Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Top 10 Things I HATE about KDE 4

Filed under

I've been trying to like to KDE 4 since before its very first developmental release. I've been a KDE user since my first day in Linux, about the time KDE was at version 1.99 (the version that shipped with Mandrake 7.2). The buzz for KDE4 was humming quite loud and lot of happy users posted how nice it was. I kept trying it and was always so disappointed in not being able to like it. Besides the overall plastic feel, here are the top 10 things that drive me nuts with KDE 4 (and believe me they are just the top 10):

10. Everything is a "plasmoid." And most annoyingly, even desktop icons are plasma widgets. Not only is it fugly, but it also takes up valuable desktop space. It reminds of Windows 98 when I had to buy an extra program just to make the icon text background transparent.

9. Dual monitor separation - What I mean by that is on dual display systems, one has to configure each monitor/display/half of the desktop separately. And it also means that the panel can't stretch out over the two displays, move from one to the other, and you can't move icons from one to the other. They are really almost completely separate desktops. The only thing we can really still do is move windows between them. Thank goodness they wrote that in.

8. Akregator Unread indicator number - In KDE 3 unread articles numbers were bold and IN RED, which makes seeing feeds with new articles much easier than just this 'just bold' method now. If you pick out the right font it's not as hard to see, but some distros' default font make it very hard to see. In any font case, using just bold causes me to have to slow down and look a bit more carefully. My eyes are getting old and this is an inconvenience. I want my RED back!!!

7. Akregator pulls in random order - In KDE 3 Akregator would pull in the feeds in just about the order in which they are listed. But now, KDE 4 pulls in some random order that I've yet to identify. It's not alphabetical. This makes me have to wait until it's all done before I start down the list. Before I could start searching for good articles almost immediately upon clicking Fetch All. And Akregator in KDE 4 pulls in a lot sloooooower than in KDE 3. Again, loss of time and convenience.

6. Can't search for individual feeds anymore - One thing I've always wished for in Akregator is a "Sort feeds alphabetically," but in lieu of that, we could search for feeds by depressing the keyboard letter beginning the feed's name. For example, if I wanted to find in my list, I could keep hitting "t" as it went through the list highlighting each feed that starts with "t." But this functionality is now gone. So, with 1500 feeds, I'm shit out of luck trying to find a particular one inside of a half hour and a lot of effort. I usually just give up. Wouldn't it be nice to have a sort alphabetically or search function for the feed panel or at least have the highlight by letter back?

5. Dictionary widget needs extra clicks and less information - Now instead of the nice textarea for the Dictionary panel applet like in KDE 3, we now have this stupid icon that must be clicked upon in order to raise the input area. And the output is very limited now. Many times it just shows one or two short basic definitions instead of all the uses of the word and, equally or moreso as valuable to a writer with perhaps lesser skills, the extensive thesaurus at the end is gone. Perhaps they changed dictionary databases, but I don't see any way for the end user to configure it, do you? Basically the dictionary is almost useless at this point for anything beyond spell checking.

4. List of open windows too big and doesn't wrap - See how in this picture the list of open Konqueror windows seems to run on passed the top of my monitor? Well, IT DOES! With a monitor with a height of 1050 pixels, that leaves me room to see about 28 or 29 available windows, leaving the rest inaccessible. Taking about 40 pixels for each line in their efforts to make them all nice and shiny is ridiculous. Aaaaand, they don't wrap. In fact, that's the key. In KDE 3 when the windows list got too tall it would wrap, or stop at the top of the display and make a second column where I could still see them, click on one, and bring it above the other windows for use. I still ain't found a good work around for this. In-con-ven-i-ent!!! <heavy sigh>

3. Kmail Wrapping Links - Oh, but the links in KDE 4 Kmail wrap! This is real nice for having actual clickable links - um, no. Now we have to highlight to copy, open a new browser, and paste into address bar. So, better make sure there is no homepage set or else there's another couple extra step added to the hodgepodge. Sometimes you can just highlight the wrapped part and click on the linkable part and the site will come up and you can add the extra part. This rarely works just right. Of course, they didn't wrap in KDE 3 which meant links actually worked in sent or draft mail. What were they thinking? Oh, what's that you say? Turn off word-wrap? Yeah, it's real nice to send folks unformatted emails, that won't annoy them at all. Or better yet, let's go into the configuration and change each time just for the ones with links.

