Linked by Paul Pianta on Tue 4th May 2004 18:45 UTC
KDE This article aims to provide an insight into some aspects of KDE usability as seen by a long term Gnome user making the switch, as well as provide a mini-review of SUSE LIVE CD 9.1 - including the obligatory screenshot of course!
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Great article
by Charles Lacroix on Tue 4th May 2004 19:03 UTC

hey i am in the screen shot !

Good comments overall
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 4th May 2004 19:10 UTC

However, I have to take exception to #2 and #3. For Konqueror, the left-sidebar is optional (just right-click it and click 'close'). For Kate, the sidebar and bottom tabs are actually part of the IDEAL UI. Kate is a programmer's editor. For programmers, who have to juggle dozens of files at a time, opening the file dialog for each one is *not* an option. The sidebar offers conventient access to a number of different panels of information in a quick manner. Integration of IDEAL into the MDI system was one of the coolest new features of 3.2.

As for tabs at the bottom, the only app I know that uses them that way is Konsole. It makes sense for Konsole to have the tabs at the bottom, because it is a terminal, and in a terminal, the user's focus is at the bottom of the window, where the newest text is.

ximian people behind kde?
by MatzeBraun on Tue 4th May 2004 19:22 UTC

I doubt ximian people are directly working on the SuSE distribution. I assume that is still done by the old SuSE team.

Comments, what else?
by Anonymous on Tue 4th May 2004 19:29 UTC

> I'm not sure if it is too early for any Ximian magic to show up in this release, but it sure feels like it's there.

So if something is good, it must have been Ximian? Thanks for your trust into KDE's (and SUSE's) developers. :-|

> The Konsole 'Settings' menu has many options that are equally accessible through choosing the 'more instinctive' 'Configure Kopete ...' menu item.

You mean "Configure Konsole..."? You're wrong. The "Configure Konsole..." settings apply to the whole application. Many/all(?) settings in the "Settings" menu apply to the current visible session, eg each session can have a different font or have a short/no/long histor.

> could all be integrated into a single menu item named 'Configure Window Layout ...'

A single menu item? Calling a dialog!? Not without "..." and in submenu?

> This would not only reduce the menu clutter but would also help to maintain consistancy across all KDE applications.

These entries *are* consistent across all KDE applications. And same entries are grouped, eg see in Konqueror Settings/Toolbars, where appropriate.

> I could not find the configuration option to get rid of this side toolbar.

"Window/Show Navigation Panel" in Konqueror. And other GUI mode in Kate - and you're sure that you don't want just KWrite?

> this would indicate that the majority of the population have adapted to browsing tabs at the top of the window.

And web pages are read top-down while in shells and chats you most times focus the bottom. That's the reason and this is usability! ;-)



I gotta say
by artv3rk on Tue 4th May 2004 19:38 UTC

I've personally tried the following distros:

Red Hat 9
Fedora 1
Mepis
Slackware 9
Xandros 2
SuSE 9.0

They all lasted a week or two on my desktop but the one I keep going back to is SuSE. I think they've done a great job.

...
by dr_gonzo on Tue 4th May 2004 19:39 UTC

imho, kde is the only choice for a linux de. i've tried gnome out a few times and it was unusably unstable, and this is the debian sarge build. kde is so stable and the 3.2 series looks quite nice with the tidying up of menus and the control centre and also with the lovely plastik theme.

ximian's "industrial" theme makes gtk apps fit in well with plastik. tis a pity that the 2 best linux desktop apps in linux (openoffice.org and firefox) aren't written with qt

v please proof
by grapegraphics on Tue 4th May 2004 19:43 UTC
Window snapping
by Anonymous on Tue 4th May 2004 19:59 UTC

Metacity also has window edge attraction (snapping to other windows/screen border), just press shift while moving the window.

SUSE
by DUDE on Tue 4th May 2004 20:02 UTC

I've used more linux distros than I care to recount. My favorites were Slackware and Gentoo. Then on a whim I installed SUSE 9 on my spare box.

Now, SUSE 9 is teamed up with Slack as my favorites. SUSE is great the only problems are a few minor annoyances--nothing earth-shattering.

It's probably the best all-around desktop linux available. And that is saying a lot.

