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Razor-Qt: A New Qt-Based Desktop Environment

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  • #31
    Promising for DIY Chromebook

    I am a KDE user who happens to love Plasma, but who is really unhappy with the performance of several KDE components, such as KDEPIM in general, KMail2 in particular, and this is in no small part because of akonadi and nepomuk

    Everyone at home uses Kubuntu, but as a light desktop: email is Gmail web-app inside Firefox or Chrome. Most of the time is spent in browsers, and occasionally LibreOffice, which can be also done in a browser.

    So, short of KDE spanning a Light version of Plasma without any ties to all these other components, I need an alternative.

    I put Razor-qt to test in my netbook. This is the setup:

    * KDM set up to autologin
    * KMix in Autostart
    * nm-applet (gnome's) in Autostart
    * google-chrome also in Autostart

    This is a nice set up. This underpowered Mini dropped bootup time to a full desktop from 36 to 15 sec. In extra 5 seconds I have Google Chrome up. A couple things are still off:

    * synaptic won't run from the menu (something with kdesudo or the gnome equivalent I guess)
    * mimetypes are off, and not configurable.
    * I still couldn't configure the wifi connection to work without me providing the keyring passwd (same happens in KDE FWIW, with the Wallet).

    Overall, this is great. It tells me that by the end of 2012, someone could put together a great light distro mixing and matching lightdm-qt, razor-qt, and some KDE. Cheers!

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    • #32
      Originally posted by mendieta View Post
      So, short of KDE spanning a Light version of Plasma without any ties to all these other components, I need an alternative.
      Plasma is window manager independent and definetly doesn't require Akonadi or Nepomuk to run. Almost all KDE daemons can be turned off and krunners and plasmoids removed. I have seen setups with complete Plasma desktop using about 160Mt of RAM with many services running in backround. I wouldn't be suprised if the difference between Razor-Qt and minimal Plasma desktop would fall to few megabytes. Plasma desktop as in itself isn't heavy at all.

      One of Plasma Active's goals:
      The ultimate goal is to bring a fully functioning and smooth Plasma Active experience to devices with as little as 256MB of RAM and sub-1GHz processors. Plasma Active Two represents a significant step in that direction. Early feedback from testers during development of Plasma Active Two has indicated that the improvements are noticeable. Developers will continue to focus on this goal in upcoming releases.
      And that includes a lot more than just the shell (Nepomuk and Akonadi for one).

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by markg85 View Post
        Running razer-qt now and well.. it works, that's for sure.
        There are theme issues like some apps get the native Qt theme from KDE and some others get the Qt one that you see if you have absolutely no theme at all (like the razer config window). That same window isn't even honoring it's own setting of single click actions.
        You may use qtconfig, gtk-chtheme and the Openbox settings.
        I did so (setting GUI Style in qtconfig to Gtk+) and everything looks great now.

        Screenshot: http://data7.blog.de/media/472/6086472_85e9b172ea_o.png

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Teho View Post
          Plasma is window manager independent and definetly doesn't require Akonadi or Nepomuk to run. Almost all KDE daemons can be turned off and krunners and plasmoids removed. I have seen setups with complete Plasma desktop using about 160Mt of RAM with many services running in backround. I wouldn't be suprised if the difference between Razor-Qt and minimal Plasma desktop would fall to few megabytes. Plasma desktop as in itself isn't heavy at all.

          One of Plasma Active's goals:
          And that includes a lot more than just the shell (Nepomuk and Akonadi for one).
          Spot on. On my netbook, I actually am running KDE, in a minimal install with no KDEPIM, no Nepomuk, etc. It did take a lot of work to trim the fat. And, still, my bootup time is 36 sec to a full desktop (autologin) and the launch of a Konsole instance (I time that with a script). With razor, it is 15 sec. I also added a google-chrome launch to autologin (about 5 extra sec). So, he comparison is 20 sec against 40 secs to a full usable chrome from cold boot. I also added Plasma Active from a PPA; so far no luck (doesn't seem faster), but that’s promising.

