[PC-BSD Testing] Testing Digest, Vol 19, Issue 40

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.com
Wed Aug 27 14:29:47 PDT 2008

Arthur Koziol wrote:
>> KDE 4.x (aka "Plasma") is not without its naysayers, but revolutionary
>> ideas are often subject to criticism and a passionate demand to return
>> to the familiar and comfortable even if old and outdated ways of doing
>> things.  So it was with the automobile, the airplane, and now the
>> desktop interface.
>> Will we choose to keep our feet anchored in past desktop technology,
>> or will  we progress to new and more versatile methods that will allow
>> the unveiling of even further development in desktop programming,
>> usage, development, and integration?
>> The vision statement for Plasma addresses these issues at
>> http://plasma.kde.org/cms/1029
>> You can read more at 
>> http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Plasma/TheWaysOfThePlasma.
>> There are a bunch of links to Plasma information, user interface
>> research, user interface standards, etc.  at
>> http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Plasma
>> I'm with Kris and Bill.  I find KDE 4.x better than KDE 3.5.x.  KDE
>> 4.x moves the desktop interface into a new paradigm and represents an
>> evolution in desktop environments.  Of course it is different from
>> what we are used to using.  Of course some of the old themes and
>> programming is going to break.  Before jumping to conclusions, it is
>> worthwhile to spend more time looking into it.  Before jumping to
>> conclusions, it is worthwhile to spend time trying it out.  Let's give
>> KDE 4.x a chance.
> I too agree that KDE 4.x, albeit new and different than 3.5, is growing on me.
> I like the direction it's going. It is more simplified and I think 
> it'll be more
> appealing to new users of Linux or BSD. It won't take long for the authors
> of KDE3.5 specific apps to migrate to 4.x since many of the niggling things
> have been worked out in the 4.1 release. Give it some time to mature.
> It has already been stated by the KDE folks that 3.5.10 will likely be the very
> last in the 3.5.x series as focus has shifted to developing 4.x.
> Arthur 

Here's my 2 cents on this :)

I'm in agreement that KDE 4.x is still rather new and different, but 
after using it for about a month now, it would be very hard for me to go 
back to 3.x, since it feels so outdated and clunky. The new simplified 
style and usability really has grown on me, and to new users whom I show 
it too, they feel that it looks very "professional" and want to try it 
out. They are really kicking things into high-gear right now, fixing 
bugs in 4.1 and all the various KDE 3.x apps are starting to catch up, 
such as Amarok, KMPlayer, Ktorrent, K3b and more. In 6 months or so, I 
would imagine that pretty much all the various KDE applications will be 
switched over to 4.x entirely. Best for us to jump on the bandwagon now, 
and issue smaller updates to KDE 4.1.x down the road, instead of using 
KDE 3.5.x for PC-BSD 7 and then trying to roll out a huge update later 
which switches every bodies default WM to something completely brand new.

Also, I don't plan on including KDE 3.5 as an additional desktop in 
PC-BSD 7 for several reasons. First, it would add several hundred more 
MB to the default install, whereas most users will not need or want it. 
Second, I don't want to become "distro-ized" in the sense that we start 
offering various window managers, and customized packages for each 
system and situation. This lends itself to confusion and more disarray, 
as we would need to try and support various configurations and setups, 
which may not work properly anyway.

That being said, the nice thing about PC-BSD is that it is still FreeBSD 
:) If for some reason you want to add KDE 3.5.x back into the system, or 
Gnome, or any of the other various WM's out there, you can always go to 
ports and add it. (Or install the PBI in the case of Gnome, how easy is 
that?) That option will ALWAYS be open to more technical users who so 
desire it. But for the sake of consistency, we will stick to one default 
WM, and try to polish and make it the best desktop that we can possibly 
offer. We are really trying to attract new users to the BSD platform 
from Windows and Mac, not just stealing from Linux.


Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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