users, and now KDE 4 has become a desktop for the rest of us, including home users.*

    See, now you’re just blowing sunshine up my ass. I must be a power user, because I find KDE4 to be completely incomprehensible. I’ve spent several hours with different versions on different distros. I get the feeling that some people really do get KDE4, but I just don’t. I never cared for it, but it took me a long time to come around to the opinion that it’s another trendy interface, thankfully less goofy than those 3D cubes that were all the rage a year or so ago.

    But I respect the developers for their hard work, and believe in their inalienable right to prove me wrong. I’m rooting for them to make a complete fool out of me. It’s too soon to talk about a fork, but the nature of FOSS is going to make a fork inevitable if KDE4 really does suck. I have a hard time picturing the Slackware users going for this.

  14. blackbelt_jones –
    I agree with most of what you say, until the last part. If you have tried multiple distributions, and know you’re way around them, then you probably are a power user. It’s a general observation. Simple is better for the masses, and that’s what many new users want. KDE 4 just has a good design.

    My advice (so this will finally be “over”):

    Get over it, KDE 3 will be in the past, and KDE 4 will move forward. It’s an inescapable truth. I am using it now, and it rocks. Others think so too, but before you get yourself all in a wad, KDE 3 will be around for a while, but there will be a day that it will be gone.

  15. Here is the basic point of disagreement between you and I. You think KDE4 is simple and I think it’s incomprehensible, which is the opposite of simple. I’ve spend about 20-30 hours with various versions of KDE4, long enough to have an opinion, but you obviously see something in it that I don’t. There are few things that you can say about KDE4 that would be more poerplexing than to remark upon it’s simplicity. But you may be right, I don’t know.

    Actually, it’s logical that the guy who isn’t completely baffled by a piece of software (in this case, you) is the person who understands it. Looking at it objectively, you are probably right and I am probably wrong. I understand that, and I believe that’s a good thing, because I want KDE to succeed. Nevertheless, I have formed an opinion, based on experience, and my opinion is that KDE4 looks like a train wreck in progress. I’ve never much cared for KDE4, but I only came to this conclusion yesterday, after installing the KDE4 version of openSUSE11.

    But there’s no need for anyone to get anything bunched up. If I’m right, and it’s a train wreck, there will be a fork, because a fork will be necessary. It’s practically a law of nature. Previous attempts at forking KDE have failed because a fork wasn’t necessary. And if KDE4 isn’t a train wreck, all of the present talk about forking will likewise come to nothing.

    Personally, I have my own idea for a fork– a standalone version of Konqueror for use with Window managers. I’ve been using Konqueror with Fluxbox for the past few years, and it’s just an awesome desktop. Konqueror fills in every one of fluxbox’s shortcomings. To be honest, whether or not KDE 4 is a success or a failure doesn’t really matter to me. The decentralization of Konqueror totally destroys my Desktop paradigm, which I think is better than KDE, Gnome, and XFCE for empowering the user. I’ve been working on a live CD based on my desktop. So maybe it’s time to become a programmer. I’ve been shopping for books on programming.

  16. I see your point. After using it for a while, I have begun to see that it fits me. I think it works great, and is (so far) rather stable. But, if it turns out to be that KDE 4 stinks, and a fork is formed, it will leave the KDE community divided. It may not be bad for keeping KDE 3.5 alive, but it may not be good for the project as a whole.

    When I say it’s great, I mean it’s great for the basic user. This version of KDE is the KDE Project’s chance to catch up with GNOME on the desktop market. If you look at almost every large distribution, most use GNOME for their desktop environment (Ubuntu = GNOME, Fedora = GNOME, etc.).

    You’re working on your own live CD? That is cool. What system are you basing it on?

    • “I see your point. After using it for a while, I have begun to see that it fits me. I think it works great, and is (so far) rather stable. But, if it turns out to be that KDE 4 stinks, and a fork is formed, it will leave the KDE community divided. It may not be bad for keeping KDE 3.5 alive, but it may not be good for the project as a whole”

      No, a divided KDE community is what we have now. If it doesn’t seem that way to you, it’s because you’re not among the outcasts and refugees. A KDE fork,, if if it was done by KDE and not by some pissed off users could be a way of placating those who feel abandoned. It were wouldn’t have to be anything terribly elaborate, some bugfixes and some security updatedate, a few cosmetic touches… and the assurance that out Desktop isn’t doomed.

