Linked by Allen Boyles on Mon 7th Nov 2011 09:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces In the commercial software world, user interfaces are generally designed by one group. Like Microsoft for Windows or Apple for Mac OS. Those desktop environments were designed by one company who did things like user testing and statistical analysis to try and make the desktop they thought would work best. Linux is different. Large groups definitely DO perform user testing and statistical analysis, but one group can also say "Here's what we want" and, if they have the ability to code it, their idea comes into being. It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. Linux lets people create what they want. If you don't like what's out there, fork it! Or start from scratch! You're in control!
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RE: KDE does it right IMHO
by lemur2 on Tue 8th Nov 2011 03:23 UTC in reply to "KDE does it right IMHO"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Of course such flexibility comes with some complexity but as correctly pointed out by a previous poster, it does not automatically means that the user *has* to fiddle with obscure settings as long as the default settings are sane. I have yet to set up different activities on my desktop for instance but I am glad that the option is there for those that want it and even for myself in case a see the need for it in the future.

As a matter of a fact, changing the desktop to Desktop View and setting up a rotating wallpaper every hour or so is about the extent of the changes that I made to make it comfortable for me and it took about 10 minutes to set up.

And the fact that the entire DE is flexible allows distros to customize it enough to fit their userbase needs: MEPIS presents by default a somewhat conservative desktop whereas OpenSUSE's offering is highly polished and corporative-y and Mandriva's looks all shiny and gorgeous.

I'll concede that KDE can be somewhat confusing at times and that some design decisions still do not make sense EVEN to die-hard fans like me (such as the separate UIs for Plasma and desktop themes, the very small buttons, etc) and that both Plasma and KWin are in a dire need of fixes for some glitches and optimizations here and there but I'd still argue that it is highly usable as it is (have two young kids on the house to prove it) and that all this flexibility, despite its price, is better for the end user.


I think this is key. A user doesn't have to use the full power and flexibility of the desktop software, but if that power and flexibility isn't provided at all then it can't be used by anybody.

IMO, one has to have that power and flexibility in order to set up a desktop that gets out of your way. If you can't set it up how you like it, because you haven't been given enough configurability, then you are left with someone else's preferences that you cannot change to your liking. This is bound to get in your way.

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