My Voyage of Discovery

Luis asked if anyone had tried the KDE4 live CD, so being a funlovin’ guy I downloaded it from http://home.kde.org/~binner/kde-four-live/ and gave it a shot. Once it loaded I was dropped to a login screen with a username and password. I didn’t know the username/password. While I was staring at this screen I noticed that some fonts were anti-aliased and all sexy smooth, and some were all jaggy. Looked weird. It said “linux” in a list at the side, I clicked it, and it added “linux” to the username field. Now for the password. I tried “linux”. It didn’t work. Then I tried just clicking login. It worked! Wooo. Bad start though. I know this isn’t really KDE4’s fault but rather the LiveCD, so i’m not judging it.

While using this login screen I did notice that I still don’t like the look or feel of QT. Guess I never will.

Once the desktop (plasma) loaded, it seemed like the background was running on a 16colour amiga display. Big chunks of greyscale in a clouds pattern. Then there was a blue-black-blue gradient bar at the bottom. There was an icon that had a large “?” on it. On the screen were 3 windows. One just had an icon in it and the title read “Klipper”. Then there was a crash reporter and a Tip of the Day window. Each of these had a corresponding text in the blue-black-blue bar.

On the desktop itself was an icon surrounded in a black square. Double clicking it started a calendar application. Ohhhhhh. And there was a swirly grey/green thing in the corner that said “esktop Toolbo”. Putting the pointer near the “esktop Toolbo” made a menu of sorts slide out with some things like Lock Desktop, Zoom in/Zoom out and a list of Plasmoids. The word plasmoids makes me think of the game Asteroids, and I’m always disappointed.

Anywho, I added a clock to my desktop. It gave the wrong time. I added a few more. And a few digital ones as well. Then I zoomed out and I had lots of tiny clocks on my desktop, all giving the wrong time (I assume they were anyway, they were too small to actually read). I added a few more things, and then I added some map of the world thing and the desktop crashed, and I was left with the Klipper icon. Ctrl-Alt-Backspace and clicking linux logged me back in.

I set everything back up again. I tried to take a screenshot for posterity. PrtSc didn’t do anything. I clicked the mystery “?” icon on the blue-black-blue bar assuming it to be a menu. It didn’t do anything. So I drew a screenshot instead.

[Where it says “Kicker” it should say “Klipper”, I get Konfused with all these Kute KNiknames, and actually the background wasn’t that smooth, it had about 248 less colours in it – I am quite proud of my “esktop Toolbo” icon though]

So, yeah, maybe the LiveCD wasn’t working too good on my laptop. I dunno, don’t think I’ll be switching tomorrow…
but there were some nice things. I really liked how the window bar buttons faded between different states (everyone knows I’m a sucker for fading), and the idea of having some subtle animations is nice, with things sliding and growing.

Man, I’m so dead…

64 thoughts on “My Voyage of Discovery”

  1. Mariano: “Dude…that’s feedback, you know what feedback is, right?” (Thanks to pgc for that comeback, was better than any I’d come up with)

    Ross: A little, more clocks…way more clocks, less ability to actually do anything except tell the time (although, it was wrong…) “KDE4: Its for your living room wall, not your desktop” could be a tagline.

  2. Thanks for proving again that bitching is the easiest thing to do.

    Next time, get informed before, take a look at some applications and well, be less of a zealot.

    Your screenshot is nice though, join your local Anonymous Artists group today. 🙂

  3. On the other hand i tried the Gnome 3 liveCD pre beta, but it did not even boot !

    After having lost 1 hour checking my cdrom drive, i just rebooted on my local install, launched KDE and found out that the CD was blank.

    This is so lame, i almost feel the need to blog about it now.

    PS: on the plus side, the blank password was written directly on the CD.

  4. Funny, you point to http://home.kde.org/~binner/kde-four-live/ and then complain about not understanding how to log in.
    Hmmm, was it so difficult to read the text in the download page : “Beta 2:The ‘linux’ user and ‘root’ have no password”. Bitching other’s project when you’re not even able to read the two lines of explanations about a development release of a live-CD is just plain ridiculous…

  5. Hey, seems you didn’t read enought kde stuff before testing.
    Well, as of kde4liveCD there is no menu at all. Not yet coded/ported I think, but it’s a well known problem. I’dd been realy surprised to get a menu with this CD.
    So the work around ? right click on the desktop an try the ‘run command’ thing, there, type konsole ( still missing auto completion thought ) and you can launch apps from there.

