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Tycho Softworks
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Generally I am rather happy with KDE as a whole, and also where plasma 2 is going.  But I would like to take this moment to note in particular that I am most happy with the way the KDE project operates, and it's ethics, even when it makes some choices that I personally may disagree with.  This, the way that KDE operates, and the ethics of KDE as free, as in freedom, is I think the strongest reason of all to support and use KDE.  And it really is overall great technology, too, even if I am a bit picky about and have some strong opinions about certain really rather small parts in the collection :)...
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Tycho Softworks

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 What does it mean when your newegg order ships to a sorting facility in PA, and then to an undisclosed facility and stays missing that way for a few days?
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The #nsa is giving you a free "upgrade"?
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The only thing marring my #opensuse (13.1) experience is a strange gtk font rendering issue.

On many gtk apps if I select text, and I highlight, such as in selections, sometimes the text suddenly gets replaced with solid blocks or other chunks of random graphics, and I have to move the window around to get it to correctly re-paint the selected text correctly.  #KDE applications, by contrast, behave like a rock.

With a test sample of one machine, I do not know if this is a video/driver issue, a oxygen-gtk issue, a cairo bug, or something else entirely.  It is using an older ati video card (2600pro), which, in any case, I do not believe is supported by catalyst currently even if I wanted to test the proprietary driver.
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Gertjan Lettink's profile photoTycho Softworks's profile photo
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Also it only seems to effect gtk apps. I recall gtk and KDE use different font rendering libs, and also bugs in oxygen-gtk have not been unknown either....
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The more I use #kde the more miserable my #fedora laptop seems to be to use...

It was not always this way.  KDE used to run very nicely on it.  Even as recently as Fedora 19.  Nowadays, desktop plasma "idle's" at 10% cpu usage, with no activities or widgets, and anything else rapidly collapses it.  My other KDE systems, with other distros, by comparison, all roughly same vintage, behave magnificently, whether on old or new hardware, and with far more complex configs...

Recently I tried using Akonadi, because it ran so very well on my #opensuse and #debian boxes, and came to like and even rely on #kmail2 now.  But not my fedora box....

Nepomuk seems "required" for some kmail2/kontact functions & features, though you can turn off file indexing (and email indexing), and it behaves very nicely.  But not on my Fedora box.  CPU spikes over 99% and often stays there!  I have scrapped and removed ~/.kde/share/apps/nepomuk in case of an old/broken db, and also tried nepomukcleaner, but no avail.  It matters not that all indexing is turned off and anyway in theory this particular problem was solved long ago.  In fact, with F19 I actually used Nepomuk even with file indexing active, on this same box, and at the time it behaved rather nicely.

The only time I recall experiencing a box behaving this badly with KDE was long ago when I was using Kubuntu for awhile.  Has Fedora KDE truly gone south??  While I do prefer KDE, and it used to run great on this exact same machine with F19, and I already scrapped the entire ~/.kde directory and reset without any improvement, fortunately I still have #xfce4 configured on it.
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Dietrich Schmitz's profile photoBruno Queiros's profile photoSudhir Khanger's profile photoTycho Softworks's profile photo
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Every time I tried KDE for over the years, I found something broken so badly that it was pushing me away from it and I stays with Gnome. KDE is a great desktop with a great potential, however... The best is the one which gives you what you need rock solid. The most frustrating thing for me is when everyday tools do not work as expected, e.g. I run KDE on the latest openSUSE and google maps on chrome don't work, adding iso to VM in virt-manager do not work. In Gnome on the same machine all works as expected. 
On my laptop I run Fedora with Gnome for years, very stable. (gnome-shell 300MB RAM + ~20MB gnome tools).
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Tycho Softworks

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I have finally been able to make peace with akonadi and kmail2, with some real benefits in doing so.  I am hoping these will not change much in kde5...
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+Lindsay Mathieson indeed exactly :)
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We did get a release of #worldvu 2.0 out yesterday.  We also have some minor improvements for what will become #ucommon 6.1.4 which may be out tomorrow.  I am also going to see if we can get an initial release of #siot (serial i/o toolkit) distributed.
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For those wondering what #worldvu applications might have originally looked like...

