About: upgrading from 11.1 KDE3.5 to 11.2 KDE 4.3.5 (a not so serious review of experience)

Well, everybody was in my ears to "update because the KDE 3.5 version does not get support anymore. So functionality will suffer etc.

Well, I have a clone of my notebook install of 11.1 on a spare disk, so, why not having a try, now that 11.2 had time enough to mature. The version is the 11.2 64 bit.
This is not intend to be a rant. But a view on how I lived this update trial (which at the end, if you do not want to loose your time with a thread meant to correct the usual publication bias, (“all is so beautiful”) came out with the though:
wait, looks good but seems still far from ready yet.

First of all: substantially the upgrade runs smooth if you use the personalized option for the partitioning (I am using a non LVM encrypted home partition with LUKS). It was easy to set up but the first thing you note is a quite annoying error message about encryption hardware not present…(that was there in 11.1 too but now it gets an even more “dramatic chipmunk” message. Why this has to appear every time, I do not know, but still it works.

The surprise comes first when your system is installed. None of the previous version settings is overtaken, everything is lost / has to be set up again by hand. A clear lack of user friendliness but after all we are “tough guys” so we will stop moaning. However, after all this eye candy, “future technology base” discussion, efficient desktop etc., the little “worm of doubt” is having a snack on my brain. How many of the old user base you are going to loose because people are deceived of not finding an easy migrating mechanism from old to new. OS/2 comes into my mind. The test version did not allow to take over the personalizations…and user did not shift.

The desktop seems (up to now) surprisingly stable. The new method of changing package providers in yast is quite easy, works well and is intuitive. I nearly had no conflicts at all of dependencies.

There are however several regressions. The Intel wireless card first did not work. Then it did. I have yet not understood why.And it does not allow apparently to detect networks present in the surroundings…
Then: Yast is in its new outfit … sorry but it is a disaster.
It is a confusing mess with symbols cluttered all over and even if one would have liked to recall the “web howto feeling” of long documents that permit to jump directly to the respective link…still it is not working for the last 5 voices and in all cases it is very unpleasant to use and to look at.
I will now search whether it is possible to rescue my mails and my provider settings from the 3.5 install to the new one. If not I will wait far over December and 11.3 to do the change. Too much work, too little advantage up to now and too many drawbacks. But stability, this is an important aspect, does not seem to be an issue any more, I have up to now no issues at all.
I will go on testing for one or two days before shifting back.

Btw, are the passwords of the old wallet recoverable or even this is not possible? In this case I will have to copy by hand an enormous amount of passwords gathered, transcribe them by hand and then put them in again…that would be also a major drawback to. Or can I import a kind of wallet3 file?

Applications: still quite some missing I would say (knights is now there but still not as feature complete as the version of 3 (and these are many months now…).

I cannot say that the desktop is better or worse because I have to relearn everything. From the aspect it looks nicer although also there I have what I feel a regression from choice I had in KDE3. I cannot choose a different pic for every desktop??? (at least I still did not find how to activate this choice). All in all, at least as first look, I do not find these new dialogs so intuitive. They may well be there…but I still do not find them.

Well, if you have tips to share about how you solved some of the issues drop them. This wants only to be a description of the opportunity cost a user is running into when he is changing version. Because it is mostly this cost that is IMHO much higher than it should be.

It’s a rant.

Soap box or chit chat ?? hmmm …

When I moved my main desktop from KDE-3.5 to KDE-4.3.1 I backed up my entire /home, and then reformatted my / and /home, and instaled 11.2 KDE-4.3.1 and restored selected directories from my /home.

No dramas. Later I updated it to KDE-4.3.4 and then to 4.3.5 when the official update came.

KDE4 worked so well, I also moved all of our home PCs from KDE-3.5 to 4.3.1 (and then to 4.3.5). This includes our old Fujtisu-Siemens Amilo 7400M laptop on which we updated its openSUSE-11.1 from KDE-4.1.3 to KDE-4.3.4 and then to 4.3.5. … its still nicely running openSUSE-11.1 with KDE-4.3.5. … And yes wireless works on this laptop under KDE4 :slight_smile: My wife (a winXP fan) was playing with KDE4 last night, and she had a blast.

YaST ? YaST has not changed much from before. It still good. Still easy to find things. And it looks very similar.

Wireless user friendliness still needs work in KDE4, but gradual progress is being made.

