Feedback

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===============================================================================================<<BR>>
My initial impressions are 'very good'. While the KDE 4.0 version I tried was just not ready for me, this one gave me the feeling that it was time to migrate to KDE4, which I am in the process of doing. Thus far I have not hit any show-stoppers. It's obvious the devs have put a lot of excellent work into bringing KDE4 to this level of functionality. The OS has a slick feel. Below I'll mostly talk about things that didn't work, but I wish to emphasize that a great deal DOES work - or I would stay with KDE3.

Overall I get the impression that the devs need to test their work a little before releasing it. There are a lot of tiny bugs which could be resolved by the dev just playing with the program for an hour and making a list of problems, then addressing them. This kind of direct testing is important. Otherwise these little bugs clog the bug reporting system, hiding more important bugs, or worse don't get reported. It's hard to take the time to file a bug report on these little non-showstoppers. But they give the work a sloppy feel. I mean it literally when I say one hour of testing could save you many hours later. Back when I wrote software my users would comment how my betas were more bug-free than most final releases. It wasn't that I didn't make mistakes, it was simply that I tested things myself as much as possible. The other comment was that I had a very fast development process - and the direct testing by myself was part of that.

A few examples, not complete: In Adept, the search function works poorly. Typing "kd" might return nothing, then adding an "e" will display a list briefly, then it will vanish. It's obvious that whoever worked on this simply did not test it. Or, perhaps you need a person who's job it is to test the interoperability of the components programmed by various devs. You don't need beta testers to point out these obvious things - that's a very slow way of getting things polished. Rely on beta testers to show you the things you can't find yourself (due to other hardware they're using, etc).

In Dolphin, the column widths are not remembered. This means that if I change my font size, then when I reopen Dolphin it's a mess. This is probably on the to-do list as opposed to a bug. Same in Konqueror file manager - column widths are forgotten. Minor perhaps, but this alone stopped me from using either of them as my file manager. If it wasn't for Krusader, I would have scrapped KDE4 due to this alone. Also, Konqueror allows you to change to a custom Details font, but then forgets it. This is a good example of a bug which one hour of testing would reveal.
Also, Dolphin has no way to remember the open tabs, meaning I have to reopen them every time I open Dolphin. Needs a 'save session'. Plus, kdesudo (in a servicemenu) crashes Dolphin (it will open the kdesudo app then close itself). And why no 'Edit as Root'? Let's not make things unusable in the interests of usability.

The Adept window does not remember its size. The new Adept has some great features. Took me awhile to figure out how the six icons controlling what is displayed work. I thought only one of each row of three was active - they are not rendered very clearly. It was perplexing to say the least - needed a popup to explain it. Useful but odd interface that newbies may not understand. You might want to have a 'Simple/Advanced' setting that changes the overall interface.

Speaking of which, it's good to make KDE accessible to the masses. However, it is becoming dumbed down as a result. It takes me hours just to make it usuable. Maybe when a new user is added (including by the installation program) it should inquire on the level of the user's expertise (New, Intermediate, Power User), and use an appropriate template. This way the new users aren't confused, and the experienced users don't feel forgotten. A master control on each GUI program which shows a simple vs advanced interface would be helpful in keeping everyone happy. It's important not to dumb down the OS in the interests of usability (Microsoft, anyone?) I think this would be a great functional innovation to incorporate into KDE4's GUI, as opposed to just shiney visual effects, etc.

The Hardware Drivers (jockey) app was not able to install my nvidia driver for some reason. It would prompt for my password then do nothing. Once I installed the appropriate packages in Adept then jockey was able to activate the driver.

I am not fond of the python printer applet and notifier. Why are these written in python? It is the only thing on my system that requires python and it consumes large amounts of memory for a small task. This is the beginning of going down the Windows road.

Overall, I find aspects of KDE4 sluggish, even on a very fast dual-core system. Perhaps this just means things haven't yet been optimized for speed. For example, just clicking on a folder in KonquerorFM causes quite a pause before it is opened.