          I also installed razor-qt on my 3 core Phenom desktop. It logs in instantly (literally), in contrast to the few (10?) seconds it takes to log into KDE.

          I am with you, I have a strong hunch that if someone really decoupled the basic plasma components in a practical way for the user, it would be very fast and low resource. But this should be a simple check for a “Minimal KDE” in the System Settings, and also easy to pick up for a distro, so light KDE distros are a no brainer. I have a sad feeling that KDE, being built on awesome libs and a fantastic toolset, is too focused on very cool stuff that breaks on every major release (kmail2) and uses lots of resources with no obvious benefits (akonadi, nepomuk) in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the world is moving mobile, lighter, thinner, and cloud facing.

          In other words, we’ll have a Windows 7 replacement by the time Apple and MS moved to what Google did 2 years ago with Android and now with Chromebook. Hope we see the elephant in the room before we get smashed.

          Cheers!

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by mendieta View Post
            Spot on. On my netbook, I actually am running KDE, in a minimal install with no KDEPIM, no Nepomuk, etc. It did take a lot of work to trim the fat. And, still, my bootup time is 36 sec to a full desktop (autologin) and the launch of a Konsole instance (I time that with a script). With razor, it is 15 sec. I also added a google-chrome launch to autologin (about 5 extra sec). So, he comparison is 20 sec against 40 secs to a full usable chrome from cold boot. I also added Plasma Active from a PPA; so far no luck (doesn't seem faster), but that’s promising.

            I also installed razor-qt on my 3 core Phenom desktop. It logs in instantly (literally), in contrast to the few (10?) seconds it takes to log into KDE.

            I am with you, I have a strong hunch that if someone really decoupled the basic plasma components in a practical way for the user, it would be very fast and low resource. But this should be a simple check for a “Minimal KDE” in the System Settings, and also easy to pick up for a distro, so light KDE distros are a no brainer. I have a sad feeling that KDE, being built on awesome libs and a fantastic toolset, is too focused on very cool stuff that breaks on every major release (kmail2) and uses lots of resources with no obvious benefits (akonadi, nepomuk) in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the world is moving mobile, lighter, thinner, and cloud facing.

            In other words, we’ll have a Windows 7 replacement by the time Apple and MS moved to what Google did 2 years ago with Android and now with Chromebook. Hope we see the elephant in the room before we get smashed.

            Cheers!
            Nice...definitely would love this myself as Razor-Qt can have a KDE personality that's quite close to the real deal yet less resources used. This DE should be more like a mouse rather than an elephant

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by mendieta View Post
              I have a sad feeling that KDE, being built on awesome libs and a fantastic toolset, is too focused on very cool stuff that breaks on every major release (kmail2) and uses lots of resources with no obvious benefits (akonadi, nepomuk) in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the world is moving mobile, lighter, thinner, and cloud facing.
              Akonadi and Nepomuk really do not use lot of resources either. Nepomuk is integral part of Plasma Active as it's one of the pilars of Contour user interface and that doesn't make it heavy. Akonadi's memory usage scales depending on how much there's avaible and it is lightweight when needed. There's already a functional mobile version of Kontact that uses Akonadi. One must take in account that webmails like Gmail aren't exactly lightweight either as they can use more than 100MB of memory; that's easily more than lightweight Akonadi setup. KMail2 was a huge rewrite and might take sometime to stabilize but when it gets there we have truly modern email client that runs just about everywhere. Akonadi is something that benefits developers the most as it makes thing more easily maintained, helps unify the stack and reduce duplication in applications. When feature is implemented in Akonadi it's avaible for all applications that use it for free; It also makes sharing data between different components easy. Of course that pays back to users too.

