Open Source

KDE Plasma desktop: A failure that just won't go away

KDE is a failure. It needs to go back to the drawing board and re-invent itself...or so says Jack Wallen. Read on if you dare. Warning, KDE fans might feel a little burn.

I want to like KDE 4.3. I really do. But I don't. I want to keep an open mind about where "Plasma" is heading. But I can't. Hear me out, before you log me off.

I have used nearly every Linux desktop available. From the bare minimum to the plain gaudy, I have seen and tried it all. And I've always been a proud cheerleader for the fact that Linux is, unlike any other operating system, about choice. No matter what technology you are looking at, if there is something about Linux you do not like, you can easily change it or find a different tool for the task. If you don't like the lack of integration that Fluxbox offers, bump it up to GNOME. If Compiz's eye candy is torturing your system, turn it off or switch to Enlightenment for less CPU-intensive eye candy.

But where it all comes to a grinding halt is KDE. KDE used to be a rock-solid desktop that resembled Windows 2000 (in many ways) and allowed Windows users a fairly straight-forward path to migration from the Windows desktop to the Linux desktop. But then the KDE developers decided to toss everything out the window and start all over again. The resulting wreckage is KDE 4.x. KDE 4.x wanted to be something special, but it has failed. The damage is done and it's time to either re-re-invent the wheel or scrap it all together. Personally, I would like to see KDE head back to the drawing board and re-re-re-invent themselves as a whole and attempt to re-define the desktop.

But wait...Isn't that what they tried to do with 4? They saw (or thought they saw) what Google was doing with the Google Desktop and their "Gadgets" (or "Gears"), so the KDE team pounced on the idea and ran, nay - walked with it. Now KDE is a desktop with some "Widgets" that can be added which, honestly, do little to improve the desktop experience.

"Hey, look! I can add a comic strip to my desktop!" Oh yay, been there, done that in the '90s with Super Karamba.

Yes, KDE tried to re-invent the desktop, but it obviously didn't work. If KDE wants to see who is really re-inventing the desktop, they need to look at more fringe teams like Elive Compiz. Instead they play off a re-working of some old '90s desktop tricks and claim them to be the future of the desktop.

I hate to say this, but the future of the desktop (at least as envisioned by those who claim they know) is a very Web-centric, Chrome-like OS where the desktop serves more as a portal for the Web than it does for widgets and plasmas.

When KDE 4.0 came out I gave the KDE team a chance. Their new baby was in its infancy, so it was expected to barely walk. It didn't. Now we are supposed to be enjoying KDE 4 in its teen years and it still feels like a mewling baby, spewing and sputtering and hardly able to walk without guidance. KDE 4 is so bad I can understand why, when a new user experiences KDE 4.x as their first Linux desktop,  they run screaming back to Windows.

I spend a lot of time poking around developers corners to see what is in the works. If you go over to the KDE 4 brainstorming forum, you will be surprised at the lack of creativeness. In fact, what you will mostly see are gripes and complaints, which makes me believe the KDE developer team has closed themselves off to user feedback.

But why all this vitriol for KDE 4? That's simple: KDE 4 has become nothing more than a black eye on the Linux desktop. Where GNOME has continued to improve to become one of the more stable, user-friendly desktops on the market, KDE 4 has floundered. Yes, I am all about choice, but KDE 4 is a choice that needs to be removed until it can come up with a real modern alternative for the Linux desktop.

Can the widgets.

Eject the plasma.

And please, fix that dreadful networking app while you're at it!

I understand that most everyone hates the idea of the evil Cloud. I am one of those "haters." And most people think Chrome OS is nothing more than a joke. It's actually not a joke - it's a Web browser masquerading as an operating system. But at least Google is thinking, creating, and re-defining. If KDE wants a model to use as a brilliant example of where the desktop is most likely heading, they need look no further than Android. Yes, it's primarily for smart phones, but Android could teach a dev team a thing or two about where the desktop is heading - and I don't mean into the hands and pockets of the users. It's all about connectivity, social medium, instant access to everything...all wrapped into a snappy, user-friendly package.

