The GUI must only make it possible for the user to do what the user wants to do. In some cases it might be that a new GUI has a different way of doing things which will force you to change how you do things. This is not *necessarily* bad, if it does not decrease your productivity.
I am a heavy user of LaTex. That writing environment was vastly different from my previous tools of writing (pen and paper, Word processor, HTML markup, ...). It took quite some time to get used to, and it is sometimes even quite annoying. I would however never want to replace it with any of the tools I tried before.
And I have the same feeling of GNOME 3. Some things are different, and some things are annoying. Over all, I still much prefer it to any DE I have used to this day.
There is code design, UI design etc. You are right, there has to be kind of a design before writing things, but this "design" (here the way the application is intended to work) should be as much independent from the user interaction as possible.
I want to keep an open mind and do not like to judge people by their comments, but to me you make the impression of a person who thinks the UI is everything and everything in the background should keep the UI in mind.
I simply cannot agree with that statement, because it is simply wrong. There is simply a difference between application logic and UI.
You can have the same code logic in background but entirely different ways of interacting with the application (UI).
I think KDE is technically moving in the right the direction, as QML will make it very easy to leave the design (the way the applications looks and allows interaction with the user) to people dedicated to designing UX (although I do not expect that to happen, but it certainly makes contributing patches easier).
P.S: I am not silly saying KDE is a community, I suggest you to read the wikipedia article. Saying KDE is the K Desktop Environment is utterly wrong today. If people are not able to distinguish between applications, desktop environments and communities I would consider them as silly.
I think I understand now why you do not get my points: You are talking about the desktop environment (Plasma), where (I have to agree) design comes first, as it is all about user interaction and design and less about application logic. But I am talking about KDE applications.
Plasma is well designed from the beginning imho and extremely consistent.
Thinking about that, I have to conclude you cannot have meant Plasma either, as many of your statements would not make sense otherwise, so you are talking about more then the desktop environment by saying KDE. Maybe you meant KDE SC.
I disagree. The GUI should make it possible for the user to do what he needs to do in the best possible way. To go back to the text editors example, ed makes it possible to edit textfiles, which according to your definition would be sufficient. But really no one wants to use ed, because it is uncomfortable and inefficient to edit text this way.The GUI must only make it possible for the user to do what the user wants to do
For the rest of your text: If you feel comfortable with the tools you use that is a good thing. But I still think that a tool (and a DE/WM is nothing more than that) should force the user to work in a specific eay. If I can't adapt the GUI to work like I think it should it is useless for me.
A "fully adaptable UI" is not really a well designed UI. It leaves design to the user (that's what KDE does, mostly). It doesn't propose anything. It just gives you the building blocks and you have to figure out what to do with them. Most people use KDE like Windows because that's what they've learned to use a computer (and also because that's how KDE presents itself by default). That's a dead end for UI design.
Any new UI proposal has to be met with an open mind, try it the way it's proposed and obviously judge it for what it provides. You can't do that properly until you leave your old habits behind and acquire new ones. Only then you're in a position to judge which way is better. Approaching anything new with a bag of prejudices will probably leave you exactly where you started. That applies to UIs, food, music, people, places... Everything!
People complaining that a UI forces them to change the way they work remind me of this kind of American travelers looking for a McDonalds with English speaking waiters no matter where they are in the world; instead of trying new food and meeting new people that speak a different language.
There's no "best possible way". That's the whole point of trying new ways.The GUI should make it possible for the user to do what he needs to do in the best possible way.
Of course there is. The best possible way to do your work is to minimize interaction with window management related tasks, so that you can fully concentrate on the actual work. For example, if you constantly have to move around windows to get your work done then your workflow doesn't fit well with your GUI, your GUI is not presenting you the best possible way.There's no "best possible way". That's the whole point of trying new ways.
Of course it may always be possible that you will find a better way in a different DE/WM, but that doesn't mean that just because there are new ways or GUIs with newer approaches that they necessarily have to be better.