Why all the dizziness?
by Zeke on Tue 4th May 2004 20:06 UTC

"While on the topic, there is just something about those photo images of a screwdriver and wrench on the KDE Control Centre splash page that just makes me feel dizzy. I have to remind myself each time I go there that I am actually in the year 2004 ... not 1984!"

and what is wrong with a picture of a screwdriver and a wrench? What is a wrench and screwdriver not futuristic enough or what? I don't understand why it makes him dizzy, and he didn't explain why very good either. Maybe he blacked out because he was too dizzy and forgot to explain it? j/k

re: Rayiner Hashem

"For Konqueror, the left-sidebar is optional (just right-click it and click 'close')."

yeah but try and keep it closed. I had a heck of a time trying to find where to keep it from coming back. I think you should beable to right click on it and select "Enable Sidebar." If you disable it it pops up a dialog telling you where you can find the option to re-enable it if you want it. Once I figured out how to disable it I found out I rather missed it once in a while so I have it set to be there but not be open by default.

re: dr_gonzo

"ximian's "industrial" theme makes gtk apps fit in well with plastik. tis a pity that the 2 best linux desktop apps in linux (openoffice.org and firefox) aren't written with qt"

I personally like the QT-GTK engine so all my GTK apps are in Plastik ;) As to OO.o in QT, SUSE ships with a QT-ified version and OO.o 2 will bring Toolkit abstraction so a 100% QT (or even KDE) version will be possible. This work is being funded by Novell and you can find more info (as well as build the QT-ified version shipping with SUSE 9.1) at http://kde.openoffice.org/

Another usability 'oversight'
by Anonymous Reader on Tue 4th May 2004 20:12 UTC

Frozen Bubble and Enigma start full screen. While it is already annoying to have your desktop 'disappear', it is even more annoying if you do not know how to exit these programs! I know it's Escape, but I doubt every new user would know.

Far better to just open it in 'windowed' mode.

@Zeke
by dr_gonzo on Tue 4th May 2004 20:13 UTC

which reminds me...is there a set date for OO 2.0? i really want OO to have a cocoa interface but it won't be ready till 2.0 ;)

Re: Why all the dizziness?
by Jaana on Tue 4th May 2004 20:25 UTC

>>"For Konqueror, the left-sidebar is optional (just >>right-click it and click 'close')."

>yeah but try and keep it closed. I had a heck of a time >trying to find where to keep it from coming back.

Settings -> save view profile filemanagement
(after you have first disabled sidebar)

J

KDE smb support
by Bryan on Tue 4th May 2004 20:28 UTC

KDE smb support hasn't worked for at least the last 2 years. The codebase for it is a mess. If it doesn't work it should be removed and stop wasting peoples time.

--b

PS: 1) It would be a cool feature if it did work.
PS: 2) Linux development needs to be more pragmatic
and yes interoperability is more important than 20
competing email clients.

re: Anonymous Reader
by Zeke on Tue 4th May 2004 20:28 UTC

I don't think that starting full screen is all that bad. You can't really play a game and multitask so why do you want it windowed? I also believe there is a quit entry in the menu so it shouldnt be that hard to figure how to exit. If they really couldnt figure it out they just start hitting buttons until they get out. Eventually they will learn that the Escape key is pretty standard for those things, just like you have to learn that the power button turns your tv on and off.

re: dr_gonzo

I really have no idea, hopefully soon. It doesn't seem to have a very open and active development like KDE does.

That is one thing I like about KDE, I can go to dot.kde.org and find out what is happening in the world of KDE everyday or go to developer.kde.org and see what has been finished in the KDE 3.3 features list, read the KDE developers blogs to see what is going on there, or get a weekly wrap up by reading the KDE-CVS digest. I haven't found anything like this in the GNOME camp besides the occasional Miguel or Havoc (that is *the* coolest name, btw) blog entry. Does anyone know where equivalents are for GNOME?

Anyways, back to OO.o, I think they are more or less in the planning phase right now or just finished with planning. I think it is a ways off before 2.0. Like I said, I'm no expert on the subject, so correct me if I'm wrong.

@Zeke
by somebody on Tue 4th May 2004 20:30 UTC

As I folowed threads about toolkit abstraction. It includes dialogs and controls and not main editor.

So probably neither 100%QT neither 100%GTK version will be possible. Editor will still be OO toolkit based (which I think is base X11). Meaning redrawing of editor probably won't go trough native QT or GTK canvas.

But fell free to correct me if I'm wrong (it's a long time since I folowed that thread).

re dr_gonzo
by Zeke on Tue 4th May 2004 20:31 UTC

Oops, thought you were asking when it would be out. To actually answer your question, AFAIK there is no set release date right now.

