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Comment: Re:Listen to yourselves! (Score 1) 378

by orthogonal (#26318911) Attached to: Open Source Victories of 2008

KDE4's panel is one of those things that you figure out and then say "WhereTF was the tutorial for this?" That is, after you figure out that you have to manually add it because it's not there by default. You can right-click where it doesn't have any programs or on the edge, and there's a rectangle you can click+hold and drag to change size I think.

I call this the Microsoft Excel Charting experience: where you have to guess where and how (left-click, right-click,click-and-drag) to click to set various parameters. It's frankly exhausting, more like a crappy game of skill than configuration.

KDE3, conversely, gives me a tree view, and somewhere within that tree are all the settings I need. I may take a bit of time looking through the tree to find what want, but no magical clicking is required, and I don't have to guess what an option does: it's clearly labeled.

KDE4 is a massive step backwards; Gnome, which I've always detested because it's not configurable, is preferable to KDE4. I'm really at a loss as to what the KDE4 team was thinking.

Comment: Re:I like KDE 4 (Score 2, Interesting) 378

by orthogonal (#26318873) Attached to: Open Source Victories of 2008

KDE 4.1 looks like Gnome, only worse. The default font sizes are HUGE, and the default antialiasing is horrible. The launcher button on the kicker panel, instead of just showing applications, shows a tabbed panel that starts on the "favorites" tab; to actually launch an app, I have to chose the application tab, then get a list in a HUGE font, when menu, instead of cascading, are replaced by sub-panels, and the replacement is made slower by stupid animation.

The kicker panel itself is way too large, probably 50 pixels high.

The desktop isn't a normal desktop, instead there's some pseudo-transparent lozenge in which desktop items are grouped.

When I open "System Settings", I get some multi-applet container like MS-Windows or Gnome, not the tree-view I saw in KDE 3.5. I can't even find most things I want to change (like Window Decorations) or even a menu with an about which would tell me what app I'm running.

Did I screw up the install somehow? Am I still running Gnome (no, can't be, every app starts with "K").

What the hell??? If I wanted Gnome or Vista, I'd run that crap. Why can't KDE be KDE?


I liked KDE because it was clean and functional. KDE 4.1 is a travesty.

Ok, read this bullshit marketing drivel from KDE, it reads like an MBA's sales pitch:

        However Plasma is more than just this familiar collection of utilities, it is a common framework for creating integrated interfaces. It is flexible enough to provide interfaces for mobile devices, media centres and desktop computers; to support the traditional desktop metaphor as well as well as designs that haven't yet been imagined.

Christ, man, I just want to launch an app, and occasionally glance down at the laucher to see how much battery life I have. I don't want a "framework" that can do everything.

But, says KDE:

        Plasma takes a different approach, engaging the user by creating a dynamic and highly customizable environment.

I don't want to be engaged, I just want to launch an app. I'll probably maximize that app, so the desktop won't even be getting a look.

But, says KDE, you can get rid of the gee-whiz gee-gaws:

        With Plasma, you can let your desktop (and accompanying support elements) act like it always did. You can have a task bar, a background image, shortcuts, etc. If you want to, however, you can use tools provided by Plasma to take your experience further, letting your desktop take shape based on what you want and need.

Oh, ok, that's cool. So can I get rid of the "cashew" control on the desktop?

        Although putting an option to disable the cashew for desktops sounds reasonable, from a coding point of view it would introduce unnecessary complexity and would break the design. What has been suggested is, since the destkop itself (a containment) is handled by plugins, to write a plugin that would draw the desktop without the cashew itself. Currently some work ("blank desktop" plugin) is already present in KDE SVN. With containment type switching expected by KDE 4.2, it is not unreasonable to see alternative desktop types developed by then.

So let me get this straight: Plasma's a revolutionary framework that can do things "that haven't yet been imagined." But it also supports the traditional desktop.

But getting rid on a "cashew" on the desktop is too hard to code, but if you write a trivial plugin that redraws the entire desktop (which isn't so trivial, as it's a yet unready work in progress, and won't even be possible until the next release of KDE) you can get around this unwanted "feature".

Come on, guys, your super framework requires a plugin to be written just to present a blank desktop? And plugins won't work until 4.2? And a boolean "don't show" would break the design? You guys got seduced into major mission creep.

This isn't a desktop environment, it's the dev's toy. Which is great, but don't claim it's ready for end users.

User Journal

Journal: A Prediction 4

Journal by orthogonal

If my prior comments on wikipedia are any guide, after the post drops off the front page, a wikipedia editor with mod points will mod-bomb all my (currently 5,5,5,4) comments in the Wikipedia story.

The wikipedia administration, for whatever reason, is extraordinarily defensive and hates to see criticism remain un-suppressed. If this is reminiscent of a cult, well, if the show fits....

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot fans! Help me! 9

Journal by orthogonal

I've got a number of fans, and I've never asked for anything other than that you appreciate my comments here.

But now I need your help.

A spark jumped from my finger and now my Touchstream LP keyboard is dead. Like the parrot in the Python skit. Dead.

Windows plug-and-play doesn't recognize it at all.

So I need your help.

Can anyone either


Journal: Laptop functionality in handheld form factor? 5

Journal by orthogonal

I'm playing around with the idea of getting a laptop and (geek warning) some sort of VR glasses instead of a screen.

Optimally, I'd like something with the form factor of a Sharp Zaurus, but with a hard drive and standard ports.

Basically, I want a "real computer" that I can put in my pocket. To use the VR glasses, I'd need standard USB ports and the ability to use a standard video card.

User Journal

Journal: The Dangling Conversation (apologies to Simon & Garfunkel)

Journal by orthogonal

"When you wanted me, I figured I had, or would have down the road, better prospects than you. Um, things didn't work out as bright and shiny as I hoped. Now I'd, you know, be willing to settle.

"Ok, actually, I really don't even think of you anymore, and your name doesn't still make me pause and wonder 'what if', if it ever really did, (it doesn't, even though the mere thought of me is still like a fresh punch in the gut for you after all these long withered years).

User Journal

Journal: Can racism be "logical"? 10

Journal by orthogonal

Of course it can be.

Take a hypothetical variety of racism for instance: if you agree to paint yourself blue and preferentially aid others who are painted blue, people who painted themselves red and preferentially aided red-painted people would naturally prefer to not see you in an position of power or influence, as you would use that position to aid blues (and thus hinder reds who might otherwise have gotten the benefits you preferentially give to blues).

United States

Journal: Republicans Jam Phone Lines on Election Day 2002 1

Journal by orthogonal

(I submitted this to Slashdot, but I guess the editors didn't find it interesting.)

A Republican consultant paid a "vendor" $2,500 to jam the phones of the local Democratic Party and Firefighter's union offices in several New Hampshire cities on Election Day 2002, in order to prevent voters from calling to arrange rides to the polls and other 'get out the vote' efforts.

10 to the 6th power Bicycles = 2 megacycles