So, KDE, what's it going to be? Are you going to continue disappointing with 4.x until you make it to 5 and realize that no one is using your desktop but a few straggling fanboys? Or are you going to open your eyes, admit defeat, and start all over?

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

128 comments
supermadman
supermadman

?Hey, look! I can add a comic strip to my desktop!? Oh yay, been there, done that in the ?90s with Super Karamba. /quote I'm a college student that often works with 3/4 different folders: one for each subject. I click-and-drag them to the desktop, click, "Folder View" and have direct access to the folders without having to open a new window, and without cluttering my desktop with meaningless shortcuts. Can Superkaramba do that? Sometimes I want to be able to see one of the folders all the time without having to minimize my windows or open it in a new window. Simple: click-and-drag the folder-view's handle to the panel. When I'm done, click the toolbox and click-drag it onto the desktop again. Can Superkaramba do THAT? Nah, didn't think so. Yes, KDE tried to re-invent the desktop, but it obviously didn?t work. If KDE wants to see who is really re-inventing the desktop, they need to look at more fringe teams like Elive Compiz. Instead they play off a re-working of some old ?90s desktop tricks and claim them to be the future of the desktop. /quote See above. I hate to say this, but the future of the desktop (at least as envisioned by those who claim they know) is a very Web-centric, Chrome-like OS where the desktop serves more as a portal for the Web than it does for widgets and plasmas. /quote I barely even use my web-browser any-more. I use the Microblogging widget for Twitter (and Choqok for more advanced stuff), Kopete for Facebook IM, KMail for Hotmail/Google Mail checking, Miro for Youtube, Akregator (and plasma) for news and updates and, obviously, Amarok for listening to music. Most of my time in Wikipedia is through Amarok or Marble. Hell, when I want to do a Google search, I use KRunner or the K menu, so I barely even visit the main Google page any more, either. Even better, all these applications look the same, alert me in the same way when something happens and add features not available through the browser interface. If that doesn't constitute a web-centric desktop, what the hell does?!

scottyc2005
scottyc2005

I actually liked the new KDE. But the networking app always gave me problems when connecting to wireless networks where the Gnome network manager worked great. Went back to Gnome after that.

ajmiron
ajmiron

Make it look like OSx That is a decent desktop!

jck
jck

Jack, I understand your grief. I remember using 4 for the first time, and one of my first thoughts was: "How do I switch back to 3.5?" Now with the inherent issues I've run into using Kubuntu 9.04 and 9.01, I won't install anything but Kubuntu 8.04.2 on my PCs that has KDE 3.5 still. What is the old southern saying? Don't fix what ain't broke?

mitzampt
mitzampt

I've tried KDE 4 up to my current 4.2.something... I know everyone liked the old KDE, it definetly had structure, but let me give my points here. KDE desktop did radically change, but it's not actually bad... i both like and dislike Plasma, i like the way you can now group icons on the desktop, or add informative content like system status, cpu, memory, yada yada... I actually didn't find satisfactory equivalent for GNOME and filled all edges of my desktop with panels (1 filled with quick access stuff, 1 for the tray, 1 for the workspaces and active windows and 1 forp lenty of informative stuff, you get the idea). Also about developers listening to community, that's complicated. My 2 cent feedback did get to them and i DID get emails back. Also i both hate and like the new menu, meaning that i like the search and grouping, but so long, customizing it's layout is not an option. I'd sell my soul to use that search thingy in GNOME, maybe someday... Also, KDE up until 4.2 wasn't that stable, but starting with 4.2 started taking any crap i throw at it. I think GNOME is more stable, though, and the reason I'm a GNOME desktop guy are the panels, and GTK. Also I hate Qt themes/artwork etc. but that's just my choice of taste. Would do any harm having KDE offering more options and in a more classic fashion. Other than that, i kinda like exploring it, I like Konqueror/Dolphin, the ton of KStuff out there and i like the way it keeps it's distinctive colors/menus. Thank you if you read this much ;)