[OT] Afficionado
by c0p0n on Tue 4th May 2004 20:39 UTC

The author is a linux afficionado who some day hopes to learn what the word afficionado means.

"Afficionado" could come from the spanish word "aficionado", that means "enthusiastic" in english.

[url=http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=aficionado&...]more info[/url]

RE: [OT] Afficionado
by crom on Tue 4th May 2004 20:42 UTC

Could it mean affectionate?

RE: Zeke
by contrasutra on Tue 4th May 2004 21:07 UTC

You can read all the GNOME blogs at:
http://planet.gnome.org

You can get news/summaries at:
http://gnomedesktop.org

You probably should do a bit of research before making such statements as "closed development". GNOME was started because QT wasn't GPL, and therefore not "Open/Free". Obviously this has changed, but GNOME is hardly developed in secret.

GNOME even has an always-build cvs policy, so you should be able to check out the latest CVS and build it anytime you want.

@Bryan
by A nun, he moos on Tue 4th May 2004 21:09 UTC

KDE smb support hasn't worked for at least the last 2 years.

SMB support works fine on my KDE 3.2.1 desktop...

just a note...
by Matt on Tue 4th May 2004 21:10 UTC

SuSE will be switching to gnome in the near future, there was an article awhile back saying that there was going to be a KDE/GNOME hybrid for SuSE 10, but miguel de icaza mentioned in his blog that this was not the case, and that gnome was going to be the desktop of focus for SuSE.

you should be able to find links to both if you do some searches here on osnews

but a note, im a gnome user, who has found kde to be completely frustrating in its insane level of complexity for even simple things. this (and several other articles ive read on KDE 3.2) are making me more willing to give it a shot again...

Re: @Zeke
by Anonymous on Tue 4th May 2004 21:20 UTC

OpenOffice.org 2.0 is planned for January 2005: http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.openoffice.releases/5066

Responses
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 4th May 2004 21:21 UTC

@contrasutra: Zeke was talking about OpenOffice, not GNOME. Though, it is true that GNOME development is certainly more top-down than KDE development. From the GNOME perspective, that's actually a bit of a strength --- they have an easier time implementing things (such as the HIG) that would be very hard to do in KDE.

@Matt: Can you point out this article? Because the only toolkit entry I can find in Miguel's blog is in late March, and that is to make the claim that all application development has not been moved to Qt as had been rumored. Currently, the way it looks is that Novell will be retaining a KDE desktop, and integrating certain best-of-breed applications (eg: OpenOffice) into it.

@Bryan: KDE smb://
by Kurt Pfeifle on Tue 4th May 2004 21:24 UTC

@Bryan:

[i] --> KDE smb support hasn't worked for at least the last 2 years. <--[i]

KDE's kio_slave for SMB accesses (like browsing the network with Konqueror and smb://) heavily depends on the stability and version of your Samba installation. libsmbclient.so is coming from the Samba client packages and it is known to be very problematic since a long time. People from the Samba Team are surely the first to concede this. To improve that is an ongoing effort.

KDE may still have a lot of glitches and bugs -- but this one is not one originating in that camp....


@Paul:

Thanks a lot for this review. I think you gave us some more food for thoughts. Your observations, and the way you put them to us, are highly appreciated.

Cheers,
Kurt

-----------------------------------------------------------
Co-Organizer of "aKademy",
KDE Community World Summit 2004
http://conference2004.kde.org/
-----------------------------------------------------------

Re: just a note...
by Anonymous on Tue 4th May 2004 21:25 UTC

> SuSE will be switching to gnome in the near future

Sure ;-) - now I understand why Novell lied about being desktop neutral at Brainshare and removed the GNOME logo from their web pages.

> but miguel de icaza mentioned in his blog that this was not the case

Oh, please. Not another "Miguel/Nat has said..." but nobody knows what they are talking about-round.

Re: KDE SMB Support
by David on Tue 4th May 2004 21:30 UTC

KDE SMB support works fine, and it works better if you have Samba configured and you are in a domain. At least browsing works in KDE, unlike Windows!

The usability things with Konqueror and network browsing have bothered me a bit. The Services etc. menus are good, and they can split the great options up nicely, but the home directory, devices and network browsing should all be integrated into one pane - rather like Xandros have done. Everything is just there for you to get work done.

Another thing that needs to be looked at is the ability of a user to share their files and folders, like on Windows. You can't keep entering the root password to update smb.conf. Users should be able to share their own files and folder without interference on a network user basis, but of course, still not be allowed to share anything else on their system. The KSambaPlugin looks good for all of this!

