Note: kdebase3-SuSE-branding-openSUSE was at 184.108.40.206 and upgraded to 11.2-6.4 OK, but kdebase3-SuSE (same versions) threw up an error when upgrade selected, "nothing provided libhd.so.17 needed by kdebase3-SuSE-11.2-6.4.i586", so I left it at 220.127.116.11. BTW, my 11.3/3.5 "production" PC has libhd.so.17 (symlinked to libhd.so.17.3) in /usr/lib.
Just for the heck of it, I copied the symlink and 17.3 to the 11.4 install, and booted there; had to force Yast to update kdebase3-SuSE to 11.2-6.4. No difference afterwards.
So, no, using the 11.3 KDE3 repository in 11.4 x86 provides no relief to the Kcontrol and icons.desktop problem. Same blank left column, and icons.desktop throwing up the KDE Crash Handler.
Thank you for the experiment. We have to locate the package that causes the error.
Seems it is outside of KDE3. Thus we have to report a bug against that package or build the older version separately in KDE3 repository.