back to article KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer

Plasma 5, released last week, is a major redesign of the Unix KDE desktop environment and underlying frameworks. Perhaps the most notable difference is the visual changes, which see KDE embracing a more streamlined, "flat" interface, but it's also the first version of KDE to be powered by Qt 5 and the recently released KDE …

Anonymous Coward

KDE always struck me as a tad ... childishly nerdy ...

Konquerer, Kate, Konsole, Kontact, Kings Bollege Baimbridge ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: KDE always struck me as a tad ... childishly nerdy ...

Only a tad...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: KDE always struck me as a tad ... childishly nerdy ...

In the Linux world there are different desktops and applications are written for different desktops. Since integration is better if you use a desktop-native app I always found the K useful.

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Thumb Up

Re: KDE always struck me as a tad ... childishly nerdy ...

oK!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: KDE always struck me as a tad ... childishly nerdy ...

Well, don't fucking use it then.

And it's "Konqueror", btw.

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Wow it looks awful

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Linux

but...

it does work...

Although another family member is a gnome user which is much prettier...I am happy with a multi-monitor desktop that just stays stable...

Of course, this being linux months of uptime is not news.

Now, let's see if they can get Wayland incorporated....

Then again, I'm still on opensuse 12.2.

I'll reserve judgement until I get a new opensuse install....

P.

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Stop

From the screen shot, it's slightly better than the new Yosemite from Apple which is just slightly better than new Windows. Are all desktops going into the hopper lately? Or are they starting the road to unification for smart devices? I'm not sure, but I'm a bit worried...

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Is there any evidence that Wayland is an improvement?

There have been dozens of attempts to replace X11 with something more streamlined, without the network overhead. In the past, these projects have fizzled when the developers discovered the slowness came from the biggest applications that used X. X dates back to 1985, so it had to be efficient to run on the computers of the day. It has been optimised for decades. Wayland developers will have difficulty beating that, and if they do, their hard work will be hidden by every ground sloth application that requires 128GB on a 32 core 8GHz liquid helium cooled gamer's rig to run as fast as an anaesthetised ant.

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FAIL

Incoming Rant

I suspect lots of UI pseud's going to the same conferences following the same nerdy trends regardless of what users actually want/need. Honestly do they even talk to end users any more?

Honestly is there anything in modern OS design these days that isn't some massive circle-jerk?

How about an OS that just fucking works for 90% of users.

The reality is we reached peak UI for Keyboard/Mouse about 15 years ago, and for Touch 2-3 ago.

Now its all meaningless window dressing - that brings the excuse of being able to re-invent the wheels on the all the useful functions that didn't make the first cut of a new UI release, as an excuse to keep themselves busy.

A pox on all of their houses.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incoming Rant

Last I looked you could use any previous version of KDE if it just f***ing works for you. PS This is not an O/S.

If others want instead to use the newer version then they can, because that's their choice.

That's the key word there ... CHOICE.

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Windows

Re: Incoming Rant

"...To search, you just start typing and a search field appears with your text in it. It's pretty much impossible to discover this feature..."

Here we go, here we go, here we go....

I'm all for new flat pastels, but one needs to be able to find applications and files having allowed Nepomuk to index one's gigabytes.

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It reminds me of Windows. Flat and depressing.

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Re: but...

opensuse 13.1 is quite reasonable.

The first thing to do is switch the system fonts from sans serif to Nimbus Sans L and everything looks much better. Even PulseAudio works.

I like the network transparency of X. It helps with messing with the server in the garage. I'd vote for more network transparency if I could. I don't want to have a whole desktop and then try to filter bits out, like citrix does. I really dislike RDP just to get one application running. Far better to put the effort into smarter clipboard systems and perhaps wait for HTML derivatives to allow the lower bandwidth interfaces. You could always run squid on a desktop/tablet host - its the bloodsucking advert slingers and video streamers that gobble bandwidth by breaking caching.

