Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 2nd Jul 2013 21:04 UTC
Editorial Like many of you, I've been watching the big changes in user interfaces over the past few years, trying to make sense of them all. Is there a common explanation for the controversies surrounding the Windows 8 UI and Unity? Where do GNOME 3, KDE, Cinnamon, and MATE fit in? This article offers one view.
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Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

Do you have any evidence that it was? It was in open development prior to the iphone release.

Form my now memory of the time, the motivation behind 4.0 was to increase the flexibility and customization of the work space.

Reply Score: 4

benali72 Member since:

I agree. Many of the open source developers were seized by the idea that "We have to re-invent the way people interact with computers!" It wasn't just about handhelds. KDE comes to my mind first when I think of it this way. Too bad they didn't extensively user-test many of their new ideas. (Although I suppose you could say that KDE 4.0 and 4.1 were the "user test".)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I may be blind by what I think is an awesome design, but I don't see exactly why kde 4 was a radical departure into the UI design wilderness. If anything I think it was a radical design to empower a user to figure out how best to make a UI work for them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

eco2geek Member since:

No, IIRC they developed KDE4 because of the development and release of QT4, the underlying toolkit. Mobile devices had little or nothing to do with it -- I think KDE4 was released even before the big netbook wave.

There's a big difference between KDE4's evolution and GNOME3's evolution. KDE's developers knew v4.0 wasn't ready for prime time, but they released it anyway, because they wanted app developers to use it and write software for it. (Boy, did they get grief for that.) And, while KDE can take several guises, a desktop user who was used to KDE3 would be right at home with KDE4. Its evolution has been one of adding feature after feature.

Compare that with GNOME shell, which wasn't released until it was ready; hid so-called "classic mode" in a hard-to-find corner of system settings, up through v3.6; which, unlike KDE, made radical changes to the UI; and whose developers have made parts of it much less powerful than they used to be (e.g. Nautilus). GNOME shell's saving grace is that its developers allowed its interface to be extensible through scripting, so you don't have to put up with its developers' UI choices.

Reply Parent Score: 1