Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:23 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "A current mania is to exile yourself for a certain period of time into the rival desktop environment, to see how bad (or not) you would feel: a KDE fan would use GNOME, while a GNOME guy would use KDE. I have undertaken the challenge myself, and it wasn't bad at all." More here. Additionally, a Gnome panel apps review.
Order by: Score:
Fluxbox/XFCE
by vermaden on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:45 UTC
vermaden
Member since:
2006-11-18

I have used both KDE and Gnome, which I choose? NONE

Maybe cut to minimum XFCE, I use Fluxbox generally with GTK2 apps.

But if I would have to choose I would go for Gnome, I like generall feel and look [also custom themes] of GTK2 and do not like QT apps.

Konqueror is not bad but I do not like that I kave to run kdeinit to run konqueror also.

Nautilus/Konqueror are big fat memory hogs that like to have every feature. I prefer small efifcent File Managers like ROX/Thunar.

Reply Score: 4

Huh?
by drewunwired on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:50 UTC
drewunwired
Member since:
2005-07-06

A lot of his issues are simple matters of taste (e.g. showing the full file name vs. keeping the desktop in a nice grid), so I can't really comment on them one way or the other.

There is one item where he is flat wrong... he said that it is impossible to see the hour and day in the KDE clock widget.

I have my clock set to a Plain Clock with Date, Seconds, and Day of Week all enabled on a three-line display (panel size is set to Normal).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Huh?
by drewunwired on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:18 UTC in reply to "Huh?"
drewunwired Member since:
2005-07-06

Now that his site is back up, I can post the actual quote:
"QLCDNumber is the worst-looking widget ever, and the KDE clock uses it by default! Even with regular text, the clock is still unpractical: you can't see at the same time the hour and the day! Winner, GNOME."

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Huh?
by Brandybuck on Mon 26th Feb 2007 04:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Huh?"
Brandybuck Member since:
2006-08-27

The KDE clock does *NOT* use the QLCDNumber widget.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Huh?
by segedunum on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:23 UTC in reply to "Huh?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

There is one item where he is flat wrong... he said that it is impossible to see the hour and day in the KDE clock widget.

I think his issue was with the default. It's possible to make it look nice, together with having the time and date and whatever else you want, but KDE should put a bit more thought into this.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Huh?
by drewunwired on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Huh?"
drewunwired Member since:
2005-07-06

You're probably right... I wonder if this is a lost-in-translation type of issue (the author's scanned Visa places him as being from Hungary).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Huh?
by anda_skoa on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Huh?"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

I think his issue was with the default

I don't think so, he writes "...Even with regular text..." which I interpret as "after adjusting"

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Huh?
by aseigo on Mon 26th Feb 2007 09:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Huh?"
aseigo Member since:
2005-07-06

> KDE should put a bit more thought

ah, just like "we should have more keyboard shortcuts in konsole" this suggestion misses the benefit of wisdom accrued through experience.

we don't provide a "finished product" since the whole product includes an operating system, windowing system (e.g. x11), etc.. we provide a huge amount of the whole product, but not all of it. one of the things we haven't been including is fonts. and when it comes to the default panel, it's simply safer to go with the lcd widget than try and rely on a given font actually looking decent on the panel. we can't use one of the default desktop fonts usually because they are defined for other uses and therefore aren't completely appropriate.

what an OSV ought to do is look at that panel they ship and go, "hm, that clock could look better with plain text" and then select a font that looks good on the system they ship.

either that or the free operating systems could get their collective crap together and agree on a base set of free fonts that they all support and ship rather than each providing their own slightly tweaked versions of various fonts that, for upstream, may as well be random.

i'd prefer the latter.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Huh?
by segedunum on Mon 26th Feb 2007 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Huh?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

we don't provide a "finished product"...free operating systems could get their collective crap together and agree on a base set of free fonts that they all support and ship rather than each providing their own slightly tweaked versions of various fonts that, for upstream, may as well be random.

Yer, poor choice of words in this case by me. Although I think that most problems are best handled upstream, and the line "distros can do something about that" doesn't really ring true for me for an awful lot of stuff, in this case you simply can't rely on the underlying system. All you can do is perhaps improve the look of the LCD in a middle ground way.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Huh?
by butters on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:29 UTC in reply to "Huh?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

A lot of his issues are simple matters of taste

Issues of "taste" are foremost for most end-users when evaluating a desktop system.

Overall, I'm impressed by this article. It rises to a level not often attained in blog entries about the GNOME/KDE dilemma. It's obvious that some time and effort was put into it, quite a bit for the claimed 3-day test period. The conclusion was neutral, but it wasn't your typical "wet noodle" affair where the conclusion attempts to retreat from any assertions made in the body of the piece.

What I was able to glean from this piece is that both GNOME and KDE have their fair share of limitations, quirks, and idiosyncrasies, often in different aspects of the desktop environment. Therefore, there is still much that can be learned by peering across the aisle to determine where the other DE might have superior solutions to common tasks.

It really comes down to taste. If it were about technical superiority, most informed users would agree on the obvious winner.

Reply Score: 5

site down
by Eugenia on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:54 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

Heh, his site is down, osnews'ed. And apparently, his article will go live on Digg too in a few hours. From bad to worse. ;)

EDIT: came back now.

Edited 2007-02-25 22:05

Reply Score: 1

Gnome
by Kwitschibo on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:03 UTC
Kwitschibo
Member since:
2006-01-17

My PC isn't slow... and i will just work quick and productiv. So i use Gnome. I have all the apps i need, the slim and nice Paneles are great and the Gnome Development impresses me. No Revolution every 6 Month. An Evolution Step by Step over years. So... i can work perfect with Gnome. Others can work perfect with KDE and others with OS X ( i have an MacBook and an 20" iMac and sorry OS X doesn't rule for me). Every User has the choice. Please stop the compares. Every Desktop Enviroment oder WM has it's pros and cons

Reply Score: 4

RE: Gnome
by butters on Mon 26th Feb 2007 05:27 UTC in reply to "Gnome"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Please stop the compares. Every Desktop Enviroment oder WM has it's pros and cons

But how are people supposed to know these pros and cons unless we have comparisons (from time to time)? Switching DEs and distros isn't terribly hard, but every newbie that happens to start with a DE that isn't quite the best fit for them is a newbie that might decide to give up on the free software desktop.

Sure, there are so many DE and distro comparisons on the web that it's pretty ridiculous, but how do we package this information such that complete newbies will almost certainly discover it whenever they first encounter the option to try a free software desktop?

This is an area where we still need to do a fair bit of research. Newbies won't seek out alternative desktops and information about them. We need to find ways to increase the probability that they stumble upon this information during the course of their normal activities on the web. There has to be some way to let our message escape the resonating chambers of the technically savvy and infiltrate the tawdry cesspools that the uninformed masses prefer to patronize.

Because you're right--we're all just tooting our horns and preaching to the choir while at least 75% of the market is blissfully unaware that there's any option besides PC Guy and Mac Guy.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Gnome
by Kwitschibo on Mon 26th Feb 2007 10:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Gnome"
Kwitschibo Member since:
2006-01-17

But how are people supposed to know these pros and cons unless we have comparisons (from time to time)? Switching DEs and distros isn't terribly hard, but every newbie that happens to start with a DE that isn't quite the best fit for them is a newbie that might decide to give up on the free software desktop.

Because every pro and con is for 99% only an User opinion.

I've read the List with pro and cons and some points are to user specific. The KDE Clock sucks? YEAH it DOES! but other User who will see a big clock will love it. Only self testing can help user to find th best Desktop Eniviroment for himself. I test KDE every or 4 month... but i still at gnome.

Reply Score: 2

Both are great DEs
by Luis on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:26 UTC
Luis
Member since:
2006-04-28

I'm happy using either of them. I can switch from one to the other without having any trouble.

In general, I prefer how Gnome looks, but prefer how KDE works. Not much difference though.

I'm now using KDE because I wanted to use some KDE apps. In fact, the greatest advantage of one over the other is that while GTK/Gnome apps work fine in KDE, KDE apps don't work that good in Gnome. So with KDE you can use any app you want (maybe Evolution is the only one that's a bit problematic), while with Gnome you're somehow limited to GTK apps.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Both are great DEs
by miscz on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:18 UTC in reply to "Both are great DEs"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

Having consistent look with GTK2 and QT in Gnome is not that hard. QtCurve theme for KDE is very configurable and can be made to look like Clearlooks (Gnome's default theme engine and also my favourite) with ease. Also, KDE can use new Gnome icon themes, Tango and new default Gnome icons work quite well.

Edited 2007-02-25 23:18

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Both are great DEs
by panzi on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Both are great DEs"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

The other way around is also possible. There are even options in kcontrol to do that. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Both are great DEs
by voidlogic on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:12 UTC in reply to "Both are great DEs"
voidlogic Member since:
2005-09-03

>>"greatest advantage of one over the other is that while GTK/Gnome apps work fine in KDE, KDE apps don't work that good in Gnome"

I have never experienced this, so it comes off as FUD to me. But I want you to elaborate.
I use K3b and knmap in Ubuntu 6.10 (GNOME) on a daily basis and have used others with no issues... what applications do you have problems with?
Is it possible the package management system of whatever GNOME distribution you use did not grab all of the proper KDE dependences?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Both are great DEs
by Luis on Mon 26th Feb 2007 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Both are great DEs"
Luis Member since:
2006-04-28

No, it's not about dependencies. The KDE apps do work in Gnome, but just not as good as expected and they require harder work to have them working nicely.

1- To make them look decent in Gnome you have to install the kde control center and manually change all the colors to match the gnome theme you're using (quite time wasting, while in KDE it's done automatically with gtk apps).

2- Notifications of KDE apps are a problem. You have to disable them in gnome or find the way to make them not use arts.

3- Startup time is much slower than in KDE and they use more memory (while GTK apps in KDE start as fast as in Gnome and use same memory, AFAICT).

I didn't say it's a show stopper. But for any normal user who doesn't have the knowledge or the time to make a KDE app work acceptably good in Gnome it's a bad idea to use them. While the other way 'round you don't need to do anything except install the GTK app you want.

Reply Score: 1

Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

I wish the author would've gone a bit more in-depth on this. Now it just seems like a hodge-podge of things he did and didn't like...