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Re: Incoming Rant

The point is that its a choice that very few want. Instead of all these UI "experts" designing stuff so they get maximum masturbatory pleasure from it - why don't they actually spend their time doing something that would be more beneficial to the community. It doesn't matter how l33t their coding skills are if they don't have the self discipline to do something useful.

Linux didn't become popular because it had nice eye candy - it became popular because

a) it was free.

b) it did the server basics very well indeed.

The trouble is all these sub-groups whilst starting out with great aims just become petty self-serving groups directed to achieving their own aims, and because they don't talk to anyone in the real world they end up delivering something that pleases no-one but themselves.

At least Canonical had the excuse of being directed by a billionaire megalomaniac for Unity. WTF are the Gnome and KDE guys excuses?

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Anonymous Coward

"It reminds me of Windows. Flat and depressing."

That's because it's a direct copy of many of the Windows 8 idioms and innovations. As always, Team F/OSS are copying where MS has lead. Maybe they'll innovate for themselves in the next decade or so. Until then, expect they should expect a writ from MS to land on their desk.

Not content with fragmenting their sub-1% with multiple OSs using different packaging methods, the fragment that again with different distros of those OSs that have different dependencies and fragment again with different DEs. This is why Linux is a mess which no one supports or really cares about, beyond a few basement-dwelling neckbeards.

Get a common target in place (or a small number, at least) like Apple and Windows have; then you might get some share. Oh, and backwards compatibility. What runs on this version must run on future versions for at least a decade or more.

I keep hearing (yet failing to see) how great F/OSS devs are - are they up to the challenge of the real world?

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Re: Incoming Rant

From the article:

> frankly the default KDE 4 theme has been looking long in the tooth for a while now

Reading that sentence early in the piece just made my heart sink. Does the author think the changes are good because they are more functional? Because they free up screen space for important stuff (your data in your program of choice)? Because they work better with screen readers and are an aid to the disabled? Use less CPU?

Nope.

They are just "long in the tooth". What does that even *mean* for a GUI? It isn't rad? Isn't cool? Isn't some-other-pointless-faddy-word?

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Re: Is there any evidence that Wayland is an improvement?

Upvoted for "ground sloth".

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Re: Incoming Rant

Whoa! Upvoted for "massive circle-jerk".

To be serious, I think that too many FOSS developers are excited by graphics development, and many fewer are interested in writing wireless drivers. "Ohh! look! my menu !" But as they are doing it for free it is hard to critisize them.

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Coat

Re: Incoming Rant

Quite.

/me goes back to my Xfce desktop.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incoming Rant

> Honestly do they even talk to end users any more?

Yes we do.

Besides being users ourselves.

And besides users being able to become contributors, should they so choose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incoming Rant

> Reading that sentence early in the piece just made my heart sink.

I agree. To his credit though, Gilberson has got a bit more clued up in his recent pieces. You should have seen his Linux articles from a few years ago. :(

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Besides being users ourselves.

Nope. Devs/engineers can't be users - wrong mindset.

Devs know what the hardware/software is supposed to do; users don't. Devs know what parameters an argument requires; users don't. However badly-placed a function is, devs know it must be there, somewhere; users don't.

Engineers shouldn't be allowed within a mile of UI design (except to code it). The only thing worse is a graphic designer.

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JLV
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Happy

>Team F/OSS are copying where MS has lead

A nitwit who manage to get it totally backwards ;-)

Whether or not you like Linux, MS had plenty of opportunity to observe and learn from the Gnome3/KDE4 and especially Unity fails of the last few years.

These gripes about massive unsolicited UI changes, touch and usability of desktop vs tablets/phones? Had been going on for years before MS decided to faithfully make the same design errors with Metro. They could have learned from all the Penguin griping going around, but, no, they doubled the ante instead and managed to make Win8 even more hateful with its schizophrenic Metro/Classic personality.

At least, on Linux, and Macs, if all else fails, the command line is a pretty capable interface. Not quite how I would describe the command line on Windows ;-)

For me, KDE 3x was the best. Granted, in that case, it did look somewhat like Win XP, which is not by itself a bad thing.

