posted by Paul Pianta on Tue 4th May 2004 18:45 UTC

"KDE/SuSE-Live review, Page 2/2"
2. The left hand side icon toolbar (available in Konqueror file browser and Kate)

I could not find the configuration option to get rid of this side toolbar. I really don't like it and feel that it disrupts the whole flow of a window. Why take up a whole vertical column of the window for 3 icons (Kate) when I still have space in my regular horizontal toolbar? I have other methods of accessing the functions that these shortcuts provide, methods that are usable across any application, that I prefer to use (eg. click on the 'folder' icon in the toolbar to open the file selector dialog to access the filesystem). Again this would help in establishing some form of cross-application consistency - within the common KDE desktop.

Sure there are people that find this toolbar useful, I'm not suggesting that it should be removed, just that it should be made easy to configure it away out of sight. I would instinctively go looking in the 'Configure Toolbars ...' option in the 'Settings' menu for this option - but alas it is not there.

3. Tabs at the bottom of multi-document windows (eg. Konsole, Kate, etc)

Since the introduction of web-browsers with tab-browsing capabilities - Tab bars at the top of a window have become pretty standard fare for a multi-document window. The browser is probably the most widely used application in the open source world (Mozilla and its derivatives or Opera), so this would indicate that the majority of the population have adapted to browsing tabs at the top of the window.

Yet again, there is no need to remove the option of displaying Tab bars at the bottom of the window completely, just don't make it the default option and require the majority of users to change this behaviour when first using the application. Great default application settings go a long way towards influencing new users first impressions.

4. KDE Control Centre confusion

I have seen that there is a new project working on re-doing the KDE Control Centre and the early screen shots that I saw of it were very impressive. I will reserve judgment on the Control Centre until after the new version is implemented. I give credit to the KDE Team for having identified this problem and working to develop a fix for it. 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!

Totally subjective impressions of the general SUSE/KDE system

Some good things that I have found in SUSE/KDE ... that I didn't have in Fedora/Gnome: - windows 'snap' into place - nice for repositioning windows. - icon theme is consistent (and cool) throughout all KDE applications - cut and paste actually works - with an easily accessible history - system tray icon size is standard - system tray pop-ups for kmail and kopete are great - not too in-your-face - QT seems faster than its rival GTK - but it could also be due to the new 2.6 kernel - the number of integrated IDE tools is staggering - a tool for configuring bluetooth devices comes as part of the standard desktop!

Some things that didn't work out-of-the-box, and other small things I observed along the way: - my samba share was found in konqueror - but it failed when accessing the directory after prompting for username/password. The error given was "The process for smb://gandalf protocol died unexpectedly" - the text cursor gets in the way when typing in a text field - it would be nice if the cursor could be 'backgrounded' whilst typing text, and then displayed again when the mouse is moved. (I have this feature in gedit in Fedora/Gnome and it really makes life easier!) - the SUSE main menu overlaps to a second column with just one icon in it after filling the 'Most Used Applications' buffer with 5 icons. Reducing it to 4 by default would maintain a 1 column menu list - a much cleaner alternative. - the LIVE CD doesn't give an option to 'easily' mount existing drive partitions (eg. icons on the desktop ala knoppix)

Well that's about all that I can manage for this article. Hopefully I can stir up some action and I am ready with my char-proof undies for the flames that are about to be sent my way. Anyway, I won't be abandoning my Fedora/Gnome desktop all together because SUSE 9.1 full version is not yet out here, and there are still many 'yum'-my things about Fedora that might take a while to let go of ...

About the author
The author is a linux afficionado who some day hopes to learn what the word afficionado means. He also works for a small linux tech shop in Quebec Canada, speaking crummy French, and waiting for the 'linux explosion' to hit so he can broaden his job opportunities. He also dreams of working on a wireless broadband, invisible, weightless, waterproof laptop, whilst surfing the big blue in his homeland of Australia.

Table of contents
  1. "KDE/SuSE-Live review, Page 1/2"
  2. "KDE/SuSE-Live review, Page 2/2"
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