The Menu Editor needs some of that pre-beta testing. Keyboard shortcuts for my apps did not work. To get them to work I had to first set them in Menu Editor, then go into System Settings|Keyboard| KB Shortcuts|KHotkeys and change them to 'Default', clicking on 'Reassign' when prompted. Quite a procedure. Something in there is messed up, and has been since 4.0. Lack of KB shortcuts was one reason I couldn't use 4.0. Fortunately I found a workaround. Why this glaring lack of functionality in something so basic?

I miss a quickstart in the tray for my commonly used apps, unless I am missing it. I see no way to add icons to the tray. Just widgets. Why no am/pm clock still? Are we all in the army now? The taskbar has potentional, but needs some attention.

I see no screensavers available except 'blank screen'. Bug or to-do?

One other thing, as it has always done for many versions of Kubuntu, the alternate installer offers to mount my ntfs partition but then says it cannot, so I have to go back and tell the partitioner to ignore it, then manually add it to fstab later. (The ntfs partition contains a fresh install of WinXP on a new drive this time, so I know it's not the partition.)

All of that said, Intrepid-beta is the first Ubuntu OS I have working functionally in 64 bit. Only thing I had to sacrifice so far is a fully functional java browser plugin (which seems unbelievable in 2008, but is not terribly important to me).

To summarize, given all the work done on KDE4, I think it would be worth it for the devs to do some high-level testing - just play with options and using it and watch what happens. It's very time consuming for me to report tiny bugs, just as it is time consuming for you to plow through them. The devil is in the details. The other important thing is for KDE4 to address the Simple/Advanced interface issue in a fundamental way, such that neither is sacrificed for the other. Finally, beware of bloat and sluggishness - don't tolerate it or it will take over the OS. I hope this feedback is useful to you and thanks for your work. -- [[LaunchpadHome:ignorantguru]] <<DateTime(2008-10-10T15:53:44Z)>>

Introduction

  • Add your feedback like this w/o the bold, and then use the @SIG@ at the end of your line, look at the first post for reference

  • All serious issues should be still submitted as bug!

  • Please nest a reply when you are responding on another reaction. Otherwise it will grow in a mess.... Thank you.

  • We do not usually respond to these comments, there are too many, but they do go directly into the developers e-mail and every one is read

I have been testing this beta, and I see many display-related issues. Firefox, for example, looks quite ugly. The tabs don't show properly, and there are display issues when viewing my Gmail email as well. Furthermore, I see a problem with fonts. The different in size between font size 11 and size 12 is quite big. Going up from size 9 to 10 to 11 is okay. Then, size 12 suddenly becomes huge! The trouble is, size 12 is my preferred font size (I use that currently on Feisty, where it looks fine). I also notice that the fonts do not look the same on KDE apps and firefox, even though I have set the option in KDE's control panel to apply the same font to GTK apps. All this works just fine under Feisty, but looks broken on this beta. Sadly, Feisty is not going to be supported soon, otherwise I'd happily stick to it for at least another year.

I was not able to obtain an interface in my language (italian): I selected Italian in Ubiquity, but Kde is still in english (apart from konqueror and some parts of other apps). Even if I install kde-l10n-it (which isn't installed by default) the situation remains the same. In hardy I have a full kde 4.1 in italian. Also I didn't see a button for managing users in systemsettings, as in kde3: that would be useful. Apart from this it is a great release. Thanks!

