After I installed OpenSuSE 11.1 a while ago, the writing have been on the wall â€“ KDE 3 is dying, and KDE 4 is the new kid in town, with shiny toys and powerful tools. At least that’s what I’ve been told. And yes, many people report problems with KDE 4.2.
It’s nice. It’s shiny. It got bells and whistles.
- IBM Thinkpad R61
- Intel C2D T7100.
- 4GB RAM
- Intel XMA3100 graphics
The bells and whistles work. I can flip through windows quickly with the cover flip, which is quite decent since it gives me a preview – handy when I’ve got 10 terminals open, with the title ‘
xterm‘. It even works to flip through windows with mplayer playing 720p content open – and the video playback is smooth even while flipping through windows.
Hiding and showing of the taskbar, which was slow and cpu-intensive in KDE 3.5 (!) is quick and smooth in 4.2. Much quicker than in 3.5. However, there’s some drawbacks.
In Firefox, you can select and drag text and images to other windows – something that worked without lag in KDE 3.5, and works without lag with the desktop effects disabled on KDE 4.2. With desktop effects enabled, dragging text is suddenly impossible, due to a massive lag and massive CPU use, freezing X11 completely for quite some time, even after you release the mouse button.
Other side effects is that KDE 4.2 crashes a few times a day – or rather plasma crashes. It restarts itself automatically, without any loss, or closed applications, so it’s not a show stopper for me, only a nuisance.
KDE 4.1 on the other hand was utterly broken. It crashed completely where KDE 4.2 only barfs up plasma. So it’s better, but there’s a way to go before it’s ready for mainstream usage IMHO – but I have great hope for it, because without 3D rendering it’s damn fast, and damn nice.