Reply Score: 2

I took this challenge
by gregk on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:46 UTC
gregk
Member since:
2006-03-13

I did this myself as a KDE user. I tried to use GNOME for 10 days. I spent way too much time trying how to figure out how to do things. Apparently the super-intuitive way the GNOME is supposed to work wasn't intuitive enough for me. Simple things like showing hidden files in the open/save dialogue (I know, right-click, but how about a tickbox or some other visual cue) and how to get a file tree in Nautilus (yes, a setting in the control panel, why can't it just be an option in the menu where it makes sense to quickly look for it when you are in Nautilus) The point is there are no visual cues to discover these simple things.

It got so bad I quit in three days out of frustration because I had some work to do. To be fair, I probably should try again when I don't have so much to accomplish. I thought having things to do would force me to "use" GNOME. I guess I should do the opposite, try when I have time to play around a bit.

Edited 2007-02-25 22:47

Reply Score: 5

RE: I took this challenge
by Daniel Borgmann on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:45 UTC in reply to "I took this challenge"
Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

It's just the same the other way around. Just don't use GNOME if you have no reason to, I find these "I'll use xyz for some days to make a point" experiments rather silly to be honest.

Simple things like showing hidden files in the open/save dialogue (I know, right-click, but how about a tickbox or some other visual cue)

Fair enough, personally I wouldn't like to have it exposed in the interface. Part of what intrigues me about GNOME is its visual elegance, sometimes this requires minor trade-offs.

and how to get a file tree in Nautilus (yes, a setting in the control panel, why can't it just be an option in the menu where it makes sense to quickly look for it when you are in Nautilus)

You must be talking about getting a navigational window (because it has and always had a tree by default). It is not true that you have to go to the control panel, you can simply open the file browser from the menu or chose "browse folder" from the context menu. The spatial/navigational split of Nautilus is another thing I love about GNOME, but I can see why it creates so much confusion. Note that recent versions of Nautilus now also have a tree-based list view, another kick-ass feature borrowed from Mac OS Classic:
http://www.gnome.org/~davyd/gnome-2-12/images/nautilus-list.png

I think that GNOME and KDE appeal to different kinds of people at this point. GNOME tends to have its head in the clouds from time to time (i.e. focusing on the big picture and occasionally neglecting the here and now) and incidentally that matches my own personality. ;-)

Reply Score: 5

renaming
by MamiyaOtaru on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:07 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

When you press F2 to rename a file, only the basename is selected in GNOME, whereas in KDE the full name is selected.

Perversely, this is true in icon view, but not in detailed list view. Why the behavior differs between two Konqueror views is beyond me. The inconsistency is one of those things Gnome users would probably pounce on but I just don't care. I do all my work in detailed list view, where the behavior is as the reviewer prefers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: renaming
by Kwitschibo on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:12 UTC in reply to "renaming"
Kwitschibo Member since:
2006-01-17

I do all my work in detailed list view, where the behavior is as the reviewer prefers.

You say it... YOU do it so... other people want to rename everywhere easy. The Gnome DE has many of these simple and faster ways to work. But is this what makes Gnome better than KDE? None DE is better than another. I said it once and i will said it twice. Every DE has it pros and cons.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: renaming
by MamiyaOtaru on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE: renaming"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

You say it... YOU do it so

yeah, hence the part of my post you quoted starts with "I". And I said "I" am not really bothered by it. I'm aware people would disagree. That's why I pointed it out. It seemed salient. So did you mark it as spam, offensive, or off topic? Sheesh, I expressed my opinion. Should I have expressed yours somehow?

Edited 2007-02-25 23:18

Reply Score: 5

I guess what we miss is fun
by moleskine on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:11 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

I'd much have preferred it if the author had come down firmly on one side or the other, with a reasoned argument as to why. Much of this article is simply personal taste with prejudices thrown in. For example, he makes frequent reference to bloat and bloatware - but what he really means is that something has more features than he cares for, not that it slows his computer to a crawl and/or fills up his hard disk with unnecessary stuff. For the vast majority of folks, neither Gnome nor KDE is bloatware.

Just my 2 cents, but I think that Gnome is the spawn of Satan and should be vigorously discouraged at every opportunity. I simply don't like it - nuff said. Of course if people prefer to use Gnome that's absolutely fine and good luck to them - they will have their own reasons, usually carefully considered ones too - but these articles which seek scrupulously to balance one DE against the other without offending anyone are just so dull. A strong whiff of grapeshot usually makes for more attentive reading.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I guess what we miss is fun
by superstoned on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:49 UTC in reply to "I guess what we miss is fun"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

You got a point. And to be honest, I think many of his complaints, to both sides, are about (default) settings. 'KDE has no shortcut to show hidden files'. well, no, not by default - but you can always add all menu items to your toolbar, and you can always add one or even two shortcuts to each of them. And so on...

Reply Score: 3

panzi
Member since:
2006-01-22

I think there are even less differences:

Oh, but at least Nautilus has a shortkey CTRL+H for toggling the view of the hidden files. In Konqueror I have to use the menu. Winner, GNOME.

This is configurable (maybe bad default). ;)

Nautilus doesn't have by default any file templates under Create Document. Annoying. Winner, KDE.

Well I don't count "default" settings. Maybe because KDE has bad defaults and I'm a KDE user. But I can configure KDE like I want it. Bad defaults are very often the fault of distributions, not of the DE. This applies for GNOME and KDE.

To balance things: the default layout in KDE is having a single panel, usually with some huge launch icons added, and the space left for the taskbar (window list) is terribly small: this is bad usability design by my book. Winner, GNOME.

While I agree that this is ugly, my configuration is different to GNOMEs solution. This is just a matter of taste.

QLCDNumber is the worst-looking widget ever, and the KDE clock uses it by default!

I totally agree.

Even with regular text, the clock is still unpractical: you can't see at the same time the hour and the day! Winner, GNOME.

Not true. This is configurable!


What I miss here is a comparison between more important parts of the two DEs:

The Default Dialogs

File-Chooser: I like KDEs more. ;)
Color-Piker: KDEs is nice, but GIMPs win! (color D'n'D!)
Print-Dialog: KDE is the clear winner! I love all those options! And I need a great part of them!

The Windowmanager

(Yes, GNOMEs Windowmanager is not really made by GNOME, but it belongs to it. A DE needs a Windowmanager.)

I like kwin best, because of all the options! You can make every window "always on top" and "show on every desktop" and you can configure window specific settings. Kopete adds a ugly entry to the taskbar and uses the normal window type? No problem, I told kwin not to add kopete to the taskbar and to use the "toolwindow" type (I think it's called that; it's "werkzeugfenster" in german). I miss this in beryl/compiz. I can't live without this. ;)

Oh, but kwin is in some parts not standard complaint and therefore KDE doesn't work correct with compiz/beryl. (There are somehow confusions in the multiple desktop system which make it unusable, IMHO even with the compiz/beryl enabled k-pager.)

Apply Settings

In GNOME settings are immediately applied. In KDE you can toy around and see what options there are and then you can hit apply or cancel. Yes, there is always a "revert to defaults" (also in KDE), but I want to revert to the last setting, not to default!


Off Topic: OMG! I just noticed that the windowdecoration (especially the X) has burned into my LG Flatron L1915S TFT Monitor! OMG! How is this possible? Crap, crap, crap! This didn't happen to my old LG CRT (though this peace of crap died a other way. at the end it completely refused to work. no more LG! never!)

Edited 2007-02-26 00:02

Reply Score: 3

Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

Apply Settings

In GNOME settings are immediately applied. In KDE you can toy around and see what options there are and then you can hit apply or cancel. Yes, there is always a "revert to defaults" (also in KDE), but I want to revert to the last setting, not to default!


What do you get from toying around with the settings, if you can't see their effect? I never understood this. Instant apply isn't trivial to implement and for me this is a great feature. The last time I tried to configure the KDE clock in a way I actually like it, the lack of instant apply almost drove me crazy. ;)

There isn't always a "revert to default" button and if there is a Revert button (as in the theme selector), then it does in fact revert to the last setting (before you opened the dialog), not the default. More dialogs should get a Revert button though.

Reply Score: 4

panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

Ok, that was to general spoken. There are Dialogs with previews (e.g. the one for Window Decorations). There it makes sense.

About the revert to default that revert to the last settings: I didn't know that!

Reply Score: 1

thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

File-Chooser: I like KDEs more. ;)
I personally am a fan of GNOMEs. Just as I prefer OS X's to Windows'. Interesting how views differ, but I need to say how much I despised that file chooser at first. I put up with it as the "bad" side of GTK, but it grew on me.

Print-Dialog: KDE is the clear winner! I love all those options! And I need a great part of them!
GNOME are doing the usual clear the UI then slowly, and with thought, bring back features selectively. Admittedly, for the sake of advanced users, they really need to have most printer options visible, but they are currently working on this. KDE's dialog is almost like Windows': Messy but functional.

Really the main problem at the moment is less than the dialog, but the system in general. OS X has it quite neat and well packed, but everything else tends to have all these different type of dialogs like "Print setup", "Page setup", "Print", "Print properties", "Printer properties", all accessible from different dialogs and menus... and worryingly, there is rarely a time where they are all in a cohesive state with reference to paper sizes and such.

Kopete adds a ugly entry to the taskbar and uses the normal window type?
For arguments sake, a GNOME dev wouldn't fix this by adding an option into kwin, but rather, would fix the "ugly" behaviour of Kopete... just saying...

OMG! I just noticed that the windowdecoration (especially the X) has burned into my LG Flatron L1915S TFT Monitor!

Relax, LCD burn in doesn't exist. You're suffering from image persistence, a trait common to all LCD monitors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_persistence

I suggest using a blank white screensaver for a night or something.

Reply Score: 1

better application with kde
by collinm on Mon 26th Feb 2007 00:40 UTC
collinm
Member since:
2005-07-15

i use kde because there are better application

k3b
konqueror
koffice
kmail
quanta
amarok
kdevelop

another thing, i hate gnome file chooser

Reply Score: 1

RE: better application with kde
by miscz on Mon 26th Feb 2007 02:32 UTC in reply to "better application with kde"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

I don't think that choosing DE should be based on toolkit it uses. You're going to end with both QT and GTK2 apps anyway because restricting yourself to one of them is just insane (unless you have limited resources but then you shouldn't be running any big DE anyway). I'm a Gnome user because I prefer basic functionality (the shell I'm working in) but have tons of QT apps, K3b, Amarok, Quanta, KDevelop which are quality stuff. On the other hand there's Firefox, GIMP, Inkscape which are pretty good too and quite hard to replace.