I've been testing the beta for a whole day, and love what I've seen so far! Loved KDE3 in Kubuntu 8.04 and LOVE KDE4 in Kubuntu 8.10 beta! So far only a few minor bugs have showed, nothing at all serious. One "bug" that is still present from 8.04 is that, when using logitech dinovo edge bluetooth keyboard with usb dongle, I have to pull out, replug and reconnect ("pair") the dongle after every boot. I circumvent this by disabling bluetooth ("sudo update-rc.d -f bluetooth remove"). Also the ctrl+c for copy didn't work until I configured klipper to "ignore selection", but this may have been a coincidence. Thanks for a great release! -- oekj 2008-10-03 16:28:00

Now these are my impressions after a few days of fiddeling with the beta:

  • At first I had a problem with the scim client causing apps to take very long to start. fixed that by uninstalling the scim client. a bug about that has already been filed by others.
  • Another problem was koficce not starting. I found out that this wwas due to a conflict between previously installed koffice 2 alpha packages and the koffice 1 packages installed by intrepid beta. Fixed that by removing koffice 2.
  • Adept 3 is looking nice but behaves strangely: When typing a package name (correctly) after some letters typed the package appears in the list but disappears again after more kys typed. There is also a bug about that filed.
  • I don't know why the contents of the .kde4 directory for hardy kde4 remix users isn't automatically transferred to .kde. At first I wondered where all my setings, mails etc. where gone until I found they were still in .kde4. Copied some files over to .kde and now all works well again.

There seems to be a conflict between knetworkmanager and network-manager-gnome. I have kde4 and xfce installed and after upgrading to intrepid beta, suddenly both network-manager frontends showed up on both desktops. The only thing that helped was removing the gnome version. But since knetworkmanager works well under xfce, that wasn' really a problem. Now to the biggest improvements for me compared to kde 4.1.1 on hardy:

  • Guidance Power Manager does so much more than the standard battery widget: current frequency, brightness settings... can't imagine life without it Wink ;)

  • The quick access plasmoid is pretty neat!
  • And lastly, perhaps rather unimportant for many, but key for my tablet-pc: Xrandr rotation finally works on my computer! Finally I can read my documents comfortably in kde4! Krandr tray still doesn't rotate on my machine (toshiba m200), but my xrandr script now works (at least most of the time).

All in all, it seems to be getting better and better and I hope I can soon live without Xfce. -- o-monroe 2008-10-06 22:16:57

===============================================================================================
My initial impressions are 'very good'. While the KDE 4.0 version I tried was just not ready for me, this one gave me the feeling that it was time to migrate to KDE4, which I am in the process of doing. Thus far I have not hit any show-stoppers. It's obvious the devs have put a lot of excellent work into bringing KDE4 to this level of functionality. The OS has a slick feel. Below I'll mostly talk about things that didn't work, but I wish to emphasize that a great deal DOES work - or I would stay with KDE3.

Overall I get the impression that the devs need to test their work a little before releasing it. There are a lot of tiny bugs which could be resolved by the dev just playing with the program for an hour and making a list of problems, then addressing them. This kind of direct testing is important. Otherwise these little bugs clog the bug reporting system, hiding more important bugs, or worse don't get reported. It's hard to take the time to file a bug report on these little non-showstoppers. But they give the work a sloppy feel. I mean it literally when I say one hour of testing could save you many hours later. Back when I wrote software my users would comment how my betas were more bug-free than most final releases. It wasn't that I didn't make mistakes, it was simply that I tested things myself as much as possible. The other comment was that I had a very fast development process - and the direct testing by myself was part of that.

A few examples, not complete: In Adept, the search function works poorly. Typing "kd" might return nothing, then adding an "e" will display a list briefly, then it will vanish. It's obvious that whoever worked on this simply did not test it. Or, perhaps you need a person who's job it is to test the interoperability of the components programmed by various devs. You don't need beta testers to point out these obvious things - that's a very slow way of getting things polished. Rely on beta testers to show you the things you can't find yourself (due to other hardware they're using, etc).