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Anonymous Coward

> I keep hearing (yet failing to see) how great F/OSS devs are

Some of us are great and others not so good, but... failing to see? How can you be "failing to see" when the code is out there for everyone to look at?

> - are they up to the challenge of the real world?

??? Beg pardon?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Besides being users ourselves.

> Engineers shouldn't be allowed within a mile of UI design

On the basis of what experience would that be?

And btw, note that although I'm a minor KDE contributor, my work has been on background services, D-Bus interfaces, and translation. I'm rubbish at GUIs so I won't touch them.

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That is, of course, the million dollar question.

As for interface design overall? Don't get me started.

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Re: Incoming Rant

Users, punters, customer, clients.

All just warm bodies that are obstacles to the money or fame or both and will one day be outlawed.

/sarcasm

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Re: Besides being users ourselves.

As an HCI/UX Designer and UI Designer since around the start of the 90's, I'm still working with some of the best software engineers and architects in the business, on anything from small, web based UIs to mainframe systems management via Eclipse, mobile and HTML5 ...</drone>

I have also used Linux/KDE pretty much exclusively since 1997. I've always preferred the extensive customisation available in KDE to anything Gnome offered. The ethos with Gnome and latterly with Canonical, Microsoft and especially Apple is limited customisation due to a presumption that their choices are good enough... nay, the best choice for all users. I've never been a chronic settings tinkerer but when something irritates me I'll usually have a way to fix it in KDE. In other OSs/WindowManagers, I usually waste a lot of time looking, only to find it's not catered for. I admit that there's a large element of getting used to stuff but KDE is just easier (with a few notable exceptions) to my mind. Live and let live though. I've recently had a Mac forced on me (need to use Adobe cloud tools) and having gone in with an open mind, I've found it to be a mixed bag. Some stuff is pure genius but there's a surprising range of UI that's just awful. An example that drives me nuts every time is the window control. It seems like there's an underlying complex state model, which determines what you can see and what size it's allowed to be. In KDE, I can pick any one of a running applications windows directly and easily specify minimised, maximised (even maximised horizontally or maximised vertically), arbitrary size or shaded (just the title bar). It's all very simple, application independent and deterministic.

Now, coming on to the Engineers ability to deliver UI. The problem with FOSS is that teams are generally self selecting, under resourced, under appreciated, are being paid to do another (commercial) job and are expected to maintain enthusiasm and drive over many releases, while frequently being diverted by life events (marriage, kids, job changes). To deliver UI, different skills are required than are generally possessed by the detail crazy, completer finisher, linear thinkers who code for a living. To do a good job on UI, we need people who can, in their initial investigations, put aside the limitations of the possible and enquire of and empathise with the problems and tasks the user is trying to handle. People who can diverge crazily and facilitate others to do the same, then converge. People who know how to see the bigger problem and be innovative in designing a solution for it. People who know how to do user research. People who know how to negotiate the relative importance of shipping function vs a great user experience. There's a lot more. I've spent my career trying to exploit these skills and hone the associated techniques, so that a software engineer can be confident that delivering a design I've worked on will meet or exceed users needs, even on complex systems. Not just because I asserted some personal conviction but because I've iteratively researched, validated and checked, with the people who ultimately will use it! Now, step forward the software engineer who's got time and skills to do everything I mentioned (and much more) and remain independent and have time to write and unit test the code - probably unpaid?

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Linux

Bring back Gnome-2

Gnome-3 , Unity and now KDE (if V4.0 wasn't bad enough) have all IMHO totally lost the plot.

nowt more to say really.

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This post has been deleted by its author

gv

Re: Bring back Gnome-2

Err, yes Mate. Personally, I prefer i3, fluxbox, openbox or even WindowMaker to Gnome 2.

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Re: Bring back Gnome-2

Have to agree with Steve, the whole desktop UI thing has gone way overboard. The graphics gymnastics that we see now are just a little bit OTT. I always end up dumbing my interfaces down where possible.

I do like the aero style preview though, which for me is a definate plus..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring back Gnome-2

+1 for Openbox. I've been checking out distros with new GUIs lately but haven't found anything I prefer to CrunchBang ( #! ).

