Richard Jones' Log: KDE 3.5 installed - the good and the bad

Fri, 09 Dec 2005

I'm running KDE 3.5 now (have been for a week, but a conference distracted me from posting this). Mostly it's a good improvement - ad filtering finally in Konqueror, some UI improvements around the place. Incremental, generally worthwhile stuff.

Sadly, the old whitespace bug still isn't fixed, and there's a new annoyance that I can't seem to find any information about. Every time my IMAP account is pinged, I get an error dialog box. The box doesn't affect my ability to read any IMAP mail - except that I have to cancel it every time. My sysadmin has no idea what KMail is on about.

Comment by Andy Todd on Tue, 13 Dec 2005

I always used to run KDE on my Debian box. Then I got an iBook and was subverted by the eye candy.

Recently I've been running Ubuntu on my work laptop with Gnome and quite liking it. I dutifully installed Kubuntu but I can't help get the feeling that KDE is losing some of it's polish (KMail was a nightmare to set up for some reason).

Please Richard, put me back on the KDE trail and remind me again why it's so much better than Gnome.

Comment by Richard on Wed, 14 Dec 2005

Some stuff off the top of my head:

  1. having my browser bookmarks in a neat little button on the kicker panel (and Konqueror is a perfectly capable browser - better than Safari in some respects)
  2. KMail has its issues, but it's a very capable reader / composer. Handles GPG better than most. Has excellent filtering. Until this strange IMAP thing it easily beat the pants off
  3. Konsole is one of the better terminal programs, and I spend a fair bit of time in it (and the [K]Ubuntu people added a "Python interpreter" option to the "new session" menu :)
  4. Kopete is one of the better IM clients.
  5. Amarok is the best Open Source music organisers / players.

Comment by toby on Wed, 14 Dec 2005

When you say 'beats the pants off' what do you really mean? Apart from's slightly wierd threading, and maybe a couple of filtering and sorting options that I miss from mutt, and the fact that sending 80-column mail is essentially impossible (but lets face it: the 80 column era is essentially dead), I haven't really found anything I really dislike about it.

Comment by Richard on Wed, 14 Dec 2005

OK, perhaps the language was a little strong. IMHO poorly handles (compared to KMail):

  1. quoting of text in replies - it's sometimes difficult to do creative editing of quoted text (how old skool of me in this era of top-quoting entire message threads),
  2. sending 80-column mail is important to me,
  3. GPG "support" is horrendous,
  4. no support for not displaying HTML as HTML by default,
  5. it implements attachments very strangely,
  6. the "address hiding" in the composer has caused a number of problems at work where mail goes to incorrect addresses.
But other than that, is perfectly capable.

Comment by toby on Wed, 14 Dec 2005

Ok. Bear in mind that if I wasn't using, I'd be using mutt, and I've never really spent the time to get to know kmail...

1. My experience has been that apart from a few editing quirks, the context menus for 'increase quoting' and 'decrease quoting' are actually easier than it used to be for me. And I don't quote entire messages.

2. Why? Even on an 80 column display, what mail reader doesn't wrap long lines properly these days? This is one thing that I simply can't see a reason for not letting go of.

3. It's not great, but it's functional. At least as functional as mutt is.

4. Valid point.

5. Care to elaborate? It looks like the layout it produces is sane given a) the need to preserve resource forks and b) the desire to have their place in inline text preserved (which is actually useful)

6. Agreed. And worse, if you type the wrong address once, it remembers it, and will autocomplete from it. I can't see any way to make it forget an address either.