Dusan Sladojevic
Dusan Sladojevic

I don't know about you but on my laptop (Toshiba Tecra A8)everything after 4.3 is really stable, and honestly it's more stable than gnome. And one thing more, KDE just looks much better than any other linux graphical environment. With or without Compiz.

eastr
eastr

Don't start siting repackaging and re-spinning old tech without acknowledging the fact that pretty much everything running and called innovative today was done in some form 20 years ago.

kevlar700
kevlar700

KDE is the most functional system I've ever found. If you think google gears had anything to do with kde4 listen to the developers, more like future proofing and windows compatibility. I notice the vote is the opposite of what you expected at present. I feel Gnome is more likely to have dissapointed so many away from Linux. CLOUD With hard drives being the biggest bottle neck, do you really expect people to go backwards. You expect instant access to everything and think you are more likely to get this from code sitting miles away. If it all goes wrong are you going to cry because you don't have access to the disk to recover your data and it was overwritten by someone elses on some disk of many as students may have experienced at Uni. And before you say it, BT have lost emails and they may have backups but can you get to them even as a paying customer (the company I work for learned this the hard way, before I came on board and set up our OWN OFFLINE archive). If you want security you are likely to only get average which may be good or better for the average but the offline desktop will never ever die. Who wants to go through a tunnell and have to stop working, Google chrome knows this and keeps a working copy OFFLINE. As it develops it will become more and more OFFLINE as well as online or will suffer limited market penetration.

softwareFlunky
softwareFlunky

It just wasn't stable enough. Okay, it wasn't stable at all. Finally, with KDE 4.3 in openSuse 11.2 I was able to move forward to a stable environment. I don't feel I've gained anything; in fact, I've had to learn to use a desktop that gets in the way of doing work. I hope that KDE 4.3's underling code is flexible enough that if/when the desktop has to be radically changed it won't be an impossible project.

art
art

and gnome has more than KDE. Actually, it is surprising that KDE is as good as it is, and gmome is not better considering that Red Hat, Suse, and Ubuntu all support the Gnome project at the expense of the KDE project.

neondiet
neondiet

I used to use linux and KDE, but switched to Mac OS X about 5 years ago. My only exposure to the Linux desktop since then has been Gnome, as that's the default Redhat desktop so that's what I see when building servers. I have a number of PCs at home and have dropped Ubuntu on one to install Fedora 12 which I've also installed KDE 4.3 on. I'm using this as my main Desktop now to see how I get on with it. This is the first time I've used KDE for 5 years. First impressions: - Looks nice. A more integrated and coherent experience than I expected. Feels a bit like Mac OS X in that respect. - Takes a bit of fiddling to get the Desktop effects, Multiple Desktop transitions and screen edge/corners working in a way that feels natural to me. But no more so than Compiz + Gnome. - It's definitely quicker than Gnome was on the same hardware. This PC isn't all that new and the cpu fan is quite noisy when busy Don't hear it so much with KDE. - Plasmoids: why? I don't really get what they're there for. Haven't found a use for them yet that really makes sense to me. It's getting at them that's the problem. They look very nice and all when they're on a Desktop all by themselves, but where regular windows are involved the only thing I've found to expose them is the Screen Edge - Show Dashboard action, which I've mapped to the bottom right hand corner. What this does is push all the regular windows to the back and greys them out. But because the plasmoids are semi-transparent the effect is really nasty. On Mac OS X doing this wipes the windows from the desktop, they zoom off to to the sides and you can just see their edges peaking out. The desktop then looks just like it would if it were blank. It's a much better way of doing it. - The KDE start menu I'm struggling with. It's pretty, but getting at anything nested a few menus down is really slow. I think I'm going to map Krunner to a hot key and try and avoid the start menu as much as possible. - KDE is still a Geek's play pen. After all these years KDE still hasn't lost its addiction to configurable option overload. There are just too many things to fiddle and twiddle with that only really make sense to tech heads - that are exposed to the user and not hidden behind an "Advanced" button. My poor wife would have a melt down if I gave her this. KMail is a classic example. It's menu options are overloaded with lots of things that would only be used by a small percent of a the general desktop population, and probably only set up once: so what are they doing in the first level menu lists where they can scare the hell out of non-tech users. Take it's Account Wizard for example. Wizards are supposed to make life easy for you, but the account type choices are: Local Mailbox POP3 IMAP Disconnected IMAP Maildir mailbox I don't know a single member of my family (or extended family) who would get past that point without being as confused as hell. For an example of how to do it right, go and look at Thunderbird (3.0-3.9.b4). All I had to do there was enter my name and email address which ends in googlemail.com and it detected I was a gmail user and set everything else up for me. Job done, it was as easy as that. I'm going to stick with KDE for at least a month (I'm only into day 3 at the moment) and see how I get on with it. It's definitely a huge improvement from the last time I used it, but the KDE really have some serious soul searching to do: is this pitched at Geek's or the general public? The functionality is there and that's great - it's just the presentation they need to work on depending on who their target audience is.