BTW, I've seen on kde-look.org some patches that replace Gnome file chooser in some major apps with KDE one.

Reply Score: 3

Internationalisation etc.
by Doc Pain on Mon 26th Feb 2007 00:43 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

My first question is: Who will use it?

KDE seems to be great for novice computer users, as well as for those migrating from "Windows". Settings can be done easily with just clicking around. HAL et al. allow the user to have access to his hardware. KDE abstracts the diversion between system administrator and user very well, with all its pros and cons.

Gnome seems to be the better solution for professionals who know how to tweak their system and who are familiar with the stuff beneath the Gnome DE. Sun's adoption of Gnome (with Solaris) is great, too.

Personally, I think KDE is okay for beginners. One of the most important things: Home users do not need more than the K* applications bundled with KDE or installable afterwards. The internationalisation for german language is acceptable. Only con here: The internationalisation settings of KDE do not affect any other than KDE application, e. g. if you install Gimp on a german KDE system, Gimp will be in english.

Gnome instead seems to look after the LC_* language setting variables which affect any multi language capable application.

So while KDE is integrated to itself, Gnome uses the system wide settings. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

My uncle uses KDE for some weeks now, he wants to set the clock to our 24h time we use in Germany. He didn't get it. Too complicated? :-) But he likes the concept of all applications looking the same, allthough he gets confused by the amount of options sometimes. So I may remind to the concept of user stages: Beginner, Advanced, Professional, User Defined, which would be a great approach for KDE and Gnome. Some of you might know this concept from Geoworks Ensemble. Feel free to look through my later posts to learn more.

A personal note in the end: I do not use KDE or Gnome because I do not need a desktop environment at all. I prefer a "stay out of my way and let me work" window manager which takes no more screen space than needed and is highly keyboard configurable, so I use WindowMaker. At work we have some XFCE 3 and XFCE 4 systems set up which work very good with Gtk and non Gtk apps. I do not have any problem with the different applications looking different (Gtk, Qt, Xaw, Tcl/Tk etc.), I use them alltogether without finding it ugly.

The review goes into detail regarding graphical elements, such as file diaglogs or icon alignment. While these are one of the first things the user might see, they do not define the desktop envidonment itself. Multimedia frameworks, language support, application interoperationality and hardware abstraction are underlying points to consider, too.

As it has been mentioned before: Both KDE and Gnome have their advantages and disadvantages, and both of them have the potential to get better. And they will. Both of them will give Linux more popularity in home and business use, and the holy glorified oh shining "market share".

Reply Score: 3

RE: Internationalisation etc.
by anda_skoa on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:29 UTC in reply to "Internationalisation etc."
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

The internationalisation settings of KDE do not affect any other than KDE application, e. g. if you install Gimp on a german KDE system, Gimp will be in english.

If you change the KDE language to something different from your configured system language, then it will only affect KDE applications, since only they can read KDE's settings.

But this is an additional override possibility, if you do not use it, KDE applications use the system language just like any program does.

Environment variable are nice for startup settings, but the have the disadvantage that you can't change them later, i.e. when a programm is already started.

My uncle uses KDE for some weeks now, he wants to set the clock to our 24h time we use in Germany.

This is pretty strange. The German locale defaults to 24h format.
Did he choose something different in the first-login wizard?

So I may remind to the concept of user stages: Beginner, Advanced, Professional, User Defined, which would be a great approach for KDE and Gnome

This has been looked into several times, but it always turns out that it doesn't work.
The users have no indication what level they are, so they either select too low or too high
And it is a support nightmare, because a support person can't just walk a user through some settings, since the user's level might not have them.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Internationalisation etc.
by Doc Pain on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Internationalisation etc."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"But this is an additional override possibility, if you do not use it, KDE applications use the system language just like any program does."

Thanks for this advice! I'm just afraid I break the KDE settings if I set the LC_* variables to something else than the preset UTF8 stuff (would be de.DE_ISO8859-1).

"Environment variable are nice for startup settings, but the have the disadvantage that you can't change them later, i.e. when a programm is already started."

That's right, they only affect programs at startup. A possibility would be to send a SIGLANG signal to the program in order to reload the language library and redisplay the changed content.

"This is pretty strange. The German locale defaults to 24h format.
Did he choose something different in the first-login wizard?"


He cannot remember what he did. He just went there and clickityclick. :-)

regarding the concept of user levels:

"This has been looked into several times, but it always turns out that it doesn't work."

Strange, it worked in Geoworks Ensemble...

"The users have no indication what level they are, so they either select too low or too high"

Yes, that seems to be an existing tendency. There could be a self learning AI system that considers dialogue usage time, mouse movements and general usage behaviour in order to determine the knowledge level of the user.

"And it is a support nightmare, because a support person can't just walk a user through some settings, since the user's level might not have them."