There are still functions/applications that worked better in KDE3 than in KDE4. And there are functions that actually work in KDE4 and simply never worked in KDE3

Now if one wants a fast clean desktop - check out LXDE :slight_smile: >:)

Activities. One activity per desktop. Google (or search this forum) for these terms.

It is not a rant (and if you read it without prejudice you acknowledge it). It is not even about fast (for what I see on my notebook the KDE4 desktop performs on a Core2Duo faster then 3.5 in most of the tasks. Nor does the KDE desktop seems to ask for more resources…
What is the biggest issue (of this fake trial install with older data) is that I am loosing a whole lot of valuable data and that came to my surprise. I managed to copy the old KDE3 folder with mails and settings to the new KDE4. Apparently this did not hurt functionality of the desktop. But I ran into various issues:
For example I was using knotes extensively. Now the notes are all there but when I delete one of them Kontakt goes reproducibly into crash. Maybe I should search if this is a bug, But then, would this be really to be called “a bug”? It comes surely from mixing two things by copy and paste. But shouldn’t data be preserved in an update?.
I find that the data saved in Kwallet3 has not been transferred. I will pass my time to read through fora and googling to find out things that IMHO were perfectly foreseeable. Furthermore the settings of kmail accounts are gone…but only the ones for sending via smtp, not to receive via pop. Erratic, you never know what may have been lost.

I wonder if a more automated migration is possible or if there is a page with tips and tricks how to make you data survive. If this would be my productive machine I would be in trouble (of course I have a backup but still…).
The rest is (a part of the erratic network manager behavior) quite fun. And honestly very fast, much faster than KDE3.5.
So impression is mixed, better than I thought, but worse as expected when it comes to your personal data.

Thank you, reading through it now. Valuable suggestion.

I think a fundamental aspect that you wanted is not there.

KDE4 is not a simple upgrade from KDE3. Rather its a brand new desktop by the KDE team. Hence you will find the data inside apps such as Kwallet3 will not all be migrated. This is part of what goes with such a massive move.

Going from KDE-3.4 to 3.5 is an update. Going from KDE3 to KDE4 is not.

Now its likely the KDE team tried to make some of the migration possible, but all was not possible.

Its a basic philosophical expectation that you want (and that others wanted who were not happy with KDE4), that was not mostly implemented. Again, its NEW desktop. Its NOT an “update” from KDE-3.5.x to KDE-3.6.x.

If it crashes, its a bug. It does not matter if you are adding 1+1 or 2+2. It should not crash. If you do not think it a bug, then just what DO you think it is? There is guidance here for writing bug reports: Submitting Bug Reports - openSUSE You can use your user name to login to bugzilla and use your forum password.

Again, its not an update of KDE-3.5. to 3.6. Its a new desktop with NEW applications. The names may be the same, but they are NEW.

Unfortunately I don’t think there is. Simply do appropriate backups and appropriate print outs before hand. The sort of things (I hope) you always do when you are doing a new install.

I liked KDE3. KDE3 for me did (and still does) some things better than KDE4. But I also note KDE4 does some things better than KDE3. For the functionality that I need, in business meetings with my laptop, KDE4 is significantly superior to KDE3 and I would not be able to go back to KDE3 with that laptop. (My home desktops is another story in terms of what I could use).

Welcome to KDE4, and I hope things go smoother with time.

Why would you expect to migrate between major version changes i.e. KDE3 to KDE4, by just copying hidden data and configuration files? :\

Experience over many years with different operating systems and applications tells me that new versions often come with either completely new file formats (e.g. MS office) or heavily modified ones. If not a total failure, using old file formats may subsequently lead to serious operational problems.

Don’t expect KDE as a whole to manage your migration for you, I didn’t. However, individual KDE applications may provide good migration facilities through an export/import facility and/or the ability to save to different formats that are based on universal standards. That is certainly possible for some of the Kontact applications. In some cases I copied configuration data (e.g. email accounts ) to simple text files, so I could cut & paste into the new configuration dialogues (avoiding the need to print and make mistakes on re-entry).

Version migration needs some thought, research, and planning beforehand on an application by application basis. There is rarely a big-bang approach that works for all, in my experience. :slight_smile:


Why would you expect to migrate between major version changes i.e. KDE3 to KDE4, by just copying hidden data and configuration files?