In Dolphin, the column widths are not remembered. This means that if I change my font size, then when I reopen Dolphin it's a mess. This is probably on the to-do list as opposed to a bug. Same in Konqueror file manager - column widths are forgotten. Minor perhaps, but this alone stopped me from using either of them as my file manager. If it wasn't for Krusader, I would have scrapped KDE4 due to this alone. Also, Konqueror allows you to change to a custom Details font, but then forgets it. This is a good example of a bug which one hour of testing would reveal. Also, Dolphin has no way to remember the open tabs, meaning I have to reopen them every time I open Dolphin. Needs a 'save session'. Plus, kdesudo (in a servicemenu) crashes Dolphin (it will open the kdesudo app then close itself). And why no 'Edit as Root'? Let's not make things unusable in the interests of usability.

The Adept window does not remember its size. The new Adept has some great features. Took me awhile to figure out how the six icons controlling what is displayed work. I thought only one of each row of three was active - they are not rendered very clearly. It was perplexing to say the least - needed a popup to explain it. Useful but odd interface that newbies may not understand. You might want to have a 'Simple/Advanced' setting that changes the overall interface.

Speaking of which, it's good to make KDE accessible to the masses. However, it is becoming dumbed down as a result. It takes me hours just to make it usuable. Maybe when a new user is added (including by the installation program) it should inquire on the level of the user's expertise (New, Intermediate, Power User), and use an appropriate template. This way the new users aren't confused, and the experienced users don't feel forgotten. A master control on each GUI program which shows a simple vs advanced interface would be helpful in keeping everyone happy. It's important not to dumb down the OS in the interests of usability (Microsoft, anyone?) I think this would be a great functional innovation to incorporate into KDE4's GUI, as opposed to just shiney visual effects, etc.

The Hardware Drivers (jockey) app was not able to install my nvidia driver for some reason. It would prompt for my password then do nothing. Once I installed the appropriate packages in Adept then jockey was able to activate the driver.

I am not fond of the python printer applet and notifier. Why are these written in python? It is the only thing on my system that requires python and it consumes large amounts of memory for a small task. This is the beginning of going down the Windows road.

Overall, I find aspects of KDE4 sluggish, even on a very fast dual-core system. Perhaps this just means things haven't yet been optimized for speed. For example, just clicking on a folder in KonquerorFM causes quite a pause before it is opened.

The Menu Editor needs some of that pre-beta testing. Keyboard shortcuts for my apps did not work. To get them to work I had to first set them in Menu Editor, then go into System Settings|Keyboard| KB Shortcuts|KHotkeys and change them to 'Default', clicking on 'Reassign' when prompted. Quite a procedure. Something in there is messed up, and has been since 4.0. Lack of KB shortcuts was one reason I couldn't use 4.0. Fortunately I found a workaround. Why this glaring lack of functionality in something so basic?

I miss a quickstart in the tray for my commonly used apps, unless I am missing it. I see no way to add icons to the tray. Just widgets. Why no am/pm clock still? Are we all in the army now? The taskbar has potentional, but needs some attention.

I see no screensavers available except 'blank screen'. Bug or to-do?

One other thing, as it has always done for many versions of Kubuntu, the alternate installer offers to mount my ntfs partition but then says it cannot, so I have to go back and tell the partitioner to ignore it, then manually add it to fstab later. (The ntfs partition contains a fresh install of WinXP on a new drive this time, so I know it's not the partition.)

All of that said, Intrepid-beta is the first Ubuntu OS I have working functionally in 64 bit. Only thing I had to sacrifice so far is a fully functional java browser plugin (which seems unbelievable in 2008, but is not terribly important to me).

To summarize, given all the work done on KDE4, I think it would be worth it for the devs to do some high-level testing - just play with options and using it and watch what happens. It's very time consuming for me to report tiny bugs, just as it is time consuming for you to plow through them. The devil is in the details. The other important thing is for KDE4 to address the Simple/Advanced interface issue in a fundamental way, such that neither is sacrificed for the other. Finally, beware of bloat and sluggishness - don't tolerate it or it will take over the OS. I hope this feedback is useful to you and thanks for your work. -- ignorantguru 2008-10-10 15:53:44

IntrepidIbex/Beta/Kubuntu/Feedback (last edited 2008-10-23 11:19:39 by a88-113-54-143)