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  • #76
    Kde ui

    As lot of people subscribing to this thread complain about the way "KDE" looks (whatever they mean, as KDE is a community developing software and not software), I would like to know what part they are complaining about.
    For that I would like to cite myself from a previous comment made on page 2 of that thread:

    Originally posted by GEO1 View Post
    ...
    Which components are you talking about? The icons? (at the point I can agree that the are not the best looking ones, but definitely not the work of a teenager ..., just the style is outfashioned and not very pretty imho...)
    Oxygen theme? (At this point I have to strongly disagree, as the theme is very polished and well designed (though people complain about the grey color scheme that can be changed very easily))
    Plasma? (I cannot believe this looks like designed by a teenager ... It is very well designed and very flexible in terms of design. Have a look at http://dot.kde.org/sites/dot.kde.org...p-calendar.png)
    Default config? (Maybe the default config may not be the best, with settings like icons on buttons and in every menu ... but that can be disabled in Systemsettings/Application Appearance/Style/Fine Tuning)

    So I would like to know which component you are talking about... I suspect the icons, as they really destroy the appearance of the whole desktop imho.
    Try to disable icons in menus and on buttons, switch the icon theme (to example KFaenza which can be found on KDElook) and maybe if you do not like it, change the color scheme and believe me, you will look at something very different from an antithetical point of view.

    So a quick feedback of what could be done better in terms of UI would be appreciated.

    P.S.: Please stop talking about KDE. KDE is a community, not a dekstop environment. Do you mean plasma? applications? icons? etc.
    So you have to separate between unrelated topics. Nobody knows what you mean by "KDE" speaking in the context of software. I mean, in practice it is pretty clear: You download a distribution featuring KDE software, that means having plasma and kde applications installed with default config and default icons and all other things developed by KDE community.
    The same applies to speaking about stability: Just because a KDE application like for example Kmail crashes does not mean all KDE software is unstable. That is the problem with most people: They do not separate as it is certainly easier to find a common name for everything and if one component is bad, everything is bad. If we were not talking about software but about humans most of the people who comment here would be pretty racist.
    The KDE community is very strong, but there are different people who focus on different things. Why should Kwin or Dolphin be bad because KDEPim was unstable during the transition to Akonadi?
    Artwork again is different from applications. So you cannot call the applications bad because of for example bad icons.
    So to be honest, a statement like "KDE 4.12 is still unstable and unusable" makes no sense at all if you understand what I am trying to point out.
    Of course everything is kind of related because it is distributed under a common brand, KDE, but generalizing does not make sense.

    So the feedback I am hoping for is pointing out, which component is bad in terms of usability/design for you and again, a statement like "KDE applications have bad usability" makes no sense, you have to say which one ...

    And yes, there are areas that need work like the mentioned DPI Independence, but the developers are aware (look at https://community.kde.org/KDE/High-dpi_issues) and of course there are forces trying to improve the general usability and aiming for consistency (have a look at http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Usability/HIG).

    No project is perfect, but people need to separate. I think the same applies for the Gnome side (but I cannot speak for those, as I have to less knowledge and experience with Gnome)

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by chenxiaolong View Post
      Another thing Unity needs to work on is to stop relying on hacks.
      Do you think these hacks will still be there with Unity 8? Where they there with the old "Unity 2D"? I bet it all has to do with the peculiar idea of implementing a DE as a plugin to a window manager, Compiz, but then I'm no developer.

      I understand the whole Unity implementation is hacky, but its whole point is being a progress in usability and convergence with mobile devices, not so much a clean codebase. I guess the upcoming code should be cleaner and more "portable". I'm not a developer so I usually don't care much about how something is made as long as it works for me as a user, but I can appreciate the effects of cleaner code. I'm pretty sure the lack of customization in Unity comes both from a will to keep it "standard" AND the difficulty of removing all the hardcoding in it. I hope the new codebase addresses these issues, but if you ask me, I'll choose better usability before a clean codebase any day.

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by GEO1 View Post
        As lot of people subscribing to this thread complain about the way "KDE" looks (whatever they mean, as KDE is a community developing software and not software), I would like to know what part they are complaining about.
        For that I would like to cite myself from a previous comment made on page 2 of that thread:



        So you have to separate between unrelated topics. Nobody knows what you mean by "KDE" speaking in the context of software. I mean, in practice it is pretty clear: You download a distribution featuring KDE software, that means having plasma and kde applications installed with default config and default icons and all other things developed by KDE community.
        The same applies to speaking about stability: Just because a KDE application like for example Kmail crashes does not mean all KDE software is unstable. That is the problem with most people: They do not separate as it is certainly easier to find a common name for everything and if one component is bad, everything is bad. If we were not talking about software but about humans most of the people who comment here would be pretty racist.
        The KDE community is very strong, but there are different people who focus on different things. Why should Kwin or Dolphin be bad because KDEPim was unstable during the transition to Akonadi?
        Artwork again is different from applications. So you cannot call the applications bad because of for example bad icons.
        So to be honest, a statement like "KDE 4.12 is still unstable and unusable" makes no sense at all if you understand what I am trying to point out.
        Of course everything is kind of related because it is distributed under a common brand, KDE, but generalizing does not make sense.