Ehem, :shame: because I am working my “a…” off in this period and I have not even the time to breath. For me that was a trial whether migration was possible in short time delay. Although the overall system is better then what I am using up to now, if I have to migrate so prudentially (yes, I know, all what you both (oldcpu and you) said is right, but still I hoped for a better migration path). I know it is more then just a subversion update but still you would have expected some upgrade path for important personal data like email.

Experience over many years with different operating systems and applications tells me that new versions often come with either completely new file formats (e.g. MS office) or heavily modified ones. If not a total failure, using old file formats may subsequently lead to serious operational problems.

Here I do not agree. These problems of file versions (especially of Win but also Mac) are mainly for commercial purposes, very rarely for necessity. Since OpenOffice and other office producers where able to convert well MS-Office doc files…well we change and then we do even a pseudo ISO standard through unacceptable methods. So since KDE is a project that should not have this intention, I think it was simply not done because they …forgot about it? I am rather confident that this was the main reason for the trouble to shift, no work was invested on that (probably for lack of resources or because simply they had other problems in their mind as really important for the project).

**@Oldcpu: **
Sorry but I still will not be in the KDE4 boat. If I could I would update right now but unfortunately I couldn’t. I told in the thread that this was just a clone of the original on a spare disk to see how the update would go. Nice but I will not have the time frame to go through it (although I am now much more confident for the future). One issue is and will be however kmail.
You see I was able to save my mail data by copying it over and I think this is viable. But what happens if then everything will be managed by Akonadi-framework? This is a major headache that I will have to resolve before Xmas (when I will finally have the time to shift system. (Yes seems weired but I have nearly no time at all for myself these days. You just pray system will survive well, you cannot afford doing big installs.
Ps. there is another phenomenon, maybe you know something about. I am on an Intel graphics card driven system (a 945GM chip-set). When you go into full-screen mode in Firefox and right-click on any text of the web page, you get a black screen for half a second (reproducible 100%). Maybe that is due to limitations in X? It is not a problem for me just a curiosity.

At the end since this is not a rant: there is one thing I am really going to miss, that is the sexy dark boot screen of 11.2. What a nice artwork, if I could stay on it right now I would be able to spare my time and would not personalize for one time the boot flash. Too nice. :stuck_out_tongue:

I confess I made a decision a long time ago NOT to use the mail program specific to a given desktop. I wanted more flexibility. I did NOT want to risk being tied into one desktop. Instead I used Evolution for the longest time, and then eventually I moved to Thunderbird. I really like Thunderbird and I would not dream of moving to another mail program.

I sympathisize with your kmail concerns, but its not something that I ever would encounter. Maybe now is a good time to consider an email program migration as well.

At least it works in 11.2. I have encountered a couple of PCs where no current distribution works with Intel graphics. Intel have made some major efforts being made to improve their Linux graphics driver, but sadly in the process, for some older hardware Intel graphics have taken a major step back. I’m hopeful that eventually this will be sorted, but I’m not holding my breath.

Well this makes me smile. With 9.0, 9.1 and up to 9.2 I used evolution in KDE. At the beginning it was nice, much more usable than Kmail, but then quality dropped dramatic and I lost nearly all of my email because at the time thunderbird was not able to import evolution mail. Nor was Kmail for what I recall. Currently the recent thunderbird update does not appear to be a success. And I really doubt evolution is an alternative. Now…kmail kde3.5 works perfectly up to now…:open_mouth: and even KDE4 does…but I just do not want to be a “lab rat” for the new architecture. Another argument to sit it out even longer…

Now this makes me cry bitter tears. Seams to be MS policy. We force older hardware out of Linux through drivers…sell, sell, sell. Now KDE3.5 in 11.1 (and all previous versions) work perfectly with Intel graphic cards…no comment. Either I get rich and buy…what then? ATI??? (wow) Intel? or maybe the toaster: a new Nvidia graphics card (with the watt it will eat I can heat my home (or fry my b…) right away, since it will be a notebook. rotfl!

I have the feeling that I will begin to “homecare” a totally outdated KDE3.5 in the end even in spring 2011. I did not think I would get so nostalgic…:cry: SIC!!!

And instead having tried at last the update on 4.4.2…I have to say that there is hope to get to a working system in December. At the end I was probably right that only 4.5 will be like 3.5. Still, (to your delight) kmail was migrated flawlessly to Aknonady and also there is still a bug with dbus registration…I am confident it will be ok end of the year. See you then oldcpu.