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A Week With GNOME As My Linux Desktop: What They Get Right & Wrong

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  • Just a reminder that GNOME classic session is also available for users wanting a GNOME 2 legacy taskbar


    • KDE could definitely use a more design centric approach but as a GNOME user one thing that you commended GNOME on over KDE is the settings and I could not be more envious of the KDE settings.

      Sure the GNOME settings look a bunch better but there's just NOTHING there. I can do damn near anything in the KDE settings where as I end up having to drop to the command line to do anything in GNOME.

      If you want an example of this pull up Dragon Player and Totem again, then maybe something 3rd party like Bomi or VLC. Open up the preferences window in Totem. It's actually just a joke. There's just nothing there.

      What about mouse acceleration? Something loads of people hate. On by default on both desktops. Go into the KDE mouse settings? You can specify the multiplier... you can specify the threshold.. you can do everything you'd ever want. What about GNOME? You have a slider that just says low and high at each end. Apparently from my own trial and error low is more or less 0, god knows what high is. God knows what the activation threshold is. Oh well! Better configure it in xorg.conf!

      Sorry for the rant, I'm a GNOME user and I like a lot of it but the GNOME teams approach to settings and customisation annoys the hell out of me. I can certainly see why some people prefer KDE.

      Last edited by Iksf; 14 July 2015, 05:28 AM.


      • Originally posted by theghost View Post
        I think KDE should rethink their strategy.

        Do we really need to support and port all these applications that are not maintained?
        Do we really need a Media Center Desktop?
        Do we really need another Office package?

        I would be suprised if unmaintained applications would get ported. The porting in itself would be an act of maintenance and make the person doing the port the new maintainer.

        As for Calligra, that doesn't impact the workspace development at all. Applications are developed by their own teams, on their own schedules, etc.

        As for Plasma Media Center I don't know.
        It might be used as a test bed for technologies which are then also used for the desktop variant or it is done by people who have a specific interest in this area and simply chose Plasma as the base to build on.



        • I use and love KDE, but I agree entirely. I also thought the article's tone was perfectly fine - I quite enjoyed reading it actually - though the title could definitely have been more accurate.

          Many of the points are things I work around - printer settings by using the webui, Amarok by using Clementine, root password prompts by manually typing kdesudo in the terminal, etc. The wallet password prompt is also particularly annoying as I get it even when logging in manually.[1] Hopefully these get fixed as the core apps get ported to KDE5.

          KDE is great for the configuration it allows, but the defaults could definitely use some polish.

          [1] That might be a distro-specific thing though. Honestly, I've never really got the point of the wallet having a distinct password anyway - it would make more sense if they just used AppArmor/SELinux to protect access to the relevant files.


          • I'm not saying this article wasn't controversial-- I fully expected it to be.
            It shows. To me this article is written with the primary intention of selling something and a secondary intention of pointing out some personal concerns about the direction of the KDE desktop.
            While you do some constructive critics, your speech is not the one someone expects from a serious journalist and I have been notified this is kind of a blog/news site when I addressed a piece about how Michael could not boot Ubuntu on certain hardware, but you really should consider to append a blog section to your main news website, because sometimes it is hard to distinguish one thing from the other.
            I do not use KDE desktops basicly for the overall looks, after reading this article my impression as a reader is that I have to stay away from them, even when I was too curious to give Plasma 5 a shot.


            • Originally posted by lucas_ View Post
              Eric are you aware that core members of the GNOME Design Team are employed by Red Hat?
              In the other words GNOME Design Team can dictate GNOME developers (also mostly Red Hat developers) what they should do (design).

              On the contrary all members of the KDE Visual Team are volunteers and all what they can they do is to encourage KDE developers to follow HIG and mockups. And this is the core difference between GNOME and KDE
              You're assuming that they needed to dictate. When a few people decided on starting a design team they didn't have much influence, despite 2 people being employed by Red Hat. They had an idea and convinced others. Quickly there was so much worked pushed to them that they became completely overwhelmed. There were also blog posts from developers who questioned / criticized the need for a design team (on planet gnome). One tried proving the uselessness of it by working with them, then completely changed his mind (resulting in a talk at GUADEC). Eventually this led to Red Hat hiring Allan Day.

              So there is no "core difference", KDE could do the same. What is likely very different is the amount of time they have available in a given week.

              This speaking as someone who pushed for way more involvement from the design team (basically said everything should have a design). We changed the way proposals should be done to have it checked by the design team (way before they were ready to handle this amount of work).


              • Originally posted by Ericg View Post

                Don't tempt me.
                I'll do my very best ;-)


                • Hi all, hi OP!

                  Thanks for starting such a discussion, it's always interesting to compare interface ideas and actual user feedback.
                  With that said, there are many things in your points that puzzle me...

                  So, before reviewing each point (with which I don't agree) in detail, a general remark about your feedback: most of your problems either come from using Fedora flavor or using the "still-in-polishing" KDE5 environment. Because things such as "requiring root user for printers" never occured to me since the last three years for example (presently on a 14.10 Kubuntu).