        So the feedback I am hoping for is pointing out, which component is bad in terms of usability/design for you and again, a statement like "KDE applications have bad usability" makes no sense, you have to say which one ...

        And yes, there are areas that need work like the mentioned DPI Independence, but the developers are aware (look at https://community.kde.org/KDE/High-dpi_issues) and of course there are forces trying to improve the general usability and aiming for consistency (have a look at http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Usability/HIG).

        No project is perfect, but people need to separate. I think the same applies for the Gnome side (but I cannot speak for those, as I have to less knowledge and experience with Gnome)
        Your post describes perfectly well why KDE will never be very usable. There are a lot of "forces" without leadership, without criteria. There's just no design whatsoever, except for (probably) beautifully clean code that serves no other purpose than to be an engineering achievement.

        That "of course there are forces trying to improve the general usability and aiming for consistency" is astonishing and also explains quite well why KDE is unusable: DESIGN comes first, then comes CODE. In KDE it's always the reverse. Some folks can get close to an orgasm by looking at KDE's code or the sheer number of options, switches and configurations they have at their disposal. Most people, though, will choose something that's easy and consistent and don't give a damn about what's below. (I happen to think both UI/UX design and code are important, but if I had to choose, I'd obviously choose focused UI/UX design over a clean codebase. I'm a user -not a developer- and I'm not a masochist...)

        Of course individual apps can't be called good or bad because of KDE, but you say "people need to separate", when it's actually quite the opposite: "KDE needs to concentrate, to focus". Focus on design, obviously. And I'm talking about end user usability design, not "design patterns", which is probably what most KDE devs understand by "design".

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
          Your post describes perfectly well why KDE will never be very usable. There are a lot of "forces" without leadership, without criteria. There's just no design whatsoever, except for (probably) beautifully clean code that serves no other purpose than to be an engineering achievement.

          That "of course there are forces trying to improve the general usability and aiming for consistency" is astonishing and also explains quite well why KDE is unusable: DESIGN comes first, then comes CODE. In KDE it's always the reverse. Some folks can get close to an orgasm by looking at KDE's code or the sheer number of options, switches and configurations they have at their disposal. Most people, though, will choose something that's easy and consistent and don't give a damn about what's below. (I happen to think both UI/UX design and code are important, but if I had to choose, I'd obviously choose focused UI/UX design over a clean codebase. I'm a user -not a developer- and I'm not a masochist...)

          Of course individual apps can't be called good or bad because of KDE, but you say "people need to separate", when it's actually quite the opposite: "KDE needs to concentrate, to focus". Focus on design, obviously. And I'm talking about end user usability design, not "design patterns", which is probably what most KDE devs understand by "design".
          Calling KDE SOFTWARE "unusable" is not the right expression, just because of the lack of consistency. (BTW, you just called an community unusable again ...) .
          So you call KDE community working without leadership, which is right, but still they try to work as good a possible together. Who would be the leadership of GNOME? As far as I know the only project having strict guidelines and a leadership is Unity and the core applications.
          Does it make a project unusable, just because its community is very open?
          Apart from that, you will never be able to use 100% consistent software, because if you want that you would have to ditch all other applications not explicitly designed for that environment, because it may differ in its design.
          For example Gnome client side window decoration may look beautiful with applications that support it, but all other application with no support for it differ which is again not consistency.

          And I have to disagree with "UI design first, then implementation", as Plasma Workspaces for example try to move to QML, where application logic and design implementation can be separated very well. Furthermore the trend is going to having one application with multiple interfaces for different from factors. Starting with the UI design first does not make that much sense to me.

          With "people need to separate" I did not mean the people of the KDE community, but people here judging KDE software, as they do not separate between different applications, workspaces (DEs) and UX elements (icons, theme, etc.).

          I hope the KDE usability project reaches more developers and will therefore succeed. There will always be individual developers that refuse to accept guidelines, but that will exist in every open community and guidelines are guidelines not rules.

