Monday, June 16, 2008

How to create desktop icons in KDE4

If you happened to have read the update on my previous blog, I was contacted by KDE4 developer Aaron J. Seigo. Frankly, he was not very happy with my blog, calling it a bunch of FUD. Well, I'm not in the habit of spreading FUD, I told him, so if my information is incorrect, prove your point and I will rectify it. He told me he would get back to me by Monday and he did.

You can view the screencast he has made available and judge for yourself whether you need to be a rocket scientist or not (as some people have claimed) to get your "Old Skool" desktop back when working with KDE4.

Personally, I'm happy with his clear explanation for now - although it has debunked my previous blog for the most part ;-) If you tend to disagree, comments are always welcome.


Anonymous said...

Aaron shouldn't have had to go out of his way prove it to you, if your going to blog about KDE4 its your responsibility to be accurate.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... So, now I have to wait until 4.2 for a usuable version.

Anonymous said...

It's a stupid decission of KDE to not have this stuff sorted out for kde 4.0 Now they can't even get it sorted out for 4.1 so will put it in 4.2 -_-'

Don't get me wrong, i'm a kde fan and i dislike gnome (my current desktop) but kde 4 (and the 4.1 i tried) just don't feel right to me.. a mix between gnome and kde would be best i suppose..

I don't mind kde taking the time to develop all those neat looking features but to me it deffinately looks like kde 4.2 is gonna be what kde 4.0 was supposed to be. (so they released a good year to early). I was having high hopes of 4.0 before it was released but now i find myself using gnome <_<

Anonymous said...

The video says it is no longer available ....

Anonymous said...

KDE 4.1 went through a lengthy pre-design process of soliciting user input. When people show up ages after the consensus design has been established, often without a real point, especially when a lot of these "critics" have never actually run the code, perhaps you can see the reason for sensitivity on the part of the developers.

It has reached the point where people are becoming suspicious about it. The most vitriolic criticism looks manufactured, it looks like Microsoft astroturfers, a rent-a-crowd.

Saist said...

Wanted to point out that the Anonymous poster of June 17, 2008 10:53 PM seems to have mis-understood what the 4.0 release marker was. Perhaps readers would be best served reading this post on MepisLovers.


There needs to be a technical qualification here. KDE 4.0 is the final library and Application Program Interface implementation. KDE4, as a Desktop Enviroment, is not final.

Basically the 4.0.0 release was a terminator mark of where development on the underlying libraries that make up the KDE desktop were finalized.

Typical in all other programs from FireFox to OpenOffice to (insert your favorite program here), work on the application itself can-not be completed unless the underlying libraries and Application Program Interfaces are complete.


I hope that explains some of the un-reasonable expectations some people have over the KDE 4.x releases. Many people seem to have been looking for a finalized, fully functional, complete version of a Desktop Enviroment... but that is not what KDE 4.0 is / was.

Anonymous said...

Been running OpenSuse 11 since it was released and I still can't figure out how to add an icon to my desktop.
I don't care what the developer says, it certainly isn't as user friendly, the icons that are imported have huge gray shadows around them and I haven't figured out how to turn those off, either.
I'd RTFM but I can't find that either.

Anonymous said...

To get rid of the grey shadow around the icons you just need to right-click on the Desktop and then Lock Widgets.

Dmytry said...

I say the mere fact that developer makes a video tutorial to show users how to do something as simple as create desktop icons, the mere fact of existence of such tutorial, undeniably proves that design is inherently flawed and desktop / icons making functionality is near hundred percent unusable.
Something usable, like "right click"-->"add shortcut" needs no video tutorials.

yjcarl87 said...

