Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Top 10 Things I HATE about KDE 4

Filed under

I've been trying to like to KDE 4 since before its very first developmental release. I've been a KDE user since my first day in Linux, about the time KDE was at version 1.99 (the version that shipped with Mandrake 7.2). The buzz for KDE4 was humming quite loud and lot of happy users posted how nice it was. I kept trying it and was always so disappointed in not being able to like it. Besides the overall plastic feel, here are the top 10 things that drive me nuts with KDE 4 (and believe me they are just the top 10):

10. Everything is a "plasmoid." And most annoyingly, even desktop icons are plasma widgets. Not only is it fugly, but it also takes up valuable desktop space. It reminds of Windows 98 when I had to buy an extra program just to make the icon text background transparent.

9. Dual monitor separation - What I mean by that is on dual display systems, one has to configure each monitor/display/half of the desktop separately. And it also means that the panel can't stretch out over the two displays, move from one to the other, and you can't move icons from one to the other. They are really almost completely separate desktops. The only thing we can really still do is move windows between them. Thank goodness they wrote that in.

8. Akregator Unread indicator number - In KDE 3 unread articles numbers were bold and IN RED, which makes seeing feeds with new articles much easier than just this 'just bold' method now. If you pick out the right font it's not as hard to see, but some distros' default font make it very hard to see. In any font case, using just bold causes me to have to slow down and look a bit more carefully. My eyes are getting old and this is an inconvenience. I want my RED back!!!

7. Akregator pulls in random order - In KDE 3 Akregator would pull in the feeds in just about the order in which they are listed. But now, KDE 4 pulls in some random order that I've yet to identify. It's not alphabetical. This makes me have to wait until it's all done before I start down the list. Before I could start searching for good articles almost immediately upon clicking Fetch All. And Akregator in KDE 4 pulls in a lot sloooooower than in KDE 3. Again, loss of time and convenience.

6. Can't search for individual feeds anymore - One thing I've always wished for in Akregator is a "Sort feeds alphabetically," but in lieu of that, we could search for feeds by depressing the keyboard letter beginning the feed's name. For example, if I wanted to find in my list, I could keep hitting "t" as it went through the list highlighting each feed that starts with "t." But this functionality is now gone. So, with 1500 feeds, I'm shit out of luck trying to find a particular one inside of a half hour and a lot of effort. I usually just give up. Wouldn't it be nice to have a sort alphabetically or search function for the feed panel or at least have the highlight by letter back?

5. Dictionary widget needs extra clicks and less information - Now instead of the nice textarea for the Dictionary panel applet like in KDE 3, we now have this stupid icon that must be clicked upon in order to raise the input area. And the output is very limited now. Many times it just shows one or two short basic definitions instead of all the uses of the word and, equally or moreso as valuable to a writer with perhaps lesser skills, the extensive thesaurus at the end is gone. Perhaps they changed dictionary databases, but I don't see any way for the end user to configure it, do you? Basically the dictionary is almost useless at this point for anything beyond spell checking.

4. List of open windows too big and doesn't wrap - See how in this picture the list of open Konqueror windows seems to run on passed the top of my monitor? Well, IT DOES! With a monitor with a height of 1050 pixels, that leaves me room to see about 28 or 29 available windows, leaving the rest inaccessible. Taking about 40 pixels for each line in their efforts to make them all nice and shiny is ridiculous. Aaaaand, they don't wrap. In fact, that's the key. In KDE 3 when the windows list got too tall it would wrap, or stop at the top of the display and make a second column where I could still see them, click on one, and bring it above the other windows for use. I still ain't found a good work around for this. In-con-ven-i-ent!!! <heavy sigh>

3. Kmail Wrapping Links - Oh, but the links in KDE 4 Kmail wrap! This is real nice for having actual clickable links - um, no. Now we have to highlight to copy, open a new browser, and paste into address bar. So, better make sure there is no homepage set or else there's another couple extra step added to the hodgepodge. Sometimes you can just highlight the wrapped part and click on the linkable part and the site will come up and you can add the extra part. This rarely works just right. Of course, they didn't wrap in KDE 3 which meant links actually worked in sent or draft mail. What were they thinking? Oh, what's that you say? Turn off word-wrap? Yeah, it's real nice to send folks unformatted emails, that won't annoy them at all. Or better yet, let's go into the configuration and change each time just for the ones with links.

