Fight for the Internet 1!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fedora Upgrade from 21 to 22 Experience

Fedora 22 is without a doubt the most broken KDE has been in literal years.

So this is a long somewhat ranting list about problems I had with Fedora 22. I don't want readers to mistake my opinion on Fedora, Linux, and KDE in general. I love Linux. It makes me happy to use it, and I have trouble imagining my Linux experience without KDE. Lastly Fedora 21 has treated me very very nicely, and I'm sticking with Fedora and KDE even through this.

The breakage is to be expected somewhat, with all their huge move to KDE5 apps. But the amount of breakage across so many apps is horrible. I wouldn't let this thing out of ALPHA testing at this point, some of these bugs are very bad for users.

I feel I should restate though that I really love KDE as a whole and I'm sure they will iron out most of their problems. (Though they SERIOUSLY need to give Gwenview some love. It's been neglected for years....)

The Good
The default color scene is better, the default window decorations are better as well. They are still a little avant-garde for my tastes, but not bad.

Only... it's horrible broken. So while it looks nice it functionally fails thoroughly. Read on.

The Not So Bad
It's been weeks, possibly months and several major bugs haven't been fixed. Also I keep finding new ones.

I think my favorite non-rage inducing bug is when I had two VLC windows open. One was open, paused mid-video and minimized. I was watching another video, and somehow, when my instant messenger beeped me (Skype, which is itself its own massive shit pile when it comes to Linux sound integration), my OTHER minimized VLC window suddenly started playing again! ... What?

The Bad
The new version of Klipper for KDE unfortunately VERY unstable. Using it for much of anything locks up the Plasma Shell and causes a runaway memory leak. Thank God I memorized the unattended reboot command for KDE. It is also missing some important features. One of them being Pasting as Plain Text. Two, being able to TURN IT OFF if you want. Three, USING AN ALTERNATIVE CLIPBOARD MANAGER. I'm sure some of these will be eventually address. Another problem with the user interface is that the preview area of the text snippets is notably smaller than the previous version.

KDE-Telepathy popped up and would not go away. I could only hide it but not quit the program. Eventually I had to find the package name and uninstall it to stop the app from autostarting.

Which is another thing, how to disable auto-loading of some services like Telepathy is not obvious.

Shutting down occasionally my laptop takes a LOOOOONG time. Almost a full minute before it actually kicks off. Update: This appears to be have been mitigated after a recent update.

Wine Systemtray icons aren't working properly, but I remember the KDE system tray got a big overhaul lately. Wonderful, and by that I mean totally not. (Not KDE's fault, but still annoying.)

Gwenview Zooming: Even after all these years, those ugly artifacts with Gwenview zoom-in / zoom-out still remain. This program needs some serious love.

The Worse
All my KDE session data was completely lost. The dozens of Gwenview windows I had open were gone. All my Konquorer windows and tabs were gone. All my Kate sessions were gone. This is really something special because I had backed up my session data to file folders as well.

Konsole lost EVERYTHING! All my konsole settings, which have worked for half a decade, failed to be imported. There was a serious bug with never removing the window frame as well. Update 1: Good news is the location for the konsole settings was moved, and all that was required was moving my config files to there. Annoying but fixable. Update 2: The window frame bug has to do with the management themes... which isn't user error because these were the default chosen themes and default packaged themes. But if you find the right combination the problem won't appear.

Window Management Bugs: There are several small bugs that keep popping up. The desktop slideshow wallpapers layer over each other as they change. Shading a window still leaves the window-border. Update 1: The window frame bug has to do with the management themes... which isn't user error because these were the default chosen themes and default packaged themes. But if you find the right combination the problem won't appear.

Good news: Turns out the problem was a bug in one of the default Application appearance themes. Under Application Style -> Window Decorations, pick something other than Plastik.

KDE Keyboard configurations were completely fucked, no matter if I exported from a working prior version and reinstalled. Nothing worked. I had to manually redo every single damn thing. Also many previously working global hotkeys were missing, but I attribute that to applications themselves (probably). Days later, the Global Keyboard shortcuts area is still fairly buggy. If you try to export all your keyboard settings (and why isn't there a Select-All options? SERIOUSLY!!?), but don't save, and try to export again, the System-Settings locks up.

The desktop wallpapers fail to clean themselves up as they slideshow through. Small annoyance but very ugly. At least it will probably be an easy fix for some developer.

Color schemes are somehow broken for Firefox and for Konqueror, pretty badly. I cannot see many icons and I wouldn't know they were present if I hadn't already known. They are basically invisible.

Firefox HTML5 Video / WebM Support: For whatever reason about half the videos on Firefox 38 on Fedora 22 will not work at all.

Shutting Down: Impossible sometimes. This seems to be a KDE5 bug, but basically there are rare cases where trying to trigger a shutdown/restart sequence through the KDE menus fails completely. (Sometimes it causes Plasma to crash and sometimes not.) The only option is to invoke the system command to shutdown. There used to be a KDE specific command you could throw from commandline to do it, back in KDE3. I've never found KDE4's version (and I've looked several times), nor heard of one.

