Goodbye KDE(4)

Well, I've been a KDE addict since I first recognized it (that was 2.0, if I remember right), but now it looks like I'll have to look for something else. Why ? Long story short: I've been following KDE4 development since 4.0, tried every minor version since then, discovered nice new features, learnt to do some things in other ways than used to, so far, BUT: despite all recommendations/tips/tricks/hints (and even slight improvements) it has clearly turned out that KDE4 is a RESSOURCE HOG, turning older computers into slugs, outright horrible responsiveness, whereas the same boxes are snappy as hell when run with KDE3.5. And no, I do not suppose a modern DE to be able to run nicely on 486 PC's with 64 MB RAM :) . What I'm actually talking about, are my 2 DELL GX 270's, 2.4 Ghz CPU, 1 GB RAM, onboard intel 865 graphics, and a comparable AMD Duron box (SiS graphics onboard). Oh, yes, I know, this is NOT current state-of-the-art hardware, but IMO not too outdated for everyday web-browsing/email/spreadsheet/web development work - KDE3.5 still proves that very well. KDE4, on the opposite, is just horribly slow: switching Desktops/Applications, e.g., as well as (de-)activating yakuake just leaves the impression, the sytem has first to think about (~ 1 sec. or even more) if it really should do what I want - and this is, what really pisses me off. As already said, none of the tips/tricks/Xorg-configurations or whatever else I tried upon recommendation here or anywhere else, has improved this significantly so far. So, it seems clear to me, the KDE folks have decided to just follow the M$ standard of doing things: with every new version of the OS/Desktop, users have to buy new hardware in order to be able to work at a reasonable performance. To some extent, I can agree with this, but not in a such obvious and oppressive way. So, for now, this is the point where I'll cease to follow KDE4 development, as well as installing/trying new versions of it (Last try was Kubuntu Karmic, KDE 4.3, 5 days ago, which promised to solve Intel Graphics drivers issues/performance - outcome: even more horrible than before with Jaunty). I'll just stick with 3.5.10 as long as possible, which ATM serves all my needs (running on Debian Lenny btw.) very well - including Quanta as one of my key applications (still no KDE4 version available, if ever). Although I know, that will come to an end, at least with the end of support for Lenny. It's a shame that noone in the KDE Community is willing to keep 3.5 alive in a way that it will just run as-is on future Distros (specifically: kernel/glibc/Xorg versions). But if anyone out there steps up doing so: count on me as a volunteer (be warned: my C++ programming skills are still rudimentary :D). @all others: recommendations for alternatives welcome (even GNOME ;-)).



Interesting. I shunned KDE 4 until the current 4.3, which I find I am starting to like. I am running it on newer hardware than you are, but it actually seems faster than KDE 3.5 was on this hardware. Perhaps it is tuned to the newer dual core systems in ways that KDE 3.5 was not.
geschrieben am 2009-11-14 17:53:55 von artAlexion
That s newer hardware than this laptop, which runs fine. Not exactly speedily, but completely acceptable speed. I think that upgrading your RAM to 2GB would make a considerable difference. I see that computer magazines are now saying that modern OSs should be given at least 4GB, but 2GB is the most this motherboard can take.
geschrieben am 2009-11-14 18:17:06 von Anne Wilson
If I understand correctly, then all of your problems are related to the window system. I suppose you did already try whether completely disabling compositing helps. Anyway, even if you abandon the KDE Workplace in favor of another desktop you can still use all KDE 4 applications.
geschrieben am 2009-11-14 19:17:11 von mahoutsukai
Yes, Ingo, of course I disabeled desktop effects/compositing etc. completely. And, yes again, using e.g. lxde and running kde4 apps from there improves the situation, although still less responsive than kde3 apps in kde 3.5.
geschrieben am 2009-11-14 19:26:46 von hoernerfranz
I agree with you to some extent. But if you ve been with KDE from the beginning, and seen the progress from major revision to major revision. You have probably noticed that from 1 to 2, KDE weren t really usable until 2.2. From 2 to 3 not usable until 3.3. Now when we are approaching 4.3 I don t expect it to be usable as in 3.5. 4.4 will probably be if we follow the curve. In the event of 4.x not being usable at all I do think the community will discuss this back and forth and it will probably be a total change in direction towards 5.0. Me. I don t fall in love with a window manager. I use what is needed for the occasion. On my work laptop I ll use KDE 4.x as long as it is not totaly useless. On my studio computer (music studio) I can t use KDE because of the reasons you ve said. Actually, I think that Gnome is to heavy for my studio. I use E17 there. On my TV-box I use KDE 3.5 but jumps straight into XBMC for handling of the movies and TV-shows. My 2c
geschrieben am 2009-11-14 20:29:31 von bengan
I am sorry to hear that you are leaving KDE4. Like you I have used KDE for a long time. I tried KDE4 shortly after its first release and hated it. I ve just put the latest "Open SuSE 11.2 KDE4" alongside "Open SuSE 11.1 KDE3.5". I agree with you, on the same hardware it is noticeably much less responsive. However I am tending towards the new look and will install it on new builds to see how it goes! But like you for my personal use, I will stick with KDE3.5 and watch progress. I notice that no one has thanked you or any of the developers for the hard work and perseverance. Thankyou. Best Regards: Baron.