      Even a year later, you may not be aware of how many people are still unhappy with KDE4. I notice how everybody I encounter on the web loves KDE4 and everybody I encounter in real life (my entire LUG) seems to hate it. However, I saw an internet poll last week where KDE was the favored desktop of… twenty per cent of respondents. Now, that’s not very scientific, but… TWENTY PER CENT? I’ve seen a dozen of internet polls on this subject and KDE has always come in a close second. It’s anecdotal, but it’s not good.

  17. I started with Ubuntu, but the ubuntu live CDs are not good to run live for its own sake. They’re intended as demo installer, and they were pretty slow. I worked with Knoppix for a while, but then I that Knoppix isn’t producing any more live CDs, they’re all DVDs. I’m thinking about trying Sidux next.

    If KDE4 is really terrible, that’s what’s going to divide the community, not a fork. In fact, some would say that it already has. I wonder if a standalone Konqueror would solve anyone else’s problems. The official line is that they weren’t going to change Konqueror, but that doesn’t appear to be true, at least so far. Where’s the filterbar.

    Because Konqueror is a file manager and a web browser, you can use a local html page to navigate your file system, run applications, or do just about anything else you want. It’s a terrific capability that is never discussed, and it’s what makes Konqueror irreplacable.

  18. Thanks for being one of the few who was willing to discuss this calmly.

    I read that KDE4 is changing Konqueror to make it easier to write extensions. If that’s the case, I might be a KDE4 fan myself one day, but either way there’s nothing to be done but to let the developers continue their work in an atmosphere of mutual respect and community, paying them the respect they deserve. Anybody of any opinion who momentarily lost sight of the need to respect other members of the community has a responsibility to acknowledge that, if only to themselves, and to resolve to do better next time.

    I don’t like KDE4 so far, but I have no idea how I’m going to feel about it a year from now. But I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have access to some great software.

  19. I just saw someone post at kdemod forums about someone wanting to work on kde3 and continue it as an alternative to kde4. I wish I was a developer as I would jump in and help him!

    I’ve looked over kde4 on Fedora (live cd) and didn’t like it. It reminds me of what has happened in Leapord OS X and Vista – make funky wiggly, slippery, flippy, twisty icons that I don’t have any control over. I found it too distracting. I laugh at Leapord and the bottom bar icons – turned on their side, making them a little 3-dish. Huh? So, I’ll stick with Tiger on my other machine just as I’ll stick with KDE 3 versions.

  20. Dear all:

    I have been a monsterous fan of kde3.xx. I have been looking for a while to convert as many ms fans over to linux and the kde desktop. Kde 3.xx had finally matured to an easy desktop and had finally become quite powerful. It was easy to converrt the willing over. There are a great many apps that have many powerful features that work very well. I was finally ready to really jump in and push linux/KDE to as many as I could. Most that were convinced were done so after using the desktop for a while on a completely setup machine. Now with KDE 4.xx everything has changed. A lot of the most useable apps have changed to become less useable and powerful and some components less functional or not at all. I simply don’t understand this. The KDE 3.xx desktop was easy for ms users to understand and customize. I would love to see the KDE 3.xx desktop continue as is even if a fork is required under a new name. With KDE 4.xx’s arrival, unfortunately I am on the search for a new desktop, noteably one that does not or hopefully will not take such a drastic turn. These are the kind of things that will not put more linux on desktops of the average users, home or business. I do however appreaciate all the work by everyone of the developers of all linux software. Linux servers especially cannot be beat!

  21. Canonical thinks that KDE4 is the future. Their people have said as much. The bottom line is this… it doesn’t work for shit in Intrepid and I’ll wager that it won’t work in Jaunty either?

    Why even put it in the repositories with all it’s bugs? Makes no sense to give users something that junk.

    If it would work that would be OK, but it doesn’t. It’s crap and should be avoided until its fixed.

    Until then, its not the future of anything buy failure.

    You can praise all you want. Its still a pig with lipstick.

  22. I prefer KDE3. It has been the only desktop that I can get some real things done! It is very stable and easy to configure. I had been looking for a desktop that works for everybody, including windoze users that I would like to introduce to linux. I sincerely hope kde if forked and kde 3 continues as whatever they want to call it. It is simple the best all around desktop. There is great design software out there also. Getting windoze users to convert over also includes the design end for the ordinary user. Apps like VB are famalier to windoze users. Why not help them get familiar with apps like qt. A lot need something simple to design some custom app, simple or not. At least gnome, for present anyway, gives no sign of such a radical turn. Stability and familiarity should never be overlooked.
    God Bless everyone 🙂

  23. In my opinion, the KDE development team deserve all our respect and support, they’re real honest-to-god-culture heroes… but they totally screwed the pooch on this one.

