Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Cat Sat on the Hat - SuSE 11.1 & KDE 4.x

Well, not on the hat. But he did sit on the keyboard. I haven't a clue what magic combination of keys he triggered, but whatever, it was a doozy. The video settings were trashed, as was OpenOffice and several other things. So after numerous attempts to "upgrade", restart, re-this, re-that, I bit the bullet, reformatted the partition and started the installation from scratch.

This time it has installed KDE 4.1.9 and OpenOffice 3.0.1. Both, especially the former, are a delight.

KDE 4.1.9 has the touted "Folder View" working nicely. It took me a while to Google and figure out how to show the desktop icons. The key is to right click on the desktop, choose Desktop Settings and then examine the options in the Desktop Activity > Type options. (Yes, I know, this is not intuitive). The first two choices are Default Desktop and Desktop without ... (there is more but it disappears off the screen). The third is Folder View. Apply this and all your icons reappear.

Once past all that Plasma is a delight:

* Run your cursor to the upper left hand corner of the screen and you get a tiled miniaturization of all open windows showing the actual contents of each, making choosing the one you want much easier than using icon recognition (what
is that funny little triangle with the exclamation point...). You just look at the window and know.

* Are you wondering what's underneath your current window? Just click the title bar at the top and hold or move the window. It turns partly transparent, showing whatever is underneath.

Also, delighted to see Input Actions (aka KHotKeys) have returned. I've really missed those.

So, much improved over earlier versions. I still haven't found how to turn back on the button for recent documents on the Start menu. They have Recently installed, but no Recent Documents. But I'm sure I'll eventually figure it out, prolly by adding an icon...

As for 3.0.1, it just generally seems much more complete, smooth, and professional. I'm mostly a Calc guy so have focused there. They have fixed some glitches and given it a new, more professional look.

Initial installation resulted in v., but having read about 3.0.1 I updated the repositories and "upgraded" the components. This went alright, except that there were a number of conflicts between and 3.0.1 components, so I finally just totally uninstalled and clicked one box - - in YaST to install 3.0.1. This went flawlessly, but only installed Calc and Math. So I returned and only clicked four boxes: Writer, Impress, Draw, QuickStart. Again, no problems.

So I figure all those hard working folks have figured out the dependencies, I'll just let them decide what I need to install, instead of crawling through pages and pages of options myself.

Minimalism is a good thing.

So it seems that as, cited by an earlier commenter, the problems were with KDE and other apps and not with SuSE itself. OTOH, the packagers need to temper their desire to get the latest and greatest and not knowingly package buggy software in a release, at least not without some warning.

But, whatevah, I'm a much happier camper now.

No comments: