Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 17th Feb 2003 22:39 UTC
KDE "Variety is the spice of life for the Linux desktop of today. For sheer speed and few features you can run a minimalist desktop like BlackBox. At the upper end of the scale is KDE 3.1. This full-blown desktop offers advanced features, extreme customization and tight application integration." At LinuxPlanet.
Order by: Score:
KDE is the best
by patrick_darcy on Mon 17th Feb 2003 22:56 UTC

KDE has produced the most magnificent desktop the world has
ever seen. bar none. its beautiful, its fast, its powerful, its secure.
we should all give them a round of applause.


hi eugenia ;)


Nice article, but...
by Jack Perry on Mon 17th Feb 2003 22:57 UTC

It should be illegal to mix the Crystal iconset with a web decoration that ugly.

RE: KDE is the best
by Eugenia on Mon 17th Feb 2003 22:59 UTC

>its beautiful

I disagree.

> its fast

Depends on the platform and on the abilities of the underlying OS.

>its powerful

Depends in what way you mean it.

>it's secure

It probably is.


Hi Patrick.

KDE just rocks!
by anopenscroll on Mon 17th Feb 2003 22:59 UTC

I just installed both kde 3.1 and gnome 2.2 on my debian box. Gnome 2.2 looks clean and simple (which I like), but really sucks this time. I can't see a big difference from Gnome 2.0. However, KDE has improved beyond measure. You could make a linux distro called KDE itself, just because of the integration and number of apps, that fit in well. KDE 3.1 is also quite noticably faster than 3.0. If you're still thinking about trying it, just go 4 it!

oops
by Jack Perry on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:00 UTC

...er, "window" decoration. whatever. :-P

RE: kde is the best
by jon on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:00 UTC

i also think that kde is one of the best projects out there, but fluxbox & rox just work better on my laptop (not as heavy & quicker).

Kde team, keep up the great work.!!

KDE 3.1 and 2.2.2
by Ed Page on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:20 UTC

I am running Debian Sarge which has KDE 2.2.2 on a 450. KDE 3.1 sounds good but I dont want my box to run any slower and want to make sure it is worth teh risk of moving to Debian Unstable if I cant find any deb's compiled for sarge

People mention KDE 3.1 being faster then 3.0, but how do 3.0 and 3.1 relate to to 2.2.2 wrt speed?

re: KDE 3.1 and 2.2.2
by The_deb_hurd on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:27 UTC

Here.

deb http://download.kde.org/stable/3.1/Debian stable main

This should work. I tried this on my system running sid and it works great. I've also tried this on a woody system. It seems to work better on the sid system.

Re: Ed Page
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:32 UTC

3.0 and 3.1 are a lot faster than 2.2.2 wrt speed.

To Eugenia> Personally, I think KDE 3.1 is gorgeous. Of course, mine is quite a bit more tweeked than most setups. I've removed the gradients from Keramik, tweeked some of the colors in the "Emerald" style, and chopped away at a lot of toolbars to get them to a bare, asthetic minimum. KDE is moving towards a simplification within its project so hopefully future versions will be cleaner out of the box. I get the feeling you prefer more of an elegant, flat, grey look (like many of the GNOME themes) than the colorful crystal look. KDE really does lack a good flat (but not too flat, like .NET) GNOME-like theme.

As for the "KDE is powerful" comment, I simply don't understand. KDE is the most powerful desktop I've ever used. The sheer amount of customizability is incredible. I'd really like to know what you think is deficient in comparison to a (stock) installation of Windows XP, for example.

PS> The best part of KDE has to be the Noia icon set. Wow. Most beautiful things ever. They're more fun than the Crystal set. I never understood why anybody would need 64x64 icons, but now I do! I just wish they'd let me make the icons in menus bigger (16x16 is really too small for my resolution).

Re: Rayiner Hashem
by Hiryu on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:45 UTC

I think KDE looks gorgeous as well.

Anyway, I'm curious as to what your tweaks have done for your desktop, how about a screenshot or few? Maybe I'll just go and borrow your settings... ;)

I'm going to go try the Noia icon set too.

Ed Page:
KDE 3.0.0 is a bit faster than KDE 2.2.2, KDE 3.1 is noticably faster than 2.2.2, so give it a try.

in the past linux looks were hyped.
by pnghd on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:49 UTC

I have a hard time trusting the aesthetic sense of
some linux enthusiasts. These are the same people who
were oohing and aahingsaying over Gnome desktops
back whey they were butt ugly.
And they sure as hell weren't nicer looking than
W95. despite this being an article of faith among many
Windows looks has always been the most trivial of my
concerns with Microsoft.

So now it is finally true, but I still have to see
for myself otherwise I have a "little boy gnu" feeling.





Konqueror 3.1 is da bomb yo
by bytes256 on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:51 UTC

My favorite part of KDE is Konqueror...great file manager, excellent browser

I use it almost exclusively now

keep up the good work

-bytes256

kde is painfully slow on old machines
by Anonymous on Mon 17th Feb 2003 23:51 UTC

I've tried KDE on my Pentium 2 266, 96 Meg RAM (and a 1 yr old 20 gig hard drive) and it's painfully slow - starting kde takes forever, and launching relatively lightweight apps takes at least 15 seconds. Basically it's too slow to be useable. However i've found gnome 2 to be significantly faster - both when starting up, and when launching apps. I'm not going to have a go at KDE for requiring a reasonably fast machine to rnu comfortably, it was never meant to be a lightweight desktop, i just won't use it on machines any slower than a pentium 3.

"The box had 128 MB of RAM, 256K of L2 cache, a 2.5 GB disk and Debian. Even though KDE took about two and 1/2 minutes to load..." Sorry, you just said it took two and a half minutes to load kde - add on the couple of minutes it takes to boot a new linux distro on an old box like this and you've taken 5 minutes before you can even think about opening your word processor or anything else useful. For comparison try using windows 95 (or even 98, you've got 128 meg of ram) or a lightweight WM like fluxbox - you'll find you've suddenly regained the will to live ;-)

Konqueror is the most buggy part of KDE. Maybe because it is the most complex one. Point is, it does not always work as expected, in fact it has right-click menus for items that don't make sense to have specific options, and in general is *buggy*, crashy and bloated.

As for KDE overall, while we seen it adding a lot of new features lately, it REMAINS unpolished, bloated and without a direction: It includes system utilities for some things, and not for others. It includes certain user-level applications, but not everything. KDE has an identity crisis and leaving a few preferences to the distribution while handling others through KDE is just weird. And inconsistent.

More over, the KDE 3.1 Kontrol Center is the Center Of All Laughs. I have never seen a more bloated preference panel in my life, having more about 30-40 leaves in the tree excluding the number of tabs for each leaf/option! Soon you forget where is where. It is just unusable. Terrible.

One year ago I had Gnome out of the horizon and considered KDE the only leading Linux DE. One year later, and *because* of the Red Hat involvement on Gnome 2, I actually tend to see Gnome2 having a better face today. Gnome2 still sucks, but for a DE, is simpler and more predictable than KDE. KDE tries to do everything, adds apps to the mix and instead of focus to the usability and how to clean up their chaotic existance, they add more to the mix. A shame.

A shame because I like Qt and I like true C++ and OOP on KDE, while I hate GTK+ and C on Gnome. Because of Qt/C++/OOP I want to see KDE becoming better instead of Gnome. Unfortunately, Gnome2 does a better job today for a DE. KDE does a better job for the "everything and the kitchen bloated sink" department. Which is something I dislike.

On the whole...
by marm on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:13 UTC

3.1 is quicker than 3.0, which is quicker than 2.x. It's ok if not screaming on my old PII-233, but it's at least as snappy as Win2k on my 866. Konq loads in under a second, KMail in about 2. It'd be less if I had my system fully prelinked (damn nvidia drivers). I'm amazed at the stability - in the two weeks I've been running it Konqueror has crashed once, and that's it, otherwise everything has been flawless. Obviously there's a little room for improvement there but that's impressive given all the new features (which have been discussed at length before, so I won't here).

And the look is wonderful. Keramik is not everyone's cup of tea (although I like it a lot) but the Crystal icons are simply awesome: not as garish as XP's and more understandable than OS X's photo-style icons, with an elegant style all of their own. Better than anything else yet. Clean, very pretty, and very very usable. Normally I customize the hell out of any desktop I use, but with KDE 3.1, apart from changing the font from Helvetica to Luxi Sans, I haven't bothered.

KDE 3.1 seriously rocks. I don't doubt that certain apps need tweaking for maximum usability but it's a fantastically good base to build on, and IMHO anyone using KDE 2.x/3.x should definitely upgrade.

Clueless Reviewer
by Miller on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:17 UTC

All he can mention is the icons and the colors of the new KDE 3.1 seem more vivid and that the people over at LUG seem to like the new look for some reason. This guy didn't even realize he's using KDE 3.1 WITHOUT the new default theme (Keramic). See his screenshots. He's using the ugly KDE 3.0 default theme. No wonder he sounded so clueless as to why people like it so much.

Well Eugenia,
by LaNcom on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:29 UTC

are you really sure you know what your talking about?!?

Konqueror is buggy, right. In fact, it's allmost as buggy as Windows Explorer, crashes nearly as often as Windows Explorer, but it is much more powerful (I mean it's features).
It is far from perfect, but it's evolving - Windows Explorer seems polished and clean, but it lacks 90% of Konqueror's features, so that's not surprising - and it's still not stable, it didn't evolve for about eight years now...

WindowsXP Control Center is even badder designed than Kontrol Center, ergonomical. It also features 30 - 40 more or less(!) logical dialogs with up to ten tabs for each dialog, and for most of Windows' options, you still have to use Powertoys (seperate download), or even Regedit.
So it's not only unusable by design, but also 'cause it's to limited...

And what's that crap about user apps included with KDE, there are no, make that no USABLE user apps included with any commercial(!) DE, if you think of OSX or WindowsXP as a DE... So I guess I prefer having CERTAIN good user applications.

It is right, KDE needs to become even better, but I guess it's the best DE out there allready, but it's nice to see that there are still such massive improvements since 3.0, let's see what 3.2 will have to offer...

re:You wanted a review about KDE? Get a comment instead
by None on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:33 UTC

"As for KDE overall, while we seen it adding a lot of new features lately, it REMAINS unpolished, bloated and without a direction"

Yawn. Another negative comment on linux....

KDE 3.1 is a solid release that any linux or windows user can easily sit down in front of and get their work done. Its got a good email client, calendar and file manager/browser. In fact its got nice set of apps and utils for about everything you'd want to do. As for calling konq buggy, I don't see it and never have. Its worked well as a file manager since the 2.x series. The is of course in contrast to Nautilus which remains the pinnacle of bloat and bugginess. KDE remains the leading linux Desktop and with good reason. Its gotten better with every release makes an excellant desktop. Congrats to the KDE team on a job well done.

hehe speaking of the devil...
by Robert Renling on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:33 UTC

http://signal.fearmuffs.net/dajmer.png kde 3.1 with konq opera and kopete open.

http://signal.fearmuffs.net/ars.png gnome-2.2 barebones
http://signal.fearmuffs.net/ars2.png gnome-2.2 w. nautilus and net-rhythmbox open.


I like gnome-2.2 better due to said involvement of three capable ui designers and RedHat (havoc amongst others work there.) and it feels damn snappy!

and to be honest kde-3.1 was a dissapointment due to the fact that as eugenia noted, it hasn't cleaned up the ui and the lack of direction is bothersome.
Kde has a great advantage over Gnome when it comes to "user experience" and application integration in the form of kmail and koffice.

but it's all good.
I can use the producitivity applications from KDE anyway.

RE: Well Eugenia,
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:39 UTC

>are you really sure you know what your talking about?!?

surely.

>In fact, it's allmost as buggy as Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer doesn't even come close to the bugginess of the various modules/plugins that Konqueror bears.
Please note that while Konqueror IS crashy, the main problem with the application is that has bugs and is unpredictable, not that it necessarily crashes.

>WindowsXP Control Center is even badder designed than Kontrol Center, ergonomical.

XP's control center is not as bad as KDE's. XP's control center at least is offering pref panels about ALL the elements of the OS, while KDE is about that, PLUS a zillion options about the UI modifications, making it impossible to distinguish which option is under which leaf. On XP everything is crystal clear, because you have big teams like "networking" and "other hardware", while on KDE you got a zillion options of the same theme, making it difficult to distinguish options.

>And what's that crap about user apps included with KDE

I am not against including apps with the KDE. What I am against is having all these apps going on, without having first being able to offer a CLEAN and usable UI. KDE at its core is a bloated/incomprehensable DE. I wouldn't care less about the Address Book or that Golf game, while I don't have basic functionality yet that works WELL and doesn't get in MY WAY. Plus, Keramik looks absolutely crap (especially the window manager).

>but I guess it's the best DE out there allready

I prefer the simplicity of WindowMaker, until KDE gets their act together and fix their usability problems. What KDE has good, is their framework and Qt/C++. I like the API. But I don't like the end product.

If you don't agree, that's fine. You have your opinions, and I have mine.

>Yawn. Another negative comment on linux....

I have nothing against Linux or the KDE project. I simply expressed my opinion on the KDE Desktop Environment and how well/bad works for me.

>The is of course in contrast to Nautilus which remains the pinnacle of bloat and bugginess

Did I ever say that Nautilus is much better? Nautilus lacks some functionality I find imperative and is indeed slow. However, I take Nautilus over Konqueror any time, simply because Nautilus is more predictable. Konqueror doesn't have a soul anymore, all these modules and added crap on top of it, makes it unpleasant to me.

Robert, the pics don't work...

Re:
by None on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:49 UTC

Another thing I wanted to mention Eug. Just because you have a theory on how UI is supposed to work and what makes a perfect UI, doesn't mean that all other UI's which don't follow that formula suck. That's how many of your comments on KDE 3.1 and the linux desktop come out and it just makes you look a)extremely negative and b)like a linux desktop basher.

I look forward to the Beos "sequel" and how you react to reviewers dumping all over it.

Re: None
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:53 UTC

>what makes a perfect UI

There is no such thing as the "Perfect UI". This is a myth, same as the "killer application". These are myths.

> Just because you have a theory on how UI is supposed to work

I don't have a formula. But there are RULES that even the dumbest UI designer knows, and these BASIC rules are the SAME for everyone. The problem is that KDE and even Gnome doesn't follow these BASIC rules (sometimes for legacy reasons), let alone polishing up their UIs. And that's the whole problem here.

>I look forward to the Beos "sequel" and how you react to reviewers dumping all over it.

That will depend on how much the Sequel developers will listen to me. If we will be in the same situations as in Gnome, where most of the developers don't give a rat's a$$ what their UI designer instructs them to do, I am sure that Sequel's UI will suck TOO and I will be the first one to dump on it.

Re: Patrick & article
by Lee Nooks on Tue 18th Feb 2003 00:56 UTC

>> KDE has produced the most magnificent desktop the world has ever seen. bar none.

Yes, I agree. But Gnome is getting better and better, specially in the looks dept. We may be in for some surprises in the near future. But KDE will rock on corporate desktop for some time, I guess.

>> its beautiful,

Well, it's skinnable. Everybody can get a personal touch. You can even use another WM with KDE, if needed...

>> its fast,

That's debatable. It's getting faster though, as many free software apps do -- and I have great hopes for 3.2 or 4, whatever name the next version will have.

>> its powerful

No doubt about this. These KDE guys are way serious about power for the user. It's the Mercedes of the desktops.

>> we should all give them a round of applause.

I think so, but I'm 100% sure they know they're essential to Linux. It's an excellent work, even an inspiring thing. This is the stuff from which legends are created.

==================
About the article:
==================

An interesting piece, but 128MB RAM and 2.5GB HD simply is too much.

I don't mean we use 486s, but I guess a small machine is a Pentium 100MHz, 16MB RAM and maybe some 500MB HD. Memory for these old ladies is way too expensive, much more than modern ones. You can't always afford 128MB.

Lighter desktops like XFCE or Rox (or even EDE, can anyone comment on the revamped version?) have a bright future in poorer environments, IMHO.

re: You wanted a review!
by Anonymous on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:01 UTC

Sorry Eugie but you are misguided in your treatment of KDE. It is simply the best DE out there. And I don't know about Konqueror "crashing all the time" Maybe its the crappy hardware you have.

re: re: You wanted a review!
by Robert Renling on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:04 UTC

anonymous said:
Sorry Eugie but you are misguided in your treatment of KDE. It is simply the best DE out there. And I don't know about Konqueror "crashing all the time" Maybe its the crappy hardware you have.

hmmm nice strawman you have there, this is a site for opinions not personal attacks.

re: You wanted a review!
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:07 UTC

> It is simply the best DE out there.

This is your opinion, not mine. Keep your opinion and I will keep mine.

>And I don't know about Konqueror "crashing all the time"

Did I say anything about crashing *ALL* the time? I said that it is BUGGY and unpredictable. Because it is, even if the outcome is not crashing. Bugs doesn't always mean crashings.

>Maybe its the crappy hardware you have.

I have NO buggy hardware here my dear, please stop the speculation. I have TEN computers. Not everything can be buggy, can it?

Thanks Robert. ;)

Killer application myth
by Jim on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:09 UTC

To me, "killer application" means an application which would be the only reason you buy a computer.

Alot of older people get computers just so they can use e-mail. Kids going to college get computers (depending on their major) to do word processing. Alot of people I know would only use their computers for downloading music.

