Testing Mandriva 2008.1 Cooker KDE

This week-end, I tested Mandriva Cooker 2008.1 KDE. The procedure was the same as last week: a default KDE network installation via my local FTP mirror (only main) in a Virtualbox virtual machine. Here are the issues I noticed. I submitted the most important ones to Bugzilla.

  • The Virtualbox time synchronization service is started much too early. The first boot, it fails to start because Virtualbox’ dkms modules have not been built yet. Reported as Mandriva bug 36728.
  • At the first boot the DrakFirstTime wizard says no working Internet connection could be found, but after I logged in, the connection was working fine. Reported as Mandriva bug 36727.
  • The KDE menu shows the “KDE 3.5” header image twice at the top, and sometimes the Most Used Application header is also duplicated or the All Applications header is missing, making everything appear under Most Used Applications. This was already reported as Mandriva bug 36700.
  • Like is the case in GNOME, the description for applications (stored in the GenericName field) should be shown next to the name in the menus. There is currently no way for new users to know that Amarok is a music player and Kaffeine a video player, except by starting them up. I reported this already a long time ago as Mandriva bug 29900.
  • The gnome-media package is installed in a default KDE installation. This causes a More submenu in Sound & Video. I reported this already a long time ago as Mandriva bug 35293.
  • Pulseaudio’s Volume Control appears in the More submenu in KDE, while there is no native KDE alternative. It should appaer directly in Sound & Video. Reported as Mandriva bug 36726.
  • Pulseaudio Volume Control and Pulseaudio Preferences are also missing an icon the KDE menu. Reported as Mandriva bug 36714.
  • Also related to Pulseaudio and arts, I once saw the error: “Sound server fatal error: cpu overload, aborting”. This problem has been noticed by other people already on the Cooker mailing list, but there is no reproducible test case.
  • The kicker panel at the bottom is terrible in its default configuration: the height is set to small and because there are a lot of applications added to the panel and lots of applications active in the system tray by default together with the 4 virtual desktops and now also the media applet, there is way too less space left for the task list. The current configuration is only acceptible for widescreen and high resolution monitors. People have been complaining about this before (actually for 2007.0 Mandriva reverted to the normal height because of the many complaints for years about it) but I have the impression Mandriva thinks the corporate logo on the program menu button is more important than usability :-(
  • Related to the above problem, the Mandriva Control Center should not be added to the kicker panel. Reported as Mandriva bug 36725.
  • The Internet and Tools menus are too long in a default KDE installation. This can be fixed by consolidating the main Kontact applications in one menu item. I reported this already a long time ago as Mandriva bug 32666.
  • The Kdenlive video editing application is missing a GenericName description in its desktop file. Reported to the Kdenlive bug tracker bug #66.
  • While Firefox is the default browser in KDE, some URLs still open in Konqueror. Reported as Mandriva bug 36724.
  • KMail should check for new e-mail immediately when it’s started, like all other mail clients do. Reported as Mandriva bug 36716.
  • Akregator should check for new feed entries immediately after it has been started. Reported as Mandriva bug 36717.
  • The KDE ia_ora style still causes wrong rendering of the buttons in Amarok. This problem has already been reported a long time ago as Mandriva bug 33502.
  • KMilo should be split out of the kdeutils-klaptop package and should be installed by default. This will help fixing the problem that special keys on multimedia and laptop keyboard do not work in KDE. Reported as Mandriva bug 36731.
  • If Gwenview is installed, personally I think it should be preferred as the default picture viewer, above showFoto, because Gwenview makes it easier to immediately browse the other images in the same directory.
  • There is currently no easy to find network browser installed by default. Something like smb4k should be installed by default again.
  • I think the gtk-qt-engine package should be installed by default, because it offers the possibility of changing the theme used by GTK+ applications in KDE. It should not be set set to the gtk-qt-engine by default, but to use the native GTK+ ia_ora theme, like is the case now.
  • knewsticker and kdeprintfax should not be installed by default. Keeping yourself up to date with news, is better done with a true RSS reader like Akregator, and not many people have the right hardware to use kdeprintfax. The same is true for kpilot and kpalmdoc.

Next on my Cooker to-do list: quickly check out the default applications included on Mandriva One KDE and GNOME alpha2, test Mandriva’s server packages,… I can really recommend other people to do similar things: pick a subject or program which interests you, test it intensively, by preference in a new and clean Mandriva installation and file all problems you encounter in the projects upstream bugzilla or Mandriva’s bugzilla!

5 Replies to “Testing Mandriva 2008.1 Cooker KDE”

  1. BTW, reporting bugs is not enough.
    You will notice that many bugs won’t be solved and thus even if the fix is simple ( it seems that simpler is the fix, longer the bug take to be fixed ).

    The solution ? I don’t really know. Maybe for simple fix like this we should dedicate people like Nicolas Lecureuil ( for kde ) and Goetz ( for Gnome ) in order to not distract the mandriva kde/gnome people as they are working on bigger changes/projects.

  2. In my virtualbox machine, Lisa’s lan:/localhost did not found anything, while smb4k did find all Samba shares in my network. Furthermore Lisa is much too difficult to find (no desktop icon, no entry in KDE’s menu). So I think we should stop shipping lisa by default (that would also be yet another service to start less), and provide something that works better and is easy to find.

  3. First of all, there are two features in gtk-qt-engine: it has a kde control center module which permits users to choose a gtk theme to use. And secondly, one can choose to use the QT/KDE style in GTK+. My proposal is to use the first functionality with a native GTK+ theme, but having the possibility to let people change their GTK+ theme (to a native one or to the KDE one. This functionality is not present in Mandriva now, and people miss it.

    About the second feature, some people keep saying it is flawed, however, I have never seen a screenshot or read about a reproducible test case proving that there is something wrong with it. At my work’s secretary, three people are using the gtk-qt-engine all day long, now for more than three months. Never ever has there been any complaint or problem which was caused by gtk-qt-engine.

    What does count is whether it works. That some purists think it is a bad concept, does not matter for me and certainly not for normal users who do not even know the difference between QT and GTK+ at all.

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