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Old 01-03-2011, 11:56 PM   #1
enorbet
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The State of KDE v4


Or- A Cautious Enthusiasm for Progress and Other Learning Curves

Greetz

Like anyone here who has used Slackware for several years, and probably especially after The Team dropped Gnome from Official, I LOVE KDE v3.5! It was so nice to just rt-clk on the Desktop and be greeted with "Add link to Application" or "URL", etc, the most common things one wants to do to the Desktop. Kicker was a simple, organized menu with easy editing and updating. KinfoCenter listed all mounted partitions complete with their device name and used/free space info. KPackage listed complete package-specific full path for all installed files for that specific package instead of trying to be a Synaptic clone. Etc Etc Etc.

KDE v4 started up as a total HOG. I couldn't believe the resources that akonadai and nepomuk chewed up. I turned them off. I couldn't believe it was such a pita just to add a commonly used program or location to the desktop. I despise KPackageKit. It's utterly useless to me. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Since the alternative seemed like considerable work even though for now apparently v.3 is still being developed, I remembered that early versions of v.3 were uhh less than spectacular, I routinely logged out and back into FluxBox or Window Maker to run anything intense, but it evolved over time into a finely tuned machine. It reminds me of the old joke that software is either beta or obsolete, or both.

So at least on one box I decided to keep trying v.4 to see if it, too, would evolve and improve. Thanks to Alien, I think I see the light with KDE v.4.5.3 and v.4.5.4 seems to confirm a good path has been chosen. The boys seem determined to work it out all the while bringing considerable new power and configurability and expanding what a Desktop can do.

Below I am including a screenshot of Slackware-Current (Dec 10, 2010) running KDE 4.5.4. It is also running a total of almost 300 processes and 4 users (including akonadai and nepomuk) with 4 major apps and 2 plasmoids running as well as Firefox v.4Beta8 with a theme installed and 11 tabs loaded.

Conky shows correctly that this is a single core cpu box with only 2G ram and yet total cpu is 6% and ram footprint is only 25%, or roughly 500MB, and of that firefox constitutes 7.2%, almost 1/3 of total. You can see compositing is enabled as Kwin is running. You can also see I need to do some tweaking to get time reporting accurate for the year and reduce the background width but I'm a newb to conky so "gimme some slack"...or some advice.

Since I could use zero resources if I turned my box off, it seems to follow that the more you can do the more resources you will use and that can be OK if it is kept tight and doesn't get sloppy. . I'm very encouraged with KDE's direction for increased power as well as improved resource management. KDE3-Compat allows me to run what I miss most about v3 in addition to features v.3 couldn't even remotely imagine. I still logout to mess with other WM/DEs but I no longer have to.

I think I'm gonna like it. I think it's a least worth a trial period.

http://www.filefreak.com/files/75590...m/Crnt4513.png

Last edited by enorbet; 01-04-2011 at 12:37 AM.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 02:14 AM   #2
bogzab
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Quote:
I think it's a least worth a trial period.
Even KDE 4.4 as supplied with Slackware 13.1 is now a perfectly usable environment. I have it as a default on two of my three machines. XFCE is on the other one where I do not need quite such a comprehensive desktop setup.

The one thing that I am still routinely disabling on the KDE4 desktop is the Nepomuk / Strigi file indexing. Not because of its resource-hogging propensity (although it can still take over a lot of resources) but because I have been unable to find any use for the indexes that it creates.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 03:45 AM   #3
igadoter
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Hi,
Kde4 is most discussed desktop here. I think about 10% or more posts are about kde4. Why? Because it's so stable, so usable, so beautiful and so on.
But you know kde4 developers are unpredictable. Now it's ok but things may change if, say, kde4 developer will buy quadro-core i7 3.4 GHz with 16 GB RAM
with two cross-fired graphic cards. But, I think, at this moment he/she still works on his/her old dual-core 3.2 Ghz with only 4 GB RAM and one 1 GB RAM Pci-Express graphic card. So, stay calm. Hey!
 
Old 01-04-2011, 04:27 AM   #4
enorbet
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Indexing

Greetz
As I mentioned I was horrified when I first saw the resources chewed up by The Unholy Trio - akonadi, nepomuk, and strigi and I turned them off. Bogzab didn't mention akonadi but they are each all about metadata and work together although they can stand alone. In KDE the trio work to give order to all manner of indexing metadata. With 4.5.3 KDE the resource ravenous problem began to get in check and the value began to show. It seems the KDE team has a longview eye on this one. I suggest you wait and see before turning these off offhandedly anytime after 4.4. because once their usage becomes more clear most people will want this.


Strigi can index different file formats, including the contents of archive files. Strigi can extract information from files, such as the length of an audio clip, the contents of a document, or the resolution of a picture; plugins determine what filetypes it is capable of handling. By itself strigi is just a good local search engine. The power comes from it's extensibilty via plugins and in KDE it's combination with nepomuk.

Nepomuk, from a user perspective, has 3 main ways to tag files. The first one is commonplace if you use the "file" command or use a file manager. This metadata is what reveals file type, timestamp, last modified, etc. It's trivial or may seem so but also essential. The second one is user assigned flags and/or tags. For example you could assign any documents with group data like "development", "car pool", "family" and have nepomuk/strigi find these as a group. This even extends to comments placed with emails so you can find them by date, contact, attachments, keyword... anything. This isn't extremely uncommon but because of the combination a generic and consistent methodology is implemented that won't become bogged down, let alone broken, as time goes on and features are added.

It's the third bit that's most unique. Quoted from the wiki -

Quote:
The most interesting type of metadata is, however, the kind that cannot be extracted easily by an indexer and is not generated by the user manually. This includes for example the url of a file that is downloaded from the internet. Once saved on the local harddisk this information is lost. The same goes for the (rather popular) example of email attachments: Once an email attachment is saved to the local harddisk its connection to the email and with it the connection to the sender is lost. These are just two examples relating to the source of files. There are many more.
One of the reasons for replacing kfmclient as the default file manager is that Dolphin allows easy integration with nepomuk/strigi. This makes for easy tagging of the second kind and much more. This is also behind the vast expansion of the simple "Run" dialogue with the amazing KRunner. Just Rt-Clk on the Desktop and select "Run" (which is cool enough that it stores history) and then open the configuration wrench symbol and get a hint of how extensible this bad boy is. Wow! It is also behind the search bar above Kicker, which will still function but to a vastly lesser degree without nepomuk/strigi.

Akonadi's part in the trio I don't understand quite as well other than the fact that is is more tightly bound to social functions like email and phone syncing. However since the site was overwhelmed in August and has stayed down, here is the cached webpage that gives a good overview.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...fying-akonadi/

We will always have the option to turn the Trio off but they do aim to make you grow to like them and turn them back on. My initial reaction to KDE v4 was considerably negative because they wanted me to throw away hard won skill sets. If you ask me to do that I need to see why and how yet another learning curve will benefit me since I've often seen that new =! improved. I thought KDE had made a grave misstep. I was wrong and they were right. It's getting good and for the long haul. I respect that, and I like it ,too.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 06:19 AM   #5
GazL
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The reason I choose to run Slackware Linux is for the no-nonsense simplicity it provides. KDE4, especially with all this akonadi data-store stuff is heading in the opposite direction, and it's just not what I'm looking for. I wish them well, but I won't be coming along for the ride.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
enorbet
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Room for Everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by GazL View Post
The reason I choose to run Slackware Linux is for the no-nonsense simplicity it provides. KDE4, especially with all this akonadi data-store stuff is heading in the opposite direction, and it's just not what I'm looking for. I wish them well, but I won't be coming along for the ride.
Your post may highlight one of the best things about Slackware namely that (in their own words) it "doesnt presume to know what you wish to do with your system". Perhaps if we view the kernel as the Drive Train and Slackware as the Framework, Steering, Suspension and Brakes - all the barebones basics to constitute a vehicle - we can by analogy view the WM/DE as the Carriage. Starting with such a Base System allows for a wider range of Carriage choice. You may want a Range Rover, another a Jaguar, and yet another a Bentley. With such a solid foundation all these are possible and solid since the working parts are simple, solid, and chosen/designed to work together in a sweet, finely tuned harmony (assuming a decent mechanic is on the job). Conversely (and I promise this will be the last of the auto analogy ) it is less than desirable to place a Rolls shell on a Kia platform. The foundation limits the structure on top.