    About the time displayed by the clock beeing bad, it’s just 3 clicks away : right click on the clock, select configure clock. Then click the time zone list, type your town with key board ( I had to enter par to find Paris) and validate changes. Then, put a second clock and choose Boston, and reduce the size of the clock… you can now see what’s the time at your friend’s studiing abroad 🙂

    I hope these little tips will help you to test this unfinished work which is KDE.
    And keep in mind that Plasma (the desktop and bluebar actualy) is one of the part wich needs the more work before KDE to be realesable.

    Enjoy Krashing you komputer 😉

  6. I’m a long time GNOME user and advocate who is more and more attracted by KDE4.

    I’m not really into SUSE and would suggest (k)Ubuntu Gutsy for this sort of experimentation. I also hope the next LiveCD releases will show something more stable, otherwise more shallow rants like yours (or you prefer “criticism”) will spread.

    KDE4 is going to be something *great* for all of us. Get over it 🙂

  7. Interesting review, I’ve been wondering about changing to another desktop, you prety much made up my mind. I’m dumping Gnome. I really can’t relate with people who criticize free work that others have made. I like Gnome, and have been using it for many years, but I am generally appalled by the general Gnome comunity as this sort of behavior is commonplace. There are some helpful and selfless individuals, but there are many like you, hindering the freedesktop efforts. To think that you went out of your way to say negative remarks about FREE BETA software. I really don’t want to be identified with someone like you.

  8. Yeah, KDE really sucks? I just hope that KDE – Windows and KDE – Mac will soon be realized and thrown to public. If people from Linux do not want KDE anymore, I’m sure many people from Windows and Mac will like KDE applications. And hence less reason to switch to Linux!!

    Heck, I’ve been using Linux for more than 7 years and this kind of behavior that I really hate from open source community. Vi users bashing Emacs, Firefox users say IE users are idiots, Ubuntu fanboys and of course GNOME vs KDE….

  9. why waste your time right a blog entry on something that is in development, plasma has still got a long way to go and the only thing your showing is how belligerent and incompetant you are to the fact of this.

    Forgot to mention I have seen a little child paint better things that that steaming pile of crap you made

  10. Sebastian…I wasn’t bitching. That definitely was not bitching. It was simply a review of an uncompleted product, and I came to the conclusion that it most defintely was an uncompleted product. That is how reviews work, they say whether something is good or bad. A review is not a sycophantic love in where only the good points are mentioned. If you don’t want people saying “Actually, this isn’t very good, maybe its not ready” then maybe you should wait until it is ready… But then I already know your opinions on negative press from your comment on my last entry don’t I?

    And as I pointed out, I didn’t try any applications because I couldn’t work out how to run them, ya know…cos the menu system isn’t working. Yes, I can get to a run command box, but what do I type there? So yes, this is a valid review that says “Oh, actually, there’s a lot of work to be done”.

    Maybe it was my fault, because to me Beta2 says “This is almost ready for the primetime, and the loving tour linked from dot.kde.org, and all the KDE kids on dot.kde.org that claim they use it every day as their main desktop seemed to support that idea.

    Heretic: I never said a single thing about what KDE should or should not do…

    To the rest of the comments that are coming from Sebastians blog: I note the delicious irony of you coming here to flame me from a blog that calls for peace love and harmony. Such is life…

  11. @iain

    Oh please, that was not a review. Let’s see what it consisted of..

    – I’m too dense to read about what password is required to log in (nothing to do with KDE)
    – The colours are bad (with hyperbolic negative comparisons)
    – Childish sarcastic comments “Oooohhh”
    – Repeating an action to build up a strawman (made lots of clocks, which is silly)
    – Pointed out non-flaws (clock time being wrong. that’s just a problem with the livecd)
    – Drawing (?!) a screenshot to make it look ridiculous
    – Complaining about K names like a slashdot troll.

    You didn’t start a single application, you didn’t do anything except complain about the look of the desktop, which is far from final. How you can call that a review with a straight face is completely mystifying.