I thought that the article was pretty good overall, with some good pointers (good general usability overview - no nit-picking). From what I have seen the new Control Centre draft and work-in-progress looks great. The whole point of the Control Centre initially was to give good power to the user in a usable form, but in the process it has become crowded and disorganized.

@Matt
by somebody on Tue 4th May 2004 21:31 UTC

No, Miguel pointed out that neither Novell neither Suse and neither Ximian are knowing what to do at this time.

He also pointed out that KDE is default environment for the time but anything can change. Ximian on the other hand won't leave work on Gnome and start working on KDE. I also think that Novell will ship Suse with both desktops for at least two years, because now it's not yet the time to exclude either one of desktop contenders.

Config menus
by Buck on Tue 4th May 2004 21:33 UTC

Why does everyone cry about the number of config menus? Hell, it feels intuitive to me, I don't know why... All these redundant 'configs' make sense, why do people find them overwhelming? If you don't like poking around, just don't touch configs for now, after all the defaults are pretty nice already. And if you're feeling adventurous, then...
In this light I find MacOS X to be pretty 'unconfigurable', basically it doesn't let you poke around as much as KDE does for example. All those people who can't stand too many 'config' options should consider a Macintosh.

And more...
by Buck on Tue 4th May 2004 21:35 UTC

Windows XP is much more counterintuitive - for example config options for the screen and font antialiasing and all the eye-candy hidden under 'system' control applet, and some are inside the 'display' control applet, and I'm not even talking about modifying swap file parameters...

Re: just a note...
by David on Tue 4th May 2004 21:36 UTC

SuSE will be switching to gnome in the near future, there was an article awhile back saying that there was going to be a KDE/GNOME hybrid for SuSE 10,

One can always dream I suppose. If they were switching to Gnome then they would be switching now - doesn't look like it on this release, does it? Quite what the KDE/Gnome hybrid will be is anybody's guess (KDE desktop with GTK/Gnome integration?), but unfortunately, it doesn't not mean a full-scale move to Gnome ;) .

but miguel de icaza mentioned in his blog that this was not the case, and that gnome was going to be the desktop of focus for SuSE.

No he didn't. Miguel de Iacaza, bizarrely, has mentioned very little about Gnome in the past few weeks to the point where he even says that the desktop doesn't matter.

but a note, im a gnome user, who has found kde to be completely frustrating in its insane level of complexity for even simple things.

You've been listening to the wrong people.

re: David
by Zeke on Tue 4th May 2004 21:48 UTC

"Another thing that needs to be looked at is the ability of a user to share their files and folders, like on Windows."

Just use SUSE. ;) They implement it pretty much the same as on windows -> right click on a folder and click on share then set it up. If you don't have Samba installed it even prompts to install it and set it up.

Not much of a switch to make
by blahblah on Tue 4th May 2004 21:51 UTC

The differences between GNOME and KDE have become superficial at best. Whats the pain in switching? Very little.

Re: Zeke
by David on Tue 4th May 2004 21:57 UTC

Just use SUSE. ;) They implement it pretty much the same as on windows -> right click on a folder and click on share then set it up. If you don't have Samba installed it even prompts to install it and set it up.

That sounds great. I've been using KDE and previous versions of Suse, So I'm going to have to check all this out!

@blahblah
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 4th May 2004 22:07 UTC

That's completely untrue. KDE and GNOME are very different:

- Politically: GNOME is more centralized, with an official leadership. KDE is decentralized, with unofficial leadership. GNOME is more market-oriented, and more corporate-oriented, while KDE is more developer-oriented.

- Philosophically: GNOME is persuing a Mac-like design. Everything is supposed to follow the HIG, simplicity is preferred over features, etc. KDE is looser, and tries to follow whatever design makes sense to the developers. There is very little desire to compromise features (power), for simplicity. KDE will reinvent features when existing code doesn't fit well into theframework, while GNOME is much more willing to live with a little inconsistancy in the framework to be able to import existing code.

