So, you have a new laptop computer. You install the latest and greatest Slackware Linux on it, and it naturally comes with a newer version of KDE than what's on your desktop machine. You open the "konsole" terminal emulator as usual, work for a while, and then when you're ears-deep in /etc/acpi/events or somewhere, you open another tab and Whoa! you aren't in your home directory as you expected, your new tab is ears-deep in /etc/acpi/events or some such Godforsaken place.
Well, the first time you figure you just made a weird mistake and typed cd /etc/acpi/events/or/some/such/Godforsaken/place without realizing it (and then, fnord-like, didn't see the command in the terminal window), and you automatically type cd again to go where you meant to be and you carry on. But then it happens again.
So you resolve to lay off the crack pipe for a few days, grit your teeth and type "cd" again, and so it is only on the third time it happens that you finally decide maybe it's not just you, and you make appropriate experiments and discover the horrible truth: the KDE developers inflicted this on you as a deliberate feature! When you open a new tab it will pry into your bash process, figure out where you are, and put the new tab there to prevent your escape. Heaven help you if you weren't using bash.
That ought to be the end of the story, since they at least had the decency to put a check box for it on the "Edit profile" configuration dialog. Below the fold, what happens if you uncheck that box...
You uncheck the box and try opening some new tabs and it works, the new tabs open in your home directory where they should. You think you have exorcised the demon.
Then you close the window entirely - or open a new one. And it's back in full force. You try all reasonable steps and it's reliable: unchexure of the box doesn't get saved past the closure of the window. It always switches back to "Start in same directory as current tab."
Because you hope to spare others the experience, once you figure out a workaround you post it on the Web.
If the "Initial directory" box is empty, konsole displays this behaviour, automatically checking the "Start in same directory as current tab" box on startup even if you had manually unchecked it. The workaround is to make sure that box is not empty. I put a single tilde in mine, for "home directory," and it now works the way I wanted it to, giving me a shell in my home directory on every new tab.
Observed in KDE 4.4.3. Not observed on my desktop machine's installation of KDE 4.3.3 - it has both boxes, but accepts an empty "Initial directory" and unchecked "Start in same directory as current tab." without automatically re-checking the box.
I'm not going to try to file an official bug because I've been disappointed with the KDE people's treatment of two other bugs I'm interested in: tall bookmarks menus in Konqueror (they insist it's someone else's fault, make changes that do not fix it, and then mark the bug "fixed"), and fully manual hiding of the docking bar at the bottom (it existed in KDE3; now they demand "use cases" for why it's worth having, and suggest insultingly inadequate user-behaviour-change substitutes for just bringing back the functionality they removed). Both bugs have existed for many years without sensible resolution, and I'd rather the resources get spent on fixing them than on this one, which at least has a workaround.