I think there are killer applications... its just that they aren't instantaneous. There had to be alot of people using e-mail before their parent and grandparents wanted to buy a computer just to exchange e-mail.

RE: Killer application myth
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:17 UTC

> To me, "killer application" means an application which would be the only reason you buy a computer.

Not necessarily and certainly not for KDE which runs on many platforms. "killer application" means an application which would be the only reason you buy an *OS*, not a computer. Simply because KDE and Windows can run on the same computer, so the OS is the point of interest here, not the "computer". And KDE or Gnome has no such application. Windows can do everything these DEs can.

The BeOS crowd was for FIVE years in search of the "killer application". They found nothing. Even the most innovative widely available app today for "people like us", Watson for MacOSX, is still not a reason to pay $1500 for a Mac.

There is no such thing as the "killer app" that answers to the needs of ALL people. You see, if you are talking about specific things, like Studio3d Max, while this is a great app, it only answers to the needs of a VERY specific crowd, and not everyone's.

Killer apps are browsers, email clients, media players because these are apps answering to the needs of the WHOLE. But Windows and OSX can do these too. Even better than Linux can. So, there are no killer apps, and even if you create something innovative, Apple and MS will copy you in no time, and have the product ready even before you reach 1.0-FINAL.

RE: Killer application myth
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:20 UTC

In my opinion, when talking about _true_ innovation today, it will have to be something like this:
http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2084
and/or this:
http://web.archive.org/web/20010627230736/www.benews.com/story/3803

Anything less, are just traditional, non-innovative stuff. The last time I was an innovation in the consumer computing was in 1984 with the first Apple, and then Win95 in 1995 (and that not because Win95 was innovative, but because was able to bring computers closer to the people like never before). Other than that, we just keep reusing the same metaphors and re-inventing the wheel. Hardly interesting or innovative. BORING if I might say so.

RE: Killer application myth
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:22 UTC

s/ I was an innovation / I SAW an innovation

Eugenia...
by marm on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:23 UTC

I don't quite understand the vitriol of your comments. If the KDE developers have preferred to add new features rather than fix usability problems in 3.1, then I think it is because this is what caters to them and the vast majority of their users. There are still a number of gaps in KDE functionality that need plugging, and I hate to say it, but most users are far more interested in 'Can it do this?' rather than 'Does it do it nicely?' If the app does it 'well enough' then fixing the interface gets punted until a competitive level of functionality is reached with comparable Windows or Mac apps and all the nasty crashing or erratic behaviour bugs are fixed. I think KDE has done a decent job of making all the important apps 'good enough' to get on with, even if they're not perfect.

I share my KDE machines with 3 housemates - techno-illiterates all - and none of them has a problem understanding how to do all the tasks they need to do - getting online, browsing, mail, word processing, playing media, managing their personal files, and of course the odd game of Frozen Bubble ;) . Of course I had to set things up for them but I would have had to do that under Windows or MacOS too. I haven't had any complaints: in fact, just this week one of them was raving about Konq 3.1's tabbed browsing - a usability no-no if we are to believe Apple - after I showed it to her and she played with it a while.

You'll notice that there are very few users complaining about KDE's usability compared to Gnome 2, but there are plenty of users moaning about the relative lack of features in Gnome 2 compared to KDE, I think this illustrates the average user's priorities.

That said, I think KDE has reached a level where developers are beginning to get serious about the fit and finish - 3.1 has a number of improvements and the KDE usability team is getting busier for 3.2 and more involved in general developer discussions. Konqueror is currently getting a thorough usability analysis. Useless options are being removed - e.g. the Trash menu has been massively simplified for 3.2. People are exploring new ideas for the UI - the SlicKer project comes to mind.

I just don't see what you're getting at to be honest, it seems to me that the KDE developers care quite a lot about usability - just that 'good enough' and full-featured is their current aim rather than 'perfect' and lacking in features.

GNOME OO
by RedHatDude on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:24 UTC

GNOME2 has OO language bindings. Python, C++, and there are C# bindings in the works. I have seen ruby bindings but I don't know how well they work.

gentoo kde 3.1
by Joe on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:24 UTC

Well, I suppose everyone is just going to keep going back and forth trying to convince eachother that their DE is the best for reason x, y, z.......

I think that it comes down to individual taste, no matter what anybody else says a PERFECT DE might be.

I was quite comfortable with Gnome 2.0 on RH8 on my pc and laptop. Until I started using Gentoo and installed KDE 3.1. Wow!! I love the default look, but that's not as important to me. I want functionality and I want to stop digging into config file all the time. This is where KDE blows away Gnome, there is just so much more functionality, especially when is comes to Konqueror vs Nautilus. However I hope that they both keep improving and pushing eachother to new levels of performance, usability, and stability.

That's the best part about the *nix world, I can choose the one that is the best for me.

RE: GNOME OO
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:27 UTC

GTK+/Gnome libs doesn't even come close to the ease of use and elegance of the Qt/KDE libs framework. At it stands today, KDE has a better *framework* than Gnome has. But Gnome offers a "cleaner" user experience than KDE has.

If I was to fork and do my thing with the underlying tools of Gnome and KDE, I would pick KDE/Qt and "fix" it and make it clean and fast. As a programmer, I would prefer KDE.

But as it stands today, as a user, I prefer the cleaner interface of Gnome2.

crashing *ALL* the time
by John Blink on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:31 UTC

KDE has always been slow and buggy since 2.x, and Konqueror use to crash alot in 2.x days and in early 3.x days too.

I found the version in Redhat8 has crashed but slightly less.

About windows explorer crashing, I have found a strange phenomenon occuring on my PC. When I first install win2000, it crashes for no apparant reason, but then it stabilises and doesn't do it anymore.

Whereas with win98 it would be good to start of with it would crash later.

Don't laugh. ;)

This is my favourite KDE look, but I don't know the pieces to recreate it, windows decoration, style?

http://kdelook.org/content/preview.php?file=2539-1.jpg

RE: Eugenia...
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:32 UTC

>I don't quite understand the vitriol of your comments.

Read my previous comment, I have absolutely nothing against the KDE project or Linux or Gnome. I just speak my mind as a dev, user and ui person.

>I just don't see what you're getting at to be honest,

You just said it. I am just being honest and I don't hide behind my own finger just so that I won't make the KDE people "sad".

>'good enough' and full-featured is their current aim rather than 'perfect' and lacking in features.

There is no perfect UI. Check again ALL my comments before you reply please. But KDE doesn't follow basic rules and instead of fix their usability problems they ENHANCE them with every release and make the problems worse (see the bloatiness of Control Center). That is BAD and worthy of heavy critisism.

Agreed.
by RedHatDude on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:32 UTC

Ok, I see what you're saying.

I prefer GNOME because it's more responsive than KDE (Nautilus basically). The GNOME framework is improving, hopefully it'll develop to the point where it's as easy to use as KDE.

I just wish that GNOME had something like Applescript.

RE: crashing *ALL* the time
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:36 UTC

> This is my favourite KDE look

This window manager does the same wrong thing as MacOSX does: it only shows what each window manager button does only after you mouse-over it. Yes, it looks good, but it is laughable from the usability point of view. Read the recent OSX articles for what OSX users have to say about the same issue too.

What???
by anopenscroll on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:47 UTC

"I prefer GNOME because it's more responsive than KDE (Nautilus basically)"

I'm sorry, but that's the funniest thing I've heard. It's really not true. Nautilus takes a whole 2 seconds of spinning the blog before it changes a directory. Konqueror is blindingly fast compared to it.

And don't tell me it has something to do with my box. It's a 1.47g with 256mb DDR.

Great, except for Konqueror
by Dude on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:50 UTC

WEll, I really like KDE, but when you compare Konqueror to Xandro's File manager or Explorer it is pathetic in regard to digital media.

XFM works with every camera I tried, it works the same way as XP and makes it a removable disk. It also has a my computer kind of style, which means I can easily view the cdroms, windows network, nfs network, printers etc. It is also easy to share files in Xandros, just right click a drive, (evena cdrom) and select sahre contents, you can even specify permissions and more. These are just small examples only scratching the surface.

In Konwueror, my camera is notlisted as a removable disk and I can not even view my pictures, kamera and gphoto do not ahve any drivers for this toshiba camera. Also, like Explorer it lists actions and automounts/unmounts cds.

anopenscroll
by RedHatDude on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:53 UTC

What version?

Nautilus opens new windows as fast as Explorer, and changes directories for me as fast as explorer.

RE: anopenscroll
by RedHatDude on Tue 18th Feb 2003 01:54 UTC

Red hat 8.0 stock Nautilus (dunno the exact version)

Version
by anopenscroll on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:01 UTC

Maybe RH is better. Haven't used that one for a while.