- Technically: GNOME is more low-tech, and attempts to derive most of its usability and consistency through external factors. KDE is more dependent on technology to achieve consistency. For example, the Okay/Cancel button order in GNOME is specfied by convention (in the HIG). The button order in KDE is enforced by the framework. A lot of GNOME's focus in 2.x has been on the UI, while a lot of KDE's focus in 3.x has been on core technology. Integeration of technology is pervasive in KDE, nearly and much less so in GNOME. For example, KMail uses the same HTML widget as Konqueror and KHelpCenter. Epiphany, Yelp, and Evolution all use different HTML widgets. Editors are a pluggable component in KDE. That means you can use Vim as an editor in KMail or KDevelop. Spell-checking, toolbar editing, password management are all built into the framework, and thus available throughout the environment. Now, the downside to this is that KDE is usually viewed as more monolithic, while GNOME is viewed as loosly-coupled.

DVD
by pc dude on Tue 4th May 2004 22:21 UTC

Is it really that much of a pain to play a DVD under suse or is there a nice slick way to get around their crippleware versions of xine and mplayer?

v Re: @blahblah
by Anonymous on Tue 4th May 2004 22:35 UTC
v From the WinHEC
by df on Tue 4th May 2004 22:41 UTC
re: pc dude
by Zeke on Tue 4th May 2004 22:51 UTC

You can easily install MPlayer from here: http://packman.links2linux.org/?action=128 which plays dvd's. All of the packages on the site are also in the SUSE apt-rpm repository. Just remember to download the dependency packages listed at the bottom and you will be fine. There are also Xine rpm's there too.

RE: Re: @blahblah
by Nemo on Tue 4th May 2004 23:28 UTC

> Well it's Jeff Waugh who acts like a nazi there and who is
> responsible to drive people away from it. Users and
> Developers that is.

oGALAXYo, is that you? ;)

impressed
by pixelmonkey on Tue 4th May 2004 23:41 UTC

Well, I am using the SuSE Live CD right now. And I'm pretty impressed. Although I have all the kde libraries installed on my debian/gnome system (I make regular use of KDE apps), I never knew how nice a fully integrated KDE-based distro could be.

SuSE really makes a nice package, I'm impressed. This is a system both newbies and power users can appreciate. For one thing, YaST looks really powerful, and is probably a major help for people who don't know their way around a *nix system via the console.

I have to just make one point--I've completely gotten over the KDE versus Gnome flamewar thing. I just hope both developer camps come up with good standards via fd.o so I can use applications developed under either framework. As is, I have KDE configured on my Gnome system using Plastik with colors matching my Industrial GTK2 theme and fonts matching as well. So, basically my KDE apps look very similar to my Gnome apps, and integrate nicely on the desktop. I have no problem using some of the beautifully designed KDE apps that exist out there, such as Scribus, Celestia, and k3b to name a few. The "desktop" I choose (that is, Gnome) is mainly for usability purposes... I like gpanel better, I like Gnome's ALT+F2 better, I like Nautilus better (especially 2.6's), etc. But these are such personal choices. There are so many good apps out there in BOTH camps, I just wish that everyone would agree it's worth the effort to create workable standards rather then reinvent the wheel. OSNews writers have suggested on multiple occasions that Gnome lacks this or that app that KDE has. I think it's so silly. Just use the KDE one, why ask for developers to reimplement it?

I understand that users want consistency in their programs, but Gnome and KDE are already "pretty" consistent UI wise. All of them have menus, toolbars, etc. So the save and open dialogs are a little different, big deal. Microsoft has been doing that for years, and no one whines about it. Ever notice how the UI widgets in MS Office are often completely different from those implemented by developers using MS' OWN IDEs?

Oh well, that's a bit off tangent. But SuSE really is nice. It'll probably be the distro I reccomend to any newbies i come across.

v RE: moderated down comments
by pantz on Tue 4th May 2004 23:56 UTC
not Ballmer
by pantz on Wed 5th May 2004 00:01 UTC

It was Allchin being a fool - sorry.

choice
by dizz on Wed 5th May 2004 00:05 UTC

well for me gnome is the only choice for de i did never like the fell from kde and yes i have tried evry point realese.

to bad the to best applications are written in qt and not gtk
kile and k3b.

and ive never noticed gnome to be unstable but then i dont run debian not that debian is known to make unstable packages.

it's all seems to do with personal taste and in truth there isnt one choice but many for some the only way to go is xfce and so on....

@Anonymous
by Rayiner Hashem on Wed 5th May 2004 00:50 UTC

I'd say that is a very unfair characterization. When I say "GNOME development is more top-down" I don't at all mean to imply that it is a bad thing. GNOME's centralization allowed it to have a decisiveness and a clarity of message that KDE's looser organization does not allow. Each model has its upsides and its downsides, and lead to each project having a decidedly different character and feel. That's why there are two projects, after all.