2. Where the fsck is the Konqueror web history?! This one has pstops me more than once. This is a critical bug to users and yet it seems to be way down on the list of priorities to fix. I need it because the power goes off or blinks here quite a bit and the restore session doesn't work if KDE isn't shut down properly of course. So, not being able to look through the history to find my lost links really messes me up. Twice Thursday, in trying to find a work around for number 4, my finger slipped off while the cursor was over "Closed" in the Konquoror taskbar right-click menu! grrrrr! I've been pretty lucky and so far KDE hasn't crashed out to the login yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. And when it does - grrrrrr... Besides, sometimes a person might like to go back and just find something they saw earlier. This one is just inexcusable.

Edit: I found a history - it's not in the sidebar, but up in the menu under GO. It opens up a separate little window, but hey, at least it's here. I don't know why someone didn't tell me about this! Big Grin Anyway, I went off on it cause I googled around and all I really saw on it was the bug report about it not working and someone talking about the bug report being ignored. Sorry KDE guys. Sad

1. Can't stretch wallpapers over two displays - This one is related to number 9, but was the number one and my first annoyance with KDE 4. Now I have to use a separate wallpaper on each monitor, or sorta "tile" the one across the desktop. This is a really ugly solution. Real ugly. Fscking ugly! I have so many cool wallpapers I've yet to use that are just wasted now. Of the below, which do you think is a nicer effect?

KDE 3.5.x

KDE 4.3.x

Bonus: nspluginviewer still broke - 'nuf said there.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Half of these issues are

Half of these issues are KOffice.

The Desktop wallpaper and separate desktops issue is known and it is being worked on.

The Konqueror list with 33 open windows is an issue, but perhaps you could try using Tabs?

re: half

lefty.crupps wrote:

Half of these issues are KOffice.

You mean Kontact? Yeah, but Kontact and Konqueror are integral parts of KDE.


The Desktop wallpaper and separate desktops issue is known and it is being worked on.

Is it really!? I hope so. I read a blog post by aaron (I think it was) not too long ago that stated it wasn't too high up on the list.


The Konqueror list with 33 open windows is an issue, but perhaps you could try using Tabs?

But it's still "out of sight out of mind" and then lots of clicking around to try and find out what I got. And how to automagically open links found in Kmail and Akregator as tabs of existing windows? I'd have to bring up an existing browser window, click to open new tab, copy and paste the link, and then click the go button.

I think for now the best solution is to just put the link with title in a text file for those I think I won't need until time for the howtos and leftovers at the end of the day. But that still sucks really.

I don't know about yaw, but KDE 4 is not progress to me. It seems like a lot of steps back. And I didn't even mention the resource-hungry problem. So far, PCLOS is the only distro that I can even comfortably use it in. It just don't seem better to me. All the fancy graphics and effects (that I can't even use) don't make up for the loss of usability and functionality.

Yes, I did mean Kontact; I

Yes, I did mean Kontact; I do agree that Kontact is pretty integral to KDE if you require an email app, feed reader, etc. But not everyone has the same needs of course.

> And how to automagically open links found in Kmail and
> Akregator as tabs of existing windows? I'd have to bring
> up an existing browser window, click to open new tab,
> copy and paste the link, and then click the go button.

I an not sure exactly, as my default browser is Firefox (the real one) even though I am using Debian Sid with KDE 4.3.2; links in Kontact open in the current Firefox browser new tab automatically (this was the same with Iceweasel, the Debian version of FF code, which is stuck at 3.0.14 or so). Do you need to set your default browser to 'konqueror %U' or some other flag perhaps? I have tried a number of options myself and haven't resolved it for you; its always a new window for me, but asking within #kde on Freenode's IRC, others seem to get it in a new tab when they configure Konqueror to open in new tab (under the General settings page), with the default browser just set as Konqueror (no %u flag attempts).

KDE certainly has more work to do, but overall I have been very pleased with its progress, its stability, and its functionality. KDE 3.5.x wasn't built in a day, after all.