    It’s not about coming here to flame you. I’m not involved in KDE, and I see that there are a lot of crucial things missing in KDE 4 still, but your post is pure mockery. It is not constructive in the least. If someone from the KDE community wrote an article about a gnome development snapshot like that my opinion would be just as bad.

  12. “If you don’t want people saying “Actually, this isn’t very good, maybe its not ready” then maybe you should wait until it is ready…”

    Still not getting the whole beta thing? It’s a real beta, not a Google ‘beta’.

    In other words: it’s not ready, that’s why it’s called a beta.

  13. To quote:

    Mariano: “Dude…that’s feedback, you know what feedback is, right?”

    You make it appear as if you gave valuable feedback. This is not the case. You list stuff that you claim not to judge, which is why you have taken the liberty to still start your entry with it. Then you go on, telling us that one particular build of a Beta2 with one particular set of defaults is not working on one particular machine.

    You end with a tiny positive assessment and your feedback is done.

    I would ask you to read http://vizzzion.org/?blogentry=733 and give real feedback on Beta3 taking this blog post into consideration.

    Anonymous, who uses KDE, but still likes some Gnome apps 🙂

  14. Let me sum your “review” up:

    KDE is teh sux0r, LOL.

    And yes, I am and have always been a Gnome user, but a Gnome user that doesn’t understand the point of spending time lashing out on open source competition like KDE. Like it or not, the new KDE is sexy and lots of people are using it, so stop trolling and please make Gnome rock even more.

  15. “not ready” is what we used to call “alpha”, back in the day. “beta” was marking a release stable for documentation and translation effort, and for (semi)public consumption. KDE4 1.0 is far from “beta” these days, when half of the UI is still going to change. so get over it: claiming the “beta” status was a poor PR stunt.

    @iain: the KDE fanboys come here because, irony of ironies, the original blog doesn’t even have commenting enabled. so much for peace and love and constructiveness.

  16. Your review is a pile of shit. You don’t help OSS this way. You are helping OSS to look like a pile of shit.

  17. Leo S: Yes, review is too strong a word, I retract that description, observations would be a better description. Observations about both the liveCD and the KDE4 desktop

    To comment on your contents:
    * “I’m too dense to read about what password is required to log in (nothing to do with KDE)”

    I did attribute that to the liveCD and not KDE – “I know this isn’t really KDE4’s fault but rather the LiveCD, so i’m not judging it.” Also, reading is not something users do, the ubuntu liveCDs autologin so why not these ones? I don’t know, but the way the process went was “Ah, liveCD, download that”, do something else for 30minutes while it downloaded, “Oh…password *shrug*”

    * “The colours are bad (with hyperbolic negative comparisons)”

    The colours are terrible, and do look like an amiga display. There’s only 18 shades of grey used for the gradient. Almost like an Amiga (it only had 16 shades IIRC).

    * Childish sarcastic comments “Oooohhh”

    That wasn’t actually supposed to be sarcastic. Thats just me, but whatever.

    * Repeating an action to build up a strawman (made lots of clocks, which is silly)

    That wasn’t a strawman. I never actually complained about the ability to add lots of clocks. I did that because that was all that I could actually get working(*). Complaining about the ability to add lots of clocks would be silly as GNOME can do exactly the same thing with its panel clock.

    * Pointed out non-flaws (clock time being wrong. that’s just a problem with the livecd)

    I did say “So, yeah, maybe the LiveCD wasn’t working too good on my laptop.” I don’t know what its a flaw with, maybe its a flaw with the live CD, maybe its a flaw with how KDE sets up timezones. I don’t know.

    * Drawing (?!) a screenshot to make it look ridiculous

    I did take photos of it too. Not everything was “to make KDE look ridiculous.” Some things are added for comic effect.

    – Complaining about K names like a slashdot troll.

    Mneh, can’t argue with that one…

    As I said, I agree that review is too strong a word and that observations are better. I came at this from a point of view of a user, just using the CD. Maybe it wasn’t ready, but the comments I read about it on dot.kde.org and various other people’s reviews give the impression that it is ready, and so that was the attitude I approached it with.

  18. Except that you don’t review unfinished products unless you’re doing so to see how it’s being made because the way it is being made concerns you.

    You don’t review a half finished movie.
    You don’t review a half finished car.
    You don’t review half finished software.