@nemo
by Lumbergh on Wed 5th May 2004 01:09 UTC

Yep, that's oGalaxyo. He's a dip.t-dialin'er

Yeah SuSE again!
by Jones Lee on Wed 5th May 2004 03:48 UTC

I've tried many many distros since 1994, but the one and only one that satify me in SuSE. My friend advice me to have a try on Mandrake and I did and felt very disappointed on Mandrake. Mandrake Configuration Tools that some stupid Open Source geeks said the best is just nothing compared to those of SuSE. People, just go for SuSE if you can, don't waste money on a distro that is nearly go bankcrupt

Remainder on buying SuSE
by Anonymous on Wed 5th May 2004 07:10 UTC

If you are interested in getting SuSE 9.1 but have an issue with the price: Get the Update. The update will have a double sided DVD as well (one side 32bit, the other 64 for Intel + AMD). Further, there are the 5 CDs as well. This is not an update in the true sense but the full thing software-wise. The difference to the full version is that you will only get one manual about an inch thick instead of two. Since I already have the full 9.0, I bought the update this time round.

Apart from that, I am very impressed how this release has another noticable boost in polish + integration. Samba is at 302a, Firefox + Konqueror have Macromedia and Flash right there, etc... many nice little things. I absolutely agreed that the difference to 9.0 is not suffient enough, but hey, I couldn't resist.
Allegedly, a SuSE-guy is reported to have said that the FTP version will be out within two weeks this time; I will wget that nonetheless to give away to friends who don't have the band-width.

link for those who asked...
by Matt on Wed 5th May 2004 12:50 UTC

well, several of you have asked, here is what i was talking about -

http://primates.ximian.com/~miguel/archive/2004/Mar-29.html

now several of you have already quoted it back, and i just followed miguels link to nat's explination on slashdot (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=102104&threshold=-1&commentsort...)
and your right, there still is some ambiguity. the thing is though, miguel knows what he and the rest of the ximian guys at the VERY least are doing, and it isnt Qt, its GTK.

"My team and other teams within Novell continue to develop and use Gtk as their toolkit (recently open sourced Simias/iFolder for instance) and all of the Mono GUI development tools.

The only use of Qt that am aware of today is SUSE's recently open sourced YAST. "

now, the way i read that is that if novell hasnt even *started* getting people to work with Qt, chances are we will see a focus on GNOME in the next release or so. it would also explain the move by novell to open SuSE, less developer overhead by reducing the amount that they actually have to work with Qt.

anyways, after re-reading this stuff, you guys are right, its still pretty up in the air. from the way i read stuff, my guess is we will see SuSE gnomeified in the next little while. at the VERY least, we will see a functional GNOME in SuSE, not the pile of ass that gnome has been in that distro.

@ Rayiner: i wonder...
by gromit on Wed 5th May 2004 13:01 UTC

Given how KDE can be controlled from the core, would I be right in thinking that it wouldn't be collossally difficult to "clone" GNOME - HIG and all - in KDE: with that KDE architecture and the Gnome HIG the product might be a third option, and a good one at that. It'd be cool to see a gnomified KDE if that would mean that it runs clean under the hood and looks clean on top....

...should add
by gromit on Wed 5th May 2004 13:05 UTC

I'm not talking abouts icons and themes : I'm talking about full HIG compliance.

Tabs
by emagius on Wed 5th May 2004 13:07 UTC

The taskbar should be at the top. Tabs should be at the bottom. I don't understand why the KDE people keep blindly cloning the worst defaults from the MS Windows world.

re: complaining about kde
by Matt on Wed 5th May 2004 13:50 UTC

One thing to keep in mind is the *relativity* of usability. To say something like ok-cancel vs cancel-ok or panel at top or bottom of desktop, or navigator vs. spatial file manager, etc.. is like saying "Apples are better then oranges because I like, and am used to apples, and this is my first orange" That means, expecially when philosophy and focus in UI are so radically different, that when it comes to GNOME vs. KDE discussions (or mac vs. windows), know your background, and try not to bitch too much unless you really "get" the new thing you're using.

Where good vs. bad comes in is more a matter of consistancy or refinement. You say "This is bad because it doesnt work in the same paradigm as the rest of the system." A good example is in windows XP, go to the default control panel view. I have never, ever seen anything even remotely similar in any other windows component or application for configuration. What that means it its not only jarring, but it also requires a user to "switch gears", to go into a new mode of thinking while using that comonent. This is also why list view for OSX is the worst thing the could have possibly done, mac has alwas been the king of consistant interfaces, but a mix of the spatial and navigator methodologies, no matter how good the implementation, is ALWAS a Bad Thing.