I strongly agree with dmytry. A while back I contacted the developers with some helpful feedback, and some insight. Although they contacted me back, instead of embracing user input, they just defended as if they were completely insulted. I've written code for years and I can understand how frustrating it can be when things aren't going my way. But the one thing I learned was the best way to make an excellent program was to listen to user feedback! To me it seems the KDE team just seems to take the stand that "its fine, its a great desktop, just get used to it and get over it," and to me thats just not acceptable in the open source world. I'm always happy when someone tells me that "it may be more useful when you..." it makes me want to perfect things! If it takes an instructional video to demonstrate something as commonplace as creating a desktop icon, then your UI has issues. Here's a novel idea: take the constructive criticism and use your time to cater your desktop to the very group that is supporting your cause! A good desktop environment is crucial to users who are looking to switch from Windows to Linux, and if you have something suave AND easy to use - well then you have done an awesome job!

I like KDE 4.x so far, keep up the good work (just don't forget who you are doing this for).

Anonymous said...

I switched a few weeks ago to kde4 (from kde3). My short experience so far:

- I didn't like the new menu (requires too many clicks/scrolling), but you can go back to the old style, so it is ok

- After a while I really like the way how to access plugged devices (external disks etc). The access via the panel is really handy.

- I don't know how to create a desktop icon (that's how I found this page). This is really annoying.

Anonymous said...

I agree Aaron shouldn't have had to take the extra time to explain should have been simple and need no explanation in the first place.

Jasim Basheer said...

I just played around with the KDE desktop a little more, and boy, it is superb!

We can have multiple 'conventional' desktops by adding the 'Folder View' widget inside the Default desktop. It is a great concept, and far ahead of many other desktops. Besides KDE 4 is way much faster than Gnome on my PC (maybe because I tested Gnome using Ubuntu, but KDE with Archlinux).

I think the confusion to normal users like me could have been avoided by a 'Here is something exciting with KDE4's desktop' kind of information box when loading the new desktop for the first time.. I tried searching in the KDE help with 'Create shortcut' and got pretty much nothing. So it has been more about informing the users. KDE4 has done a wonderful job with the desktop, and just a minor flaw was in not taking an extra effort in informing the users.

Anonymous said...

For those using Windows Vista, changing most icons is as simple as going to change icon under properties. To use your own images all I had to do was open with MSPaint, and save the image as a BMP. Then when I go to change Icon, change the search to all files, and then select the new BMP file and it worked on all my new icons.

coastdownhills said...

Say What? After viewing the above video I still don't know how to create an icon for KDE4. Or import one for that matter.
I'm no programmer but am also no dummie. I do set up computers for less tech savvy users and use Linux (specifically PCLOS) when possible as it tends to break less than Windows. And it's free and usually upgradable. These folks like their links on the desktop and consistent. So I upgrade my first one to KDE 4 and now I can't figure out how to put a Netflix link on the desktop with the Netflix logo. It ought to be easy. Sometimes I wonder if the developers ever try this stuff out on the average Fred.
Of course, this is not limited to KDE, Linux, or even computers. I reserve my most acrid vitriol for Garmin and Motorola.

zaine_ridling said...

Came across this post in a Google search. Just in case anyone else finds it, when you select 'Properties' for an icon, you then click the actual icon on the GENERAL tab and select the corresponding application icon image.

No, this doesn't tell you how to create a shortcut, but I got tired of see those ugly blank page icons for a few apps in my desktop folder. The KDE folks really need to make their hints more obvious!

milasch said...

Kde4.3 is awesome, the folder view widget is even more awesome. I can't wait until Feb 9 comes and I can finally take a look at Kde4.4.

Anonymous said...

KDE4 is really not nice. I prefer a simple straight forward GUI and KDE4 is not that. Adding gizmo's and gadgets or what ever.

If I cant get KDE3 for my the latest Kubuntu release, I will have to revert back to Hardy or even move to Ubuntu.

I don't want to be having to configure this and that, to get the basic functionality back.

Not nice!

!!VISHAL!! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

KDE is awesome..
another way to do this is by right clicking on the desktop folder and selecting 'add link to application'
complete guide to do this can be found at..