  19. “You don’t review a half finished movie.
    You don’t review a half finished car.
    You don’t review half finished software.”

    You don’t release a half finished movie
    You don’t release a half finished car
    You don’t release half finished software…

    I think we’ve got a song here

  20. Relax! I’m an avid KDE user, and really looking forward to KDE4 myself. I’ve compiled it a few times over the last few months to check its progress, and I agree with Iain here – KDE4 so far does not look the part. It should not be in Beta yet. I always thought “Alpha” is where the system is still being built, and “Beta” is where it should be working, but maybe has a load of bugs. The live CDs do nothing for me – basically, they demonstrate that you can log in to KDE4, but that’s about it.

    But – calm down – the time-line is still a few months from completion. IIRC, it’s due at the end of December. I’m looking forward to it, and have faith that KDE4 will rock. Right now, though, it’s not ready to be showcased.

  21. If you think ridiculing KDE makes GNOME more attractive to us, you’re totally wrong. I used GNOME for a long time ago, but quickly fell in love with KDE and changed because of several reasons. And now, almost everywhere I read something KDE related, there will always be some GNOME troll ridiculing the K naming tradition, KDE’s “kartoonish” look, how ugly Qt looks (which isn’t true btw; Qt 4.2 comes e.g. with a clearlooks theme) etc.

    I’m not saying there are no KDE trolls (there probably are some, although I haven’t seen many), but bitching about KDE really doesn’t make any of us think more highly of GNOME. What the hell makes you think that? I’m not saying I’m more disgusted with GNOME because of stupid posts like this. After all, it’s not the desktop or its developers’ (most of them, anyways) fault that a lot of its users are ignorant assholes, but I wouldn’t be suprised if other KDE users would.

  22. Please don’t forget that KDE is not only plasma… It is also lots of applications and libraries which ARE ready to be called beta. Plasma is just one of the many parts of KDE so almost all complaining about non-beta quality of KDE beta2 is only because ‘testers’ don’t go futher then clicking on the desktop.

  23. anonimous: That is true and a fair comment. I’d have played with the applications, but all I was given was a terminal and a command prompt, so I honestly didn’t know what to type to test.

    Not having a menu doesn’t make it any easier (and for what its worth, beta1 had a menu, I don’t see why I should have expected that beta2 wouldn’t have one)

  24. Long time KDE user (and lover!) here, and I have to agree with some of the posts here – KDE4 really can’t be called a “Beta” because it is not close to feature-complete, although to be fair, most of the non-completeness comes from Plasma, which had a very, very late start in life due to all of the groundwork – in kdelibs and Qt – that needed to be laid before it could begin. Pulling figures out of my arse, but it seems like roughly 90% of the total work on Plasma has been accomplishe in the time between May of this year and now.

    If someone were to label KDE4 Beta 2 “Alpha” software, I really wouldn’t argue.

    I also think that Sebastian’s reaction to what seemed to me to be an isolated and tongue-in-cheek post was a huge over-reaction, and am saddened that he did not allow corrective comments on his blog post.

  25. I dunno about you guys, but even though I WILL be consuming lots of KDE4 crack for years to come (I dumped GNOME like an old hag because KDE was simply superior for me)…

    …the “screenshot” CRACKED ME UP!

  26. > You don’t release half finished software…

    you don’t? i thought that was par for the course when it comes to Free software — pre-release software needs to be available so that bug-hunting can proceed.

    the live CDs aren’t exactly aimed at the average user; if they were, i’d imagine they’d be publicised rather more, not dumped on one of the dev’s personal web-space.

  27. [obligatory comment claiming to be a former GNOME user and lover who was driven away by the incivility (incivility, I say!) of GNOME-related people offering humorous criticism of a not-yet-beta beta release of KDE. And I won’t be back!]

    OK, not really, but I thought we needed at least one more of those stock responses just for good measure.

  28. Please guys…

    I think you are right in some parts. I agree that every one can review a software and deliberately say what he finds, but please don’t put it in the way that irritates some of “us”.

    We all are part of a larger community, and a part of our community (KDE) is experiencing some huge changes. They have started a very large project and I admire them for finishing, I say, 80% of what they wanted. Sure there maybe mistakes (even in their managements), but, look,they are all volunteers and they could concentrate lots of volunteer developers on a such big project. This is a great success itself. It is not easy at all. So if you really want to make “helpful” reviews, point the mistakes but let’s not make fun of each other.

