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!
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.

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