philpub
philpub

KDE4 is a big disappointment to me too. I have it on one machine, and the other KDE3.5 (both SuSE 11.1). The 3.5 machine is a whole lot more friendly. It's not just the plasma and widgets, with no documentation, it's the substitution of konqueror by the backwards dolphin, the mix of settings for some programs that are from KDE3.5 and others from KDE4 (where of course the KDE3.5 settings are hard to modify), the fact that you can't put files or even a trash can on the desktop and just work with them. KDE4 is a big step back for users. Because I'm not a gnome fan either, only 3.5 seems available to me...

opensourcepcs
opensourcepcs

I have used KDE for years and consider KDE 3.5 to be the best. That said, I hate to kick the KDE team but I don't like KDE 4.x. I tried 4.0 when it came out but gave up and went back to KDE 3.5 expecting the kinks to be worked out over the next few months. My Kubuntu 8.10 LTS installation had developed a persistent problem and I tried to fix it by upgrading to Kubuntu 9.10 but it seemed just as bad. Even a fresh install of 9.10 didn't help. Sorry for the discouraging word KDE team, but I'm still a friend. I'm running for cover back to KDE 3.5. but I hope you get the kinks get worked out.

david.hunt
david.hunt

>I hate to say this, but the future of the desktop (at least as >envisioned by those who claim they know) is a very >Web-centric, Chrome-like OS where the desktop serves more as >a portal for the Web than it does for widgets and plasmas. This seems to be the theme trotted out by companies who want to entrap user's data and have the user pay an annual ransom to keep using it. It is also a new term for an old concept that has some level of following - "software as a service". I don't see companies taking up these services as a wholesale answer to everything. Just as with any kind of outsourcing, the subscriber must be careful to ensure that the service being outsourced is appropriate to that mode of operation. In terms of having a so called operating system that is just a browser and having all the data in the cloud.... I live and work in a regional town where wireline communication is fine, but wireless, 3G and other forms of mobile connectivity are tenuous at best. Many people in Australia are in a similar situation. Not everyone lives in a capital city. Just as marketers have coined the term "cloud", surely after a few years it will be supplanted by a new all-singing term for a substantially similar product. All things have a place and a market, but I find it hard to take as credible, talk of cloud computing is "THE FUTURE". I know this was only a small part of the article, but it is a constant drip feed of the same idea by most market pundits in the hope that it will catch on. In respect of KDE, I recently tried it again briefly and found it unstable, so I reverted to Gnome which *just works*. I'm not opposed to change, but there has to be a good reason and I haven't found it yet.

