KDE4 status update

October 23, 2007 at 1:12 am | Posted in KDE | 2 Comments

Recently quite some blogs featured the current state of the KDE4 desktop, so let me put my 2 cent into that as well 🙂

I just built a release-version of kde4 on an AMD 1.3GHz machine with only 256MB ram, so its not quite state of the art. It runs Xorg 7.3 with the nv driver (GeForce2 card, I made sure to disable composite). I still can’t just run startkde via startx, i.e. startx startkde in a KDE4 environment fails to start X11, because X11 starts missing some libs then (my kde4 env changes LD_LIBRARY_PATH). So I’m starting an xterm and run startkde from there, thats a local issue I guess and I’m not bothered enough to find out how to fix it…

The first thing I notice is that I don’t get a wallpaper here 😦 Later it turns out that Plasma just needed some minutes to render it. The second thing: There’s a strange widget on my plasma panel, seems like a garbage-drawing horizontal bar. And besides having compiled kdebase after the kickoff move, still now K-Menu in the panel 😦

Next thing I notice: The plasma-desktop-widget in the upper right now properly enlarges itself, so I don’t have to guess the buttons anymore, yay 🙂 Now lets see if I get kickoff this way and guess what, not only I could add it to the desktop finally I can even drag the plasma applets onto the panel (didn’t work last week when I tried that on my laptop). I’m starting to feel more comfortable with this new desktop.

I started a few random apps, one of the first was konqueror. I didn’t do any thorough site-testing, but in the couple of minutes it didn’t crash, certainly beta quality. One thing that was rather strange: It took about 20 seconds for the initial rendering of www.apaku.de, though google loaded instantly. Then I tried my page again and waited again for quite some seconds. Clicking on one of the links to the subpages took again some seconds and then I got a message saying that the server timed out. Huh? Check on my KDE3 desktop, no not the server. Later I saw a cookie-dialog waiting in the taskbar, after accepting the cookie and retrying the site everything was fine again. So again just a small glitch that will probably be fixed soon, I guess konqueror just forgets to bring the dialog to the front and then waits for the user confirmation or something like that.

I know the games and also edu apps are in quite good shape (I run quite some of the games almost every day in my kde3 desktop, specially lskat and ksudoku). Still I wanted to see how blinken works in kde4 as it moved from games to edu. Unfortunately it gets stuck currently because it can’t play its own songs via phonon/xine. I’m not sure whats going on there, the sound plays fine in my kde3 environment (though amarok on my kde4 machine started from kde3 environment doesn’t play it either, maybe the xine stuff is somehow not completely installed).

Speaking of phonon, I then tried to play an audio cd with kscd, unfortunately it crashes instantly after it reads the cd 😦 Bugreport for that is on its way.

All in all the whole kde4 desktop still feels a bit slow, at least on that machine. Though kate is much faster than on my laptop that uses a debug build. Apart from that I can see a basic working desktop at the end of the year really happening. Especially if the pace of development stays where it was the last couple of weeks (remember that I blogged about the “bad” shape of kde4 some weeks ago). Guys keep up the good work 🙂

Edit:Redirecting the output from startkde4 (i.e. almost all stdout/stderr from kde programs) to /dev/null and setting Composite disabled (as suggested by various people) does give another slight speed boost. So for a beta3 I think its usable enough.

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