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Old 09-12-08, 03:08 AM   #1
xorbe
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Default so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

I upgraded tonight (including everything in my distro's "devel" repository, actually) , but I don't see what's so special about kde4, except that it is slower, and that I cannot drag the task bar to the left/right edge any longer. And that alt+F2 pops up a text-less box, beginners need not apply.

There's this mysterious foot in the upper right that I can shrink the desktop and get a checkerboard for the other 3/4. And then slide it back and borth, what's that for.
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Old 09-12-08, 11:32 PM   #2
TheBlackCat
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Default Re: so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

What version of KDE 4 are you using? KDE 4.0, 4.1 or trunk? Which distro are you using? KDE 4 has been undergoing extremely rapid development so I can't tell what you are looking at without knowing what version you are using.

If you are using KDE 4.1 or trunk, to move the task bar you need to first click the little yellow thing on the right side of the taskbar (commonly called the "cashew" although I think it is supposed to be a ball of plasma). That will pop up a bar that allows you to resize the taskbar both verticallly and horizontally. By clicking and dragging on the bar you can drag it to the left and right edge, or the top if you want.

The alt+F2 pops up the krunner menu. Start typing the name of a program in there and you can launch it. It can also do a whole lot of other things like mathematical calculations, spell checking, and integrates or will integrate with various programs like email, amarok, and power management.

The thing in the upper right is for switching what are called "containments". Basically a containment is a set of widgets. For instance you can have two containments with different collections of widgets on the desktop, different location, layout, and content of the taskbar (actually it's called the "panel" in KDE). You can use it if you want, but it is not fully implemented. They will make it easier and more useful to switch containments in KDE 4.2. In future versions KDE will automatically switch containments based on what you are doing. For instance you could have a word processing containment with character map widgets, your documents folder, dictionary widget, etc. You could have an email containment with your contact, email monitor, etc. And so on and so forth. This sort of thing will be pervasive, the entire desktop environment will be able to tell what you are doing and reorganize itself for that task. So instead of approaching things in terms of desktop or windows, the system will approach them in terms of tasks and will optimize the desktop, window, taskbar, and other things for that task.

Make sure you check out the "Add Widgets" toolbox. Note that most widgets will work on both the desktop and panel, and some will behave differently depending on which you put it in (better support for that has been implemented in trunk but not KDE 4.1). So for instance you clock could be on the desktop, the panel, or both. Your "show desktop" icon is in the "add widgets" toolbox, as is your program launcher menu, shutdown/logoff buttons, system tray (note that you can currently only have one system tray at a time, they are currently fixing this but it isn't done yet), task manager (you can have a bunch of these), virtual desktop switcher, removable media menu, etc. I don't know exactly what widgets you have since once again it varies depending on your distribution and version.
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Old 09-13-08, 03:07 AM   #3
xorbe
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Default Re: so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

Thanks!

I spent a TON of time messing with KDE 4.1.1

After I got the 177.70 (x86_64) nvidia driver installed (7800gs), two notable things:
1) in general it's waaay faster than "nv" driver + desktop effects work too
2) window resizing is painful on certain windows. Like Firefox is "okay" (choppy resize but works reasonably) but konsole is crazy multi-second, kinda odd...

Anyways yeah, I figured out from googling that the upper right doodad is not really feature complete for 4.1 yet. I also had to remind myself that 4.0 was really a developer release, and 4.1 is really a normal first cut release, so 4.2 will probably be somewhat more polished.

I also learned how to convert a box from lilo to grub, and how evil Mandriva is for using install scripts as a source of configuration parameters! grrr
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Old 09-13-08, 04:08 PM   #4
TheBlackCat
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Default Re: so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

Why would you use konsole when Yakuake is available? I would also recommend checking out the Lancelot Menu in place of the default menu, it is much better (in my opinion).

4.2 (or current trunk) is actually already quite a bit more polished. It has automatic panel hiding and windows covering the panel, the ability to move widgets back and forth between the panel the desktop, the ability for widgets to know what containment they are in and react appropriately (like be a button on the panel or a larger window on the desktop), and a bunch of other things. I am waiting for my distro to backport them right now.
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Old 09-14-08, 02:45 PM   #5
xorbe
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Default Re: so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

Yeah, I use yakuake also, in addition to konsoles (each with ~8 tabs..) + emacs on dual monitors, with about 6 active virtual desktops each with emacs/konsole pair (plus one for knotes, one for thunderbird, one for firefox/bugzilla...)

Lancelot menu, is that the "new" one with the tabs?
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Old 09-15-08, 01:09 PM   #6
TheBlackCat
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Default Re: so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

The default one (which has tabs), which is new compared to the kde 3.5 one, is called "kickoff". Lancelot is newer still, it just had its first stable released a week or two ago and almost certainly isn't installed by default on your system. For me at least it is better than both the KDE 3.5 menu and the default kickoff-style menu. It seems to combine the best features of the traditional and kickoff menus while adding some cool new features.

For instance each section has a heading. There is nothing new there. But what is new is that you can drag that heading to the desktop to add a plasma applet with the contents of that heading. So for instance you can make a "favorites" applet on your desktop. You can do that several times, making several separate plasma applets or a single applet with multiple items (depending on whether you drop additional items on a blank space or on an existing lancelot applet). So I have one applet with my favorites and my "system" section and a second applet with my places and my removable devices (which disappears when there are no removable devices and reappears when one is connected).

Lancelot also has a good (optional) no-click interface and (finally) the option to choose the icon I want to use for the button. I would definitely check it out. Make sure you play with the options a bit once you set it up. If it is available it will be a package with the word "lancelot" in it. It is not completely finished yet but it already does everything the other two menus can do and far more. In my opinion lancelot is one of the first programs that is really beginning to show what KDE4 is capable. Up to this point they have been largely just trying to get things working as well as they have in the past, while lancelot finally beings to branch of into new territory.

I am still waiting for the Raptor menu which looks better yet, but there doesn't appear to have been much work on it lately so who knows when (or if) it will be released.
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Old 09-16-08, 02:25 AM   #7
xorbe
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Default Re: so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

lol actually lancelot was already installed on my system, take that. Yeah, lancelot is going to be a lot better, thank goodness.

I stopped using the fancy desktop effects because I kept getting thin bars of corruption here and there, and the novelty kinda wears off anyways.

konsole is rather slow switching tabs...
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Old 09-19-08, 12:22 AM   #8
xorbe
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Default Re: so... kde3.5 was dumped for kde4 why again?

(nevermind)
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