Mine is a full vanilla GNOME install fresh of the unstable Debian servers ;)

Nautilus, is 2.2.1-1

Nice Improvements, but more needed
by linux_baby on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:16 UTC

KDE is doing great work, and I definitely applaud their efforts. They are getting better, and have started cleaning up the menu system. But there're still ways to go. I would have to agree with Eugenia. KDE needs to:

1. Clean up and simplify their interface. Just make it less overwhelming.

2. Make things less buggy. Konqueror has great potential but yes, it is VERY buggy indeed.

3. And no Eugenia, I think Keramik is great!

v uh-huh
by Anonymous on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:18 UTC
Keramik
by RedHatDude on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:20 UTC

I never liked keramik, and I like Aqua ;)

It the buttons and window decorations just seem gaudy and big.

RE: Nice Improvements, but more needed
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:24 UTC

> I think Keramik is great!

The widget theme could be better, but it is acceptable.

But the window manager theme of Keramik is what I truly don't like. It is just clunky.

WinXP, Redhat, KDE and Gnome
by linux_baby on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:25 UTC

And speaking of desktops, well, I mostly Redhat 8 thesedays.
Yes, I am a linux fan boy, but that's not why. On my laptop (Dell Latitude, 850 mhz, 128 megs), Xp is almost unuseable. It is dog-slow,takes forever to open any application, and freezes too many times. Yes, yes, yes, I have done clean installs over and over again, that still didn't help. In a way, I think that's weird, because, at work, we actually have a few people using XP on Pentium 166s, and doing produtive work with it.

Anyway, I use Redhat 8 with Gnome. While KDE is flashy, it is rather unpredictable and far from solid.


RE: Eugenia...
by marm on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:25 UTC

But KDE doesn't follow basic rules and instead of fix their usability problems they ENHANCE them with every release and make the problems worse (see the bloatiness of Control Center). That is BAD and worthy of heavy critisism.

I'm sorry but I just don't see it. From 2.2->3.0->3.1 I see things largely staying the same, with perhaps a slight bloat but also gradual improvements in some areas.

For instance, I see 3 new options in 3.1 on KHTML's context menu - two relating to the new tabbed browsing functionality, and the other pops up a useful document information window. The 3 new options make the menu a bit longer and it probably doesn't want any more options, but it's not unwieldy either, and the items are grouped appropriately. The Quick Copy and Move plugin makes Konq's context menus a lot uglier, but it's an optional extra, not part of kdebase.


There are 5 new options in the main Konqueror menus (in HTML mode), 4 related to tabs and 1 to the document information window, but at the same time the list of available Toolbars has been moved into a submenu. Very little change really. The toolbars haven't changed, neither has the sidebar - oh, except it remembers its state on a per-profile basis rather than globally, so by default it pops up in file manager mode to give you a directory tree sidebar but isn't there in web browsing mode - same as Explorer does it on Windows.

Ok, there are more configuration panels for Konq in 3.1, but I think this is an improvement, because they've been moved from second-level tabs to first-level tabs, for important things like Fonts and Java/JavaScript.

I agree the Control Center's still a bit overwhelming but at least the organization of it is mostly logical now, something it wasn't previously. I think it would be better if it started in Icon mode rather than Tree mode given the better organization. The redundant 'Preferences' submenu on the KMenu is off by default now - instead it gets its own quick-access menu on the panel, much easier to find and navigate.

I don't know if you've used KMail in 3.1 but it's had a major reorganization of its menus and configuration options and it's WAY better, although a couple of the lesser-used config panels are still a bit rough round the edges.

I don't know whether this is Debian-specific but the KMenu has been tidied up a little too, lesser-used KDE programs have been shunted off into More Programs sub-submenus which, on balance, is probably better than having them clutter up the main submenus.

Having your disks appear on your desktop Mac-style is a big improvement, no more hunting around in Konq's sidebar to copy stuff to floppy. The desktop context menu has been simplified a bit, split off into submenus.

The taskbar grouping is now more intelligent, and only groups apps when the taskbar gets full (a la XP).

Tell me, am I missing something? Where's all the extra bloat and cruft? All I see are positive UI changes, and a fair few of them... otherwise things work pretty much the same as they did in 3.x and 2.x before that.

eugenia
by me on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:28 UTC

innovation? Innovation, whatever that means, is most likely things like the ability to move the text from a book into some virtual digital storage, where it can be copied easily and transported great distances in a matter of seconds without costing more than a few pennies. And then the ability to move our music onto computers sparked by yet another innovation, changing the way we can organize and store our music. And then again with video. See a pattern?

What we are all experiencing is the consolidation of all the virtual entertainment and information processing we used to do in the real world being absorbed into the ether by our technology. Soon almost all forms of communication, entertainment, movies, music, and games will all be done through a single interface through a terminal, a computer, connected to a network. And for some strange reason capitalists keep calling this innovation. Its evolution. Its just natural as these machines become capable of handing the bandwidth. Even Gibson and Rodenbury predicted a lot of these "innovations" because they are just the logical path for us to take when the time is appropriate. What is going to drive us all insane is when these machines reach over 30GB/s memory - CPU bandwidth and a processor capable of using it effectively. Shortly after that these things will be processing enough info, and be cheap enough, to replace most of our jobs. You don't have to worry about the machines taking over, its the capitalists that have already taken over that's gonna spread the coming chaos.

oh, and I forgot my point
by me on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:40 UTC

KDE is actually the only other interface from windows that I consider truely productive, virtual desktops, file manager/browser, fully customizable, etc. I enjoy afterstep and windowmaker, too, but they still have serious problems with data organization and consistency.

KDE, on the other hand, KDE 3.1, anyway, is very user friendly. Would you be so kind as to explain some of your troubles? Maybe I can lend a hand. I haven't used too many features yet, but it has made my life a lot easier lately.

Oh, and sorry that last post kinda got a bit off topic. heheh ;)

Eugenia strikes again.
by Joe on Tue 18th Feb 2003 02:58 UTC

Do you ever like anything besides BeOS?
KDE is amazing. You are adding vague, lame comments with no real substance. Why are you trying to rip it? Go get a hobby.

Control Center bloat
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 18th Feb 2003 03:25 UTC

1) I think KControl center is just fine. There are a lot of options, but they are quite well layed out. People aren't completely stupid, Eugenia. If you can read, you can figure out KDE Control Center. If people were really as dumb as some of you believe, they'd never figure out how to use their car, never mind their computer. Besides, KDE is still aimed at its target market: Linux users. Linux users tend to be advanced enough where they can handle the multitude of options. I personally use almost every one of them. As a result, I (and the other advanced users, who make up the Linux majority) don't take kindly to being relegated to third class citizen status and digging around in a registry, like GNOME forces us to do. Lastly, I'd point out that Windows is even *more* complex in this area. Control Center has a far larger option set than KControl center.

2) It is impossible for KControl center to encompass all configuration. It does as much as is possible, but certain things (like network settings, etc) have to be done via distro-specific tools like YaST. This is a legitimate weakness in the system.

3) What KDE really needs is simplification and streamlining. Currently, it looks like Office, only worse. Far too much clutter. The menus need to be streamlined, the toolbars need to streamline, etc. Eugenia is definately right that KDE needs more polish. It's possible to do a whole lot of polishing by yourself (thanks to all the customizability) but it takes days and is very tedious. It should come that way by default.

Gnome vs KDE versus Eugenia (:-0)
by Johnathan Bailes on Tue 18th Feb 2003 03:35 UTC

Alright I tend to agree with Eugenia on some points and disagree on others.

She likes the QT look and feel and I hate it. I really like the look and feel of gtk+ applications and gnome apps except for the completely lame, retarded, horrible, evile file selector.

Where is the this Nautilus is slow stuff coming from? I hear this all the time and I just don't get it. It was way faster in Gnome 2.0.x than the old 1.4 version and Gnome 2.2 version is supposed to be much faster. It is actually one to two seconds faster than Konqueror on my SuSE box for performing simple file and directory operations. I also agree with Eugenia and say that is a bit flakier than Nautilus. If you crash Nautilus you can be certain that other people have been able to crash it the same way. Still, with Konqueror it feels it just feels more frickin' random.

I am torn about the Control Center. On one hand, the thing is a huge hard to navigate mess. On the other hand, especially in SuSE, the advantage is that everything you expect in a Control Center is right there. Gnome does not have a real control center it only has desktop preferences. Wait a second, that is not completely true, Gnome has a Control Center (especially in RH8+) but they call the damn thing Start Here which is retarded. Start Here has an Applications Menu for menu editing, Preferences for the Desktop, Server Settings, and System Settings. That is everything that most people consider to be a true Control Center.

The funny thing is that people talk like KDE 3.1 was the speed demon. I felt it was a bit faster than 3.0 but I still contend that 2.x series felt faster and more responsive. It would cruise on some really light boxes. Gnome 2.x is really faster than the 1.4 version but there are glaring spots left open like menu editing needs to get better even for distros where it is activated. The Applications:// method is spotty, unintituitive and just lame.