    Or did they? Sooner or later, the work they’re doing now is going to benefit all of us. To say that KDE4 is a failure because a significant plurality of users (EVERYBODY in my LUG, apparently) loathe it is like saying that the apollo project is a failure because most people never went to the moon.

    I often hate something before i learn to love it, and I’m so often wrong about things that I was kind of expecting to love KDE4 by now, And I sort of love the idea of KDE4. But using it always turns into a huge ass ache.

    If you want to keep using KDE 3, just keeping using it. If enough people keep using it, we’ll get enough support from at least some of the distros, and enough simple maintainanance fixes and security update to keep us going until KDE doesn’t suck anymore. I’m thinking that’ll be KDE5. And believe me, enough people are going to want to keep using KDE3 to keep it secure and viable.. It’s not going to change much. Some people are upset because development on KDE3 has stopped, and I don’t think that’s reasonable. You can want the same thing. You can want something different. If you want the same thing only different, you want too much.

    I hope we’ve all stopped being jerks. Even if you hate KDE4 as much I do, treat the developers with respect. They’d deserve it even if they weren’t doing great work, and I think they are. NOBODY hates KDE4 more than I do… but I believe that the work they’re doing now is going to really matter someday, because they’re not going to stop until it does.

  24. Sorry to say I was a kde user for a long time , But this is too much for me to digest, I want all my desktop icons back, I want to change the colour of kicker, Black colour is the colour of death and kde-4 looks like a hearse, I may still be stuck with it, But it is just like I still use my pentium-4 desktop because I have to Because pagemaker-6.5 wont work on Linux , Well Linux v/s Win-dos , They are getting very close , Neither wants you to use what you want , By the time I get my next computer KDE-4 is going to be on all distros and I will have to by something with Win-dos pre-installed or use the KDE as dictated by some so-called developer, Anyway GNOME seems to be easier and faster nowadays and I have installed Fedora-10 now on my laptop just to learn GNOME, Thanks for the latest KDE , and wish it good luck, Here I go

  25. Hello,

    Man, I gotta tell you that this article has really blown me away. I couldn’t believe when I first checked it out, highly recommended reading ! Keep up the good work. Thanks for the high-quality information.


  26. I don’t mind making KDE simpler for those people who want simpler interfaces…but must we be shut out those who want the configurability of KDE3? I decided to look at Kumbuntu, and the first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t configure the desktop background the way I like (I like using gradients)!

    Why isn’t there a way to turn on “advanced configuration” for those of us who want the advanced features?

    In one way, I don’t care, though: for some time I’ve felt that even KDE’s desktop was limiting, and have been wanting to make my own, more powerful, desktop experience. I just haven’t had the time to work on it!

  27. It’s not over, is it? It’s STILL not over. I mean, the arguments have quieted down somewhat and KDE4 continues to take over our distributions. That much is inexorabable, but we do have options.

    I have been torn, I’ve been ambivalent, I’ve been briefly convinced that I like KDE4, but I finally gave up on KDE4 altogether when I realized how much misinformation have been bringing into the debate, maybe not deliberately, but Do a google search for “KDE4 uses 40 per cent less resources” and see what you find. It’s still slower than crap on my computer, though I’ve seen it on high end hadrware, and it is impressive. There’s a word for software that forces you to upgrade your hardware. The word is Vista.

    We were told that as long as KDE3 had a user base, it would continue to be maintained, but that (baed on what some distribution developers are saying), that appears to not be true, either, and the KDE team is showing signs on not even wanting to discuss KDE3 any more. I’m sick of talking about KDE4, so I can sympathize.

    My solution is going to be to continue to use KDE3 in live CD distributions, particularly Slax. Live CDs have fewer moving parts, they have built in security advantages that can be instrumental in ameliorating the security concerns that go along with using older software. Live CDs are far more flexible and powerful than many users know. Again, this goes double for Slax.

    Developers have to develop. For most of us, fixing what ain’t broke is madness, but for developers, the impulse is natural, noble and beyond question. Long term, I see KDE4 as the forerunner of some important trends that will make computing more nourishing for the human brain. The fragmented desktop that combines every task in one interface is distracting us, it’s making our kids’ brains develop weird. They do their homework while playing World of Warcraft. KDE is doing more than anyone else I know to improve the future of the human brain, which is really important. These guys are culture heroes, and we should let them follow their muse, but we don’t need to follow THEM all that closely.