Simple and fast.

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Re: Bring back Gnome-2

IMHO on most distros Openbox comes out looking the best with default settings of all the micro window managers. Plus even windows users can pick it up pretty easily once they figure out the right click opens the menu.

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Re: Bring back Gnome-2

... and another openbox-er here (with ROX as the filer)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring back Gnome-2

> Gnome-3 , Unity and now KDE (if V4.0 wasn't bad enough) have all IMHO totally lost the plot.

> nowt more to say really.

Saying "have all IMHO totally lost the plot" is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

I trust you have made detailed reports of your concerns at the bug trackers of all the above projects? I can't speak for the other two, but at KDE we are not Mozilla: we actually listen to people.

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Anonymous Coward

Me too!

Everyone else is doing the flat look, so can we have some as well......Sigh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Me too!

Right, because you think the default theme should be Your Whim or Nothing Must Ever Change? Having a fully configurable desktop and a gazillion different themes available on the Internet just isn't good enough for some people.

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Flat look

It's not that I dislike any default other than my own idea of Perfection. It's that I object to making things harder to distinguish. 3D/2D, either's OK, but what's with this lack of contrast? I don't want to have to go carefully examining each icon or notification to determine what it is. I want some variation so that various pieces stand out. I really feel sorry for the visually-impaired users---what a crock!

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Re: Flat look

I really feel sorry for the visually-impaired users

A major point indeed. The world does not consist of 18 year old looking for fashionable desktop styles.

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Re: Flat look

what's with this lack of contrast?

This was a complaint in our household with a recent Android update, when the status bar icons went from color to monochrome. It used to be we could tell what was going on WITHOUT putting our reading glasses on because the differently-colored icons made up for the problem of visual acuity.

As long as I can continue to replace the default icon set in KDE with one of my own choosing (with colors), it shouldn't be as big a deal with the desktop as it is with the phone.

Fads come. Fads go. It's not a big deal as long as I can customize.

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Unhappy

Re: Me too!

Everyone else is doing the flat look, so can we have some as well......Sigh.

And that's one of my biggest gripes and possibly the biggest reason why I still don't use KDE4 and am unlikely to use this. It seems that KDE are too keen to ape other styles rather than produce something that sets them apart from the crowd.

For myself, I will probably stay with KDE3 or TDE as long as I can. Possibly considering Cinnamon as a replacement if that doesn't pan out. And yes, this is another openSUSE user!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Flat look

Do you realise that the actual look and feel is fully customisable in KDE? Indeed, major distros ship with their own "skins" which look nothing like the upstream version.

What counts is what's under the bonnet, and I believe we have a pretty solid bit of engineering down there.

I am not involved with KDE5 though, so I'll reserve further comment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Flat look

When I go to a restaurant and there's one dish I don't like, I pick a different one.

I'm much more concerned about the kitchen cooking my meal well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Flat look

> It's that I object to making things harder to distinguish. 3D/2D, either's OK, but what's with this lack of contrast?

Have you actually used it, or just talking on the basis of some screenshots? Come on, give it a try and install it--if you don't like it, you get double your money back.

> I want some variation so that various pieces stand out. I really feel sorry for the visually-impaired users---what a crock!

Well, don't just stand there. Get involved. Contribute your own theme.

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Happy

Very confusing

Lets stick to a one party system, the Russians all agreed in old good times, Lada is the car.

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Re: Very confusing

What about the Moscovitch?

The Zil? Well, only if you were a party BigWig.

There were even some East German Wartburgs around.

Lada's were not the only Car of the good old USSR.

This is from a visit in 1981.

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Re: Very confusing

My other car is a ZSU

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Coat

Re: Very confusing

Had a ride in a Moscovitch once, tecchy at University bought one while I was doing my phud. Very nice little estate with chunky tires and wicked heating - December in Brum.

Seriously, there is something to be said for 'bog standard this is how it works', especially if you train people.

Mine's the greatcoat and ushanka

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