[Disclaimer: I'm merely a KDE user, hardly involved with the KDE development processes; my criticism is based on what I see as a user, I'll be glad to be corrected in the comments]
Back when I started my way with Linux with the brand new RedHat 6.0 (which as always, preferred GNOME). KDE always went forward: KDE1 was pretty.. basic, KDE2 was a big step, and same goes from KDE3. I've been using KDE 3.5.x for quite a long while (RHEL/CentOS5 and Debian sid until recently). 3.5.x symbolizes, in my opinion, the last "winning' era of KDE: It had the right features, but more important: it was mature and stable.
KDE 4 introduced important improvements:
- User interface continued the tradition of being much nicer than its predecessors. Compare for yourselves: KDE 1 2 3 4
- Very nice OpenGL effects were added with two important advantages over GNOME+ Compiz: the OpenGL features are fully integrated inside KDE, configuration is way easier (Compiz configuration tool is scary), and the attitude is more towards productivity and less toward eye-candiness. For example, instead of the useless wobbling windows and water effects of Compiz, KDE provides the useful feature that displays all open windows and allows search-as-you-type for choosing the right application by its name, by simply putting the mouse pointer on the top-left corner.
- Simplified user interface: the developers had the courage to do some rewrites and strip complicated GUIs, even lose some features, and make the new KDE 4 apps more simple. This is mostly notable in konsole and amarok.
But, it also got worse than its predecessors on some areas:
This is not a post of original content, I'm simply linking to interesting things I've read recently.
- Israel: Linux-IL mailing list is inspecting some weird phenomenon. Looks like 012 ISP is blocking SSH packets which are sent abroad.
- Hebrew: this feature is too hidden.. Diego explains that how to enable left/right alignment switching by ctrl+shift. (Useful for RTL languages). The "trick" works for QT, KDE (3+4) apps.
A few days ago, I've installed KDE 4 on my Ubuntu laptop, as I wanted to replace GNOME. The GUI and default styles are really beautiful (finally someone realizes that black-based colors are best. like good old console).
One of the first things I always do when customizing a new environment, is assigning a keyboard shortcut for running konsole. After a little struggling & googling, I realized that setting a command shortcut is not available through the keyboard settings, nor through the "properties" menu of the desktop icon, because there's no such menu anymore. I think that it's a bad design, but that's one thing.
The right way for setting a command shortcut is through the menu editor (right click on K menu). After choosing an application from the menu, it's possible to assign it a shortcut key.
... Or so it seems! I've chosen my favorite key combination (ctrl+space), and it didn't work. Some googling revealed that it's a known bug with a normal severity, which will only be fixed on KDE 4.2.
Bottom line: KDE 4.1 (sounds like a mature version to me..) does not support assigning keyboard shortcuts to commands although the option is present with no warnings, and nobody is going to fix that for 4.1. This is, what I call LAME (read: unprofessional).
On my Debian desktop I still have KDE 3.5 (which is a great product), because sid is still in a deep freeze. Maybe it's good, after all.