  28. Pingback: How Important is KDE 4? « Jon Reagan's Tech Blog

  29. KDE4 == Ubuntu

    Tried Ubuntu and tried KDE4 and found them to be similar, like you’ve said:
    – KDE4 “Vistalize” KDE3.
    – Ubuntu “Vistalize” Debian.

    I am using Debian Testing happily with KDE3 and somehow get updated to KDE4, didn’t seem like a choice (eventually), anyway.

    New users coming into Linux will be using Ubuntu rather then Debian base on the same logic. Sad but true.
    – sudo everything (like click anything in vista)
    – install every six month (windows detected an update)

    Not joking – after some thought, let’s cut the crap and switch to openSUSE and go with Gnome and it’s Mono “goodness”, didn’t make any difference anymore.

    Sigh 😦

  30. KDE4 is important because you won’t get any updates for KDE3. BTW, the new KDE 4.3.2 has fixed most of those flaw and gathered most of the things to be as complete as KDE 3.5.10. Plus the eye candy!

    I am waiting for a Stable KDE 4.3 desktop from pclinuxos and mepis.

    • “KDE4 is important because you won’t get any updates for KDE3. BTW, the new KDE 4.3.2 has fixed most of those flaw and gathered most of the things to be as complete as KDE 3.5.10. Plus the eye candy!”

      You think that I haven’t tried KDE 4.3, don’t you? I love it when you guys just assume that I’m talking about KDE4.0. Actually, that’s not true, I sort of hate it.

      Yes, yes, I know. They’ve come a long way. KDE4.3 isn’t bad. In fact, I’d call it the second best KDE I’ve ever used.

      Why would I want updates of KDE3? To make it more like KDE4?

      I’m fine with KDE3 not getting any more real development. It doesn’t need it. That’s kind of the point. It’s why we’re here. In a limited way, KDE3 is sort of perfect. It can’t really be improved, and so it seems natural and just for the developers to head out in a new direction. The KDE developers are too talented and ambitious to confine themselves to bugfixes and security updates, and that’s all that KDE3 is going to need. So this an excellent opportunity to start a big ambitious long term project. This is important work. I support KDE4, to the the extent that it’s not being shoved down my throat.

      Who decided that the big ambitious longterm project would be the only choice? From here, it looks like Novell and Canonical started the stampede, and then everybody else just lined up behind them.

      I’m not convinced that there won’t be any maintanance on KDE3, (though I’m preparing for that eventuality). KDE still has a lot of users, and if KDE completely closes the door on KDE3 while there’s a userbase… I promise you, that’s going to be when the fork happens. Only KDE can decide to fork KDE. The KDE team is smarter than I am; no doubt they figured this out long before I did.

      One thing that I have noticed is a vast discrepency between the online world and the real world I see in front of me. In the real world, almost everybody I know hates KDE4. It used to be everybody, but there’s one guy in my lug who likes it now.

      Right now, maintainance is frozen, not because the users are abandoning KDE3, but because the distros are abandoning KDE3. This makes sense, because for most distros, keeping two versions of KDE around is a pain in the ass. The only exception may be a couple of distros like Vector and Zenwalk, which are Slackware based, and use XFCE for the default desktop. The logistics of offering their users a choice aren’t all that daunting.

      What we need are some user-generated distros. The KDE4 “public nonoption” was decided for us by corporations and developers. Users were not consulted. There’s nothing unjust about this. “Free as in Freedom” means that everybody does what they like to do. Corporations like to scramble to get in on the next big thing, and developers like development. Users can create their own live CD distros, and we ought to, because development is only going to accelerate. If we don’t want to be forced to use whatever the developers shove at us, we need to create our own options. With alkl these distros, there’s room for one or two that is comitted to KDE3.

      People don’t like change. I’m amazed at how many times I’ve seen this observation employed condescendingly by those who then profess amazement at the manifest truth of that observation. They demand a logical reason why I prefer KDE3, or else I’m irrational and therefore wrong. I have logical reasons, but they’re really just rationalizations. Here’s the problem: I don’t enjoy using KDE4. I just don’t. It’s so carefully planned out that I don’t feel that computing with KDE4 is a creative act. I have opportunities to be creative only where they have been provided for me. I was fooled into thinking I liked it, but I was merely impressed by it. Turned out that’s not the same thing. Once I stopped being impressed, it was all over.