geschrieben am 2009-11-14 23:11:35 von Baron
I too have been very disappointed with KDE4; 4.3 was the latest I tried although I haven t tried Karmic (probably won t either). What attracted me to KDE (ver 3 back then) in the first place was it was "similar" to Windows. This was important to me as most things were where I was expecting them to be which meant I could get on with my work rather than spending hours looking for "stuff". Gnome was just terrible in this regard. KDE4 has changed all that. In my opinion, the developers have changed too much too fast. I was prepared to hang on as the reasons given for the rewrite was better performance and less resource intensive. As has been mentioned previously, the exact opposite has occurred. I am using Kubuntu 8.10 LTS (KDE 3.5) and once support ceases, I ll be moving to Xfce. I am currently experimenting with Xfce in VirtualBox and I am surprised at how fast it is. Maybe Canonical will extend 8.10 s support like MS did with XP?? Might submit this as a feature request.
geschrieben am 2009-11-15 00:18:24 von Ian Bennett
Yes I do agree. I have also followed KDE since the beginning. And it is obviously so that they do follow the MS development path. Unix/Linux was meant to be a stable system with clear borders betweens the different shells/applications. Now KDE are using Qt with it seems to have no control of. KDE is trying to be a kind of operating system on top of Linux. If something hangs , the whole computer hangs. That is exactly what it was meant not to do. It is also amazing to see how 3.5.x well working applications now seems to totally collapse without seemingly new features that can explain it. The only explanation I can see is that it is a new generation taken over, that do not have the idea and intention of Unix/Linux but convert it to a MS spaghetti. Also there seems to be different kind of users. KDE is now focusing on eye candy. For me it is more important that my applications I need works, which de don t do now./Lars
geschrieben am 2009-11-15 03:01:58 von Lars Koraeus
Using Debian testing I have KDE4 loaded on my system, but refuse to use it - even some of my old favorite apps are now pretty useless to me because they are (a) so resource heavy and (b) designed to be eye-candy heavy before functionality. It is really too bad that the KDE developers chose to spend their time designing this new "plasma" system - that should have been a fork (or just a side project for those who prefer their style over substance) and the bugs in KDE3.5 should have been ironed out. KDE is such an integrated amalgam of applications and hidden libraries it is monolithic and difficult to work with, and I won t use the damn thing. I am also not upgrading other machines in my house to testing because of the way that KDE4 ships with such an upgrade. Gnome is faster and more user-friendly, Xfce is much faster and of course IceWM and Flux - well, are like greased lightening in comparison. The joy of a GNU system - choices and not locked into some developers wet dreams.
geschrieben am 2009-11-15 12:02:35 von Frank Incense
Thanks to your paper! I am not the only one to fill bad related to KDE4. Yes, remember the select-copy-paste of texte of the early version ? But now, we have a clipeboard selector and some how two clipeboards. I tryed DSL (Damned Small Linux), last year. This distribution is realy not ridiculous with its 50 MBytes . Today, some people are talking here of 200/400 times this size for RAM... I dream that Troll will maintain its QT3 library and that some team will maintain the KDE3 project.
geschrieben am 2009-11-16 05:30:21 von Patrick
@lars: what do you mean with: "Now KDE are using Qt with it seems to have no control of." kde uses qt for a long time. -- i am using kde-4.3.3 here. i had problems too, with previous version. like the difference between water and glue. and what i became aware of: behaviour of kde heavily depends on the intel driver and x configuration you re using.
geschrieben am 2009-11-16 09:49:20 von gaelic
Yes! ....KDE 3.5 is really a good and fast and stable Desktop Manager. And I use Debian Lenny and I can not use the new KDE 4.3.3 ...but I will use the new KDE as soon as possible.Many people say KDE 3.5 is better and and.... but the KDE developer-Team had build a completely new Desktop Manager that now can run on Linux BSD MSWindows Macosx and and... Its not easy to make all people lucky, but when everybody think KDE 3.5 is great so you can develop it further and bring the new KDE 3.6 :) it is free opensource Software.
geschrieben am 2009-11-17 22:50:26 von Hiroshima
To me it seems that the point of eyecandy over functionallity is farther behind us than the since the upcomming of KDE4. And I am truely annoyed of the need to buy new hardware every 1-2 years, just to have the new software running the same speed as the old one. (which was one of the reasons to get rid of M$) And that there other ways is clearly shown by e.g. puppylinux. I d rather have things work than fancy, shiny annimations (otherwise I d bought a mac). So the picture that builds in my mind is some sort of GTD Linux (Getting Things Done):- Fast, light DE -one programm for one Problem (NO unwanted or once-in-a-hundret-years-used feature) -maybe some new apps to have GTD work better -can be runned as terminalserver, to avoid maintaining many machines - The main idea (for which I have no , if it works): The less features, the better (sort of nothing that I don t really need to do my work)I know, I know that is sort of difficult to define. Negative example: K3B, once a burning tool, now a ripper-encoder-decoder-and-everything-cd tool, which often is unable to burn a iso image...OK, far from thought-through, but maybe worth to think a bit over?
geschrieben am 2009-11-26 20:12:19 von mclien