You're making a good point here. A solution might be a "maintenance mode" equivalent to the "professional" mode which could only be selected for a certain time (such as su).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Internationalisation etc.
by re_re on Tue 27th Feb 2007 01:10 UTC in reply to "Internationalisation etc."
re_re Member since:
2005-07-06

>KDE seems to be great for novice computer users, as well as for those migrating from "Windows". Settings can be done easily with just clicking around. HAL et al. allow the user to have access to his hardware. KDE abstracts the diversion between system administrator and user very well, with all its pros and cons.

Gnome seems to be the better solution for professionals who know how to tweak their system and who are familiar with the stuff beneath the Gnome DE. Sun's adoption of Gnome (with Solaris) is great, too. <

I really disagree on this, I find it to be the other way around. I am at a relatively high level of skill, and the bottom line is, KDE is easy to change settings fast (click, click, click, done), and in a production environment, when i have to change settings, i really don't want to have to edit text files.

I feel that because Gnome has so few options compared to KDE that it is more well suited to beginners who possibly might not understand the options available to them.

One other thing I noticed is that for some strange reason, on a dual monitor system, KDE behaves much more nicely. I am not sure what the reasoning for this is, but I have noticed it on every system that I have used.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Internationalisation etc.
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Feb 2007 03:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Internationalisation etc."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

KDE for beginners, Gnome for professionals?

"I really disagree on this, I find it to be the other way around. I am at a relatively high level of skill, and the bottom line is, KDE is easy to change settings fast (click, click, click, done), and in a production environment, when i have to change settings, i really don't want to have to edit text files."

Maybe my expressions were a bit misleading, so let me elaborate on it.

KDE wants to be the "egg laying wool milk sow" (as we say in german, die eierlegende Wollmilchsau, kind of "one size fits all" or "every possible purpose device"). The KDE designers seem to intend to offer their DE to beginners and to professionals as well. The KDE control center supports all possible settings, even those that might be interesting for professionals only.

So the concept of KDE could be described as "include everything and let the user decide".

My reason for assuming KDE to be good for beginners that it's usually used by beginners in fact, because it's bundled with the most polular Linux distributions, as well as with some BSDs.

KDE offers a good development facility, KDevelop. KOffice and the bundled applications make KDE a productive environment.

Gnomes concept seems to be different: "let the user include what he needs". To change settings, you might need a special application that does not come with the Gnome packages itself. One advantage: You cannot change compilcated settings accidently because the tools needed are not available by default.

"I feel that because Gnome has so few options compared to KDE that it is more well suited to beginners who possibly might not understand the options available to them."

It's not that Gnome has few options. But it's not that trivial to change them. Gnome offers a high grade of modularity regarding customization. So you don't need to change text files if you don't want to, but you have to know which setup tool is needed to change the respective options. Let me call this knowledge "professional", allthough the term might not be fitting in here well.

In a professional setting, I personally won't use KDE, because in most cases, there's no need for a complete desktop environment. Professionals as I encountered them (and as I may allow to consider myself, too) need a fast and "stay out of my way and let me work" GUI system, which includes a fast and highly customizable window manager as well as the applications needed - which do their job the best way for the professional. This may change from person to person. While my boss thinks XFCE 4 is the best solution for his work, I stay with WindowMaker. We use a bunch of KDE / Qt, Gnome / Gtk and Tcl/Tk applications at work.

While KDE offers a mostly consistent look of the applications included, this seems to do not matter in a professional setting.

Reply Score: 2

Desktop Comparison
by HappyGod on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:13 UTC
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

He has a point that KDE should provide a thumbnail view on the desktop, so Gnome wins on a technicality there.

But as a matter of taste, I think thumbnail views on the desktop look disgusting. It just looks disorganised.

Actually both the thumbnail views for Gnome and KDE look shocking. I much prefer the Windows approach which is to create uniformly sized icons that scale the contents to fit, instead of the KDE/Gnome method that sizes the icons to fit the contents.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Desktop Comparison
by B. Janssen on Mon 26th Feb 2007 10:53 UTC in reply to "Desktop Comparison"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

HappyGod: [...] instead of the KDE/Gnome method that sizes the icons to fit the contents.

That's not correct. I'm currently not at a Gnome workstation, so I can't check, but I'm confident that there is at least an option to force icons to a common size.

I actually was surprised to see the screenshot of the Gnome desktop by the author; I use Gnome on some workstations and always use the automatic preview function but I haven't such a confusing desktop or layout.

BTW, the workstation I'm typing from is using KDE and I don't use previews here because KDE doesn't handle them very well.

Other than that, I consider both DEs very workable. KDE is superior to Gnome in many ways, but Gnome is superior to KDE in many ways, too. So I really don't mind.

Reply Score: 1

Okay, Gnome vs KDE
by weorthe on Mon 26th Feb 2007 03:45 UTC
weorthe
Member since:
2005-07-06

I use Gnome because of its design. The last time I tried KDE I booted up from a Simply Mepis live CD, opened Konqueror, and there on my desktop were FOURTY-FOUR mostly inscrutable icons! Two rows at the bottom, including 6 that looked like tiny terminals; and icons across the top of Konqueror and down the side. Three icons were magnifying glasses. One was a star.

