Yesterday I was thinking of posting about my experience with KDE 4.x, but given the workload I forgot about it. Today I read bart's blog... and he posted about the whole mess surrounding KDE 4.x. So, here go my impressions about the subject.
It took me sometime to really go after KDE 4.0. I just "noticed" it was released when I read on a mailing list about Robby Workman making packages of it for Slackware Linux. Well, I downloaded those packages and installed on my Slackware 12.1. Well, well... it was a bit nice... but there were lots of stuff missing. And no, bart, I am still not talking about Amarok or K3B. One of the most important parts of KDE, at least for me, is Kontact (a Personal Information Manager, which has email client, personal organizer, etc, etc). That really shocked me, since Kontact is part of KDE3 (and I use KMail since what... KDE 1 or 2, can't remember). Plus... there were some bugs, I couldn't compile K3B and KVirc to work with QT4.x. CRAP!
Then I let time pass by. At least once a week I would check www.kde.org for news about KDE, since I had heard it would be a bit better when version 4.1 was out. So now KDE 4.1 is out. OK, the beta version, but it is already usable. OK, it should not be TRUSTED, since it is a beta version. Since nobody did the favor to compile KDE 4.1beta 2 for 64bits (at least not the packages for my distribution (Bluewhite64), which is an unofficial "Slackware for 64bits") I decided to do it myself. I got Robby Workman' SlackBuild scripts, did some editting and that's it. I compiled all the dependencies + the whole KDE thing, and now I have KDE 4.1 beta2 running on my Linux box.
Talking with people at #kde (irc.freenode.net) I found out there were people running k3b without problems. But then wait a minute. I had talked (over email) with one of k3b developers and he told me they still didn't have a stable release of the program which would work with QT 4.x. I had been checking www.k3b.org on the same days I was checking www.kde.org, and there were no news about that. Then the guys at #kde told me people were running the old (in fact current) version of k3b. The trick? Just keeping QT3 and kdelibs3 installed on their system. So I did the same. Kept those packages installed and tried k3b on KDE 4.1beta2 and that's it.. it works (yep, I did burn a CD and two DVDs already).
Then I tried compiling Amarok for KDE 4. Some guys told me it was crashy, with loads of bugs... and yes, it is, since it is a beta version too. But I got it to compile with minor problems (which I solved) and I have been listening to my MP3 without much problems (one crash here, another there... but it is bearable).
The really aching problems FOR ME:
1- Global shortcuts are not working, at least the ones I needed *LOL*;
2- Amarok's shortcuts don't work too. I hear this version (KDE 4.1 beta2) still has those issues, but I also hear some (if not all) those problems have been solved on the SVN version;
3- when I log out of KDE and go back to the console there are LOTS of lines printed out. Sometimes that even changes the characters on that session. Believe me, it is harder to read that than japanese or sindarin *LOL*
4- well, k3b is still not ready for it, but that's not KDE's fault;
I watched a lecture where Aaron Seigo said their plans for KDE 4 was so that the Desktop would be more usefull. He compaired what we have on our desktops nowadays (or by that time), Windows XP, KDE 3, Gnome, etc with what they (the KDE team) saw should be the future. The usual Desktop style is... HIDEN. Usually we just see our desktops when we turn on our computers and log in, right? After that we fire up our programs, start working/playing and we usually just go back to the desktop when we are about to turn the computer off. So, the desktop is really not that usefull. OK, I know there are plenty of people out there who LOOOOOVE to save their files on the Desktop. Bad, bad you! Such a nasty desktop you have *LOL*
So, how different is KDE4.1 from that description? Not that much different in my opinion. As I see, Compiz-Fusion's Desktop is more usefull. You can write stuff on the back of a window, you can do other fancy (and even usefull) stuff, etc. KDE 4.1 has some fancy stuff and that's it, as I see. Perhaps I haven't tried it that hard. Perhaps when I am more used to it I will see what Aaron promised. But so far...
However, despite all I wrote on this post, I am enjoying KDE 4. :D
Awaiting for your comments, bart.