20 October, 2007

Who did this?

Here another "KDE4 is really usable" blog. Well, I just want to point that out up front. Oh, and my day was different from Wade's. Yesterday I gave a talk to dutch students about KDE 4, I didn't get machette's to my head. Aaah well, everyone's different.

The real topic is something else, though - I wanna know who did the following:

That person deserves some kudos. I haven't seen any blogs or whatever about it, but I think it's a great job. Solid Usability Work the KDE Way (tm): make it easier to use and more powerful at the same time. Yes, it's a bit harder, but much more rewarding to not take the easy route of 'dumbing down'. Nice work... Of course, there is more to do, maybe the person who did this can spare some time on the 'edit toolbars' dialog as well.... Currently drag'n'drop is broken ;-)

Another thing which I wanted to mention: Cornelius said he was amazed by the speed of KDE 4 apps. Now I took that with a grain of salt, as I hadn't seen any amazing speed yet - Okular was slow, I had seen konqi using 100% cpu and still stutter on scrolling, KWin didn't exactly go smooth... But while making the above screenshots I used kwrite, and indeed - kwrite4 starts faster (feels at least twice as fast) as kwrite3 (both in my kde3 session)! And other apps do the same. Gwenview is like 10 times faster, and konqi4 seems faster without pre-loading than konqi3 with! Konsole seems a tiny bit slower, though.

Sure, you don't want kbuildsycoca4 to run first, but after that's done - applications are wonderfully fast. It's like someone turned 'speed' on in Trunk, somewhere in the last week... Whoever did that, nice work!

Now, the last thing: colors. I've just been trying the colorscheme things, and they work great - see the following screenshots (yes, the second one, called Beos(?), gives the higher contrast many ppl seem to want from Oxygen).

The oxygen style also does a pretty nice job on darker colorschemes (unlike most KDE3 styles):


  1. wow.. that looks pretty good!

    what about the plasmoids? do they also change some colors?

    atm i don't have the time to try this out... would be great to see that too!

    friendly greetings


  2. Ah, the shortcuts dialog works now? It looked broken the last time I tried it (well, it was a month ago..)

    One of the thing that bugged me about the old "Configure shortcuts" was that you had to use the mouse a lot if you wanted to set many shortcuts - for example in a game*. There are of course the alt+[letter] shortcuts, for example alt+u to bring up the dialog where you set the custom shortcut, but many simply don't know this. Is the keyboard navigation easier in the new dialog? Sadly, it doesn't look this way judging from the screenshot (mostly because of the expanding thing), but I won't start flaming until I've tried it myself. ;)
    ..Hey! Just noticed: do you configure the global shortcuts in same dialog as the regular shortcuts in the new dialog?

    When talking about KDE4, you hear great stuff like Phonon, Plasma etc. - sure, I look forward to try those too; but, almost even more, I want to see a more polished KDE, getting rid of these small annoying things.

    * Regarding the games, I've always hated the fact that you configure the game controls in the shortcuts dialog. There are two main reasons:

    1. It didn't make any sense to me first - I was looking for "Game controls" or something similar, but (after searching for a while) found them in "Configure shortcuts".

    2. The "shortcuts" for the game controls are in many cases mixed with the other shortcuts of the application. For example, see this screenshot. I think this is really annoying:

    a) To set your controls, you have to search for the game controls, use the mouse to set it (if you don't know alt+u) and then continue scanning the list.
    (Compared to a list of game controls, press return and press your preferred key, use the down arrow to navigate down and continue the same process or another common method used in games.)

    b) If there's a keyboard based game, you want to look up the controls before playing for the first time. Well, the shortcuts dialog makes that harder than it has to be: first you have to realize that the game controls are in fact in the shortcuts dialog, then you have to find the game controls in the long list of shortcuts - there is even a high risk that you miss some controls that you use in the game (especially with controls without the prefix ”Player” (which some multiplayer games have), given the fact that the shortcuts are sorted alphabetically) .

    This makes the game much less enjoyable, which is sad for many of the great games out there, so I hope to some improvement in KDE4.
    First, grouping in the shortcuts dialog would make life a little easier - do you know if it's supported?


    Sorry for the long post, and most of it being off topic. Maybe I should post this on a mailing list?

    Best regards,

  3. @bernhard: no, there is supposed to be a separate theming thing for plasma. At least for the backgrounds & other widgets. Not sure if that even exists already ;-)

    @Hans: Imho this dialog is really much better. It takes a sec to figure out how it works, but it is rather intuitive.

    I'm not too sure about the games thing. On one hand, consistency is important. But yeah, the actions in games are kind'a special, they might deserve a specific configurationspot. Maybe something should be done in the games-library so the games can use it. Or the normal shortcut dialog should allow for grouping, so you can put the actions on top or something.

  4. Hey Jos !!

    Maelcum (on IRC) is the owner of those kudos !!


  5. The Oxygen widget style just keeps getting more beautiful.

    I still don't think the scroll/progress bars fit in though.

  6. Rafael: Maelcum rocks, then ;-)

    @Robert: well, I actually like the scrollbars a lot, more than the ones you normally see.

  7. I love the glows in dark colorschemes.

  8. I don't know any Maelcum in IRC, but judging from kde-commits and personal memory this should correspond to Andreas Hartmetz who also tidied up global shortcuts for KDE 4 (among other things). He did the major work on the shortcuts dialog.

    (And yeah, I made it a bit prettier by using unobtrusive arrows instead of annoying icons, and making it RTL compatible.)

  9. I really like that new Oxygen style and how it fits with dark themes, really impressing.

    And i noticed that there are even new menu where user selects what part like to change.

    When i saw this, two things came up to my mind.

    a) If i change background of editbox, does koffice background use same color then? (it's might be more koffice related problem?)

    b) Is there coming more options to choose what color is used in wich place? Like i really love customize options and choosing colors is one of them. Like can i choose different color for menu text and window text or is it still related to together so if i have dark theme, i want red menu text and white window text, i can do it or like on current situation, i have red or white in both places?

    But one way or other, im really sad that you must play with us by showing these nice pictures of good KDE developing ;-)

    *Do not tease us!!!!! ;-)

  10. Hi Fri13 ;-)

    There are a huge amount of options to change colors, as there are much more different color roles in KDE 4 compared to KDE 3. So you can go nuts customizing the colors. Not sure about the specific ones you ask for, though...

    And I don't know if KOffice follows these colors, but if they don't, you should file a bug.


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