I couldn't find the option to set Konqueror's home page - there were settings, tools, preferences, view profiles, etc menus. So much power yet I was powerless. Options that are more common need to be made prominent, while those used less frequently or by fewer people should not clutter up everyone's menus. Giving people a million choices isn't empowerment; giving people what they want as efficiently as possible is.

The only KDE app I use is K3B. I used to laugh when it started up because it assured me that the defaults work for most people, and to get back to the default settings there's a nested menu option somewhere.... A Gnome app doesn't give you the option to muck up the settings - they're correct in the first place. (Yeah, if there were such a Gnome app I wouldn't be using K3B.)

Gnome has made mistakes born of arrogance (like forcing nested browsing on users with no easy option to turn it off). But the ideal of an interface that just works has led Gnome to become a superior interface.

KDE is a great project with great developers and an awesome community. I hope the default interface is getting the editing it needs, especially as the platform becomes available on Windows.

Reply Score: 3

Gnome better for professionals?
by mariux on Mon 26th Feb 2007 06:45 UTC
mariux
Member since:
2005-11-13

>Gnome is better for professionals while kde is best for beginners [freely quoted]


What?! You couldn't be more off, kde is far ahead in allowing experienced computer users work in a more efficient way. The amazing keyboard shortcut foundation is one example. Right now i have sepearate and custom keyboard shortcuts to focus all apps that i regularly use, win+k for konqueror, win+t for kontact e.g., And also keyboard shortcuts to starting them up.
Also i have navigate most of the UI using the keyboard, with alt+keys and lets not forget konquerors accesskeys and ' and / link searching.
It really allows me to work efficiently.

And these are just examples of what you can do with the keyboard shortcuts, you can also make input actions that can do almost anything (dcop and so on)

The keyboard shortcuts are just one example of how when you get known with kde you can start looking through kcontrol for things to enhance your experience. In gnome i have more off a "All you see is all you get" feeling, mixed with "this is it?"

Reply Score: 4

RE: Gnome better for professionals?
by Pfeifer on Mon 26th Feb 2007 09:27 UTC in reply to "Gnome better for professionals?"
Pfeifer Member since:
2006-02-20

I don't think I agree here. Both KDE and Gnome have excellent keyboard and accessability support. Far superior to Microsoft Windows and OS X. As far as that, the two desktops (KDE and Gnome) are equivalent.

What the grandparent poster (probably) wanted to say is, that Gnome is something you'd see in a corporate environment (thus; professional).

The minimal configurability of Gnome (and it's quite sane defaults) makes it an ideal candidate for the corporate desktop. Giving first level support is much easier if you don't have to figure out how the system is configured in the first place. The ability to lock down (almost) the whole GUI in Gnome is a big pro in this case. But because of it's lack of configuration, Gnome tends to be rather... well.. boring. (Although boring may be good; you get more work done.)

KDE on the other side is ideal for technical enthusiasts. Tinkerers, as I call them. They love gadgets, they love to play around with options and settings and to tweak they working environment. KDE has been developed for and by this kind of user. Because of that KDE is an ideal starting ground for new users on the UNIX desktops; early adaptors tend to be "Tinkerers".

Reply Score: 3

cjcoats Member since:
2006-04-16

The minimal configurability of Gnome (and it's quite sane defaults) makes it an ideal candidate for the corporate desktop.

That is why it is also a major hindrance to people who actually do serious work. Frankly, I find Gnome a real step back even from early-Nineties OpenLook and olvwm. At least they are configurable where it counts for me. Gnome isn't.

Reply Score: 2

From TFA
by Jack Malmostoso on Mon 26th Feb 2007 09:07 UTC
Jack Malmostoso
Member since:
2006-01-20

"Any GNOME theme is better than almost all the default themes KDE uses in various distros: the Qt widgets using Plastique, with rounded 3D buttons and some ugly widgets (think QLCDNumber) look... spongy and toyish, just like the Luna interface vs. Windows classic in XP."

Hey... I wrote that: http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17316&comment_id=214608

:D

Reply Score: 4

external taskbar
by l3v1 on Mon 26th Feb 2007 13:48 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

The two-panel default layout: one panel at the top, one panel at the bottom. I simply need space for the window list (taskbar).

You just can't imagine (no, you really can't, believe me) how many times I have heard and read that. Geez. And then I send one of my kde screenshots with a transparent app-launch bar and a separate external taskbar one top the other bottom. And then silence comes. Thing is, one should make a large list of relevant functionality (including customizability, configurability of and from kde, and application use cases from file handling dialogs to printing and whatnot) of the two DEs and present screenshots of performing the tasks in the two DEs.

I also would put two kids next to other, one good with kde and one good with gnome and ask them to configure different aspects of their DE with their DE's target tools, from window button placement and behavior to mouse cursors, window behavior, app and taskbar customizations to wifi and beyond). Not for themselves, but to make videos and show the unknowing crowds. Then let them decide.

Not about which is better.

About which to use.

the default layout in KDE is having a single panel, usually with some huge launch icons added, and the space left for the taskbar (window list) is terribly small: this is bad usability design by my book. Winner, GNOME.

No, I won't start another configurability difference debate of the two DEs here (about what and how you can customize). No, I won't start arguing about the junkiness of some default configurations of the DEs. All I will say here, times again, is that I wouldn't allow one who's not willing to customize his DE to his needs to make any usability remarks.