Anyways, all im saying is stop and think about how everything works together. A valid complaint in GNOME for example is the old file selector. It just wasnt anywhere NEAR as useful as it could have been. There was also not any valid reason for this, nothing in the overall usability of gnome to require something simple there. Therefor, it was a valid complaint, and bad. An INVALID complaint about gnome is that it isnt powerful. The whole methodology is to have quick and simple access to everything that most people will use the most, and keep everything that five people will ever use into the far background. This isnt bad, its a choice. To say that all options should be a click away, vs Only the very frequently used options being a click away is saying "We believe that the user should be exposed to everything they can configure, even if it takes longer to find what they want, at least they will know whats possible" vs "We believe that interfaces dont have to be complex, configuration should be grouped logically, and only things the user will change on a regular basis should be in the forefront, as it will make it easier to find what they want to do, and keep them from being overwhelmed." apples and oranges...

I'd like to know if anybody else feels the way I do about colors in the UI.

First, I would call switching from gnome to kde switching from 'the greyscale' to 'the colored'.

I respect tigert's technical abilities. I also respect his contributions to the community.

But first of all, I don't like the overall grey/brown colors because they are drab to me. They are drab. The colors are all too close together, not enough contrast, they get muddled in each other. They are depressing like a cloudy, rainy day. KDE's and Suse's colors are bright blues, yellows, greens, and oranges, like a sunny day with blue sky and green grass.

Second, since we are in a GUI, visual identification is important. The contrast of the default colors in KDE make recognizing icons quicker by adding the dimension of color-matching.

I just read the review of Sun's Java Desktop 2. The reviewer actually says that Gnome provides a colorful environment. Now, maybe he meant Sun's Gnome, because it's been colored-up by Sun. But does he actually feel Gnome is colorful compared to KDE?

If Gnome is so bent on usability, they really ought to color-code their icons. Color-coding is not something new. It is used in doctor's offices filing systems, to packing slips. It is extrememly useful for useability.

Now I know I can change the theme to make use of colors. My primary cause for alarm is that the Gnome HIG people don't seem to notice this glaring problem. If they did, wouldn't they fix it?

Now, I'm not anti-Gnome. But I am against some of the things that make Gnome Gnome.

First, Gnome's original goal was to 'destroy' KDE.

That's my paraphrase. I enjoy free software just as much as the next guy. But I don't see anything wrong with Qt deciding on their original licensing. I am 100% for companies making a profit from their work. It's their decision how they want to do it. Of course, I am extremely happy that people's complaining helped convince Qt to change the licensing to be completely free.

Second, is their design decisions.

Regarding Rayiner's comments about the differences.
Philosophically - I agree with what Rayiner said about Gnome. It makes sense to make things usable. It makes sense to not re-invent the wheel all the time just to fit into the framework.
Technically - However, I agree with KDE. I believe that a strong framework is the best foundation. The re-use of code built into the framework is great.

One would think base on the above 2 statements that KDE would work well, but not look nice, and that Gnome would look nice and not work well. KDE still looks better, even though it's developer oriented. Gnome may work okay, and look okay, but according to it's goals, it should look better.

It's like X vs. Windows GUI. The X plumbing is designed to be modular and flexible. It is. But that leads to complexity and inconsistency. X widgets and whatnot lead to inconsistency in the look and feel. Windows was more concerned about the look and feel. Under the hood might be a mess but it looks good and consistent.
This is what you would expect to happen based on the different focus of the 2 developers. This is what you would expect to happen based on the focus of the gnome and KDE developers.
But it isn't.

I'll have to point out that I am not anti-gnome. If somehow Gnome is boosted to primary desktop and KDE becomes irrelavent, then I'll use Gnome. But until then, I'm sticking with KDE.

There are definitely things in Gnome that are better than KDE.
First, is the weather applet. The icons that Gnome shows in the taskbar are more polished than the icons in Kweather's applet.
Second, is the system monitor applet's. Gnome's CPU monitor applet and Gnome's network monitor applet are better than KDE's monitor applets. Again, they are more polished, and clearer for instant understanding from a color-coding perspective.

I don't mind if you flame me, but my intent is not to change anyone's mind. I just don't see many people articulate what I believe. I wanted to find out if anybody else feels the same way, or not.