          In terms of themes KDE software comes with pretty great consistency: The oxygen theme looks pretty good for KDE/QT/GTK applications.
          There are of course exceptions like firefox or libre office that use strange toolkits and therefore do not support gradients used by the oxygen theme.
          Here one can again see one fundamental problem with "design vs. consistency": The oxygen gradients are beautiful imho, but not all toolkits support it. So from a design point of view it is nice, but it will add a bit of inconsitency. Same goes for the aforementioned Gnome client side decorations.

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
            Do you think these hacks will still be there with Unity 8? Where they there with the old "Unity 2D"? I bet it all has to do with the peculiar idea of implementing a DE as a plugin to a window manager, Compiz, but then I'm no developer.
            Why do you think the code will be cleaner this time around? The Unity and Ubuntu teams seems to always be in a hurry, always willing to cut corners. Focusing almost entirely on "next week", "next release", "make a splash", "time to market" is what causes hacks to pile up. One also needs to continiously improve things that only have value long term*. Right now, it seems to me as an outsider that they prefer throwing things in the trash when too much junk has piled up and start over again (and again...).
            The creation of Mir looks like a symptom of the same problem.

            * to be fair, this is not an easy thing.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Azpegath View Post
              HAHAHAHAHAHA says a Vim user! With the learning curve of a cliff! Talk about adapting your workflow to the tool at hand. I'm also a Vim user, but that's really talking about a tool where you have to spend a lot of time to be able to harness the power of it.
              There is no problem at all to configure Vim to behave like you want it. Of course the learning curve of nano is much lower, but you can't adapt it to your needs as good as Vim. That is the same thing as with Gnome, to use nano you have to adapt to nano, but I can adapt Vim to my likings.

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by gamerk2 View Post
                Question: Isn't the entire POINT of a GUI to not have to bother with a command prompt or keyboard shortcuts for basic system operations? If you are required to do so, then the GUI has failed in its most basic purpose.
                No. The whole point of a GUI is to allow you to run graphical programs in a simple way. Up to which grade this includes providing dialogs for system management is up to the developers of that GUI. For example, I use the GUI to comfortably manage Windows, especially terminal emulators, but I use the terminal exclusively for system administration.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by GEO1 View Post
                  Calling KDE SOFTWARE "unusable" is not the right expression, just because of the lack of consistency. (BTW, you just called an community unusable again ...) .
                  Don't be silly: KDE is the "K Desktop Environment". That's what everyone (apparently just not you) means by "KDE".

                  So you call KDE community working without leadership, which is right, but still they try to work as good a possible together. Who would be the leadership of GNOME?
                  I can think of a few names (Alan Day, Andre Klapper...) but I don't know them all. They are usually blamed for "not listening" but a design team can only listen so much. We can discuss the merits of their design (I believe they're wrong in a few places) but they're definitely putting design first, which is the right thing to do. The same goes for the Elementary guys.

                  As far as I know the only project having strict guidelines and a leadership is Unity and the core applications.
                  Actually not just the core applications. Because Ubuntu has put good care to adopt the two main toolkits (GTK+ and Qt) to ease the discrepancies AND adapt the few important foreigners (Firefox/Thunderbird and LibreOffice), so they belong in the same look and feel and overall design (global menu, HUD, etc.)


                  Does it make a project unusable, just because its community is very open?
                  No, KDE is unusable because it puts coding before UI/UX design.

                  Unfortunately, design can't be made out of the bazaar's model. It's a cathedral type of discipline. It requires a focused small team with strong leadership and professionally trained people focusing on the different areas of the project. There's no such thing as "open design" except for the part when the team exposes its work and leaves it to coders to implement it openly (actually this is not accurate; coders should be very close to the design team in order to accomplish the best possible implementation, but I'm trying to keep things simple here). A design team can be open to suggestions, and even show all the process' progress like in a permanent "open doors day", but can't be driven democratically or meritocratically. A project developed by a large community with focus away from design has a very tiny chance of being usable.

                  Of course, you might say lots of people use KDE so KDE is usable. So is the terminal, but I hope to agree that we're talking ordinary people here, not geeks who can use anything you throw at them.

                  Apart from that, you will never be able to use 100% consistent software, because if you want that you would have to ditch all other applications not explicitly designed for that environment, because it may differ in its design.
                  I'll be happy with an 80% consistent DE and applications. KDE isn't remotely close.

                  For example Gnome client side window decoration may look beautiful with applications that support it, but all other application with no support for it differ which is again not consistency.
                  I mentioned that already in this same thread. That's one of their design decisions I believe they're not in a position to take. IF they were strong enough they might convince application developers to go with them, but nowadays cross-platform development imposes limitations that must be observed by DE designers. That makes decisions like the CSD from Gnome an exercise in a vacuum, going nowhere. A modern DE design should try to encompass different toolkits under the same umbrella and try to interfere as little as possible with current app development conventions. At least until their own SDK becomes so ubiquitous that app developers accept it as THE way to develop. THEN it's possible to introduce "revolutionary" changes. But even then, it's wise to observe cross-platform conventions as much as possible. Ubuntu has been doing that right with Unity. (We'll see what happens with Unity 8 and the convergent SDK, which will address the desktop this year.)