Choosing KDE over GNOME or GNOME over KDE should be based on some other criteria too.

Well, some other criteria and some other arguments too. Thing is, I never ever in my life have I read a well written Gnome-KDE comparison. This isn't one either. Most of them are superficial and made by users who can't or won't perform changes and use case scenarios that would be relevant.

Reply Score: 5

RE: external taskbar
by sbenitezb on Mon 26th Feb 2007 20:47 UTC in reply to "external taskbar"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"Thing is, I never ever in my life have I read a well written Gnome-KDE comparison. This isn't one either. Most of them are superficial and made by users who can't or won't perform changes and use case scenarios that would be relevant."

And that is because human beings are all different.

There are those that want it simple and stupid that just works without doing anything and never need shortcuts because they use only the mouse. And don't even mention customizing anything. They will open "the internet", write some mail, browse some pages, listen to some music and perhaps watching some video. If something breaks, they will quickly find someone with more knowledge/interest on the matter to fix it for them. No need to know about kernels, xorg.conf, or kcontrol. "Oh my god, I only want to use messenger".

But also there are those that, not being "technicians", have a bit of interest on taking their own (payed with hard work) computers a step more than the average user. They've already learnt about shortcuts other than Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V and are able to do more "advanced" things, like change window decorations, fonts, focus policy (focus follows mouse is great once you discover it), and '/' for searching. They are not afraid of tweaking more than the wallpaper. And if given the chance, they could also discover potentially interesting configuration options to better fit their needs. It only has to be available somewhere.

Sometimes, it happens that the first class of user turns into the second class, by way of knowledge accumulation. Not always, but it can happen. Is not fixed.

Geeks are another species. They already have an advanced knowledge to do almost anything if they want. Using something like kcontrol or gconf-editor to achieve what they want is a matter of personal preference/laziness. There will be, obviously, those that favor KDE because they think it's better to have all options easily available in one central place where you just point, click and you are done. And the Gnome fans think that options are useless because defaults are sensible and you already have gnome-regedit and there you will find god only knows how many options you can configure to your tastes without being guilty of to much kcontrol clicking.

So in which class do you fit?

Reply Score: 3

Gnome v KDE is a stupid comparison
by rtfa on Mon 26th Feb 2007 14:44 UTC
rtfa
Member since:
2006-02-27

It amazes me just how childish these comparisons are, why can't people get a clue.

Why can't people see that it should be "Gnome" vs "Distro that uses KDE" and the comments should be directed to that Distro's implementation of KDE.

Gnome is just an iteration of Microsoft's attitude - you'll have what we give you, like it or not.

KDE is there to be configured however the Distro wants. Its not forced down your throat like Gnome.

Each DE has their advantages/disadvantages, just pick the one you want and get on with it

Reply Score: 1

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

You should throw MacosX in the mix of "you'll have what we give, like it or not" attitude. The fact that three major desktop take this initiative might speak about what users really want. I really wouldn't put MS in this category anyway, with 3rd party apps windows can be just as configurable as KDE in some instances. Every one here brings up the fact that KDE should be configured properly before its used, either by a distro or the the user themselves. Thats the point, KDE isn't a sane desktop off the bat, it needs countless hours of configuration to get right and that still won't get rid of the "noisy" feel. It has to do with how the widgets were designed in the 3.5+ series. The status bar itself gives way too much info unnecessarily, even if the info was relevant its far from elegant. That is the issue KDE, its not its functionality or ease of use or whatever, its that its an ugly duckling and no amount of configuring can change that. KDE is already looking far better just by them reworking a couple of widgets here and there.

Edited 2007-02-26 17:36

Reply Score: 1

boring
by thingi on Mon 26th Feb 2007 16:36 UTC
thingi
Member since:
2006-02-28

It's unfair to compare Gnome to KDE on virtually all Distro's. Usually they have not even been compiled and/or set up properly.

First off - I'm a gnome fan it is my desktop of choice (e17 is changing my mind though it's soooooo bloomin fast ;)

However after using Sabayon 64bit I can honestly say that that kde is pretty darn good - but only if compiled properly - on other distro's I've found that KDE is always plagued by too many sigterms errors and the dreaded I'm loading I'm loading I'm loading - no I'm not and I wont give you an error either!

Gnome v's KDE....... IMHO it's a silly debate to have, it's personal preference - I don't bitch about people for drinking Pepsi just because I prefer Coca Cola.

I also don't slag off anyone's choice of desktop either (apart from Aero of course ;-) ;-) :-)

Reply Score: 1

No conclusion
by Ben Jao Ming on Mon 26th Feb 2007 23:53 UTC
Ben Jao Ming
Member since:
2005-07-26

This is a great review. It doesn't feature every last bit of detail or anything. It doesn't actually cover what it's supposed to: Fully and substantially comparing the two DEs.

But that's okay. Because it just states the obvious. There's no winner. It's just a very good example.

I use Gnome and XFCE, because I feel a performance boost when not having any QT apps and GTK apps open at the same time. Accidentally I use GTK apps, but only a year back I was using pure QT. The switch was based on pure coincidence.

Reply Score: 1