Good luck with your efforts, and remember that filing bug reports and wishes on goes a long way to making your desktop usable for yourself. Developers don't know what works and what is needed without the community helping them out!

re: konq


Do you need to set your default browser to 'konqueror %U' or some other flag perhaps? I have tried a number of options myself and haven't resolved it for you; its always a new window for me, but asking within #kde on Freenode's IRC, others seem to get it in a new tab when they configure Konqueror to open in new tab (under the General settings page), with the default browser just set as Konqueror (no %u flag attempts).

You tried to solve it for me? You asked around on IRC? How sweet of you, thank you so much.

But I don't really want to mess around with that %U %u much - in the kdeglobal? I did the other day and when I'd click a link, I got a infinite number of konquerors opening up until I jumped in the konsole and killalled. Big Grin

Actually, I guess I'll just try to keep my list down to under 28 windows. Big Grin


Good luck with your efforts, and remember that filing bug reports and wishes on goes a long way to making your desktop usable for yourself. Developers don't know what works and what is needed without the community helping them out!

Shoot, have you seen those lists? There was even a story the other day about how the KDE guys are overwhelmed by bug reports and feature requests. I went there looking to see if someone had already put in a request for the stretching wallpaper thing, and the search came out with 100s of hits. Not any were really relevant as far as I read.

But thank you for trying to help me. Smile

oh man, another one

I almost forgot about:

the real transparency of the Konsole sucks because number one it relies on the composite effects that I have to turn off, but the fake transparency we had in kde 3 isn't available.

but even if it's on, it's not usable cause the real transparency shows everything underneath. So, if the konsole is above a window, all that window's text and stuff will show through making the font in the konsole hard to see. The fake transparency in kde3 only replicated the background - so it was always usable no matter what was behind it.

So, bascially, even if composite is enabled for the desktop, you still can't have a pretty konsole.

More in Tux Machines

DevOps Handbook and Course

Leftovers: Gaming

Android Leftovers

  • Off We Go: Oracle Officially Appeals Google's Fair Use Win
    It was only a matter of time until this happened, but Oracle has officially appealed its fair use Java API loss to the Federal Circuit (CAFC). As you recall, after a years-long process, including the (correct) ruling that APIs are not covered by copyright being ridiculously overturned by CAFC, a new trial found that even if APIs are copyright-eligible, Google's use was covered by fair use. Oracle then tried multiple times to get Judge William Alsup to throw out the jury's ruling, but failed. In fact, on Oracle's second attempt to get Alsup to throw out the jury's ruling, citing "game changing" evidence that Google failed to hand over important information on discovery, it actually turned out that Oracle's lawyers had simply failed to read what Google had, in fact, handed over.
  • On iMessage’s Stickiness
  • Physical RAM attack can root Android and possibly other devices [Ed: Memory flipping is not at all an Android problem]