The original VU interface was developed on QNX, and the "worldvu" port was created for Linux ~1992.  Back then I had a 386 with a local console, and two vt100 terminals, but couldn't get X to run, so it was never originally adapted for xterm or unicode.  I also had a at command set modem and wrote a custom app for remote access to manage the modem and switch between a VU login app and pppd based on what connected...
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I was able to solve my mysterious gtk specific font rendering issues in selection lists by changing video cards from an old radeon 2600 pro to a nvidia gt 640, but this unleashed a whole host of entirely new woes...

While the opensuse one-click driver install makes it easy to install nvidia's drivers, this is sadly really only the beginning.  First, there was video tearing in compositing in KDE itself.  Then there was video tearing issues in media playback.  Finally, sometimes while logging in compositing would be disabled, either for KDE plasma itself (hence the panel) or for plasma and all applications.  Simply changing KDE Desktop Effects compositing type to "opengl", nor playing with tearing prevention, had any useful effect for any of these host of problems on their own.

All of these issues can be solved, but it requires extensive tuning beyond what I think should have ever been nessisary.  Much of the advice offered online is also now either obsolete or just plain incorrect.  This is what I did to get a stable Nvidia driver working; no tearing, even in vlc/video playback, stable login:

First, we begin in xorg.conf under section "Screen":

    Option         "AccelDFS" "1"
    Option         "GARTSize" "64"
    Option         "EnablePageFlip" "1"
    Option         "ColorTiling" "1"

Different people offered had different advice for this, but these were the only ones that seemed to offer actual improvement, at least with the present drivers, and believe me, I tried all the other suggestions and variants people had suggested in the past...

Second, we need to have something like a ~/.kde4/env/nvidia.sh, set to start "pre-kde" in KDE startup settings, as this seems to guarantee KDE will login with nvidia driver support correctly, and also lets us fix several other issues:

#!/bin/sh
nvidia-settings -l
export __GL_YIELD="USLEEP"
sleep .1

I forget who suggests the__ GL_YIELD, but it made an important difference.  The sleep is also needed to make sure the nvidia settles down before KDE plasma starts up, otherwise sometimes, as noted, I would login without compositing enabled...

The reason I load nvidia-settings, is that was also nessisary to use that to create a ~/.nvidia-settings-rc.  The most important setting seems to be to set power mizer to maximum performance; it seems the reclocking  based on activity is broken/syncs poorly on their crappy drivers.  I also disable opengl sync to video blank, as it seems to conflict/be redundant with the kde settings, and anyway I found it unneeded.  This finally let vlc play video without it's own tearing issues...

However, there is one ugly issue that remains with #nvidia 's crappy driver.  #Kded4 memory leaks like a sieve with it.  Typically up to a gig of resident ram in less than a week.  Memory leak issues with kded4 have been reported now for MULTIPLE YEARS in #KDE bug tracking now (+Aaron Seigo ) with no fix in sight even as per KDE 4.13.  From reading the many now long bug threads for this, I do not think anyone had correlated them to Nvidia's crappy drivers specifically before, though.  I did note many (though I do not think all) who commented on this who included info on their hardware also did report using either nvidia or radeon (catalyst driver?) cards.

The only work-around for kded4 memory leaks with nvidia I have been able to find is far more drastic. It seems to be the power manager (powerdevil) is the culprit here, as suggested in the many bug commentaries, and at least this also matches my experience, though it is hard to say how the crappy nvidia drivers interact with power management in such a horrible way.  Of course disabling KDE power management seems to currently wonk out activities where truly wierd behaviors happen.  If your going to disable power devil, you have to forgo and disable activities in KDE startup too.

Once you do that though, it does seem you do have a long term stable KDE workstation again.  It is now very clear to me why +Linus Torvalds gave #nvidia the middle finger, and I agree, especially after this experience, they truly still do deserve it.

How nvidia could have gone from a zero to a hero I think would have been by trully facilitating development of the #nouveau drivers.  Now that they have figured out how to do reclocking, I gather despite Nvidia's a-hole attitude, I hope to soon be able to abandon Nvidia's crapware drivers forever and use decent power management again.  Oh, but at least the original font rendering issue which started all this is definitely gone :)...
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Aaron Seigo's profile photoTycho Softworks's profile photo
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Thanks +Tycho Softworks, having data points from people doing testing as you have is really useful.
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#cinnamon seems to have collapsed with 2.2, at least for me.  Buggy and slow to login, and most of the extensions are dead.  They are not marked as incompatible, though, nor are there 2.2 specific replacements yet available.  In fact, the experience was far worse than the original jump to cinnamon 2.0, which was very clean.  It makes me loose confidence in their ability to provide a long term sustainable desktop.
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+Will Hill  I always keep a separate home partition simply because it was always needed for Fedora where my experience often was needing to re-install after an upgrade fails.  Indeed, on my debian systems I never found explicit need for doing so for upgrades either, though it is also useful for magentic media to keep system files near the front of the disk in a separate partition for read performance.