2. Where the fsck is the Konqueror web history?! This one has pstops me more than once. This is a critical bug to users and yet it seems to be way down on the list of priorities to fix. I need it because the power goes off or blinks here quite a bit and the restore session doesn't work if KDE isn't shut down properly of course. So, not being able to look through the history to find my lost links really messes me up. Twice Thursday, in trying to find a work around for number 4, my finger slipped off while the cursor was over "Closed" in the Konquoror taskbar right-click menu! grrrrr! I've been pretty lucky and so far KDE hasn't crashed out to the login yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. And when it does - grrrrrr... Besides, sometimes a person might like to go back and just find something they saw earlier. This one is just inexcusable.

Edit: I found a history - it's not in the sidebar, but up in the menu under GO. It opens up a separate little window, but hey, at least it's here. I don't know why someone didn't tell me about this! Big Grin Anyway, I went off on it cause I googled around and all I really saw on it was the bug report about it not working and someone talking about the bug report being ignored. Sorry KDE guys. Sad

1. Can't stretch wallpapers over two displays - This one is related to number 9, but was the number one and my first annoyance with KDE 4. Now I have to use a separate wallpaper on each monitor, or sorta "tile" the one across the desktop. This is a really ugly solution. Real ugly. Fscking ugly! I have so many cool wallpapers I've yet to use that are just wasted now. Of the below, which do you think is a nicer effect?

KDE 3.5.x

KDE 4.3.x

Bonus: nspluginviewer still broke - 'nuf said there.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Half of these issues are

Half of these issues are KOffice.

The Desktop wallpaper and separate desktops issue is known and it is being worked on.

The Konqueror list with 33 open windows is an issue, but perhaps you could try using Tabs?

re: half

lefty.crupps wrote:

Half of these issues are KOffice.

You mean Kontact? Yeah, but Kontact and Konqueror are integral parts of KDE.


The Desktop wallpaper and separate desktops issue is known and it is being worked on.

Is it really!? I hope so. I read a blog post by aaron (I think it was) not too long ago that stated it wasn't too high up on the list.


The Konqueror list with 33 open windows is an issue, but perhaps you could try using Tabs?

But it's still "out of sight out of mind" and then lots of clicking around to try and find out what I got. And how to automagically open links found in Kmail and Akregator as tabs of existing windows? I'd have to bring up an existing browser window, click to open new tab, copy and paste the link, and then click the go button.

I think for now the best solution is to just put the link with title in a text file for those I think I won't need until time for the howtos and leftovers at the end of the day. But that still sucks really.

I don't know about yaw, but KDE 4 is not progress to me. It seems like a lot of steps back. And I didn't even mention the resource-hungry problem. So far, PCLOS is the only distro that I can even comfortably use it in. It just don't seem better to me. All the fancy graphics and effects (that I can't even use) don't make up for the loss of usability and functionality.

Yes, I did mean Kontact; I

Yes, I did mean Kontact; I do agree that Kontact is pretty integral to KDE if you require an email app, feed reader, etc. But not everyone has the same needs of course.

> And how to automagically open links found in Kmail and
> Akregator as tabs of existing windows? I'd have to bring
> up an existing browser window, click to open new tab,
> copy and paste the link, and then click the go button.

I an not sure exactly, as my default browser is Firefox (the real one) even though I am using Debian Sid with KDE 4.3.2; links in Kontact open in the current Firefox browser new tab automatically (this was the same with Iceweasel, the Debian version of FF code, which is stuck at 3.0.14 or so). Do you need to set your default browser to 'konqueror %U' or some other flag perhaps? I have tried a number of options myself and haven't resolved it for you; its always a new window for me, but asking within #kde on Freenode's IRC, others seem to get it in a new tab when they configure Konqueror to open in new tab (under the General settings page), with the default browser just set as Konqueror (no %u flag attempts).

KDE certainly has more work to do, but overall I have been very pleased with its progress, its stability, and its functionality. KDE 3.5.x wasn't built in a day, after all.