There are other lame spots like lack of a good CVS browser (Apotheke should come by default) for Nautilus, mime filtering for Nautilus scripts and other things. Still, KDE feels a bit overwhelming and not really very straight-forward. There are things I disagree with about Havoc's no crack ideas in terms of Gnome's simplier interface. However, it beats having a zillion confusing options going nowhere. Still, it is a matter of personal choice because some folks like being able to control every little widget in the world.

Replies
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 04:02 UTC

>Do you ever like anything besides BeOS?

What makes you think that I like BeOS? BeOS was good, for its time, but it had major flaws in addition to its (good) features.

>She likes the QT look and feel and I hate it.

I never said that I like the Qt 'look and feel'. I said that I like the QT Toolkit from the programming point of view, not how it looks. ;)

Crappy "Review"
by KAMiKAZOW on Tue 18th Feb 2003 04:24 UTC

That's no review, that's bullsh*t. P133 with 128 MB RAM. Yeah right, P133 with 128 MB RAM... Try to rum KDE 3.1 on a common P133 (~32MB RAM) and look how it run's.

Quote from the "review":
> Imagine trying to run Windows XP on a box like this.
> Pretty scary.

I read that somebody did this. His conclusion: It's all about RAM. Turn off the visual stuff and it works fine.
The only problem is, that WinXP doen't let you install itself on a P133 - you have to install it on another PC and change the HDDs.

Wow this style is AWESOME
by Alex (The Original) on Tue 18th Feb 2003 04:34 UTC

http://kdelook.org/content/preview.php?file=2539-1.jpg

What is the name of this style anyone please??? Look at the fonts in KMess. They look like MS Sans Serif. The style overall looks very nice! What is the name of this style?

re: Wow this style is AWESOME
by robert renling on Tue 18th Feb 2003 04:37 UTC

the font is verdana and the style is crystal something it's availible on the kdelook site.

RE: Wow this style is AWESOME
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 04:40 UTC

It is Connectiva's new theme, I am not sure it is released along the Connectiva Crystal icon theme.

I would still suggest caution though, cause you need to mouseover before you actually see the window manager buttons... ;)

GNOME/Qt
by Chris Parker on Tue 18th Feb 2003 04:48 UTC

GTK+/Gnome libs doesn't even come close to the ease of use and elegance of the Qt/KDE libs framework

How so? You mean the hacked version of C++ that Qt offers? I like Qt myself, but I know better than to call it a better framework than Gtk.

Really, the power of Gtk/GNOME is in the current and potential language bindings. The power of C is and has always been its clean interface.

KDE as a DE is low quality and bloated
by TripKnot on Tue 18th Feb 2003 05:08 UTC

KDEbase is not so bad and only a little bloated. Its the rest of KDE, like network, pim, multimedia, toys, utils, games, graphics, addons, admin, edu and KOffice, all the optional stuff, that sucks so much. Seriously, how many of the terribly ugly and useless addons do you actually use? KMail seems to be the only redeeming product of the bunch.

So if you take all the optional crap out you are left with a 'pretty' desktop and a lot less clutter on the app menu. But what good is pretty when the Control Panel has millions of options, which, half of, override others. Customizing the look of KDE can be a headache yet seems to be peoples only real reason for using it.

If you really boil things down, KDE is simply just another WM. I bet most people use other soft not associated with KDE for just about everything they do. Xine/mplayer/xmms for media, Mozilla or derivatives for browsing, Evolution/sylpheed/mozilla for mail, OpenOffice(Crown Price of Bloat)/Abiword/Gnumeric for office, XCDRoast for cd burning, GIMP for graphics, and the list goes on and on.

My real problem with KDE though is that it is slow to start and too much of a resource hog and that kind of ties in with the bloat. KDE may be good someday but until they work some more on loading times, responsiveness and memory footprint, I'll be using something else.

OT... xfree86 4.2.99
by Banzai on Tue 18th Feb 2003 05:13 UTC

Hi..
anyone using the latest xfree86? ver. 4.2.99.3 IIRC... any commnents or reviews? Good / bad ?

RE: KDE as a DE is low quality and bloated
by Andrew G on Tue 18th Feb 2003 05:33 UTC

Uh no.

I use KDE apps where possible because they are consistent.

Konqueror for web browsing. Kmail for mail, Koffice for spreadsheet and wordprocessor. Kdevelop for learning c++, Quanta for the little web stuff I do at home. K3B for cd burning etc. Who would use XRoast when K3B is available. Its awesome.

Okay so I use mplayer for video when I need to (rarely) and KMplayer solves the KDE problem. I plan on using KmySQL for database when I need it.

Then theres Karchiver which is great, theres Kpackage which is also pretty cool. Pixie Plus image viewer is great although Konqueror itself is pretty awesome (Nautilus has like zero features)

Oh and if you have a reasonable amount of memory who cares about the memory footprint. would you really want all the RAM in you computer to go unused. If you want to run ancient hardware use something light.

KDE 3.1 is fast, very fast with GCC 3.2. Personally I don't mind waiting 5 seconds longer for KDE to load. Who cares? and if you do why?. How often do you have to load it up anyway?

I prefer the look and interaction Gnome provides but the apps are a hodge podge in Gnome and most of them still use the 1.4. KDE and the apps for KDE just offer so much more than Gnome.

KDE is getting closer and closer to being the OS as far os most end users are concerned. It hides more and more of the CLI and GNU/Linux from the user. Once you have booted up its pretty much a complete productivity environment.

RE:KAMiKAZOW
by BR on Tue 18th Feb 2003 05:41 UTC

"That's no review, that's bullsh*t. P133 with 128 MB RAM. Yeah right, P133 with 128 MB RAM... Try to rum KDE 3.1 on a common P133 (~32MB RAM) and look how it run's."


For those who have forgotten that era. The machines first of all could take way more than what came default. Kind of like todays machines. ;) Second most people who bought computers back, then bought more memory then, or soon after. Remember if you were running OS so and so, and the software box(s) said minimum was so and so. You would make certain your machine had at least twice, or more of memory. Also there were Pxxx machines back then that came with a default greater than 64MB. So no it's not quite BS.

re: re: killer application myth
by HereSince00 on Tue 18th Feb 2003 05:52 UTC

Hi Eugenia,
Those two ideas you suggested are really cool, but I'm not sure you can successfully implement them on today's hardware. Making all those components modular would make the system work much harder, even if you had "wrapper" programs that integrated the modules. (I would even take it a step further and run each function call as a separate process so if it fails but does not return, the program can restart it, try an alternate function, or quit - but that's probably overkill. I know some systems already do this to an extent.)
It seems more sophisticated AI should be doable on today's hardware. I remember Minsky wrote that somewhere. But who knows. It's been explored from so many angles, and real progress has been made over the decades, but something fundamental is still missing. Everyone has theories. There's the general pattern recognition problem. If you cannot recognize something, whether it's an image or an idea, you certainly cannot understand it. More fundamentally, there's the problem of how to represent the complex and immense body of information that makes up our world.

RE:marm
by BR on Tue 18th Feb 2003 06:08 UTC

Actually as a regular user of KDE 3.1 (and GNOME). I do see one big menu issue. That's a full menu overwelming and blocking what's behind them. My present "K" menu for example takes two columns and the only two things in the right is "logout" and "lock" (but in anyone elses it could be more), with grey down the rest of the way. The proper behavior should be the overwelming (and unnecessary) gray removed leaving just the two (or more) menu items.

The second item concerning Fitts law (for both environments) seems to be fixed though.

I see that the "tooltip" blocking behavior is still present. In other words you can't interact with anything directly behind the tooltip until it's gone. Tooltips should inform, not interfere.

dont forget to try this
by patrick_darcy on Tue 18th Feb 2003 06:14 UTC



dont forget to try out aquafusion icons. they are the best i have
ever seen. at first i wasnt so sure because mainly they are blue.
but they are very well detailed and in certain icons u get red,
oh yes, my favorite color ;)
u have to urpmi them from texstar.

RE:RE:KAMiKAZOW
by renZYX@hotmail.com on Tue 18th Feb 2003 07:03 UTC

> For those who have forgotten that era. The machines first of
>all could take way more than what came default. Kind of like
> todays machines. ;) Second most people who bought computers
> back, then bought more memory then, or soon after

As for buying new RAM, it depended of the user, users who haven't tried other computers with more RAM would not think how much of a difference the quantity of RAM would do.

RAM was pretty expensive too..

And not every old hardware is capable of running with 128MB of RAM, if I remember correctly there are some motherboard with cache which doesn't cache the memory above 64MB!
It runs but much more slowly..

In this article, the author call an old iron a PC with 128MB of RAM, I'd call this an "overcharged old iron" at least.