Just as it is possible to do the very same job of a program written in Java in a smaller program in C, or a C program in Assembly, the purpose of this post was to show that the KDE team are not just tacking more and more stuff on with no concern for inefficient code. Hopefully you looked at the screenie and noticed how much was possible with how little. I think it is an admirable achievement and one firmly away from sheer nonsense but not accepting that austerity is required in order to be serious or performance minded.

It may not be your style but hopefully you see neither is it merely a gaudy toy.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 07:38 AM   #7
2handband
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KDE 4.x has been quite powerful and usable ever since 4.2 came out, and the last two releases (4.4 and 4.5) have been fantastic. I used 3.5 for years, but for me KDE 4.x is now a far more powerful desktop than 3.x ever was. I ran Alien's 4.6 beta package for awhile and I think that if they get the kinks worked out the 4.6 release is going to be magnificent.

I agree that nepomuk/strigi are borderline pointless... if you organize your files and know where they are you shouldn't need a file indexer. I can't stand Dolphin, anyway... I prefer Konqueror or more recently, Krusader.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogzab View Post
...The one thing that I am still routinely disabling on the KDE4 desktop is the Nepomuk / Strigi file indexing. Not because of its resource-hogging propensity (although it can still take over a lot of resources) but because I have been unable to find any use for the indexes that it creates.
Agreed, but they are still, without a doubt, resource hogs; even in KDE 4.5.90.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2handband View Post
....I agree that nepomuk/strigi are borderline pointless... if you organize your files and know where they are you shouldn't need a file indexer. I can't stand Dolphin, anyway... I prefer Konqueror or more recently, Krusader.
Agreed, on all points.

Last edited by cwizardone; 01-04-2011 at 11:48 AM.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 01:02 PM   #9
enorbet
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Krusader Rules!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2handband View Post
KDE 4.x has been quite powerful and usable ever since 4.2 came out, and the last two releases (4.4 and 4.5) have been fantastic. I used 3.5 for years, but for me KDE 4.x is now a far more powerful desktop than 3.x ever was. I ran Alien's 4.6 beta package for awhile and I think that if they get the kinks worked out the 4.6 release is going to be magnificent.

I agree that nepomuk/strigi are borderline pointless... if you organize your files and know where they are you shouldn't need a file indexer. I can't stand Dolphin, anyway... I prefer Konqueror or more recently, Krusader.
I agree totally that Krusader (kfmclient on steroids) is a superb file manager. I wonder did you know you can make it the default file manager in KDE4? Also, though I disagree about file indexing and I'm betting you have yet to use it. Saying "if you organize your files and know where they are you shouldn't need an indexer" might be fine if you have say, 30 files. Keeping track of thousands of files, cross-referenced as in a database is a mundane job better suited to silicon than protoplasm IMHO. I think it's like saying if you keep track of your files you don;t need "which" or more to the point, "grep" and "sed".
 
Old 01-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #10
enorbet
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Proof?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
Agreed, but they are still, without a doubt, resource hogs; even in KDE 4.5.90.
<snip>
Considering you apparently use Xfce I can see your POV, but since you apparently have also tried some KDE could you possibly post some resource usage data to compare with mine? I really would like to see if your definition of "resource hog" is anywhere close to mine or if your experience is substantially different from mine.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 01:13 PM   #11
brixtoncalling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Considering you apparently use Xfce I can see your POV, but since you apparently have also tried some KDE could you possibly post some resource usage data to compare with mine? I really would like to see if your definition of "resource hog" is anywhere close to mine or if your experience is substantially different from mine.
As the saying goes: don't feed the troll!
 