                  1. Login: you said it yourself, Breeze is much better. Agree with all your points.

                  2. Desktop and GPG: never encountered your problems, maybe because I didn't encrypt my home and always type my passwords, so I dismissed Kwallet one time then it didn't bother anymore. With that said, I fully agree with all your points: security is complex, so if an environment proposes it, it must provide sensible defaults in a full "clickodrome" way.
                  Apart from that, you didn't say anything about the desktop customization potent, I suppose it's because you were testing "as a plain user".

                  3. Applications: this is where you really have been way too partial to my taste...
                  a) I globally agree with you on Amarok. For Dragon though, well sure they should use Baloo, and THEY WILL (as Amarok did with Nepomuk and will again with Baloo). Just give it some time, it's a fresh new technology.
                  b) Muon: while I preferred the ancien package manager, I didn't find any blocking gripe with it. I especially don't see the "white space loss" you're talking about, Muon (Discovery) is nearly exactly the same presentation as with your screenshot from Gnome. You also get a three-pane detailed presentation, Launch/Update buttons and all. Really, you're borderline trolling on this one, or using a specific flavor of "Muon-after-Fedora-devs-waste"...
                  c) You didnt speak of the many goodnesses Dolphin has over Nautilus (which I feel a real pain in the *** to use in real work use-cases) : advanced breadcrumb (quickly change directories from any level thanks to the arrows), integrated terminal, displaying both full tree and bookmarks, quick split button, option to put directories apart or not etc...
                  d) You didn't speak neither of the Ksnapshot beauty, the top screenshot application of all which I tested (Shutter is nearly as good but not installed by default).
                  e) Nor digiKam which is one of the best pictures manager (fully integrated with Nepomuk at the time so will be with Baloo) in terms of tagging and other features...
                  I don't use the other KDE-related applications (apart from Krusader, only file browser which gives "enqueued" copy but it's a bit too stern for a lambda user) so cannot say anything about them though.

                  4. System configuration:
                  a) Printers: well, as I said before, there is clearly a problem with your distributions. I never had any prompt to check current printers, no more to add one (just tried now). I'm surprised however you don't fire a rocket at a general "over-the-top" richness of the options available in the main system configuration (or maybe they resolved this in KDE5, I know this is an old ongoing workshop). Although it's also thanks to that that you can configure anything through an UI.
                  b) Audio: did you notice that KDE is THE ONLY ONE (AFAIK) allowing on-the-fly change of output for any audio source, straight from the "volume" icon on desktop (to switch game/discussion on headphones when wife comes in the room for example)? Did you also note that the same icon provides also full mixer by input/output or by application? Never saw something as slick and efficient elsewhere. Basically unless you have a configuration problem, you never have to use the "audio" section of the system configuration.
                  c) Network: again, you're basically looking too far away. For user convenience, most of the daily configuration options are directly accessible from the network icon. So you won't have to go trifle in system configuration unless advanced use-cases.

                  Final thoughts: reading some of your final thoughts "KDE doesn't feel like cohesive experience." "This is about a mentality of apathy, this is about developers apparently not thinking things through when they make the UI for their applications. " This is nearly insult to the developers. Because, as yourself say in the same section, they DO care. As they DO have a general direction to strive towards. In fact, KDE is contrarily the only one desktop having a true objective in terms of features and ergonomy. It's just that, they are far more ambitious than they should be considering their available resources. So they make progress on all fronts, slowly but steadily. Sometimes they even have to drop whole concepts because too difficult to gain the critical mass necessary for it to really shine (goodbye Nepomuk). But they progress nonetheless, precisely towards a fully cohesive experience.
                  Furthermore, you tried KDE5 on Fedora, which is "raw environment" on "bleeding-edge technos". It's not a fair comparison: KDE devs still have much work to do to make KDE5 as good as KDE4 and then enhancing further. While Gnome 3 didn't suffer big changes in interface/technical paradigms so it's obviously more stable and polished.

                  My advice: try again with latest KDE4 (Kubuntu 14.10), see how many of your gripes are still here. KDE5 will be really up-to-par in a few months.
                  Sorry for the very long post, have a nice day.
                  Last edited by Citan; 15 July 2015, 09:32 AM.


                  • Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                    Now, I'm using openSUSE and not Fedora, so there are some differences to point out. So I'll go in order.
                    I agree with you Emerald, most parts of the article are about "Fedora's implementation of KDE". The Opensuse experience is much better.


                    • osx hackintosh v. 'real' mac

                      sorry i still find osx overall as stagnant on a 'real' mac as i do on a hackintosh.

                      sure there are a few trivial items that don't work as well but can be generally trivially made to work on a desktop. on notebooks the only stumbling block is optimus/hybrid gfx.

                      at the end of the day my hackintoshes are more current and better specced than all but the top end mac pro.

                      as to the article, ive gone through wms, des with a variety of reasons everything from bloat, speed, to ram usage. i just dont have afavorite any longer as far as des go as theyre all bloating up, even xfce and lxde. i might be going back to base wm and making it up as i go again, esp given that the next project is an old msigt725 w/p8600 and 4gb ram.