                  And I have to disagree with "UI design first, then implementation", as Plasma Workspaces for example try to move to QML, where application logic and design implementation can be separated very well. Furthermore the trend is going to having one application with multiple interfaces for different from factors. Starting with the UI design first does not make that much sense to me.
                  I'm not quite sure you know what design is...

                  With "people need to separate" I did not mean the people of the KDE community, but people here judging KDE software, as they do not separate between different applications, workspaces (DEs) and UX elements (icons, theme, etc.).
                  I know exactly what you meant. And I intentionally told you KDE needs to put all these things you mention together under a strong leadership after a thorough design phase, executed by well paid designers (not by coders). That won't happen obviously.

                  I hope the KDE usability project reaches more developers and will therefore succeed. There will always be individual developers that refuse to accept guidelines, but that will exist in every open community and guidelines are guidelines not rules.
                  Again: you don't understand design. There shouldn't exist a "KDE usability project". Usability and UX are crucial parts of design that can't be left to a side project. The design represents the very seeds of the whole project. Not a single line of code should be written without a purpose explicitly expressed in a design. KDE (the DE and its whole community) is fundamentally flawed because of this mentality, precisely.

                  In terms of themes KDE software comes with pretty great consistency: The oxygen theme looks pretty good for KDE/QT/GTK applications.

                  There are of course exceptions like firefox or libre office that use strange toolkits and therefore do not support gradients used by the oxygen theme.

                  Here one can again see one fundamental problem with "design vs. consistency": The oxygen gradients are beautiful imho, but not all toolkits support it. So from a design point of view it is nice, but it will add a bit of inconsitency. Same goes for the aforementioned Gnome client side decorations.
                  You have a serious problem understanding design. It's not about looks or developer guidelines (those are minuscule parts of the design process). It would take a lot to explain what design is in a short forum reply, so allow me to suggest some learning on the subject. (No offense intended. You don't have to know what design is to live happily, but if you want to talk about it, then you definitely do have to.)

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    this little survey shows that Gnome 3 is more popular than KDE
                    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uQ-.../viewanalytics

                    source http://www.reddit.com/r/linux/commen...ey_about_dewm/

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
                      Don't be silly: KDE is the "K Desktop Environment". That's what everyone (apparently just not you) means by "KDE".
                      That would be KDE SC (KDE Software Compilation), but i have to agree that most use KDE instead of KDE SC.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
                        Do you think these hacks will still be there with Unity 8? Where they there with the old "Unity 2D"? I bet it all has to do with the peculiar idea of implementing a DE as a plugin to a window manager, Compiz, but then I'm no developer.
                        Thing is, the hacks are there today because they wanted to push something out to their users, without taking the time to do it properly - instead of building a Unity8 style system at the time, they hacked something together so they could proclaim their shiny new UI, and only then spend time doing it properly. Those specific hacks will probably be gone in the next version, but if the attitude that put them there hasn't changed, I imagine they'll simply have been replaced with different ones.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Nille_kungen View Post
                          That would be KDE SC (KDE Software Compilation), but i have to agree that most use KDE instead of KDE SC.
                          Does *anyone* outside of the project refer to the desktop as anything other than KDE? The KDE devs refer to KDE SC in their blogs and g+ streams, but I rarely see the term used anywhere else... it's been KDE for more than ten years, and nobody can be bothered adding "SC" to the end...

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
                            There is no problem at all to configure Vim to behave like you want it. Of course the learning curve of nano is much lower, but you can't adapt it to your needs as good as Vim. That is the same thing as with Gnome, to use nano you have to adapt to nano, but I can adapt Vim to my likings.
                            And what exactly do you want to do with GNOME that you can't write an extension for?

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by prodigy_ View Post
                              They brought it on themselves when they discontinued Gnome 2 to release this abomination. And as for "given enough eyeballs", I seriously doubt that anyone in their right mind uses Gnome 3, much less people who could actually fix bugs in it. Much like Unity it's a total train wreck of a DE that has nothing to offer except "shiny" (read: monstrously ugly) UI, zero productivity and near zero configurability.
                              Dev here and using RedHat/Fedora for 17 years now. I love Gnome 3, it is a step in the right direction towards modernizing the distro.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by chenxiaolong View Post
                                EDIT: Oh yeah. For those who hated GNOME for the optional systemd dependencies, well, several Unity packages can't compile without Upstart or libnih (ha).
                                Interesting fun fact

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