linuxcanuck
linuxcanuck

I love KDE 4. I would not use KDE 3.5 if it was available and definitely would not use GNOME. I have used KDE 4 since alpha. I have seen the problems and the progression. It is definitely where is should be.

enderandrew
enderandrew

Reading this "article" you say KDE 4.x is terrible. You ask me to hear you out. And then you make no effort to explain yourself. What is terrible? KDE 4 presents more choice and flexibility over any other current desktop environment. It is easy to use, intuitive and sexy. I don't run with any desktop widgets as I'm not staring at my desktop. KDE 4 is more than widgets. KDE is Sonnet, Phonon, Plasma, Nepomuk, Oxygen, Akondi, and more. I absolutely love the new notification system, with built-in extenders. I love that they brought the system tray into the 21st century. I love that my desktop containment can be any number of different things. They took the power of KDE 3, and cleaned up the interface so it didn't look as cluttered. Again, what exactly is your problem specifically?

Sepius
Sepius

KDE 4 is how I ended up on Ubuntu with Gnome ... Sorry Mandriva. When I first ran KDE 4 on 3 systems, nothing but crashes. Exercised my freedom of choice, and now have some stability back in my life. It is a pity though, Konqueror was a great app, did web and file browsing and heaps of plugins, easy to manage ... then KDE just turned left and went somewhere else.

wa7qzr
wa7qzr

I'm not a developer. I gave that up when being an "assembly language" programmer made one a pariah in the community. However, if I were developing an interface like KDE, under the circumstances, I would start over. I would insure backwards compatibility, not requiring KDE3 apps to be rebuild against broken "compatibility" libraries. I would insure that everything worked as described. I would avoid like the plague the necessity to only run properly with the most powerful hardware, as Billware does. I would be more about making Linux and it's apps easy to use and more dependable (reenterant and serially reuseable), and a lot less about how smoothly we can move new color schemes about the screen. The issues mentioned in the article have, unfortunately, become all too common to the Linux world. None of the things that need doing are difficult. Yes, they may be monotonous and you can't take credit for the work of others, but it's a lot better to have your name associated with something that works, as opposed to something that looks good but makes you rebuild everything you use in order to use it, only to discover that you just wasted your time because most of it won't work anyhow due to the fact that someone left out some "compatibility" component they didn't think was important: the "nobody uses this anymore" syndrome. Some of us get damn sick and tired of being referred to as "nobody".

Camzl1
Camzl1

I agree. I strictly use gnome or enlightenment, but and a big but, KDE is the best looking straight out of the box, before I apply my themes. The start menu is so cluttered and the network manger is a joke. I use wicd or if I'm running suse I use their manager in Yast instead.

mikep
mikep

Give me the choice between kde and gnome and I'll take kde every time, but I was tempted when kde4 first came out, even tried giving gnome another spin, only to remind myself of how fragmented it is compared to a properly integrated desktop. I used kde4 for a month at the 4.2.4 stage, and during that time, I customised it to remove all the junk that was of no use to me whatsoever, things like plasma and widgets, they're just time and cpu resource wasters and contribute nothing to the running of the apps I use on a regular basis. Basically, I had kde4 set up to operate more like kde3 and I kicked the hell out of that time wasting useless piece of junk scrolling worthless (did I say junk) menu, and I changed the desktop to Folder view because the default plasma desktop has no resemblance whatsoever to what a computer desktop ought to be. Give me a classic desktop any day with the choice to use something different, but dump a plasmoid filled desktop into my lap as the only option and I'll escort you to the door, fast! Much of my customising could have been done within a few seconds if the kde devs had put into place a simple first run wizard, something akin to what kde3 has, that gives the user the opportunity to select the level of whiz-bang features they want. If the kde4 devs implemented a simple option on first run to give the user the choice of classic desktop and menus or the plasma desktop, with a simple layered checkbox panel giving no more than 2-3 options for each with a preview of the desktop and menus, that would do away with more than 90% of the naysayers, and it would please a much greater audience. Now, having gone through all that, at least one Linux distro has listened and is starting to build a kde4 desktop that defaults to classic, Simply Mepis. The first alpha release is out and what a breath of fresh air it is in the cess pit of distros that choose to continue to peddle the useless plasma desktop. My vote is to continue on with development, but for the love of God, give the users the choice to use it as they see fit. Mike P