Good luck with your efforts, and remember that filing bug reports and wishes on goes a long way to making your desktop usable for yourself. Developers don't know what works and what is needed without the community helping them out!

re: konq


Do you need to set your default browser to 'konqueror %U' or some other flag perhaps? I have tried a number of options myself and haven't resolved it for you; its always a new window for me, but asking within #kde on Freenode's IRC, others seem to get it in a new tab when they configure Konqueror to open in new tab (under the General settings page), with the default browser just set as Konqueror (no %u flag attempts).

You tried to solve it for me? You asked around on IRC? How sweet of you, thank you so much.

But I don't really want to mess around with that %U %u much - in the kdeglobal? I did the other day and when I'd click a link, I got a infinite number of konquerors opening up until I jumped in the konsole and killalled. Big Grin

Actually, I guess I'll just try to keep my list down to under 28 windows. Big Grin


Good luck with your efforts, and remember that filing bug reports and wishes on goes a long way to making your desktop usable for yourself. Developers don't know what works and what is needed without the community helping them out!

Shoot, have you seen those lists? There was even a story the other day about how the KDE guys are overwhelmed by bug reports and feature requests. I went there looking to see if someone had already put in a request for the stretching wallpaper thing, and the search came out with 100s of hits. Not any were really relevant as far as I read.

But thank you for trying to help me. Smile

oh man, another one

I almost forgot about:

the real transparency of the Konsole sucks because number one it relies on the composite effects that I have to turn off, but the fake transparency we had in kde 3 isn't available.

but even if it's on, it's not usable cause the real transparency shows everything underneath. So, if the konsole is above a window, all that window's text and stuff will show through making the font in the konsole hard to see. The fake transparency in kde3 only replicated the background - so it was always usable no matter what was behind it.

So, bascially, even if composite is enabled for the desktop, you still can't have a pretty konsole.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

KDE: Linux and Qt in Automotive, KDE Discover, Plasma5 18.01 in Slackware

  • Linux and Qt in Automotive? Let’s meet up!
    For anyone around the Gothenburg area on Feb 1st, you are most welcome to the Automotive MeetUp held at the Pelagicore and Luxoft offices. There will be talks about Qt/QML, our embedded Linux platform PELUX and some ramblings about open source in automotive by yours truly ;-)
  • What about AppImage?
    I see a lot of people asking about state of AppImage support in Discover. It’s non-existent, because AppImage does not require centralized software management interfaces like Discover and GNOME Software (or a command-line package manager). AppImage bundles are totally self-contained, and come straight from the developer with zero middlemen, and can be managed on the filesystem using your file manager This should sound awfully familiar to former Mac users (like myself), because Mac App bundles are totally self-contained, come straight from the developer with zero middlemen, and are managed using the Finder file manager.
  • What’s new for January? Plasma5 18.01, and more
    When I sat down to write a new post I noticed that I had not written a single post since the previous Plasma 5 announcement. Well, I guess the past month was a busy one. Also I bought a new e-reader (the Kobo Aura H2O 2nd edition) to replace my ageing Sony PRS-T1. That made me spend a lot of time just reading books and enjoying a proper back-lit E-ink screen. What I read? The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, A Shadow all of Light by Fred Chappell, Persepolis Rising and several of the short stories (Drive, The Butcher of Anderson Station, The Churn and Strange Dogs) by James SA Corey and finally Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. All very much worth your time.

GNU/Linux: Live Patching, Gravity of Kubernetes, Welcome to 2018

  • How Live Patching Has Improved Xen Virtualization
    The open-source Xen virtualization hypervisor is widely deployed by enterprises and cloud providers alike, which benefit from the continuous innovation that the project delivers. In a video interview with ServerWatch, Lars Kurth, Chairman of the Xen Project Advisory Board and Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix, details some of the recent additions to Xen and how they are helping move the project forward.
  • The Gravity of Kubernetes
    Most new internet businesses started in the foreseeable future will leverage Kubernetes (whether they realize it or not). Many old applications are migrating to Kubernetes too. Before Kubernetes, there was no standardization around a specific distributed systems platform. Just like Linux became the standard server-side operating system for a single node, Kubernetes has become the standard way to orchestrate all of the nodes in your application. With Kubernetes, distributed systems tools can have network effects. Every time someone builds a new tool for Kubernetes, it makes all the other tools better. And it further cements Kubernetes as the standard.
  • Welcome to 2018
    The image of the technology industry as a whole suffered in 2017, and that process is likely to continue this year as well. That should lead to an increased level of introspection that will certainly affect the free-software community. Many of us got into free software to, among other things, make the world a better place. It is not at all clear that all of our activities are doing that, or what we should do to change that situation. Expect a lively conversation on how our projects should be run and what they should be trying to achieve. Some of that introspection will certainly carry into projects related to machine learning and similar topics. There will be more interesting AI-related free software in 2018, but it may not all be beneficial. How well will the world be served, for example, by a highly capable, free facial-recognition system and associated global database? Our community will be no more effective than anybody else at limiting progress of potentially freedom-reducing technologies, but we should try harder to ensure that our technologies promote and support freedom to the greatest extent possible. Our 2017 predictions missed the fact that an increasing number of security problems are being found at the hardware level. We'll not make the same mistake in 2018. Much of what we think of as "hardware" has a great deal of software built into it — highly proprietary software that runs at the highest privilege levels and which is not subject to third-party review. Of course that software has bugs and security issues of its own; it couldn't really be any other way. We will see more of those issues in 2018, and many of them are likely to prove difficult to fix.