Matt

Re: link for those who asked...
by David on Wed 5th May 2004 18:54 UTC

now several of you have already quoted it back, and i just followed miguels link to nat's explination on slashdot (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=102104&threshold=-1&com...)
and your right, there still is some ambiguity. the thing is though, miguel knows what he and the rest of the ximian guys at the VERY least are doing, and it isnt Qt, its GTK.


Suse is the Enterprise Linux Division of Novell, they have 50 million dollars of investment from IBM, and what Ximian wants counts for very little, as we have seen with the future direction of Suse's desktop. No Ximian there.

now, the way i read that is that if novell hasnt even *started* getting people to work with Qt, chances are we will see a focus on GNOME in the next release or so. it would also explain the move by novell to open SuSE, less developer overhead by reducing the amount that they actually have to work with Qt.

Suse uses Qt in a big way because it is a commercially supported and developed toolkit. Suse is what matters here, not Novell, because they are the Linux company.

anyways, after re-reading this stuff, you guys are right, its still pretty up in the air. from the way i read stuff, my guess is we will see SuSE gnomeified in the next little while.

Well, you read wrongly, so nice try. We're not going to see Suse Gnomified anywhere. The statement on the Suse Personal Edition made it quite clear that it would only ever use KDE in the future, and not a Ximian representative in sight.

at the VERY least, we will see a functional GNOME in SuSE, not the pile of ass that gnome has been in that distro.

Quite possibly yes, and I hope so.

@gromit
by Rayiner Hashem on Wed 5th May 2004 23:09 UTC

You couldn't go all the way to HIG-ifying KDE, but you could get pretty far. You could do themes and icons, of course, but beyond that you could redo all the toolbars to be simpler, redo the menus to be more logical, and redo all the context menus to be more streamlined, all without touching a line of code. Beyond that, you could ship simpler default views for Konqueror (eg: no sidebar), a KControl with fewer options (each pane in KControl is an independent component), etc. At some point, you'd have to start touching code (eg: to redo widget layouts to be more friendly), but the KDE folks are working on improving those things already. I suspect you could at least make KDE vastly simpler (if not as simple as possible), through non-code related changes.

KDE or Gnome colours
by Anonymous on Thu 6th May 2004 14:39 UTC

It's just personal preference. Gnome looks professional to me, nicely streamlined. KDE looks like a toy to me, some hideous, garish Fisher-Price toy.

But overall I like both KDE and Gnome. I agree with the other poster that the two camps should stop arguing and the apps should be interoperable so we all can enjoy the best of all worlds. Kudos to both the KDE and Gnome teams, you're both doing great. But arguing about the colours or grey-scale is like arguing about favorite foods. There is no wrong answer, just personal preferences.

You said everything that I would have said but you were far more diplomatic than I could ever be. First-rate post!

Colors
by Matt Grab on Thu 6th May 2004 18:16 UTC

Color contrast is important if you are going to color-code something. You can't use 10 shades of anything to easily differentiate. I'm not recommending glaring contrasts like red and white and blue (which may actually work well) but I am commending the color use that is the default setup in KDE. Gnome's default settings are low on contrast.

re: Donald
Thanks!

Matt

Divided we fall...
by LoW on Thu 6th May 2004 19:11 UTC

Let's face it...Linux has come a long way and it has a long way to go. Bottom line: it's growing and it's getting better at a faster rate than MS is. Now that Linux has some sunshine on it, like all seeds that turn into plants, that bloom flowers, it will grow towards the light.

As a community, I am seeing way too much bickering and quibling about who's distro is better or who's GUI is better, especially about sometimes miniscule differences. Our common bond is CHOICE. We want to use what we want to use. Not have companies like MS tell us what we need to use or should I say have to use. I personally don't want GNOME to become KDE or vice versa. Let them be themselves and let us continue to choose what we want to run on our desktops.

Since I brought up MS, that's where we need to be focusing our energies. Lots of talk of "cloning" MS functions and APPS...why??? LET'S JUST FOCUS on what WE CAN MAKE BETTER THAN MS...Everyone with common sense knows we're cheaper, more stable, and more secure. Now Let's not pit GNOME VS KDE but GNOME vs WINBLOWS...Let's continue to be innovative and keep encouraging the distros to fight the good fight and keep choice alive. Just keep in mind, when people read these posts, we sometimes seem like a community divided as oppose to a community that stands together. Prove to them OpenSource is the way of the future...