Ajax4Hire
Ajax4Hire

I have both Gnome and KDE on several Redhat now Fedora based Linux boxes. KDE was always easier on the eyes and easier to manage, configure and personalize. Trying Ubuntu, I naturally gravitated to Kubuntu. I was disappointed. Things just did not work well. And the KDE components did not render well when I VNC. I moved back to Gnome with standard Ubuntu but still feel I am spending too much time as administrator.

Lunixer-22235067389466142903652934877848
Lunixer-22235067389466142903652934877848

Unfair. I use gnome. I used to use KDE, until 4.x came out and was, I agree, extremely unstable in the beginning. That turned me back on to gnome, which I have used since. However, I think that plasma is an absolute genius idea and wish that gnome would implement something similar. Cloud computing is not anything that we are going to transition to anytime soon, and no DE is basing their future development around it. It's simply not practical. Not to mention that widgets, which you say are useless, are extremely useful and in all major operating systems now. No one can deny that KDE is beautiful, while most of the other DE are simply ugly. Again, this is all said by someone who uses gnome. In fact, I have been trying for days to integrate plasma into my gnome installation, but that didn't work so well :( Every KDE release I go back and check it out, haven't found one that can replace gnome for me yet, but I', sure that I will transition back to KDE soon, if for nothing other than Plasma, and an absolutely gorgeous desktop.

GregEB
GregEB

I'm using KDE 4.3.2 on the SimplyMEPIS 8.5 alpha and it is working just fine. I'm running it on a PC with an Athlon XP 2200+ CPU, an NVIDIA 7300GT AGP video card, and a K7S5A MB with integrated sound and network. Everything works. The KDE 4.3.2 desktop feels like it is running about as fast as the KDE 3.5.10 desktop on the same PC on the SimplyMEPIS 8.0 production version. I like what I've seen.

colinet
colinet

I used KDE and was a great fan. Since 4.x I've moved to Gnome and have grown used to it. As for Cloud computing - its great when one has a rock solid internet connection but I spent a lifetime travelling the world and I like my files and my apps on the computer when I can reach them any time I want.

d_baron
d_baron

When I first put up the experimental KDE4.0/1, I was, I admit, taken aback. Where did my desktop go. Actually at first it was still there, then with each update, fell apart bit by bit. I manually put it all back. But now, one can choose the old windows-style desktop as an alternative to the plasma. Or use a combination with folder-view widgets. I never liked the look and feel of super-karamba so many of the widgets are not to my taste, but Linux is about choice. The main problem with all the widgets is desktop real-estate. I tend to stick with ones that iconise to the panel but this is "retro." The plasma idea is in its infancy, being actively developed (to some extent by responses I have gotten to some ideas posted, in an ivory tower). A state of active flux and constant redefinition. Some buzz-words like "activities" are still not truly defined! Want cloud-applets. You got 'em. Google's stuff, just a click away. A crowded desktop or a sparse one. One panel, multiple panels, no panel? Choice. With 4.3, things go. 4.4 will be much better. This flame was really not fair.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

Gnome = Mac KDE = Windows KDE 3 = XP KDE 4 = Vista/7 Pick the desktop that works the way you do, and that's the best one for you. It doesn't matter what the other fellow thinks of your preference; he doesn't have to do your work.

dz@4thpres.org
dz@4thpres.org

KDE 4's not my favorite, but for your blog's sake, you shoulda slept on this post a few more nights.

nouse66
nouse66

As a long time KDE user, I'm sorry to say that KDE 4 drove me away. Over the years I bounced between KDE 2, Fluxbox type (minimal) DE's, and KDE 3. I loved the customization and power of the KDE 3 environment and hated the way Gnome seemed remove or hide options for the sake of simplicity. That all changed when KDE 4.0 was released. It was so bad that I decided to take the bitter pill of switching to Gnome. With all customization and options that I loved in KDE 3 thrown out the window, I might as well at least get a stable environment to work with.

