More on Fedora 10 and KDE 4.2

I recently posted about updating to Fedora 10. After using it for a while on a couple of computers I have some more comments to share.

Desktop Managers

I have been switching between Xfce and KDE and so can offer a few comments on the differences. Much of the time I have been using KDE 4.1 while waiting on the update to 4.2 to appear in the repos. I updated as soon as it appeared and am pleased I did.

Xfce in promoted as a lightweight desktop and that it is noticeable as KDE uses around twice as much memory when doing something simple such as having just Firefox open. I have similar set-ups in both desktops so they are comparable in that way. I have their native desktop effects active not Compiz. KDE’s in more involved with a lot more options, similar but not as extensive as Compiz although with 4.2 it is a lot closer.

One good thing in KDE, actually there are quite a few, but the multimedia buttons on my laptop work after setting them up in Amarok. In Xfce the volume and mute buttons don’t work.

I like the quick launch bar in Xfce, setting that up in KDE is more difficult. I have my favourite apps in Favourites on the menu but that isn’t the same, two clicks instead of one. However with 4.2 the menu shortcuts are working again and so I can set them up as I used to have them. Using the keyboard to start my favourite apps is so much easier and quicker.

KDE is much more configurable, selecting colours and other options is so much easier then Xfce but still not as good as KDE 3.5. Again 4.2 is much better with more options available.

One feature of Xfce (and Gnome I believe) that I missed in KDE was the ability to switch desktops using the mouse wheel. Well 4.2 has introduced this feature.

Suspend

Suspend to Disk works once I installed Kpowersave and set it suspend on lid close. It resumes without problem but I noticed a few things. Memory usage seems higher after resume and that is the only time Swap is used. I have 3 gig and as I rarely use more than one (its on 1.1 at the moment and I have OO Writer and Firefox are open and Amarok is playing, Miles Davis’ Walkin’ since you asked,) so Swap isn’t needed. Also the processor is more likely to run at full power. It usually sits on 1 gig and jumps to 2 gig when needed. After resume it sits on 2 much longer.

Apps

Along with the development of KDE4 most of the KDE apps have been updated. Just like early versions of KDE4 this has not been without pain but that is improving now. The new version of Amarok is great. I also like Digikam’s new upload to Picasa Web option. This means I no longer need Picasa as that was the main thing I used it for. I’m starting to sound like a broken record (is that saying out of date now?) but 4.2 introduced many improvement both to apps and widgets.

As you may have gathered I am very pleased with the update to KDE 4.2 and am using it most of the time now. It isn’t perfect but is much better than earlier versions and now has regained much of the functionality we were used to in 3.5. If 4.2 is this good just imagine what is coming in future versions.

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