Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Mar 2008 21:49 UTC
Editorial "I used KDE as my primary desktop from 1996 through 2006, when I installed the GNOME version of Ubuntu and found that I liked it better than the KDE desktop I'd faced every morning for so many years. Last January, I got a new Dell Latitude D630 laptop and decided to install Kubuntu on it, but within a few weeks, I went back to GNOME. Does this mean GNOME is now a better desktop than KDE, or just that I have become so accustomed to GNOME that it's hard for me to give it up?"
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sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

In Gnome it is a 5 minute walk through the dialogue, then a 3 hour search for other dialogues or hidden configuration options,


Want my advice? Well, I'll give it anyway. Normal users are going to be pretty happy with the defaults. So we're talking about using Gnome like a geek, here.[1] So I'll give you the straightforward geek advice. Run through the config process once, and for each change you make, add a gconftool-2 line to a script and save the script in a safe place. Next time you need to configure Gnome, just run the script. You'll be able to tweak Gnome to exactly the way you like it in five or ten seconds.

Out of curiosity, does KDE have such a facility?

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[1] Why regular users are capable of getting real work done with the defaults, while geeks insist that they are unable to do so without tweaking the hell out of their desktops, I've never understood. To me, it suggests a certain rigidness of mind, an unwillingness to learn new procedures, and a penchant for painting the bicycle shed.

Reply Parent Score: 3

trs1 Member since:
2008-03-07

Out of curiosity, does KDE have such a facility?


Yes, one can use kwriteconfig for this. But I agree that the KDE3 (I didn't use 4 yet) defaults are suboptimal in a lot of ways.

Reply Parent Score: 1

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Want my advice? Well, I'll give it anyway. Normal users are going to be pretty happy with the defaults.


Absolutely. Normal users are also perfectly happy with Windows.

So we're talking about using Gnome like a geek, here.[1]


Pretty much. Although even non-geeks do change the occasional setting. And you can't predict which setting that will be. Jensen Harris has a very insightful series of posts here: http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/tags/Why+the+New+UI_3F00_/def...
where he talks about the rationale for the Office 2007 interface redesign. Basically one of the very important points that he makes is that the whole breadth of features in office actually get used quite widely. Office has thousands of features, but they are all there due to customer demand. In other words, you can't remove features without negatively impacting someone, and you can't make simple software that will still work for a lot of people.

So I'll give you the straightforward geek advice. Run through the config process once, and for each change you make, add a gconftool-2 line to a script and save the script in a safe place.


Too much effort. I'm a geek, but not that much of a geek.

Out of curiosity, does KDE have such a facility?


I generally just copy the config files if I have to reinstall. Haven't bothered to find out if there's another way because that's about as easy as it gets.

[1] Why regular users are capable of getting real work done with the defaults, while geeks insist that they are unable to do so without tweaking the hell out of their desktops, I've never understood.


It's not that I can't get work done, it's that I feel more comfortable using the computer when it works as I like it to work. Realistically, if I didn't want to put effort into computing I would still be using Windows, which is absolutely the path of least resistance. But Windows forces me to adapt to how it thinks I should work, and since I've made the effort to switch to an operating system with more freedom, I am absolutely not prepared to enter the same situation. KDE lets me make my own choices about how I use my computer, while Gnome still gets in my way. I don't have the patience to put up with that when I know I don't have to.

Reply Parent Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Too much effort. I'm a geek, but not that much of a geek.
...
I generally just copy the config files if I have to reinstall. Haven't bothered to find out if there's another way because that's about as easy as it gets.


I administer about a hundred Linux desktops on XDMCP/NX servers. And believe me, copying around config files to change settings is *not* as easy as it gets. Not granular enough. I need more control and fine-grained configurability than that.

I use gconftool-2 scripts. But for larger chunks of config, I believe you can --dump particular branches of gconf to xml and then load them to various accounts. For example:

gconftool-2 --dump /apps/evolution > evolution.xml
gconftool-2 --load=evolution.xml

Or say you just wanted calendar settings:

gconftool-2 --dump /apps/evolution/calendar > calendar.xml

Copying around config files sounds like something out of the DOS dark ages.

Reply Parent Score: 3