Jitse Klomp
Jitse Klomp

I completely agree with Jack Wallen. KDE 4.x is indeed a failure. It has added very, very little to the whole KDE series. Version 3.x was great, very convenient and user-friendly. KDE 4 is none of that...

bizshop
bizshop

Strip off the Plasma part and it is a very good desktop in itself.

LinuxNtwrkng
LinuxNtwrkng

I was with you all the way up to: "KDE used to be a rock-solid desktop that resembled Windows 2000 (in many ways) and..." What?? WHEN was KDE ever a rock solid desktop?? I've been using it off and on since just before the release of the 2.0 series. I've used it on Intel and AMD systems, cutting edge and ancient systems. Never has it been rock solid. To make matters worse, it was just like Windows, when one thing crashed it took out darn near the entire DE. I've wanted to love KDE ever since the beginning. It has so much potential. The developers seem only interested in creating new and innovative ways to make the experience suck, however, than to actually make a solid platform.

rob
rob

Gnome is user friendly? Since when? Nearly every change I need to make has to be done through their version of a registry-editor-on-crack, called gconf-editor. I guess it's pretty user friendly if you never need/want to change anything beyond whether the mouse is left or right handed and launch a web browser, and do everything else through a terminal.

smoaky
smoaky

Always preferred KDE 3.5 and still have/use Mandriva Spring 08 not ever wanting to go with KDE 4. As I have said before KDE 4 looks like a Mac OSX gui that was developed by a third grader,proceeded to chew it up and then spit it out onto a desktop.

tsadowski
tsadowski

The KDE3 that is. I too had hope for KDE4 I like "eye candy", but I also like simplicity and cleanliness. KDE was NEVER clean, it always looked sloppy to me. That is why I have always been a gnome user. I liked the idea of where KDE4 was going, add eye candy, clean things up. But they just don't seem to have made it usable. I am all for choice, and maybe some people like KDE, but there is a reason Ubuntu doesn't use it by default. I think KDE is just too complicated and user un-friendly, so when I switch a windows user over to Linux, I use Ubuntu and make the Gnome desktop look more windows like, I DON'T give them KDE. As Jack said, they would just run screaming back to windows if I did!

mitchloftus
mitchloftus

I've been kind of switching back and forth between KDE and GNOME this last while as I just CANNOT seem to get used to the placement of menu items in the new KDE. I -used- to prefer KDE, but right now I've been running GNOME almost exclusively for a couple week. This wasn't even an "I hate KDE" decision, it just seems to be naturally working out that way - so I guess the author must have a point here.

storm14k
storm14k

I like it better. I don't see any problems with it. And speaking of gateway to the web...thats exactly what I have done with my plasmoids. It seems to me that plasma gives you a much more structured way to add these sorts of things to your desktop. Doing this in anyway be it Google or one of the other widget systems in Gnome feels like a complete kludge. I understand that KDE 4 had its problems on initial release. I also understand that the team said this was a tech preview and not for general use but distros used it anyway. Thats no reason however to keep harping on this when the current state of the project seems to be far from that. As others have said...if you don't like it then don't use it. I personally like the change and think its on a better path than Gnome is with Gnome shell. In fact looking at the Gnome shell previews is what spurred me to try out KDE 4. I liked it so much that I switched all of my computers the same weekend that I tried it.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

A few days ago, I would have given a loud "Amen" to all your comments. Now I must say "Yes, but...." I just discovered that PCLinuxOS 2009.2 has somehow had the foresight to ship with the old KDE 3.5. What a pleasure it is to get back to a simple, functional desktop. Also, the implementation of KDE 4.3 in Mandriva 2010.0 is tolerable, once you turn off the widgets.

supermadman
supermadman

The problem isn't KDE, it's Kubuntu... when will people actually be able to tell the difference?

