Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 2nd Jul 2013 21:04 UTC
Editorial Like many of you, I've been watching the big changes in user interfaces over the past few years, trying to make sense of them all. Is there a common explanation for the controversies surrounding the Windows 8 UI and Unity? Where do GNOME 3, KDE, Cinnamon, and MATE fit in? This article offers one view.
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No, IIRC they developed KDE4 because of the development and release of QT4, the underlying toolkit. Mobile devices had little or nothing to do with it -- I think KDE4 was released even before the big netbook wave.

There's a big difference between KDE4's evolution and GNOME3's evolution. KDE's developers knew v4.0 wasn't ready for prime time, but they released it anyway, because they wanted app developers to use it and write software for it. (Boy, did they get grief for that.) And, while KDE can take several guises, a desktop user who was used to KDE3 would be right at home with KDE4. Its evolution has been one of adding feature after feature.

Compare that with GNOME shell, which wasn't released until it was ready; hid so-called "classic mode" in a hard-to-find corner of system settings, up through v3.6; which, unlike KDE, made radical changes to the UI; and whose developers have made parts of it much less powerful than they used to be (e.g. Nautilus). GNOME shell's saving grace is that its developers allowed its interface to be extensible through scripting, so you don't have to put up with its developers' UI choices.

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