  31. IMO quit for maintaining KDE 3 was (is) the biggest mistake.
    I was, yes WAS, KDE user from time when KDE came out. How many years? How many years we were testing KDE3 and finally work very good, the developers stopped and find new testers for how long? What is different in KDE 4? Eye candy works but how about nepomuk, for example? Another year or more?
    Thank you M$KDE4.

  32. I just used KDE4 (on Kubuntu Karmic) for the first time in about three weeks… and sweet jesus, I hate it so much! After booting the live CD, how many clicks did it take for me to get to the point of zero clicks in KDE3? Six? Seven? Twelve? Fifteen?

    This is just my opinion. I can be wrong, and often am. And judging something as massive as KDE4 has to be more subjective than objective… but seriously, IMO, it really is the worst Desktop Environment ever. Yeah, I know it’s not really a crazy bloated piece of crap, but here’s the thing… it behaves EXACTLY like a crazy bloated piece of crap on my computer. What elevates KDE4 to such epic awfulness is the fact classic that such a classic Desktop as 3.5 is being destroyed. Many will disagree, ands theior opinions will be at least as valid as mine, but had to say that, at least once.

    However, there’s another side to it. KDE4 is the most important software R and D project ever. I bet that more than one classic Desktop is going to emerge from the brilliant groundbreaking work that these brilliant groundbreaking people are doing. It’s going to be worth even this.

    KDE4 deserves our support, but it does not deserve to be KDE3’s murderer. However, if KDE3 dies, it will be it’s fans who are most to blame. Let me explain how the free software thing works, because so many of you don’t seem to get it. If you want to keep using KDE3, shut up and keep using KDE3– if not all the time, as much as you can. KDE3 will continue to be maintained if it keeps a userbase, but right now, no one believes that it will, because the distros are dropping it. So stop complaining, and master your fate by remastering your favorite KDE3 live CD to start your own distro, or maybe try mine;


    Don’t worry about how you’ll manage future updates, don’t worry about whether it’ll be any good. Just do it! Don’t expect the people who, God bless them, actually love KDE4 to be responsible for keeping KDE3 alive.

    Even if KDE3 is no longer supported, a live CD can keep older software secure. (Fixing a compromised system is as easy as a reboot. Take it from me, you learn an awful lot… and now I don’t complain about KDE4 anymore. The important thing is that its no longer my problem, because I know that my distro isn’t about to go over to KDE4 any time soon… or EVER. And if I need the latest software, that’s what my hard drive is for.

    Anybody who wants help can reach me at my blog. I’ll do what I can. Me no guru!

  33. I’m leaving KDE because of KDE 4. It saddens me since it means I have to let go of most of my favourite apps. Ktorrent on my desktop has already been updated to the ugly, buggy, and in every way inferior qt4 version. I have tried Amarok 2.0, and although this is not completely qt4’s fault, it is just rubbish compared to 1.4. K3b is the best dvd burning software ever, and even it will probably be replaced with a crappy qt4 port.

    I tried KDE 4 on my laptop (fresh install, KDE 4.3), and it is completely unusable. Had to remove it and replace it with LXDE.

    KDE 4’s whole design philosophy is flawed. I’m leaving KDE and won’t be coming back until they have come up with a version of KDE that can be configured to look and behave EXACTLY like KDE 3.5.10 does.

    (Windows 7’s user interface can be configured to look and feel a lot like Windows 2000 or Windows XP. KDE 4 CAN NOT be configured to imitate KDE 3. Come on, KDE developers. You’re losing to the Microsoft guys. Pathetic.)

  34. I don’t think that’s entirely true. Because of the “folder view” setting (not to be confused with the folder view widget), KDE4 can be made to imitate the basic parameters of KDE 3, though it still has that glossy 3D look that some people find annoying.

    One easy way to get a feel for how much KDE4 can look and feel like KDE3 is download the latest version of Sidux. With the folder view, setting, I began to think that there might be some hope for KDE4, those I still use KDE3 most of the time. Leaving KDE seems a little excessive to me, but regardless, I’m sure you can run KDE applications form LXDE.

  35. The new KDE4 from Suse11.2 is simply crap from usability, productivity and speed.

    It’s nice and shiny but kinda useless.