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Enterprise Open Source Programs Flourish -- In Tech and Elsewhere
    If you cycled the clock back about 15 years and surveyed the prevailing beliefs about open source technology at the time, you would find nowhere near the volume of welcome for it that we see today. As a classic example, The Register reported all the way back in 2001 that former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer made the following famous statement in a Chicago Sun-Times interview: "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."
  • 5 More Reasons to Love Kubernetes
    In part one of this series, I covered my top five reasons to love Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration platform created by Google. Kubernetes was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in July of 2015, where it is now under development by dozens of companies including Canonical, CoreOS, Red Hat, and more. My first five reasons were primarily about the project’s heritage, ease of use, and ramp-up. The next five get more technical. As I mentioned in part one, choosing a distributed system to perform tasks in a datacenter is much more complex than looking at a spreadsheet of features or performance. And, you should make your decision based on your own needs and team dynamics. However, this top 10 list will give you my perspective, as someone who has been using, testing, and developing systems for a while now.
  • Bankers plan to give Corda blockchain code to Hyperledger project
  • Are European Banks Falling Behind in Blockchain Development?
  • Hyperledger adds 10 new members to support open source distributed ledger framework
    The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger project has announced that 10 new members have joined the project in order to help create an open standard for distributed ledgers for a new generation of transactional applications.
  • The Blockchain Created By Ethereum's Fork is Forking Now
    A blockchain that was born out of the rejection of a contentious technical change is on the cusp of making a decision some argue contradicts its core values. That's the situation the developers behind ethereum classic face ahead of a hard fork expected to be enacted on its blockchain on 25th October (should network participants approve the upgrade). Originally formed in reaction to a decision by the ethereum community to edit its "immutable" ledger, the fork caused an ideological schism among its enthusiasts. Alarmed by the action (or seeing a chance to profit by continuing the original network), miners and speculators began running its blockchain, which developers named "ethereum classic". Other investors then bought into the vision, and today, there are currently 85m classic ethers (ETC) worth $87m.
  • Red Hat: OpenStack moving beyond the proof-of-concept phase
    Red Hat’s annual poll found that 43 percent of respondents have deployed the cloud platform in production, compared to just 16 percent one year ago. The company reckons the increase reflects efforts by the community to address complexity and deployment issues that were previously known to have been a major roadblock to adoption. The study also noted that the steep learning curve for deploying OpenStack is being addressed as a growing number of engineers become certified to operate the platform. In addition, Red Hat cited cloud native application development as another driving force in enterprise adoption of OpenStack.
  • OpenStack Summit Emphasizes Security, Interoperability
    From security to interoperabilty to use cases and everything in-between, this week's OpenStack Summit from Oct. 25 to 28 in Barcelona, is set to illuminate the cloud. This year's event, which brings together vendors, operators and developers of the open-source cloud platform, will offer more sessions than ever before on securing OpenStack clouds. The Barcelona Summit follows the release of the OpenStack Newton milestone, which debuted on Oct. 6. While discussions about the most recent release are always part of every OpenStack Summit, so too are case-studies from operators of OpenStack clouds.
  • A complete view into application security must include open source [Ed: Black Duck spam (self-promotional marketing) takes form of FOSS FUD, as usual]
  • While Other Cities Go Linux, Toronto Bets Big on Microsoft Software [Ed: Toronto joins the Dark Forces]
    "" The partnership between Microsoft and the city of Toronto certainly comes at the right time, as other authorities across the world already announced decisions to give up on Windows and Office and replace them with open-source alternatives. Munich is the city that started the entire trend, but it wasn’t at all a smooth transition. Some of the local officials proposed a return to Microsoft software, claiming that training and assistance actually impacted productivity and explaining that in the end it all pays off to use Microsoft software because of the familiarity that users experience, which translates to a substantial productivity boost. And yet, the transition off Microsoft products is happening and more authorities are willing to do it, not necessarily because of the costs, but also due to security concerns, as is the case of Russia.
  • Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture
    Despite the vast amount of customization options technology has allotted us, it can still be difficult to create projects that are community-centric. For example, though 3D printing can help us personalize our own jewelry, it has limited use for outfitting parks with trash cans or equipping bus stops with comfortable seating. Still, hyper-customizable tech has taught us the convenience of managing our own products, eliminating the bureaucratic complications of mass produced, production-line assembly. Leveraging this ideology to better the community, the Better Block Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to building local communities, has developed an open-source toolkit for creating a variety of fixtures for communities. The platform, called Wikiblock, allows designs ranging from benches to beer garden fences to be downloaded and taken to a maker space where a computer-aided machine can print the design from plywood. Similar to Ikea’s simplistic, DIY approach, the printed wood can be assembled by hand, without glue or nails.
  • How to make a lighted, porch bag for Halloween
    While I typically go all out for Halloween decorations every year, I'll admit I'm feeling tired this year. I still wanted to delight the neighborhood kids with simple details, so I decided to make lighted bags for my front porch railing this year. If you are someone who has a paper cutting machine like the Silhouette, this project will likely be a lot easier. Simply import the SVG file, resize for whatever size box you want, cut out, and assemble. However, for those of you who don't have one, I've included instructions on how to make this project without any machine at all. The box was created with the help of artists who share their art at OpenClipArt. I also used Inkscape to create the SVG file. If you don't like bats, you could modify the SVG file to include other types of clipart in the center of the bag.