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

Try PCLinuxOS 2009.2, with KDE 3.5.10. Looks good; works well. Found it last week when looking for something to replace SuSE 11.2. Agree regarding Kubuntu. Currently, KDE feels pasted-on rather than integrated with Ubuntu. In contrast, Ubuntu 9.10 offers one of the best Gnome implementations.

supermadman
supermadman

Because it's actually got a decent bit of thought about it. Changing the menu is done by right-clicking on the menu button --> Menu Editor, but I agree whole-heartedly, this HAS to be changed so it's more obvious. Personally, I'd like to be able to click-and-drag applications in the menu itself (a la' Windows - hey, they don't do EVERYTHING wrong), and it looks like it might be possible to do anyway, with being able to drag applications to the favourites section and re-arrange the same section... This comment's good because it's constructive. You get my thumbs-up.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Based on a config file, it can give you all kinds of system information. It should fall back onto the desktop and save you some room in GNOME. The Backtrack conky config file with some slight modification makes for a very nice system info display. I don't mind KDE4 either. The applets (plasmoids?) didn't offer anything more useful than graphic. I like the more consolidated file viewer that plugs into dolphin though. Even having it turn off graphic effects when system load got to high was a nice touch compared to letting graphics grind the system to a halt. Moving to KDE4 when Debian 6 is closer to stable won't break my heart but I'll enjoy KDE3.5 until then. Anyhow, if you don't mind editing a text config file then look at Conky for your sysinfo needs.

supermadman
supermadman

If KDE is like glass, cut cleanly into fine crystals, then Gnome is a cardboard box filled with water, stomped on a bit and then kind of smoothed out. I can actually show my Mac fanboy friends my Linux desktop and be proud that they're envious!

philpub
philpub

On installing SuSE 11.1 you can choose, and yes you can have 3.5 if you want. I did that on one of my machines. On the other, as you say, KDE4 gets in the way of doing work. Dumbing-down software doesn't work. Only improving a user interface does. Didn't get that at KDE4.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The open source community is a meritocracy, remember?

dpresley_50201
dpresley_50201

I tried KDE4.3 under PCLOS and my graphics controller couldn't handle the the Plasma desktop. After first installing the new KDE, it ran fine, then I logged out and tried to log back in--I was dumped to the CLI. When I tried a startx command to restart KDE, I got a number of errors due to the X server crashing. And the same thing happened again when I did a cold restart of my machine. I ended up reformatting my whole drive and reinstalling PCLOS with KDE 3.5.10. As far as I'm concerned, the KDE team needs to listen to the old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" KDE 3.5.10 wasn't broke. Why did they try to "fix" it?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Actually, it was what originally pushed me over to KDE, the E settings used to have a "KDE Compatible" checkbox.

supermadman
supermadman

Since when was Gnome user-friendly? Try moving the clock from the top-right to the top-left and see how irritating it is. I grew fed up of searching through several different menu options just to change the cursor theme, when in System Settings I can just do a search for, "cursor" and then find it straight away in, "Keyboard and Mouse". Since when is it user-friendly to decide whether a user might or might not want a setting, forcing them to alter config-files if they can't do something they want? Hell, I couldn't even find where to change my default browser to something that starts *when I click the link*, not 5 minutes later. I never did understand the mantra that, "simple" => "easy". Fluxbox is simple, and so is Gnome.

jck
jck

The new setup I can't stand really...well...9.04 anyways. I couldn't get 9.10 to even load. I'm back on Kubuntu 8.04.2. It is stable, recognizes the hardware in anything I throw it on, and let's me multiboot. I might try PCLinuxOS down the road. Right now, I'm in the middle of tying up a lot of loose ends.

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