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I did my usual every-few-days apt-get dist-upgrade and found I'd shot myself in the foot. I now have KDE4, which has lost all the convenient collected appearance controls of the old control center and changed its startup from the simplicity of having everything on view to guesswork hunting for the right name much like Windows Vista, and then most of it doesn't work as well as it used to. I had a problem that Iceweasel always claimed that it was running, so could not load and killing it only allowed a new instance to time out but remain as sleeping in Manager.
There was very little wrong with my old KDE3 apart from that. Epiphany doesn't allow enough options (and always starts up off-line) and Koqueror allows fewer options. Every browser I have downloaded since this disastrous downgrade to KDE4 has something wrong somewhere. It may be far too slow and unable to handle email providers (Konqueror), it may read but not reply, it may fail to show Youtube links, it may not integrate with Tor, it almost certainly invokes video that no longer works when before, it did, it may just hang.
Under KDE3, when I left a Board as permanently logged in, when I returned I was logged in. Not under KDE4. I had a weather applet allowing me to check on various places of interest to me. Now I can only link to one and have to reset it each time I start up. Though I have sometimes seen a 5-day weather forecast on it, usually I don't and there is no way to change it. I had a Quicklaunch that I had all my usual programs on, now I can only add the names of some icons (others ignore it or it ignores them) and clicking on them produces an Edit of the Icon wording!
Nothing can be relied on any more. Even to start up as non-root, the usual means going in, seeing that multiple desktops and window decorations are not supported (and any activity risks losing the taskbar and logout options), so logging out and back in so that second time, these things are supported.
KDE4 does not work yet and is as difficult to work around as Vista. All the usual Desktop controls have been lost and standard functions can't be relied on,. Even Character Selector takes a major task to hunt accented characters down when they used to be part of the set on display, and then double-click, for God's sake!
It's no wonder that Linux has a geek reputation, because while I could show KDE3 a viable contendor with Windows, KDE4 can't match to Windows-95 and has destroyed everything that was worth having a GUI for! An no, I won't go for Gnome because I hate the sight and even feebler controls than KDE of it.
What release are you using? Most parts of kde4 are in Squeeze/testing , sid has them all and works reasonably well. I gave up messing with kde when kde4 started coming into sid. You might try using LXDE, I have been using it since kde4 first started appearing in sid and LXDE works with no problems. I still use a few kde apps like konversation, ktorrent, and on a rare occasion konqueror. Iceweasel works just fine here. Not only is kde4 just useless eyecandy , even with the bare minimum of services running it uses way more ram than kde3. So much for all the articles about it using less ram. KDE4 is the Vista of linux.
Even though you have done an upgrade you should still have the option to log in to KDE 3.5.xx. Check your options at the login screen.
Sorry Nexus but that's not so. Once you'd done the upgrade the 3.5 packages affected are removed and replaced by 4.2 ones. I checked in the sessions menu of the login page and definitely only 1 kde is mentioned.
OP, I talked about this issue in the recent thread I started about the 3.5 to 4.2 upgrade. Testing does not do this in one fell swoop but only partially. Right now I'm running a hybrid system combining some 4.2 and some 3.5 (I guess we can call it 3.9 ). Officially (that is according to the control centre) it's still 3.5 and kdm hasn't been upgraded yet along with a bunch of other things. kweather is indeed a temporary casualty of this transition but the good news is that once 4.2 is fully installed it comes back. I checked this on a friend's machine who has 4.2 fully installed. applets become widgets in 4.2 but I haven't got there yet. I'd suggest you read my post for more details. It's in this forum (Debian).
A small suggestion would be not to routinely do a dist-upgrade as that tends to be rather agressive. I'd recommend a (safe-)upgrade on a regular basis which should spare you many of these bumps. I have a working system but without kweather for the moment (I'll be patient) and some uglier looking games (kpat) but aside from that things are ok.
I think Craig is literally right about Vista there. I tried the - Bagheera is it or Sphinx? - selector with KDE3 - for all of about ten minutes before the twitches and gibbering started. It does look very like they reckoned they'd missed out on XP and they'd need a Vista look-alike without stopping to think that a lot of users might prefer a look-like-itself GUI. I had wondered about something else that was on offer, might be LXDE. It probably does not occur to developers (because they are so used to it) that these 'simplified' very hierarchical menus require a mental map of where everything is. It took me a while to get used to when I first came GUI after an absence and command line familiarity. Unfortunately it was never Unix C/L (DEC & MSDOS). I won't say anything about Gnome except that I'm so glad I never had to use an Apple! I wish Debian would not default to it and need messing about through command-line root editting to get the KDE login control to come up (and yes Debian, I do want to run GUI as root since nobody else has access to this machine unless they burgle the flat!)
I do a bit of helping absolute idiots and it's the same problem, that they don't know which menu to look at for what is hidden underneath. It's something that is obvious if you use several browsers - try to change the defaults and remember which has it under Settings or Views or Edit and whether it is Options or Preferences or in one case Choices. Not a problem but surprising when it's gone missing just how much menu navigation works on unconsciously recognising how the entries relate to each other from a quick glance at what's on screen instead of bringing up one menu after another to look through for it.
I can understand in a sort of a way realising that facilities to configure every single widget so that an outsider could barely recognise two versions of the same system takes a lot of code that hardly anybody uses (like most Windows Office software) so why not take it out? But why bother when it's there already? It isn't background running programs,
I went to KDE originally because it was what I saw in use most as a commercial alternative to Windows with Koffice. I've been using Konqueror Internet because it works with Tor but it doesn't work with my email system. Either it's something in Konqueror or it is just so slow that it times out. The Iceweasel problem predates KDE4 and no re-installation has fixed it. It could be just that something has made it a very slow loader and it is timing out (and of course I don't know where to change that now!). More likely, something has been left unstable from a crash. I think I've got every browser on Debian's database and not a single one that doesn't have some problem somewhere! In Epiphany's case the simple one that autosearch while typing can't be turned off and the character code to start it clashes with Yuku boards - also that it launches new windows instead of tabs.
All told, I think change of GUI might be a very good idea. I've no idea whether I can get 3.5 back or not, though it is all compressed in its own directory. I had to include Squeeze because something I forget that I was using needed libraries from it. A few bugs, I don't mind and expect but not silly basic ones. I'll give one of the other interfaces a try. I imagine that there will be some feedback about KDE4 and it may shake up fast, particularly following the negative response to Vista putting a bomb under Microsoft to get WIndows 7 out in a hurry. In which respect, they should have called it Nanny since it drives you mad asking whether you really want to do what you've just asked it to on every occasion. I have something on this afternoon which will probably end up in a bar, so tonight is probably not the night to go scooting around what's in the Debby database.