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:26 PM   #12
enorbet
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Defintions and Evidence

Quote:
Originally Posted by brixtoncalling View Post
As the saying goes: don't feed the troll!
Thanks, Brixtoncalling, I had no indication he was a troll. I just can;t stand it when threads devolve into unsubstantiated claims, prejudice and FUD, the tools of the International N00b Fanboi. I thought I should give him the benefit of the doubt and see if he could actually produce some data. Then we could know for certain if he was just blowing smoke or had any substance.
 
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:34 PM   #13
brixtoncalling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Thanks, Brixtoncalling, I had no indication he was a troll. I just can;t stand it when threads devolve into unsubstantiated claims, prejudice and FUD, the tools of the International N00b Fanboi. I thought I should give him the benefit of the doubt and see if he could actually produce some data. Then we could know for certain if he was just blowing smoke or had any substance.
Well it's my (possibly wrong) suspicion. But there are too many threads hijacked by non-KDE users whose only desire is to sit and snipe at KDE. It's tiresome ... and this is coming from a non-KDE user here
 
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:54 PM   #14
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Thanks, Brixtoncalling, I had no indication he was a troll. I just can;t stand it when threads devolve into unsubstantiated claims, prejudice and FUD, the tools of the International N00b Fanboi. I thought I should give him the benefit of the doubt and see if he could actually produce some data. Then we could know for certain if he was just blowing smoke or had any substance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brixtoncalling View Post
Well it's my (possibly wrong) suspicion. But there are too many threads hijacked by non-KDE users whose only desire is to sit and snipe at KDE. It's tiresome ... and this is coming from a non-KDE user here
Well, that is the first time I've been called a troll.

I've used KDE from almost its very beginning with various distribution, but mostly with Slackware and started the adventure with Linux with a purchase of a Slackware CD from Walnut Creek CD-ROM in 1995.

As the signature line states, I'm a end user, so my knowledge of the operating system is not as extensive as many of you, but I know what I see when I use it. KDE was fine until 4.xx. To bring it out when it wasn't ready for prime time (end users) was one thing, but for many of the distributions to force it upon their users when it wasn't ready is inexcusable. There is NO justification for what they put us through! NONE!

It has only been over the last year that I finally made the complete move from KDE to Xfce, but I still install all the KDE updates as there are a few KDE applications I like. Every time it is updated I run it for several hours, if not a day or two, and always end up going back to Xfce. KDE 4.xx is "pretty," but I don't see it offers anything to justify the resources it uses, regardless of the horsepower one's computer might have under the hood, so to speak.

The attachment image was reduced to 1024x576 from 1920x1080. What you see is KDE 4.5.90 with
all three of the evil triplets installed and operational. The only applications running are
the two system monitors, plus wicd and Viadlia/Tor.
Xfce with the same applications running had 1-3% CPU usage and a hair over 200 megs of RAM.

As to calling me a troll, you can both can kiss my lilly white *^%! Don't like that reply? Tough You Deserve it!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	kdememoryusage01.jpeg
Views:	69
Size:	139.6 KB
ID:	5754  

Last edited by cwizardone; 01-04-2011 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Added graphic.
 
Old 01-04-2011, 03:37 PM   #15
enorbet
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Whaaat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
Well, that is the first time I've been called a troll.
<snip>
As to calling me a troll, you can both can kiss my lilly white *^%! Don't like that reply? Tough! You Earned it!
Greetz
I would take this opportunity to offer some answers to what I snipped but first things first. Why are you lumping me in with brixtoncalling? In no way did I call you troll or any other name. I left it to you to identify what sort you are, whether you just rail empty claims or actually have any evidence to back up your claims. Did you even look at the screenie to see what resources mine is using? If you did, do you consider that intensive or hoggish?

This is not a feint nor an attempt to be conciliatory. I am actually interested in other people's experiences, even yours cwizardone and even after you blew up some and lashed out at anyone nearby, but I want data, not just impressions, because data is objective so it is at least possible to come to some sort of understanding and truth. Impressions are like saying "I feel cold at 30 degrees" without stating what scale you are using, Fahrenheit or Centigrade. Not useful. Please display "the thermometer".

So I ask you again, can you please calm down and supply some data, preferably a screenshot? Thank you.

Last edited by enorbet; 01-04-2011 at 03:39 PM.
 
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