Older was better

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Gullible Jones, Mar 1, 2013.

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  1. I am posting this from Kubuntu 8.04.2. The last version with KDE3.

    It is insane how much faster it is than anything KDE4. I click, stuff launches immediately. I resize a window - any window - and it resizes smoothly and instantly. The cursor never lags at all, and the desktop starts in 10 seconds, not 30. It makes Windows XP look right sluggish.

    Usability is also better than KDE4 IMO; e.g. you don't have to unlock panels and whatnot to create launchers on them.

    I don't understand why this desktop environment was thrown out. If I were a Windows user, migrating to Linux for the first time, I think I'd find it very intuitive and snappy; whereas KDE4 is... not usually unintuitive, but very far from being snappy.

    Year of the Linux Desktop, indeed.

    I'll see later if I can compile a custom 3.x series kernel for this old Kubuntu version. Userspace security is going to be regrettably bad no matter what though, with no more updates. :(
     
  2. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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  3. Syobon

    Syobon Registered Member

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    I used trinity with Debian 6.0, I recommend it if you don't use many modern software.

    it's as broken as it's old, and many new qt libraries with new and useful software will not work, its was hell sometimes.

    last time I tried KDE was with last kubuntu and i'm done with it, its like Windows ME: Unix edition

    Gnome 3.x and KDE 4.x will not be remembered in the future.

    what are they thinking
     
  4. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    Gullible Jones mentioned that he is using Kubuntu 8.04.2 with KDE3, so I doubt that it would matter that much that on Trinity he won't be able to use the latest versions of the software :) As for being old, I don't know; the latest version was released sometimes in November 2012...
     
  5. The Trinity team, I think, is unfortunately biting off far more than they can chew.

    Gnome 3 will be remembered... As a dead end. Unity likewise.

    KDE4 I think still has a future, but it won't be a very bright one.

    "Pretty is a feature."
     
  6. The custom 3.4.x kernel proved disappointing; it performed poorly, and caused X to crash immediately when launching OpenGL software.

    (Yes, I did remember to disable KMS. It didn't help.)

    It is really too bad that this version of KDE is now "obsolete" (with gods only know how many gaping security holes). Linux badly needs a full-functioning desktop that doesn't stick itself in the user's face.

    Edit: for now I'm handling the security end of things with UFW, Noscript, and what's best described as "poor man's SRP" - all user-writable areas are mounted nodev,nosuid,noexec to prevent malware payloads from running automatically. This is crap security, but it's better than no security IMO.

    Edit again: for the record, mounting /tmp and /var/tmp as noexec normally breaks apt-get horribly, because it (stupidly) executes all its install scripts from /tmp. Instead I made the directory /var/APT (owner root, group root, permissions 0755) and put this in /etc/apt.conf:

    Code:
    APT::ExtractTemplates::TempDir "/var/APT";
    So far there has been no breakage.

    NB: counting on simple anti-malware measures like this in a production environment, or on a home server, would be a really bad idea. I'm only trying it because I've got a runaway case of nostalgia.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2013
  7. Syobon

    Syobon Registered Member

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    Please spare yourself of trouble running old linux software
     
  8. For my needs it's not terribly troublesome. Main issue is various JS intensive websites blocking access under Firefox 3.

    The main issue would be security. Older versions of SSL, TLS, etc. are prone to man-in-the-middle attacks IIRC.
     
  9. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    KDE has kind of always sucked imho. It's attempt to be more "Windows-like" and "spiffy" just led it to what I like to call Options Hell. There's too much configuration that can be had and some of it overlaps. We won't even restart the Year of the Linux Desktop discussion, lol. I'd hope by now most sensible people have realized that's a pipe dream.
     
  10. I happen to actually like KDE 3. KDE 4 I can tolerate, but I don't like it at all.
     
  11. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I liked KDE 3 too, as well as Gnome 2. Sometimes "progress" isn't progress...
     
  12. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    You hit the nail on the head there, with progress comes better security. I don't mind the new versions of KDE, Gnome or Unity. What ever floats your boat really, as long as I can get security updates especially to the kernel is what matters.
     
  13. The kernel is not hard to take care of (though X drivers might be painful to get working). Userspace on the other hand would be impossible. It's not just buffer overflows and the like, that ASLR can deal with; older versions of some software contain known flaws in their logic, in some cases.