              Akonadi and Nepomuk are technologies of the future as they can fetch information from many sources like clouds. Akonadi resources can collect information from possibily hunders of different sources like emails, calendars, notes, clouds etc. and make it seamlessy avaible for the user. Nepomuk then again can for example auto-tag files based on information collected from the web (not used yet though). Nepomuk is very versatile technology and will be used just about everywhere in KDE in the future (yes again). It also helps unify things as it can be used as central databse for all kinds of information and to share it between different applications. It's true that we haven't really seen the fruits of these technologies yet (Kontact 2 was released 4 months ago...) but developers simply have to start from somewhere.

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              • #37
                There's definitely room for a Qt-based light old-fashioned DE (or just a WM?) that does not need and use the KDE technologies like akonadi and stuff. But still looks KDE-ish.

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                • #38
                  Teho,

                  I understand where you're coming from but, on my desktop, as soon as I start kmail my memory is quickly consumed. Whereas I can have Chrome, Evolution, and Liferea open at once and still have 422MiB free (911MiB if you include caches & buffers) and 149MiB swapped, with just kmail and Chrome open the desktop slows to a crawl due to swapping (Edit: memory usage more or less doubles: 72MiB free, 477MiB if you include caches & buffers). I had the same Gmail account in both kmail and evolution, with near 26k messages. Evolution uses only 110m res, 20m shr (according to top), just for reference. Memory is spread between several processes when using kmail; it was pretty reasonable at 191m res, 31m shr, but virtual memory was almost double, at over 2000m (what does that mean, what is virtual memory?).

                  When I can open kmail and get similar memory usage, I'll probably switch back from evolution and liferea. But right now, it's just not reasonable.
                  Last edited by Nobu; 12-23-2011, 12:48 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Nobu View Post
                    When I can open kmail and get similar memory usage, I'll probably switch back from evolution and liferea. But right now, it's just not reasonable.
                    The idea was to clarify if just a bit why Nepomuk&Akonadi is the way to go and by no means to undermine the fact that KMail2 is quite broken. It seems that if there's a lot of memory avaible Akonadi will use it to cache stuff that's not really needed. That kinda messes up the linux memory management and makes little to no sense.

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                    • #40
                      Sure, just thought I'd expound on the problem a bit. See my previous post about (kmail) memory usage (in bold, and a bit more at the end of the paragraph).

                      Edit: In my last post, where I said "it was reasonable" I was referring to kmail's own memory usage, not all of the processes.
                      Last edited by Nobu; 12-23-2011, 12:54 AM.

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                      • #41
                        razor-desktop = 25,7 MB
                        razor-panel = 17,7 MB
                        razor Runner = 9,9 MB
                        razor-session = 3,5 MB

                        Total = 56,8 ≃ 100 MB less than a striped plasma.

                        Can be better, i guess.

                        The plasma itself is a simple hood, and 160 MB is a lot ofr this.

                        I still using kwin. Is the best WM ever (and take 65 MB os RAM) And i like nepomuk. Is the lightweit dektop indexes. Searching how start nepomuk without kde.

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                        • #42
                          @ Nobu,

                          Out of curiosity, which distro are you using?

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by cochise View Post
                            razor-desktop = 25,7 MB
                            razor-panel = 17,7 MB
                            razor Runner = 9,9 MB
                            razor-session = 3,5 MB

                            Total = 56,8 ≃ 100 MB less than a striped plasma.

                            Can be better, i guess.

                            The plasma itself is a simple hood, and 160 MB is a lot ofr this.

                            I still using kwin. Is the best WM ever (and take 65 MB os RAM) And i like nepomuk. Is the lightweit dektop indexes. Searching how start nepomuk without kde.
                            Those numbers are huge. Plasma takes about 60MB in my 64bit Kubuntu and kwin takes about 30MB. You're probably hitting some memory leaks. Binary blobs, maybe?

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by cochise View Post
                              Total = 56,8 ≃ 100 MB less than a striped plasma.
                              I mean the entire system with 160Mt (Linux, window manager, system services etc. etc. etc.)...

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Fedora 16, 64-bit.

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