Linux Kernel Development

  • New Sound Drivers Coming In Linux 4.16 Kernel
    Due to longtime SUSE developer Takashi Iwai going on holiday the next few weeks, he has already sent in the sound driver feature updates targeting the upcoming Linux 4.16 kernel cycle. The sound subsystem in Linux 4.16 sees continued changes to the ASoC code, clean-ups to the existing drivers, and a number of new drivers.
  • Varlink: a protocol for IPC
    One of the motivations behind projects like kdbus and bus1, both of which have fallen short of mainline inclusion, is to have an interprocess communication (IPC) mechanism available early in the boot process. The D-Bus IPC mechanism has a daemon that cannot be started until filesystems are mounted and the like, but what if the early boot process wants to perform IPC? A new project, varlink, was recently announced; it aims to provide IPC from early boot onward, though it does not really address the longtime D-Bus performance complaints that also served as motivation for kdbus and bus1. The announcement came from Harald Hoyer, but he credited Kay Sievers and Lars Karlitski with much of the work. At its core, varlink is simply a JSON-based protocol that can be used to exchange messages over any connection-oriented transport. No kernel "special sauce" (such as kdbus or bus1) is needed to support it as TCP or Unix-domain sockets will provide the necessary functionality. The messages can be used as a kind of remote procedure call (RPC) using an API defined in an interface file.
  • Statistics for the 4.15 kernel
    The 4.15 kernel is likely to require a relatively long development cycle as a result of the post-rc5 merge of the kernel page-table isolation patches. That said, it should be in something close to its final form, modulo some inevitable bug fixes. The development statistics for this kernel release look fairly normal, but they do reveal an unexpectedly busy cycle overall. This development cycle was supposed to be relatively calm after the anticipated rush to get work into the 4.14 long-term-support release. But, while 4.14 ended up with 13,452 non-merge changesets at release, 4.15-rc6 already has 14,226, making it one of the busiest releases in the kernel project's history. Only 4.9 (16,214 changesets) and 4.12 (14,570) brought in more work, and 4.15 may exceed 4.12 by the time it is finished. So far, 1,707 developers have contributed to this kernel; they added 725,000 lines of code while removing 407,000, for a net growth of 318,000 lines of code.
  • A new kernel polling interface
    Polling a set of file descriptors to see which ones can perform I/O without blocking is a useful thing to do — so useful that the kernel provides three different system calls (select(), poll(), and epoll_wait() — plus some variants) to perform it. But sometimes three is not enough; there is now a proposal circulating for a fourth kernel polling interface. As is usually the case, the motivation for this change is performance. On January 4, Christoph Hellwig posted a new polling API based on the asynchronous I/O (AIO) mechanism. This may come as a surprise to some, since AIO is not the most loved of kernel interfaces and it tends not to get a lot of attention. AIO allows for the submission of I/O operations without waiting for their completion; that waiting can be done at some other time if need be. The kernel has had AIO support since the 2.5 days, but it has always been somewhat incomplete. Direct file I/O (the original use case) works well, as does network I/O. Many other types of I/O are not supported for asynchronous use, though; attempts to use the AIO interface with them will yield synchronous behavior. In a sense, polling is a natural addition to AIO; the whole point of polling is usually to avoid waiting for operations to complete.