    (Such things exist in newer versions too, but obviously are more obscure there.)
     
  14. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    I feel a need to chime in, I love KDE 4, running 4.10 right now on desktops and laptops. I'd say it has an excellent future. Why live in the past when you can live in the present. ;)
     
  15. Because the present is too dependent on high-end hardware that I don't have.
     
  16. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Why not use a standalone WM (Openbox, Pekwm, any tiling wm, etc) or a light-weight DE like Xfce or LXDE?
     
  17. Normally I do, actually; but the lack of really basic desktop functionality gets on my nerves.
    - Network management applets usually don't work at all
    - Power management is either kludgy (sudo) or not flexible enough (acpid)
    - Menu generation is dodgy for most WMs, and there's no MRU history
    - File managers (and other applications) are hugely bloated, and don't always integrate well

    When I run a desktop, I expect to be able to connect to wireless networks through a GUI. I expect to have power management through a menu or such. I expect to be able to keep a list of recently used stuff somewhere, if I so desire.

    This stuff could mostly be worked around or solved, but I honestly don't feel like dedicating the time and effort to it. Not when I'm already making a career out of Linux.

    I'll grant you, running JWM is fun. But it really leaves a lot wanting in terms of helping me get stuff done.

    Edit: XFCE works for me most of the time, though it's not all that lightweight any more. LXDE is a junkheap.

    Edit 2: See, this is why Linux is never going to be a mainstream desktop OS... Too many rough edges.
     
  18. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    I guess your SOL then :doubt:
    On which distro did you try Xfce? Not all distros configure it the same and some distros may pack more software.
     
  19. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Yes, I'm shocked when I install Windows 2000, Wow, small footprint and fast!

    Anyway, would Razor-QT be an option, it seems similar to KDE 3.5?
     
  20. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    If I could still run it today, I would....
     
  21. Razor-Qt is... interesting, but has a ways to go. I like how it can integrate with different WMs. It's surprisingly heavy though, definitely slower than Xfce.

    Personally I would be more interested in some means of power, network, and mount management that could integrate sanely with light window managers, and allow CLI as well as GUI use. At the moment we're not quite there, though things are getting a little better actually:

    - udisks lets file managers mount stuff, and also offers a CLI interface. Granted, the developers keep changing the CLI invocation and breaking things (why? seriously?) but it's better than the big fat nothing we had on the CLI with HAL.

    - Wicd works for network management, both GUI and CLI; but is very lacking in features. NetworkManager OTOH refuses to work without a system tray, and the CLI version is missing very essential features (like being able to connect to a network, har har).

    - Power management is the weakest one. acpid does not cut it any more, and upower offers no usable CLI; nor, as far as I know, are there any GUIs that don't require most of Gnome/KDE/Xfce to be running.

    Ah well, some progress is better than no progress. Hopefully I'll eventually get my coding skills good enough to contribute.

    (And as for Windows 2000... Yes. A thousand times yes.)
     
  22. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Also, current OpenSUSE releases (12.2 is the latest stable) offer KDE3 in the repositories:

    Perhaps you could install a minimal OpenSUSE and then add this repo and finish the installation wirth KDE3.

    More info: http://en.opensuse.org/KDE3 and in their forum.
     
  23. Hmm. I think I actually found a workable (up to date) solution... Sort of.

    Apparently most currently maintained window managers use the Xorg Sync extension, which synchronizes window frame rendering with rendering of the window contents. This looks ugly and slow on computers without much rendering power (read: Intel GPU), since window contents refresh slowly and keep the window frame from moving. But it can be disabled at compile time in most window managers that support it...

    Long story short, I compiled Openbox without Sync support, and set KDE 4 to use it instead of KWin. KDE 4 now feels as snappy as KDE 3 of old... Once it's started up, anyway.

    I will warn everyone, however, that this is quite likely an illusion. More calls to rerender the window contents on resize mean higher CPU usage, not better performance. Just goes to show us that a lot of "desktop performance" is actually psychology, I guess.

    Edit: for a ready comparison - Openbox uses Sync per default, IceWM does not. Try both and see which one "feels" faster.
     
  24. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    @Gullible Jones - I just realized you are on the Arch Forums too. You have a different avatar there.
     
  25. Guilty as charged. :) I hardly use Arch at all these days, but their forum is too good a resource to abandon.
     
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