(RE: BR) P133 an RAM
by KAMiKAZOW on Tue 18th Feb 2003 07:12 UTC

>> For those who have forgotten that era. The machines first of all could take way more than what came default. Kind of like todays machines. ;) Second most people who bought computers back, then bought more memory then, or soon after. Remember if you were running OS so and so, and the software box(s) said minimum was so and so. You would make certain your machine had at least twice, or more of memory. Also there were Pxxx machines back then that came with a default greater than 64MB. So no it's not quite BS.<<

No, I havn't forgotten that era. My P133 came with only 8MB RAM (and a 1.2GB HDD BTW). Of course it was pretty soon updated to 24 MB. Later to 48 MB.
I considered this, but 128MB is WAY to much for a average P133.

RE: (RE: BR) P133 an RAM
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 07:22 UTC

I will have to agree. I used to have a P133, a P166 and a P200. The P133 never had more than 32 MB of RAM, same as the P166. In fact, the P133 started its life as 16 MB of RAM. Much-much later when I got the P200 MMX I upgraded to "wow" 64 MB RAM.

Which means that --*for most people*-- if you have such an old machine around, it won't have much RAM on it, so KDE is just out of the question. Win95, NeXT or BeOS, Linux with Blackbox or WindowMaker are more suitable for these machines than running a full blown KDE or gnome. I mean, even Lycoris asks for at least 333 Mhz PC with 128 MB RAM and they even have KDE 2.2.2 which is older and therefore not as demanding.

Re: Connectiva Crystal
by Alex (The Original) on Tue 18th Feb 2003 07:47 UTC

I searched the KDE 3.0 section from kde-look.org and I couldn't find the Crystal style.

http://kdelook.org/content/preview.php?file=2539-1.jpg

May be it's not released?

BTW, regarding the mouseover thing before you see the window manager buttons, I know it's not good for newbies but it's ok with me because I know where the buttons are ;) but I would prefer to have the controls visible. I think this should be a default style for KDE 3.1.

If anyone knows the download link, please post it and no I am not lazy, I DID seach the site nothing came up. I searched for "Crystal" provided by "Connectiva"
"Theme/Style KDE 3.0"

My Take
by hn on Tue 18th Feb 2003 10:26 UTC

KDE is good, but it just feels like they're trying to make too much out of it. Web browser, office suite, mail it all seems a bit like they only expect you to use KDE apps. Also, the whole thing looks a bit "cheap". I mean, it is flashy, but just a little too flashy.

GNOME is nice, i love the layout, but the trouble I have with editing the menu is a turn-off and unlike KDE, it doesn't all look uniform. It's a slightly hideous mish-mash of styles, although I do prefer it as of now.

PS. How do you make a dock transparent in GNOME?

Usability is the emphasis for 3.2
by MxCl on Tue 18th Feb 2003 10:49 UTC

> I searched the KDE 3.0 section from kde-look.org and I
> couldn't find the Crystal style.

That was Evaraldo's new style (it's news to me that Connectiva employed him to make it), and it's not available yet (AFAIK), looks good though eh? I agree with Eugenia that the WM buttons need icons, and frankly MUST have icons if Connectiva are going to use the style as their distro default. Hopefully the style will have an option to label the buttons in its properties.

With regard to usability in KDE, I read the lists and it seems there's a big push for enhancing usability in 3.2, the usability team want less cluttered menus, toolbars and dialogs (especially LESS options in the configuration dialogs).

I recently compiled the base CVS (and can confirm the KDE suffers far less bloat without the misc packages like addons (IMHO!)) Things are being changed for the better, icons are now by default displayed on buttons and I was surprised how quickly you can navigate dialogs when the function of the buttons is labelled with a (consistent) icon. Seems like a good usability enhancement to me. Also I noticed the options to control konq's memory usage have been moved away from konq's behavior tab (less clutter) and the desktop manipulation control panel has been de-tabified (less intimidating, more clarity).

You can leave an instance of konq preloaded so that the next one launches quicker, which sounds similar to the way internet explorer works on Windows.

If you have an issue with KDE I encourage you to be critical (preferably to bugzilla). Hopefully someone who works on it will notice and do something about it. If not, hopefully another WM will do it, and better! The competition would benefit everyone.

It really isn't a bad thing that people use different WMs you know ;)

Eugenia's right about KDE
by converter on Tue 18th Feb 2003 10:53 UTC

I have Gnome 2.2-r1 and KDE 3.1 running on my PIII 733, and both are acceptable in terms of responsiveness, but fall short in terms of complexity. The desktop is a _tool_ I use to get my work done so I can feed my family, not a hobby.

I use fluxbox or Window Maker most of the time because they are simple and present few distractions (not to mention that applications load almost instantly and I almost never use swap). I can reach the UI that allows me to change the appearance of the desktop with two mouse clicks on either of these window managers, and with one selection change from one look to another. _That_ is what I expect from my desktop, anything more complex is a complete waste of my time.

It is unreasonable to expect users to spend hours learning how to tweak the appearance of their desktops. Having the _option_ to tweak each and every aspect of the desktop's appearance is important, but forcing the user deal with each of those options just to get a consistent look is ridiculous. Take a look at the KDE 3.1 Control Center:

Appearance & Themes
Background
Colors
Fonts
Icons
Launch Feedback
Panels
Screen Saver
Shortcuts
Style
Theme Manager
Window Behavior
Window Decorations

Desktop
Appearance
Behavior
Multiple Desktops
Panels
Taskbar
Window Behavior (what?! another "Window Behavior"?)

Be honest: does it make any sense at all to present a user with all this stuff when all he wants to do is select a different appearance for his desktop? I should see the following when I open the Control Center:

Desktop
Appearance
Background
Screen Saver

The Appearance node should offer the option to make a single selection that determines the appearance of every aspect of the desktop, with "Advanced" options to tweak individual settings (Colors, etc.) separately, but only if I wish to.

Complexity is easy to create. Simplicity is difficult.

re: the article and other comments
by Ben Huot on Tue 18th Feb 2003 11:15 UTC

the article
My old Pentium 200 could only take 48 mb ram and just died on me which I haven't used for two years. If you use your computer intensely every day it will wear out in four years.
other comments
Killer apps are vector drawing, structured document programming, and search software - these are innovative. Email, word processing, and digital video are not - they are copies from the outside world which the masses didn't start using for decades. People don't want killer apps - they hate change. Very few people want to think at all and nobody wants to think differently.

Re: Connectiva
by Alex (The Original) on Tue 18th Feb 2003 12:10 UTC

For anyone that is interested, I found the main site with all the info you may need about the crystal style:

http://kdelook.org/content/show.php?content=2539

I always knew it was there somewhere ;)

The Control Center
by marm on Tue 18th Feb 2003 12:26 UTC

It is unreasonable to expect users to spend hours learning how to tweak the appearance of their desktops. Having the _option_ to tweak each and every aspect of the desktop's appearance is important, but forcing the user deal with each of those options just to get a consistent look is ridiculous.

Right. Which is why KDE comes with a really nice-looking set of defaults that most people will never want to change, which means that most people will never delve into the admittedly complex Control Center, given that they'll have setup their Country/Language/Keyboard layout in the KPersonalizer wizard that pops up the first time KDE is run. Most users never get as far as Windows' Control Panel either. As long as the defaults are good - and they are now, although they could be better still - then very few people end up digging around in a Control Panel-type application to change things, and those that do tend to be less put-off by complexity. To put it simply - most current users probably don't find it too hard to figure out, and most of the great masses who are potential KDE users in the future will never see it.

Constantly redesigning the Control Center to satisfy the needs of a relatively small slice of the current and potential user population is not a particularly efficient use of a usability developer's time. Much greater usability improvements visible to many more users could be achieved by improvements to the Desktop, Panel, Konqueror, KMail and KWord - the things that most users will see all the time.

Not to mention that constantly redesigning a tool means that longer-term users lose familiarity, which is at least as important to the perceived usability of an app as how well laid-out or how complex or simple it actually is. If a usability developer fails to take into account the learned habits of their existing userbase as well as the requirements of new users then frankly they have failed. Apple seemed to forget this in the transition to MacOS X and was heavily criticised for doing so, although they are sorting it out bit by bit. Gnome 2 seems to be doing the same, and whilst it has been praised for its improved usability, this has been at the expense of a lot of things existing users took for granted, and a fair few users have jumped ship as a result.

I should see the following when I open the Control Center:
Desktop
Appearance
Background
Screen Saver


This is pretty much what you get if you right-click on the desktop and choose 'Configure Desktop...'

Many things...
by Testing on Tue 18th Feb 2003 13:06 UTC

Icons:

I installed Conectiva 8++ (an upgrade to Conectiva 8). I donīt recall that screenshoot theme, but Crystal icons are definitely there (in two versions, IIRC). Donīt know if you can download it from their site. Google may help you here ...

Demanding:

KDE 2.2 is not less demanding than 3.1. This is not Windows. Newer free software is lighter and doesnīt refuse to be installed on legacy machines, as Kamikazow said XP does.