    I am quite optimistic about KDE4. Although I think KDE 4.1 is what that we all expect of KDE 4.0. After the release of KDE 4.1, I will come back here and read your “fair” review of it.

  29. I am OUTRAGEOUSLY OUTRAGED by the amount of OUTRAGE over this OUTRAGEOUS post! How DARE you, sir?!

  30. In general I think reviews are supposed to be unbiased. As soon as one adds sarcasm i.e.
    “Double clicking it started a calendar application. Ohhhhhh”
    to the review it becomes more of a bashing.

    I think it is fine to point out the good and bad aspects of the subject being reviewed but one has to also consider the medium. Live CDs are not going to perform as well as a native install. There just isn’t enough room for all the necessary drivers and configurations.

    Ones opinions of a product really are not necessary in a review, i.e. I get Konfused with all these Kute KNiknames, note the sarcasm here also.

    If something didn’t work it would be interesting to know if the reviewer tried to configure the, in this case, clock and how easy or difficult it was to do.

    A good reviewer will run a thorough test and report on the usability not make off-handed remarks about the aesthetic or the application names.

  31. oh and BTW, If voyages of discovery were all as poorly executed as this one, well who knows where the world would be today.

  32. @iain

    Fair enough, I just think the same thing could have been said in a much less aggressive manner. KDE4 is not ready for users yet, and it probably should still be alpha, that’s for sure. Some KDE 4 apps, however, are already in good shape. Witness the inclusion of some of them into the Suse desktop.

  33. honestly, this made me laugh. i can appreciate someone having fun and showing just how big a dick they can be (or, perhaps, just are). it’s fun to do. perhaps not the most mature or professional thing to do, but certainly fun. and we need fun in our lives, right?

    i am not surprised you can’t see the whole picture right now; we haven’t made that easy yet as there are many pieces to slide in to make it start to make sense from the user’s side.

    personally, i take this blog entry as a “roast” and think it’s cool you took the time to try things out in the first place.

    of course, i hope you also took a look at some of the other apps as well, rather than just looking for something to take the piss out of. (that would, imho, be crossing the line from “having a fun jab at” to being a complete asshat, btw)

    in any case, when people actually do get the stable version of these things on their desktops via distributions and do end up taking advantage of all the interesting and new ideas in kde 4.0 (let alone the releases to follow) … then i suppose it’ll be a slightly different kind of blog entry to write, hm?

  34. I honestly would use kde4 in its current state than any gnome release. Mostly cause gnome sucks but also cause GTK is a joke, not only does the api blow but why the fuck does anything that uses GTK look like it was made for windows 95? It kinda looks like the same architect that used to design communist russia bunkers created the aesthetic look for gnome. BTW how much slower is nautilus going to be,? oh and how much longer for a rip off of amarok or k3b?

  35. No surprise here, KDE developers are well known for not taking criticism very well, May I remind you A.Seigo trolling and bitching in OSNEWS.COM?

    This is overreacted, but since KDE developers really love to play then victim… well, you get the idea.

  36. What’s wrong with these people?

    Iain is doing something that a lot of GNOME people wouldn’t dare; try KDE. He is even blogging about the issues he found. Right, you can argue that the intention was ill, but even if that was the case you can learn from that!

    I’m mostly neutral regarding KDE but Iain posts are showing that a lot of KDE people are incapable of receiving feedback. Maybe it’s not exactly the most positive feedback possible, but it’s feedback.

    LiveCD’s are meant for people that don’t want to install your stuff, so it should work well if you want to hook some more users. Any Joe user would find the issues Iain found and wonder what peace of… excellent-software-in-alfa-stage-but-wrongly-branded-as-beta this is. He won’t care about the reasons you give, he won’t provide _any_ kind of feedback, just try something else that actually works.

    BTW people _do_ write reviews of beta software (not that this can be considered a review).

    I think the GNOME community is not receiving feedback that well, but man, compared to KDE they are all ears.

  37. Hilarious! Thank you 🙂

    To everyone who’s bitching about the bitching, jeez, relax and get a sense of humor.

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