posted by Eugenia Loli on Mon 15th Dec 2003 07:07 UTC

"My Conclusion"
KDE 3.2b2 - click for a larger image KDE is great. It has the best underlying technology today compared to other X11-based environments. It is modern, flexible, and now, faster than ever before. But this UI bloat and general unpolishness that still plagues itself and its applications leaves a very sour taste in my mouth. What I would love to see on Unix (and I am sure others would too) is a clean, polished and HIGified environment (like Gnome) but with the speed, architecture, integration and infrastructure of KDE. Luckily for KDE, they have the advantage over Gnome. It is easier for them to streamline, strip out and clean up their current interface than Gnome to get that level or architectural quality that KDE today enjoys. Development tools are worlds better on KDE too: Qt Designer beats Glade and knocks it out in the first round.

My suggestion would be: Clean up KDE's UI, polish the widgets at the Qt level and do some usability and accessibility testing. Then, remove most of the most redundant options from Konqueror, its menu, its preferences, and Kontrol center's modules and move them to a KConfig panel (a-la GConf or a-la Registry) so both worlds are happy (advanced and newbie users). KDE 3.2b2 - click for a larger image Only keep visible on panels the most important, basic options, the ones that guarantee a polished experience. If the KDE Project realizes that polish and simplicity is more important than all these almost-never-used and hard-to-find-in-a-chaos-of-panels options, adopt a HIG, get some usability engineers aboard, oh joy, we would have a winner. But as it stands today, the battle with Gnome will still stand as Gnome has an edge on usability direction and general UI polish. I would like it if KDE used Gnome's HIG (which is actually one of the good points of Gnome, so re-use it, that would help the overall usability as a bonus for both DEs and's efforts).

The fact remains though, KDE is good enough for most people. It does the job. The beta still has bugs and applications crash quite a bit (I think some are Fedora-only issues actually), but it does look very promising. KDE has the right technology and tools. But it is so damned easy to develop for this platform that some people seem to... over-develop.

Table of contents
  1. "The KDE Solution"
  2. "The KDE Problem"
  3. "My Conclusion"
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