    I’ve run some tests with http://stresos.com – and the results are in favor of Gnome….on my PC.

    Why did they have to broke something good…..?

  36. I dunno… I didn’t hardly read any of this page. I just did a Google search for “KDE4” and “train wreck”. I really liked the KDE3 Desktop (I’ve used Slackware for years) and had high expectations for KDE4. I use Slackware, mostly, as a web and mail server so to a large extent the Desktop was kind of incidental, for me; but I had told a lot of non-Linux folks about Linux and about the “user friendliness/stability” of the KDE Desktop. Then, recently, I started installing dual-boot systems for Windows people who were tired of getting viruses. I used Ubuntu (with which, by the way, I’d had zero prior experience). It worked extremely well. Then, I had a brainstorm and thought I’d try Kubuntu. If you ask me – and, of course, no one is asking me… – KDE4 is a feeble attempt to create something along the lines of a Windows 7 Desktop. I found it quite buggy and very non-intuitive. To use a British phrase I think the KDE developers have sort of “lost the plot”. I mean, you can’t copy and paste things directly to the Desktop, the widgets pile up on top of each other and the movement of one often effects the position of the others, etc. I just think it’s kind of a mess. There’s no way I’d put KDE4 on the average Joe’s computer as his introduction to Linux. Again, my experience is that it’s simply full of bugs and not easily navigable. All I can say is, “What happened….?”. Just one more schmoe’s opinion.

  37. I know it’s 3 year’s since your original post, but this comment is as valid now as it would have been then (passage of time notwithstanding). It’s not a question of whether KDE 3 or 4 is “cool”. It’s a question of how functional it is. 3 years in and KDE 4 STILL has not managed to reach the levels of functionality embodied by KDE 3, and has managed to actually HINDER the use of portable files and data with the monster that is akonadi, and its total detachment from independently portable file structures.

    The address book in general distribution is still incapable of selecting and managing multiple addressbooks simultaneously – a fairly basic feature of its previous incarnation. I used to be able to use a simple Unison command to keep my home, work, and laptop address books in sync. Now I can’t do any of that. Simple desktop management is completely out the window. You imply it has all been simplified for “normal” rather than geeky users. Really? All this desktop container and applet nonsense is a user nightmare. Having moved over to XFCE (fast, light, responsive – the qualities that first drew me to KDE 6 years ago), the only thing that keeps me using anything KDE-centric these days is my 5 years of archived mail under kmail, otherwise it would be “good night Vienna”.

    The discussion may be over, but the KDE design team can pat themselves for dumping the legacy of KDE 3 in the bin, and KDE’s future down the toilet.

  38. This is for all kde3.x fans. Obviously there are a great many.
    Kde3 is continuing as the trinity project.
    A great many thanks to those at pearson computing.
    Here is the url: http://trinity.pearsoncomputing.net/
    They have distros, mostly ubuntu debian based. They have repositories with all their work.
    I hope they will be well recognized for continuing the kde3 legacy and improving it.
    I for one am glad I can still show someone a full desktop that were (are) ms users.
    Check it out!

  39. At this point, all I can say is that I love ’em both! I have my own custom slax-based live distro running on this computer with KDE3, and I have opensuse 11.4 running KDE 4 on the box downstairs. After hours of idle tinkering, I decided I don’t give a damn about the plasmoids, except maybe the analog clock, but I love the way KDE4 lets me choose the directory to show as icons on the Desktop. That’s a very worthwhile innovation, and I also love some of the more useful KDE4 desktop effects, like the “grid” effect.

    KDE3 has Konqueror in all its original awesomeness, and it also has kpager, which I miss. Using the pager widget with plasmoidviewer is a poor substitute. I like having these desktop apps when I want to use fluxbox.

    • KDE 4 is just proof that the human race–and especially Americans–are becoming drones. They view fewer choices as a good thing, and swallow the Steve Jobs/Apple pill readily. More willing to trade all manner of freedoms and choices for the luxury of never having to decide.

      Some of us, however, still want to tweak our desktops down to the tiniest detail, and miss the days when computers actually allowed this.

      The Trinity Desktop is awesome!

  40. Why did trinity drop the go button from konqueror’s menu? I always found it useful. Unless that has changed I tried it around six months ago on ubuntu 10.10.

  41. The Go Button was missing from Konqueror on Kubuntu/KDE3 long before Trinity. Back then I used to get around it by installing Ubuntu and then downloading the generic KDE, instead of kubuntu-desktop.

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