The Terrible
Removing features, that really weren't an improvement: KDE removed some hotkeys to switch to the next desktop wallpaper. I wouldn't even call them hotkeys, but more like assisted underlined letters in mouse-menu commands. I cannot for the love of God fathom why these were removed. I should put in a feature request to get them restored.

Widgets: The Motif of new KDE in Fedora (or maybe it's new KDE and not Fedora's doing?) is TOO artsy, because many times I am not aware "hey, that widget is actually a button!" or "hey, there's an expand-folder arrow there!" because the style blends too much together. Sometimes it is completely invisible. This has happened about five times now, and it's not going to get any better without some change. This is a major major design flaw. I'm not sure if it is due to my color scheme not meshing well, but that's something that should have been accounted for, since I chose one of the built-in color schemes that are standard packaged with KDE.

Good news: You can fix this by going to system-settings -> Application Styles -> Widget styles -> Select something different than Breeze, as that is the source of the problem.

File-Saving / File-Picker Dialogues: The name field for saving filenames in QT applications seems to be trying to help, but is in fact really hindering.
For example, say you had a prior file like this name:
"kde4 shortcut keys layout all 2015-05-28 (Fedora 22 KDE 4.14.8)" and you wanted to edit the date for a new save file. You select it and start editing the numbers. QT/KDE auto-highlight everything else after your cursor, and any further keypresses will erase it. Worse, CTRL+Z does not bring it back. So it effectively destroys an important time saving feature of reusing text input. This is just awful and I swear to god if it is not a bug, someone needs to go back to school on interface design.

Randomly missing Keystrokes: The application Kate/Kwrite suddenly forgo 95% of all my keystrokes, even CTRL+V. KDE's Run command doesn't respond to the up-arrow for recalling previous entries.

The Absolute Worst of All --> GTK3 or the Gnome Developers

I hate to sound like a ranting lunatic but GTK3's default settings are, without a doubt, the biggest FUCK-YOU to its users I have ever seen. They would make Microsoft proud. And no, I'm not exaggerating here.

Long story short, Mnemonics are gone and many of the shortcut keys have been removed, so not only are they hidden some won't work. Lastly key-stroke accelatores are gone permanently. I would personally slap the developer(s) who thought removing keystroke accelators was a good idea. That is fucking horrible. Horrible. Gnome developers, are you listening to us?!!!

Actually I know they won't hear me. I've tried talking to the Gnome developers about four times in the past, and it is like talking to a rude concrete wall. They don't want help and they don't care about community input or external developer code. They are, and I hate to say this, the Microsoft of the Linux community

Gnome and the GTK3 team are clearly invested in spreading decelerators. Yes, that is the correct word, and no, any Gnome devs who read this you can't deny it. You know this is true. You have slowed down the speed of use, the elegance of design, and the order of presentation. I think I'll have to use the word decelerators from now on when describing this problem. Perhaps vile decelerators.

The End

After letting that Fedora 22 installation operate on my Laptop, with various problems building and building (and never any fixes coming down the pipe), it has finally rotted until I can no longer stand it. I don't know what caused it, but this afternoon I woke it up from suspend, and the Wireless network stopped working. I rebooted it. It never came back and the widget was blank. I connected via wired input, but still nothing. I tried several commands to bring up the network, and it all died.

It may be premature to judge, since there is the remote possibility this problem is hardware related. But I'm more willing to bet somehow it is this botched upgrade. I'll be reinstalling Fedora tonight, and it won't be version 22, I can tell you. Thus ends the absolute worst instance of Linux I've ever run in my 12 plus years in the genuinely wonderful world of Open-Source. To anyone reading, this isn't normal. In fact it is very very rare, and I can only think of one or two other times tops, where this has happened.

Ironically, my experience was made all the more aggravating because of the coincidence of Gnome GTK3's fuckery with punching their users in the face with decelerators. You can endure a lot when your web-browser is okay, but when that's screwed, you really feel it.


  1. Well said... kde 5 broke everything, and the lack of the xembed in the system tray is the biggest fail. None of my apps will dock into the system tray (e.g.: pidgin, audacious, java apps like DavMail, etc.) I never realized how useful the system tray is until someone yanks it away from you.

    Further, it would be nice if they gave us a widget that sits next to the normal system tray, that would implement xembed for apps that haven't/aren't integrated with KDE Framework 5.

    kdeinit hangs when starting evolution, or crashing with "right-click title bar -> more actions -> special window settings"

    I would never have rolled this version of KDE out with Fedora 22.

  2. Webtrackker technology is the best IT training institute in NCR. Webtrackker provide training on all latest technology such as Linux training. Webtrackker is not only training institute but also it also provide best IT solution to his client. Webtrackker provide training by experienced and working in the industry on same technology.Webtrackker Technology C-67 Sector-63 Noida 8802820025

    linux Training Institute in indirapuram

    linux Training Institute in Noida

    linux Training Institute in Ghaziabad

    linux Training Institute in Vaishali

    linux Training Institute in Vasundhara