Ugliness:

Most Free software is customizable (because theyīre based on customizable toolkits). You can change some things. Or use Gnome. Itīs not like youīre stuck with just one interface (although it seems Microsoft innovated by adopting themes, after seeing the success of skins in other platforms).

skins
by stew on Tue 18th Feb 2003 14:32 UTC

(although it seems Microsoft innovated by adopting themes, after seeing the success of skins in other platforms)

IIRC Winamp was the first widespread skinnable application. Then others started to pick up that bad habit.

re: skins
by robert renling on Tue 18th Feb 2003 14:39 UTC

IIRC Winamp was the first widespread skinnable application. Then others started to pick up that bad habit.
s/Winamp/litestep/

Best distros of KDE 3.x
by Jay on Tue 18th Feb 2003 14:55 UTC

Reading the comments in this thread, I got to thinking about something. What, in your opinion, is the best distro that uses KDE 3.x - I mean as far as the way KDE looks? To refine things further, I mean distros with the unmodified KDE look, withough having been modded in one way or another (ala Lindows). And, to go even further, which of these are the leanest, with the least bloat? For example, I know Suse 8.1 Personal Edition might be a good qualifier, but even it loads tons of software, unless you know how to customize. Perhaps the best way to ask this is, is there a distro as lean as, for example, Lycoris, but uses the KDE 3.1 default look - no mods? Thanks!

re: Best distros of KDE 3.x
by robert renling on Tue 18th Feb 2003 14:59 UTC

the only one i know of is that aussie distro that has frequented in the newsbits here.

For a pure basics install of kde3.1 well... try gentoo if you have the cojones...

re: Best distros of KDE 3.x
by the_deb_hurd on Tue 18th Feb 2003 15:46 UTC

>>Perhaps the best way to ask this is, is there a distro as lean as, for example, Lycoris, but uses the KDE 3.1 default look - no mods? Thanks!<<

Debian sid is one... Course Vector 3.2 is pretty lean (320meg after install with kde3).

Vector Linux
by Jay on Tue 18th Feb 2003 16:40 UTC

Thanks - Vector Linux does seem to fit the bill!

Eugenia - please write a review of KDE 3.1
by will on Tue 18th Feb 2003 17:06 UTC

>
>
As for KDE overall, while we seen it adding a lot of new features lately, it REMAINS unpolished, bloated and without a direction:
>
>

It is really good to hear someone say this. I almost thought that I was the only one who sees it in this way, and it pains me to visit KDE too look for improvements, because it is clear that the project simply doesn't have a user-centric, design oriented, top-down vision about where they should be going. I have almost given up on KDE and wait for the distributions to clean up the interface. But the only one that has done this with some knowledge is Xandros, and they only in boring reduction to Win 98.

The problem seems to be that the project for structural reasons doesn't allow for a vision like this to take hold. The decision makers are engeneers with poor taste, each only working only on a part of the environment. My guess is that the contract work GNOME makes for Sun as a "disinterested" customer forces a direction about what the environment should be like, viewed top-down from the users perspective.

What KDE should do is things like a major cleanup of options, styles, elements and the like; drop the developer centric aestetic of cogs-and-wheels style; remove the clumsy K-names and disappear the various KDE-branding efforts.

Problem is - the developers don't know about the problem, they simply don't see it this way. I haven't seen many reviews on 3.1, and this one does the does the project no favours by not pointing out the major weaknesses of the project at the present point.

The project needs a kick in the butt from someone who doesn't see it as an insider, and a reasoned and critical review pointing out these weaknesses would be *substantial* benefit for the project. It is time to move on to the next level, but the project itself is clearly not aware of this.














Yoper
by Gallo on Tue 18th Feb 2003 17:50 UTC

Yoper is lean, and is optimized for i686 architecture. I believe RC4 was just released. It's just one CD. I haven't used it but the reviews say it is incredibly fast, and it comes with all the latest software and the latest kernel. From the description it sounds like everything Lycoris promises but doesn't deliver. Free download.

re: will
by stew on Tue 18th Feb 2003 18:17 UTC

The project needs a kick in the butt from someone who doesn't see it as an insider, and a reasoned and critical review pointing out these weaknesses would be *substantial* benefit for the project.

RedHat tried to...

a very subjective thing
by m on Tue 18th Feb 2003 18:38 UTC

a very subjective thing

I am not sure if this could fall into someshort of UI guideline category or it is just an extremely personal perception. I tend to think the latter, that it is very subjective, for many people absolutely adore how KDE looks and interacts, I profoundly dislike it. I don't want to bash it out, I honestly have always (from KDE1) feel a rejection to the KDE widgetry, icon flood and controls, theming and skinning doesn't fix this. Not considering the part of trying to open with Konqueror a directory with more than 20,000 files in it (good luck).
[ATHLON XP 2000+, 514MB of 266MHz DDR]

"Ok, ok, who cares?, go use something else". Obviously. I'm trying to share and discuss my UI opinions here, not to complain about KDE.

I also have used a lighter window manager on KDE, Waimea ( http://www.waimea.org ), and althought it makes things slightly better, it is very far from a pleasant UI solution for **me**.

This site has a very nice selection of different desktop environments:
http://www.jfedor.org/shots/

Of all of them, the UI concept that I like most is the one from the QNX Realtime Platform (Photon). I tried QNX5, then I updated to 6 a while ago, I desisted from using it more often mainly for a pair of issues: lack of UI responsiveness (unfortunately a very bad performer on the Desktop, where this real time OS is not intended, it's just an embedded developer system), lack of a good font rendering when antialiasing.
[OSnews review of 6.2 ---> http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=534 ]

However the smart design of Photon should stand up as a proof of a very clean UI, not entirely a new one but very smartly organized and with much attention to detail. The package manager (a la BeOS Valet) is superb. A good QNX's shot:
http://skins.solardreamstudios.com/screenshots/qnx-real-6.0.jpg

Obviously, skinning will only result in a visual hairball hodgepodge with all UI functionality castrated, this one is a fair try at it using Object Desktop:
http://skins.solardreamstudios.com/screenshots/qnx.png
And this one pictures Waimea on KDE with a QNX Photon theme:
http://www.waimea.org/shots/waimeaSS-16/shot.png

I'd like to see a Photon-like UI combined with powerful PIM functionalities as those seen in the Haystack project ( http://haystack.lcs.mit.edu/images/screenshot.jpg ); actually better looking than the OSA Foundation Vista PIM prototype ( http://www.osafoundation.org/Vista_prototype.htm ). That is the only thing I find missing in Photon when I try to figure out a better GUI. Some short of embedded PIM in that UI, with Internet browsing capabilities, as a mean of controlling the whole UI, and as the master central application itself instead of a myriad of decentralised applications (Net Voyager, Email, PhIRC, File Manager).

From my point of view, the Photon style of having controls aligned in one side is more handy, quick, simple and neat than other solutions for organizing menus, like Slicker ( http://slicker.sourceforge.net ) and CardDesk ( http://home.earthlink.net/~zakariya/files/carddesk.png ), which nevertheless look very well also.
[Simply Putting Kicker on one side won't do, it makes a mess.]

This Super Launcher for AtheOS, kind of a modified Kicker ( http://www.geocities.com/imsniper/index.html#Super ) looks good and has some nice features like the QuickLaunch one, though it all gets tangled fairly easy, and the icons are getting out of control. In the default KDE3 those icons are completely out of control, they are everywhere, it is a flood of them. I regard icons as highly counterproductive where not really needed, which *INMHO* is in most cases.

Eugenia - please write a review of KDE 3.1
by ramtop on Tue 18th Feb 2003 18:38 UTC

It is really good to hear someone say this. I almost thought that I was the only one who sees it in this way, and it pains me to visit KDE too look for improvements, because it is clear that the project simply doesn't have a user-centric, design oriented, top-down vision about where they should be going.

Kde haven't the cash of closedsource os. The simple fact you can compare it to WinXp or Mac is amazing IMHO.
Gnome had a lot of paid developers and it's still well behind Kde, but surely it's better finished.
From a developer POV (myself) Kde is a very enjoying WM. You can configure every single aspect of it and it has tons of absolutely useless applets (never tried fifteen pieces?).
From a designer POV (again myself) it's a nightmare: too many menus with inconsistent names and Konqueror identity crises (browser or file manager or mm player?).
The things are getting better with the new-born kde-usability list, their first results will be in 3.2.

The problem seems to be that the project for structural reasons doesn't allow for a vision like this to take hold. The decision makers are engeneers with poor taste, each only working only on a part of the environment.

Mostly they are working on KDE for free. You could call it "bad taste" but sometime there is no time to make it better, sometime they don't care either way and sometime they prefear it as it is.

They make it, they decide it.

ramtop
by will on Tue 18th Feb 2003 19:19 UTC

>They make it, they decide it.