If they better separated bug fixes from mass version upgrades of packages in already existing Fedora releases, it would be much better, and this has been a frequent problem with Fedora at least for me.  The initial release of cinnamon 2.0 on Fedora had a few bugs too, but the only option then is to have an insecure and buggy system or to take chances with the latest updates in a current release which also upgrades major versions of packages... 

Better discipline in when to upgrade packages and waiting until the next version to do so, rather than upgrading already distributed fedora releases with major package updates that may (and indeed sometimes do) have bad regressions would help immensely.  It is not the first time I experienced this.  More than once the choice mid-release to upgrade to the newest kernel family had created machines that would not boot because of kernel regressions, for example.  Similarly they would sometimes hop major KDE versions post release that sometimes did cause breakage too, or with xorg that broke video drivers.

Unlike many RPM distros such as Magia and OpenSUSE, and of course Debian distros, they also do not use abi versioned library package names.  So when they upgrade library versions for new fedora releases (or even major versions of something in already distributed releases...), everything has to upgrade with it.  This is part of why it was so hard historically to upgrade in place like Debian and others do, as often some library is upgraded in the middle replacing an older api that then breaks other things before the upgrade can complete installing as other packages rebuilt against the new abi are not yet upgraded, or maybe do not even yet exist...abi library package naming may feel sloppy, but it does work...

These are the things that often have made fedora painful in the field.  All I think can be defined ultimately as policy issues.  For the packages I do maintain in Fedora I am considered so very conservative simply because I do refuse to do updates for major releases of my own packages that would break abi or other things except into rawhide for the next release.  I think if more did this, Fedora would be much more trouble free to use.
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I seem to have #akonadi #owncloud addressbook woes, and some reported by others as upstream bugs, but never any actual resolutions...

If I update address books in owncloud, they do sync cleanly TO akonadi, but only if I do not add new address "books" (folder sets), which never get added unless I destroy and recreate the akonadi resource (ugh).  Furthermore, any local changes NEVER seem to get published FROM akonadi back to owncloud.  In this respect #Thunderbird #lightening did work much better, as local changes definitely propagated to my owncloud server.  This seems a perfect kind of question for the new owncloud advocate +Jos Poortvliet :)
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Jos Poortvliet's profile photoWill Hill's profile photo
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+Tycho Softworks he, Akonadi fun. Provided you run the latest, I suggest to try this work around (helps me with google calendar):
open akonadiconsole (alt-f2), locate the calendar resource, right click - abort activity; right-click - restart agent; right click toggle on/off line; right-click restart agent; right click toggle on/off line. Works for me... Not exactly smooth so yeah, I hope this gets fixed. Part of the problem is- lack of Akonadi devs using ownCloud, google calendar etc ;-)
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I have really come to like the opensuse system we setup at the tribal office here.  It is really a nice general purpose dev distro.  Recently I had been playing with repository prioritizing, which is reminiscent of Debian apt-pinning.  There are actually a number of characteristics that Debian and Opensuse share that I do like in a dev platform.

I particularly appreciate that it has a complete and actually functional mingw.  In particular I have done cross-platform stuff on debian, but I had to build my own qt for debian mingw, as well as a few other things.  Fedora, like opensuse, has packaged mingw libraries, but some of the Fedora ones (and particular Qt) mingw is actually broken as the pkgconfig they bundle for Qt is still setup for native windows rather than mingw.  It is about 5 lines to fix, but each time I get an update it of course gives back the broken one.  The Qt mingw packaged in opensuse is already correct.
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I setup a stock kde opensuse machine (13.1) for the tribal office for our new district, and I am very happy with the results so far.  My only concern is what happens when I do have to eventually upgrade this machine, especially as we did add some additional opensuse obs repos...  Although I do not see it as pressing, since 13.1 I gather will have long term support.
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Sean Mcardle's profile photoTyler Kalevra's profile photoClyde Davidson's profile photoTycho Softworks's profile photo
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I upgraded in place from 12.3 to 13.1. oS gave detailed instructions how to do it and it worked perfectly.
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