I agree - and they do a fabulous job for which I am very grateful. I use KDE myself (in Xandros). It wasn't my purpose to bash KDE, I only thought it would be very valuable to be exposed to Eugenias perspective (or someone else arguing for the same points)...

The development of seems to enter different stages, where considerations once were considered peripheral after a while comes to the front of the common perception of what needs to be done. The common perception about what KDE should achive is ready enter the next stage, and good constructive critizism which succeeds in making the problems clear is exactly what is needed to effect this change.

RE: Whoever wants to give KDE 3.1 a fair try.
by Eugenia on Tue 18th Feb 2003 19:45 UTC

I tried that the other day. Not impressed by KDE.

If I had written a review and was saying that I tried it on Knoppix (I also have KDE 3.1 on Mandrake btw) people would say that Knoppix is not the right distro to review KDE. And you speak of "fair" try on it.. That's one thing I really hate online, people try to find reasons to render your opinions or your articles invalid ("not the right distro", "faulty installation", "buggy hardware" etc). All lots of crap just to reassure *themselves* that they did the right choice and that they were not wrong, as the article or the comment suggests. Bleh...

Re:will
by Roberto on Tue 18th Feb 2003 20:29 UTC

Duh.

Of course KDE is not top-bottom. It is bottom-top, and that is how it has worked so far. In fact, it would have been impossible for KDE to be top-bottom and actually exist, so I see it being top-bottom as the (way) lesser evil.

You see, the choice is clear: bottom-top and living, top-bottom and dead.

As for the "need" to remove the KDE branding... why the hell would a project brand itself out of itself? That makes absolutely no sense.

BTW: the K names can be hidden. In fact, in KDE 3.1 they should be hidden by default.

Finally, I see people saying "the project sees this" and "the project doesnīt see that", I have to laugh at the stupidity of it all. Specially after you said yourself it lacks a top-bottom design and structure. In a bottom-top structure, there is simply no such thing as "the projectīs vision".

Now, you (and probably Eugenia, in her own rigidly structured mind) see this as a problem. Well, letīs see if your theory survives the contact with reality.

Name the largest project you can find that has a top-bottom design, and has been implemented by volunteer work, at anything resembling the speed and completeness of KDE.

My guess is that the best you can come up with is GnuStep, which is about 5 years behind any schedule which could have given it a hope of becoming a popular desktop.

GNOME seems to be getting a more top-bottom structure nowadays, but it is basically because Sun is throwing money at it. If (or when) the money pit dries up, it will probably devolve into its previous more anarchic organization.

KDE is peculiar in that it has never had a "benevolent dictator". And it seems to attract people who like it that way.

Branding
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 18th Feb 2003 22:05 UTC

The branding thing is silly. Every company brands it's products. I count 6 easily visible company labels on my cell phone. My headphones say "Sony" on each earcup. My mouse has a big gel "logitech" gidget right in the middle. My laptop has "Dell" "Intel" and (until I ripped it off) "Microsoft" written all over it. In *Microsoft* Windows XP, you use *Microsoft* Word, *Microsoft* Excel, *Microsoft* Visual studio, etc. And given that you don't have to do product registration or any fool such thing, a little "K" branding to get the project's name out there is perfectly fine.

RE: Whoever wants to give KDE 3.1 a fair try.
by Datschge on Wed 19th Feb 2003 00:21 UTC

Dear Eugenia:
I tried that the other day. Not impressed by KDE.

I didn't expect you to be impressed, I didn't even expect you to react to my message at all. But I still hope that some people will be happy having a CD based system which detect their system automatically, automatically mounts devices, has a look and feel they might like and many programs with qualities which they can't easily find anywhere else. Not everyone is as negatively minded as you are. It might be still rough to you, but I really have to wonder how you want to see all your "suggestions" be realized with the tone you usually use.

If I had written a review and was saying that I tried it on Knoppix (I also have KDE 3.1 on Mandrake btw) people would say that Knoppix is not the right distro to review KDE. And you speak of "fair" try on it.. That's one thing I really hate online, people try to find reasons to render your opinions or your articles invalid ("not the right distro", "faulty installation", "buggy hardware" etc). All lots of crap just to reassure *themselves* that they did the right choice and that they were not wrong, as the article or the comment suggests. Bleh...

You might be aware of the fact that Knoppix is no commercial distro and thus lives through contributions, just like the KDE project itself. Generalizations as well as subjective comments on the other hand never helped anyone, whoever wrote them. Communities base on cooperation and not on bashing-each-other-whenever-possible. Still you often seem to be in a very anti-cooperative mood so I'd suggest you to stop covering community-based projects in the future. Besides that companies are faceless and aren't as easily insulted they also do a better job anyway according to you so that wouldn't be a big loss, would it?

Peace and over.

RE: Whoever wants to give KDE 3.1 a fair try.
by Eugenia on Wed 19th Feb 2003 00:41 UTC

>Still you often seem to be in a very anti-cooperative mood

What did you expect?

> so I'd suggest you to stop covering community-based projects in the future.

You got to be kidding. The NEWS stories are always objective (except if there is an "our take" there, or the article is marked as an Editorial). The FORUMS though, are FREE for EVERYONE, including the editors, to write their opinions on.

So, even if someone else "covers the community-based projects" it changes absolutely nothing. Forums will still be open for me to write my thoughts about them.

Re: Skinning
by Rayiner Hashem on Wed 19th Feb 2003 01:24 UTC

Why the aversion to skinning? KDE is designed with a great deal of attention to proper theming support. And theming support *is* important. I personally don't like the "GNOME" look all that much. I think .NET is nice, and that Keramik is awesome. I think Liquid is pretty good. Eugenia doesn't like Liquid or Keramik. There is no one right or wrong here. People just have different tastes. Not including theming support in a GUI is like saying you can have your car in any color you want, as long as its black ;)

Read here PLEASE
by Eugenia on Wed 19th Feb 2003 08:02 UTC

Yuk, I forgot about this great article:
http://www106.pair.com/rhp/free-software-ui.html
Read Havoc's article about the zillion of preferences and other stuff. Yes, Havoc is a Gnome person, and while I PREFER KDE's development framework, Gnome2 is much simpler to work with.

So, it all bails out that you have a different philosophy on how to do things, and not that I am a troll. I prefer Havoc's opinions, and you get to keep yours. Easy.

Adaptable/customisable behaviour is mandatory
by aRTee on Wed 19th Feb 2003 13:16 UTC

I always used gnome because of the (at that time) trolltech/non-free issues with KDE.
In came gnome2.0 (mdk9) and I couldn't set the window behaviour to my liking anymore.

All I want is: mouse click: activate window and pass click (not: activate, put to foreground, and pass click).
Next to that: alt+lmb=move window (without coming to foreground), alt+mmb=put to foreground/send to background, alt+rmb=resize (without coming to foreground).
(I don't mind if that's with other keys btw).

I couldn't figure this out, asked on forums, people said: move to kde, others said: change wm to sawfish, and then you can have what you want.
Did the latter, I don't easily give up. Which broke other things. Went back, still unhappy.

Conclusion: hmmm, let me try this kde. 5 clicks and things worked exactly the way they must for me to be happy.

Sure, there are millions of options. Maybe too many. But they included the one I wanted and I could get it easily enough.

For the rest, I played (after some months of having mdk9 installed) a bit with themes; but I don't really care much. Others would likely think I'm actually using the ugliest desktop around (mdk9 standard kde with crystal icons if I recall correctly), but for me the keyword is: using.

I cannot happily work with XP (or NT which I have at work) since any active window must be in front.
Luckily I just use the NT pc with reflection to get to CDE, where I have (almost -- my home kde settings are better) the desired window behaviour, and incidentally ;) my real work.

So I agree, things could be in a more streamlined fashion. But to me less is not more. Less is less. Unless you do
ln -s /bin/less /bin/more
Nobody ever complained about too many options if they don't need to touch them to do their stuff. (To windows users, the first screen you get when starting gcombust may be a bit much, I agree... had me thinking for a bit, then I decided to ignore all that and burn some cds).
But: Many people will complain when you take away options.

My gnome1.4 was nicely set-up, my current kde3.0 is nicer for me to use than gnome 2.0 or 1.4.
I WILL try gnome 2.2 again on mdk9.1. Until then I'll be a happy kde3 user, and maybe also after.
(Btw the gnome2 screenshots really look nice!)

KDE Slow?
by Greg on Wed 19th Feb 2003 17:28 UTC

Ive ran KDE on my 120mhz processor and it still was fast...
I dont see how anyone can say KDE is slow

KDE-projects KDE is not for the end-user
by Ax on Wed 19th Feb 2003 17:56 UTC

The KDE that they release, and that some distros have, can not be said to be for the end-user. Every group of users in a specific context have their specific needs. Teherfore, it should be obvious that SuSE of whomever must change the interface to meet the needs of their users.